How Much It Will Cost To Create A Live Church Streaming Website?

How Much It Will Cost To Create A Live Church Streaming Website?

Churches run regular events for sermons, prayer services, and bible study. So why would a church broadcast live when it already provides these events onsite and offers members a physical place to connect with god. On top of that, most churches put their service on YouTube after they record it during the service and it works fine. While many churches are big proponents of live streaming in the first place, others think live streaming is not essential. 

Stats show that over 84% of churches use church website and Facebook page as an essential line of communication. 

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However, as the COVID-19 spread forced church closures to practice social distancing, the number of churches taking their Sunday service online is increasing. If you are reading this blog, you might probably be interested in learning how to live stream your church service from your own website. Having a custom church platform to allow your viewers to access your worship services and events goes a long way in growing your congregation beyond the walls. 

But, the first obvious question that comes to our mind is how much it will cost to create a live church streaming website. This blog is a comprehensive live video streaming setup guide in which you will be exploring the essential things you need to stream your church services live and the overall cost for the same. Let’s get started. 

Reasons Your Church Should Be Live Streaming

Even if things go well for your church, if you are not live streaming, you are missing out on the opportunities to grow your church. In fact, as more people get to see your service online, the more likely they are to visit your church. 

Before going into how much does it cost to live stream, let’s explore the benefits of live streaming your church services. 

Reach a Global Audience

Live streaming your church services reaches a global audience outside the physical walls of your church. One of the main benefits of live streaming your church service is allowing members who cannot make to your service a chance to be a part of it. Homebound church members whether they are unwell or physically challenged can attend church service live from the comfort of their homes. 

Communities and people who are not in the local vicinity of the church can also benefit from live streaming of your church services and sermons rather than missing out on the service completely. With live streaming, the worship community can come together to hear the message from the comforts of home. 

Attract New Members

The live stream setup for the church has become the new front door to attract new members. When a church streams its services online, it invites new members to join the service to see how the sermon resonates with them. Live streaming not just attracts new members, but also keeps your members connected to your ministry when they can’t be there in person. 

Leads to Greater Engagement for Church Members

When everyone watches your service at the same time, there are more opportunities for fostering interactions and engagement. If you take your church service live, participants can react to specific moments and everyone can comment and interact with other people’s comments in real-time. Members of the church who are traveling or who have moved away can tune into your live videos and experience being part of the church community. 

Every year, churches would host several important events like holiday concerts, bible studies, weddings, baptism services, and more. Sometimes, church members who want to be part of these special moments won’t be able to make it to your church. If you host live broadcasts of such events, it would be easy for everyone to be a part of those important moments despite their physical distance.

Opens Channel for Donations and Giving

With live broadcasts of their church services, churches can encourage the viewers to make donations or contributions to the collection. It’s easier for the viewers who are willing to give donations when they are on the church website. 

Essentials Required for Church Live Streaming Setup

If you have decided to dive into how to set up live streaming for your church, you need to consider investing in essential equipment. Starting out, you can live stream your church service with a minimum setup that goes along with your budget. Here is what is needed to live stream church service in high-quality.

Camera

The camera is one of the most important live streaming church service equipment as it is essential to shoot live videos of great quality. There is a rich assortment of church live streaming equipment from which you can select either more affordable or high budget cameras. It mainly depends on how much you are willing to spend. To stream your sermons live, you basically need a camera that records in HD and features an HDMI output. This is enough if you have a restricted budget but you can invest in a camcorder or a camera that costs over $1000. If you want to go ahead with high end live video production, it is recommended to invest in a camera that captures 4k videos up to 30 fps. 

Here are some of the different types of cameras to choose from, such as

  • Webcam: Cheapest cameras that must be connected to a laptop or desktop.
  • Camcorder: Designed for shooting videos. Pick one with HDMI or WI-FI capabilities. 
  • DSLR: Specially designed for best quality professional photos and videos. 
  • Action Camera: Designed for more active video shooting. It gives more stability and is essential for live streaming if the pastor moves around often during the service. 

Lighting

No matter how well your camera works in low light conditions, your videos can still end up suffering the quality. This is where investing in a lighting setup may come to your rescue. Arrange a church live streaming setup where there are a few lighting sources in the center of the platform where the pastor stands. If there are more people you want the camera to capture, you must install multiple lighting sources or use adjustable lighting that can be controlled from a single system. 

Church Streaming Encoder

Another essential tool required in a live streaming setup for small churches which is required to transfer the information to a communicable format. Based on your unique requirements and purposes. You must choose between a hardware encoder or software encoder which we will be discussing in the upcoming section. 

Live Streaming Accessories

In addition to the recording and lighting equipment, encoder, several other accessories are required to go live with your church services. 

Microphone

The microphone is a piece of essential equipment required to make sure the congregation can clearly hear worship. 

While your camera might have an inbuilt microphone, it is recommended to invest in a separate microphone so that you can ensure the audio delivery is prompt. 

Tripod

To make your camera stay steady you need to use a tripod to ensure video stabilization.

HDMI Cable

HDMI cable ensures the video is smoothly fed from the camera.

HDMI Extender

If your camera is apart from the PC or encoder, you might need an HDMI extender as well. 

Video Switcher

If you are using multiple cameras, a video switcher is essential to switch between multiple cameras. 

What is Video Encoding?

Video encoding or video transcoding is the process of converting a given video stream to a digital format that is compatible with most web players and mobile devices. This is because different video players, browsers, and digital devices play videos in different formats. Your camera records that happen in your church with the top video quality. However, the resulting video streams would be larger in size and this raw content needs compression. That is why you need a video encoder. It ensures that video files are optimized so that they can be transmitted quickly over the web. The most significant point to keep in mind is that each video format comes with its own specifications like video codec with H264 and H265, WMV, HEV, WebM, VP8, VP9, and audio codecs like MP3 and WMA. 

