Rev Up Your Motorsports Marketing With Live Streaming

Motorsports Marketing With Live Streaming

Famously referred to as one of only three true sports (bullfighting and mountain climbing also made the cut!), auto racing has never been accused of being dull. But the off-the-charts excitement and nail-biting thrills of the individual races themselves aren’t always enough to build a solid, loyal fan base for your brand. That’s where marketing—and live streaming—come in.

Live streaming also has its share of excitement, making it an excellent marketing tool for motorsports brands. If you’re not already using a solid live streaming platform to promote your events and your brand, it’s time to get started—and get creative.

4 Creative Ways To Use Live Streaming For Motorsports Marketing  

1. Live stream your races.

If you’re thinking this is the obvious way to use live streaming, you’re right—but it’s a crowd-pleaser for a reason. Fans love to watch adrenaline-inducing events in real time. But only a limited number of fans can attend races in person—some live too far from the raceway or can’t make it for another reason. On top of that, there’s only so much seating available at the track (hopefully all of which gets filled).

By live streaming your races, you make the events available to anyone, anywhere, who wants to watch. You’ll open up the experience to a much broader audience, and give your brand valuable additional exposure at the same time.

2. Live stream interviews with drivers and crew members.   

Storytelling is a powerful marketing strategy—and you can put it to work at your motorsports venue by letting drivers and crew members tell their own stories. This helps to humanize your brand, and fans will become more attached to your motorsports park and its events once they start to know the people involved.

To get the ball rolling, plan to live stream some interviews with preselected drivers and crew members. Give them some talking points to consider ahead of time, like how they prepare for a race, how they got into racing, or other personal tidbits of interest. You could also do a series of interviews on memorable racing moments, and create a hashtag fans can use to post their own memorable moments at the track. Post the live streams on your website and on social media and you’ll likely start seeing fans interact.


The live streaming platform you use is critical to the viewing experience, but are you using the right one? Download this free guide to find out.


3. Live stream a “talk show” regularly.

Producing a talk show (or something similar) is another way to give your brand personality and endear you to fans. How do you want your organization to be perceived? Plan content that helps convey that message.

Broadcast a weekly live stream either from somewhere on the track or from a unique location that helps set the stage. This talk show should “pull back the curtain” on racing, giving viewers a chance to see and hear things they couldn’t elsewhere. For example, show what the pit crew does prior to a race and talk to them about it. Or talk to a mechanic about what it’s like to work for a race team, or an engineer about designing and building race cars.

4. Live stream from the cockpit.    

If fans could experience a taste of what it’s like to sit in the driver’s seat, the thrill level of “watching” a race would go through the roof! So why not let them experience it through live streaming? Putting a camera in the cockpit of two race cars is an awesome way to enhance the viewing experience. There may be some logistics to work out with your live streaming platform, such as network and equipment requirements, but it can be done. This is a unique experience your fans won’t soon forget—and will want to come back for time and time again.

Can the live streaming platform provider you’re considering pull off these ideas?

If you’re planning to implement these marketing strategies, you may need the help of an experienced live streaming platform provider. We’ve partnered with a number of motorsports organizations to help them promote their brand through live streaming in any creative way they can think of!

We take pride in the fact that we provide more than just a live streaming platform—we also take your organization’s live streaming goals into account and help you reach them. If you’d like to talk with us about your organization’s needs and how we might work together, set up a free consultation with us today!

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Church Technology Trends You’ll See In 2018

Every year there are new tech trends, many of which crash and burn (sometimes literally—we’re looking at you, hoverboard), never to be heard from again. But some innovations stick and just keep getting better over time.

For the past several years, more and more churches have been experimenting with new technology, weeding out the fads and utilizing only the most effective tools. The church technology trends we see for 2018 are the ones that have proven to be beneficial in the early stages—we think you’ll be seeing a lot more churches picking up on the below technology resources in the coming months.

