Streaming a WWDC keynote... LIVE???
Given Apple's intense focus on secrecy, and the fact that the WWDC keynotes have NOT been streamed live in the past, an entire mini-industry has grown up around supplying "live" feeds out of the WWDC keynote. Sites like Engadget, Gizmodo, 9to5Mac, MacWorld and a zillion others have maintained "live blogs" posting the latest updates out of WWDC. These sites have been populated by reporters actually in the WWDC room using smartphones, laptops or whatever other tools they can. Photos were posted from phone cameras. Updates went out to social media.
In fact, past WWDC keynotes have been proving grounds for various forms of "live blogging" software and platforms - as many have collapsed under the crushing load of massive numbers of viewers wanting the latest news out of Apple. It's also been interesting in the past to watch the different outlets and their strategies... having one person typing updates while another posts photos, for instance, while yet another is tweeting or updating other social media channels.
The scarcity of information led to truly creating a "spectacle", as Apple is so good at doing. You had to visit these sites and watch the social media streams if you wanted to know in the moment what Apple was announcing.
It's the way we've become used to monitoring WWDC keynotes within the tech community. We expected today's speech to be more of the same. Each tech news site has been focused on providing the best and most comprehensive coverage of WWDC, knowing that doing so would garner them a large number of new visitors and potential subscribers. They were all gearing up for covering today's event.
And then this morning... BOOM! ... Apple just deflated and disrupted an entire way of covering the event.
First word started circulating that Apple had rolled out an "Apple Events" icon on Apple TV allowing Apple TV owners to watch the stream live. Then a link appeared on Apple's website where you can watch the WWDC lifestream. And then Apple actually issued a press release stating that they would be live streaming the event.
With one action, Apple just removed the primary need for all of those live blogs by all the major tech sites, as well as the need to follow streams on Twitter and other social networks. Sure, you can still follow them to get analysis or snarky commentary but there is no longer the need to follow them.
One site, 9to5Mac, has already stated they will be adjusting their coverage:
Update: Since Apple will be live streaming the event on the Web, iOS and AppleTV, we will be doing real-time updates only on our Twitter account and posting stories as they become available.
I expect some of the others will do so as well.
Now... will this actually lead to better coverage of the event for us as readers? In the past, these tech media sites have been competing with each other to churn out the live updates as fast as possible. But with the live stream available directly from Apple, will these news sites instead be able to focus on assembling articles about the announcements? (And will there then be even more articles churned out by the sites?)
It will be interesting to see... we'll find out in about two hours... :-)
P.S. This morning I published an audio commentary on this topic at:
I'll note that at the time I recorded this podcast it was not yet known that Apple would be streaming the keynote live on their website.
If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either: