How To Choose The Perfect Revenue Strategy For Your Streaming Business?

How To Choose The Perfect Revenue Strategy For Your Streaming Business?

The greatest secret of a successful video streaming business lies in its business model. A company’s revenue model is the way it makes money. When choosing a revenue model, most businesses wait until the very end of development and simply look at what industry leaders are doing, altering it slightly. But when considered carefully the revenue model can be a very powerful tool and it is highly important to shape it according to your business needs. If you want to create your own Netflix, you must choose the revenue strategy that compliments your streaming business. 

Netflix’s annual revenue in 2018 has hit $15.8 billion continuing to secure the impressive figures Netflix enjoyed over the last decade. By the last quarter of 2019, Netflix generated total revenue of $5.2 billion which is over $1 billion up from what it earned in the corresponding quarter of 2018. 

If you are looking to find out how to start a video on demand website, we will be briefing it in this blog. The business model of Netflix, popular revenue models to follow, costs involved in creating your own Netflix also comes under the scope of this blog. Let’s get started. 

Netflix Business Model

What Netflix succeeds at is known as video on demand, by allowing users to access content like TV shows, movies, and other series instantly through Internet-connected devices like PC, laptop, tablets, smartphones, over the top box connected TV, Internet-connected TV, etc. 

This video streaming on demand giant operates on a subscription-based revenue model where users pay for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription plan and gain access to streaming movies, shows, originals and other content available on Netflix in the Standard Definition (SD), High Definition (HD) and Ultra HD quality based on what they pay for. 

The primary revenue source for Netflix is subscriptions. That is, users pay to access content on Netflix and that is how the company makes money. Learning more about the Netflix business model will significantly help you in choosing the best revenue model for your VOD business.  Netflix offers 3 different plans for users based on the streaming quality of the content provided. 

Basic– This plan offers access to content in SD quality. 

Standard– This plan offers HD content access to subscribers. 

Premium– This plan allows users to access videos in ultra HD quality. 

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Popular Video-on-Demand Revenue Models

The very first step of learning how to start a streaming service like Netflix is to choose the right monetization model for your VOD platform. What is the best way to charge users to access your content? In this blog, we are going to break down common VOD revenue models so that it becomes easy for you to choose the best one that suits you. Let’s get started. 

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)

The subscription video on demand business model is the one that allows users to access an entire library of videos for a recurring fee. This fee may be charged weekly, monthly or even annually. Once a user subscribes to the service, they can watch as many videos as they want until the subscription period ends. Netflix follows this model to monetize its services. Subscriptions are auto-renewable and users have the flexibility to cancel them anytime. This model suits platforms that have a huge variety of entertainment content like movies, TV shows, drama series, TV programs, etc. to engage their audience on a long term basis. 

Pros

One of the biggest advantages of SVOD is the recurring revenue stream that ensures a steady income every month. It also gives you the chance to upsell your users to bigger packages getting more money for your business. 

Cons

While SVOD offers great chances to upsell, it becomes hard to upsell from a cancellation. That means once a subscriber cancels the plan, it can be difficult to bring them back to your platform. 

Advertisement Video On Demand (AVOD) 

Advertisement VOD is the business model where viewers are allowed to watch videos for free but they must watch advertisements at different points throughout the length of the video. Ads are powerful and advertisers generally pay huge amounts for streaming their ads on your video on demand platform. You can also choose your ad pricing depending on your platform’s popularity and the type of content to be chosen for the ad. 

If you are just thinking about how to start a streaming service, it is recommended to design your services based on the ad-based business model. As your VOD platform gains more users, you can expand to other monetization models eventually. 

VOD ads are broadly categorized into pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads. As the name suggests pre-roll ads refer to the ones that play at the beginning of a video. Whereas, mid-rolls play ads in the middle of a video and post-rolls play ads at the end of a video. These ads are generally skippable or non-skippable in nature depending on how the ad network chooses to keep them. YouTube works primarily based on this revenue model. 

Pros

AVOD works the best if you are new to the business as it brings in additional revenue with very little investment of your money and effort. This is one of the most common and easy ways to generate passive income. 

Cons

As ads are everywhere online, too many of them can annoy your viewers. 

Transactional Video On Demand

The transactional VOD business model allows you to buy content on a pay per view basis. It is exactly the opposite of what SVOD is. Instead of paying for the entire content, viewers are required to pay for only the content they want to view, buying a piece of individual content also facilitates users to keep it with themselves either on your VOD platform or download to their personal devices. Alternatively, TVOD can also allow users to rent a piece of content from a video streaming platform for a period of time and once the period expires, they will not be able to access the same content again. The transactional model works with live programming where users purchase a particular piece of content to view it. WWE streaming service is an example. 

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Pros

In TVOD, there is no confusion in understanding what your users prefer. You can easily understand whether there is a great demand for a particular video or a type of content. It also brings in better revenue opportunities for new content releases. 

Cons

In the TVOD model, user retention is a common problem as users have a tendency to pay for particular content and then go off the platform. For the same reasons, it is difficult to push users to purchase new content. 

Hybrid Video-On-Demand Model

When you have a vast library of videos and your platform is getting popular day by day, you can implement a hybrid of different revenue strategies to monetize your videos. You can choose a hybrid of AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, or any combination that works for you. If your audience base is deferred and you want different monetization models to target to suit the needs of different types of audiences, it is best to opt for a hybrid VOD model. You might have a large set of audience who don’t want to pay for accessing content but won’t mind watching ads in between and vice versa. YouTube is one of the best examples of a Hybrid VOD platform. It doesn’t just rely on advertisements to monetize. YouTube Premium is an example. 

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Is SVOD the Best VOD Model to Make Money?

Subscription video on demand is the most common type of VOD service offered by streaming platforms. In 2017, 55% of Americans were using Netflix and 31 % were using Amazon Prime video service. By 2022, it is estimated that over 568.4 million users would be using these platforms. While SVOD is not the only realm of streaming giants like Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube, many new VOD businesses are using subscription models to grow their income and audience. 

If you are looking for different ways on how to start a company like Netflix, it is not mandatory to follow the exact path of Netflix. Choosing the revenue model that suits your business and your target audience is the ideal way to go for it. Next, let’s look into the popular revenue models in the market and understand what suits your business the best. 

Costs Involved in Running a Streaming Business

The question of how to make money using a live streaming app and how much you can make cannot be answered without learning about the cost of expenses and expenditure a streaming business has to incur to get these profits. 

Licensing Cost

To stream popular shows and movies in a legal manner, video streaming websites have to bear a cost to license and acquire content which differs for different types of content. For instance, Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep the popular series “Friends” on its service for 2019, almost three more than its previous licensing fee of $30 million.

Production Cost

Unless you are planning to acquire content from content creators, you have to bear production costs for creating your own originals. Offering original series is a great way to evade licensing costs and offer exclusive content to your users. However, the production costs can go higher when producing your own content. 

Marketing Costs

Once your platform is up and running on the internet, you have to compete with N number of streaming platforms including giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Beating the competition involves a lot of marketing expenditure. Marketing costs primarily including the expense for advertisements, payments to affiliates and device partners, and the trial month fee of every user.

Research and Development Cost

Every popular streaming website invests in the research and development department. For example, Netflix focuses a lot on research and development and that is one of the reasons why they are pioneers in the market with just a subscription-based business model. 

Technology and Development Cost

From the moment you create a movie streaming website and have users visiting your site, you must ensure a seamless and lag-free viewing experience to all of them. Netflix has partnered with hundreds of Internet service providers to localize a substantial amount of traffic. Technology and development costs make up a major portion of the overall cost you have to bear.

It also includes streaming delivery technology costs and the costs involved in designing new applications and other infrastructural costs. Regarding the video streaming server costs of Netflix, it uses its own content delivery network (CDN) called Open Connect, but also depends on the service of top tier CDN Akamai. Data is stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) where terabytes of storage can be deployed to a thousand servers quickly. It is important to leverage the services of a good content delivery network even if you are not planning on growing fast because you are eventually going to scale. 

CDN offers guaranteed delivery of content to users through a geographically distributed network of servers. It transforms your streaming website into a scalable system to meet any major viewership spike in demand for your content. 

General and Administrative Costs

These costs include the payroll and other expenses on the human resources of the business as well and the partnership fee needed for the administrative purposes of the company. 

Miscellaneous Fee

Besides all of these costs, there can be other miscellaneous costs like payment processing fees. 

How To Price Your Content The Right Way?

Behind any successful revenue model stands a well-designed pricing scheme. It is one of the most critical elements of any business strategy, especially for SVOD services. If you are looking for how to make a movie website like Netflix, pricing your content is one of the important aspects to consider. 

Pricing video will always be a work in progress and with the constant changes in the market, you need to experiment with different approaches. You will get to know your customers and their spending habits as time goes by. To help you with this, here are some tips to choose the right pricing scheme. 

Consider Value and Customer Satisfaction

Building a pricing model based on the value and customer satisfaction will help you make your VOD platform as sustainable as possible. Additionally, offer your users enough choices that will help you to retain existing users while attracting a new audience. Approaches including tiered pricing, freemium, or consumption-based pricing will help your viewers commit to a plan that suits their personal preferences and needs. 

Analyze Your Revenue Goals

It is significant to understand how much would your video on demand business be making in monthly revenue. Make sure to include overhead costs to your goal. 

Consider The Size of Existing Followers

Once you have created a movie streaming website and gathered in a few users, analyze the size of your audience. How big is your current audience and measure the number of followers you have on social media? How many contacts you have on your email list. 

For this formula, use the total number of followers from each individual platform. Your existing audience or the ones you are currently not monetizing is the main revenue potential you are going to focus on as they are our biggest supporters. 

Start With A Low Price Window

If it’s your first time monetizing your services, aim for a low pricing formula. The most successful customers offer monthly subscription prices anywhere between $2-$50. 

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Industry and Genre Must Be Considered

The nature of your content will have a direct impact on how you price your content. The best thing is to start with basic market research to see what other subscription video services with niche similar to you are charging their customers. If you are planning to charge higher than your biggest direct competitor, you must be sure that your services are with a significant difference and offer more value to your users in terms of the quality of services. The next thing to consider is your Content type and genre. Each type of content has an industry price average that you must consider unless you offer content that’s obviously more valuable. 

