Recently, people have been asking me if I do live video streaming, and the answer is yes!
With all of the interest in live video streaming these days, I thought this would be a good time to give you a little information about my background.
I worked in cable television production from 2005-2012, but at the end of 2012 I had the opportunity to join a tech company that was developing live video streaming technology. I left my job in TV because I was so excited to work with this new technology. I believed it was the future.
I started doing live streaming broadcasts myself in 2013. This was in the days before Facebook Live existed. YouTube Live existed, but it was unstable. YouTube offered it for a while, then stopped offering it.
At that time, I used a video camera connected to a hardware encoder, connected by ethernet cable to the modem, and specialty software to capture the video and push it online for streaming. This was the time before mobile streaming over WiFi was possible, and this is actually a much more stable way to do live streaming than by using a mobile device, because it doesn’t rely on a WiFi or 4G connection.
I did several very cool live streaming broadcasts in Colorado, including backstage interviews with performers at the Summer Jam concert in Denver, a broadcast of a really fun fundraiser called “Dancing With the Mountain Stars” in Keystone, CO, the Cinco de Mayo parade in Denver, Colorado Fashion Week runway shows, educational seminars, conferences, a wedding at Red Rocks Amphitheater, and television broadcasts from a small local station.
It was a fun time to be working with this awesome new technology.
Back then, live video streaming from your mobile phone was something that we were just starting to realize was possible. My team published a live streaming app to the app stores before Periscope or Facebook Live existed.
Periscope was Twitter’s version of live video streaming from mobile devices. It actually came out before Facebook Live. At that time, no one really knew why anyone would want to watch live broadcasts from other people’s phones. I remember when Periscope first launched, the development team was broadcasting their walks to the coffee shop and walks around Silicon Valley. Early viewers were like, ok this is cool, but why would I want to watch your walk to the coffee shop?
We were early. Way too early. I found a few visionary early adopter clients, and had a ton of fun with my broadcasts, and I learned a lot. But it was impossible to sell the technology. Nobody wanted to buy it. I tried to sell it to concert venues, hotels and schools. I tried to convince venues that they could sell additional tickets online to sold out shows and make even more money. My team even built a web platform that had a pay wall so you could actually sell tickets to view the broadcast. This was in 2014, I think. Nobody wanted it. Venues were concerned with getting butts in seats. Hotels and conference centers told me that they were just a shell, all vendors are brought in by the conference or wedding party themselves. They did not want to push in-house vendors and services. They felt that they would lose business by requiring events, shows, or weddings to use in-house services. That was in Colorado. That was in the days before COVID-19.
Our mobile streaming app sat in the app stores with few downloads. I decided to move on to trying to sell streaming technology to television stations. I tried to sell the tech to 150 stations and none of them wanted it. They were not interested in pushing live video to online viewers. The big thing at that time was VOD – Video On Demand. People didn’t want to watch live broadcasts, they wanted to watch their shows on their own time. VOD was new technology at that time.
So, after 2 years of no sales, my company killed my streaming project. We ran out of runway, and we had other projects that were more successful at raising funding. So we turned our focus to those projects for the next several years.
So now, here I am in Puerto Vallarta, in a new era, and finally, live streaming is getting its time in the limelight. I am super happy about this and I will be glad to jump back into broadcasting if that is something that my clients want to do.
So, what does it take to pull off a successful live streaming broadcast?
The key to live streaming is planning.
There are numerous ways to do live streaming. You need to think ahead about your broadcast and make some decisions. Some things to consider are:
- What platform do you want to stream to? YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Vimeo LiveStream, somewhere else? Multiple platforms simultaneously?
- What kind of camera will you use? What kind of quality are you going for? A webcam? Something more professional?
- Do you want graphics overlays? Your logo, a ticker, a chat window? Some of these will need to be designed and programed ahead of time.
- Do you want multi-camera production? You will need to use software or hardware to control switching between cameras.
- How will you handle audio?
- Do you want to patch in a guest from another location?
- Do you want to answer questions and comments coming in live via chat?
- Is your Internet connection is stable enough for broadcasting? Are you using WiFi or 4G, or a hard line? Have you tested it? How are you going to make sure it is consistent? Nothing is worse than losing the feed in the middle of your broadcast.
All of these things are considerations. Unless you are very experienced at broadcasting, you will need some help. At DuChateau Film, we have the knowledge, experience, and personnel to assist you with your professional live streaming broadcast. Reach out let us know what you would like to do!