The secret’s out: There’s immense power in live video streaming.
When organizations like schools, sports leagues, churches, or municipalities, decide to stream, they no longer confine their events to the spaces in which they're held; instead, streaming allows people to watch from wherever they are.
There are several different streaming providers to choose from. Evaluating each one and navigating the differences between them can be overwhelming. This post outlines six key features to consider when evaluating different streaming solutions.
Price is often one of the biggest considerations for any organization. Be sure to understand what’s included in your quoted price. Be sure to ask questions like "What is included in the quoted price?" and "Are there additional costs for increased viewership or storage?" to help you uncover ‘hidden’ costs and eliminate any surprises. When determining your budget, it’s helpful to have a target range in mind, rather than a firm number.
2. Hardware vs. Software
When it comes to live streaming, the decision between a hardware or software solution will inevitably come up. The benefit of hardware encoders is that, unlike software solutions, they were explicitly built to stream. They free up existing equipment and are typically less expensive than their software counterparts.
3. Picture Quality
Nobody likes to watch bad quality video. Thanks to major television networks and online platforms like Netflix, we’ve all come to expect to watch crisp video all the time – anything less is unacceptable.
4. Customer Support
Live streaming is hard. You want a provider that makes it easy. Sharing video in real-time with people around the world makes the consequences feel higher if things don’t go right. That’s why a knowledgeable, dedicated customer support team is so important to your organization’s streaming success.
Though there’s immense power in live video, the storage of this video is equally important. Viewers can watch the archived versions if they’re not free at the time of your event or re-watch their favorite moments. How do the various providers you're evaluating stack up against each other when it comes to storage?
6. Viewer Capacity
You are streaming to share your events with your viewers. Some streaming providers limit the amount of viewers that can tune in or charge you a premium to increase your viewer capacity. Be sure to understand this metric before making your decision.