With a rise in people literally cutting the cord and going wireless, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have the right live streaming software solutions. For a business to grow with its expanding and evolving user base, they must acquire some form of multimedia content-centric technology to attract audiences.
In today’s entertainment world, almost everything is streamed online. You can live stream sporting events, movies, TV shows, educational tutorials, concerts, game shows, and the list goes on and on.
Apps like Twitch, where video games can be live-streamed to thousands of worldwide fans, is a clear market leader that has seen a year-over-year growth of 96% in terms of hours streamed the platform – and other platforms like YouTube are quickly catching up.
In 2020, over 100 billion hours of gaming content was watched on YouTube – twice as much as viewed hours in 2018.
To gain a competitive edge, businesses everywhere are turning to implementing live streaming platforms to drive more user engagement. With this tactic, businesses can better promote their brand to a larger, more diverse audience.
There are many advanced technologies you can integrate to improve your platform. Rather than sifting through the various integrations and features that can be added to a live streaming platform, we have picked the top 4 features that we know are worth the hype.
A crucial component of modern live streaming is simulcasting. Put simply, this means simultaneously streaming to multiple platforms at the same time.
Simulcasting works by having a dedicated processing server that does the transcoding for you. That processing server is then responsible for publishing the live stream to various platforms.
For example, if you are live streaming to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch simultaneously, you are simulcasting (which is also known as multistreaming). It is an excellent strategy because it allows you to simultaneously reach and interact with multiple audiences.
Businesses can use simulcast to stream interviews, concerts, and even a new product launch. This social media engagement aids in reaching the desired target audience while also generating new customers. This also opens up your business to multiple streams of revenue.
Streaming to multiple platforms may seem like a headache, but it does have its advantages as each has unique features. For instance, YouTube will automatically upload your live-streamed content as a video for your YouTube followers to watch whenever they want.
Multiple features help a business to accommodate simulcasting. And some features allow an overview of your progress across any platforms you are sharing on. This allows for a retrospective look at which platforms are gaining the most interactions and views from your audience.
2. Split-Screen Feature Implementation
As a platform business, it is crucial to keep an eye out for current trends. After all, being quick to jump onto these new opportunities is a guaranteed way of boosting your business.
Recently, split-screen live-streaming has been trending on multiple platforms and utilized by businesses worldwide. Split-screen is one of the most powerful features live streaming offers, and if integrated, it does set platforms apart from the competition.
Split-screen is the ability to broadcast multiple different video streams simultaneously. For instance, you could do a live stream featuring numerous guests.
In the Esports world, split-screen is vital in broadcasting multiple matches simultaneously, and this can be done for other live events. Research shows that almost ⅔ (63%) of consumers would pay more just to stream sports live.
Such a grand scale example of live streaming is why low latency is a priority concern, as it can produce a noticeable delay between broadcast and video streaming services – noticeably impacting split-screen features.
A smooth split-screen streaming experience can be achieved through having CDN caches that will improve the viewing experience by ensuring low latency. These caches scale to suit the peaks and lows of consumer demand (as viewership can be unpredictable during a live event).
The Split-screen feature offers efficiency for all streamers, which is crucial. For a live streamer, it allows you to showcase multiple videos simultaneously and from anywhere. Because of this, Split-screen technology is perfect for doing live streaming and Q&As.
There are also Split-Screen features that allow participants to be added to a streamer’s live stream. Offering possibilities with hosting live interviews, talk shows, and even live commentaries. If an in-person meeting is not possible, whether that is due to varying locations or Covid-19 restrictions, these features offer a close alternative.
Viewers can even be added to live streams, which is ideal for setting up live talk shows as viewers can interact with these streamers.
The best part is that with Customized features, they can even be allowed to leave comments, ask questions, communicate with each other, and even leave emoji reactions.
3. Social Media integration
Social media interaction is now a necessity in the video streaming world. The vast number of its users are always searching for new/trending content and streamers to follow and watch. An integral piece of the entertainment landscape, with its influencer-backed initiatives and simulcasting abilities, live streaming was naturally going to progress onto social media.
By streaming with social media integrations, streamers can broaden their reach significantly. It also allows them to interact with their followers, a significant component of modern marketing success.
