Controlling Facebook Live streams is an illusion….by nature they are able to be seen globally. That’s a big issue for content rights holders who need to constrain a stream to one country or just a handful.
Last year, we launched the first Season of Mr. Robot with NBCUniversal/USA Network using a first of its kind live-stream on Twitch that went to win a Cannes Lion and be watched by about 1.5 million people.
This year, we took a different tack, and put our weight behind Facebook Live. In the past 4 days about 4 million people have watched these live steams – the one above was our “US Rant”. One of our key challenges was regarding geo-targeting, geo-gating or geo-fencing (choose your buzzword) the Mr Robot episode content that we leaked on the internet (see WSJ, Engadget, Variety, Hollywood Reporter), so only US users could watch it. They watched on Facebook Live, Snapchat, Twitter, and Youtube until we pulled the streams.
Unfortunately, none of the commercially available Facebook Live streaming tools offer out-of-the-box geo-fencing to US only audiences. So the only way to do it was to build our own tool: Levee.
As one of Facebook’s few Media Solutions Partners, ISL worked with Facebook engineers to enable geo-fencing of the Facebook Live Video API. Now, using Levee we are able to generate Facebook Live posts targeted to any locale we choose, and stream them from any commercially available streaming software (like WireCast or Telescope).
This is a super useful tool for companies like our clients NBCUniversal and Viacom who have programming that is rights restricted to specific regions of the world. If you’re a marketer or content producer who’s planning to do a Facebook Live campaign and needs anything from geo-fencing to campaign concepting give us a shout.
And finally, Levee is free and available for anyone to use. Check it out here: https://levee.isl.co The project is open source and the code is available on GitHub. If you’re a developer and want to contribute back to the project, pull requests are welcome! Caveats: once geo-targeted, a stream can not be embedded outside of Facebook.