Live streaming on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are useful ways to live stream quickly and cheaply. With live streams, presenters can generate the excitement of broadcasting events in real-time. However, there are drawbacks to using public platforms for every event. Private streaming is an alternative that has benefits such as greater privacy and security.
The Growth of Live Streaming
Live streaming has become a mainstay for business, entertainment, educational, and other organizations with a need to share timely information, communicate across distances and devices, and engage with viewers. According to DemandSage, the global live streaming market size is projected to rise from $1.49 billion in 2023 to $184 billion by 2027.
People are now accustomed to watching music, speakers, news stories, and sporting events on various live streaming platforms. A live stream lets you connect and share in real-time. However, for many organizations, using public platforms is not the ideal solution. There are many reasons to consider using a private streaming platform instead.
The Advantages of Private Streaming
While it’s simple to stream on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other public streaming services, there are several reasons you may want to consider private streaming instead.
- Enhanced security: Anyone can access your live stream on public platforms such as Facebook. Not only can they view your content but they can potentially share and download it. While you can take measures to confine an event to approved viewers, on public sites there’s always a chance unwanted guests will participate. Trolls or spammers can ruin an event and harm your credibility. For any company or organization that deals with sensitive information, whether this is personal, financial, or related to proprietary technology or data, public streaming is risky. A private stream greatly enhances the privacy and security of a streaming event.
- Convenient for interacting with small groups: For a business meeting or any group discussion, private live streaming makes it easy to get everyone together at the same time.
- Remote business meetings: More businesses are hiring remote employees as well as independent contractors. Business meetings with partners, investors, and other stakeholders in different parts of the world are also very common. A private live stream is a convenient way to hold a secure online meeting with people anywhere.
- Social engagement: Live streaming is also useful for more casual purposes such as group discussions or creative brainstorming sessions. It can be a way for social media groups, college alumni, and military reunions to connect. Live streaming lets everyone get together at the same time and clearly see and hear one another.
- Provides a way to monetize events: Private streaming platforms can be leveraged for both free events such as social occasions and events where participants are charged a fee. You can limit attendance to those who have bought a ticket to your concert, sporting event, conference, or other paid event.
Who Can Use Private Streaming?
Private streaming is useful for a number of purposes, including the following.
- Concerts, sporting events, festivals, and other entertainment.
- Private events for family or friends such as parties, weddings, or holiday celebrations.
- Company events such as meetings or training sessions.
- Webinars –Both free and paid webinars are a popular way to share information and sell or pre-sell products and services.
- Conferences – Industry events such as business conferences can reach a wider audience if broadcast live.
- Online classes – Classes that are open to the public or limited to a particular organization can be conducted via live streaming. A popular model used by many businesses is SVOD (subscription video on demand) online courses where subscribers access new courses or lessons on an ongoing basis.
- News broadcasting and sharing information. You can share the latest news that’s relevant to your industry or niche. Live streaming makes it possible to deliver on-location news in real-time.
How to Start a Private Live Stream
As with any type of event, proper planning is essential for success. Here are the steps to follow for a private streaming event.
Create a Plan
Depending on your goals, you’ll have to create either a casual or structured plan. For social events, where you just want to capture the mood of the event, the only planning is knowing where and when to set up. For business and professional type events, you’ll want a more formal structure.
- Set the topic or topics for your private streaming event.
- Schedule – For some events, such as classes or conferences, there will be a set amount of time for each presentation, class, or topic.
- Location – There may be one or more locations. At a larger conference, for example, you may need to broadcast from different rooms or possibly outdoor locations.
Identify Your Audience
Decide who will be attending the event.
- Who will you invite to the live stream? There may be two or more categories of attendees, such as lecturers and audience members.
- How will they access the event? You’ll need to provide instructions on what is needed, such as a link or software.
- Will users need to pay to attend? If so, payment options must be included with the invitation.
Promote the Live Stream
If it’s a small event, you can simply call or email people. If you want to attract a larger audience, you’ll have to do some promoting. Ways to promote may include:
- Social media, which could be group posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, tweets, or paid ads for attracting a larger audience.
- Internal channels such as intra-office email, Slack, or any other chat or communication software you use.
- Website –Aside from posting about the event, you could create a popup to attract more attention.
- Industry or trade publications – For a conference, the event can be mentioned in a specialized online or print magazine or journal.
- Press releases
- Other channels –videos, podcasts, guest blog posts, interviews, or any other channels and platforms on which your organization is active.
Put a Team Together
Depending on the size and scale of the live streaming event, you will need to create an appropriate team to handle various tasks. Assign roles to everyone involved, which might include technical tasks such as cameras, sound, lighting, promotion, or processing payments.
Choosing the Right Private Live Streaming Service
There are many options for private live streaming. Make sure you choose a service that is a good match for your needs and goals. Here are some points to keep in mind when comparing your options.
You have to stay within your budget. Look for a service that’s affordable and that preferably offers several plans or custom pricing that meets your needs. You don’t want to pay for services you aren’t using or find that the plan doesn’t allow for the number of broadcasts you want to schedule.
The service should ideally offer 24/7 support, especially if attendees are from different time zones. If you have a question or experience a problem during a live streaming event, you want to be sure you can contact someone promptly.
Make sure the service you choose is able to provide the features and quality you want for your broadcasts.
- DVR – Digital video recording (DVR) technology allows viewers to record, playback, and pause live streams. Many viewers will want to review the broadcast later or find parts they may have missed.
- Repurposing – Once you create the live stream, you can get even more leverage out of it by repurposing it. That’s why you should use a service that lets you convert live streaming into VOD (video on demand) content. You can then repurpose it as a video or podcast.
- Flexible and Scalable – Whether you are live streaming conferences, online classes, sports or entertainment events, or anything else, you should use a platform that lets you reach viewers in many locations using a variety of devices. You also want a service that lets you scale your production as your audience grows. Some features to look for include:
- The ability to stream 24/7 – Reach audiences across devices including CTV, OTT devices, and the web.
- High-quality video streaming that delivers broadcast quality to help you build a professional reputation.
- Strong analytics tools. Tracking your results lets you learn more about your audience and the kind of content they prefer. Use a service that provides detailed analytics such as viewing time, how your content performs on different devices, and identify points of viewer churn.
As security is one of the primary advantages of private streaming, make sure you choose a service that takes this issue seriously.
- Password Protection: The first level of security is password protection to ensure that only approved users with a password can access your stream. You set a password and share it with participants upon registration or payment. For optimal security, change the password for each new live streaming event or at least every month.
- Restricting usage by geography or domains: If your event is local, or confined to a certain country, it’s helpful to set restrictions that whitelist IP addresses based on country. Domain restriction lets you limit access to specific domains.
- Payment Security: For live streams that are monetized, you need a way to ensure secure payments. Look for a service that offers strong paywall features such as SSL encryption.
Private Live Streaming: The Perfect Tool for a Connected World
In a world that is increasingly dominated by digital technology, private live streaming offers a convenient and secure way to connect and share information. In order to get the most out of this technology, it’s necessary to choose a streaming service that meets your needs and budget. Plan your live streams the same as you would an in-person event, create a schedule, send out invitations, and ensure that participants know how and when to connect.