With Facebook’s recent addition of Live Video Streaming, it is no longer a question of when, but more a question of how it will be used. Live Video streaming has been around for quite some time now with the likes of Periscope, Meerkat, and Ustream, and other more B2B focused platforms. But with a growing number of players, clear use cases of when to use each platform will be important to produce quality and have maximum impact.
For example, Periscope and Facebook offer great avenues to quickly broadcast from your iPhone to all your friends and followers. The quality of video on the phone these days is getting better and better, and for short bite sized segments, these tools will be very effective. On the opposite end of the spectrum, physical event owners are increasingly looking for tools and methods to stream their keynotes and breakout sessions to attendees that cant attend in person. In these cases, the event organizer has probably done a fair bit of promotion about the live stream being available, and therefore they are expecting hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous viewers. With so much riding on a single stream, there are many elements that must be analyzed and prepared for. For example, plentiful, consistent bandwidth is a must. When broadcasting from a phone, there is no guarantee that your signal might not be lost, and if the “lights go out” in a broadcast, the audience will leave before you can get the signal back up and running.
Here are a few other items to consider when selecting a platform:
- How long will you stream? (EX: If longer than 5-10 minutes, you will want a fixed camera on a tripod so your audience does not become nauseous)
- Do you need to engage your audience with Q&A, chat, polling, or social media?
- Do you want your audience to be able to watch the stream on demand afterwards?
- Is there a brand or sponsor that needs to be recognized in the design of the streaming page?
- What is the lighting in the room like?
While many live stream video platforms will market their capabilities in a wide variety of use cases, it is essential that you examine the pros, cons, and risks of each before making a decision.