Live streaming is the process of broadcasting your activities live to an audience using the internet or other forms of media, with the most popular forms being via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Live streaming has rapidly come to be one of the fastest-growing forms of entertainment in recent years.
It appeals to people who want to share their lives with the rest of the world, but also to those who just want to see what kind of incredible stuff other people are up to daily. With the explosion of social media, live streaming has become an essential part of almost every leading platform.
Even more flexible than pre-recorded content, live streaming allows you to connect with your audience in real-time. Since you can’t edit a video after it’s been recorded, it’s essential to prepare for a broadcast before starting. The best thing about live broadcasting is that viewers can interact with each other. If someone receives an interesting comment or question, they can chat with you directly and their message will appear in your stream.
Unlike pre-recorded content, you can’t edit a stream once it has started. It’s vital to be adequately prepared to make sure everything goes as planned. Before beginning your broadcast, consider: Is there anything you desire to say beforehand? Are you capable to respond to questions during your broadcast? Do you need an additional camera or microphone for certain segments of your broadcast? If so, have those tools on hand and ready to go.
Why Is Live Streaming Popular?
Live streaming is a great way to stay connected with your audience and for audience members to get closer to their favorite personalities. It can be extremely effective in Q&A sessions, where people can interact with someone who’s considered an expert on a particular topic. And it can bring in new followers. The following are the reasons why live streaming is popular.
Live-streaming sites are easy to use and accessible from a variety of devices. Users can join in on conversations about their favorite games, shows, and events without paying for anything extra. Because they’re hosted online, they’re easily searchable by anyone with an internet connection. In other words, your content reaches more people than cable TV could ever dream of.
Live-streaming platforms allow broadcasters to engage with viewers in real-time via comments, polls, questions, and video responses. By giving users a voice and encouraging them to use it, live-streaming platforms can generate many engagements.
Viewers can react to and interact with their favorite broadcasters’ videos. They’re more likely to tune in again in real-time. Live streaming is also interactive because it allows viewers to comment on a broadcaster’s broadcast and participate in various forms of communication.
Live-streaming apps are available for desktop and mobile devices, making it possible to access them from anywhere. This means that users can watch a stream from their laptop at work during lunch break or watch on their phones while relaxing in bed with a cup of tea. As streaming continues to get more popular, more platforms continue to be created so that they may join in on the fun.
Users also have increased convenience when watching streams since they do not need any extra programs like Flash. Most sites operate within HTML5 format. Since most smartphones support HTML5 viewers, there is no need for an app download before watching a stream just visit your preferred site.
You can visit one of my favorite streamers on twitch, PixelAgony.
4. Low Production Costs
When you’re just starting and don’t have a large budget, it can be difficult to find effective ways to produce your video content. You can get started with very little overhead. It costs almost nothing to launch a stream on either platform. You can start broadcasting right from your smartphone or tablet.
5. One Can Earn Money from Live Streaming
Live-streaming apps like Periscope and Facebook Live let you earn money from fans who follow your stream. They typically offer a small amount anywhere depending on how much of a following you’ve accrued. The more viewers you have, the more money you can make from sponsors or endorsements. Getting paid for doing what you love gives everyone some healthy income.
What Makes Live Streaming Risky
At any moment, you can stream something that goes viral. Anything from showing inappropriate content to simple mistakes with tech can lead to some great laughs. On top of that, if your account isn’t private, anyone in the world can watch your stream. This makes it a very high-risk environment that many platforms have strict policies against. While it may seem harmless, it could end up affecting your reputation or career prospects without you knowing until it’s too late.
1. Live Streaming Can Be Unpredictable
As with any sort of technology, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong. Whether it’s a technical issue, a power outage, or an emergency in your personal life, there are a couple of things that could disrupt your stream at any time.
2. It’s Not as Private as You Think
While many people try to keep their videos to themselves, anyone can watch a stream. If your account isn’t set as private, anyone in the world can tune in at any time. Even with a private account, content could be recorded and shared without your consent, so it pays to take precautions before going live.
3. You Can Be Judged by Strangers
While you might think your friends and family are supportive, there’s always a chance that someone in your community may not take kindly to something you do online. While it’s unlikely, and most people will appreciate how hard you work, some people will never be happy no matter what happens.
4. You Can Make Mistakes
As with any form of public speaking, there’s always a chance that you might make mistakes. Your tech might not work as it should, or you could fall victim to a prank or have an accident on camera. There are countless ways something could go wrong while going live. These situations will vary in severity and impact, but they’re all risks that aren’t present if you simply upload a pre-recorded video.
5. Your Stream Can Be Recorded and Posted Without Your Consent
While most platforms have strict policies against it, there’s always a chance that someone will record and share your stream without your knowledge or permission. In an age where anyone can set up a profile and post content online, these things happen more than you might think. Even if you report it, nothing can stop people from watching it.
6. Legal Issues
When it comes to copyright laws, there’s always a chance that you could be held responsible for something you show on your stream. Since your camera streams live content directly to your viewers, anyone watching can record and save it without your knowledge or consent. Even if they do so unintentionally, you can still be charged with a crime, so play it safe and avoid playing copyrighted music or movies when going live.
7. Your Stream Can Be Hacked
If your account isn’t set to private, anyone in the world can view your videos. There’s always a chance that someone could hack into your account and see everything you do without being detected.
