Top 5 Features to Look for in a Live Streaming Service

As with any new phase of technology or media consumption, the move becomes more relevant and more worthwhile with the addition of key features that make the experience more convenient and more enjoyable than the last. While some online TV services have the convenient features of regular TV, many will agree that the best features of live streaming directly compare to the best features of on-demand viewing. This may be a bit vague, but with the clarity of each of the top 5 features to look for in a live streaming service that will be outlined in the rest of this blog, the benefits of live streaming will become more apparent.

Live streaming is starting to take off in terms of popularity, and with good reason. Who wouldn’t enjoy being able to broadcast or watch live videos online, minus the need for a TV subscription? A lot of people are beginning to join board in the live streaming world. Most of them often have a common question for newcomers: What are the best live streaming TV services? Imagine, instead of having a standard TV service and discovering the world of live streaming, you take a seamless transition from traditional TV watching to online video watching. This is the thought process for many consumers, and it’s quite easy to make the switch. The key is to look for services that have specific features which make live streaming a better option than traditional TV viewing.

Key Features

High-quality video streaming Live streaming is growing today, from a collector of sporadic followers to an assimilated audience that gets up to 20x bigger watching only the live-streamed version of an event. Therefore, viewers watching a pre-recorded stream is very inadvisable. This being one of the most valuable marketing tools since the internet and TV, the progression from being a pre-recorded video to a live video is quite lucrative. Through alternatives such as Facebook Live and Instagram, it is a rarity finding somebody who has no interest in wanting to stream live. The biggest problem with low-quality video is buffering issues and quality reduction. More often than not, people will watch a live stream for a few seconds and soon discover that it is not worth it, often leaving disappointed. Buffering issues can discourage watchers, and they may leave the stream and never come back. No matter how strong your content may be, not having the proper streaming tools to create a good quality video stream will be your ultimate failure. A high-quality video is very important. Therefore, choosing a streaming service which provides live streaming is essential. High-definition live streaming video will allow better audience engagement and stronger brand development.

High-Quality Video Streaming

To ensure your audience’s attention and to effectively convey your message, it is essential that your live streaming service provides a high-quality video. As video quality can be somewhat relative, the meaning of high-quality for the purposes of this tutorial will refer to clear, crisp video with good resolution and minimal interruption. Typically, live streaming services will not give you full control of the video quality. For example, a free account with only allows for a video bit rate of 300kbps. While you can attempt to stream at a higher bit rate than is allowed by your account, the quality of the video will be quite poor and possibly choppy due to buffering. If you properly search, you can find fairly priced live streaming video accounts that offer video quality from 500kbps to 3000kbps (good to great quality). This really depends on your budget and the quality of your today. You also want to consider if the service offers support for HD video quality. Nowadays, standard quality is minimal, and with HD quality support becoming more and more universal, it is essential that your audience is able to view your video at the highest quality possible.

Reliable and Stable Connection

Two things you should look for to determine whether a live streaming service offers a truly reliable and stable network or not are consistency and uptime. A live video stream is worthless if viewers are frequently finding themselves experiencing either degradation of service or an inability to watch the particular channel at all. Consistency of service is critical, as viewers have come to rely on a stable internet connection for many of their daily tasks, and will thus assume the same for live streams. Hosts have a different set of reliability expectations than consumers. The host’s concern with uptime is obvious; if they are paying for a service, they will want to be sure that it is running, and they will certainly want the ability to stream whenever they desire. However, the average consumer should be concerned with the uptime of different channels as well. If a service has a history of poor uptime for various channels, then it could affect the likelihood of that consumer subscribing to the service to watch future live streams.