Niche and Specificity Matters

Niche content or micro-niche content to be specific is valued high due to its ideal audience. While small and limited, if a service is very focused on a particular niche, users usually won’t mind paying for that extra bit. 

How to Start a Streaming Service Like Netflix?

You are on the right track of building a streaming solution to create a movie streaming website customized according to the preferences of your audience. The goal is to delight media consumers and ensure all-time technology support to keep your users happy at all stages. 

To build a fully functional streaming website to cater to your global audience, it is best to choose Netflix clone open-source that comes equipped with all the essential features and functionalities. Clone scripts are readymade website script that comes equipped with powerful admin dashboard, web app integration options, Android and iOS native apps to get started in the video streaming industry. 

You can choose the best video on demand platform providers to build your VOD platform who will customize their solution to match your preferences and business goals including the revenue model suited for your business. 

Choosing A Revenue Model For Your Business

In an increasingly complex digital world. You can build profitable video on demand business by choosing the best revenue models that generate more money than you could ever think. The secret is to find the business model that serves both your customer’s needs and your business goals. Some of the best in the world are listed above and you need to pick the one that suits your requirements. We understand how difficult it gets while choosing the right revenue model when creating your own Netflix and the doubts that come bundled with it which is why we help consult on you the same. Get in touch with us now. 

The Cloud Business is Built on Live Streaming

The Cloud Business is Built on Live Streaming

Live video streaming has come a long way from the old times when transferring video over the Internet was not even possible. Today, individuals and businesses across the world use live streaming as a tool for communication and marketing, as well as modern means of offering entertaining content to the audience. 

The advancements in cloud computing have revolutionized live streaming and brought in the emergence of massive corporations and popular live streaming platforms. When you analyze in-depth, live streaming and the cloud network share a symbiotic relationship. One will not expand without the other growing. The increasing demand for live streaming has grown rapidly and the cloud business has also experienced a stable growth curve.

In the past live streaming was limited to traditional TV broadcast networks. However, today with the expansion of cloud networks, anyone can stream a quality video that is close to the broadcast networks. The increasing demand for live streaming will require cloud technology to expand at a rapid rate to meet this rising demand.

Benefits of Live Streaming For Your Business

Undoubtedly live streaming presents a brand new way of digital communication, content consumption, and promotion. Beyond the growth of the audience hooked to live content, live streaming presents a great way to drive revenue for businesses. Streaming live videos to your customer base may sound like a fun and easy thing to do. However, implementing a live streaming strategy requires careful planning to achieve your business goals. Before learning how to start a live streaming business, it is important to understand the benefits of live streaming. 

Here are some of the benefits of live streaming for your business. 

Low Barriers to Entry

Most of the time, all that is needed to live stream is a smartphone, an internet connection, and a social media profile. This ease of entry to leverage the potential of live streaming makes it the most effective marketing tool.

Real-Time Communication

When you conduct a live streaming event of your business, you are engaging with your audience in real-time. This gives your viewers a sense of belonging to the moment as people love being part of stories as they happen. They actively understand more about your business in a personal way and are likely to share it with their friends.

Interaction

Live streaming evokes a sense of excitement among your audience. During your live streaming, you can ask questions and connect with your audience, offer to poll, or get creative to any extent to engage them. The live streaming itself is inherently about building a community to make your customers feel inclusive and exclusive at the same time. 

Cost Reduction

Some brands use live streaming as a part of their training programs, webinars, employee onboarding, or even seminars. Everyone who is physically and virtually present receives the same training simultaneously, thereby saving the company’s budget. Implementing live streaming in your business strategy can save a lot of money in the long run. 

Why Is Live Streaming More Popular Than Video Streaming?

Compared to pre-recorded videos, live videos are in high demand with the younger audience. It is mainly because they feel more engaged with live content than pre-recorded content, Further, live videos are more engaging to users due to its “real” element as it is exciting to witness something that is not scripted. Statistics show that people tend to watch live videos 3 times longer than other types of videos on Facebook.

Video on demand content in many aspects is the exact opposite of live streaming content. Video on demand is a traditional system of creating and sharing content. Create a video, upload it on video sharing platforms like YouTube for the viewers to watch it, and you are good to go. 

While there are some obvious benefits to video on demand like the ability to have more control over video creation and publishing, live streaming is a modern approach to the traditional way of creating video content and hence, the most preferable choice these days. But, it doesn’t mean that live streaming alone can satisfy your marketing needs. A combination of live streaming and video on demand is what your business needs. 

Both have their own benefits and there is a lot you can achieve from embracing the best of both. For example, you can repurpose live content for on-demand viewing. Once the live stream is over, you can upload the videos to video-sharing platforms and make it on-demand content. 

That’s not to say that live streaming doesn’t have its drawbacks. Live streaming can be more technically demanding than traditional methods when you want to add a professional edge to your live videos. It might require you to buy additional gears, capture cards, multiple card setups, and a professional live video streaming software for high-end streaming.

That’s without even mentioning the importance of upload speeds and cloud technology for live streaming. So yes, it can get demanding if you want to create a high-quality live streaming experience. However, the engagement factor is so popular today that it alone would make worthwhile to explore live streaming for your business.

