As the owner of a production company, you already have the necessary skills to produce a live stream. So it makes sense to take advantage of the popularity of live streaming and add video streaming services to your current offerings. But you might be wondering how much to charge for live video production.
We asked some live streaming production company owners for their thoughts in hopes of getting you some valuable information on pricing your live stream that you can apply to your own business today. By combining their input with knowledge of your company and your market, you should be able to come up with a solid pricing strategy.
Pricing Live Streaming Production Services
Slavik Boyechko, owner of the Emmy award-winning production company Video Dads, summed up his thought process behind pricing by explaining one fundamental difference between video production services and live streaming: Video production involves a long process of postproduction activities, while live streaming does not. “The only real way to price live streaming in a way that is profitable is to consider the planning costs, gear rental expenses, and crew for the day, rather than hourly services.”
His thoughts echoed those of other live streaming production company owners: Live streaming adds complexity to the video recording process. So the best way to price your live streaming services is to consider the cost of the variables involved in delivering the product, and the level of complexity you plan to offer.
Need a better way to manage your live streaming process? Get this free live streaming checklist and never miss a beat.
You already have the basics required to produce a good video—including a camera operator, a video camera, and lighting and audio equipment. But you will need some additional resources to live stream, including a live production switcher and video signal transmission. It also takes practice to capture what’s needed for a good, high-quality live broadcast, which requires a slightly different skill set than filming video that will be edited. Beyond those necessities, there are some additional variables to consider budgeting for that will impact the price. Rob Chipman of Big Video Network divides those variables into two categories—production and delivery.
- Additional camera operators. Unless you plan on a single-camera production, you’ll need one or two more people to work the cameras. Michael Mason of Perfect Chaos Films notes that, for a usual live stream setup, he uses a crew of three people and two cameras.
- Internet access. An internet connection is necessary for your live stream, and some venues may not have reliable internet access. For an additional cost you could provide your own internet connection using a portable internet hotspot like LiveU. (LiveU units aren’t cheap, so this would be a fairly large addition to your budget!)
- Travel expenses. But keep in mind that if live video production is an add-on to an event you already planned to shoot, travel won’t add any additional cost.
- Live stream hosting. Will you offer clients a portal for viewing your live stream? The easiest way to accomplish that is to partner up with a live streaming platform provider, which will involve a service fee. If you don’t choose to go this route, you can either stream on a free platform such as Facebook Live or YouTube, or host the live stream on an infrastructure you’ve built yourself.
- Audience size. The more people that watch your live stream, the more bandwidth you’ll use. The cost associated with bandwidth may be less of a factor depending on the live streaming provider you’re working with. But if you’re hosting the live stream yourself, the estimated audience size is definitely something to consider.
- Broadcast page design. If your live stream will be viewed somewhere other than on a free social media platform, you may need to design a website to house it. (If you’re using a platform provider, they may already have this piece taken care of.)
- Pay-per-view (PPV). Your production company has an opportunity to earn more revenue if the organization you’re working with plans to charge for access to its content. (Take a look at StreamByte’s pricing page for an example of a live streaming production company PPV policy and a description of other variables involved.)
Some of the above variables can be organized into “tiers” of live streaming services. For example, your basic live streaming package could consist of a single stationary camera connected to an encoder, with Internet access already provided on-site. That would be a very inexpensive production, especially if you’re filming the event already as part of your usual services.
On the higher end, you could offer a live streaming production with the works: a producer, video switcher, multiple cameras, replays, and play-by-play audio. Hooking your clients up with a professional-grade live stream with all the bells and whistles is a valuable service that many organizations would be willing to pay extra for.
Now that you know the factors of a live stream that impact price and have some ideas about service levels, you’ll want to consider what you’re willing and able to offer and the market you’re in to start determining the price of your video streaming services.
Need a live streaming partner for your video streaming services?
We can help! We stream more than 65,000 events every year and work with all types of organizations, including live stream production companies like yours. If you’d like to talk more about what a partnership might look like and take a look at our live streaming platform, give us a shout. We can also consult on pricing and offer advice about equipment and production issues. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to generate more revenue with live streaming—get started today!
Special thanks to: