How Your Organization Would Benefit From Online Radio

shutterstock_421862188Handing over the aux cord? When it comes to radio, there’s something for everyone. This is probably why roughly 50% of Americans—160 million unique listeners per month—tuned in to online radio in 2016, listening to up to 21 hours of live radio per week on average. Choosing to broadcast your station with live audio streaming services such as the ones offered by Primcast and ServerRoom has major advantages, which can provide major bonuses for you, your listeners, and the broader community beyond the airwaves.

Unlike traditional radio, internet radio can be accessed by any web-enabled device anywhere in the world. But similarly to its predecessor, one has the ability to engage with listeners and monetize with advertisements. There is also the option to keep your station ad-free. The beauty of online radio is that it is infinitely more customizable and can be catered to fit your needs, which aids in building a personal brand. These are just a few of the organizations that can benefit from radio on the web.

Schools and Universities

Students thrive when they can express themselves. This has been acknowledged in the majority of academic communities. Radio is a powerful medium, and providing students on campuses with said medium helps them in establishing not only their own creative identities, but that of the school’s as well. It can also act as an outlet in what is often a stressful environment with too many due dates and deadlines.

Beyond that, radio is a dynamic communication tool between students and universities in general. Students can get updates on campus life, learn about academic developments, and engage with administration (and vice versa). Prospective students can also get a taste of what the school has to offer, and because internet radio is global, this includes international students as well. Because programs can be daily, weekly, or monthly, they can be spaced out to deliver announcements and other content in the most effective possible way.

Religious Institutions

Drop your sermon like it’s hot. Regardless of your place of worship—whether you are a church, mosque, temple, synagogue, or something else entirely, adding internet radio to your services can be beneficial for all. By going online, your message can reach billions of people and potential followers, no matter where in the world they are or what size your house of faith is. This ease of access also applies to followers who are no longer able to attend services, such as the sick and elderly.

Dedicated radio can aid in strengthening your relationship with your followers by allowing them to feel more connected to the larger community and in turn, to their faith. It can also make it easier for them to give back. Although you might usually do it during a service, fundraising for charity and bringing in donations for your place of worship online is simple with a paywall.

 

Small Businesses

Building your brand might be a term that gets thrown a lot, but it is especially important for small businesses and hospitality services. Dedicated internet radio simplifies the process. Audio streaming for your business creates a consistent, recognizable atmosphere and is a simple way of allowing consumers to feel more engaged with your brand. Internet radio is also highly convenient for business owners—you total control over what your business is playing at your fingertips, on any web-enabled device.

Audio streaming can also bring in a significant amount of revenue. It has been mentioned that 50% of Americans listen to radio on the web—according to Edison Research, that’s about 177 million listeners per year and tens of billions dollars in mobile advertising revenue for internet radio and streaming services this year.

Again, these are just a few of the institutions who would benefit from internet radio, and it is definitely not limited to these communities. Whether you are a college, church, or hotel and regardless of what kind of niche your station occupies, global, accessible broadcasting is helpful for everyone.

The Top 7 Live Streaming Platforms You Need To Know

comaprisonMark Zuckerburg referred to our current era of tech as the “golden age for live video”. In fact, he predicted that soon, most of the content people will be seeing and sharing (on Facebook) on a daily basis will be video. Speaking generally, he’s not wrong—roughly 86% of internet users around the world are watching and sharing videos online. Recently, the tide has turned considerably in favor of live streams, and the sheer number of streaming platforms popping up on the web prove it.

When it comes to choosing a live streaming platform, it’s not about choosing the “best” in any one category, whether it’s popularity or affordability. Choosing a platform is about determining which is best suited to you, the publisher. The questions to keep in mind are; which features do you require of a streaming service at what budget, and which platform best conforms to those?

The services you are likely already familiar with are YouTube and Facebook. These are undoubtedly the most widely recognized, although they are definitely not designed exclusively around live streaming and are extremely limited in that capacity. They are, however, free, popular, and accessible by pretty much anyone with an internet connection and the need for online validation in the form of likes.

YouTube Live

Pros:

  • Free!
  • Viewers can pause, rewind, and resume while streaming
  • Accessible – starting a live stream is a breeze, as users are most likely already familiar with the on-demand platform

Cons:

  • No paywall
  • Must give up distribution rights to your content
  • YouTube bot detects and shuts down streams with copyrighted music

Facebook Live

Pros:

  • Free!
  • Easy setup in seconds for anybody with a Facebook page
  • Broadcast remains on the feed as on-demand video
  • Reach – people who have already liked a page receive notifications about live streams as well as seeing the stream on their news feed

 

Cons:

  • No support
  • No paywall
  • No geo-restriction
  • Time limits – longer streams may require Facebook verification

So, if your low-budget is really no-budget, YouTube Live and Facebook Live are still decent platforms to stream your content.  They are directly integrated into the largest media and social media platforms in the world, respectively, but are lacking in advanced features.

If you demand more of your live streaming platform, don’t worry—there are many customizable and feature-rich services to choose from, and we have taken the liberty of compiling them below. The top paid platforms combine hosting, broadcasting, embedding, monetizing, and user analytics into all-inclusive packages. Some of the essential factors taken into consideration are listed in the table below.

Platforms ServerRoom.net Livestream Wowza Ustream DaCast
Price FREE or $39/mo – $499 mo $40/mo – $200/mo $49/mo – $799/mo $99/mo – $999/mo $19/mo – $390/mo
Storage Unlimited Unlimited 50GB 50GB 20GB
24/7 Support √ (phone) X From $500/mo X √ (email)
Ad Free Viewer Hours Unlimited Unlimited 10 100 300
White Label From $799/mo From $999/mo
Analytics From $199/mo From $499/mo
Paywall X From $1199/mo From $999/mo X

 

 

ServerRoom

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Unlimited storage and unlimited plays
  • VR and 360 enabled
  • Simulcast to Youtube and Facebook
  • Adaptive bitrate, DVR, and nDVR options
  • Free encoding software, compatible with any H.264 encoder
  • Integrates with DRM
  • 24/7 phone support for all paid plans

Cons

  • No proprietary Paywall, although it can be integrated with Cleeng.

Livestream

Pros:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live
  • Possess their own camera systems, encoders, and free encoding software

Cons:

  • Live stream support only available with pricey custom plans
  • Limited customization of embedded player
  • Limited to one channel

Wowza

Pros

  • nDVR
  • VR and 360 enabled
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live
  • Live support during live events w premium packages

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Limited to one channel
  • No paywall

Ustream

Pros

  • Free 30-day trial
  • Password protection
  • Simple interface – start streaming as soon as five minutes after purchase
  • Works with every hardware and software encoder on the market

Cons

  • Limited to one channel
  • No 24/7 support
  • No paywall

DaCast

Pros

  • Password protection
  • Digital rights management
  • Custom paywalls and pay-per-view
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live

Cons

  • Minimum 3 – 12 month commitment
  • Slow customer support response

Got something that just has to be seen by an audience in real time, right now? Whether you’re spreading team spirit for the big game or preaching to the choir at church service, you can rest assured that, each of these paid live streaming platforms deliver high quality content securely at lightning fast speeds, provide APIs that make integration with distribution channels effortless, and in most cases, provide tangible customer support.

 

JW Video Streaming Alternatives: Dacast and ServerRoom.net

winnerEverybody on social media nowadays—and that’s most people—is familiar with live streaming in one form or another. It’s everywhere, and people and businesses are quickly adapting and taking advantage of the streaming boom. As more and more live streaming platforms become available, deciding on the best option for your specific needs can be a hassle. To make the task easier, below is a side-by-side comparison of three different but uniquely advantageous platforms.

 

  1. JW Player

Since its inception in 2005, JW Player has made a name for itself as one of the most commonly used video players in the game.  JW Player was the chosen platform for YouTube before it was acquired by YouTube. At the moment, the JWPLayer HTML5 video player is installed on more than 2 million websites. That’s a whole lot.

JW Live is one of the most recent additions to this video platform giant. This new live streaming service, while comprehensive, is only available to Enterprise customers. Its main selling point? JW Live promises to be easy to use. The most promising aspect of the streaming service is that it is a step above the original JWPlayer, which is already recognized for its wealth of features. The advanced features supported by JW Live’s HTML5 player include MPEG-DASH playback, CSS skinning, and DRM among others. It also boasts real-time audience analytics and Facebook Live simulcasting. Adaptive HLS automatically adjusts video quality to connection speeds on any given device.