Now that you have a better understanding of video encoding and the purpose of an encoder, let’s take a close look into 2 different types of video encoders: Hardware and software encoders. 

Hardware Encoders

Hardware video encoders are dedicated processors that leverage a designed algorithm to encode video and data into a streamable format. These encoders come in both small and portable sizes, and large fixtures. Considering the higher price point, only professional broadcasters use hardware encoders. They are highly specialized for encoding, and have a lot of advantages over software encoders. 

With that said, the live video quality of hardware video encoders is generally constant. There is not a lot of room to modify the video quality. Not just that, hardware encoders take time to design, build, and manufacture which makes hardware variant very rigid compared to the flexible encoding software. 

Software Encoders

Software video encoders are programs that run on your desktop, laptop, or any other digital devices. These encoders are very simple to set up and it is a way to change the aspects of the codecs to get the video quality and bitrate according to your requirements. You can easily update the software to a new version when the new updates become available. Software encoders are mostly used by beginner live streamers due to its affordable cost and customization features. OBS Studio, for example, is one of the free and popular open-source encoders. Adobe’s Flash Media live encoder is also a great option for beginners. 

Do You Need Hardware or Software Encoders to Live Stream Your Church Services?

If you are looking for the best church streaming encoder and are confused between hardware or software encoders, the ultimate goal should be to choose the best possible option for the budget you have.

As both hardware and software encoders come with its own advantages, affordability plays a significant role in the decision making process. When compared to software encoders, hardware variants are expensive and you might also have to invest in additional tools to fill the gap due to the lack of functionality.  While software encoders are affordable, high-end variants can also become quite expensive. To run the software encoders, you might even need a dedicated computer.

Another major benefit of software encoders is there are good free software encoders like OBS studio, which is beneficial for beginner churches. Whereas there are no free hardware encoders. Hence, it is recommended to choose a reasonably priced software encoder and a decent computer that showcases high performance. While a hardware encoder is mainly for professional broadcasters, software encoder is more flexible, less expensive, simple to use, and a winner in most scenarios especially for people who are just starting out with live streaming. 

Live Church Streaming Service on Social Media

The most significant thing you want to figure out when learning how to live stream church service is to choose the right platform. To allow people to view your church sermons online, you will need a live streaming platform. When it comes to the free live streaming platforms, there are many free social media platforms out there but they are not exclusively for churches. The most relevant social media live streaming platforms include Facebook Live and YouTube Live. 

Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows you to set up live videos including church services, sermons, bible studies, and special church events. If you already have a large Facebook following, it is a great option as it is free. Another major benefit is that live videos on Facebook would always be on autoplay mode, meaning your live church service starts directly playing when users are scrolling through their homepage, making it easy to get them hooked. Being one of the domain live streaming platforms on social media, live content of all types perform the best on the platform. 

YouTube Live

The live streaming service of YouTube is another popular live streaming platform choice after Facebook. As it is one of the most popular and largest video streaming platforms where most users spend hours browsing videos, it makes sense to choose YouTube Live to stream your church services live. 

While the free service works great the platform also offers dedicated support with paid services. Free platforms like these social media platforms are a great way to test it out when you are starting. However, if you want to bring in a professional touch to your live videos, nothing can beat the benefits of designing a dedicated space for streaming your live church services, and that makes our next point.

Live Church Streaming Service on Your Own Video Platform

As free social media live streaming platforms are not very effective when it comes to streaming your church services live, the best option is to learn how to set up streaming video for church on your own platform.

If you want to build your live church streaming platform on a budget, the most viable option is to consider using readymade solutions that are easily available in the market to build your own website. This readymade solution helps to create a live streaming platform for your church in simple steps and in an affordable manner. 

Features

After deciding on the important aspects of how to stream church service online, the next thing you need to decide is the features and functionalities of your church live streaming platform. Here are some of the essential features you must consider adding to your church live streaming platform.  

Homepage

It is the main page of your church’s live streaming platform that your users land first. 

Sign Up and User Profiles

Sign up allows your users to register to your platform via email id or social media accounts. After registering on the website, your users must be able to create user profiles on your platform. 

Search

The search function allows your users to browse the videos easily to find the published videos. 

Secure Payment Gateways

Allowing your users to pay on your live streaming platform through secure payment integrations is essential if you want to accept donations, tithing, etc on your platform. 

Analytics

One of the important features you must integrate into your church live streaming platform is analytics and reporting tools. It helps to measure the performance of your live services and analyze how your users engage with your live streams. 

Push Messages

Push notification integration allows you to notify your users about new live videos and other important updates. 

Real-Time Chat

While watching your live broadcasts, users can share their comments and thoughts with each other. 

Unlimited Live Streaming

You can broadcast unlimited live videos from your church live streaming platform. 

Dynamic Admin Panel

Another integral feature your church live streaming platform need is the admin panel that helps to moderate content, manage user profiles, handle monetization, delete content, etc. easily and effortlessly. 

Cost to Create a Live Church Streaming Service Platform

In this section, let’s look into the most significant aspect of creating a live streaming set up for your church- how much does it cost to live stream your church services? 

The overall cost of creating a live church streaming website greatly depends on the development methods you choose to create your streaming website. As discussed, building a church live streaming service using a ready-made live streaming solution can be an affordable approach. 

The following are some of the factors that you must consider when calculating the overall cost to build a live church streaming platform.  

Live Video Streaming Platform 

One of the best affordable live streaming solutions is StreamHash’s church live streaming software StreamChurch to help you live stream your churches efficiently. You can conduct Sunday services, sermons, bible studies, prayer meetings, broadcast gospel music, host Sunday school, and offer all related services to your congregation. 

You just need a professional camera, a PC, and a stable internet connection. The software even features OBS integration, making it easy to convert your videos to desirable formats that suit different platforms and devices you are streaming to. If you wonder what is the cost of the live streaming solution, it just costs around $499 for a deluxe variant and $999 for the ultimate package with all essential features, lifetime support, and access to complete source code. 

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Hosting

To create a church live streaming site, you need to register a domain name for your site and hosting to power your streaming platform. The hosting might cost you around $20-$30 for a year that you need to renew every year to continue enjoying the services.

Server Cost

To host your live videos, you need to invest in a powerful server. The server cost varies according to the RAM capacity you require to host your live videos. The cost of services might vary around $10-$20 per month based on the RAM space you need. 

Equipment Cost

The camera is one of the most important church live streaming equipment and there are different types of cameras like webcams, DSLR, camcorders, and action cameras. Pricing for these cameras might range from under $100- $2000. Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose the most expensive or fanciest camera. It is important to purchase what’s right for your church. 

The next important element of church live streaming setup is lighting equipment which might cost you $108 for a decent setup and can range upto $500 for a fully functional setup. A tripod is another essential equipment that might cost you around $25 to $300 for a sophisticated device that has built-in bonus features. 

Hardware and Software Encoder Cost

As we have discussed in the previous section, hardware encoders feature a higher price and you won’t find any free hardware variants. The cost starts at $100 and might go up to $1000 or more. Whereas you can find free software encoders like OBS studio and premium options like Wirecast and Mix which might cost around $599 and $ 60-$1200 respectively. There are other software that starts at a price point of $99 as well but features vary widely. 

Conclusion

The goal of any church is to reach people across the globe and touch lives. Live streaming is all about reaching as many people as possible to spread the gospel. By live streaming your church service and other related events, you can take your ministry beyond the walls of your church connecting with a global audience than ever before. A growing church is a healthy church that is used by God to do great things. If you need assistance on creating a live streaming website to broadcast your church services, get in touch with us. 

How to Start Live Streaming Fitness Classes for Your Community

How to Start Live Streaming Fitness Classes for Your Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the whole world to embrace new ways of living impacting all the industries. The fitness industry is no different, the current pandemic has transformed the way most fitness centers operate which has led to the temporary closure of many fitness facilities across the globe. 

Fitness studios that have spent years building up a reputed brand now face the difficulty of running classes, but you can leverage technology to get through this challenging time and engaging your community of members. The majority of gym chains including Gold’s gym and cult fit closed their doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Fitness centers have come up with creative live streaming fitness solutions to keep their members active: Live stream fitness classes so that students can join classes from anywhere in the world. 

During this uncertain time, you can keep engaging your members who still want their studio experiences using live streaming. By mirroring your regular timetable, you can offer regular fitness classes at times where people’s lives are lacking their usual structure or when they demand convenient ways to cope up with their busy schedules. Live streaming is a great way to bring your members together and motivate them to work out and makes them accountable for their efforts.

Tips to Live Stream Fitness Classes for your Community

Staying engaged in a workout routine is a significant factor to improve physical fitness. Live streaming your fitness sessions allows your members the ability to exercise on their schedule. Besides fitness sessions in the gym, people can also take advantage of live online fitness classes if they are living far away from your gym and cannot make it to your classes. You can leverage live streaming services that allow you to stream fitness sessions over the Internet and users can sign up for your services to enjoy your fitness classes in the comfort of their own homes. 

You can choose to broadcast your fitness classes live when:

  • You want to expand your reach across your city and take your fitness classes to a global community. 
  • You don’t want to spend a lot of time on creating, uploading, editing, and managing your pre-recorded videos. 
  • You want to interact with your members in real-time. 
  • You want to monetize your fitness programs further.

Here are some of the tips to get started. 

Keep Your Live Streaming Set up Simple

When live streaming fitness programs, you would need essential equipment like a digital camera, microphone, lighting, a platform, etc. depending on your requirements. If you are not ready to invest in a camera, you can start shooting with a phone, but make sure you choose a great quality smartphone with a good camera. Another beneficial tip is to invest in a tripod to keep your camera sturdy during your live sessions. 

When you are just starting out, it is recommended to keep your live streaming set up simple which will lower the chances of any technical issues, and generally makes the whole process easier. 

Select a Business Model 

If you want to use live streaming for business purposes, it is important to choose a business model for your fitness platform. Implement the best monetization model for your live streaming platform so that you can ensure a good amount of revenue stream with your fitness programs. 

Here are some of the common business models to consider when brainstorming about how to start a live streaming business

Subscriptions

The subscription business model allows viewers to access your fitness live streams by making monthly or yearly payments. Your members can access your classes in real-time when they subscribe to your services and once they stop paying the fee, they are no longer a part of it. 

Pay Per View

Pay per view is another business model to generate revenue from your live fitness videos. To gain access to your content, you can allow your members to pay for the individual content they want to stream. This is a flexible monetization strategy where you don’t overwhelm your members by a contractual agreement. Moreover, you can charge a premium price according to the value of the training program offered. 

Freemium Model

You can offer your live fitness classes to your client for free where most videos are offered for free, but users have to pay to gain access to unlimited content. There are fitness brands that offer live sessions of training programs to their members for free. For example, planet fitness live streams their classes every day on Facebook and successfully prepares your fitness business for upscaling in the future.

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Test Your Setup Before Going Live

A rehearsal before live streaming your fitness classes will help ensure you are not scrambling to set up the camera angle or audio when it is time to host your live sessions. Make it a practice to test your Internet connection as well to ensure that your bandwidth upload is consistent. You don’t want to have any delays or glitches when people are trying to connect with you in real-time. Test your camera and sound and make sure the audio levels are ideal. It is recommended to keep music at a lower volume to ensure that your audience can hear you clearly.

Live Broadcast Your Fitness Sessions

As your students’ join your live sessions, greet them just as you would do in a regular fitness class. Right before you begin, mute participants when you are talking so that you are audible. 

