Social media streaming vs. paid platform streaming is a hot issue right now. And, the platform you use to live stream your event is an important part of delivering a best-in-class experience to your audience. Social media sites are a cost-effective way to stream your event, because they are free to stream and you don’t have to worry about things like determining audience size or data costs. But, it does come with some caveats you may want to consider.

What To Know About Social Media Event Streaming

event audience looking at social media websites on mobile devices

Social media event streaming has become a budget-friendly, simple and effective way to get your live-streamed content out to a broad audience. But, is it everything that it’s stacked up to be? Let’s take a look at some facts about social media streaming and what you can expect using a platform like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites.

Social Media Streaming Fact 1: Lack Of Technical Support

The first caveat is the amount of support your organization receives. Unfortunately, you can’t simply pick up the phone or send an email to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any of the social sites if there is a problem. You are at the whim of their algorithms and security systems, so if the platform goes down or it’s not connecting, you are basically stuck.

Social Media Streaming Fact 2: Copyright Issues

The second thing to know about social network streams is copyright issues. Social media sites are monitored by bots that look for things like copyrighted music, video or imagery.  If you have music in your live stream, for example, there are several issues that could arise. The bots may trigger a cancellation of your broadcast if you use too much copyrighted music without the proper licensing. If you do have music and the bots don’t stop your stream, your post may be hit with copyright claims that need to be settled before they allow your post to live on after the event. This prevents you from gaining traction even after the event is over –  people who missed your live event or want to watch on their own time won’t be able to view your link or post.

One way around that is to purchase a music license which tells the sites that you have permission to use the music. Sometimes that doesn’t work because those bots may not have the data to make a nuanced decision that this account has the proper licensing. 

Social Media Streaming Fact 3: Monetization & Exclusivity

Lastly, monetization can become problematic on social media websites. If you want to monetize your content, social media sites will not give you that option. You’re streaming on a platform that is pretty open to the public so a sense of exclusivity is hard to achieve. YouTube and Facebook have private settings for live streaming that you can use, but there is no guarantee that someone could share that private link. 

What To Know About Paid Live Event Streaming Services

camera man filming live streaming event and delivering content to a paid platform

If any of those issues concern you then a live stream platform is a strong alternative if your budget allows for such a service. Live streaming platforms are also known as paid content delivery networks (CDN). Like social media sites, which are a network of servers that handle distributing your content to its destination point, paid platforms give you a lot of customization, and technical support, while alleviating some of the issues associated with social media live streaming.  

Paid Live Streaming Fact 1: Outstanding Technical Support

With a paid live streaming service like Akamai, Wowza and Amazon Web Services, you have dedicated technical support that provides troubleshooting support and proactive monitoring of live streams. So, if something goes wrong with your broadcast you have someone to contact for help, a big benefit of a paid video stream. With this, you don’t have to worry that your platform will affect the end user’s experience, and thus the perception of your organization.

Paid Live Streaming Fact 2: Control Over Branding

Paid platforms also give you much more control over event marketing, branding and messaging. Most platform providers allow you to design a portal that allows you to customize your engagement’s message and look. You also can embed your webcast on your website and benefit from a simple form of cross promotion. Before, during or after the event, your audience can easily browse your products and/or services web pages to learn more about your organization’s offerings, directly from the event window.

Paid Live Streaming Fact 3: Fewer Copyright Issues 

The third benefit of using a paid live streaming CDN is that copyright is not much of an issue. As for music, you don’t have “hall monitor” bots listening to every sound, so you can rest easy knowing that your live stream won’t be interrupted or removed. You still have to worry about copyrights and should always check with local licensing laws, but you will have fewer issues in a live setting using a paid platform.

Paid Live Streaming Fact 4: Data Usage & Cost

When using a paid live streaming platform, your biggest concern will be data usage. Data usage simply refers to how much you pay for the number of people that watch your stream and the length they watch it. Your streaming provider will have to calculate usage using how many people watch your stream and for how long they watch. Additionally, they’ll charge you for specific encoded data settings for your stream. 

For example, a 1080p broadcast that is two hours with 100 people watching the whole time, would use about 430GB total.  Now, if your event goes viral and has more people than you estimated, then overage charges will be assessed. So, it goes without saying that it’s best to have a pretty good estimate of those numbers to know what your cost will be and you don’t get hit with massive fees.

What Is The Best Way To Stream Events?

YouTube live video stream

Overall, it will come down to the organizational goals of a live event stream. If you have the budget and want to provide the best experience possible, paid live streaming platforms provide outstanding technical support, give you more control over branding and you won’t have to worry about copyright issues affecting your content.

However, social media websites are also beneficial in that they’re very affordable, can target general audiences around the world and But, there are many rules and regulations that you need to follow and you may miss out on crucial things like monetization and exclusivity that come standard on paid platforms. Plus, there’s no technical support, so it may end up costing your brand if things go south. 

Are you searching for a live streaming expert to help host your event?

Then get in touch with Igigo Communications today. We’re Atlanta’s number one live streaming specialist, providing your organization with the support it needs to deliver attractive content with flawless video quality, personalized technical support, copyright information and so much more. We’ll help you narrow down the options on which platform is best for your upcoming live streaming event. To learn more about our production services, get in touch with our team today.