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Live Streaming

Mar 15, 2012 11:39 AM, By Jan Ozer

Choosing a live streaming service provider (LSSP).


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Figure 4. Would you buy a used car from this man? Jan Ozer pouring over embedding options from Bambuser.

ACCESS PROTECTION

That’s the Livestream vision, anyway. Whether it’s the old or new paradigm, when you create your channel page, there are lots of switches to set, lots of controls to configure. Most, but not all LSSPs let you customize your landing page with personalized headers, logos, overlays, colors, and other options. Beyond these appearance-oriented issues, the next concern for many enterprises relates to access to content.

For example, Justin.tv lets you password protect your videos, prevent others from embedding your content or exporting your content to YouTube, and sets other restrictions. Most LSSPs offer some versions of these; some also let you identify which URLs can embed your videos for more fine-tuned control.

Another potential cause for concern relates to viewer comments and chat. Some LSSPs allow you to moderate all comments, so you can prevent spam or negative comments from appearing. Regarding chat, some LSSPs let you select multiple moderators to monitor chat, while others let you block certain words or even certain chat participants. If you have concerns about how potential viewers can access and use your content, investigate each LSSP-candidate’s capabilities in this regard early in the process.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER CONTENT

All LSSPs provide links to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so you can easily post a link to the video broadcast when you go live. For those seeking closer ties to these services, Livestream also integrates Facebook and Twitter chat into its live presentations as an adjunct to its own native chat facility. That way, comments posted via Facebook and Twitter appear on the channel page and on its viewer’s walls or pages, increasing the potential buzz around the event.

It’s also useful to consider what visitors to your page see when you’re not broadcasting live. In this regard, all LSSPs present libraries of previous broadcasts that your visitors can select among and play. Ustream lets you create playlists of videos that appear when a visitor opens the channel page, so you can control the experience. Going one step further, Livestream lets you build sophisticated presentations from previous broadcasts, uploaded on-demand files and even files imported from YouTube, to create rich presentations to engage your viewers.

If you’re selling products on iTunes or Amazon, one great feature offered by Ustream is the ability to use “extensions” to post links to these products under your live and on-demand videos. Folks watching the video about your brand new widget can then click on Amazon and buy it, another feature you can use to help monetize your video.

So far, all the features discussed involve the channel page on the LSSP’s site. For many broadcasters, the features of the embedded player are much more important. So let’s spend some time looking at this.





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