Essential Features of your Live Streaming Site

After deciding on the important aspects, the next thing you need to decide is the features and functionalities of your live streaming platform. Here are some of the basic features you must consider integrating into your fitness live streaming platform. 

Homepage

The home page is the main page of your fitness platform that your users land first. 

Registration and User Profiles

Allowing your users to register to your platform via their email id or social media account is an essential feature of your live streaming platform after registration, users will be able to create user profiles, save their favorite videos, etc. 

Search

The search function allows your users to find the videos easily based on their queries. 

Secure Payment Integrations

Allow your users to pay for accessing your live streaming by integrating secure payment gateways like Braintree, Stripe, or PayPal. 

Push Messages

Push notifications allow your users to notify about new live videos, training programs, and other useful updates. 

Analytics

Analytics is another important feature you must integrate into your live streaming platform. It helps you to analyze the performance of your live stream and analyze the user behavior. 

Admin Panel

The Admin panel is an integral feature that helps to moderate content, delete content, ban users, manage monetization, etc. effortlessly. 

Choosing the Platform to Live Stream

If you want to use live streaming to power your fitness training programs, you need to choose the best live streaming platform. You can consider using social media platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram, or Periscope to broadcast your fitness classes. 

Another approach is to create a live streaming website to power your fitness business. If you want to build your live streaming platform on a budget, consider using white label solutions that are easily available in the market to develop your website. White label solutions are readymade solutions that help you create a live streaming platform in simple steps and in an affordable way. With readymade solutions, you can customize the script to add unique features to your website based on your requirements.

If you are looking for the best affordable live streaming solution, Streamnow is a professional live streaming script that allows you to create a fitness live streaming platform to connect with clients from anywhere at any time. Seamless live streaming, chat system, monetization, secure payment gateway, dynamic admin panel, native Android and iOS apps are some of the best features. With our live streaming software, you can hold interactive training sessions with one or many members simultaneously. 

Conclusion

Live streaming is spreading its wings in every industry, including fitness and is becoming a norm. To start live streaming classes for your community, you need to have a clear business plan and leverage advanced technology to provide your members with high-quality live streams. Hope this guide gave useful insights on starting with live streaming your fitness programs to attract more members and grow your community. If you need any assistance in setting up a live streaming platform, we can guide you with the process. Please get in touch with us for expert guidance. 

How to Set Up an Online Live Streaming Classroom

How to Set Up an Online Live Streaming Classroom

Online education has never been this significant as it is today. The ability to teach virtually and pursue education online gives more flexibility to both teachers and students. The recent pandemic COVID 19 has made live streaming significant and a necessity to reach people across the world. Students are involved in online distant learning to connect with their teachers and accessing education online. Even in the absence of a critical crisis, online education is becoming a norm and is opening doors to the future of modern education. 

Be it an urgent situation like an ongoing pandemic or regular opportunities to reach a global learner community, live streaming needs to be a part of your communication strategy as a fundamental element to distance eLearning. 

Advantages of Live Streaming for Online Teaching

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Live streaming for educators will allow students to watch the expert educators in their field as they solve problems in real-time. Live videos will definitely change the future of learning. Let’s look into the advantages live streaming offers to both educators and students alike. 

Broaden Online Reach

Online educators allow to reach a wide global audience through live streaming. While video conference works for small sized online classes, live broadcasts help educators to expand their online reach and connect with thousands of students across the globe. Educators can effortlessly take online classes by broadcasting live on social live streaming solutions like Facebook Live or YouTube Live to get more exposure when broadcasting live. 

Easy Access to Knowledge

Getting access to online education has never been easier. Everyone who has access to a strong broadband connection can easily get access to online courses. When you integrate live streaming to your regular online classes, learners can grow their knowledge and expand the learning experience much further. Live broadcasting helps to increase the level of interaction between educators and learners.  

High Level of Interaction

Compared to normal video courses, live broadcasting facilitates a high level of engagement that boosts online education experience. The real-time engagement opportunities offered by live classroom streaming platforms allow students to take part in online interactions, ask questions, interact with each other, and express their feedback. While most students are hesitant when it comes to asking questions in a classroom, an online space gives them a more confident platform to feel much easier and express their opinions. 

Cost-Effectiveness

Unlike traditional education, online education in general, is a cheaper alternative for educators, teachers, and institutions which is an advantage in itself. But, live streaming takes it further. While the most common way to live stream your online classes is to use free platforms like Periscope, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, etc. Alternatively, you can think about how to create a live streaming classroom if you want to take it a step further. Even if you want to build your own live streaming platform, the cost to create professional live streaming is of less cost again.

Show and Demonstrate

Live streaming calls for highly visual online learning experiences that are beneficial to both teachers and students. The attention span of students is short and live streaming is a great way to capture the instant attention of your students and keep them engaged. 

When online education meets technology, especially live streaming, the opportunities are limitless. With the capability to live broadcast, share the screen in real-time, use recorded videos, add multiple cameras, teachers have limitless opportunities to impact students with an online video education platform. 

Analytical Features

One major advantage of live streaming in the field of online education is the analytics offered by live streaming solutions to gauge the performance of your online classes. Teachers can analyze the performance of their live classes to find out what is working and what needs to be optimized. For example, if you have thousands of participants in your live class initially, but half of them dropped out later, you can use the analytical tools to evaluate what causes this. Tracking performance and optimizing and your online courses will improve the performance and expand your online reach.

Collaboration and Sharing

Another considerable benefit of online classroom live streaming is the collaborative teaching environment and sharing opportunities. As your classes are live, you can also allow other educators to join your live classes from any part of the world. Live classroom streaming platforms offer fantastic opportunities for you to grow your user base and get more learners to subscribe to your online courses. 

Teaching and Learning on the go

Both educators and educators can reap benefits from live broadcasts. Live streaming allows students to access your real-time classes from anywhere across the globe which accelerates the chance of them coming back to your platform for more. As it is easy to get in touch with students via smartphones, you can easily notify your students when you are going live. For educators, the ability to live stream from anywhere creates wonderful opportunities and possibilities to reach their student base. 

