Step-by-Step Guide: How to Publish a Pre-Recorded Video as a Live Stream

Live streaming your video content comes with all kinds of benefits – it’s an excellent way to reach a large audience in real time, it can make your live content more accessible, and can even be a great source of revenue.

That being said, there are certain drawbacks to only broadcasting live content. When all of your content goes out live, you have less control over the quality, are more prone to technical problems, could be forced to miss streams when you are absent, and if you only stream at specific times, your content might be less accessible to an international audience. 

With these reasons in mind, having the option to broadcast pre-recorded videos in the form of a live stream can be very useful. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of streaming pre-recorded videos and walk you through the process of streaming pre-recorded content on your own website using a recommended streaming platform.

Recording a professional-quality video
(Source: Unsplash)

Why should you stream pre-recorded videos?

There are lots of reasons why streamers should consider streaming pre-recorded videos, rather than relying solely on producing all of their content live:

  • Improved content quality – streaming uploaded videos gives you the space to record and edit your video content at your leisure, giving you more time to focus on enhancing the quality of your material.
  • Engage with your audience – streaming pre-recorded videos takes some of the pressure off you as the streamer, freeing up time to answer live chat questions and communicate with your audience while the video is playing.
  • Post content regularly – by scheduling pre-recorded videos, you may supply stream content for your visitors even when you are not available, for example, if you are on vacation or have an appointment that clashes with your regular streaming schedule.
  • Make your stream more accessible – if you have viewers in different time zones, they may be unavailable at the usual times you go live. You can avoid this by streaming pre-recorded videos at a time that is more convenient for that audience.
  • Avoid technical blunders – pre-recording video content for your stream is an excellent approach to avoid technical blunders. For example, if you are hosting a virtual event with guest speakers, pre-recording their talks may be advantageous to minimize issues with shaky internet connections or similar.

How do you stream pre-recorded videos?

Many streaming platforms enable streamers to broadcast pre-recorded live streams through integration with popular streaming software like StreamYard, Restream, Wirecast, and vMix.   Which platform you choose will be determined by your needs and what you hope to gain from your stream – for example, streamers who are most interested in growing their following might benefit more from streaming on a social media platform, whereas those who want full control over their content might prefer using a professional streaming platform. Let’s take a closer look at these two main types of platforms now.

Social media streaming platforms

Because they are easy to set up and manage, social media platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch have a low barrier to entry. These platforms are also typically free to use, meaning that more people can utilize them without the need for financial investment. An additional benefit of social media platforms is they come with a built-in audience, which makes it much simpler for streamers to attract new followers and grow their following.

The potential drawback of this is that you will have to give up some control over the content that you stream. Social media streaming services typically have strict guidelines on the type of content that may be streamed, and your viewers may be subjected to annoying advertisements that interrupt your content, whether live or pre-recorded. If you’re looking to earn money from your stream content, you’ll also have a more limited choice of monetization strategies if you stream on a social media platform.

Professional streaming platforms

On the other hand, professional streaming services will charge you a monthly fee or a one-time price in return for complete control over your stream content. These platforms do not have the same built-in audience as social media platforms, but they offer greater flexibility and extendibility than social media platforms do.

Getting started with a professional streaming platform is therefore likely to require more effort than using a social media platform, as you’ll need to invest time and money into growing your following. Once your stream is established, however, you’ll have much greater control over what you broadcast, and your revenue potential will be much higher as most professional streaming services support a greater array of monetization options.

If you’re looking for a flexible streaming platform that caters to any kind of streaming setup while still enabling you to retain full control over your live video content, WpStream is a great choice. Created for WordPress, WpStream enables you to stream both live broadcasts and pre-recorded content directly from your own website. Let’s delve a little deeper into some of the features that make WpStream great for streaming pre-recorded content and live video alike:

  • Easily extendible – Through integration with a variety of other streaming software solutions, such as OBS Studio, StreamYard, and Wirecast, WpStream gives you the ability to edit and stream previously recorded videos. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you present your content. It is also possible to link WpStream to any streaming software that is RTMP-compatible, including multistreaming services such as Restream. Because of this, it is an excellent choice if you want to stream your pre-recorded videos on multiple platforms at the same time.
  • Suitable for any setup – Pre-recorded content can be a good solution for streamers who are new to broadcasting and worried about making mistakes when they go live. However, it is also a helpful tool for established streamers who want to keep a large following engaged even when they are unavailable. WpStream is perfect for both kinds of setups; the plugin is compatible with everything from the webcam on your phone or laptop to the hardware and software used for professional broadcasting, as well as everything in between. This makes it the ideal solution for all types of broadcasting setups.
  • Total control – Because WpStream is a white-label platform, you retain complete control over the appearance of your stream. You can easily add overlays, branding elements, and other customization to your stream. You also don’t need to worry about restrictive content guidelines or intrusive advertisements because your stream will be hosted on your WordPress website. You can be confident that when you schedule a stream with a pre-recorded video, that is exactly what your viewers will see.
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A step-by-step guide to streaming pre-recorded videos with WpStream and StreamYard

Streaming pre-recorded videos with WpStream is very straightforward thanks to simple integrations with popular streaming software solutions such as StreamYard. In the following tutorial, we’ll show you how to combine WpStream and StreamYard to broadcast your first pre-recorded live stream.

