Videomaker Magazine Guide to Livestreaming

In a recent article from Videomaker, Luis gives us a fantastic guide on everything you need to know about livestreaming. Livestreaming is one of the most popular methods to consume material nowadays. It extends beyond Twitch video game playthroughs and Facebook Lives for small enterprises. As a Videomaker reader, you can become a livestreaming expert and reap the benefits that this medium has to offer. You can even get money performing them if you are skilled enough.

This livestreaming 101 will teach you the fundamentals of livestreaming. We'll go through the equipment you'll need, as well as the planning, strategy, and earning money on Twitch. Livestreaming is for everyone, and as a video professional, you can't pass up the chance to go live.

Livestreaming is Here to Stay

Working from home and spending more time indoors has been a feature of many people's life since the events of 2020. As a result, many people are taking advantage of the possibility to start livestreaming. Incorporating livestreaming into your projects is advantageous in some manner. Streamers are seeing their highest-ever view counts, which are expected to rise further. If you want to jump on the livestreaming bandwagon, the first thing you need to do is figure out what you're going to talk about. 

What is Your Topic?

A clearly defined topic is required for livestreaming. Your viewers should understand why they are watching your broadcast. Successful streamers specialize in certain themes and topics. Because they are really engaged in the issue, their viewers will tune in to their broadcast.

Now that you've decided on a theme, let's get started on arranging your livestream.

How to Plan a Livestream

It is a good idea to have a simple plan before running a livestream. Having a script is one thing you should not neglect. A simple script with a few of subject suggestions will keep track of all the topics you wish to discuss in the stream.

Schedule a day and time for your broadcast after you've written your screenplay. Create an equipment checklist as part of your livestreaming strategy. A camera, a tripod, an external microphone, lighting, wires, and props should all be on the list.

You should be OK with this simple approach, but it is crucial to grasp the most important aspect of livestreaming.

A Good Connection is Essential

It is critical to consider your livestream settings while organizing your stream. It is recommended to run your feed as close to your modem or router as feasible. This guarantees that you have the strongest signal possible. For access to your internet provider's maximum speed, utilize an ethernet connection linked directly to your modem if you're using a computer. When compared to utilizing WIFI, this will assist avoid livestreaming latency and playback difficulties dramatically.

The internet speed needed for running an efficient livestream will be determined by the quality of your show. Because you are delivering data—streaming video—from your local device to the internet, the "Upload" speed is more significant than the "Download" speed in livestreams. Do you intend to broadcast an HDR livestream? When it comes to connection quality and speed, that's a whole new ballgame.

There is also "Bandwidth," which refers to the ability of your network to upload and download data. The faster the uploads, the higher the network bandwidth. The table below provides general upload speed recommendations.

Here are detailed bitrate recommendations for Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Twitch if you want further information.

When doing interviews, one thing to consider is internet speed. In certain cases, you must consider the other person's internet connectivity. It will most likely have an impact on the visual and audio quality of the stream. If the other person's internet connection is sluggish, they will lag in your broadcast, regardless of how excellent your connection is.

However, if your connection is solid, you may not experience any latency. You can't do much about that except try to switch off their video stream to conserve bandwidth and conduct an audio-only interview.

You must additionally be aware of the RTMP and livestreaming protocols, which are related to your connection and the streaming platform you utilize.

Now that we've covered the fundamentals, let's take a quick look at the platforms accessible.

Livestreaming Platforms

Livestreaming platforms are video hosting services that enable users to publish and broadcast video material to their target audience. To evaluate which livestreaming platform is appropriate for your company, you need first define your streaming objectives. YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Twitch are examples of consumer-grade broadcast platforms. These sites cater to independent content makers as well as amateur broadcasters. 

However, these platforms lack the resources needed to conduct a professional broadcast, such as no time limit on your streaming, configurable monetization choices, improved security, and white label video players—no third-party branding. Vimeo is one of the professional livestreaming services that businesses with established social media followings and websites employ.

After you've decided where you're going to broadcast, the following step is to create some visuals.

Graphics Essentials

Adding visuals to your livestream may increase audience engagement and excitement. Let's go through some of the most important graphics you may utilize in your livestreams. 

  • Lower thirds - The lower third of the screen displays information such as titles, names, brief headlines, and so on. It can also show real-time social media comments.
  • Logo watermark - A logo watermark is normally put in the right corner of the screen. It is usually advisable to display your logo in your streams to enhance your brand.
  • "Starting Soon" graphic - Before the livestream begins, display a "starting soon" graphic or looping animation to inform your viewers that the broadcast will begin shortly. A "Starting Soon" image will keep your audience from looking at a blank screen.
  • Stream overlays - Stream overlays are visual animations that are presented in a stream over the real content—video games or video. These overlays often include the streamer's social networks, a chat screen, a webcam/camera screen, and a backdrop that displays a complete video. Stream overlays are common on Twitch channels.
  • Virtual sets - A virtual set is a television studio that enables for real-time background manipulation. There are several sorts of virtual sets, such as a highly detailed 3D model of a news studio or a basic backdrop picture for a studio. You will need a green screen and livestreaming software with chromakeying capabilities if you opt to use a virtual set.

Livestreaming Setup

In general, livestreaming setups may be divided into three categories: amateur, professional, and broadcast level. The sort of streaming equipment required is determined by your streaming requirements.

  • Amateur: The most basic livestreaming setup is utilizing a camera or a smartphone, logging onto a free livestreaming site such as Facebook Live or Youtube Live, and clicking "Go Live." In this configuration, you just have one camera, no external microphone, and no supplementary visuals. You're also not thinking about lighting your scenario adequately. It's a "point-and-shoot" situation, but it's live. 
  • Professional: The best part about livestreaming is that you can get a professional look and setup for a little cost. Your broadcasts will seem professional if you employ right procedures with your production equipment, and no one will realize how inexpensive your setup is. 
  • Broadcast: You are streaming huge events in the broadcast category, using multi-camera streaming, numerous audio sources, and a professional livestreaming site such as Vimeo. The gear you're using here is expensive and primarily for livestreaming. If you grow your livestreaming setup into the broadcast category, it implies you're in the big leagues, you have a livestream crew, you direct livestreams utilizing video switchers, and you do it for a living or for a living.

Now that we've gone through the various settings, let's look at some livestreaming tactics you may use.

Integrating a Strategy

In any case, communicating with your audience live is one of the most trustworthy livestreaming tactics you can rely on and will certainly ensure amazing success. Engaging with your viewers, whether through the chat function, reading their comments live, or responding to emails, will result in a far more dedicated audience that will follow your material.

To acquire viewers, you must plan out your videos, when you will make them, and how you will market them. Long livestream material, such as live events and conferences, or short livestream content, such as interviews and contests, might be used in some tactics.

Your livestreaming approach should aid in the promotion of your services. This tells the audience why they should watch your stuff. Always strive to develop material that pushes you closer to your desired outcomes. Remember to interact and engage your audience as much as possible.

Read the full article from Videomaker HERE



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