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Five Reasons You Should Implement Live Streaming Now

August 21, 2014 by Chris Knowlton

What was the last event you streamed in real time? Perhaps it was a free stream from one of your favorite bands. Maybe it was live-action video gaming. For many, it might have been watching a World Cup game on a work computer or mobile phone. Whatever it was, you were participating in the growing trend of live streaming.

Over the last few years, on-demand video has become ubiquitous. Numerous reports, including recent global research from Sandvine, have shown that an ever-increasing proportion of our time has been spent watching content from on-demand video sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, DailyMotion, and others.

In the wake of on-demand video adoption, live streaming is now growing rapidly. The World Cup was a great example of this, shattering previous large-event live streaming records by a factor of 2-3x, including peak data delivery and hours of content delivered.

Why is live streaming catching on so quickly? What are some reasons for you to consider moving to live streaming now? Here are five…

  1. Reach gets extended. Streaming a live event provides an opportunity to connect in new ways, whether we are talking about sports matches, church services, concerts, company all-hands meetings, or university lectures. You can reach people who could not otherwise attend in person, which, depending on your goals and business model, typically translates either to positive membership impacts or new customers.
  2. Engagement increases. Live events are compelling for users. There is an immediacy to them that can’t be matched with on-demand viewing, especially for live games. According to Ooyala, the average live-streamed video is viewed as much as 10 times longer than on-demand. Social media only bolsters the engagement, making us part of a larger real-time conversation around the event.
  3. User experience has improved. Live streaming now provides a better user experience than ever. Over the last 15 years, we’ve gone from low-resolution, stuttering, postage-stamp sized viewing experiences on desktop computer monitors to HD (and even Ultra HD) streaming on computer screens, mobile devices, and connected TVs. Thanks to increasing bandwidth, more-scalable Internet infrastructures, improved streaming technologies, and a plethora of devices that support HD playback, our streaming experiences now can rival or surpass those of traditional television delivery.
  4. Costs have dropped. The prices for computer hardware, storage, and bandwidth continue to drop. Cloud-based infrastructures and services make streaming even more affordable for many people, providing the flexible low-cost computing and scalability you need, and for discrete events, only when you need it. As an example, you can stream an hour of high-quality video to 100 users for about the price of a latte.
  5. Simplicity has increased. In just minutes, you can be online and streaming live events globally. The more advanced your requirements, the longer the first-time setup may take, but streaming products and services continue to abstract away more of the complexities and reduce the learning curves.

Live streaming has come a long way, and it will continue to advance. If you haven’t tried it lately, now is a great time.

Join the conversation! Do these reasons resonate with you? What other reasons would you add to the list?

Got a comment? Drop us a line on Twitter @wowzamedia
Chris Knowlton

As a passionate evangelist for streaming media products, Chris Knowlton has spent 15 years working on technologies that make live and on-demand media delivery accessible. A recognized industry authority, Chris was honored in 2011 as a “Streaming Media All-Star” by Streaming Media Magazine, and holds several patents for streaming technologies.