Go Live

Live video broad­cast­ing is the cool new way to com­mu­ni­cate.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - By Nidhi Sin­gal

e of­ten watch live broad­casts of events, con­certs and shows. How about broad­cast­ing your views to your fol­low­ers or even the masses? If you are in­ter­ested, there are a host of apps and ser­vices that al­low live stream­ing of con­tent to in­ter­act with the au­di­ence in real time – you can not only be­come pop­u­lar among your tar­get au­di­ence, but may also start gen­er­at­ing rev­enue as you grab more eye­balls.

Live stream­ing has ex­isted for over a decade with plat­forms, in­clud­ing Ustream and Twitch, but it is the new-age apps with a mo­bile-first ap­proach, such as Meerkat and Periscope, that are mak­ing video broad­cast­ing the next

in­flec­tion point in the dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia space. While pro­fes­sional live stream­ing events were aired with broad­cast-qual­ity cam­eras and equip­ment con­nect­ing to re­al­range satel­lite up­link trans­mit­ters, the new-age apps are en­abling smart­phone users with a de­cent band­width to stream HD, full HD or 4k con­tent.

How­ever, none of these ser­vices worked on 2G;and you should not even think of stream­ing on 2G. While most worked on 3G, the up­load and video stream­ing was seam­less on high-speed Wi-Fi or 4G con­nec­tiv­ity. Of all the video broad­cast­ing apps, Periscope works the best.

Broad­cast with Apps Periscope, ac­quired by Twit­ter last year, took the world by storm. It al­lows you to livestream your video even on Twit­ter and lets you “ex­plore the world through some­one else’s eyes”. It’s easy to use – click to start live stream­ing, share with friends and up­load on YouTube. Twit­ter fol­low­ers are no­ti­fied when the con­tent goes live, and lets them post com­ments and send emoti­cons. From stream­ing a fun moment with friends and voic­ing an opin­ion, to march­ing for a cause and cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism, Periscope helps you reach out to a wider au­di­ence. Once the live steam ends, it can be re­played for 24 hours.

Periscope’s big­gest ri­val is Meerkat. The app lets you livestream videos from your phone. Tweet as soon as you go live to get more fol­low­ers. Hit­ting ‘Stream’ shows the live video on your Twit­ter feed. Peo­ple can watch the feed live on the web. This app also al­lows you to save your own streams to share, con­nect with Face­book, Twit­ter or In­sta­gram, and in­ter­act with other stream­ers.

While Periscope and Meerkat are the two most pop­u­lar video broad­cast­ing apps, YouTube al­lows you to cre­ate a live event un­der the new Live Stream­ing up­date – Stream Now Beta – for pri­vate or pub­lic stream­ing. It uses Google Hang­out On Air to stream live from your we­b­cam. I could not lo­cate this fea­ture on the YouTube app on my smart­phone.

Another sim­ple way to livestream on YouTube is to use the In­staLively – another in­no­va­tive app that al­lows one-touch broad­cast to YouTube di­rectly. You can ei­ther use an ex­ist­ing YouTube chan­nel, or cre­ate a new chan­nel to sub­scribe to the ser­vices be­fore go­ing live. The video is pub­lished as a YouTube broad­cast and gets stored on your chan­nel for later use and wider reach. Barely a few months since its launch, In­staLively has over 10,000 reg­is­tered down­loads. It has 5,000 ac­tive users, of which 30 per cent are broad­cast­ers. Us­ing In­staLively has its own ad­van­tages – YouTube has a wider reach and also lets you gen­er­ate rev­enue. Videos can be mon­e­tised with ads, let­ting you earn on the ba­sis of the num­ber of views on your YouTube page. Says In­staLively co-founder and CEO Karthik Vaidyanath: “We have also tied up with e-com­merce com­pa­nies where a video is linked to the site for a pur­chase. We have ac­ti­vated this fea­ture only on ver­i­fied pro­files as we are test­ing this in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment.

We plan to roll it out for all our users.” The app fea­tures live broad­cast ses­sions and plans sched­uled tele­casts, where you will be able to share the link with your fol­low­ers and friends on Twit­ter and Face­book be­fore it is re­layed. You can also host a pri­vate broad­cast ses­sion. In­staLively claims to work closely with YouTube’s San Fran­cisco team and has suc­cess­fully hosted broad­casts for Google, NASS­COM for Start-ups, Nritya-Bharati, Mary Kom, GSF, Mer­aevents and the Bel­gian Em­bassy.

Periscope’s In­dian coun­ter­part is #fame app. With over 2.5 mil­lion down­loads since it was launched last year and more than 10,000 hours of live pro­gram­ming, in­clud­ing 70,000 live per­for­mances, #fame has met for­tune. You can broad­cast videos live or opt for a sched­uled tele­cast. It is an in­de­pen­dent chan­nel and claims a wider in­stant reach than YouTube. #fame also has so­cial shar­ing built into the plat­form for pro­mot­ing live beams. Says Saket Saurabh, CEO, #fame: “Live stream­ing is get­ting big and the real power is about in­ter­act­ing with your fol­low­ers while beam­ing videos. There are en­gage­ment tools that al­low your fol­low­ers to ask ques­tions while the beam is on.” En­ter­tain­ment, astrol­ogy, fash­ion, tips and dat­ing are some of the pop­u­lar seg­ments on #fame. “Most users are be­tween 15 and 24,” says Saurabh.

Face­book, too, is test­ing its Live Video Stream­ing on iPhone for its US au­di­ence. With Live Video Stream­ing, users can hoot videos and up­load them on Face­book in real time.

Not Just Apps

It’s not just the apps that al­low you to broad­cast live videos. Smart­phones and ac­tion cam­eras are get­ting equipped as well. Sam­sung’s flag­ship Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ have a new fea­ture for video mak­ers – Live Broad­cast, which al­lows users to broad­cast live videos di­rectly on YouTube. Sony’s Xperia Z3 sup­ports live video stream­ing on YouTube. The HTC Re ac­tion cam­era sup­ports real-time feeds on YouTube. Users can also use the Livestream app to con­nect over WiFi to the GoPro Hero3 and Hero4 ac­tion cam­eras.

Won­der­ing why videos are gain­ing a lot of trac­tion? It’s sim­ple. Peo­ple have smart­phones with big­ger dis­plays, data con­sump­tion has in­creased man­i­fold and ac­cess­ing video con­tent on smart­phones and tablets has be­come easy. Above all, peo­ple pre­fer watch­ing videos over read­ing long write-ups. Av­er­age time spent on watch­ing a video is close to two min­utes and 30 sec­onds, while peo­ple do not spend more than half a minute to browse through print.

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