Creating an Online Classroom with Live Streaming

To provide an uninterrupted online learning experience to students, live streaming is an important tool to stream your online classroom sessions to your students. The online classroom live streaming also helps educators to deliver an in-person classroom experience and engage students with real-time interactions. 

Let’s all look into how to create a live streaming classroom for educators to broadcast over the internet to connect with their students. 

Plan

Try to plan your live streaming content capture way too in advance. This is because you don’t want to miss out on your potential students when you are actually going live. Incorporate live streaming to your content calendar and announce it earlier so that your students will come to know when you are going live. Again, plan to do a test live streaming run to test the audio and sound quality and find the right spot to place your camera. 

Set Up the Equipment

To get started with live classroom streaming, you need a high-quality camera and a microphone. As your live broadcasts are a replacement for a real classroom learning, ensure the quality of your live broadcasts matches that of a real classroom. If your live streams are of poor quality, students will lose their focus even if the content is great. 

To avoid this situation, invest in high-quality live streaming equipment if your budget allows. Another important piece of equipment you need is a video encoder which is a hardware that creates compressed versions of your live streaming as it is recorded. This is to ensure the delivery of good quality streams without buffering even if a viewer doesn’t have a strong internet connection. 

Here are some of the essential pieces of equipment to invest in.

  • Professional quality video camera
  • Best quality microphone
  • A capture card
  • Proper lighting set up
  • An encoder
  • A tripod

Choose the Right Live Streaming Provider

With the right plan and equipment in place, the next thing you need to choose is a good live streaming provider to broadcast your live sessions. Choosing a reliable live classroom streaming platform with a good content delivery network is an advantage. 

A powerful live streaming solution will offer all the essential technologies to build an ideal environment that is equipped with analytical tools to track the number of viewers and their performance. It’s a bonus for educators that offer a wide range of live streaming benefits and features beyond the basic live streaming capabilities. 

Configure a Fast and Secure Internet Connection

Live broadcasting educational content over live classroom streaming platforms need a strong internet connection with robust speed and security features. Make sure your streaming platform is configured with TLS and internet security protocols to protect your content from unauthorized third-party access. To stream high-quality live videos for teachers and students without any glitches, a reliable internet connection with a speed of minimum 2Mbps is required for the smooth streaming of your online educational content.

Prepare your Educational Content

As live classroom broadcasting happens in real-time you need to prepare for the upcoming sessions beforehand. You must have a clear understanding of the lessons you are going to deliver and make sure the content resonates with what your students need. Prepare your lessons and use interactive tools if required if you want to engage your learners. Make it a practice to use whiteboards, recorder screens, or smartboards without distorting the user’s views. Prepare most out of your resources for a clear and intuitive live streaming experience.

Create an Outline of Live Streaming Courses

Live streaming on an online video education platform requires the preparation of courses. Research, plan, and build complete curses details that last a certain duration say for a few weeks or a couple of months. 

Regardless of the subject, you want to stream, creating convenient access to reliable resources is the objective of your online live streaming courses. Live streaming educational content fosters a better relationship with your students to increase the engagement rate. 

Maintaining Consistency is Important

When you are delivering your online classes through live streaming, consistency is an important factor that online education streaming demands. Make sure you live stream your classes to your audience on the promised date and time. Delivering consistent live streaming sessions will prove more effective in creating a positive engagement between you and students facilitating a better learning experience. Determine to create better engagement and incomparable online education resources to deliver to your students. 

With Everything in Place, Start Live Streaming

Once everything is set up including your online video education platform, it’s time to actually go live. Every educator will have their own teaching style but make sure you follow some of the basic live streaming tips. 

  • Speak clearly and loudly to make sure your students follow you.
  • Allow students to share their feedback when participating in discussions.
  • Make sure all your equipment is functional and working fine. 
  • Check your internet connectivity and its speed. 

Set your equipment sometime before the actual broadcast to check the quality of the set up for better live streaming. Once you have passed all the checklists, make sure to relax to prepare yourself for the upcoming live session. The final goal is to educate your students and deliver your online courses to them.

Conclusion

Live streaming in online education has been around for a while and will continue its quest in the future as well. The popularity of social live streaming apps like Facebook, Periscope, YouTube Live, and Meerkat, gives us a glimpse into what the future holds live streaming in online education. Live streaming will continue to transform the online education space with technology and innovation. If you want to take advantage of this highly potential technology, it is recommended to learn how to create a live streaming classroom to deliver a great online learning experience to your students.

How Live Streaming Is The Next Trend After Video Marketing

How Live Streaming Is The Next Trend After Video Marketing

The wide acceptance and global adoption of live streaming have introduced huge opportunities for businesses that have given rise to various trends. The live streaming industry is booming constantly at a high pace and emerging as a highly sought- after technology and a big trend that is going to take off video content business after video marketing. It started a couple of years back when engagement was the most important aspect of a business goal. The growth of live streaming is incredible and that is why the entire world is moving live.

People love it when they experience live videos that are engaging as compared to the pre-recorded videos. Live videos offer a lot of engagement, interactive elements, and versatile content ideas. This, in turn, will help to gain more reach and increase the conversion rates. Almost all popular businesses have started using social media platforms like Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live to promote their brands. All these live streaming platforms offer a unique user experience according to the content type and business requirements. 

What Will be the Future of Live Streaming?

Live streaming, in fact, is a big industry and highly influential and useful for businesses. Statistics show that live video is more appealing to brand audience to an extent that 80% of them prefer to watch live videos from a brand than reading blogs. Audiences like to watch live videos from their favorite brands as they can directly interact with the business. Statistics show that a typical online user spends 3 times longer watching live videos compared to normal videos. Hence it comes as no surprise that many brands and marketers are adhering to current live streaming trends to increase their brand awareness and to claim success. 

Here are some of the recent live streaming trends 2020 prevailing in the industry. 

Social Media is Driving Live Streaming Adoption

The increasing popularity of social media networks is driving live video adoption by businesses. We mostly see that live videos are breaking viewership records. Live video applications like Periscope, Facebook Live, IGTV, etc. have skyrocketed in popularity especially among young audiences. Social media live streaming gathers the audience together for a common purpose. From the launch of a new product to an inside look at your company’s work culture, live streaming gives your brand immense opportunities to build a strong community. 

Broadcasting live on social media can bolster anticipation amongst your audience. Additionally, social media channels offer plenty of features to reach the live streaming announcements right on the feed of your customers. 

360-Degree Videos Will Pick Up the Steam

A 360-degree video is captured with a camera with a lens on both sides to shoot everything around it. 360-degree videos will be the new trend in live streaming as a full-on view makes videos completely immersive. Viewers can see everything within the range of cameras whereas the traditional video is limited to wherever the camera is pointing. Along with 360-degree videos, augmented reality and virtual reality also will gain momentum. 

This current video trend provides a fully interactive experience where the audience can immerse themselves in a new viewing experience, which is a huge marketing opportunity for any brand. Keeping up with this trend can be a smart way to highlight how your company is favoring new technologies and innovations. Even though 360-degree video craze is still in its infant stage, adopting the trend before anyone else will give you a jumpstart amongst the competition. Additionally, virtual reality powered 360-degree live videos is great in allowing viewers to experience a whole new digital world by putting at the center of your live sessions. So instead of simply watching the video on their screen your viewers will be placed inside an incredible virtual world and become a major part of it.

More Industries are Adopting Live Videos

With live videos being extremely easy to access, many industries are adopting live streaming to power their internal and external environments. Enterprises, governments, education institutions, healthcare providers, and other organizations are all live streaming for a variety of reasons.  Ranging from patient care in holding real-time training sessions to an offshore panel of doctors guiding surgical treatments, live streaming technology is gaining momentum in the healthcare industry and enabling patients to have direct communication with healthcare professionals. When you take the educational industry many education organizations have already started using live class strategy to stream lessons. 

Live streaming has much to contribute to different industries to bring both brands and customers closer. You can also leverage live streaming to enhance the internal business collaboration of any organization through live meetings. Short live discussions, remote employee training, and communication will bring ample engagement of business with employees and clients. Through ideal live streaming strategies, businesses can amplify their marketing efforts, create more authentic interaction with the audience, and drive sales.

Live Video Experiences Will be Automated

Like now, both artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to shape the live streaming trends 2020. They hold the key to offer outstanding outcomes when it comes to managing content production and distribution, streamlining encoding workflows, and personalizing the viewing experience. AI will help to create, organize, and distribute content to an audience with less human intervention. AI will detect certain cues in the videos like face and speech recognition, lighting changes, etc. to automate live video production including recording and switching overlays.  

8K Videos will Gain Momentum

It has not been very long since 4K has entered the market but audio and visual companies are not carting out 8K computers, TV panels, and cameras. In the coming years, 8K will enter the mainstream but the true adoption of 8K is not very near. As 8K cameras are yet to become affordable, it will take some time for 8K live videos to become the norm. However, considering its current growth rate, in a matter of a few years 8K live videos will become a standard for live streaming. With 5G speeds delivering 8k content to devices, broadcasting top-quality videos will be easier than ever. You will be able to view the power of 8K streaming at the 2020 Olympics in Japan where 8k screens around the world will be streaming the event in the highest quality available today.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has laid new inroads in both online marketing and live streaming. The increasing popularity of influencer marketing has given brands a new way to meet the growing demand for offering exceptional customer experience to their audience. 

For example, Mashable collaborated with America’s Test kitchen to live stream a cooking show on periscope which increased the exposure and reach. 

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As influencer marketing thrives on interactive content, live streaming will indeed become a powerful weapon for influencer marketers to reach their loyal audience in real-time on the spot with engaging content. Allowing a popular influencer to take over the live stream for brands is a great way to promote an event, a new product, or to each a group of the target audience in particular. Influencer marketing paired with live streaming can be a valuable resource to create content for promotions and ads. Leveraging affiliate marketing is also a great option for businesses that are new to influencer marketing. 

Live Streaming is an Integral Part of any Marketing Strategy

Live streaming is reinventing the way brands plan their marketing strategy. Live videos have already proven to be an essential marketing tool that helps brands engage better with their audience. Today we see brands heavily investing in live streaming set up and content delivery networks to ensure a smooth lime streaming experience to the audience. With its element of authentic real-time human interaction, live streaming helps brands to emerge more approachable and transparent. 95% of businesses consider live videos to be a significant addition to their marketing mix for 2020.

Proven Ways to Use Live Streaming to Build Your Brand

Since 2016, we have been seeing a lot of brands joining the live streaming bandwagon as Instagram unleashed live video, snapchat gained steam, and Facebook introduced video ads. Live streaming has become one of the best ways to forge an authentic and personal connection with customers in real-time. Brands are using live streaming to build and establish a strong presence in the industry and to reach audiences like never before. 

If you are a business looking to build a large and better presence, there is no other tool effective than live streaming. Given that 72% of customers engage with personalized marketing messages, you must strongly consider integrating live streaming into your business strategy. 

Regardless of whether you are new to live streaming or a seasoned pro, there are some tips that will help you to broadcast successful live streams. Here’s how you can use live videos to build and grow your brand. 

Make your Live Broadcasts Personal

When it comes to presenting information on your live videos, there are a lot of ways to do it. You can either narrate things in “first-person” or personalize it in a way that you directly interact with your viewers by addressing them and talking to them. This helps in building a personal relationship with your audience and works great in building your personal brand. Every time you broadcast live, make sure you address viewers by their user name, make eye contact with the audience as if you are speaking to them directly. 