Customizable Branding and Design

Customizable branding and design options within a live streaming platform allow users to tailor their video player and channel site to suit their brand identity. This feature provides the ability to create a more seamless experience for your viewers when they watch live or on-demand content. On the video player, adding a logo watermark is a commonly used feature by businesses aiming to increase brand visibility. The ability to change the colour scheme of the video player is another way to immerse the viewer in your brand identity, creating a more familiar and comfortable viewing experience. Channel page customization often includes the ability to change the layout and colour scheme of the page. For content providers managing rich and deep content libraries, creating customized categories and sections on the channel page allows for easier content navigation for the viewer. Overall, branding and customization features enhance the overall look and feel of a video and channel page, helping to foster a stronger connection to the viewer.

Interactive Audience Engagement

Major investment in the improvement of the game RPG style is a possibility for a game with repeat interactive stream events.

A very basic example of an interactive overlay would be a poll which allows the viewers to vote on something. This is great for when a streamer is faced with a decision to make in the game and wants to leave it to fate, or for when the audience can decide what they want to see next. High in viewer-to-streamer amusement value, another great means of interaction is the implementation of a mini game. This can range from simple to complex and can entertain an audience for extended periods of time. An audience who is stuck around because they are entertained is an audience that has potential for growth.

An interactive stream session usually needs some form of overlay. This is dependent on the live streaming software choice and whether it is compatible with overlays. For instance, XSplit provides a great deal of interactive overlay functionality, even providing a PHP SDK for those who are proficient in creating overlay scripts. Overlays basically provide a visual means of interaction between the live stream, the audience, and possibly the game itself.

A very common option for streamers using interactive streaming is Dev Play, or Developer Play. This is when the stream and the game are both based around game developers. Game developers will host an event or a series of events where they will play the game with specific goals in mind. This is invaluable promotion and a chance for the development company to actually obtain feedback whilst providing a reputable endorsement. Consider informing a representative of a game development company to see if they would be interested in taking part in a live event while playing their game.

Interactive streaming is without a doubt the future of professional video game streaming. One thing I noticed from competitive play in the past is that people much rather take a break from serious play but not take a break from the game. During interactive streaming, the gameplay does not necessarily have to stop, but the streamer gets a break from the commonly used grind of gaming. When the stream becomes less about playing the game and more about entertaining a live audience, the enjoyment factor goes way up for the streamer.

Analytics and Reporting

Metrics Available – There are a wide variety of data points one can track with analytics systems. Some platforms can provide the most basic data such as how many viewers you have at a current point in time. Some can get very in depth to exactly who is watching, from where, and for how long. Other metrics may include viewer duration, ad performance, video engagement, social shares, chat participation, and an event summary. Make a checklist of the metrics that are important for you to track then compare it to the feature set of a streaming platform. This will give you an indication of where to find the best analytics for your needs.

There is no feature more important to a business or a content provider than understanding their audience and customers. At any level, from simple consumer-based content creation, to getting very important leads for your business, knowing who your viewers are and understanding their habits are paramount. Analytics and reporting provide valuable insights with real quantitative data behind it. Live streaming platforms provide different systems of analytics, get to know them and what they offer.

Additional Features

Monetization options can have a big impact on your decision based on the type of broadcaster you are. There are systems such as’s partnership program which only allow you to benefit from ad revenue as an income. Other systems like a subscription-based model can net a steady income, but streaming sites often take a big cut of this for themselves. The best option for a streamer would be donation handling and services integrated into the stream platform. This allows money to come straight from the viewer to the broadcaster with no middleman, but can often not be as credible for the viewer and is not a stable income.

Multi-platform streaming support is the ability to simultaneously broadcast your live stream to more than one online platform, i.e. and Youtube Gaming. This can be a very important tool to have as you may want to trial your new viewership on a certain platform but may not want to completely isolate your current following on another. This not only relates to the casual streamer but the professional caster also, as they may have obligations to consider.

This is the phase where we are going to be looking at the additional features that live streaming services have to offer. This can be what separates one service from another and can potentially be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing.

Multi-Platform Streaming Support

YouTube gives a great breakdown of how this system can be implemented so that YouTube live streamers have a single-stream experience. This will likely be what the future of live streaming will look like, and it’s a necessary feature to look for if you want your stream to be seen.

