More and more businesses are streaming live video on their website. Businesses are streaming conferences, meetings, product launches, training, and much much more. You may want to get involved in this. So what do you need to know to get started with live streaming services?
Well, you need a few things: a plan, the equipment to record video, and an online video hosting platform. At this point, nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year-olds are watching live-streaming content regularly. That’s a huge audience that you can potentially reach.
This blog will explore how to do so. We’re going to share nine key elements of business-grade live streaming services. These services are designed to provide professionals with all the features they need to host and share professional videos. This can include features for monetization, security, and more—as we shall see shortly.
Nine things you need to know about business live streaming services
You may have used a free live streaming service before with your smartphone. But you can forget most of what you learned there.
The world of business live streaming services is different. This arena aims to be professional, high-quality, and robust. Here are nine things you need to know about business live streaming.
1. Choose a powerful CDN
Few businesses are prepared to build the technology stack necessary for delivering video. It’s complicated, expensive, and time-consuming to build and maintain your own server network. Instead, look for an Online Video Platform (OVP) that includes a CDN, or Content Distribution Network.
Using a CDN can enable you to deliver content rapidly and reliably, and scale to a massive audience. You also want to be sure your chosen platform uses a powerful CDN. Not all CDN providers are created equal, as we’ve covered before. Ideally, look for a platform that uses a top-tier CDN like Akamai.
2. Analytics are very important
Forrester reports 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are actually successful at connecting analytics to action. That’s not a very good ratio. But it points to something important.
Most businesses want to be data-driven because they know the promise of analytics. Analytics gives you a pile of data. This data can be studied to provide you with important information about our audience, your business, and the performance of your video efforts.
We recommend that you look for business live streaming services that include a robust analytics dashboard.
3. Low latency streaming is affordable
Latency refers to the time elapsed between filming something and the same moment appearing on a viewer’s screen. This time can increase due to the time it takes to process video streams and deliver them over the internet.
Low latency, which generally refers to sub-10 second delay, is becoming a standard in the online video industry. However, many platforms still don’t offer a solution to this issue.
One example of an affordable low latency solution is Dacast’s HLS Direct offering.
4. “White label” video player is critical
White label is a critical term for business live streaming services. It refers to custom branding. A “white label” video player allows you to use your own logo or no logo at all. This is in contrast to consumer-grade video platforms like YouTube or Facebook Live, which include their logo in every video player and all over every page.
Any business involved in live streaming professionally should look for white label service. This is a must-have for professionalism and brand presence.
5. Look for modern monetization tools
The video streaming market is predicted to be worth $70.5 billion by 2021. Live streaming is making up the majority of that growth. To be part of this revenue generation you need modern monetization tools.
There are three main monetization methods today: subscriptions, advertising, and pay-per-view. Each method has pluses and minuses, but the most successful broadcasters often use a combination of these methods.
Look for a live streaming service that offers a wide range of video monetization tools, including:
- Support for all the major monetization methods
- A built-in paywall
- Multi-currency support
- Multi-language support
6. Control content access and security
Security firms are measuring an increase in piracy, hacking, and other digital attacks every year. This points to the importance of video security. A good professional video platform will include a range of tools to keep your content private.
This can include tools such as:
- IP address (geographic) restrictions
- Referrer restrictions
- HTTPS stream delivery
- Tokenized stream security
- Password protection
Look for these sorts of tools to be sure you can protect your content.
7. Record all your live streams
Whenever possible in technology, redundancy is recommended. That’s why we recommend that you use the cloud-based recording for every live stream you broadcast. This can serve as a backup to any local recording.
Cloud-based recording can also make things more efficient by saving you from having to upload a local recording for VOD viewing. Making live streams available as VODs after-the-fact is a great way to maximize your audience and make the most of the resources you put into producing your broadcasts.
8. Choose a white label hosting platform
We’ve already discussed the importance of a white label video player. A white label video platform is somewhat different. This option allows you to use the entire management backend of a video platform without seeing the logo or name of the hosting service. Instead, you can insert your own logo and branding.
This is key in what we call “reselling.” This allows you to resell the services a video platform offers. They can then access the management dashboard via your website. This professional feature enables custom-branded reselling and professional experience for clients, employees, and other users.
9. Customer support is essential
Live streaming is easier than ever. But setting up a professional stream still involves a number of complex parts. There’s the video cameras, the encoding, and the website.
That’s why access to professional customer support from video techs is essential. Tech support allows you to ask questions and get help. Businesses should look for a video platform that offers 24/7 customer support. That’s essential because we’re streaming at all times of the day and night, and around the world.
Stream quality seems to be increasing, with video start failures down 33 percent year-over-year, buffering down 41 percent, and picture quality up 25 percent. Part of this is thanks to the robust 24/7 support being offered by professional live streaming services like Dacast.
Professional live streaming is indeed easier than ever before. It’s also becoming more and more affordable. Hopefully, this post has introduced you to some of the essential features of a business streaming platform.
As you likely know, Dacast helps a wide range of businesses with our secure live streaming service. If you’d like to try out our streaming solutions, and check out how our live streaming video platform could boost your business, click below to sign up for our 30-day free trial (no credit card required).
Any questions, comments, or ideas to share? Feel free to write to us in the comment section below! We love to hear from our readers. And for regular tips on live streaming in a community of experts, as well as an exclusive offer, feel free to join our LinkedIn group.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your live streaming security.