Learn the live streaming vs live broadcasting differences, which one is more frequently used by businesses and how to do each one properly.
Live streaming is now overtaking live broadcasting. Both of these refer to a very similar phenomenon, which has previously only been reserved to television. With live video solutions appearing in the online sphere, broadcasting has become possible for nearly anyone.
Live streaming solutions are now available both through simply registering with a platform (e.g., Twitch) and installing software or directly through a single system. Equipment for creating live video broadcasting has also become much more accessible.
Live streaming is the practice of using camera equipment, a platform, and software to broadcast live video to a large audience. In many ways, it functions like television live broadcasting, except most streaming platforms also provide ways to interact directly with the audience.
In some cases, the platforms and software are combined (e.g., SnapCall) where the user can live stream without having to combine the software side with the networking part of the process. Other than that, live streaming is generally quite similar as it always involves someone showcasing themselves to an audience with some interaction between them.
Most importantly, live streaming is now moving out of the shadows. It had been initially popularized by online gaming where audiences would gather to spectate professional players during live events such as tournaments. It then moved on to live streaming for more general, but still largely gaming, audiences.
Nowadays, everyone does live streaming, from gamers to large corporations. It is simply the next step from creating videos, which is already an extremely effective form of marketing. Live video enables businesses to not only use the same medium of communication, but also interact with the audience, improving overall sales and marketing capabilities.
Live broadcasting used to refer to exclusively television and various studios that are showing a live video to a large audience. Since the technology and equipment were prohibitively expensive, attempting to broadcast live video for single individuals was nearly impossible.
It was also often used to differentiate from regular broadcasting, which is the process of simply sending a pre-recorded video to numerous receivers. Live broadcasting, on the other hand, has little to no delay from the events that are actually happening.
Nowadays, however, as technology advanced and changed, live broadcasting is largely used interchangeably with live streaming. Both of these send a live video to a large audience, except broadcasting usually forbids any audience interaction.
Even live broadcasting, however, now sometimes streams live video to a platform where a chat or other form of interaction is available. As such, there’s barely any difference in streaming vs broadcasting nowadays.
While there are plenty of live streaming benefits for individuals, we will mostly be covering the business side of the equation. After all, even when single individuals live stream and become popular, it eventually turns into a business.
Live streaming is a great way for businesses to market and showcase their products. With solutions like SnapCall, you can add a live stream widget to your website and create scheduled events where visitors can come and ask questions about your services or products. It’s usually a great practice to create live streaming events that happen regularly to get a constant flow of visitors.
In large part, such live streaming works identically to having a personal 1 on 1 live video call, except that audience could be in the hundreds or thousands. Interacting with chat and answering questions during live events can lead to huge conversion rates.
Additionally, live streaming can be used to perform employer branding, human resources, and public relations initiatives, especially if the audience of a company is a bit on the younger side. Tuning into a live video where company representatives can answer questions or perform certain activities can be much more effective than launching press releases or contacting potential candidates through LinkedIn.
Finally, there are numerous use cases for live streaming that are industry-specific. Gambling, for example, has made tremendous use of live video broadcasting by showcasing charismatic personalities playing slots and other games to attract massive audiences.
As mentioned previously, there are 3 essential parts of live streaming:
With SnapCall, you don’t have to worry about the 2nd and 3rd, as our live streaming solution (currently in early access) will take care of that. On the other hand, there are plenty of third-party websites such as Twitch where you can register an account and integrate it with other live streaming solutions such as OBS.
Equipment such as cameras and microphones are essential if you want to start broadcasting live. Luckily, if you are just starting to live stream, doing a few test runs with basic webcams and a decent microphone might be more than enough. If the practice is deemed successful, they can then be upgraded.
There’s one important caveat, though. Be prepared that your first live stream will be somewhat awkward (unless you hire a professional). Talking in front of a camera is already difficult for many people, but live streaming adds another layer of difficulty by presenting a live audience, who can often be quite critical.
While it takes quite some skill to get good at live streaming, the benefits of doing so are tremendous. It’s best to find people who are comfortable in front of cameras and audiences, gear them up with decent equipment, and high quality streaming capabilities. Additionally, it’s probably best to run a few internally streamed live events before heading off to greater waters.