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Understanding Live Streaming

June 25, 2024

Live streaming has probably become more of a part of your life than you’ve realized. Have you caught a live weather report on Facebook? Watched an artist or influencer make an announcement on YouTube Live? Maybe you or someone you live with loves to watch video gaming pros play on Twitch. The platforms and utilizations are myriad, and one thing is clear: live streaming has become an integral part of communication and it’s here to stay.

Challenges & Considerations

Any time technology is involved, there can be challenges. The larger and more ambitious a live stream is, the more essential it is to ensure there’s enough power and bandwidth to support the stream so viewers don’t experience glitches or frozen screens. Microphones and lighting should be available to ensure the audience can see and hear clearly. And as with any event, there should always be contingency plans and backups for large live streams– a great reason to have a dependable, knowledgeable production company.
When it’s time to plan content, at minimum there should be a rough outline of the plan. If there’s a discussion component or even multiple presenters, it’s essential to have someone in charge of content moderation who is familiar with the goals of the event and is capable of keeping things focused and productive.

Historical Perspective

Simply put, live streaming is broadcasting something over the Internet in real time. This is the online evolution of live television at a fraction of the cost and effort. Since its birth in the mid 1990s, live streaming has continually adapted and advanced to provide limitless opportunities for individuals, organizations, and companies to communicate with the world. Live streaming can be on a large scale (think NASA streaming a rocket launch for the world to watch) or very personal, like a small business owner presenting a new merchandise line to a few dozen followers. We continue to rely more and more on live streaming to show us what’s going on in the world and connect us with people and brands that are important to us. As technology advances live streaming becomes increasingly interactive and available on a variety of platforms that are convenient and user-friendly.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, Streaming set up for large local conference.

How Live Streaming Works

Live streaming’s success and continued prevalence can be contributed to its trifecta of ideal traits: it’s easy to do, it’s easy to access, and it’s incredibly affordable. Large companies can absolutely go all out with multiple cameras and professional lighting, but that small business owner can achieve their goals with a smart phone and an Instagram account. An event can be live steamed directly on an organization’s website or one of the many social media platforms that broadcast live streams.

Benefits of Live Streaming

The goals for live streaming can be as varied as the methods. It can be used to allow a much wider audience to participate in a conference, business meeting, or presentation. Live streaming can bring a product launch or demo to customers or stakeholders around the world. It can also be a creative way to execute experiential events without anyone leaving their homes or offices.
Businesses aren’t the only ones who can benefit from live streaming though. It’s one of the most used tools by influencers celebrities to connect with their audiences. It’s also proven to be a valuable resource for friends and families to join each other’s life experiences- weddings, baby announcements, and even exciting vacation moments can be shared through live streaming.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, teammate operates a large broadcast camera at Walmart Marketplace Seller Summit – Las Vegas Nevada


Types of Live Streaming

The typical method and use of Live Streaming is live video streaming, where viewers are watching the event as it is happening, in real time. In addition there is often a video on demand component to live streaming, where the live stream is recorded and remains available online so that viewers can watch it at their convenience. Occasionally the visual component is unnecessary or problematic, and an audio streaming option is more ideal. All of these rely on a live format, which means there are no multiple takes or before-airing editing. Viewers are able to see (or hear) what is happening as it happens.

The content of live streaming and its capabilities improves as well. Interactive and personalized experiences are sought after and can be highly successful. Viewers can give real time feedback, ask questions, and even be pulled into the stream to impact the content. This makes viewers feel more important and included. Watch for even more ways to involve viewers to emerge in the near future.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, trippy, brightly colored stage design with LED wall and uplighting.

Future of Live Streaming

The pandemic pushed a wave of new technology uses out of necessity. We learned that education can occur through a computer screen, and geography doesn’t have to limit our experiences. Look to see technology become increasingly user friendly and streamlined, so that both the creating and viewing experiences for live streaming are simpler and more enjoyable. As users continue to innovate with new ways life streaming can enhance the communication, marketing, and brand recognition it’s likely we’ll regularly see it used to accomplish things we’d never dreamed of.
Live streaming has quickly become the main method many people use to receive information and learn about the world. It’s definitely here to stay, and it appears that its growth and pervasiveness can only mean good things for individuals, organizations, and companies alike. Live streaming brings the world to our screens in the very best ways.

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