We’re becoming increasingly addicted to streaming content. In 2010 just eight million people paid for access to a music streaming service. Five years later that figure had reached 68 million and the numbers have continued to grow ever since. Television, too, is increasingly streamed rather than being simply watched as broadcast. On one day in January alone there were 250 million hours of video streamed on Netflix alone.
Streaming isn’t just the preserve of popular consumer products such as chart music and television, however. The likes of Facebook Live and, over a longer period, YouTube, put the power of broadcasting in the hands of a much greater number of people.
The ways in which businesses use streaming
Streaming is something that an increasing number of businesses want to be able to put to use. That doesn’t mean launching their own rival to Spotify or Netflix. Instead there are a number of practical business benefits to be had here.
Conferences: Got a big business event coming up that you’d like to be able to broadcast? Streaming is a great way of getting your keynote speeches out there as they happen in a way that caters for people who can’t attend and want to engage in your material.
Product launches: You don’t need to be Steve Jobs to create excitement around a product launch. Streaming an announcement such as this gives you the opportunity to create a ripple of excitement around a new product or service.
Training: Streaming training sessions is a great way to be able to deliver this material across a number of sites simultaneously. That can even help you to reach out to colleagues based in different countries who have the expertise required to deliver the training you need.
How to build your streaming platform
So, how do you go about it? It’s important to realise that, while streaming is second nature to many of us these days, it is a complex function to have. It involves encoding big files at different rates and catering for an audience that could be tuning in using a variety of different devices.
It’s not a job to take lightly or to try half-heartedly. Search out a provider who can handle this for you and then make sure you spell out what your streaming requirements are. A few audio webcasts are going to require a very different scale to regular high-quality live videos.
Challenge your provider and don’t let your imagination or fear over budget hold you back (you can see the sort of packages available here). Start with a ‘best case scenario’ look at what you’d like to do and then prioritise if that isn’t plausible. Also bear in mind scalability. If you hope to start small and build up your streaming service you need to have the capability to be able to do just that.
On top of that, make sure safety and support are on your list of requirements. You need to have the confidence that your data is protected and the ability to fall back on support if things don’t run smoothly. Make sure you’re comfortable with both aspects before you sign up to anything.
Streaming, it seems, is something that businesses are increasingly turning to as they offer a service in keeping with the way in which we consume content in the modern day. With the right provider, they can use this to their advantage to reach out to a wider audience and operate in a forward thinking way.