Live streaming is now simply everywhere. Many businesses and individuals are now using live streaming video content for various purposes: building a following on social media, establishing thought leadership, promoting products/services, building online communities, and so on.
An option to start live streaming video content is to use social platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and others, and you can take advantage of their massive userbases. However, you’ll be limited by the regulations of these platforms in live streaming and monetizing your videos.
You will, for example, has very limited opportunities to use your logo and branding elements when live streaming on YouTube, and you can only monetize your videos via AdSense.
With that being said, there are a lot of perks in live streaming your videos on your own website or app, and in this article, we will walk you through the steps of doing so.
From choosing the right live streaming platform, preparing the right streaming equipment, and more, you’ll learn how to start live streaming video on your website in just a few simple steps.
Why Live Streaming Video on Your Website?
Live streaming your content on your own platform will provide several key benefits:
More freedom and versatility
You can use your brand logo, brand colors, and other elements on your video player and throughout the content to raise brand awareness. Also, you don’t need to worry about third-party branding and advertisements that don’t align well with your brand messages and values.
By live streaming your content on your own website, you’ll get more control over the broadcast itself and how you are going to monetize your content. For example, you can start earning subscription fees from your viewers and you can also use the pay-per-view/transactional model if it suits your purposes.
By streaming on your website you’ll also get total ownership of your videos, which is not always the case if you stream on third-party platforms.
Promoting your content
When you build your own website with live streaming functionalities, you can optimize the website to drive more people to the broadcasts. You can also use various methods to convert your audiences, like using CTAs to direct your viewers to your email newsletter, sign up for a webinar session, and so on.
How To Start Live Streaming On Your Website
Although the idea of live streaming your content on your website might seem daunting at first, it’s actually pretty straightforward once you’ve got the hang of it.
You can follow the steps below to start setting up your live streaming website:
1. Get The Right Audio/Video Equipment
To start a live streaming website, you’ll need to invest in live streaming equipment.
- Video source: most likely the video source of your live stream is a video camera, although a prerecorded video file on your computer can also be a video source. You’ll need at least one video camera, and ideally at least two for redundancies. Cameras nowadays come at various price tags and qualities, and you can choose one according to your needs and available budget.
- Audio source: similarly, you’ll need at least one decent enough microphone according to your budget. Remember that in live streaming, audio quality is more important than video quality. Nowadays, there are even USB microphones that are pretty affordable with pretty decent sound quality.
- Mixer/switcher: if you are going to use more than one audio and video source, you’ll need a mixer or switcher to control your broadcast.
- Capture card: if you are planning to use a software encoder (more on this later), then you’ll need a capture card to connect your cameras and microphones to your computer.
2. Choose a Live Streaming Platform
While you can build a video player/hosting platform from scratch, a more cost-effective option is to invest in a professional-grade live streaming platform.
By using live streaming platforms like Viloud, you can easily embed the video player on your website or app while getting additional benefits like easily customizing Viloud’s video player with your logo and brand colors.
These live streaming platforms would also deal with storage management. In Viloud’s case, you’ll have your video files stored on Viloud’s cloud storage. If you want, you can also host the videos on other platforms and embed them on the video player when needed.
3. Get a Reliable Internet Connection
When live broadcasting your content, you’ll upload the video data virtually at the same time as when your viewers download the data. Thus, a fast and reliable internet connection is very important.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need a bandwidth speed of at least 1.5 times your target bitrate, and ideally 2 times your target bitrate. So, if you want to stream your videos on a 5 Mbps bitrate, then you’ll need at least 7.5 Mbps or bandwidth or 10 Mbps as the ideal speed.
4. Get an Encoder
We can choose between a hardware encoder or a software encoder:
- Hardware encoder: a dedicated piece of hardware for your encoding purpose. Typically more expensive, but better latency and more reliable.
- Software encoder: a software or program running on your computer (or mobile devices). They are affordable and there are even free but reliable encoders like OBS or Wix .
If you decide to use a software encoder, keep in mind that you’ll most likely need to get a capture card in order to connect your video and audio sources to your computer running the software encoder.
5. Embed Your Live Stream on Your Website
Once everything has been properly set up, you’ll need to generate an embed code from your live streaming platform. Typically you’ll need to go to your live streaming video platform, schedule a live stream event, and generate the embed code. This should be a fairly easy process and you can check your platform’s documentation to learn more about this.
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