While it may seem silly, people break into accounts on sites like Twitter all of the time. Never assume your privacy is guaranteed just because you have a private profile.
8. Inappropriate Content
Children are watching more and more of their content online, but that doesn’t mean it’s all appropriate for them to see. While many sites provide tools that let you control your privacy settings, they won’t always work as well as you want them to. This means that while you can block people in your community from seeing your stream, there’s nothing stopping someone outside of your community from watching it if they know where to look.
Children can watch inappropriate content like violence or sex, so keep an eye on what they’re viewing to ensure that it remains child-friendly. These issues may not be present when pre-recording videos for a later broadcast, so keep them in mind when deciding how you want to go live with your broadcasts.
How You Can Help Your Child Stay Safe While Live Streaming
Live streaming has become a popular activity for many people of all ages, but it can present serious dangers to children who don’t know how to protect themselves. Because of advances in technology and smartphone use, young adults are spending more time online than ever before. As such, they need to be aware of what’s happening when they live stream or watch another person do so.
1. Talk with Your Child About These Safety Issues
Explain they should never share personal information when live-streaming, like their name, address, phone number or place of employment. Encourage them to use privacy settings to shield themselves from viewers and report someone if they witness something inappropriate.
2. Establish A Time Limit
If you believe your child is spending too much time on social media, you should discuss it with them about it. Setting up a timetable for when they’re allowed to stream or watch others stream will help keep them mindful of how much time they spend online. You may also want to establish consequences for excessive use or even take away their phone for an extended period can be effective in ensuring your young adult follows through on their commitments.
3. Monitor The Stream Whenever Your Child Goes Live
While teens and young adults need to engage with others online, and be present in their lives as well. Don’t let them stream for hours on end without checking in. Also, if you notice any changes in their behavior, think about whether those changes may be related to something that happened while they were streaming or watching a live streamer.
4. Maintain Open Communication with Your Children
Communication is key, both within your family and in society as a whole. The same holds when it comes to social media: If you want to help protect your child, let them know you’re always available if they need to talk about anything including their online activities.
5. Check Who Your Child Is Live Streaming With
Let your child know it’s important to pay attention to who they are live-streaming with. Remind them that someone might be pretending to be a different person. If possible, help them set up their phone so that it asks for confirmation before permitting someone to view their stream.
Advantages of Live Streaming
Live streaming has only been around for a couple of years, but it has exploded in popularity in that time. There are plenty of reasons why anyone would want to broadcast their lives to an audience. Let us take a look at what those reasons might be.
1. It’s Easy
Webcam and computer access aren’t expensive and they’re widespread enough that just about anybody can afford them now. In addition, there are new programs available every day making streaming easier than ever.
2. You Have Access to an Audience
These days it seems like nearly everyone has some sort of online presence, and since people tend to stick with things they know, having your channel or stream means you have instant access to potential fans right away.
3. Personality Development
Being live on camera puts many uncomfortable people more at ease as well as forces introverts to open up more than they normally would – both good skills to develop.
4. The Ability to Connect with Others
Even if you don’t plan on becoming a professional actor or musician, live performance training is incredibly useful in developing personality and charm.
5. As A Career Path
For aspiring actors and musicians, broadcasting yourself singing or playing instruments may seem strange – until you realize how common that practice is among pro singers and musicians nowadays.
6. Marketing & Branding Opportunities
Another great thing streaming, especially if you have a business with products or services to promote. When done correctly, marketing through live streaming can help build your brand and spread awareness.
Disadvantages of Live Streaming
Live streaming can sound pretty cool, but there are a few limitations you need to consider before hopping on board. Here are some disadvantages of it that you should know about:
1. Lower-Quality Video
Live streaming tends to reduce quality. If your videos look good now, they might not when viewed live. That’s simply because of the different hardware involved in recording versus when it’s being streamed or played back.
2. Less Editing Capabilities
When you record a video and then upload it to a platform like YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll be able to make all sorts of edits like cuts and transitions. With live stream videos though, you don’t have that luxury once it goes up on Facebook or whatever site you’re using, that’s pretty much how your audience will see it.
3. Limits On Interactivity
Just because something’s going out in real-time doesn’t mean people can participate in it right away. With pre-recorded content, people can comment/view it however they please as soon as they want to; with a live stream, some sites may limit comments until after recording has finished.
4. You Might Lose Viewers Mid-Stream
Because most live streams are hosted over social media, things might come up during your broadcast that distracts from what you were trying to accomplish. If you ever look at Twitter while live streaming, there’s always a chance that someone will mention or @mention someone else on screen who could detract from the rest of your broadcast.
5. Potential Criticism and Trolls
With live streaming, you may receive many in-the-moment comments, both good and bad. You may experience trolls who try to throw you off your game or criticize what you’re doing as they watch it unfold.
Streaming live content requires viewers to be online at a specific time: If they aren’t, it may be very unexciting for them. When you stream a recorded video, you have control over how long it can be viewed and when people need to see it. With a live stream, there’s little flexibility in timing. You run into issues if your target audience isn’t available when you are streaming.
Live streaming has several features that make it stand out. With live streaming being easily accessible to almost anyone with an internet connection, companies and brands have been able to target new audiences at low costs in areas they may not have had access to before. It creates a sense of connection between the viewer and you that can’t be replicated through other mediums.