While it is a good big-budget streaming option, JW Live does not come without drawbacks. It is not ideal as a long-term live streaming solution. According to the JW Player site, it is strictly for event-based live streams and cannot support 24/7 broadcasts. These event streams only last for up to six hours. It also lacks the ability to support a paywall for monetizing videos or provide video playback on a Facebook news feed. Customer support also leaves something to be desired—it is limited to email support regardless of which plan one chooses, with premium support offering responses within two business hours at the least. For a service that runs on the expensive side, these are major drawbacks.

 

  • Free Plan
    • 25 GB of monthly bandwidth
    • 10,000 video plays per month
  • Premium Plan – $299 per year
    • 250 GB of bandwidth per month
    • 100,000 video plays per month
    • HLS adaptive streaming
    • Multi-bitrate HD encoding
    • Airplay/Chromecast
  • Platinum Plan– $999 per year:
    • 500 GB of monthly bandwidth
  • 200,000 video plays per month,
  • Support for HTML5 and mobile advertising via VAST or VPAID
  • Google IMA integration
  • Mobile SDKs

 

 

  1. DaCast

DaCast, on the other hand, is mainly dedicated to live video streaming and is known for just that. It was founded in 2010 and is based in San Francisco. It promises fast, simple, no-frills service.

This platform deploys content using Akamai CDN, which is considered a leading CDN. In other words, content is delivered at lightning fast speeds. It has custom features for monetizing content, such as an integrated payment system with a payment option directly in the video window, which is not found on platforms like JW Player. Like with a number of other services, it includes HTML5 and Flash functionality and defaults to whichever is supported on the device being used. DaCast is a white label service, meaning that one has the ability to customize and brand video content, free of company logos like with Facebook and YouTube. Its advanced features also include geographic fencing, social integration, and digital rights management.

DaCast offers around the clock support, however, 24/7 phone support is only available to Pro and Premier users. This may be a huge inconvenience to users who are just starting out. Users must also commit to a three month minimum when paying month-to-month, and there are additional storage fees of $0.15 per GB over plan bandwidth limits. Encoders for DaCast depend on selected stream configurations, and setup is not as quick and easy as claimed. While DaCast is a decent competitor in the parabolic ring of live streaming platforms, its limited tech support and lack of user friendliness sets it back.

  • Basic Plan – $19 per month:
    • 100 GB of bandwidth
  • Pro Plan – $165 per month:
    • 2 TB of bandwidth
    • 125 GB of storage
    • Phone support
  • Premier Plan– $390 per month:
    • 5 TB of bandwidth
    • 250 GB of storage
    • Phone support
  1. ServerRoom.net

ServerRoom has been around since 2004, establishing itself as the longest running video platform in comparison to DaCast and JW Player. It is similar to DaCast in the sense that its entire premise is an online management platform with which you can upload and manage content and set up live streams, and is an excellent candidate for all live streaming purposes. The aspects that make the ServerRoom platform stand out are ease of access, consistent quality, and superior customer support.

This platform offers customizable, fully managed streaming services designed for small or large scale broadcasters to any size audience, with the ability to broadcast live or pre-recorded video on any device and support up to 1,000,000 simultaneous connections; setting up and tuning in are, in fact, as fast and simple as promised. There are no bandwidth limits and plans are commitment-free.

ServerRoom includes an array of advanced features, including adaptive multi-bitrate streaming and feature-rich transcoding options. The user possesses the ability to record broadcasts, either on its servers or on the user’s device.  Not to be outdone by its competitors, ServerRoom also has MPEG-Dash, RTMP and HLS protocols for rich media delivery, DRM integration, white label players, and geo-fencing. It can provide distribution across all platforms (free of charge) and VAST ads integration for easy monetization of video content.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of ServerRoom, however, is its unparalleled technical and customer support. For all paid plans, there is 24/7 telephone support. Whichever service you decide on, dedication to the customer sets ServerRoom apart in the vast, puzzling sea of live streaming platforms.

