In case you hadn't notice - Facebook and Google have made long term financial commitments to live web streaming. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been quoted as saying he is "obsessed" with live video. And why not? More and more people consume, watch & educate themselves with online video. LIVE video is the perfect way for real time engagement with your potential fans, customers and clients.
But what platform should I choose?
Let's first look at Facebook. Facebook has over 2.01 billion monthly active users with almost 30% of those users being between 25 to 34. The average user spends more than 20 minutes online on their personal page and the pages and friends they follow. If your company or product has a presence on Facebook - I am willing to bet you have a passionate, loyal following. While Facebook is young to the game of live streaming, the keys to their success comes with instant notification of live video and a built-in audience who returns every day. Their biggest drawback - SEO optimization. Unless your viewership is in the hundreds of thousands - you will be hard press to rank on a search engine. Facebook is a free service.
The concept of You Tube as an on demand video platform was created 12 years ago. They have been a live web streaming platform for content creators since 2011. Make no mistake, You Tube is the king of online video. Over 1.3 billion people use You Tube and over 300 hours of videos are uploaded every minute. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on You Tube every single day. With integrated chat and perfect SEO optimization among Google page ranks - You Tube is an ideal source for live streaming. One other strong advantage of You Tube is that you can embed the video player on your own website. You cannot do that with Facebook. You Tube is a free service.
And while Facebook and You Tube are free services - their back end designs are not intuitive and user friendly and the services can be hard to use for first time user. Another drawback of Facebook is that it only supports HD video up to 720p with a maximum rate of only 2500Kbps, which isn't very high. Lastly, Facebook does not allow you to have your own sponsors or advertisers during a broadcast. You Tube, on the other hand, also faces some unique challenges. It is the single most, blocked website in the world with an aggressive music copyright system that makes using popular music in your videos very difficult (if not, next to impossible). In addition, once you upload your content, You Tube gains complete access to the content. They can use your material in their own advertising if they so choose.
Paid professional live streaming platforms like DaCast, Livestream, UStream, Brightcove and others can allow you to monetize your broadcast, broadcast with no competing branding, restrict access to certain geographic locations, use custom players, stream multiple events at the same time and have access to dedicated tech support. These are features that are not available on either You Tube or Facebook. These platforms have great features but come at a price - costing as low as $100 per month per event to as much as $3,000 or more for Enterprise level accounts.
Ultimately, the platform you choose will be determined by where your viewers are located, how you want to present your material, how you want to earn revenue from your material and your overall social media strategy. Make sure you ask your live web streaming production company what platforms they use, what they like or dislike and their best recommendations for your next live broadcast. GOOD LUCK!!