Live streaming is the delivery of live video over the internet. For creators and broadcasters (or streamers), they can stream video and music to audiences across the world. For audiences, they can view and interact with creators and broadcasters through live streams, so long as they have an internet connection. It’s like live TV, but delivered exclusively over the internet.
How did Live Streaming become so popular?
Twitch is recognised as the most popular live streaming platform in the world today, officially launching in June of 2011. Live streaming has certainly come a long way in 10 years! As new technologies are announced, more and more creators (and more traditional broadcasters) are realising the benefits of live streaming.
One benefit of live streaming is the low cost. Streamers can start their live streaming careers with a small amount of money. For audiences, most live streaming platforms are supported by advertisements – meaning that you can tune in to your favourite live streams for free in exchange for watching adverts.
Another benefit of live streaming is interactivity. Unlike television, most live streaming platforms give audiences the opportunity to interact directly with a streamer. Common forms of interaction include chats and donations, which have a chance of being recognised by the streamer. Audiences can also chat freely with like-minded viewers, which establishes a strong sense of community amongst fans.
Live streaming also enables streamers to create niche content that appeals to smaller audiences. Because broadcasting on television is more expensive and results-driven, it is safer for content with a mass appeal to be broadcasted, like reality TV shows. It is also easier to place advertisements on content for larger audiences. With streaming, low cost and interactive elements have made it easier than ever to deliver more specific content to smaller and more loyal audiences.
How can I watch Live Streaming?
There are thousands of live streaming platforms around on the internet today. Every day, new live streaming platforms are being set up. Chances are, there’s a platform that suits you and your viewing habits perfectly.
Twitch is generally considered the most popular live streaming platform. For many streamers and viewers alike, Twitch defined what it meant to live stream. Live streams are separated into many different categories, but the platform is mostly focused on gaming content. Twitch launched in 2011 and was acquired by Amazon in 2014. Over 35 million unique viewers visit Twitch every month, with a reported 9.2 million active monthly streamers on the platform. Twitch is free for viewers to use. If viewers would like to support their favourite streamers, they can opt to subscribe for a monthly fee, as well as send ‘bits’ and ‘cheers’ (small amounts of money in the form of tips).
YouTube has been making some big moves in the live streaming space recently. YouTube’s total user base is in excess of 2 billion worldwide, with the original platform being founded in 2005. Since then, YouTube has shifted their focus from purely on-demand video to live streams, shorts and community building for content creators.
At PlayBox, Live Streaming is at the core of what we do. Since our inception in the early 2000’s, we’ve been fascinated by new ways to automate, streamline and pioneer the ultimate Live Streaming experience.
Over the years, we’ve supplemented our core offering with cloud playout and hybrid-cloud options like CloudAir, MEGA ICX, Cosmos in a Box and Cosmos. We recognise the changing requirements of our broadcasters, big and small, and work with them to accommodate those needs. Couple that with our 24/7 expert support, and you’re onto a winner.
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