Benefits of Cloud Technology For Live Streaming 

The age of domestic servers has been surpassed by a quiet revolution of cloud technology. When you create a live streaming website, you have to deliver live content to a range of devices in a matter of seconds. To get things in place, you need to choose a technology to support your services. There is no one size fits all approach as every scenario comes with a unique set of requirements. 

Handles Compatibility Issues and Encoding

A major advantage of using cloud technology for your live streaming service is that both encoding and device compatibility issues will be taken care of. For example, cloud services like Microsoft Azure offer a multiple platform player for displaying studio-grade encoding that is dynamically encrypted with 28 bit AES. There are no server upgrades to worry about which can free up resources as well.

Scalability

The scalability of cloud-hosted solutions for live streaming represents another major advantage of eliminating the startup costs associated with physical servers. This ensures that customers only pay for the services they are using at a given time. As the number of users increases, greater bandwidth can be allocated to offer multiple streaming simultaneously and offer buffer-free viewing on a number of output devices.

Current and Future Trends in Live Streaming

Keeping aside the ease of access, live streaming is loved by people. Live streaming is an excellent opportunity for two-way interaction with your target audience. The popularity of live streaming apps like snap chat, Periscope, Facebook live, etc. supports this idea. Here are some of the current trends in live streaming.

Social Media Dominion

We have witnessed the demand for live streaming on social media capturing significant events across the world. We are also seeing eSports live streaming constantly breaking viewership records. Live streaming services like Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and IGTV has skyrocketed its popularity, especially among the younger audience. Sending live videos as a method of communication with peers seems to be natural for the young generation. 

Marketing Media of Choice

Live streaming video is reinventing the way brands plan their marketing strategies. Live streaming has already become an essential marketing tool that can help businesses grow. Brands are becoming more willing to invest in live streaming than ever. Reports show that 95% of businesses say that live video will be an important part of their 2020 marketing mix, with 25% stating that “live content will be a top priority, edging out the scope of pre-recorded videos. We also see businesses going live regularly on social media and their websites. Companies are getting better and better at using live video to bring down those unapproachable corporate walls, adding an authentic human interaction to the mix. 

Internal Corporate Communications Booster

In business relations, brands are using live videos to strengthen their corporate culture and build solid relationships internally. Internal team meetings, employee training, etc. can be done through live videos which increases productivity and engagement. This is why Cisco acquired a video conference startup WebEx back in 2007. They successfully foresaw a future where live streaming is helping people to communicate better.

Education Empowerment

Live streaming is enhancing the way we learn. Conferences, talks, and events are being live-streamed on a regular basis. Universities like Harvard and Stanford are taking advantage of live lecture streaming. This gives their students access to knowledge anytime, anywhere, taking down barriers to education. Consequently, students who may not otherwise be present at the lecture are now able to partake.

Machine Learning In Live Streaming

Machine learning is the latest digital transformation that helps streamline and personalize the user experience for all kinds of technology. This algorithm essentially “learns” what yields a positive result and what doesn’t, and continuously improves itself based on this collected data. There are many opportunities for machine learning applications in live streaming scenarios of all sizes, including large multi-camera events, smaller single-camera live streams, and even lectures at educational institutions.

Computers will be able to learn certain cues like lighting, face and speech recognition, etc. in order to automate live switching, recording, and even adding lower thirds. For example, “smart” live video will be able to automatically start the stream when it recognizes a specific voice or person has appeared on stage. This technology can even track the presenter across the stage, keeping the focus on them. Once the stream is over, the technology can automatically generate and upload a highlight reel of the event based on cues like audience applause and lighting. The potential for AI and machine learning is huge, and there are many specific examples of how it can be applied. 

Further Marketing and E-Commerce Involvement

Just like video ads before normal videos, we will also see the live video start to ingrain deeper into marketing, becoming its major tool. We will see more brands going live with their own shows, introducing their own brand ambassadors and trusted experts like the following example.

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More live events will be used as “see-now-buy-now” eCommerce platforms for a live online shopping experience. As a result of frequent and intentional use in marketing, live video production will become a regular part of the marketing education curriculum. New and better tools for measuring ROI of live streaming campaigns will become available.

Purchasing Power

The revenue impact of live video cannot be ignored. Nearly half of the users say they would pay for live, exclusive on-demand video from a favorite speaker, performer, or sports team. In general, video boosts sales, as well as recognition of a brand. 64% of customers are likely to make a purchase after watching a branded social video. 

Getting the Timing Right

Like with written content, length matters. Live videos up to two minutes long hold viewer’s attention, after which time there’s a drop-off. Many videos in that one-to-two-minute-long duration are explainer videos, which tell about a product or service and helps consumers understand the company better. The zone where you don’t want to be is between two to six minutes long. Attention span and time spent on videos picks back up again for those that are between six and 12 minutes long.

Of course, this timing is for video in general. The rules change a little when it comes to live videos, streaming videos which are often sporting games, events, television shows, movies and the like. With this type of watching, viewers will often spend up to several hours watching their favorite team play or binge-watching a favorite show.

For social videos, the rules are a bit different. Here’s the breakdown by the platform. 

Facebook– While there is no minimum time for the length of a Facebook Live video, but it’s best if your stream is at least 10-15 minutes long. Facebook itself states that longer broadcasts attract more viewers, as more people have a chance to learn about the broadcast and tell their friends. Engagement on Facebook Live streams keeps increasing until about the 15-minute mark, then remains fairly stable through the maximum length of four hours.

Instagram– The ideal length is under 30 seconds for a regular video post and 15 seconds for a Story. For IG Live, it can go up to one hour.

YouTube– The average length of the top 100 most-watched videos on the platform is between five and seven minutes.

Video customer support

Live Q&A sessions as a way to receive help immediately and from real, knowledgeable people will become more and more widespread. Similarly, to current over-the-phone customer support, live video customer support centers will emerge. Receiving support with real-time visual aids will help solve issues faster.

Live streaming and cloud

Live streaming solutions have adopted cloud scaling to enable larger bandwidth and better speeds. As live streaming happens in real-time, it can’t be repeated. Hence it needs to get right the first time itself. The factors like speed and bandwidth are necessary to handle heavier video requirements and offer a better viewing experience to the audience. 

One of the greatest examples of a video platform that scales massively on the cloud to offer a better video viewing experience is YouTube. Thanks to advancements in cloud technology, YouTube emerged as the second largest search engine online. Not just video streaming, the cloud powers its live streaming solutions as well. 

These days, even small businesses leverage live streaming o bring their customers close to their brand and make them feel more connected. These interactions help in taking their marketing strategies to the next level. 

However, it also comes with the transmission of large data that results in latency issues. By scaling on the cloud, live streaming platforms can increase their bandwidth to offer better streaming performance and viewing experience. While CDNs handle that part efficiently, many businesses don’t have access to it to handle the heavy traffic and hence cloud scaling is very important.

Cloud technology also offers live streaming platforms a cost-effective, flexible, and secure solution for setting up their workflow. This serves to meet the requirements for both live streaming and video on demand services. 

Let’s understand this with an example. During a live broadcast of a sports event, the traffic is easily 10 times or even more than on normal days. Provisioning for servers and other infrastructure will end up creating a large up-front cost for infrastructure which otherwise won’t be utilized in normal scenarios. The cloud technology with its pay-per-use strategy serves as an ideal solution for live streaming platforms with an effective costing method at a very high rate of security, scalability, and reliability. 

A typical End-To-End functional workflow for cloud-based live streaming looks like the following. 

Production

The production process begins with the acquisition of the camera feed. In the case of live streaming, the camera feed may be backhauled to a central production faculty via a dedicated Internet connection.

Ingestion

In live streaming, the camera feed is directly connected to the cloud-based live streaming solution. As opposed to video on demand content where the content is uploaded via a CMS. 

Monitoring

Any disruption in the ingestion process during live streaming will directly impact the viewing experience. For the automated workflow running in the cloud, you need a way to identify any failure and report it. This is where monitoring will help to ensure that everything is running as expected. 

Encoding

If you are looking for different ways on how to create a live streaming website, you have to be mindful of the various different platforms and devices on which your content will be played. The streams uploaded to the cloud will be of one format and specification. For your live videos to be played across different devices like smartphones, tablets, desktops, and smart-TV’s, the video must be converted to different formats and specifications. This process of conversion is called encoding and is an intense concept. 

Ad-Insertion

To make money out of your live streams, it is important to insert monetization channels to your live streams. You can either offer your live content to your audience for a fee or offer it without any fee, but insert ads in between the broadcast. If you are using an advertisement based monetization method for your live streams, you need to insert it along with the process of encoding to serve as a reference point to display ads during playback. 

Protection

The major challenge with live streaming or any digital video playback is content protection, especially if you follow a pay-per-view or subscription-based business model. If your business involves the scenario of piracy prevention and revenue generation, it is highly important to protect your content. Some aspects of content protection are authentication and authorization. Choose a secure cloud technology that adheres to digital rights management to encrypt the content. These security measures restrict viewing or copying of content by unauthorized parties. 

Delivery

Besides understanding how to start a live streaming business, you must also learn in-depth about how to deliver content without any potential delays. This is where CDN’s come into play. Content delivery networks with their vast networks of servers spread across several locations offer web acceleration by serving users with a cached version of the live stream requested. Hence, it is highly important to choose live streaming solutions with in-built CDN’S to optimize the delivery of live videos with low latency, high speed, and low packet loss. 

This is how a sample cloud-based workflow based on Microsoft Azure’s media service looks like. 

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Conclusion

Live streaming offers a great opportunity to reach out to a broader audience and is spurred to be on a positive growth trajectory with improving mobile broadband connectivity and increased Internet penetration. Demand for live videos is expected to rise along with cloud technology. Ensuring a smooth and swift playback experience across different platforms under different network conditions is a challenging task bringing some of the best cloud technologies to work together. A cloud-based workflow for live streaming is proving to be the core of building a scalable, reliable, extensible and robust live streaming platform.

Live Streaming — A Game-Changer For Marketers

Live Streaming — A Game-Changer For Marketers

Live streaming is no longer a novelty for marketers. With real-time videos becoming prominent among social media users, we have seen a significant leap in the way businesses usually interact with their target audiences these days. Live video, as a part of the video marketing strategy, is becoming popular, and it is going to stay as a trend in 2020, as well. 

