If live streaming seems like an extra—an afterthought compared to the rest of your organization’s operations and activities—then you’re missing out.
Your live stream is more powerful than you realize. For most viewers, it may be their first point of contact with your organization, and first impressions can be hard to reverse. So if you’re not doing everything you can to make a great first impression with your live stream, even your efforts to provide something “extra” could be working against you. Besides that, your live stream could be generating revenue, making it an even bigger contributor to your organization’s overall success.
Live streams that make a good first impression are usually supported by a first-class live streaming platform provider. What makes a provider first-class? In our view, it’s one that excels in relation to these four things: the viewing experience, branding and messaging, monetization options, and support.
We don’t like to brag, but we’re also not against pointing out our strengths, which is why we’ve outlined below how we stack up on each. Does your platform provider make the grade on these four features? Let’s find out.
Live Streaming Platforms: 4 Areas To Evaluate
1. Viewing Experience
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that it should be crazy-easy for people to find and access your content in a variety of ways. But there’s more to a phenomenal experience than that. The best live content is also enhanced with relevant, immersive features viewers want.
Stretch Internet’s live streaming platform is second-to-none, and we’re constantly striving to improve. We’ll work with you to determine the features your organization needs, but our offerings include:
- Access on any screen, from any device (including mobile and a growing list of over-the-top applications).
- Enhanced social media integration.
- Instant highlights.
- A live data feed.
- A multi-view feature for watching simultaneous events (PIP, two at a time, or even four games at once in our “mosaic” view).
2. Branding & Messaging
A first impression—and every impression thereafter—should reinforce your organization’s branding and messaging. Some platforms prioritize their own branding over yours, an approach that undermines all the hard work you regularly put into your live stream. The best live streaming platforms put you first, resulting in a more professional product.
With Stretch Internet, it’s all about you. Our goal is to help you share your stories more effectively. With us, you’ll get:
- An attractive viewing portal custom-built for your organization.
- The ability to upload your own graphics and other notifications.
- Twitter integration so your users can see your organization’s social activity.
- A news & notes section for general announcements to your audience.
- A ticker message for event-specific messaging.
3. Monetization Options
Even if you don’t plan on charging viewers to watch your content in the immediate future, the ability to monetize it sometime down the road is a valuable option to reserve. Rather than allowing you to promote your own sponsors or supporters, some video streaming platforms place their own advertising around your content instead. Or, in the case of a content paywall, they may charge extra for processing fees.
At Stretch Internet, we want to help you get the most from your live stream, whether it’s through sponsorships and ads or pay-per-view (PPV). The funds you generate could help keep your program going, or even expand and improve it. With Stretch, you can expect the following:
- No credit card processing fees—we’ll take care of it!
- The infrastructure to support PPV and all its associated activities (credit card processing, refunds, and customer support for viewers).
- Flexible PPV purchase options for viewers (we can build customized packages to your liking).
For Sponsorships & Ads
- Control over both dynamic ads (commercials) and static ads (the ones that appear alongside your content).
- 100% of the revenue generated from ads.
- The ability to add your own preroll.
- The flexibility to adjust inventory options on the fly.
Live streaming has its challenges, which makes it all the more important to have an awesome support system—not only for you, but for your viewers, too. True top-of-the-line support is proactive, not reactive, meaning your live streaming platform provider should find and address problems before you even realize they exist!
At Stretch Internet, we pride ourselves on being one of the best live streaming platforms available when it comes to support—it’s one of the most commonly cited reasons for our clients’ high satisfaction levels! Many live streamers are dealing with small teams (or nonexistent teams, in some cases), so we know how critical it is to have a reliable support system.
To support your live stream, we:
- Work to identify issues early and help you address them.
- Handle customer support questions and problems.
- Work nights and weekends, when many live streamed events take place.
To support your live stream process, we:
- Design a custom production workflow that makes sense for your organization.
- Provide advice on technology and production.
- Work with you to help your organization reach its live streaming goals.
Looking for a live streaming partner?
If you’re looking for a live streaming partner—not just a provider—then take a closer look at Stretch. Get to know us better by scheduling a free demo of our platform. You’ll see what the experience looks like from your viewers’ perspective and get to try out our easy-to-use content management system. And you can ask us anything you like—help and advice is our thing. Simply fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch!