The Live Streaming Low Down
If you have never tried live streaming before and aren’t experienced in this world of real-time content, this article is the only guide you need to get started. It will run you through some definitions and use cases as well as some tutorials on how to get started with live streams- including the equipment you need.
Live streaming refers to online media streaming in real-time. Although it can also be referred to as ‘streaming’, this term is ambiguous since it can also mean that someone is watching a video online that is not live (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube). For this reason, we use the term ‘live streaming’ for accuracy. Live streaming is useful for many reasons, and numerous topics. However, some of the most popular instances are in gaming and in sports. These topics have some of the highest live viewer hours for live streams. We have Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Twitch, and many other platforms where streamers can go live.
since the above platforms are strictly managed, content creators are often susceptible to risks where streaming platforms censor, mute, or take down content. Since these platforms are huge and millions of people are watching at the same time, most of these take downs are done by bots and not real people. If your content is taken down, you can make an appeal to get your video back up. The issue? This often takes weeks or even months to turn around.
For this reason, and plenty more that will be discussed below, content creators are starting to go live on their own websites. This is where they have far greater control and full authority over what they choose to post. If you have a WordPress website and are planning to go live, WpStream has got you covered. Simply keep reading!
Numbers every broadcaster should know about live streaming
- Out of all the people that claim to watch livestreams, 7 out of 10 people tune in daily (Interactive Business Bureau, 2018)
- In 2019, Coachella brought in 82.9 million views, making it the music event with the highest number of viewers (Variety, 2020)
- Video streaming rose 72.4% between 2018 and 2019. (Streaming Media, 2019)
- Younger generations (Gen Z and Millenials) spend more time streaming compared to the older generation (Boomers and Gen Xers). (GlobalWebIndex)
- Professionals anticipate that 82% of internet use will be for streaming video by 2022. (Cisco, 2021)
- 80% of consumers prefer watching a live video to reading a blog (Livestream)
- The live streaming industry is expected to be valued at $184.3 billion by 2027 (Grand View Research)
- Most importantly, your business is guaranteed to grow if you start incorporating live streaming into it (Me, 2021)
Live streaming an event- the ‘how-to’
Contrary to popular assumptions, live streaming is not that intimidating. It is often believed that it requires a lot of set up, preparation, high-end equipment, and even a whole other team of people to set it up. Nope. You just need a WordPress website, WpStream, and a camera. With a variety of tutorials and videos showing you how to create live streams, Video on Demand, and how to monetize these videos, you will be ready to go live in less than 5 minutes. Here are a few things to consider before getting started:
Create a Plan
As with any job or content you create, you will first need a plan. You need to consider who your target audience is, your demographic, what kind of subject you are tackling, research on the subject, and how to best approach it. If you are already an established brand and have been using Google Analytics, that is the best place to start. Go to your ‘Audience’ and the ‘Demographics’, ‘Interests’, and ‘Geo’ are the most important ones. They will tell you the age range, interests of your viewers, and where they live. This may give you an idea of where to start.
Next, you can also plan when you want to go live, how many times a week, and the overall theme of your live streams. It is important that you have a theme as it is what your viewers will look forward to. For instance, if you are a business that sells plants, your viewers will expect to see plant content and everything related to plants. You can diversify this subject while still creating fresh and original content. However, if you start live streaming things related to cars, your viewers will start losing interest because that is not what they came to your website for.
Overall, just plan properly and be consistent with the subject of your live streams. Instead of going live on random days of the week, pick a day that is manageable and let your viewers know. This also helps them as they can plan their day around your broadcast, and have something to look forward to each week!
Set up your equipment
Setting up a broadcast requires minimal equipment and depending on the level of live streaming you would like to achieve, you will also need extra lighting and noise cancelling materials.
- Video Cameras
- Audio Equipment
- Mixing Equipment
- Mobile Live Streaming Equipment
- Video Streaming Accessories
- Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
Set up WpStream
WpStream provides you with a platform to start broadcasting live events. Through live streaming, you can start creating Video-on-Demand and Pay-Per-View videos. With an affordable and user-friendly experience, you are able to display your skills and talents. Each of the subscription plans are carefully set up and your business will have an ideal plan calculated based on your streaming needs.
WpStream can be used on any WordPress website and it is possible to stream using specialized RTMP broadcast software such as OBS, WireCast, vMix, Zoom, etc. To guide you, we have numerous video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You can choose to monetize your sessions with WooCommerce or offer them for free.
You can even set it up a streaming website similar to Netflix with a global subscription model or multiple subscription plans where you can rent or sell live streams and on-demand videos. You will find that as a content creator or a business owner, you can start monetizing your videos from the get-go. With Platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, you will need to reach a certain number of viewers to start making money. Not only that, but your profits will depend on the ads. With WpStream, there will be no ads on you live streams or videos (unless you choose to add your own, of course!). Moreover, if you are already an established company with multiple employees that plan to stream, you can also allow them (regular users) to broadcast on your WordPress website via the front-end.
Live Streaming Tutorial
Before streaming, you will need a couple of things, including:
You can also check our guide on how to install the WpStream platform to your website
Before starting to broadcast, you’ll have to create a free live channel first. Simply go to your WordPress dashboard and look for the “Free Live Channel / Free Video” section. Then click on “Add New Free Live Channel / Free Video”.
Fill out your channel details by adding a featured image, description and a title for your free channel. You will also have to set “Media Type” to “Free Live Channel”, as shown below:
Once you added all the details, simply click “Publish”..
Once your Free Live Channel is ready. Please remember that you can always keep a recording of your live stream by going to ‘Settings’ and enabling ‘Record’. Now all there is left to do is clicking on “Start Live Event” and wait.
Once it is ready, your screen should look like this.
Click on ‘Broadcast with External Broadcaster’ and a Server and Stream key will appear.
You will have to copy/paste your stream details into OBS studio:
Open up your OBS Studio settings, then go to “Stream”. In the “Service” dropdown, select “custom”. In the next two lines, you will have to add your stream details, as shown below:
Don’t forget to save your settings at this point.
Once you added your details and saved your settings, click on “Start Streaming”.
Let’s check our free live channel by clicking on the “View Channel” link. You can even check out this Video tutorial if you’re a visual learner 😊
Your live stream is ready and already broadcasting. Congrats!
You can offer your live-streams and VODs for free to your viewers. You can gain valuable viewers by initially offering them free videos. Later on, they would be willing to pay for more content should you choose to monetize it. You can always include ads and sponsored content into your videos and have a revenue stream flowing without having your viewers pay to watch.
Pay-per-view means that your viewers will pay to watch each of your live-streams or VODs. Usually, people prefer to PPV at first and get a feel for your live streams and what resonates with them most. After they make their choices, they will fully commit to monthly payments.
Viewers make monthly payments and have access to all the content on your website. In the long run, it is cheaper for viewers to make monthly payments. However, it is more difficult to get new viewers to subscribe monthly from the beginning. They need some time to discover your content and as a result, commit to monthly payments.
Set up a Netflix Global Subscription where a viewer pays a subscription and has access to your whole website with all its content. Alternatively, you can set up multiple subscriptions and your viewers will only purchase the content they WANT to watch.
Finally, you always have the option of adding different monetization options to each of your channels. All in all, you can organize your live streams as you see fit.
What Can be Live Streamed?
No lie, absolutely anything and everything. Here are just a few of the examples of topics that we have made video tutorials about as they are the most sought after. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel as we post weekly content!
Radio and Podcasts
No matter where you start, it is important that you do. If the statistics at the beginning of this page don’t convince, keep looking up how live streaming content is performing with different brands around the world. The biggest brands- such as Jimmy Choo, and even Walmart have been creating live streams on their websites to help bring in more traffic and drive more sales. Although there isn’t a guarantee of the actual steps and and strategies of live streaming helps, we have found that diversification and trial and error is what works for us.
Instead of focusing all your live streams on 3rd Party Platforms like YouTube and Facebook, taking the route of white-label streaming on your WordPress website gives you more freedom and control. You can also start monetizing your live streams and On-demand videos from the get-go and post to your hearts desires. WpStream is available to anyone with a WordPress website and you can start your free trial today, no credit card required!