One size doesn’t fit all—not even when it comes to live streaming platforms.
These days, there are several good platforms to choose from if you’re interested in live streaming. Social media networks like Facebook Live and Twitter are knee-deep in the game; there are also numerous live streaming service providers like us. While some would have you believe that the two sides are in competition, vying for the top spot, we don’t think that’s necessarily the case. (Sorry to disappoint you here. If you’re looking for some friendly competition, though, we could point you in the direction of any one of our clients’ games currently streaming live!)
When it comes to picking a live streaming provider, we think it’s more about which option is right for your needs at the time. And although you might think you have to choose just one or the other (either a social network or a robust live streaming platform), that’s not actually the case. They can coexist—and even complement one another. Below is a live streaming service comparison that highlights the particular strengths of each of these options. After that, well, we’ll leave it up to you.
When Live Streaming With Social Media Is Better
1. For short, minutes-long clips. A quick analysis of the action, reactions from fans, and short sound bites work well with social media streaming. The simplicity and immediacy of this type of streaming—especially when you can do it quickly using your phone—makes it handy when you just need to share a short clip with the world.
2. For Johnny-on-the-spot streaming. While most school or church events are on set schedules, giving them time to prepare and plan for live streaming, your organization may not have that luxury. (Or, you may not have it all the time.) Again, the ease of social media streaming allows you to share impromptu events or breaking news immediately, and your social media subscribers will be quickly made aware.
3. When audience size is paramount—assuming you have a large number of followers, of course. Your social media stream will immediately reach your entire subscriber base as soon as you go live. You may be sacrificing branding and quality control, but in some cases that’s an acceptable trade-off for a larger audience.
4. If monetizing content is not a priority. If you don’t have a need for a pay-per-view option or the capability to incorporate advertising or sponsorships, then a social media platform is probably sufficient for your live streaming needs.
When Using A Live Streaming Platform Provider Is Better
1. If you want technical support. You can’t call Facebook Live for help. If you want someone to provide ongoing support by helping with troubleshooting and proactively monitoring your broadcasts, a platform provider is the way to go.
2. For control over branding and messaging. Many platform providers allow you to design a streaming portal exclusively dedicated to your organization, providing a way to help build your brand. Social media channels focus on their own branding, not yours—your content may get lost in the shuffle.
3. When providing an immersive experience for users is paramount. Social media platforms lack the capability to incorporate sophisticated features into a broadcast, so although your content will reach its audience, it may not be as impactful as it could be. The right platform provider can integrate a wide variety of elements to wow your viewers—for instance, live statistics during a sports broadcast.
4. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable partner to help build your live streaming strategy. If you want to improve your live streams over time and create more effective messaging, you’ll want an expert who understands your organization’s goals.