What Can Audio Advertising Do For You?

Remember the good old days when radio was just a knob on your car stereo? Or, if you’re even older (but young at heart), maybe it was a square, clunky box that only accessed a few local channels, and every so often during the broad
cast, you got advertisements promoting businesses around town or new and exciting products like the color TV. But the way we listen to music, talk shows, stories, news, weather, traffic, and the like has totally transformed in days gone by.

shutterstock_215512507Today, we have podcasts, streams, playlists…a majority of people are tuning in to online radio on their phones or other devices that fit in their pockets—155 million people, to give you an approximation, with expected growth to 191 million by 2019. 68 million people subscribe to some sort of music streaming service and a quarter of those people stream music on their smartphones on a daily basis. The radio streaming service Pandora logs 5.4 billion hours of user listen time in a single quarter.

It is safe to say that over the past few years, traditional radio has undergone a major makeover of the digital kind, and with it, so has audio advertising. According to a survey coordinated by AdAge, The Trade Desk, and Advantage Business Research, US marketing and media professionals will allocate an average of 11.6% of their ad budget and inventory to digital audio placements by mid-2017. This figure is up from 7% just a year earlier and double the share of investments made two years earlier which, according to eMarketer, marks a significant gain on overall ad inventory.

It is clear that there is much to gain from incorporating audio advertising into existing online channels. According to the same AdAge study, 37.4% of respondents in the US said that formatted music channels are of interest when considering buying programmatically.

“Advertisers are after an audience, and they see digital radio as a platform that reaches an engaged user who can be precisely targeted by geography, demographics, social connections, listening behavior and other critical metrics,” eMarketer said in a statement. And with current technology, it is entirely possible to take audio advertising over the top and make it more effective than ever.

Online radio is a hyper-personalized method of streaming audio, and this is one of the main appeals of digital audio advertising. Listeners possess the ability to customize programming from a seemingly unlimited array of stations and playlists curated for the user with the aid of intelligent algorithms. Incorporating advertising and audio streaming means that listeners get relevant ad content that is targeted specifically to them, which means it is likelier for them to become potential customers. With the explosive growth of audio streaming services, there is also consistent growth of advertising revenue.

Yet another reason audio ads are so enticing to marketers is because they have the reach and influence of video advertising, but are much cheaper and much easier to produce. They aren’t really effected by ad blockers, so users can’t just skip over them or gloss over and do something else like they tend to do with video ads, so they are more directly influenced An Audio.ad survey found that nearly five of every ten people have bought between two and five products or services advertised.

So how does this kind of targeted advertising work? Well, based on your content and listener demographics, advertisers looking to appeal to a certain audience will pay to air ads on your channel. The process is streamlined with an audio ad monetization service like the one soon to be offered by Primcast. Audio advertising, similarly to other kinds of advertising, can be targeted based on region, age, interests and much more, so advertisers can be confident their content appeals to your audience. It’s pretty simple from there: triggers based on metadata in your encoder send a message to our servers to play ads automatically.

Video marketing seems to be the talk of the town, however, advertisers have had their eye on digital audio ads for some time now, and brands are beginning to take notice. By appealing to the ears instead of the eyes while a listener is tuned in to news, music, or talk shows, they are cutting through visual ads to become a part of someone’s day, and that in itself is powerful.

3 Benefits of Video Marketing in 2017

shutterstock_520079620If you’ve ever seen a Harry Potter movie, you might have seen the “magic” animated photograph of Harry’s parents that he keeps by his bedside. While that may have been reserved for young adult fantasy novels in 2003, it’s definitely no longer a fantasy in 2017. Video is the medium of the future—that’s no secret. But what your competition may not want you to know is that video has come unto its own as an important marketing tool, and if you want to remain ahead of the game in 2017, it’s time to get on board.

Online video accounts for about 74% of global web traffic. In fact, 55% of Americans watch videos online every single day. That’s over half the population. The rise of OTP streaming services, live streaming platforms, and user-generated video apps like Snapchat and Vine has been well documented over the past couple of years, not to mention the more recently developed Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. All of this is to say that video has not-so-slowly but surely come to dominate any given user’s web experience, especially within the scope of social media.

Both consumers and businesses understand that videos are no longer just for entertainment. They are easily accessible, visually appealing, instantly gratifying ways of getting and providing information about products, services, and ideas. Not taking advantage of this kind of massively marketable, shareable, and likable content would be a tremendous missed opportunity to reach potential customers. Captivating videos can reach a previously untapped customer base or educate existing customers in the middle of a buying cycle, and smart businesses know this.