Don’t Script it but Prepare a Plan

If you are not used to the idea of live streaming, you might need a little help before broadcasting live. Plan your live videos but don’t make the mistake of trying to script your videos because reading from a script ruins authenticity. It is okay to be prepared and plan but ensure that the video feels natural and real. Reading from a written script creates an off-camera glance and leads to unnatural delivery. To be on the safer side, prepare yourself with a list of main points to guide your content delivery. Recall the written points and practice a few times before you go live. 

Go for a Professional Live Streaming Setup

There are plenty of options to broadcast live videos, you can even go live with a quality smartphone. But, if you are a business using live streaming as a marketing tool, it is very important to go for a professional setup. Focus on the video and audio quality and to achieve a good set up, invest on a good camera and microphone. Use a good live streaming solution as well to ensure that there are no delays or lag in your streams. Always do a test live to check the camera, sample the sound and make sure the setup works before you go live. 

Diversify your Content

Even though your goal to leverage live streaming is to build your personal brand, you don’t have to rely only on one content strategy. When it comes to content for live videos, you can choose to do product launch coverage, Q & A sessions, interviews, create webinars, show behind the stage, quick live tutorials, etc. For example, when Birchbox collaborated with Benefit cosmetics to showcase its new product BADgal mascara, it bagged in more views and engagement. 

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Likewise, you can use live videos to broadcast about your new product launch or to explain the working of a product or a service. 

Build Your Audience to Promote Your Videos

When you start with live streaming, you might not see much traffic in the initial days. This is why it is important to build a community early on. Once you build your audience, you can promote your live streams through social channels to drive in traffic and increase engagement for your videos. Most importantly, make sure to actively engage the people joining your live videos. This keeps the engagement up, spreads the visibility of your videos and encourages sharing. 

Maintain Authenticity

When broadcasting live, make sure you don’t go over the top to drive a point just for the sake of gaining views. You don’t want to grow your brand in a direction that doesn’t reflect the true personality of your business. When you try to portray something that doesn’t match with your brand personality, that will have a negative effect. 

Maintain an Entertaining Tone

Although you are a business broadcasting live, it doesn’t mean that you have to maintain a formal tone. By its very nature, live videos are engaging, and hence it is very important to maintain an entertaining tone throughout your live sessions. The content you share will be more memorable when its entertaining and encourages viewers to share what they have watched. You can also add a humorous touch to your videos but with a purpose. The right type of humor, when used at the right time, can keep viewers entertained and will help to improve your brand. 

For example, Best Friends paired with Laura Clery to promote the release of their app and Laura infused her live videos with her characteristic humor which turned out to be a huge hit. 

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Broadcast Live Consistently

With live streaming, it is important to create a schedule and stick to it if you want to build your brand. The more often your stream live videos, the easier it gets, and often your viewers will remember you. This will also ultimately help to improve the quality of the videos you share. Sticking on to a schedule will help your audience to visit your channel to expect regular videos. 

Conclusion

Live streaming is one of the fastest-growing marketing tools out there as it is incredibly easy to set up and doesn’t require a lot of investment but it can do wonders for your business growth. When you facilitate a personal interaction with your viewers, you are creating an authentic connection with your target market.

The future of live streaming video is quite bright. By 2021, videos will account for over 82% of the whole internet traffic and live videos will make up 13% of it. For channeling effective business growth along with live streaming trends, brands must ensure to avail the technology in the most efficient way to increase profitably. 

Benefits of Broadcasting The Live Church Services

Benefits of Broadcasting The Live Church Services

What happens when the members of your church cannot make it for a service but still want to attend the service? Thanks to technology that allows church members to tune in to church services online with live streaming. Church live streaming is transforming the way congregations practice their faith. Live streaming is an excellent way to connect your worship community across the globe and hear the same message wherever they may be. 

What is Live streaming

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You probably would be familiar with live streaming, in simple terms, live streaming refers to broadcasting an event in real-time online. So why churches must adopt live streaming? As we already said, there is a limit to how many people can physically attend a service but that finite number can be multiplied exponentially through live streaming. 

Even though your church will be attended just by thousands, it will be viewed by millions. It might sound extreme, but such is the power of live streaming, it ensures your sermon reaches millions across the globe. 

Why Your Church Must Live Stream?

In 2016 over 166,700 church services were broadcasted live across 59 countries. As we head to 2020, more and more congregations will join the trend and leverage live streaming to grow their reach worldwide. Observing that their community is spending more time online, churches across the world have started to take advantage of the high tech era by live streaming their services to meet the viewers where they are. 

Let’s take a look at the benefits of live church broadcasts and why your church must choose live streaming church events and services. 

Leverage the Outreach Potential

The outreach potential of live streaming is pretty great. While your church members may not find it difficult to attend the church, not everyone will be able to make it. Many people are restricted by location or some reasons. Live streaming efficiently allows reaching people you have never reached before.

Not just people who are willing, you can also reach seekers and their family that has never known god. Church live streaming allows people to join your community in real-time. Watching a church service online is a convenient option for many including old people, sick ones, and a lot of other categories of people. The best thing about live streaming is members can participate even when they cannot attend the church physically. 

Strengthen the Church Community

Social media at its very foundation is meant to encourage and establish connections and communication with people. Being a powerful tool to build and connect community church leaders who are serious about strengthening roots within the community prioritize live streaming to spread the message worldwide. 

Greater Engagement for Church Members

Watching a church live streaming leads to greater engagements because viewers will be able to clearly see and hear the sermon. Moreover, it is interactive, a live stream on the church’s page gives member’s opportunity to play an active role by asking questions and commenting. Church members who are traveling can tune into the broach and be a part of the community.

