When a police officer shot Philando Castile his girlfriend live broadcast his death on Facebook Live Video, triggering a nationwide wave of protests. During the protest march in Dallas when some snipers started shooting the cops, a Facebook user named Michael Kevin Bautista broadcast the entire event live on Facebook Live Video. Both the videos have been watched so far more than 5.4 million times.
This Business Insider report compares this to the views that mainstream news channels get. ABC World News Tonight on June 27 had 8.5 million views.
The Business Insider report further talks about a Buzzfeed video in which a couple of dudes record a water melon exploding when they keep on adding rubber bands to it. So far more than 10 million people have watched the video.
So, will services like Facebook Live Video and YouTube replace TV or at least TV news channels?
It depends on what you call TV. Do you call Netflix TV? Why you watch TV?
Instead of comparing services like Facebook Live Video with the act of just watching TV, we need to compare the entertainment and engagement value that we derive from watching videos on Facebook Live Video and actual TV. Actual TV programs consist of serials, TV series, documentaries, topical programs, news and sometimes even movies.
Videos on services like Facebook Live Video and YouTube mainly consist of personal videos uploaded by amateurs that might be of some interest to people who know the person uploading the video but they are of no interest to me unless it is something like an exploding watermelon that may entertain me for some time, but we cannot equate it with something like House of Cards.
The main threat as I can see, is going to come to the news channels. With individual people reporting directly from the site there will be less interest for TV news and besides, very few people these days trust TV journalists.