An ideal solution is to implement a service like into your broadcast software, which allows you to stream to a variety of services and servers simultaneously. However, if is not an option, the next best thing is for the service to bake in multicasting support for the major platforms. This means having the ability to stream to different services, with separate channel settings for each. This way, stream keys and settings only need to be configured once, and viewers will easily be able to see when you are live.

With an increasing number of streamers, YouTube has introduced the YouTube Live platform, an all-in-one live streaming service. And it’s not just viewers who are using multiple services. Twitch streamers have been moving to YouTube, and YouTubers are discovering the benefits of live streaming on Twitch. Even still, there are many who do both. So it’s of great benefit to have the ability to stream to different services without having to swap settings, or turn the stream off and on again.

A multi-platform, multi-screen world can be a lonely place for live streamers. You may have a fair number of viewers on one platform, but find it difficult to attract new viewers because they don’t know about you, and they don’t know about you because they’re not on that platform. You want to meet them where they are, and the best way to do that is to be on the services that they are using.

Monetization Options

Ad revenue is the most popular form of monetization for most content producers. Essentially, you will be paid based on advertisement impressions and clicks. Some companies will offer to sell and place ads for you. Others will require you to have an account with an ad provider and simply offer placement for the ads in your stream interface. Look for a service that offers manageable systems for both. An ad system with high customizability will allow you to optimize your ad placement for revenue without damaging the viewing experience. A popular trend in ad-based monetization is the offering of ad-free premium services to subscribers. If you go the ad route, make sure to consider the value of offering an ad-free viewing experience to your subscribers and pick a service that can provide an integrated means of doing that.

Types of monetization that you should look for in a streaming service include ad revenue support, pay-per-view access to your stream or set of streams, and monthly/yearly subscriptions.

Content Management System

In traditional sports broadcasting, content management is huge. It makes getting the right files to the right broadcasters at the right time an absolute breeze. All the videos are stored in one central place, easy for producers to find. Want to sell this to sports broadcasters? This is what they are used to, and this is what will make them take your eSports seriously. We have been informed that the video files for some tournaments are scattered across hard drives here, there and everywhere. Not only does this increase the risk of lost or damaged files, it is also a waste of time when the files need to be located. A solid content management system means that the media for a tournament can be neatly organized into one location. We have also gathered that some companies have been outsourcing their video editing for tournaments. A good CMS will allow these companies to give their editors access to the media without them having to download the files. This saves the risk of files being lost in transit via external hard drive, and allows for editors to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

It doesn’t matter if you’re creating content for fun, or looking to monetize customers with a paywall, nobody likes an unreliable product. Often times free public live streaming platforms are plagued with dropped frames and connection issues. This is somewhat acceptable when it’s a person going live from their mobile device, but as a business you can’t have this. You need clear, consistent video quality. A provider that hosts live streaming content for paying customers typically need something called a “white-label” (your brand) player that can be embedded into the company’s website. This is to give the customer the most seamless viewing experience possible. Create a good impression and capture the attention of your viewers, and time.

Today, businesses are leaning on video content more than ever before for internal and external communication, marketing, and sales. And there is no sign that this trend will slow down. The beauty of live streaming is that it’s a high-engagement form of content allowing customers to interact with the subjects of the video in real-time. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have made it very simple to go live on their platforms and many individual users and organizations have taken advantage of this. But for those who are looking to take live streaming more seriously, perhaps by adding a paid or private content twist to your customers, it may be necessary to investigate using more advanced streaming solutions. Remember when evaluating platforms that you’re going to be producing a high-engagement medium, so the platform that you deliver the content on is almost as important as the content itself. This article intended to contact subject matter experts currently doing live streaming content and people in business organizations looking to create a medium of private live streamed/video-on-demand content for customers. Based on this information, here are the top 5 platform features to look for when evaluating an advanced live streaming platform.

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