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 & education 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? 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 and 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, instant notification and a built-in audience are key wins in using this platform. 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.
You Tube is a 12 year old platform and they have been a live stream platform for content creators since 2011. You Tube is the king of video online. 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 design are not intuitive, not very user friendly and can be hard to use for first time users. Facebook supports only HD video up to 720p and the maximum rate is only 2500Kbps, which isn't very highand does not allow you to have your own sponsors or advertisers during the broadcast. You Tube is the most-blocked website in the world and once you upload content, You Tube gains access to it and can use your material in their own advertising if they want.
Paid professional live streaming video host platforms like DaCast, Livestream, UStream, Brightcove and others can allow you to monetize your broadcast, broadcast with no compete branding, restrict access to certain geographic locations, use customer players, stream multiple events at the same time and can have access to dedicated tech support. These platforms have great features but come at a price - costing as lost 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 determine 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!!