Many social media websites even have their own live streaming features, which can be used while simulcasting. For instance, it will be possible to share posts for the latest released content and upcoming shows to build hype and suspense for its release and organize contests with subscribers/viewers.
This increased interaction helps boost the potential of content and gain more exposure and more of a following.
The live streaming features of many social media websites allows users/fans to comment in real-time. They can also interact with videos, which is a great way for streamers to interact and engage with their fans.
Some of these platforms even integrate solutions for tipping. That means you can have people paying you small sums of money, but it eventually adds up to a lot of money in the end. These features allow live streamers to make a living without depending on ad revenue. Because of this nifty feature, many streamers are realizing they can make a living on fan contributions alone.
Social media is integral to the Internet, and it is a must to have this feature with any live streaming app development solution.
There are also features such as SSO (Sing Sign-On). When enabled, it allows social media users access to content by logging in from other social media accounts such as Google and Facebook. This makes logging in a quick and easy step that removes the need to set up a new account. The instant and hassle-free experience of this feature lowers the chances of a user deciding not to bother with trying to watch the content (as they will be put off by the need to create an account).
4. Real-Time Chatbot
Chatbots can do a lot for the live streaming process (seen in Twitch live streams). On Twitch, every streamer has their own custom chatbots that interact with viewers, adding more interactivity to the stream and improving user experiences.
In its simplest form, a chatbot is an automated messaging system that sends automated replies, messages, and broadcast texts to anyone who has shown interest in your platform.
Chatbots act as virtual assistants programmed to improve customer service, streamline the shopping process, personalize communications, improve response rates, and automate repetitive tasks while saving you time and money. It also makes it easy to gather feedback.
Chatbots allow streamers to save time doing tedious work that they no longer have to deal with. It enables them to run polls, greetings, and other repetitive things.
With customization, this feature can even inform viewers of a streamer’s next streaming event and answer any questions asked. This allows the focus to remain on producing content as it is assured that streams and the UX end are running smoothly.
An example of this customization is how chatbots can be programmed to greet everyone who joins a stream. You also have chatbots that can respond to custom commands specific to a particular video or even with season-specific greetings. It adds a human touch if a chatbot appears aware of the season and gives you a greeting specific to it, like ‘Happy Halloween.’ This is an added effort that may seem small but does make a difference.
But it doesn’t stop there. The level of interactivity you get with chatbots is almost infinite. For example, chatbots can be programmed to do raffles, giveaways, and even song requests. This allows streamers to invest in their audience. A streamer can even make their own merch the prize in these draws and competitions.
A more technical benefit of chatbots is their spam and content moderation. You can customize a chatbot to detect specific vital phrases; this will then trigger a command based on that key phrase. For example, if you don’t want people talking about politics on your platform’s live streams, you can have a chatbot respond to anyone bringing up such topics.
As technology is upgraded with artificial intelligence and machine learning, integrations (like a chatbot) will offer even more solutions.
A Bright Future for Live Streaming
Covid-19 kick-started a new reliance on technology and social media. Live streams allowed people to connect virtually with loved ones, friends, events, and even with social influencers. It is a trend that has flourished over the last couple of years, with a 99% year-over-year growth of hours watched and a 45% growth between March and April 2020.
Live streaming can be technologically challenging. The video content you want to be streaming needs to be done on the fly, and it is an intensive operation that requires computer knowledge and vendor experience.
The features mentioned above are now the baseline for every live streaming platform. If your platform wants to attract the best streamers and shows, these features are a must to gain traction and grow an impressive user base.
These solutions are proven to tackle real-world hurdles, such as low latency, scalability during peak viewings, and exceptional streaming quality from source to screen.
Your platform also needs to have a good understanding of video encoding and simulcasting. The more platforms you can simulcast to, the better your reach. It is also worth looking at your live streaming infrastructure and encoding technology.
If this seems daunting, then it is worth considering hiring reputable developers. They will help you with live video streaming software development for an ideal solution. Not only could they seamlessly integrate any solutions you want, but they will also be able to customize them to tackle your problems and preferences.
So, if you’re a business owner in need of optimizing your user engagement, then consider implementing live streaming features within your current website. To accomplish this with the most guaranteed success, hiring a custom software development team to augment your current IT (in-house) teams is your best bet.