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Brief Published: 8 May 2020

Long-Form Live Streaming: A Week in a Haunted House

During a week-long live-streaming event, US video community The Dark Zone invites online audiences to join a family lockdown in a notorious haunted home studded with cameras and opportunities for audience interaction.

Starting at noon ET on May 9, the platform is going to live stream 24/7 from the real house that inspired the 2013 horror film The Conjuring. Paranormal investigators from shows like US networks A&E's Ghost Hunters and Travel Channel's Paranormal Caught on Camera will visit to conduct explorations and seances. Global viewers will be able to interact with the house's occupants, track multiple cameras, and flag spooky activity in real time. Twenty-four-hour passes to the event will cost $4.99, while full-week access is $19.99 (some of the proceeds go towards Covid-19 relief charities).

With millions trying to pass time in lockdown, receptive audiences are found with longform content – like Apple's five-hour one-take tour of Russia's Hermitage Museum or French developer Ubisoft's reveal of its next game via an eight-hour live stream of a game artist at work. The interactivity of live streaming, however, will keep consumers coming back beyond lockdown. Always-on content experiences where interactive audiences check in, create, and socialise are common in online gaming – check out Pop Culture Round-Up: Spring 2020 to read about how Nintendo's hit game Animal Crossing uses real-time game mechanisms to make visits to its virtual world a long-term habit. Now, other sectors are unlocking live streaming's potential as a tool for audience integration: in Music in Lockdown: Future Fan Engagement, we highlight how musicians are staying closely connected to their fans by turning their creative process into must-see episodic content.

For strategies on extracting commercial opportunity from live connections, check out Leveraging Live-Stream Commerce.