Broadcasting, Live Streaming Destinations, BoxCast Features + Updates, Live Streaming Software, How To Live Stream

Man watching a multistreamed concert on Facebook live and his TV at the same time

Multistreaming: How to Live Stream to Multiple Destinations at Once

Streaming to lots of different platforms and destinations (known in the live streaming industry as simulcasting or multistreaming) can help you reach your audience wherever they are. Multistreaming to destinations like YouTube Live, Twitter, Facebook Live, Apple TV, Roku, and mobile apps is possible with very little work through a live streaming provider.

Table of Contents

Are Multistreaming + Simulcasting the Same Thing?

In a word, yes.

Simulcasting

Simulcasting is the name for sending a broadcast to multiple locations at the same time. In streaming, this has come to mean you’re sending to multiple platforms and channels — your website, social platforms, mobile apps, smart TV apps — simultaneously.

Multistreaming

Multistreaming is just another term for simulcasting. It means you can stream to multiple channels and platforms at once. Don’t let the two terms confuse you — simulcasting and multistreaming are used interchangeably in the streaming world.

BlogImage-B113_MultipleDestinations_Multistream

Let’s say you’re a streamer who wants to broadcast a tutorial on how to run a community event. You want to stream to multiple locations, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and your website. You’ve promoted your live stream, prepped your video content, and now you’re ready to go live on multiple platforms at once.

When you start streaming, we’d say you’re simulcasting your broadcast to four destinations. We’d also say you’re multistreaming to your website and social media.

Video: Multistreaming and Simulcasting with BoxCast Explained

 

A Quick History of Live Streaming Destinations

In the early days of live streaming, if your organization wanted to stream, you’d only have a few destination options:

  1. You could pick a CDN to distribute your content around the world and an embedded video player to show that content on your website.
    OR
  2. You could send your stream to a third-party website to host the video player. You’d then tell your viewers to go to that external website to watch.

Both of these methods were clunky and expensive.

Over the last decade, the landscape has dramatically changed. Live streaming has become extremely social. Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms empower broadcasters to more easily promote their content and engage with their audiences.

With social streaming, you can bring your live stream to your followers instead of bringing your followers to your live stream.

Embedding live streams on your website continues to be a great way to keep your users connected to your organization. But with the power of social destinations, you can — and should — reach your followers across other platforms.

Multistream example of a live video broadcasting to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV

Another way live streaming has changed is by opening platforms for TV streaming devices. When Apple TV released their fourth-gen device, they opened up the App Store and made creating your own app possible. Roku, likewise, has made creating an app easier with tools like their Direct Publisher. At BoxCast, we also have the ability to create a custom-branded TV app for your organization. If that interests you, just ask our friendly Sales team! All of these improvements make it easier to reach your audience in their living rooms.

Person holding remote and watching live stream of a concert on an Apple TV

How Does Multistreaming Work?

Initially, streaming to multiple destinations was largely too expensive, error prone, and network draining for most organizations. The many live stream destinations and social media platforms that arose created a painful process for broadcasting. These platforms created no functionality to push your stream to other locations because they wanted you to stream to their platform exclusively.

Consequently, there’s no way to send a live YouTube video to Facebook, or vice versa. Instead, you have to have an encoder that’s capable of multistreaming to each location, which uses significantly more bandwidth, and puts a lot more pressure on the encoder. Unless…

…You multistream through the cloud. This is absolutely the way to go live to multiple destinations without taxing your own bandwidth and equipment. Here’s how it works:

A live streaming platform like BoxCast takes your video source, sends it to the cloud, and then distributes it to multiple destinations to be viewed by people on many different platforms. The streaming platform is the key here, since no social destination plays nice with others. This way, you can live stream to Facebook and YouTube at the same time.

Phone with YouTube streaming a live video next to a phone streaming the same video on Facebook Live

Easy Multistreaming: Schedule It One Time

If you're streaming multiple events week-after-week, it's important to create a live streaming setup that's easily repeatable.

BoxCast simplifies multistreaming setups by allowing you to schedule a broadcast with as many destinations as you need with a single click. You can save time and plan ahead by scheduling streams days or weeks before you go live. The BoxCast Platform also lets you set recurring broadcasts.

We handle the process, so you can focus on creating a great live video experience for your viewers.

BoxCast Dashboard showing all social destination options

Easy Multistreaming: Maximize Your Bandwidth

The most critical factor in the performance of a live stream is your network connection. The amount of bandwidth you have can limit your ability to broadcast a consistent, high-quality stream.

If you simulcast to different destinations separately — as in the example below — you overload your network unnecessarily.

For example, if your stream requires 4 Mbps upload and you are sending it to four different destinations separately, it needs 16 Mbps to send the stream to each location at the same time. Your network may not have the capacity to send all of those streams reliably.

Diagram showing each individual social destination requires at least 4 Mbps of bandwidth to live stream

With BoxCast, you don't have to send the streams to four locations separately. Instead, your network sends one feed to the cloud. From there, we take care of distributing it to each of the destinations. You'll be multistreaming to all the same places with one quarter of the bandwidth requirements.

Diagram showing less bandwidth used by BoxCast when streaming to multiple destinations

FAQ

What’s the difference between a broadcast and simulcast?

In the streaming world, broadcast is simply another word for a live stream, and generally refers to one stream being sent to a destination, such as an embed code for a website. Simulcasting is when a broadcast is sent to multiple destinations, like Facebook, YouTube, a website, and an Apple TV channel all at once.

What’s the difference between simulcasting and multistreaming?

Simulcasting and multistreaming are used interchangeably in the industry. They both refer to sending a stream to more than one final destination.

How many destinations should I stream to?

If you’re streaming directly from your encoder, you can stream to as many destinations as your internet and equipment can handle. If you use a streaming service like BoxCast, you can send to as many as you like, and reach your viewers wherever they are!

Do I need more internet speed to stream to more social destinations?

No! At BoxCast, we handle that in the cloud. You can send us one 3 Mbps stream and send it to as many destinations as you like. If your internet isn’t the best, BoxCast has you covered when you’re streaming to multiple places.

What happens if my stream gets taken down from Facebook or YouTube for copyright infringement?

Sometimes, social media destinations can make a mistake — and there’s no one to contact to get your stream up and running again. With BoxCast, you can also embed your stream directly on your website to make sure it's extra secure.

Final Thoughts + Further Reading

Simulcasting is a core component of successful live streaming for organizations. If you aren't sending your broadcast to multiple destinations, you’re missing out on viewership.

The BoxCast Platform helps you simulcast your broadcast to all the destinations your viewers might be watching. Check out these other quick, helpful guides to multistream your content and become a better broadcaster: