Why OTT Sports Streaming Is Here To Stay

 

shutterstock_530044501“Sports is the last category of must-see-now content.” But don’t take it from us, take it from Jeffrey Cole, the founder and director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg. “Based on our data, Gen Z and millennial fans are clearly shifting preferences, behavior, and spending,” Cole said in an interview with Broadcasting & Cable. And with user-experience rich developments like virtual reality, 360° video, and more, that shift is definitely in favor of online streaming services.

Maybe it’s time to think differently about the way we watch sports. Maybe it’s time to watch sports differently altogether—and we’ve already gotten started. Adobe has released findings from the 2013 Q4 US Digital Video Benchmark that showed that sports video streams were up 640% year-over-year. Is it any surprise when almost all Americans consider themselves fans of one sport or another?

A study by the Center for the Digital Future found that 86% of Americans consider themselves sports fans. Among them, 90% are willing to pay for sports programming and 63% are interested in paying for an over-the-top sports subscription service. That number is higher among “intense” sports fans—demographically more likely to be male, middle aged, married, upper middle class, and with a college degree. But don’t underestimate the women and children who also wish they were ballers. Women are willing to pay up to 50% more for sports content and households with children are 70% likelier to.

So why exactly are so many people willing to spend a higher proportion of their budget for online streaming channels? Well, a number of reasons. Affordability, mobility, and availability are just some. Streaming services generally add up to less than adding channels a la carte to an existing cable or satellite subscription. Mobile devices and computers trail just behind TVs as the most used platforms for watching sports, and you can’t bring your TV with you to a tailgate. There is also the question of “can I actually watch this where I live?” If you’re a fan of a very local sports team and don’t live locally, or a very popular sport that’s unpopular where you live, the answer may be no—unless you can find the right service.

These statistics alone show us that the market for OTT sports content is strong, and getting stronger every day. But the real data lies in the games themselves, and the data doesn’t lie. Rio 2016 was the most streamed Olympic event ever. Super Bowl XLIX was the third most watched Super Bowl broadcast in U.S. history, raking in an average of 1.4 million viewers a minute on CBS’ live stream and 115.5 million viewers overall. The Euro Cup saw record viewership in 2016, and the World Cup saw a 36% increase in broadcast hours in 2014, with over 280 million people watching on their devices, making it the most digitally connected World Cup of all time.

While the Falcons may not see a title in the near future, streaming is the future of sports content delivery, and it’s clearly here to stay. According to Forbes, in May 2016, Amazon hired veteran sports media executive James DeLorenzo to head its newly formed sports group in a bid for streaming rights to NFL’s Thursday Night Football. Twitter eventually won that bid, however, Amazon’s focus on sports live streaming was an indicator of the gradual but certain shift to alternative subscription services, inspired by the likes of Hulu.

6 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Streaming Platform

shutterstock_406894201Deciding between video streaming services can feel like a maze. With so many different platforms to pick from and a huge variety of features, choosing just one can prove to be a difficult task. To make it easier, we’ve narrowed it down to six basic questions to ask in order to make the most informed choice.

What is the main function of your video content? In other words, what are you going to use a video streaming platform for in the first place? Maybe you are a small business looking to expand and need to conduct meetings and training sessions live on the web. Maybe you are a place of worship streaming a special service, or a community leader looking to broadcast a local game or concert. Maybe you just want to yell loudly into the internet abyss. To best be able to identify which streaming platform is right for you, have a clear-cut function in mind, and begin conducting your search using relevant keywords.

What do you want to gain from video streaming? What is the end goal? There are a lot of reasons to implement video into your organization. It is statistically proven to be the most engaging form of media: 82% of people would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a text post. So what are your reasons? Perhaps you want to reach the largest possible audience to announce a product release. Or maybe you want to maximize the amount of ad revenue you can get from your organization’s website. Knowing what your goals are makes it far easier to consider which platform best suits them.

What is your budget? How much are you willing to pay is an obvious consideration when deciding on any kind of service, and running price comparisons can seem daunting. Thankfully, we’ve already compiled a list of the top 7 streaming platforms, their plans, and pricing from most affordable to most costly. Set a monthly or per-event streaming budget and stick to it. Keep in mind that video can generate revenue directly from pre-roll, mid-roll, or overlay ads and pay-per-view. It can also help indirectly in creating brand recognition and boosting consumer traffic. In fact, businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster than those without video. When deciding between plans, consider both the cost and potential revenue.

How user friendly is the platform? Let’s face it—we’re not all rocket scientists. There are a number of cogs and gears that go into the video streaming process that not everyone is familiar with. This includes software and hardware encoders, recording equipment, codecs, and more. If you fall under the “not a rocket scientist/streaming expert” category and are just starting out, all of these things together may be confusing to navigate. Before making up your mind, read up. Take note of the kind of language used in descriptions. Is it complicated or easy to understand? Ease of use can be a dealbreaker for many, so keep accessibility in mind.

How is their customer support? If you are broadcasting a live event and something goes wrong, can you reach a real human as soon as you need help? Many video streaming services have a minimum two business day response time. In the real world, this means that if you contacted them on Monday, you’ll get a response on Friday. Limited customer support can not only be frustrating, but it can also result in losing user engagement—if you encounter technical problems during a live stream, it can be a turn off to your audience. Choose a service with 24/7 phone and chat support for the best possible streaming experience.

Is there a free trial? A good video streaming platform will offer a free trial so you can try their product before buying. Take advantage of this, take note of what you liked and didn’t like during the trial period, and keep the other questions in mind. In fact, why not try a free trial with Primcast right now?

Start streaming online with Primcast and Wowza

If you thought that Wowza Media Server is just a simply media streaming solution then you were wrong. With the latest addition of Wowza Media Server 3 there are no more conflicts that existed with other software suppliers such as the Adobe Flash Media server.

You can check for yourself and see the amazing features that come with this latest addition by going to wowza.com. With wowza you can benefit from custom streaming solutions.

Perhaps one of the best Wowza Media Server 3 features is the support for mobile streaming. Since in this day and age most people own high-end mobile devices, with Wowza you can output 1080p resolution videos to satisfy even the most pretentious customers.

Primcast offers both shared and dedicated server Wowza services. We will assist you with any issues that may arise with your Wowza services. As a customer of Primcast, you will benefit from free 24/7 customer support.

So if you are interested in finding a reliable, flexible and not to mention affordable solution for online video and audio content streaming then Primcast and Wowza are everything to get started in the online streaming world.

Optimize your website with video content

If you are a website owner then you have undoubtedly heard the expression SEO before. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is something that you should concern yourself about if you are looking to bring more traffic to your website. Everyone knows that more traffic to your website is potentially more money in your pocket so if you are interested in finding out how you can do this then you keep reading.

When it comes to search engine optimization, Google is just about the only search engine you should concern yourself about since almost 90% of all internet traffic is through Google.  There are several aspects that Google looks at in a website and it would be in your best interest to make sure that each of those aspects are properly taken care of. One of the most important factors is the time your visitors spend on your website. If visitors spend very little time reading your content and then leaving, this tells Google that you either have too little or too poor written content that it isn’t worth your visitor’s time. It is needless to say that Google won’t like this and will rank you accordingly in their search engine. However, if you make the effort of improving the content on your website and provide them with quality and fresh information then they will certainly stay on your website a while longer.

So how can you improve the content on your website and determine your visitors to spend more time browsing your website? Adding lengthier articles, more pictures could show an improvement but in an age when video is the new king of content you really should consider adding video content to your website. Simply embedding YouTube videos in your website articles will do much in the way of engaging the visitor activity on your website. A better way of including video content on your website is through video streaming. By streaming your own video content you are making sure that your website is the only place where your visitors are able to watch your video content. This way, your visitors will not only spend more time on your website but they will also keep returning for more awesome content.

Stream live events like a pro

You probably remember the early years of the television when broadcasting live shows was a huge deal. Millions of people were on the edges of their seats at home every time there was a live sporting event being broadcasted on the TV. We have come a long time since then and now the live event streaming technology is available for virtually anyone.

If you are worried about not having any technical skills that are required to start streaming live video online then you can stop right now. Most of nowadays services are very user-friendly and they will take you by the hand every step of the way. Even if you have no technical background whatsoever, you will still have no problem in setting up a live video stream by yourself.

Price is also not a problem when it comes to live event streaming services. Since there are so many online companies offering this type of service, competition can only mean good things for the end-user. However, if you are going to stream your live event to a very large audience then be prepared to pay accordingly. The video quality of the stream is also going to influence the price you pay for this service.

As previously mentioned, you don’t need to have any type of technical knowledge in order to be able to start streaming video content online. Even if your video streaming provider is not at all helpful, there are still hundreds if not more online tutorials in every format imaginable that are just waiting for you to check them out. However, if you stumble upon a company that won’t offer you support then simply move on to the next. There are many companies offering this type of service and they should be begging you for your business.

Even though live video streaming is very easy to do and won’t cost you a fortune, you still have a few requirements. You probably already have a computer with an internet connection. All you need now is a video camera or even a decent quality web camera. Keep in mind though that if you want to viewing quality of the stream to be good, you will also need to have a pretty good device to record with. Besides the computer, internet connection and video camera you will also need a live video streaming service that we have talked about earlier.

The beauty about the even streaming service is that you can use it for anything you have in mind. If you have a music concert coming up then you can use even streaming to broadcast the live event to your friends, family and fans. You can even use live streaming at personal events such as weddings and baptism ceremonies.

With live video streaming you can have as many or as few people watching as you like since this technology is extremely flexible. So as long as there is an internet connection, people from all over the world will be able to tune in on your live broadcast and enjoy your video content.

5 reasons why you should drop progressive video download and start streaming videos online

Most people watching videos online are looking for the highest video quality available. While not all videos today are shot in full 1080p High Definition, you still need to be able to stream those kinds of videos online for people who will settle for nothing but the best. Video streaming has become a very competitive market nowadays and if you are going to remain competitive then you are going to have to deliver nothing but the best services for all your online audience. The old way of delivering video content for your website visitors is through progressive download. What this means is that visitors are only able to watch a video while the video file downloads on their computer. There are obvious disadvantages to this method and you will soon find out why video streaming technology is much better than progressive download.

1. Streaming technology

With the true video streaming technology your audience will be able to skip through a video without having to wait for the whole video file to download onto their computers first.

2. Video file protection

Since the video file will not be downloading onto the viewer’s computer, you will be able to better protect your video content. Even though with progressive download the video file gets deleted from the temporary folder after the video has been closed, there are many software programs online that allow users to obtain a permanent copy of your videos. This doesn’t happen with video streaming since the video files will never be fully downloaded onto the end user’s computer.

3. Smooth video streaming

With the video streaming technology you can have full HD videos without having to worry about bandwidth too much. The adaptive bitrate feature allows users to watch video files at the best viewing quality that their internet connection can support.

4. Save bandwidth

Video streaming allows you to save on bandwidth usage. While with progressive download users need to download the whole video file in order to skip through, with video streaming the user doesn’t need to download the whole thing just to watch the end of a video and while not all users will skip to the end of the video, the ones who do will not unnecessarily use up your bandwidth.

5. Convenience

There are many online companies offering video streaming services nowadays. These services are not expensive and they save you the trouble of having to host all of your video files on your server and managing them.

If you are still not convinced that video streaming is the best way to provide video content for your online audience then you can check out more about this technology by going to our website at http://www.primcast.com/services

Using the live event streaming service

We are all fans of live shows, live music events, live sporting events, etc. However, did you know that broadcasting live events across the internet is now available to virtually anyone? Just think about it; how many times have you wished that your friends and family were with you to witness a special event but couldn’t because they were too far away? With a live event streaming service you can broadcast an event in real-time, right as it is happening.

Getting started with event streaming is very easy. All you need to begin streaming online is a camera and a computer with an internet connection. However, you will also need to have an account with an event streaming service provider (which are quite common on the internet nowadays). The best part of it all is that you need close to 0 knowledge to begin streaming online. Even if you don’t know anything about streaming video content online, you can ask for help from the streaming provider’s support team.

You can stream your video content to as few or as many viewers as you like. Keep in mind though that streaming to many viewers will cost you significantly more. Although prices may vary from one company to another, you need to understand that not everything that is cheap is worth purchasing. When it comes to event streaming, you simply need to have a reliable and quality service. If, for example, you are streaming an event to a large audience and the quality of the stream is lacking or there are buffering, shuttering and interruption problems then you may lose a lot of viewers. So before purchasing the services of a company make sure that you do a little bit of research and see if they are really worth your money.

Finding the right provide for event streaming needs is not a hard task but you will need to spend some time researching. The first thing you could do is to check for online reviews of the company you are interesting in doing business with. Check out what other people are saying about their services and determine if the company provides reliable services.

When it comes to streaming an event online, you really need to make sure that you can rely on your provider. After all, you don’t have a second shot at streaming a live event.

Primcast offers very reliable and high quality event streaming services. If you are interested in finding more about our streaming services then head on to http://www.primcast.com/streamingevents

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Are you using video effectively in your online marketing efforts?

Nowadays just about everyone has a mobile device. Modern-day device are now so advanced that they are equivalent to computers from only a few years back. They are powerful enough to run even the most demanding software, applications that we would never have though possible on such small devices. There has been a long time since mobile devices were only use for communication purposes. The main focus with hand-held devices is entertainment and this market will continue to grow even further in the years to come and beyond.

The niche market for mobile users who watch video on their devices has especially known a huge growth in the last year alone. On-demand video on mobile devices has also demonstrated a substantial growth in the past year as well. Recent reports show that two out of every 3 people who watch video on mobile devices are smartphone owners.

With such a spectacular number of consumers, this is a perfect opportunity for video publishers to monetize their content. However, most publishers today are still struggling with the same challenges they have been for nearly a decade. They won’t understand that the online environment is a completely different place than the TV and won’t start using different promotion methods other than what they are doing on TV right now. It is a known fact that simply repurposing television sports for online use isn’t the most effective way to advertise and still many publishers still do it to this day.