Church Technology Trends for 2018

1. The use of Snapchat for engaging younger audiences.

If you’re looking for ways to capture the attention of youth and millennials at your church, using Snapchat is a great way to meet them where they’re at. According to Pastor Godbee at the River Church, storytelling is the most powerful form of communication, and more churches are turning to Snapchat, an equally powerful social platform, to tell the “story” of their connection to family and community. In case you’re not familiar with it, Snapchat encourages storytelling by enabling users to create and share a combination of text, photos, videos, and more. Sunday Mag has some great ideas for ways to use Snapchat to tell your church’s story, like creating trivia questions about the most recent sermon. The only caveat is that, since it’s all about sharing content “in the moment,” (you create photos or videos and send them to your network instantly) if you’re planning to use this technology in church, it does require some degree of preplanning—you can’t produce the content you’ll use ahead of time.

2. The use of church management software and online tools.

Church leaders and administrators want to be organized and efficient, but this is often easier said than done. Church management software is invaluable in assisting with those goals, and its popularity is predicted to rise. Part of the reason for that is simply because there are so many software options available, but it’s mostly because you can do so many things with it—from donor tracking to event registration to digital reporting and more.

Free, open-source software (if you don’t count the support costs involved) is also becoming more prevalent, as it allows churches to customize the tool to meet their management needs. Even churches that don’t commit to a complete church management software package are starting to take advantage of online resources like Trello to organize volunteers and collaborate with other leaders and administrators.

3. The use of video.    

We all know how much people love video. Until now, only technologically-advanced churches were using video to create brand awareness and engage the community, but we think a lot more churches will be following suit in the coming year.

There are a lot of reasons to use today’s video technology in church. Video announcements are more memorable than ones that are read, video promotions can be used on Facebook to promote upcoming sermons, and welcome videos help showcase your church’s personality more than words ever could. (Check out these awesome church videos as an example.)

Live streaming is another great way to incorporate technology in church services. It’s a necessity for multiple-campus churches that need to serve more than one geographical location, but live streaming can also be used to promote and broadcast special events, weekly morning prayers, and other things.

4. The use of podcasts.

A 2017 survey shows that 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast—and that’s up 11 percent from 2016. But what’s especially cool about this technology is that it also reaches a broader age group than some other types of technology—25- to 54-year-olds. Additionally, podcasts are becoming more easily accessible (you can listen using Amazon’s Alexa, for instance, rather than the usual method of downloading and retrieving), so their reach may broaden even more in the near future. The churches that have already ventured into the world of podcasting are using them to create Bible studies or devotionals, or to record their weekly sermons. These pastor podcasts might inspire you to create one of your own.

5. Incorporating online giving.

There are many reasons why some churches have started offering online giving options. Aside from the fact that promoting automatic, recurring donations is a smart thing to do, the 24/7 availability of online giving widens the donation window to every day of the week—not just Sundays. It’s also wise to use online giving in conjunction with social media, as people are often more responsive to donation requests being shared by friends and family members. Mobile apps and text giving are also on the rise.

6. Location-based marketing.

Marketing to people based on their location or proximity to a location is being used by businesses everywhere, and is becoming more popular with churches as well. If a congregant or member of the community has either downloaded your church’s mobile app or provided you with their email or mobile number, beacon technology can pick up their location and send them a timely message about a church service or a church-sponsored event taking place nearby.

Churches are likely to find lots of creative ways to use location-based marketing in the year ahead. Having a sale in your church bookstore? Send congregants a reminder if they happen to be passing by. Or, if some congregants are traveling where your church has a nearby branch, let them know you’re around the corner so they can attend service if they like.

Are you aware of a church technology trend we missed? Tweet us @stretchinternet and let us know!

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College Sports Marketing Examples & Tips (From An Insider)

college-sports-marketing-ideas

We’ve occasionally talked about marketing as a way to increase viewership for your live stream, but for those of you who make a living doing college sports marketing, you know there’s a lot more to promoting your team than crafting a live stream strategy.

It can be tough for a marketer to do his or her job in an industry that has so much riding on something totally out of their control—wins and losses. But we’ve seen some pretty clever ideas brought to life by some of our own clients that we think are worth sharing.

With that in mind, we asked Matt Hodson, associate commissioner for public relations at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (disclaimer, WCHA is a Stretch client!), if he’d be willing to give us some sports marketing examples used by his own league as inspiration. You’ll find a few of his insider tips below.

WCHA College Sports Marketing Strategies

College athletics marketing is hard enough as it is, Matt Hodson says, but leagues with multiple teams under their umbrella have an even bigger challenge: nurturing an affinity among fans for the entire league, regardless of the team or school they support.

The WCHA is working hard to make a new name for itself because it’s undergone something of a transformation recently. Once the most recognizable name in college hockey, it had to rebrand a few years ago after some of its flagship schools left to join the Big 10 conference or the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The 2013-2014 season began with only four of the WCHA’s original teams and a group of new ones; today it includes 10 men’s college teams and seven women’s teams.

Hodson, who handles all marketing and communications for both the men’s and women’s league, says his strategy for successful marketing focuses on two things:

1. Establishing a personal connection to fans.

A couple of years ago the WCHA ran a public service announcement for the league featuring a tagline of “We are yesterday’s heroes, today’s champions, tomorrow’s legends. We are the WCHA.” When mixed with game highlights, the tagline was pretty powerful.

Hodson then took the last line—“We are the WCHA”—and turned it into a hashtag for social media. The hashtag serves two major purposes: to bind together groups of fans who support different schools within the league, and to help with the league’s rebranding efforts. He’s been using the hashtag to run a “fan of the week” contest, where fans are encouraged to submit pictures of themselves watching a game from wherever they happen to be, whether it’s at home on the couch with their buddies or live at the event.

Fan of the Game Stretch Internet

The hashtag strategy seems to be working. “At the end of every game we tweet out a final score and a link to a recap online,” Hodson explains. “A couple of our teams recently had really big wins against highly ranked teams from other leagues, and we started seeing fans of different teams retweeting the recap and using the hashtag.” It’s a good sign that fans are feeling a sense of ownership with regard to the league, not just one particular school.

2. Finding ways to tailor marketing to fans.

Another campaign that was launched this year centered around live streaming specifically—which the WCHA has been doing for the past five years—but played to individual team spirit.

“We were fortunate enough to have a local ad agency—made up of personal friends and hockey nuts!—work for us pro bono,” Hodson says. They came up with a line of graphics using the tagline: ‘You already have the best seat in the house. Stream your team.

College Sports Marketing Examples


Did you know your live stream can generate revenue for your organization?
Use this ROI calculator to explore the possibilities.
 


“Using this line of graphics, we did geotargeted campaigns on Facebook for segmented fans in each of our 10 markets, and Twitter and Instagram ads as well. We also created a second wave of banner ads for each of our schools, saying ‘They come to play, we come to watch.’ They were custom banner ads for streaming using individual school imagery, so we used the same phrase but showed images of players specific to each school.”

College Sports Marketing Examples

Hodson is waiting till the end of the month to see if it’s had an impact on the live stream, focusing specifically on subscriptions sold, unique viewers, and bottom-line revenue. By then, he says, all the league’s teams will have played a nice sample size of games—a full month’s worth. (Read more about using live streaming metrics here.)

On the subject of wins and losses….

Hodson’s philosophy is this: If you’re doing it right, marketing amplifies the good feelings that come from a win, and makes things more palatable when there’s a loss. “Hopefully that goodwill you’ve put in the bank helps get people even more excited about what’s to come.”

Inspired by these college sports marketing ideas? We hope so. In the meantime, if there’s anything we can do to help with your live stream, don’t hesitate to get in touch—we’d love to hear from you!
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3 Industries That Have Successfully Monetized Live Streaming

3 Industries

Success means different things to different people. (Though I think we can all safely agree that this NBA team nabbed it recently.)

Organizations have, in our view, hit a homerun with live stream monetization when they have:

  • A carefully thought-out strategy for monetizing their stream.
  • Seen the live streaming process through to the best of their ability.
  • Reinvested monies earned to help cover expenses and/or improve their live stream.

Success with monetization is not about how much money you make; that’s all relative. It’s about realizing the value of your product and taking action to preserve it. Even a small profit can make a big difference in the health and growth of your live streaming program. So if you’re just starting to explore how to make money streaming online, first consider what success means to you, then go from there.

Here are a few of the industries we’ve seen that are experiencing success in this area. If you’re thinking of ways to monetize your live stream, consider taking a page out of their playbook.

Is your organization missing an opportunity to profit from its live stream? Get this free guide to learn more about your monetization options and how to know if monetization is the right move for you.

Three Industries Doing Live Stream Monetization Successfully

1. Sports

We’ve mentioned the Northwoods League before in this blog—the largest organized baseball league in the world. Its pay-per-view (PPV) games draw an audience of roughly a million people, and the money earned is mostly reinvested in its live streaming program. Over time, the PPV live stream has enabled the league to purchase new video equipment for all of its ballparks, which continues to boost the quality of each broadcast.

In my experience, sports organizations at all levels have great potential for generating a profit from their live streaming. Aside from having a product surrounded by a sense of urgency (most people prefer watching a live streamed game—soccer fans, check out NBCUniversal’s new premiere league pass), there are numerous ways to add value to their product and engage with fans, including:

  • Producing pre- and post-game shows and interviews with players and coaches.
  • Offering multiple ways for fans to pay for content (i.e. season passes or single-event passes).
  • Recruiting local businesses to sponsor events and run commercial advertising.
  • Tweeting highlight clips, game stats, and other items of interest to fans.

2. Racing

Dirt car racing, horse racing, sailboat racing, bike racing… fans love to watch high action events in real time. As a result, many of our racing clients have seen a great deal of success with their live stream monetization efforts.

There’s a lot racing organizations can do to encourage and promote their live stream, with social media being at the top of the list. For example, you could use Twitter or Facebook for pre-race promotion and to share post-race highlights; you can also attract new viewers with add-ons, like Q & A sessions with participants and fans, demonstration videos, or contests or giveaways. Social media ads and sponsorships can help generate even more revenue alongside each PPV event.

3. Pageants

Pageant organizations have also done well with live stream monetization this year. Like the other industries mentioned, promotion of PPV events also has a lot to do with their success. Pageant organizations sometimes market to previous pageant viewers by emailing them directly about upcoming events (assuming the viewer voluntarily registered with their email address and opted in to marketing emails). This targeted approach engages customers who have already shown interest in the product, and are more likely to tune in for the next event.

Interested in learning more about how to make money streaming online?

If you’d like to know more about how your organization can get started with live stream monetization, get in touch! We’d like to partner with you to help you grow. As your partner, we’ll help solidify your live streaming goals, strategize about how best to reach them, recommend PPV pricing, and suggest a reasonable timeline in which to make it all happen. Set up a free 30-minute consultation call today to discuss your monetization options—no commitment necessary.

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17 Proven Church Fundraising Ideas: Online, Events, & Traditional With A Twist

Proven Church Fundraising Ideas: Online Edition

For many people, the idea of fundraising is about as appealing as chewing on thumbtacks. Unfortunately for most churches, however, fundraising is a necessity as much as it is a moving target. The same fundraiser done year after year might be a roaring success for a while—until the year it isn’t. Then it’s back to the drawing board once again.

If you’re still searching for the perfect fundraising idea for your church, or if you’d like to try something new, take a look at the ideas below. We’re betting there’s something you haven’t yet thought of or something you haven’t already tried. Good luck—and let us know how it works out!

1. Cast a wider net with crowdfunding.

If you have a specific plan for the funds, give crowdfunding a try. But beware—it’s more difficult than you’d expect. You might have heard stories about people raising incredible amounts of money on sites like Kickstarter, but in reality, only about 36% of all Kickstarter campaigns are actually successful (it also doesn’t accept most projects designed to raise money for a charity or a cause). That doesn’t mean the concept won’t work—it simply means you need to know what you’re doing. FaithLauncher is one example of a good crowdfunding site for churches; other good options are WeRaise.us and GoFundMe.

2. Tell your church’s story with YouTube.

Another church fundraising idea that will broaden your reach involves distributing content via YouTube’s Nonprofit Program. If you’re willing to put in the work required to make a video content strategy and a few videos (think youth volunteers here!), YouTube is a great way to get your message to a larger audience. Create a dynamic video that tells the story of your church and your mission, and ask for help. The program allows you to add interactive donation cards to any videos your church produces; you can also partner with other creators to have them add donation cards for you as well. Donations are distributed via Network For Good.

3. Create an online giving portal.

Physical attendance at weekly masses shouldn’t dictate your congregants’ ability to give, nor should fundraising be limited to people in your immediate area. (Plus, who carries cash anymore?) Encourage donations anytime, from anywhere, with online church fundraising tools that utilize text, email, and web pages. A PayPal donation page is easy to set up and accepts debit cards, credit cards and PayPal; other options, like easyTithe, allow donors to set up recurring payments and track their donations throughout the year.

4. Host a marathon special event and live stream it.

Host a weekend-long event related to the program you’re raising money for—for example:

  • A series of DIY presentations for a church renovation fundraiser.
  • Youth talent performances for a youth group trip.
  • A concert to raise money for the music group.

You could invite audiences to watch in person in addition to live streaming the entire event and request a small fee from viewers to tune in. If you can’t make a direct connection between the marathon event and the program in need, simply provide an interesting mix of speakers and performers who would be appreciated by a good portion of your congregation.

Interested in live streaming but have no idea how it’s done? Download this free guide on how to get started, even without a tech-savvy staff.

5. Harness the power of your congregation’s online activities.

Believe it or not, a great fundraising idea for churches comes from daily activities like internet searching and online shopping—all you have to do is sign up and then spread the word. On Welzoo, for instance, ask your congregants to designate your church as their favorite charity, and you’ll receive up to six cents daily each time they go online using Welzoo as their start page. Another website, Goodshop, optimizes online shopping. Again, congregants simply designate your church as their chosen cause on Goodshop, and your church will receive a donation whenever they make a purchase using the coupons offered on-site.

Events

1. Host a “Battle of the Bands.”

Most people enjoy a night out that involves music, which makes this church fundraising event an easy sell. There are multiple twists you can take with a “Battle of the Bands” theme, including a variety of local bands, worship bands, or even a joint event featuring bands from multiple religious organizations in the area. Capitalize on the event by selling merchandise (CDs, T-shirts, etc.) and food, the latter of which could be donated by community organizations in exchange for some free publicity. To extend your audience, live stream the event and ask viewers for a small fee to cast a vote for the winner.

2. Organize a carnival.

Everyone loves a carnival. Turn your church property into a fairground for a week and either charge an admission fee or ask for donations. Food, games, rides, live music, pony rides, photo booths—you name it, you can add it. For a more hometown flavor, ask congregants to create original games and provide entertainment. You could also join forces with other nonprofit organizations within the community and allow them to contribute (and profit) as well. It will increase turnout and bring the community together at the same time.

3. Stage a cook-off or tasting event.

A chili cook-off, a soup-off, a barbeque-off, a wing-off (hmmm, did we make those last two up?)—it doesn’t matter what you cook or what you call it, tasting events like these are evergreen. Open it to the entire community, publicize it in advance, and organize a panel of judges. Charge an admission fee for attendees to participate in the taste test, and, in addition to the official judges’ results, have tasters vote on their favorites as well.

4. Offer “how to” classes with experts.

Is someone in your congregation a professional chef? A carpenter? A computer programmer? No matter what talents your members have collectively, you can build a church fundraising activity around them. There’s no doubt you’ll have experts in areas that others would be interested in learning more about, especially if it means helping the church at the same time. DIY projects, cooking classes, computer instruction, party planning, video production—the possibilities are endless. Poll your congregation to find out about viable areas of expertise and learner levels of interest, then go from there.

5. Present an open-mic night.

Your members who are musicians, comedians, storytellers, and poets will appreciate the chance to share their talents with an audience during open-mic night. Even artists can get in on the fun by decorating the space with their artwork. Another option is to combine open-mic entries with a performance by a featured, established artist, which could potentially draw a bigger crowd. Ask for donations for entry, or charge for refreshments and snacks. An event like this is family-friendly—one that welcomes the entire community.

6. Organize a dodgeball tournament.

This is a great church fundraising event, especially for youth groups. Both high-energy and high-interest, a dodgeball tournament (or any kind of sports tournament) invites friendly competition. Build excitement before the event with promotional teasers on social media, encouraging community members to mobilize their “dream team” and get involved. Reach out to local businesses for a donation or a discount on a product or service as a prize for top-scoring teams.

7. Host a gala.

Staged on your church campus, a gala extravaganza can be a huge moneymaker. Find out if a local restaurant will give you a discount for catering, invite a few members of the school youth orchestra to provide music for a small fee, gather items from local businesses and congregants for a silent and/or live auction, and ask young adult members of your congregation (along with an overseeing adult!) to handle valet parking. Give attendees the option to buy single tickets or, to encourage a full house, offer discounts for purchasing an entire table.

Traditional With A Twist

1. Make lunch on you.

The idea of picking up lunch after a Sunday service appeals to a lot of people, which is probably why a sub sandwich fundraiser was one of the most successful fundraising ideas for her church that Carrie Seibert can remember. At her church, volunteers gave members an order form for a customized sub a few weeks prior to the designated pick-up date, and collected the forms along with payment a week before the lunch. On the designated Sunday, youth group volunteers made the subs and packaged them in bags with napkins. After the service, those who placed orders had a ready-made, customized lunch to go.

2. Think outside the (collection) box.

Laura Buchanan of United Methodist Communications credits the pastor of a local church for an untraditional idea that could double the amount of funds you normally collect during a fundraiser. He gave each of his congregants $1 along with a challenge to multiply that dollar in any way they wished to support the cause at hand. This fundraising method works because it unites the congregation in a common goal, and relies on everything from creativity to individual talents to available resources. When the congregation from the aforementioned church came together with their dollars—raised through everything from garden vegetable sales to home repair services—they raised $6,621.60, twice the usual amount raised from their more traditional events.

3. Hold an annual bazaar, with extra toppings.

Another church fundraising idea that works well is an annual bazaar, and for good reason: it’s fun for both seller and buyer. The need for handmade items brings out the craftiness in many people, and the possibility of discovering something special appeals to everyone else. Heidi Hecht’s previous church had the usual bazaar—but with the unusual addition of a baked potato bar. Twenty-five topping choices and lots of baked potatoes turned into several hundred dollars, on top of what was earned from the bazaar. And the best thing she remembers about the event? Everyone had fun.

4. Try a new kind of collection envelope.

Annie Tiberg, Director of Christian Education at Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran Church, spearheaded an easy church fundraising idea: She taped plain business envelopes to a rolling whiteboard and numbered them from one to 150, then placed the board in a strategic spot for people to see between Sunday services. Congregants were encouraged to take whatever numbered envelope they wanted and return it to the church with that amount of money inside. Tiberg found that after leaving the board in place for four weeks, many envelopes were returned with more than the allotted amount inside.

5. Appeal to friends and family.

When Tiberg planned her youth group’s mission trip to New Orleans, she asked each teen to write a sponsorship letter and send it to friends and family. For this to be effective, the writers must be able to articulate how and why the event will be impactful to them. They should also have a strong connection with the recipients. Fundraisers like this one extend your pool of donors beyond the church body, and have the added benefit of cultivating relationships between the teens and others in their social circle.

If you’ve tried any of these—or have other fundraising ideas for churches—tweet us! We’d love to hear from you.


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Breaking Down The Latest Video Streaming Technology

Breaking Down The Latest Video Streaming Technology

Even though live streaming is a fairly new technological advancement, the market is changing in tremendous ways every year.

Consider these facts:

  • Five or so years ago, most live streams (we’d estimate around 80%) were standard definition. Today, high definition video streaming is the norm!
  • A few years ago, the easiest way to stream was to connect your camera directly to your computer with a firewire output. Today, firewire technology is dead—it’s been replaced by HDMI and SDI capture devices that utilize the latest USB and Thunderbolt technology.

These are just two examples of how much the market has changed. But instead of focusing on the small-scale changes to the live streaming industry, we want to recognize the huge advancements the latest video streaming technology has made and give some pieces of technology the accolades they deserve.

Newtek’s NDI software and the new JVC cameras are pushing the boundaries of live streaming as we know them—and we’re pumped about it! Below, we’ll walk through what each of these are, how they’re used, and what sets them apart from the competition.

Network Device Interface (NDI)

Overview

NDI is a new video streaming production software created by Newtek, and is completely changing video streaming architecture. We’re not alone in thinking of NDI as a game changer; it earned “TV Technology Best In Show” at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in April 2016.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up and talk through what NDI actually is. On an elementary level, the idea behind NDI is that any video camera, capture device, or web cam that is available on your local network can be drawn in as a video source for your live stream.

If you wanted to do something similar without NDI, you’d have to route all of your video directly from the camera through hardwired fiber cabling directly into your production environment. NDI, on the other hand, creates a direct link to any camera across your shared Wi-Fi network, even though it isn’t hardwired. This is a big improvement in live streaming!

Use Case

Let’s say you’re in charge of video production at a university, and you want to show off how beautiful the campus is in the fall. Previously, you had to wire together your cameras and bring those cables back to a central location for your live streaming—a pain to do!

With NDI technology, you have immediate and easy access to video cameras all across campus. You can then use those cameras however you’d like for the production. (And you can even have the university president sign in from his laptop and live stream a message midway through!)

What else should I know?

  • NDI is available right now.
  • It is proprietary to Newtek (but can be used outside of Newtek products in some instances).
  • There are both free and paid implementations available. With the free version of NDI, you can have as many as 16 video sources (eight machines with two sources per machine).

JVC’s All-In-One Camera

Overview

JVC is a large electronics company and is well-known for their high-quality video cameras. But this year, they introduced something completely new: A camera you can live stream directly from. That means you don’t need a capture device or a hardware or software encoder—just your JVC camera. (Yeah, it’s pretty cool—you can see why it earned “TV Technology Best In Show” at NAB 2016)

It’s important to note that JVC isn’t the only company that has done this. In the past, there have been other streaming cameras—but most are tied to specific services. Live streams from JVC cameras don’t have a list of preset providers. This means you have to do a little leg work when you get the camera set up, but you can select any streaming provider you’d like.

Additionally, they’ve created an iPhone app that pairs with the camera that allows you to add graphics directly into your broadcast. All you have to do is pair your smartphone with the same Wi-Fi network the camera is on.

Use Cases

Sports

Far and away, the biggest use case for this camera is live streaming sporting events. Why? Because JVC has partnered with SportzCast—so it integrates with their products to create an ESPN-style, professional-quality experience for fans. (If you’re not familiar, SportzCast makes products that tie into scoreboards directly, making it easy for timing and score to be added into your live stream.)

Business

If your business makes regular announcements or holds short-notice press conferences and wants to live stream them, this JVC camera could be a great choice.

Churches

If your church service takes place in an elementary school cafeteria or a neighborhood park, you need to have a quick and simple tear-down process. Having a single camera for your entire production environment is helpful for this!

What else should I know?

  • This camera runs about $2,600. That’s why we won’t tell you to hop online and buy one right away! That being said, we do recommend that anyone getting started with live streaming buy pieces of video streaming technology that will grow with them—and this camera could qualify.
  • If you want to expand your live stream in the future—say, purchase a second camera—you’ll have to start from scratch with the infrastructure and buy all the “regular” equipment that goes along with that!

What’s next for video streaming technology?

If you’re holding your breath for me to say that 4K streaming is right around the corner, you’re going to be a little sad. Right now, that’s still a pipe dream. In fact, the first-ever 4K live streamed event (UFC 200) happened just a couple months ago! And with an enormous budget, even NBC couldn’t figure out how to live stream in 4K at the Olympics. (They resorted to next-day 4K streams of basketball and gymnastics.) But don’t lose hope—with as quickly as technology in the live streaming world is changing, you can expect this in the next five or so years. 

If you would love to live stream your events but want a partner to guide and assist you through the process and walk you through how to use the video streaming technology, let’s talk! At Stretch Internet, we stream more than 60,000 live events every year with an emphasis on providing outstanding support and memorable experiences.  

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