The live streaming industry is now expected to be valued at $184.3 billion by 2027, a clear sign that organizations need to be prioritizing this technology if they aren’t already.
When it comes to digital engagement, text-based content alone won’t cut it. 80% of consumers prefer watching a live video to reading a blog.
In this chapter, we’ll take a look at what makes a live streaming service good, and cover some of the best options for companies looking to add live streaming to their services.
What makes a good live broadcasting service?
There are a number of factors that separate mediocre live streaming platforms from truly transformational ones. Here are some of the key points to consider:
- Video quality. Wherever you’re streaming from (mobile phones, laptops, iPads) the quality should be outstanding. Does the service deliver high-quality video that looks professional and clear? Many of your live broadcasts will be your first contact with your customers, and it’s crucial to make a good first impression that isn’t blurry and grainy. More than 50% of live streaming viewers leave a low-quality stream in 90 seconds or less. When demonstrating new products, features, and services clarity is even more important.
- Consistency. Do your streams cut out halfway through, or suffer from pauses and lags? This is a quick way to lose customers — our attention spans online are notoriously low and people will simply leave your broadcast if it isn’t smooth and engaging.
- Mobile responsiveness. 56% of Millennials are most likely to watch live video on a smartphone with 44% reporting they prefer a tablet. If your streams aren’t optimized for a range of devices, you’re waving goodbye to a significant chunk of your audience.
- Ease of access. Do customers need plugins or downloads to join the stream? Minimize these types of friction and you’ll attract more viewers.
- Is it connected to your overall marketing process? Live streams are a major channel for marketing — make sure viewers can quickly access the right landing pages and links to take the next step.
- Analytics. Does your live broadcasting service allow you to track metrics like total viewers, average time spent viewing, conversion rates, and more? This is essential if you want to improve your streams, better understand your market, deliver better experiences to your customers, and grow your revenue.
- Can you stream from your website? Doing this instead of relying on a third-party service allows you to fully own the design, transaction, and customer data for your entire stream.
10 live broadcasting services to consider in 2021
Whisbi’s Live Engagement platform is designed to help brands engage new and existing audiences with a range of tools — including live video broadcasts.
Whisbi’s platform is built with the goals of acquiring viewers and engaging at scale to grow your business. You can use your own presenters who lead the broadcast in the way they choose through video cameras, using a green screen for example, and the platform comes with a suite of analytics features to help you easily collect insights and make data-driven decisions.
Our streaming software is also geared towards top of the funnel engagement, helping you drive sales. Our platform offers a 3:1 return on investment, with customers 10X more likely to buy and a 26% increase in up-selling.
YouTube’s live streaming feature allows you to take advantage of YouTube’s enormous audience. It comes with a number of features aimed at creating engaging and entertaining live streams. It’s easy to get started and works well across a range of devices.
On the other hand, YouTube live isn’t really geared towards two-way interactions and is also blocked in some countries.
Just like YouTube, Facebook comes with a huge ready-made audience — billions of potential viewers. Facebook’s live feature allows you to connect with your audience from within the social media platform, offering significantly higher engagement than non-live videos.
On the downside, your Facebook live broadcasts won’t appear in web searches, and it can be tough to meaningfully interact with your viewers.
Instagram is a site built for sharing media, and its live feature allows you to do that in real-time. It pushes you to the top of your audience’s feeds, alerts followers to your broadcast, and is geared towards engagement and visibility.
However, you won’t truly own your broadcasts and will have to work within Instagram’s own rules.
JW Player is a video player with a number of built-in features like video hosting, live streaming, and a number of analytics tools.
Although its primary use case is for watching videos, it’s a great choice for both creating your own videos and sharing them in a live format.
Kaltura is a video cloud platform aimed at making interactive learning and teaching as effective and enjoyable as possible.
To achieve this, it comes with a range of features including the ability to carry out tests and assessments and gamification of the learning process.
Wirecast offers live streaming support for companies in sports, entertainment, religion, and education.
Some particularly neat features include the ability to easily record sessions and use your own customizable branding in broadcasts.
Livestream is built for high-quality live broadcasting in a range of environments, including but not limited to meetings, webinars, conferences, online training courses, podcast interviews, and product demos.
Some of its features include the ability to share files, include polls and voting options in your broadcast, and easy mobile access for viewers. However, Livestream isn’t focused on sales, so it lacks features in this area.
Bluejeans’ service allows you to connect a large number of participants in one broadcast, with real-time chat to encourage easy communication. There’s a suite of reporting and analytics features to better understand your broadcasts and audience, and a range of lead generation tools to help grow your business.
On the other hand, Bluejeans is more focused on internal business meetings and conferences, and less aimed at engaging your audience and driving sales.
With Restream, the goal is audience engagement. It’s designed to help you increase your reach with its range of live streaming features, bolstered by insightful audience analytics. It allows users to multistream to more than 30 different platforms at the same time.
Choosing the right live broadcasting tool is important if you want to connect effectively with your audience and build your brand in today’s remote and video-dominated world.