Did you know that online viewers spend 3X more time watching a Facebook live video as compared to other types of videos? The concept of live streaming is evolving and the number of brands using it to strengthen their relationships with the customers is increasing, too.

Live streaming is gradually taking a leading place as one of the most powerful marketing tools for individuals and businesses. With its rising significance, questions like how to build a live streaming website, how much it takes to stream live videos, etc. have become some prominent undertakings among the businesses these days. 

Live videos can either make or break your marketing campaigns; it’s a fact that all marketers agree with. However, you must be thoughtful to show your audience the real side of your business and offer something of great value. Live streaming can bring in more leads, conversions, and overall ROI. If you are looking for ins and outs of how to start a live streaming business, you should focus on the utility of live streaming first. 

Why Live Videos For Marketing?

Businesses can stream live videos over multiple social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, at the same time. They can also use this opportunity to sell their products by allowing viewers to purchase products directly with just a button click while watching the live videos. Let’s take a closer look at what else makes live streaming a popular marketing tool. 

No Investment Required

One of the biggest advantages of live video streaming is it’s available to anybody with a very little investment. Compared to earlier days, when live streaming setups were expensive affairs and were accessible only to the rich brands, we now have some much cheaper alternatives for everyone. The technologies we possess today to eliminate most of the expensive requirements and it has become easier for anyone to adopt live streaming in their marketing mix. 

Brands can now bypass traditional live streaming methods and reach directly to their customers with live streaming through popular social media channels. However, if the brands seek a better professional solution than social media streaming, they can also create a live streaming website of their own with some minimal investment. There are tons of affordable live streaming solutions available in the market. Having a dedicated live streaming website helps indeed, as it not only opens up the immense opportunities but also gives greater control over the brand message they want to deliver. 

The Emergence of New Business Models and Sales Channels

Brands now are shifting on influencer marketing to attract audiences and sell their products. Brands are approaching influencers with a large social following and paying them for doing sponsored streams. For instance, a fashion brand can recruit fashion bloggers for a campaign that includes live streaming of their fashion shows. Besides, these bloggers can put product links on the live screen and let viewers purchase the outfits shown in the show instantly. With the rising popularity and adoption of live streaming by the brands, new business models and many such effective sales channels are emerging.

Possibilities For Brands to Create New Expanded Experiences

Live streaming brings new business opportunities for brands. They can create a more integrated brand experience for customers where an immediate channel of communication will make sure the messages flow seamlessly in both directions. For instance, sports brands can sell their products to fans who are not physically present at a game but watching the same through live streaming. 

What Does It Mean For Marketers?

As it becomes competitive for brands to win customers on social media, combining both social media campaigns and paid promotions can offer an enhanced level of engagement with the audience. Live video streaming combines all of these elements into a new kind of medium with endless possibilities. By putting the capabilities of live TV into everyone’s hands, brands can deliver trust factors in a way we have not yet seen. However, we are still in the early days of adoption and are just starting to visualize the possibilities. 

Power of Live Streaming For Marketers and Brands

You already know that live streaming helps brands connect with their audience more realistically. It also allows the audience to participate in a brand’s storytelling. No matter if you are a video content creator or a business, you can leverage the benefits of live streaming and deliver your brand message to the prospects in innovative ways. Let’s see different ways you can use to leverage live streaming for your brand-

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Engaging Content

Live videos are a great alternative to static visual content. Over 80% of online viewers would watch live videos than exploring other types of content. As video content is visually appealing and easier to grasp, viewers can connect with the real-time content better than any other form of content. Live video streaming offers a sense of real-time connection, which is even engaging than other content types. Allowing businesses to establish their web presence and narrate brand stories in real-time, live streaming can produce some faster results. 

Better Reach

There is no doubt live streaming helps to reach out to millions of global users by just a click of a button. Using live stream, brands can broadcast their events to a wider audience, and utilize this opportunity to increase brand awareness among the new audiences as well. The ability to get in touch with as many people as possible without any physical or geographical restrictions is a true power of marketing in hands. 

Enhance Customer Relationships

Live streaming ensures enhanced customer relations as they can interact with brands in real-time leading to trust and loyalty. Unlike pre-recorded videos, live videos connect with your audience in a more personal way, paving a seamless channel of communication to interact with the brands. Unrehearsed live video gives a more realistic touch to the brand messages and therefore, making it even trustworthy and relatable. It gives out a sense of value and transparency among the audience. The more customers brands, the more they are likely to undertake some business and recommended the brand to others as well. 

Reinforce Brand Value

Treat live streaming as any other marketing medium. What message do you want to convey to your audience? What should be the takeaway for our audience? Use your live streams to make a good impression, show the audience your personality, without just making a big sales pitch.

Different Ways To Use Live Streaming For Video Marketing

Whether you are using social media live streaming, or wondering how to set up live streaming videos from your official website, there are easier ways to undertake both kinds of plans. Irrespective of the platform you choose, you can conduct various kinds of live events to attract more and more audience to your live streams. Let’s look into different ways your business can utilize live streaming to engage with the target customers.

