Live Streaming Industry
The market is propitious for live video streaming industry. In 2016, its size was $31 billion and marketers spent an estimated $5.6 billion on video content creation and curation. By 20201, it’s projected to more than double in size and become $71 billion industry. Live streaming takes user engagement to the best level. It builds trust and transparency by establishing a relationship between audiences and brands.
Drawbacks of Popular Live Steaming Platforms
Drawback #1: Little Control over Design
The dominance of YouTube Live cannot be quantified. Truth be told, its popularity is overwhelming! Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube Live and other prominent live video streaming platforms are great. But they have their own limitations. For instance, users have little control over the site design. And yes, they are helpless when it comes to defining aesthetics and controls of the video player.
Drawback #2: Acquisition of Indirect Traffic at the Cost of Direct Traffic
If you are keen on multiplying your sales, you should focus on acquiring traffic. Traffic is of two types – Direct and indirect. Many online marketers believe that direct traffic yields more dividends than indirect traffic. Of course, social traffic is important but it should not be at the cost of direct traffic. As far as indirect traffic is concerned, Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube Live are extremely resourceful. If you set up a live video streaming website, internet traffic can be conveniently directed to your website.
Drawback #3: Too Many Distractions
Distractions are too many on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. This can be attributed to too many advertisements. Users may skip a few advertisements though. But is it ideal to make prospects wait for the content? No!
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Drawback #4: Glitchy Broadcasts
Let’s not discount another major factor – Your live streaming videos on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope can be banned, flagged as fraudulent and reported for fictitious reasons. There are quite a few other drawbacks as well – Periscope is notorious for its glitchy broadcasts. It isn’t smooth and live video keeps buffering and pausing. As a matter of fact, users will not be receptive to such uncomfortable live broadcasts.
Drawback #5: Absence of DRM and Other Must-have Features
Facebook Live doesn’t have any impressive features either. Can you do multiple live streams on Facebook? No! Monetization features aren’t noteworthy. As far as the concept of DRM (Digital Rights Management) is concerned, Facebook does a shoddy job. And hey, the maximum supported resolution on Facebook Live is just 720p. The maximum supported video duration is just 90 minutes.
In essence, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Twitter’s Periscope aren’t the magical answers to live streaming.
So, what’s the magical answer? Live streaming software!
How to make a live streaming website?
To begin with, identify and understand your requirements.
Here is a checklist of performance requirements:
- Reliable storage
- Responsive design
- Video Archives`
- Robust network connectivity
What does reliable storage mean to your viewers?
Reliable storage is to ensure all-time availability of your videos to your viewers.
What does it mean to you? It’s about hosting your video files in a place which guarantees maximum uptime. You can use an SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. But if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, you should bet your chances on a cloud hosting solution.
There are many features that come under the ambit of site functionality. For instance, your site should let audiences comment and chat. For better and higher conversion rates, there should be a push notification feature. Multiple monetization options are always desirable. It’s important to collect payments and hence, payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe should be used.
Responsive site design is all about crafting great optimal viewing experiences on a variety of devices. Site navigation should be seamless. Operations such as scrolling and re-sizing shouldn’t be cumbersome. Incorporate a search functionality.
Coming to access, there are three levels of privileges.
Level #1: Only you can create and upload live videos to your site.
Level #2: All registered users can create and upload live videos to your site.
Level #3: Only paid subscribers can create and upload live videos.
Live streaming software should help you keep unsubscribed users from accessing your video website
More often than not, online marketers pay scant attention to storing video archives. The key is to have a flexible and dynamic file storage system. In other words, the file hosting and storage solution should help you handle spikes in traffic, ramp up video scalability and scale down costs.
When it comes to the most commonly pirated and stolen digital assets, video ranks second to none. Live streaming software should help you secure your video assets through DRM support. AES level encryption technology is the need of the hour. It can prevent unauthorized downloads to a very large extent. To be upfront, no platform is 100% immune to piracy. You should definitely watermark your videos.
For all intents and purposes, purchase that live streaming software which locks content to your chosen domains. Token security is another desirable trait. Tokens prevent content redirection to unauthorized third party sources.
There is no denying that online marketers have to adhere to licensing agreements. As part of licensing agreements, you may have to exclude/block a few regions. There should be enough provisions in the live streaming software that let you block users and traffic from certain regions.
How much bandwidth does a live video streaming website require? Let’s do the math. Let’s say you have 2500 users. Let’s say you live broadcast videos in 720p. Going by the industry standards, every user requires at-least 4Mbps to watch a 720p video. As you have 2500 users, your website requires 10 Gbps. 1080p videos require a lot more bandwidth. Now that 4K resolution videos are all the rage, Hulu recommends at-least 13Gbps. Amazon recommends 15 Gbps while Netflix recommends 25 Gbps.
Robust Network Connectivity
Robust network connectivity is required to minimize jitters. Technically speaking, jitters are nothing but latency variations. Latency variations are responsible for lapses in video frames and images. Lack of synchrony between audio and video can be attributed to latency variations. To address these pain points, adaptive bitrate streaming should be used.
Now that you have a conclusive answer to how to set up a live streaming website, let’s now look at how live streaming works.
There are three stages:
Stage #1: Video Capturing
The first stage is capturing videos from equipment such as video cameras, mobile phones etc. The captured video is then fed to a device called encoder.
Stage #2: Video Encoding
Encoder does the job of chopping the captured video into small packets of information. It converts information in one form to another form to ensure standardization. Encoder plays a very key role in buffer free live streaming
Stage #3: Video Delivery
The final stage is live streaming the encoded content to users. HTML 5 players that are known for great responsiveness and clarity are used to deliver the content.
Found this post useful and informative? If you have any queries, shoot them in the comments. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on live streaming software. Cheers!