  1. Download and install the WpStream plugin – a free trial is available that enables you to try out all of the plugin’s features before purchasing.
  2. Create an account with StreamYard and purchase a subscription – you’ll need at least the ‘Basic’ plan to stream to custom RTMP destinations, which costs $25/month.
Create a new account with StreamYard
  1. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Free-To-View Live Channels’, then click ‘Add New’
  2. Fill in the details for your channel and then click ‘Publish’.
Create a new streaming channel with WpStream
  1. From the ‘Free-To-View Live Channels’ dashboard, click on your new channel, then turn the channel on.
  2. Click ‘Go Live With External Streaming App’, then select ‘StreamYard’ from the dropdown menu. A window will pop up with a RTMP server URL and a stream key. You’ll need these to connect StreamYard to WpStream.
Go live with WpStream and StreamYard
  1. Go to your StreamYard dashboard, navigate to ‘Destinations’ and click ‘Add a destination’.
Add a destination with StreamYard
  1. Click ‘Custom RTMP’, then add the server and stream keys from WpStream. Click ‘Add RTMP server’.
Add your RTMP server URL and stream keys in StreamYard
  1. Now that you have added your server, return to the ‘Broadcasts’ area of the dashboard and click ‘Create a broadcast’.
Add a new broadcast with StreamYard
  1. You can now start adding your pre-recorded videos. To do this, click ‘Share’ and then ‘Video file’. Add all of the video files that you would like to broadcast.
Add pre-recorded video files in StreamYard
  1. Once you have finished uploading your videos, you can make any required edits to your stream appearance. For example, you can add banners, branding overlays, and more.
Customize the appearance of your stream in StreamYard
  1. When you are finished, click on ‘Go Live’.
Go live from the StreamYard dashboard

That’s it! You can now view your channel by going back to the WpStream dashboard and clicking ‘View Channel’. One important thing to note is that if you want to play multiple pre-recorded videos, StreamYard won’t automatically start the next video when one has finished – you’ll need to manually add this yourself from the StreamYard dashboard.

Use cases for pre-recorded videos to inspire you:

To recap what we’ve covered in this article, let’s take a look at some situations where streaming pre-recorded content could be useful:

  • Announcements: When it comes to making an announcement or releasing a trailer for an upcoming event, you will want to make sure that it is as professional as possible. Recording the video content ahead of time and then editing it is a safe way to ensure it is of the best quality.
  • Creating content for virtual events: When you are in charge of organizing a virtual conference or event that includes a wide variety of sessions and speakers, it can be challenging to coordinate everyone in real time. Making use of videos that have been prerecorded and scheduled makes it much simpler to coordinate all of the content of your stream and guarantee that your event goes off without a hitch.
  • Creating content for absences: If you stream at consistent times throughout the day, your audience will come to anticipate new content from you at certain times. Videos that have been recorded in advance will help fill any gaps in your content calendar in the event that you are unable to post regularly because of an illness or vacation. This will help keep your audience engaged while you are away.

Stream your first pre-recorded video with WpStream

While live-streaming content in real time has plenty of benefits, there are some occasions when you want to show your audience something you have already recorded. It helps you with releasing regular content even when you are unavailable, allows you to avoid any technical mishaps, and helps you reach people in different time zones. It also enables you to engage with your audience fully, rather than trying to create content and interact at the same time. 

WpStream is a great choice of professional live-streaming platform for content creators of all levels of experience and from all industries. It can be integrated and extended with other popular streaming software and is perfect for any streaming setup, from a simple phone camera to professional-standard hardware and software. It also allows you to retain complete control over your stream, both in terms of appearance and content.

WpStream can be purchased for as little as $19 per month, and there is also a trial period available for free. There are plans suitable for all kinds of streamers – simply try out the pricing calculator to help find a plan that will suit your setup.

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Picture of Beatrice Tabultoc

Beatrice Tabultoc

Beatrice is the digital marketing go-to at WpStream. She manages all things social media, content creation, and copywriting.

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