In fact, according to a 2015 survey by Flimp Media and ReelSEO, 96% of B2B organizations are already engaged in video content marketing. 73% say that video has positively impacted marketing results. 83% are using video content for website marketing, 50% for email marketing, and 75% are optimizing video content for SEO.  Animoto stated that 60% of marketers and small business owners said they planned to increase investment in video marketing in 2017.

It is clear that having a video marketing strategy (and a reliable video hosting and streaming platform) for your business or organization has a notable impact not only on brand recognition and revenue, but also on user engagement. Here’s how:

Brand Recognition

  • 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video.
  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic than non-users.
  • 81% of people feature video on their brand website.
  • 93% of marketers use video for online marketing, sales, and communication.

Increased Revenue

  • Businesses using video grow revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those without.
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.
  • 40% of consumers state that video increases the chance they’ll purchase a product on their mobile device.
  • 90% of user say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.
  • 74% of millennials find video helpful when comparison shopping.

User Engagement

  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • 70% of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other content.
  • Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.
  • Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

So while creating marketable video content today might not necessarily be magic, it can still have a magical impact on your business or organization and your consumer base. Just remember to employ the same basic methods to your video marketing campaign as you would to other campaigns–generate content that consumers can identify with, educate and engage with your intended audience, and work on building a lasting relationship with your customers. Regardless of which video marketing road you decide to go down (and there are plenty of options: live streaming, animation, or plain old transient video), be sure you are providing something that consumers want, and then incite a call to action.

32 Tips On Promoting Your Live Stream

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  1. Get people hyped! For live events, create a teaser trailer that gives people a taste of what your event will be like.
  2. Create a landing page for your event where you will embed the live stream.
  3. Link this page in your promotions so users know where to go on the day of your event and to drive traffic to your site.
  4. Generate buzz. Share info about your live stream well in advance. Depending on the reach of your event, this can be anywhere from a week to a month or two.
  5. Share the event page again before you go live.
  6.  Don’t reveal too much initially. Release details in small increments to boost interest in your event as it approaches.
  7. Generate promotional graphics to include along with your links.
  8. Figure out the best time to stream and schedule accordingly. This may require a bit of research. For work events or seminars during weekdays, Mondays or Thursdays in the afternoon are usually the best time.
  9. If you regularly host live streams, announce your next one at the end of your stream.
  10. Consider featuring upcoming streams on recorded videos with banner ads.
  11. If you have a Listserv/subscriber base, utilize it! Send email blasts sharing the date, time, and details of your event. You can use websites like MailChimp to create and schedule campaigns.
  12. Schedule a promotional email campaign a week before the show and then again on the day of.
  13. Embed the live stream link in the body of your email.
  14. Include interesting, aesthetically appealing content such as promotional videos and graphics in campaigns.
  15. Don’t be spammy. Keep your email campaigns succinct and informative. Do not send several a day.
  16. Be compelling. Think up an interesting subject title for your emails that will stick out.
  17. Of course, this applies to your live event too. Make sure that you have a relevant and catchy title for your stream.
  18. Identify subscribers who are interested in your event by including a link to sign up for a reminder.
  19. Send follow-ups to these subscribers in the days preceding your live stream.
  20. Start posting about your live stream across social media around the same time you start campaigning.
  21. Be sure to include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ in your social media campaigns.
  22. Don’t be afraid to expand: also consider cross-posting to sites like Tumblr to appeal to a much wider audience.
  23. Link your channel to your social media accounts for quicker and easier sharing.
  24. Create a catchy, memorable hashtag for your event. Use it every time you post relevant content and encourage your audience to use it, too.
  25. Consider scheduling social media updates before your event. You can use a program like HootSuite to post updates across social networks in increments.
  26. Blog about it! If your site has a blog, create a post or two discussing your upcoming live stream.
  27. Post promotional graphics on your website to include the event name, date and time.
  28. Engage with your audience before, during, and after the stream.
  29. Take questions, conduct polls, and communicate with viewers as much as possible.
  30. Take feedback immediately after or within an hour after your live stream ends so you can improve on promoting and hosting your next event.
  31. Record your live event so you can generate clips to promote future streams.
  32. If all of this seems too confusing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider putting together a marketing team to carry out promotions.

Encoder Guide: Cerevo LiveShell 2 and LiveShell X

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Cerevo LiveShell 2 

Simple but not lacking in quality, the Cerevo LiveShell 2 is designed to be user and budget friendly. It is compact and lightweight, measuring in at 78mm x 113mm x 25mm and weighing only 150g–almost as light as your smartphone–so you can take it with you wherever you need to go. No need to bring your laptop, though: broadcast live to our servers by connecting your recording device to the LiveShell 2 via HDMI. Mount the encoder to your camera and use your smartphone to access the state-of-the-art Cerevo Dashboard control panel for worry-free mobile live streaming. This battery-operated encoder is rechargeable and can run for up to 3.3 hours of broadcast time. The LiveShell 2 is the best entry level encoder for those wading into the streaming pool.

Specs:

Max Resolution 720/30p
Video encoding H.264
Audio encoding AAC-LC
Video Bit Rate 100kbps to 10Mbps
Audio Bit Rate 255kbps (max)
Simultaneous Streams 1 stream
Recording Media
Recording Resolution None
Lower Thirds Support
Network Connectivity Ethernet (10BASE-T / 100BASE-TX) Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Video Input Terminal HDMI
Input Resolution HDMI (1080p/30(29.97), 1080p/25, 1080p/24(23.976), 1080i/60(59.94), 1080i/50, 720p/60(59.94), 720p/50, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, VGA)*1
Audio Input Terminal HDMI-IN
Protocol Support RTMP client / RTSP server mode
Battery Max. 3.3 hours battery life, Unreplaceable / Rechargeable
Size W:78mm × D:113mm × H:26mm
Weight 150g

 

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Cerevo LiveShell X 

The big brother of the Cerevo LiveShell 2, the LiveShell X has been described as nothing short of revolutionary. Built for industry professionals, it is perfect for broadcasters who require the latest features in live streaming, such as simulcasting, built-in recording, and up-to-date codecs (H.265). Small but versatile, the LiveShell X packs a punch with its metal case and palm-sized portability. It has a high capacity 6-hour battery that is both rechargeable and replaceable. It is capable of the highest resolution video output and supports up to 3 simultaneous streams, all while sending video content to a backup server. The LiveShell X can also record directly to a microSD for backing up or for later broadcasting. For those who need the latest and greatest in encoders, the next generation of PC-less live streaming is available with the LiveShell X.

Specs:

Max Resolution 1080/60p
Video encoding H.265/H.264
Audio encoding AAC-LC
Video Bit Rate 100kbps to 20Mbps
Audio Bit Rate 255kbps (max)
Simultaneous Streams Max 3 streams (+1 preview)
Recording Media microSD (SDXC)
Recording Resolution 1080/60p (max)
Lower Thirds Support
Network Connectivity Ethernet (10BASE-T / 100Base-TX)

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Video Input Terminal HDMI
Input Resolution HDMI (1080p/60(59.94), 1080p/50, 1080p/30(29.97), 1080p/25, 1080p/24(23.976), 1080i/60(59.94), 1080i/50, 720p/60(59.94), 720p/50, 720p/30(29.97), 720p/25, 720p/24(23.976), 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, VGA)*1
Audio Input Terminal HDMI-IN / Stereo Line-in
Protocol Support RTMP client / RTSP server mode
Battery Max. 6 hours battery life, Replaceable / Rechargeable
Size W:102mm × D:100mm × H:42mm
Weight 350g (excluding battery), 480g (including battery)

What you will need:

  • Internet connection
  • PC, MAC, smartphone, or tablet that supports either Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari
  • A video camera or other recording device that can output video via HDMI at 480p/720p/1080i resolution
  • HDMI cable
  • Jack cable
  • Cerevo Live Dashboard account

How to get started with your LiveShell encoder:

  1. Register via Cerevo Dashboard.
    • Go to https://shell.cerevo.com/login and click the sign up button on the bottom left of the page. Create an account. If you prefer, you can also register using your Facebook or Google account on the same page. A confirmation email will be sent. Once you receive it, click on the confirmation link in the email to finish your registration.
  2. Initial setup
    • Sign in to the Cerevo Dashboard and select Liveshell 2.
    • From the dashboard dropdown menu, select “other broadcasting services”
      and click the OK button on the bottom center of the page.
    • Enter your server’s broadcasting RTMP URL, stream name, and browsing RTMP URL and click OK.
      • UB250_other_account
    • Select an internet connection type and and enter connection details.
  3. Cable connection
    1. Insert the AC adapter cable into the AC port located on the back of the LiveShell device.
    2. Connect your recording device via HDMI cable.
  4. Wi-Fi Setup
    • Connect one end of the provided cable to the “SET UP” port on the LiveShell encoder and connect the other end to the headphone jack of your device. Click the play button to sync to your dashboard.
      • UB250_register_wifi
    • The LCD will display “LIVE” and you will be able to see the Dashboard main panel on your computer or other device when setup is complete.

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.

Refugees and Immigrants’ Contributions to Tech

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Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant. You may know him as the founder of Apple. Jobs was raised in California by his adoptive family. His mother, Clara Hagopian, was the daughter of Armenian immigrants. His biological father, Abdulfattah Jandali, was raised in Syria, educated in Lebanon, and fled to the U.S. in the 1950s when political unrest forced him to fled Beirut. If he had been turned away by the U.S. then, you may not have an iPhone or MacBook to read this on. 

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics and National Science Foundation, as of 2013, migrants made up 25% of the U.S. science and technology workforce, not to mention 34 percent of master’s-degree holders and 42 percent of doctoral engineering and science workers.  A study by Duke University found that immigrants founded 52% of Silicon Valley’s new companies between 1995 and 2005, produced produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers as of 2005, contributing greatly to the country’s economic growth over time.

While some politicians may get off on pushing the tired “stolen jobs” narrative, it is an undeniable fact (as opposed to an alternative fact): immigrants in the STEM field create new jobs. A 2012 report from the Information Technology Industry Council, the Partnership for a New American Economy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that “every foreign-born student who graduates from a U.S. university with an advanced degree and stays to work in STEM has been shown to create on average 2.62 jobs for American workers—often because they help lead in innovation, research, and development.”

The Partnership for a New American Economy also published an earlier report in 2011 which concluded that immigrants were founders of 18% of all Fortune 500 companies which, as of 2010, generated $1.7 trillion in annual revenue and employed 3.6 million workers worldwide. and included AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Intel, Merck, DuPont, Google, Cigna, Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm, eBay, and Yahoo.

Many of the scientists, engineers, and tech frontiers that make the United States the global innovation hub it is migrated here from elsewhere. Considering the sky-high cost of higher education and insurmountable amount of student loan debt in the U.S., this may not be totally shocking. Immigrants are more likely than U.S. born Americans to start a business and hold an advanced degree, and almost twice as likely to hold a Ph.D.

Had Emma Lazarus been around today, maybe she would have written differently: give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to produce innovative technology…here are just a few of the brilliant migrants who became tech industry leaders.

  • Steve Jobs, as it was mentioned, was the founder of Apple and the son of a Syrian refugee.
  • Jerry Yang moved to the United States from Taiwan at the age of 12 and went on to found Yahoo, which many of us seem to have forgotten since Google. Speaking of…
  • Sergey Brin is the co-founder of Google and came here as a refugee from the former USSR. Googled this? You can thank him.
  • Pierre Omidyar is the founder of Ebay and an Iranian who immigrated from France with his family at the age of 6.
  • Bob Miner, who co-founded Oracle, is the son of Iranian immigrants.
  • Elon Musk is a South African national who co-founded Tesla Motors and Space X and wants to revolutionize space travel.
  • Jeff Bezos, whose father was Cuban, is the creator of Amazon.
  • Arash Ferdowsi is the founder of Dropbox and an Iranian-American.
  • Alex Ohanian created Reddit and is the son of a refugee who fled Armenia.
  • Sean Rad is a co-founder of Tinder and the son of political migrants fleeing Iran in the 70s. Maybe the hopeless place in Rihanna’s “We Found Love In a Hopeless Place” was the U.S. in 2017.
  • Ping Fu is the co-founder and CEO of 3D software company Geomagic who was once forced to be a child soldier in China under Mao Zedong until she fled to the United States.
  • Eren Bali is the founder and CEO of Udemy and a Turkish immigrant.
  • Jordi Munoz is the president of 3D Robotics and a Mexican native raised in Tijuana.

Immigrants have and always will be a central part of American society. Sometimes we tend to forget that even American-born Americans whose roots may go back generations are still visitors on this land, which once belonged to Natives. Moreover, in a language that politicians may better understand, immigrants are essential contributors to our economy.  They build businesses, create products, and innovate new technologies that create jobs for all Americans. This land is their land as much as it is our land.

6 Reasons To Live Stream Your Next Event

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User Engagement: Live streaming provides the ability to engage an extended audience. Attendees who may not have otherwise been able to experience the event, whether it’s because they are across the world, disabled, elderly, or simply could not make the necessary accommodations, are able to be a part of the event from wherever they are, and you are able to share your content with them from wherever you are.

Increased Attendance: 67% of viewers who live stream an event are more likely to buy a ticket to that event or a similar one post-stream. Chances are you’ve heard of Coachella, the yearly music festival that brings out the flower crowns and cultural appropriation in everyone. Popular events like these almost always have some kind of stream set up, if not live, then after the fact. The more immersive a streaming experience is, the more likely viewers are to want to attend in person.

Time, Money, and Convenience: For those who have meetings and conferences that cross state lines or borders, such as businesses, live streaming said events can be costly. You may have to make travel accommodations for speakers and conference-goers, which can be time consuming and cost thousands of dollars. Streaming your meetings and conferences saves you the money that would otherwise be allocated to planes, trains, and automobiles, not to mention hotels and per-diems. This also means hosting your event is easier for you, because it can be done from anywhere: the office, a coffee shop, even from the comfort of your own home, while wearing your favorite Juicy Couture sweatpants.

Increased Revenue: It has been said before and it will be said again–businesses using video grow revenue twice as fast as those without. By extension, they also grow in size, both in terms of users and brand recognition. Live streaming is a veritable goldmine: you can use a paywall before viewers can access the stream, or if you prefer to keep your event free, you can opt to include pre-roll, mid-roll, or overlay ads. Either way, streaming your event increases the amount of revenue it can bring in by a lot. If your event is sponsored, the larger audience and user engagement can attract bigger, better sponsors.

Community Building: As an extension to user engagement and increased attendance, the kind of virtual community that a live streamed event fosters is unique and valuable. Not only does it create an inclusive experience for viewers old and new, but it also opens the floor to new networking opportunities and the chance to build long-term business relationships. Online communities can be powerful resources to any kind of organization, and providing a community with valuable information and rich content makes it likelier that they will continue to engage with your business or organization.

 

Easy Archiving: If you’re using the right live streaming platform, like Primcast, your live video content will be immediately archived upon the end of the live stream. This eliminates all the extra work of having to upload it again, and makes your event available to those who might have missed it, as well as new viewers.

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?

How to Write Better Radio

shutterstock_408231010Would you pay to watch a movie that had no discernible script or real content? What if it consisted of Megan Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johannsson, and Channing Tatum just hanging out in a room? While it may be pleasing to watch, that movie would be a box office failure. Writing good content is crucial to producing good media, especially for radio, where audio content is the only output. This may seem like a challenge since there is no one specific format for radio scripts, however, there are simple guidelines you can follow to write them better.

One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of radio isn’t totally scripted. Then why are you reading this article, you ask? Well, even in those cases, a script is still an integral part of production. The key to writing for radio is sticking to a timeline and keeping it succinct and organized. For music radio, which is generally more informal, it may be more efficient to use short bulletpoints. News and talk radio have a lot more structure, so an outline with notes would be fitting. Highlighting your talking points and keywords for reference is an easy way of ensuring that your show runs smoothly.

Regardless of what format your radio show is, keep it elementary—having a beginning, middle, and end is necessary for any script. A good place to start is by introducing yourself and any co-hosts you may have. Mention any special guests at some point during the start of the show as well, ideally before the first break, and then reintroduce them before their segment. Create a “roadmap” by giving a quick rundown of the show that day that sets up your story and provides context without giving too much away.

An obvious but oft-forgotten aspect of writing for radio is that you’re writing for ears, not eyes. The way that people listen to speech is different from the way they would watch a movie or read a book, and a stiff, forced monologue can sound like nails on a chalkboard. The key is writing a script that sounds natural when spoken aloud. Essentially, skip the academic abstract and write how you would naturally speak. The more natural you sound in narrating your show, the more possible it is for a listeners to connect and engage with you.

The best writers of radio (or basically anything involving dialogue) have a grasp on how real people have conversations and how that can be translated to text. Go to a coffee shop and eavesdrop—yes, this is actually being encouraged—on peoples’ casual conversations. What are they saying? How are they saying it? How do they casually transition from topic to topic? Is anybody taking part in insider trading? Take note of these things as a third party and apply them when writing your script.

