Live streaming is gaining more and more traction over traditional media, especially with the rise of the new, tech-savvy consumers – younger generations who want their content fresh, affordable, and more importantly, accessible through an internet connection. The days of cabled entertainment are long gone, replaced by the live streaming industry currently valued at over 36 billion dollars.
Streaming from Android devices is not something relatively new – we all did it at some point through a free platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. But the problem with these free platforms is that they come with a series of inherent flaws, making them unsuitable for online live streaming businesses.
For example, YouTube is a very popular Video On Demand platform that also offers live streaming capabilities, but it does not have much to offer in terms of monetization or privacy – anyone with a link to your live stream will be able to view your content and comment on it, while monetization is limited to running ads which provide very little income.
Facebook is really not much different, apart from the fact that monetization is completely lacking and privacy is still an issue. Another problem with streaming on Facebook is that you can’t download a copy of the live stream once it’s finished. Most streaming website owners keep recordings of their streams to use for promo materials or to sell them as standalone products. On both of these platforms, your content may get reported and taken down, demonetized, or even leading to the closing of your account.
Instagram is very similar to Facebook, since both are owned by the same company, but in terms of streaming, Instagram poses one major drawback – your recordings can get deleted after a period of time. Your account may also be deleted due to different reasons such as getting reported by users or even worse, by competitors. Apart from that, Instagram does not offer any monetization options for live streams or any type of content for the matter. All these free streaming platforms have several things in common – the shortages of control over your content and monetization options.
Here are the significant drawbacks of using a free streaming platform:
- Little to no monetization options for your content – YouTube offers monetization in the form of ad revenue which is not enough to help your online business grow.
- No control over your media files – they can be deleted at any time due to various reasons.
- Lack of privacy – anyone can view, comment, even report your content.
- No backups – you are not able to save copies of your live stream for later use as standalone products or for promoting your business.
- Censorship – your live broadcasts are moderated and must follow the rules of the streaming platform you are using. In the case of YouTube, your account may be demonetized before being closed.
Before starting to broadcast directly from your Android device, you will need a couple of things, namely:
- The WpStream Plugin
- A WordPress Website
- A Live Streaming App with RTMP Capability such as Larix Broadcaster
If you want to monetize your content, you may use different optional plugins, such as:
- WooCommerce Plugin – the open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress
- WooSubscriptions – the premium plugin used to build subscription-based websites
Setting Up Your Website
Even if you already have a fully working website or you want to start one from scratch, implementing the WpStream platform is fast and intuitive. If you want to build a new website, you can simply use the WpStream Theme along with the WpStream plugin to design stunning looking pages – demo imports can get your website up and running in minutes.
If you already have a website and want to keep the same design, you can just opt for the WpStream Plugin to add broadcasting functionality. For more details on these options, feel free to check out our tutorials:
Creating A Free Streaming Channel
After installing the WpStream plugin, go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on “Free Live Channels / Free Videos “, then click on “Add New”. Here, you will have to add a name for your channel and then hit “Publish”.
After creating your channel, click “Broadcast to Channel”.
Next, wait for the channel to finish loading – it may take a few minutes.
After the channel is loaded, click on “Broadcast with Third-Party Software” so you can get your URL and Stream Key:
You will need your URL and Stream Key later before you can start your first broadcast.
Setting Up The Larix Broadcaster App
First, download the Larix Broadcaster App from Google Play, then open it.
Next, open the App Settings by tapping the small cog and open the connections tab to add a new connection.
Next, click on New Connection.
Here, you will have to add a name for your connection as well as an URL.
You can use any name for your connection, but for the URL you will have to combine your Stream URL from the channel you created and the Stream Key, as shown below:
URL + / + Stream Key
For Example: rtmp://xx.xx.xx.xx/wpstream/[streamkey]
Lastly, tap the red button to start your stream:
Android Streaming Apps
Although the Larix Broadcaster is a great streaming app, there are other options available as well. Google Play offers plenty of streaming apps for Android devices, including the following.
BroadcastMe was released by Streamaxia for both iOS as well as Android devices. Users are able to stream to any RTMP server with a H.264/AAC encoded video. The app also offers adaptive bitrate videos in either landscape or portrait orientation. Another interesting feature is the ability to save the recording of the live streams locally and switching between the front and rear cameras. Since BroadcastMe is a white-label app, your stream will not have any external branding.
RTMP Camera was developed by MIV Dev as an Android live streaming app that uses Real-Time Messaging Protocol or RTMP. RTMP Camera offers H.264 and ACC codec support and it can also work in the background as a service. This Android live streaming app also offers a quick capture method, the ability to switch between the front and rear cameras.
Streaming from your own Android device directly to your secure website is easier than ever, especially if you’re using a dedicated streaming platform like WpStream.