Potential Church Visitors Can Discover You

Church live streaming turns every sermon into an opportunity for potential church visitors to discover your church online when someone in your community considers attending your church, your website is going to be their first stop. Live streaming g your church services allows new people to tune in and experience your workshop and listen to your messages. This helps them to know what to expect when they show up in your church. Live streaming helps to increase exposure to your church messages both for people who are intentionally looking for your church and those who stumble on your service online. 

Opens Channel for Collections, Donations, and Giving

These days’ online transactions are preferred methods for making and receiving payment. Churches’ can request encouraging viewers to make a donation or contribution to the collection. It is also possible to offer live stream content for online subscriptions. It is much easier to give when they are on your church website.

Connect with the Youth

Besides the committed churchgoers, church live streaming helps to reach people from outside the church community. There are many people who search for churches online that can make them feel a part of communities. It is also a great way to connect with the youth and help them feel connected and supported.

Social media is also a great way to promote your church services and activities. You can embed your live streams directly on Facebook and your website as well. It is the best way to get in touch with younger people and an increasing number of elders who are on social platforms as well.

Share Important Events

Every church, a church hosts lots of important events and moments like holiday concerts, weddings, Easter services, thanksgiving, Christmas celebrations, bible studies, and more. Sometimes, the people who want to be there just can’t make it. Being able to watch the event live allows your church members to share those important moments with the church family despite their physical distance. Your church plays a big role in the lives of your members and live streaming helps them share that with the people they love.

An Excellent Way for Multi-Campus Churches to Thrive

If you have a multi-campus church, church live streaming allows all your campuses to benefit from the same service. This is a great way to share valuable resources ensuring that your limited staff and team members are making the biggest impact possible. If you have enough staff, live streaming is not a necessary element, you might just want to share the sermon across campuses. But, the benefits of live church broadcasts for multi-campus churches with limited resources can be great. 

Church Live Streaming Basics

Before you start church live streaming, it is important to think where live streaming is right for your church, how to do it and the costs involved. While the cost varies greatly depending on many factors, it doesn’t cost much to get started. 

Something that people never talk about is how church leaders, band members, choir members, and church members, in general, feel about having themselves streamed online. 

It is also important to discuss this with everyone to ensure that live streaming suits you. 

Your church must invest in live streaming only if

  • You want to expand your church to reach worldwide
  • Church members find it beneficial
  • It doesn’t strain your church budget
  • It helps you reach specific church goals

While some churches see an increase in reach and online giving after implementing live streaming, every church can’t expect the same results. In fact, a brand new church might find it more beneficial to simply upload sermons on their website to build a following before starting with live streaming. The key to success with live streaming is setting goals and knowing how to measure the results to see if live streaming is effective and if not, how to improve it. 

Setting your Expectations and Goals

Before you even invest in your first price of equipment required for church live streaming, set realistic expectations and goals. Why because you need realistic ways to measure how good live streaming is for your church services. For example, do you want to expand your reach form 100 members to 1000 online viewers every week? Or do you want to increase online tithing by 20%? Or are you looking to increase engagement amongst your current church members? Whatever your goals are, make sure you set them before starting with live streaming. In this way, you can determine how valuable live streaming actually is for your church’s needs. 

How Much you Must Invest

This is the hardest question to answer- How much should you invest in live streaming to broadcast your church services live. The truth is that you can actually start with a smartphone and a free live streaming platform. If you are new to live streaming, you shouldn’t make a major investment. Starting out, you can start live streaming your church services for less than a few hundreds of dollars. 

Choosing the Right Camera

If you want to start church live streaming with a camera, you can either choose webcams, camcorders, action cameras, DSLRs, or even cameras that are specifically listed for live streaming. While webcam is one of the cheapest options, it can be tricky to work with as it needs to be connected to a laptop or a desktop. If you have an exclusive team to take care of live streaming, it is a great option to start with. 

As camcorders are designed specifically for capturing videos, they are also an ideal choice but make sure you choose one with HDMI capability and WIFI for best results. DSLR is also designed for capturing high-quality pictures and videos. Actions camera is the ultimate choice as it is designed for more active live streaming in case if you need more stability. Pricing for the above-mentioned camera can range anywhere between $100-$2000 or more. You don’t have to go with the fanciest or expensive options, make sure you get what is right for your needs. 

Other Must-Have Equipment

Besides the best quality camera to shoot videos, you may also need to invest in audio equipment. If you are streaming in a small set where there aren’t many people talking at a time, you can just do with the microphone on your camera. Otherwise, you will want to invest in microphones that feedback to your camera. For a more complex live streaming setup, you will need multiple wireless microphones that connect back to your camera via the main audio and video controller which can be a laptop with the right software installed. 

Live Streaming Platforms

Once you have got all the basics sorted out, it is time for the most critical step- choosing the right live streaming platform. You will need a live streaming platform to broadcast your live church sessions for people to view your church services online. If your church has a website, you can integrate live streaming on the same website or can choose a separate live streaming platform that suits your requirements. 

Spread The Word Through Social Media

If your church service is broadcasted live on the Internet and there is nobody to hear it, it doesn’t make any impact. People can only follow your live streams if they know where to find it. Hence, it is important to spread the word that you are going to live through social channels or platforms where your church members or viewers engage. Put in some work in the days leading by sharing the information on your website, newsletters, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Include Your Online Audience In The Sermon

You have the right set up, have selected the best live streaming platform, announced ahead on social media and you are ready for action. But before your sermon begins, don’t forget to address our online audience as well. The occasional nod to the camera and acknowledging your church attendees online can go a long way. 

Conclusion

The goal of any church is to reach people, share the good news, and touch lives. By live streaming your church services and other events, you will be able to take your ministry beyond the walls of your church. Church live streaming makes it more accessible for church members and visitors to gain access to services and events alike. It opens up convenient ways to reach potential visitors. And ultimately, it can increase the impact of the gospel you want to share with the world. 

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. 

Live-streaming-and-cloud-streamhash

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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.