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Three Scenarios in which Livestreaming is Driving Audience Growth

Livestreaming is fast-growing online, but creating pro-level livestreaming content has been difficult and expensive until the recent introduction of new devices.

The Livestreaming Boom

Livestreaming: It’s everywhere you turn these days, from Facebook to YouTube, Instagram’s IGTV, news sites, webinars, conferences, and more. Online video consumption at a 24/7 pace is becoming the new normal, and the fastest-growing video format continues to be livestreaming. In fact, video itself is expected to make up about 82 percent of all Internet traffic by the year 2022. The most common livestreaming applications include:

  • Events, meetings, and classrooms
  • Content creation
  • Religious services

Meetings, Classrooms, and Events Get a Boost from Livestreaming

We all want to attend meetings, conferences, classes, and other events that interest us but life sometimes gets in the way. Since we can’t be everywhere we want to be in person, savvy event planners and educators are making use of livestreaming to reach audiences worldwide, including uploading livestreams after they’re finished for viewers to easily play the video at their leisure.

Before and After: A normal livestream of a lecture (left) without overlays simply shows your slides, versus one with overlays (right) that can be easily added with the ATEN UC9020 to add picture in picture, titles, and more.

Livestreaming an event has a couple important effects: first, it can reach people who are physically unable to attend and still provide them with a meaningful message. Second, it can actually drive in-person attendance. Up to 30% of people who have watched a livestreaming event have then gone on to attend the event in-person in the following year, according to Digitell Inc.

Livestreaming Becomes Big, and Lucrative, for Influencers

Content creation is one of the most popular applications, and includes gamers livestreaming their gameplay, as well as Facebook and YouTube users streaming out gaming, talk shows and podcasts, and even attendance at live vents.
The most popular livestreaming platform continues to be Twitch, which started out as a platform for gamers to broadcast their gaming sessions to fans around the world. Twitch’s popularity grew to the point that it was purchased by Amazon in 2014 for USD$1 billion. In 2018, Twitch reported it streamed about 775 million hours of live video content, which is more than double what YouTube livestreamed. The top Twitch livestreamers amass large audiences and some have become multi-millionaires on the platform thanks to the Twitch’s subscription-based payment system.

Not far behind Twitch in the livestreaming arena is Facebook. To illustrate: the search term “Facebook live stream” has seen a 330% increase in searches from 2016 to 2018, according to Google Trends. Facebook Live alone has become a lucrative market for both independent influencers and large media companies, who combined reached an audience of 2 billion viewers in 2018. Clearly, livestreaming is no longer just for fun; it’s become both a side gig, and even a main job for some content creators as they seek to take market share away from traditional media formats such as television and on-demand streaming services.

Religious Livestreaming on the Rise

Last but not least, livestreaming has become an invaluable part of religious services the world over for one major reason: fast-falling membership. In the US, for example, about 50% of adults said they attended religious services no more than a few times a year, and roughly 36% say they attend services weekly, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center study.

Before and After: A normal setup (left); on the right, with the use of the ATEN UC9020 StreamLIVE HD, this worship service now has better production values.

There’s also a strong generational component to this change, with Millenials showing far less religious service attendance than those in the Silent generation. Churches that are bucking this trend are doing so by using social media, apps, and livestreaming. Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas, is one of the country’s largest Christian congregations, with a weekly attendance of 52,000 people, and TV airplay to 7 million viewers a week, for example. Yet it still livestreams its services online to a global audience of millions more for maximum engagement. It only makes sense, after all, to speak to younger and global audiences in a language they understand, namely that of technology.

The ATEN UC9020 supports two HDMI source inputs for livestreaming; here it’s set up to also output a livestreaming signal to projectors in a house of worship and have the livestream recorded while also livestreaming to a global audience.

Why Do You Need Pro-Level Livestreaming?

You’re trying to break into the livestreaming market and you’ve made some good progress by shooting videos with your laptop’s built-in camera, or your smartphone. Yet, something is holding you back from getting into the upper echelon of livestreamers: production quality. They don’t just use nice backdrops in a dedicated studio space nor have nice logos (they do); they also use better cameras for livestreaming, with top-of-the-line microphones plugged right into audio mixers. Their videos have title cards and other overlays to convey information, something that you can’t do by just starting a live video with your phone. To top it off, they’ll cut between two, sometimes three, cameras for multiple angles.

Before and After: With the aid of the ATEN UC9020, you can add different camera angles to a how-to video to provide more angles for better instruction.

Utilizing these various tools to boost their production values complements their own onscreen persona and content, which ultimately leads to even more engaged and loyal following. Trying to emulate their success with a simple smartphone or webcam setup then is a steep challenge.

Breaking the Entry Barrier with ATEN

There are some issues with livestreaming at the pro level that new users will encounter. They include:

  • Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Manpower
  • Software

The first is the cost of the equipment needed; professional-level livestreaming equipment can often be too expensive for most budding livestreamers to consider. Second is the complexity of setting up, using, and troubleshooting such equipment. Next up is manpower; with a traditional setup, it might be necessary to employ more than one person for a pro finish, but this isn’t always feasible. Getting the necessary software for pro-level livestreaming can be costly, but even if it’s not, again it’s generally more difficult to use than typical video editing software.

As a result, there are solutions hitting the market now that can help break this barrier to entry and allow everyone to livestream to global audiences with a pro-level finish that a simple mobile device cannot offer.

The ATEN UC9020 uses an iPad for simple on-the-fly livestreaming control and editing and can turn a DSLR, point-and-shoot camera or webcam into a webcam.

Devices such as the ATEN UC9020 and UC3022 allow for a user with two cameras and either an iPad (with UC9020) or smartphone (with UC3022) to begin livestreaming with scene presets, on-the-fly scene editing, transition effects, and more. Compatible cameras need not be overly expensive either: almost any DSLR, point-and-shoot, or action camera can be turned into a livestreaming webcam with the help of these devices.

For further information about ATEN’s livestreaming products, please follow the link below:

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 About ATEN

ATEN International Co., Ltd. (TWSE: 6277), established in 1979, is the leading provider of IT connectivity and management solutions. Offering integrated KVM, Professional Audiovisual, and Intelligent Power solutions, ATEN products connect, manage, and optimize electronics in corporate, government, industrial, educational, and retail environments. ATEN has 640+ issued international patents and a global R&D team that produces a constant stream of innovative solutions, resulting in a comprehensive portfolio of products available worldwide.

Headquartered in Taiwan, ATEN International Co., Ltd. has grown to include subsidiaries and regional offices in China, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Turkey, Poland ,India, and Romania – with R&D centers in Taiwan, China, and Canada.