Host Webinars

Leveraging the power of live streaming for educational purposes can be a powerful idea. For example, a live demo on how to use a product or service can be a very honest live presentation of skills. A live demo is a practical and trustworthy solution to offer valuable information. Take this opportunity to offer knowledge while your brand builds authority in a particular field. You can even build a good part of your business around hosting webinars. 

Q & A Sessions

Host live Q&A sessions to let your viewers ask questions about your brand, product, and different services. Utilize the opportunity to have real-time conversations with your audience and dig deep into your opinions about the brand. Interaction with your audience shows that your brand supports transparency, which has a positive influence on embedding trust factors.

Try to address each question individually by mentioning usernames, as it helps to build a personal relationship with your audience. You must encourage your viewers to ask questions and put comments even if your live stream isn’t a Q&A session. These sessions hold the potential to build a strong community around your brand. 

For example, Humana broadcasted a live session with chef Nino answering to the questions of viewers while cooking.

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Behind the Scenes Look

Broadcasting behind the scenes is a great way to get a little personal with your audience. Live stream an event, a tour of your office, and show your audience how you make your products. Even the most routine business activity might be very interesting to people who see it for the first time. 

Live streaming a business victory or a celebration is another great way to share your company culture and let your viewers feel being a part of it. You can also utilize this opportunity to offer an exclusive sneak peek of your new product development status. The insights offered through such live sessions can build a special connection with your audience and can potentially attract many viewers. 

Collaborate With Influencers

Collaborating with popular influencers can have a significant impact on expanding your reach. Choose influencers who have a large following on their social media platforms and websites, and can provide some expertise in a particular area. You can invite influencers to be part of your live stream, be a guest on your live broadcasts, or you can also give them some creative freedom to create their own live sessions promoting your brand. 

Alternatively, you can also allow them to take your over live sessions for a period of time and allow them to post live content directly to your page. As opposed to a produced video, live streaming is an easy, honest, and unrehearsed way of reaching out to your viewers. 

When you collaborate with influencers, it must align well with your brand and be organic to your viewers. Make sure you do thorough research on your personality of choice, consider their primary demographic, hashtags they use, and overall reputation. The interest and values of the influencer’s audience must also align with your brand’s message and values, making it easy to gain their attention. This type of partnership with popular influencers improves discovery and expand the reach. 

Use Live Streams for Sales

Using live broadcasts for real-time sales can create a sense of urgency to buy especially if you are offering discounts exclusively for your online viewers. Set up a live broadcast displaying your special products or services, and offer a link to buy it instantly. Keep in mind that some live chats do not allow links, so you may need to get more creative. Alternatively, you can also create your own live streaming website using a decent live streaming software solution, and get better control on putting links and promoting your products even effortlessly. 

Run Contests

Running contests on your live streams has great potential to increase the reach of your live broadcast. To improve the reach, you can ask your viewers to share a link of your live stream as a part of the entry requirement to the contest. This way your viewers become an additional marketing channel. 

You can also use the contest entry requirements to expand your email list by capturing email addresses using a Signup form. Conducting contests via live streams can keep your audience engaged and you can use the platform to announce the results as well. Make sure you announce it early to increase the participation of your audience.

For example, Wingstop launched the world’s first live auction on periscope and announced it in advance in their Twitter account.

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Live Stream Big Events

Nowadays it is customary for a large enterprise to live-stream large events and product launches. A live launch can help your products and services stand out and create a lot of buzz and traffic around it. Consider going live with your product launch, important events, keynote presentations, demos, etc. Build up the hype around large events in advance so that your viewers have the chance to share the news till the big day. 

Conduct Live Interviews

Live interviews can act as an amazing traffic source as you are addressing not just your audience but another person’s audience as well. Setting up interviews with big names in the industry can give you instant recognition and authority in your niche. This further builds trust among your viewers. As mentioned earlier, you can also interview influencers who are from the same niche to capture a wider audience. For example, Benefit Cosmetics went live with makeup master José Rivera with 13k viewers and good engagement. 

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Live Stream Fun Activities

Your live broadcast need not be formal content always. To change it up a bit, try broadcasting fun activities like team actions, a humorous live, DIY crafts, or anything that your audience will find interesting. For example, Twitter live-streamed holiday-themed sessions with DIY crafts, cocktail mixing, and holiday planning tips by collaborating with top influencers. 

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Reveal Product Announcements

This is another significant strategy that works better when you have an audience, but it can be highly effective if done right otherwise too. Your viewers will love to be a part of the exclusive group that gets first access to big reveals and launches. Give them that privilege by live streaming product announcements or any similar events. Reveal big news on a live stream to people who tune in before anyone else.

Reuse Live Streams

Once you have a whole library of great content for viewing and reuse, reuse your live stream to promote it further. Create promotional videos, highlight videos, optimize uploaded VOD streams for search engines, and do a lot with your saved content even after the live broadcast is over. 

Best Practices To Succeed With Live Broadcasts

You have some ideas and a professional live streaming solution; you are all set to utilize the power of live streaming for your business. Here are some live streaming tips and best practices to help you come off professional and engaging with the first video itself. 