 

  • Free Plan
    • 25GB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays
    • HTML5/Flash player
  • Simple Plan – $39/mo
    • 1 TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • 24/7 support
  • Premium Plan – $99/mo
    • 5 TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • White label players
    • 24/7 priority support
  • Enterprise – $499/mo
    • 25TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • White label players
    • VAST Ads Integration
    • DRM integration
    • Dedicated account manager
    • Free mobile app
    • 24/7 priority support

Using Live Streaming to Promote Your Brand

Ever since streaming live videos was introduced in the digital landscape, it has changed the way videos are watched and enjoyed by everyone. Now there is no wait time for the entire video to be downloaded and viewed. With broadband being common, every business can think of adding video streaming onto its websites. Here are few benefits of the live streaming on websites to ponder upon:

More viewers: Streaming videos live on your website can help you reach more people simultaneously which is essential for many reasons.

For instance, if you plan to use videos for training and your employees are in different parts of the world, this benefit will work to your advantage. Also, if you are doing a product launch or marketing, announcement, seminar, or conference, you can convey the message with a wider reach.

More interaction with viewers: Live streaming offers better interaction potential with your audience. This can give you the opportunity to connect and update them with latest information, weave a story around your brand message, answer queries and questions, and get a feeling of their likes and dislikes instantly. This allows you to make quick adjustments and tweaks to your marketing message in order to achieve maximum conversions.

Minimized infrastructural needs: For any business, it’s difficult to organize seminars or promotional events on a large scale.  Organizing such events calls for large venues to accommodate a high number of customers which is difficult to find, and also requires additional costs for security and other arrangements.

With live streaming your message and presentations, can have global reach with low cost of implementation. You can reach your viewers on any device, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Reduce Costs: Live streaming on websites can easily let you cut through device barriers at nominal costs. Using live streaming to promote your brand will reduce customer acquisition costs and minimizes time for organizations to market products and services.

Convenient: It is easier for attendees to join a live webinar than being physically present at a seminar. It is much more convenient to view a live streams, at the comfort of your home or office. The same concept can be applied to your business or website by using live video streaming services from Primcast.

Stand out from crowd: With live streaming on websites becoming increasingly popular, streaming live videos, events, and content can ensure a unique point of differentiation for a company in comparison to its competitors. Some of the ways in which your brand can gain leverage from live streaming include:

  • Conduct a seminar online or webinar
  • Hold conferences through live interactions with viewers and experts
  • Arrange for a tutorial for students or clients to enrich their knowledge on your product or services

Need the competitive edge of live video streaming to work to your advantage? Then why not consider the capabilities of Primcast, your very own live video streaming expert, here in the US.

The things you should know about a Smart Tv

We all know that 2012 was the year of smartphones, but 2013 will be definitely the year of Smart Tv’s. Our television gets more intelligent, and comes with gesture and voice controls, downloadable apps, face recognition and many other new features and apps.
But first of all, we need to see what are the advantages of a Smart Tv.
Well, a Smart Tv (or Connected Tv), is used to describe the new range of Tv’s, set-top boxes & BluRay players that are connected to the internet, includes a browser with Flash support and provides an interactive experience for the customer.
This type of gadget has all of the functions of a standard Tv, but the most important feature is that it gives you the possibility to access the internet. We can make a summary by saying that a Smart Tv refers to a convergence of computer-like features.
Most of the customers, which prefer Smart Tv’s insteed of Classic Tv, said that one of the most interesting option is that this kind of device provides interesting applications which facilitate the access to certain pages such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa (and much more), without the need to connect the laptop or computer.
A Smart Tv’s gives you access to apps, games, video playback, gesture and voice control, social networking (Social TV), web Browsing, streaming movie content, media sharing or smartphone connectivity. Don’t forget that every Smart Tv platform offers access to an online app store, from which you can download a lot of applications, which can be installed directly into your Smart Tv menu.
At this moment, having an app means to you take advantage of the great opportunity that new media givs you. You are placed on a market that has not yet been fully exploited. Among the major benefits that a Smart Tv applications can bring, one of them includes the ability to get in touch with potential clients from the comfort of your own bedroom, and especially the ability to use a single device instead of two.
At Primcast we have a special department which is in charge of Smart Tv apps and Mobile apps. Why do you need to know this? Because if you have a great idea, our development team will be able to built it. And don’t forget a very important aspect – if you have a streaming server from Primcast, you can get a free standard smart TV app especially made for you.
In conclusion, a Smart Tv brings you all kinds of benefits starting with a connection to the internet, an operating system that gives you almost unlimited possibilities to have fun and relax, but even more awsome, Primcast gives the possibility to have your own Smart Tv applications!

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