What is a Simulcast?

Blog 5 min read | Nov 7, 2022 | JW Player


If you want to maximize your reach with live streaming, simulcasting is one of the most effective ways to do so. You’ll be able to harness the power of multiple streaming platforms at once and reach even wider audiences, ensuring people see and hear your brand across the internet with every broadcast.

Here we’ll dive deeper into simulcasting and how it works.

What is a simulcast?

Simulcast is a term that stands for “simultaneous broadcast.” Often confused with multicasting or multistreaming, simulcasting involves using multiple live streaming platforms at once to reach the many audiences who use them.

Simulcasting originally referred to the airing of radio shows across multiple stations along with the simultaneous broadcasting of multiple live events on news networks at the same time. Often in the early days, this was for horse racing and other sporting events.

This term now also covers live streaming on various platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and Twitch, along with other websites and social media platforms to maximize coverage.

While simulcasting is similar to multicasting in that it helps distribute live video, there are a couple of differences between them. While simulcasting enables you to broadcast live video on multiple destinations, multicasting entails using a combination of software and hardware to send live video to viewers in an attempt to minimize bandwidth usage.

How simulcasting works

You can get into simulcast streaming in different ways to get live video content on multiple platforms. Typically, this entails using a combination of dedicated simulcasting software and a video hosting manager, with many simulcasts broadcast via over-the-top (OTT) technology.

OTT platforms enable streamers to push video and audio to different streaming destinations without any need for cable broadcasting or intermediate service providers. YouTube and Hulu are examples of popular OTT video platforms, but OTT could also apply to various audio platforms such as Spotify and Pandora.

There are three main ways you can go about simulcasting, including:

  • Implementing a share code

  • Using simulcasting software

  • Encoding software settings

Using a share code, you can copy and paste the code into social media posts. All you need to do is paste this code into an empty social media post on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, which will load a title and splash screen.

Keep in mind that you may need additional software to assist with live simulcasting. For instance, you may require streaming software to simulcast on a Facebook Live-hosted video player along with other platforms, because Facebook uses its own software. While you may want to simply include a share code on a Facebook page, doing so will merely redirect people to your video player.

Encoding software is another option for more advanced content creators who want to host virtual events.

If you need help with live broadcasting on multiple platforms using the best simulcasting solution, JW Player can help. You can try our live streaming solution to get the most from your broadcasts.

Benefits of simulcasting

There are several main benefits of using simulcasting to connect with audiences with real-time live video. These include:

  • Engage with your viewers with ease: Using simulcasting solutions and platforms, you can easily build a connection with your audiences from a single location. The right solution will enable you to stream from one platform and reach multiple streaming destinations while seeing how people engage with each.

  • Grow your audience: The more platforms you target with your broadcasts, the more people you’ll reach on those platforms. This ensures you connect with people through every relevant channel.

  • Measure the results of your live streams: You can get a better feel for how your live streaming content performs across platforms with in-depth analytics through each platform. For example, you may find that you yield high engagement on Facebook but don’t resonate as much with Twitter users. Based on this information, you can find out what users on each platform like and don’t like to deliver a better experience to everyone.

  • Save more time: By consolidating all streaming platforms into a single solution through simulcasting, you’ll be able to save time setting up each platform. You simply initiate a live stream from one location and send it out to all relevant platforms at once.

Best practices for simulcasting

If you want to succeed with a simulcast, the following are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use as many channels as possible: To make sure you reach as many people as possible with each live stream session, branch out to as many platforms as you can. In addition to social media channels, turn to Vimeo and other video platforms that can further extend your reach.

  • Prepare your sessions: Before you launch your simulcast, make sure it’s flawless (or nearly flawless) by testing the quality of your stream and rehearsing. You should also set up a recording solution to create a video that you can reuse elsewhere after the live stream completes.

  • Advertise the event: You should also advertise your live stream event and build hype around it. Let people know on all of your social media pages about it, advertise it on your website, and use other channels such as paid ads to promote it. This will help maximize viewership ahead of the event. Viewers can then fit this stream into their schedule if they know about it ahead of time.

Get the best results from digital video content with JWP

To get the best possible results from your live streams and other digital video content, turn to JW Player. When using JW Player for digital video, you’ll benefit from capabilities such as:

  • Play: Use JW Player’s HTML5 video player to reach audiences across the web with high-quality and efficient videos on mobile apps, websites, and connected TVs.

  • Stream: Engage audiences in real-time with high-quality live video through a convenient and efficient live streaming solution.

  • Monetize: Effectively earn revenue with the highest achievable CPMs and ad fill, with the ability to keep all earned income.

  • Engage: Make intelligent content recommendations that get the attention of and consistently engage viewers.

To learn more about JW Player’s features and possibilities, start your free trial today or reach out to us to discuss your needs.