Although video is still very much effective when it comes to advertising online, publishers should take a completely new approach when it comes to promoting a product or service. The online environment is a completely different thing than the TV and should be treated as such. The video itself is rarely going to be the thing that people want to pay for.

Primcast is one of the most reliable hosting and streaming provider on the internet. We offer professional video streaming services that have support for mobile devices. If you would like to find out more about our services and the deals we have prepared for you, please visit our website at http://www.primcast.com/services.

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Media streaming done right

When compared to the other media streaming platforms currently available on the market, Wowza has had quite a rapid growth both in technology but in popularity as well. Unlike platforms such as Windows Media or Flash Media which had a slow start, Wowza has been profitable from day 1 and will continue to improve even further.

The reason Wowza has become so successful today is because it supports delivery to virtually any screen. The people from Wowza believe that this feature is absolutely critical to their business strategy. The platform’s architecture of the underlying infrastructure allows Wowza Media Server to accept plug-in modules with a variety of functions. Features such as adaptive bitrate and time-shifted playback are very simple to implement and very cost effective.

Wowza is designed to scale from a small single license server solution up to a Content Delivery Network level solution by adding licenses across a growing number of commodity hardware platforms.

With the introduction of the latest Wowza version, Wowza Media Server 3, users now have the ability to purchase and add in additional modules. One such very important module that users have been waiting for a long time is the network digital video recorder module. With the great support Wowza offers the development community, more powerful modules are bound to emerge and make Wowza an even better product than it already is.

So even though Wowza Media Server is the newest platform for streaming video content online, it is also the one with the most potential. Wowza has grown very rapidly and in a very short amount of time, even surpassing its competitors in some areas. Wowza can be used to stream to even thousands of simultaneous users. However, even if Wowza does not impose any limits, you may be limited by the hardware of the machine Wowza Media Server is installed on.

Primcast offers very reliable and not to mention affordable Wowza Media Server shared and dedicated plans. For more information about our offer please visit our website

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Best video streaming solution?

What is Flash Media Server?

If you didn’t know by now, the Flash Media Server is just about the most popular and probably the best platform for online video streaming. It has the strength and flexibility to support video streaming to as many or as few people as you want to. So if you are an online business owner then you will most certainly find good use for its awesome features.

Flash Media Server is one of the few platforms that can deliver true HD video content across the internet. The FMS has also great support for Apple devices so you will be able to stream to both office computers and to mobile devices. People on the move will greatly appreciate this great feature and you can be sure that they will become your loyal customers if you keep providing them with great quality and great content.

If you are serious about streaming video content online and you are looking to stream your media to even thousands of viewers then you may need a dedicated Flash Media Server. A dedicated FMS will especially come in handy when streaming High Definition video since HD videos require a lot of disk space and other resources such as CPU and RAM. Another great benefit of the dedicated Flash Media Server is that you can customize it however you want to.

Since a dedicated Flash Media Server can be quite costly, you will first need to determine whether you truly need one or you could do just fine with a shared Flash Media Server account as well. There are also two versions of the Flash Media Server you will need to choose from. You can therefore opt for the Flash Media Streaming Server or the Flash Media Interactive Server. The difference between the two is that the Flash Media Streaming Server can only do video streaming while the Interactive server can do video streaming as well as many other awesome things such as Rich Internet Applications. There is also a hefty price difference between the two versions of the software so you will need to determine if you are really going to use the full potential of the Flash Media Interactive Server once you have bought it.

Are there any other video streaming solutions similar to the Flash Media Server?

Although the Flash Media Server is probably the most popular platform for video streaming, there are other platforms as well that perform admirably. The Windows Media Server for example is one of the oldest platforms for online video streaming. Even though it is showing its age you can still use it with great success for most of your online video streaming needs. Keep in mind though that it cannot do mobile streaming of any kind.

Another very good alternative is the Wowza Media Server platform. Although it is newer that all the other video streaming platforms it has gained a lot of popularity due to its user-friendly interface and strength. Wowza is continuously being improved and in some areas it is said to be even better than the Flash Media Server. If you are a fan of video streaming then Wowza is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Where is the best place to buy FMS services?

Before you go ahead and purchase a FMS solution from the first company that offers this service you should take the time to first study the offers other companies have. In this economy you simply cannot afford to throw your hard earned money out the window. Check out the features, prices, reviews and last but not least technical support and make an informed decision.

Primcast.com is an online hosting and streaming company that offers some of the most reliable video and audio streaming services on the market today. If you would like to hear more about our offer then head on to http://www.primcast.com/flashmediastreaming

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