With the wealth of video streaming platforms there are to choose from, choosing just one can feel like an impossible task. Different solutions come with different features. Different plans may or may not fit into certain budgets. Luckily, we’re here to guide (not tell) you to the right decision for you with some basic questions to ask before making the big choice.
The first thing to keep in mind when deciding on a platform is your end goal. What do you want to gain from live video streaming? 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.
Next, ask yourself why you need to use a video streaming platform for in the first place. What function does your video content serve? Whether you are a small business looking to expand and need to conduct meetings and training sessions live on the web, a place of worship streaming a special service, or a community leader looking to broadcast a local game or concert, to best be able to identify which streaming platform is right for you, you need to have a clear-cut function in mind. Begin conducting your search using relevant keywords.
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. 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.
Now, remember that 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.
Last but not least, remember that the customer comes first, and in this case, you are the customer! 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.