One issue with bridging the gap between relaxed, conversational speech and scripted speech is pacing. In regular conversation, we tend to drag our sentences and add embellishments. This doesn’t work when you have an allotted time to cover a certain number of topics. This also applies to natural pauses and breaks in daily speech. In radio, there is little room for conversational lulls—if you run out of things to say, your audience may run out of the patience to listen.

A basic rule for writing a well-paced script is to be as concise as possible. Leave out flowery descriptions and run-on sentences loaded with unnecessary words. Use the active voice and remain in present tense unless you are reporting or discussing past events. Be present, be energetic, and keep your transitions smooth, not abrupt. Radio scripts should be structured, not rigid—by keeping things succinct and to the point, it leaves room for the speaker to expand and add their own commentary. Just make sure there is enough material to work with!

 

6 Video Streaming Trends to Watch in 2017

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Online video has rapidly been changing the way we see the world, and if our predictions are correct, it will only continue to develop in more revolutionary ways in 2017. Streaming in particular found itself to be the breakout star last year, and businesses and media organizations who want to stay ahead of the competition have all been getting on board. The increased adoption of video streaming is a given in this media climate, and these are the can’t-miss streaming trends to look out for this year.

 

  1. HTML5 > Flash

You’ve heard of Orange is the New Black, but what about HTML5 is the new Flash? Seeing as it goes back over twenty years, everyone who has been online in the past decade has seen or heard of Flash, but it has become outmoded. It comes with considerable security vulnerabilities, is not supported by iOS or Android, and requires more processing power than HTML5. As of May 2016, Flash was only used by 9.1% of websites, which is unremarkable compared to the 53.4% of websites that use HTML5, which is also open source. Flash just hasn’t kept up with the times, so expect HTML5 to run the show like Stella did on season two of OITNB.

 

  1. OTT Streaming

OTT, or “over the top” content, is hardly seen as over the top any longer. More and more media companies are making their movies and TV shows available to stream online, distributing video content via the internet in lieu of or along with traditional broadcasting on cable or satellite. HBO and The CW have seen major success after following in the footsteps of exclusive OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Go. According to Juniper Research, the market for OTT platforms is projected to increase by $32B in 2019, as well as see user growth to 332.2 million global video streaming subscribers.

 

  1. Virtual Reality and 360

Many of us have seen it on Facebook or The New York Times: a beautiful seascape in a part of Croatia you’d never think to visit, an insider look at the damage from drones sent by the US falling over Yemen…360° and virtual reality capable videos offer us the ability to transport ourselves into parts unknown without ever leaving bed. 2016 was essentially the year that virtual reality became, well, a reality, as headsets only became available last year. More than 12 million units were sold. Before you start imagining an Inception-like future, consider the benefits–global news and travel is more accessible and gaming and sports are more lifelike than ever. Expect more platforms to add VR and 360° support than ever this year.

 

  1. Video Storytelling

A tale as old as time: stories can capture the hearts and minds of of those who see and listen to them, and is a powerful method of constructing and communicating a narrative. But what does this have to do with streaming in 2017, you ask? Being able to construct a narrative is an important aspect of building a brand and an effective way of capturing an audience. Concise, graphic-heavy videos that tell a story are wildly popular on social media, and will only continue to grow more popular. Consider the success of sites like Buzzfeed that use these in the majority of their original content. These can also be effective in non-fiction storytelling: video journalism is easier than ever, which is well documented on BuzzFeed News.

 

  1. Video Email Marketing

Hesitated before clicking the email link to this blog post? What if it had been a video you could stream within the email? As it has been said many times before, constructing a narrative is an important marketing tool. A study by Animoto revealed that consumers are 50% more likely to real email newsletters that include links to video content. Videos engage a wider audience, which can be confirmed by the 51.9% of global marketers who say that videos have the best ROI. According to Syndcast, video email marketing boosts click-through rates by 65%. Expect businesses to use, and find success in, including video in their email campaigns.

 

  1. Multi-Device Consumption

This one is a doozy, and maybe baby boomers will write it off as a “millenial” thing, but consumers have been noted to watch video content with different devices at the same time. Consider it mixing the modern with the traditional by zoning out on your iPhone while zoning out to an episode of Luke Cage on your laptop. It’s science. People are also more likely to seek out video content from multiple websites. Posting videos on one site or social media channel is no longer sufficient. To capture consumers’ attention in 2017, post your videos on one platform like Primcast or ServerRoom and then share it across different social media channels to reach your intended audience.