Set Your Goals

What do you want to accomplish with live streaming, reach a global audience, highlight product features, increased brand awareness, or grow your audience? Your goals help to determine what type of live experience to create. Create new customer experiences; offer branded moments, live stream product launches, live events, or customer education. In short, set your goals and decide what you are going to show. If you are not interested in your content, chances are your audience won’t be either.

Plan, Test, and Promote

While live video streaming happens in real, it is not wrong to plan ahead. You can and you must plan in advance. Be sure to script responses to possible scenarios that can arise, plot out key moments, and decide in advance the messages to convey. For example, if you are doing Q&A sessions, prepare responses and have a team ready to moderate comments. Before you go live, test in advance and make sure the camera is steady and the voice is clear. 

It is also important to promote your live sessions in advance to keep your audience tuned in. Start by announcing about your live broadcast on your website and social media channels to build anticipation. 

Welcome New Viewers

When you start live streaming, welcome all your viewers to the live session. This way you establish a personal relationship with them instantly. Also, make sure you welcome new viewers. However, it is not actually practical when you have thousands of viewers. You can also group names together so that it is easy to recognize a large number of people at once. 

Address Viewers by Names

People love being called by their names, especially during live streaming. Hearing their username called out while watching a live broadcast helps feel recognized and instantly connect with the brand. 

Look at the Camera

Similar to pre-recorded videos where you have to look at the camera, live streaming also demands the same. Looking at the camera is equivalent to making eye contact with your viewers. Just because you can’t see your audience, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at them. This counts a lot when it comes to live streaming, as viewers might be offended if you don’t face them all the time. 

Keep a Check on the Environment

Pick a good place with ample lighting and less noise when you go live. This is very important to the overall quality of the stream. Even a bad camera can look good to an extent with good lighting. Try hosting your videos during the daytime, preferably with light background behind you. While natural lighting is the best lighting you can get, you can also buy lights if you have to shoot videos in a dark room. 

Choose the Right Platform

Selecting the right platform for your live streaming significantly affects the results you will achieve. If you take social networks, YouTube has over 3 billion searches a month and it is the second-largest search engine after Google. Facebook is already on the race to become a pioneer in this sector. On the other hand, Periscope is devoted to live broadcasts, which makes it easy for your Twitter audience to follow your live sessions. 

So which one you must choose? The answer depends on your business goals and preferences of your audience. While Facebook Live offers options for more viewers, popups on their feed often distract them. Alternatively, you can also create a live streaming website to gain much control over your live videos. 

How To Make Money Using a Live Streaming App?

We have discussed how live streaming can help with marketing campaigns and assist your brand to grow. Once you are well acquainted with how to create a live streaming website the next thing is to understand is how to monetize your live streams. Next, let’s look into some direct ways to use live videos to make money. 

Pay-Per-View

The pay-per-view allows your viewers to unlock access to your individual live streams for a fee. This works great if the content is unique. If you are using custom live video streaming software to create your website, it’s more likely you will find an option to integrate pay-per-view model to start earning from your live streams. This model works best for streaming webinars, tutorials, sports events, and other events where people don’t mind purchasing tickets. 

Subscriptions

Just like a pay-per-view model, subscriptions give access to all the streams at once for a specific period, instead of paying separately for each live session. Subscriptions can be quarterly, monthly, or yearly basis. You can also take advantage of the built-in subscription features that many custom video streaming software solutions offer. Besides access to live videos, monthly subscriptions can include other benefits for viewers like special badges, ability to chat and enjoy ad-free live streams. 

Run Ads

Another great way to earn money using your live streaming app is by running advertisements. If you join the right live streaming platform in social networks, you can make money from ads as many businesses are still relying upon advertising bucks.

For example, Facebook live ads have benefits for both marketers running the ad campaigns and live streamers allow the ads to be shown during their broadcast. If you use live streaming software to broadcast live sessions, you can run ads in your live streams and it can be pre-roll, mid-roll, display ads, or overlay ads.

To exercise more control over the advertisements displayed during your streams you need to get into depths of how to make your own live streaming website. However, it not the best idea to have ads as the only monetization channels during live streaming.

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Brand Collaborations and Sponsorships

Brand deals and sponsorships are another great way to make money using live streaming app. It works well when you have a recognizable name for yourself in the industry as brands will reach out to you with deals. If they don’t, you have to reach out to engage with businesses for sponsorships. Either way, you can make money streaming through banners ads, sponsored content, and more. While sponsoring content make sure it doesn’t appear as a sellout. 

Affiliate Programs

A membership in affiliate programs will help you earn commissions every time a viewer clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase. Affiliate sales are not just limited to links; it can be even a coupon code that you are promoting. You can place the link or coupon code anywhere in your live stream description. While participating in affiliate programs, make sure to keep your content and the product or services you promote is relevant to the content you stream to make money using live streaming app.

Conclusion

Live streaming is a major shift in the way customers interact with business and each other., People are becoming more comfortable in getting on camera and engaging with others. This is also a great opportunity for businesses to market themselves and remain at the top of the industry. Create a plan now to include live streaming in your business marketing strategy. Capitalize on live streaming while it is still in its early development stage before all the big players gain the possible and it becomes harder to get into. If you want any assistance in creating a live streaming website, get in touch with us. We would like to help you out.