24/7 live streams have become the modern-day equivalent of traditional television. Viewers want to watch real-time events, news, concerts, lectures, and sports—and the most immersive way to do this from home is with a high-quality, 24/7 live stream.
Fortunately, 24/7 live streaming is easier than ever.
Thanks to technological evolutions and purpose-made video platforms, you can plan and set up a top-notch non-stop stream in no time. You’ll just need to get a few must-have items and follow a few steps, and voilà—you have a brand-defining 24/7 live stream.
Below, we’ll show you everything you need to know to create a 24/7 live stream. We’ve also provided a handful of best practices and tips to ensure your stream goes off without any hiccups.
What Is a 24/7 Live Stream?
A 24/7 live stream transmits non-stop video to your viewing audience. No breaks, no starting a new stream, and no redirects—it’s just one long, never-ending stream.
However, a 24/7 live stream doesn’t mean you can only utilize real-time content. You can mix in pre-recorded videos, replays, commercials, advertisements, and the like to keep your stream going after hours, even when nothing exciting is going on in real time.
For example, some 24/7 live news streams do real-time segments throughout the day, but the rest of the content is pre-recorded or edited replays of previous coverage during the day—it’s not 24 hours of purely original content.
Here are a few of the following brands and industries that can easily take advantage of 24/7 live streams:
- News broadcasts
- Sporting events
- Fitness classes
- Concerts and music festivals
- Schools and educational courses
- Churches and faith-based groups
What’s the Difference Between a 24/7 Live Stream and Live Broadcasting?
Not much. The biggest differences revolve around the technology for producing and transmitting real-time video streaming.
Live streaming delivers unique video signals of the same footage to each viewer. The quality and performance of the video differ based on the viewer’s hardware, bandwidth, and player preferences.
Live broadcasting transmits a single video signal to all the viewers.
Examples of the Best 24/7 Live Streams
You can find plenty of 24/7 live streams across the internet, whether that’s through a white-label platform like JW Player or a social media network like YouTube.
Here are a couple of our favorites:
- UTMB: Every summer, UTMB live streams ultrarunning’s biggest, most competitive events. It’s a week-long live stream that follows the race highlights, racer backstories, event coverage, interviews, and more. The success of the event has inspired UTMB to adopt the live-stream concept for their smaller up-and-coming races.
- NASA Live: NASA Live streams the latest space exploration and discoveries. It mixes a variety of real-time and scheduled content, including live programming, mission coverage, space events, educational broadcasts, press conferences, and rocket launches.
Not sure which live-streaming platform is right for you? Check out The 8 Best Live Streaming Apps and Platforms for 2023—it’ll help you choose whether a free option like Twitch or a paid solution like JW Player is the right solution for your business.
How to Create a 24/7 Live Stream
Once upon a time, creating a 24/7 live stream would have been a huge undertaking. You would have needed some tech-savvy professionals, advanced software, and the latest-and-greatest streaming equipment.
Now, things are a bit different.
You can get a 24/7 live stream up and running with a bit of planning, know-how, and tools. Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create a world-class live stream:
1. Choose the Right Live Streaming Video Platform
Live streaming video platforms provide you with all the software, encoders, and features you need to produce a 24/7 live stream. Not every live streaming platform supports continuous live streaming—some put a cap at 6, 12, or 24 hours.
Do your research to find a solution that’ll support your streaming needs. For example, JW Player supports 24/7 live streaming, but Vimeo does not (it’s limited to a 12-hour live stream).
Live streaming platforms provide additional features that can streamline the production process and protect your digital assets:
- Digital Rights Management (DRM): Protect your video content to ensure bad actors don’t illegally capture, modify, or redistribute your videos.
- Video on Demand (VOD): Repurpose your live streams into replays and clips for VOD consumption.
- Monetization: Choose how you want to monetize your live streams, whether that’s with advertisements, subscriptions, or one-time transactions.
- Customization: Personalize your video player to reflect your brand and build awareness for your business.
2. Acquire Adequate Equipment
You’ll need the right hardware to put on a 24/7 live stream. Think about everything from cameras to lighting to laptops. Non-stop streams can put a lot of strain on your equipment, and it’s not uncommon for cameras or computers to heat up and crash after long-time use.
Purchase professional-grade equipment to put on a 24/7 live stream. Introduce redundancies into your stream by having backups set up and ready to go.
For example, if a camera overheats or microphone malfunctions, have replacements configured and ready for a quick swap. The goal is to keep the live stream going without your audience even noticing any complications or hiccups.
You’ll also want to check and ensure your internet connection can support the live stream. Poor connections can introduce latency and buffering into your streams, hurting performance and viewer experiences.
3. Plan Your Video Content
Now that you’ve gotten the logistical factors out of the way, it’s time to start planning your 24/7 live stream. Here’s where you decide what goes into the production and how you’re going to keep viewers engaged.
Once you start filling in the details, you’ll begin to realize 24 hours is a long time. Plus, you’ll need to have backup content and video files ready to go in case a live segment needs to be cut or something goes wrong.
Remember, your live stream doesn’t have to be solely real-time content—nor does it have to be entirely pre-recorded content. You can use a healthy mixture of both to keep your audience engaged.
Here’s a short list of ideas for video content you can include in your 24/7 stream:
- Live events
- Pre-recorded content
- User-generated content
4. Monetize Your 24/7 Live Stream
Decide how you want to monetize your non-stop stream. Some brands offer 24/7 live streams for free, using the opportunity to increase brand awareness, customer engagement, and affinity. Others use advertisements, sponsorships, or subscription models to capitalize on the views.
Here are a few monetization methods to consider:
- Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD): Allows participants to watch the live stream for free in exchange for viewing advertisements.
- Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD): Lock your live streams behind a monthly subscription plan.
- Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD): Charge a one-time fee for viewers to watch your live stream for a limited amount of time. For example, you might charge to watch a race, lecture, sermon, or sporting event.
- Sponsorships: Partner with businesses to sponsor the live stream. They might pay to have their logo displayed in a corner of the video player, or you might frequently mention that they’re sponsoring this event during commercials or with moderators.
Tips to Put on a Top-Notch Non-Stop Live Stream
Now that you’ve got your 24/7 live stream set up and ready to go, it’s time to optimize and improve the streaming experience. Here are a few tips to enhance the viewing experience:
- Review Your Live Stream Analytics: Watch your real-time and post live stream metrics to gather insights. When did viewers tend to drop off? Did you have too many advertisements? What’s the average watch time?
- Ask Your Audience What They Want: Survey your audience before and after live streams. What do they want to see more of? Is there anything they’d like to change?
- Engage With Your Viewers: Use social media platforms (like Twitter or LinkedIn) or live-chat capabilities to interact with your audience. Keep them engaged and watching longer.
- Publish Clips from Your Live Streams: Repurpose short clips from your live video to post as VOD content or playlists on your website or application.
- Incentivize Viewers to Tune in Live: Provide exclusive information or even something like a giveaway to encourage your audience to watch in real time.
Bring Your 24/7 Live Streams to Life With JW Player
Ready to produce grade-A 24/7 live streams? Get started with JW Player.
Our live-streaming solution provides you with all the features and functionality you need to stream non-stop with confidence. Whether you need a 24/7 linear channel or instant go live, our platform has got you covered.
Talk to a JW Player video expert to learn how our video solution can accelerate your video strategy and bring your live streams to life.