How to Livestream When Wi-Fi Is Spotty (or You’re in the Middle of Nowhere)

By Dan Petrik on Jan 14, 2020 9:42:27 AM

Have you ever been watching a live video and then had to wait while the stream buffered? Nobody likes this. If a stream is sent over an insufficient internet connection, however, buffering is likely to occur for viewers. This is why it is imperative that, when you’re the one streaming live videos for other viewers, you have a sufficient internet connection.

Below I will outline a few ways to stop buffering before it starts. We’ll talk about matching stream quality to upload speed, streaming on a closed network, and bringing your own portable Wi-Fi connection.

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How News Stations Are Driving Views — and Revenue — with Facebook Live

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 31, 2019 9:45:09 AM

The Radio Television Digital News Association conducts an annual survey of newsrooms across the U.S., and one of the open-ended questions they ask every year is, “What is the most important new thing you started doing with social media in the past year?”

In both the 2017 and 2018 reports, the most popular answer was Facebook Live. (This makes sense considering Facebook Live was rolled out globally in spring 2016, and each year’s report covers the previous year’s activity.) Newsrooms reported using it for breaking news, weather, polls, sports, events, behind-the-scenes content, and more. Interestingly, in the 2019 report, Facebook Live was the second most popular answer (likely suggesting it was no longer a “new thing” for most newsrooms to adopt). 2019’s top answer was strategy — newsrooms reported being more strategic about what and when they posted on social media.

Newsrooms gearing up for 2020 can learn from these reports by looking at their own Facebook Live strategies and applying the insights in the RTDNA reports. Here are a few tips gleaned from the anonymous responses quoted in the 2018 and 2019 reports (2017’s report didn’t include direct quotes):

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74% of Buyers Prefer Video to Text When Learning About Products

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 16, 2019 11:46:19 AM

Promo.com recently released their 2019 Online Video Statistics and Trends report, and the findings are right up our alley. Here are a few of the highlights. 

  • 56% of respondents said that Facebook was the social platform they spent the most time on.
  • 67% of respondents said YouTube was their go-to place to watch video.
  • 49% of people watch more than 5 online videos per day.
  • 52% of people prefer to watch videos on mobile.
  • 74% of people prefer to learn about products/services through videos rather than text or photos.
Topics: Latest News
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The Best Livestreaming Platforms for Churches

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 2, 2019 3:15:48 PM

We’ve discussed at length why churches should consider livestreaming and how they can get started for free, but we haven’t yet covered where they can livestream — what sites or platforms are the best fit. There are numerous streaming platforms out there, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the options. The obvious big names are Facebook and YouTube, and these are both great destinations for your livestreams, giving you the opportunity for incredible reach, engagement, and ease of use. But there are also a number of paid platforms that churches may choose if they want more powerful broadcasting options. Here we’ll break down a few of the most popular streaming platforms for churches, detailing what they offer.

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How to Livestream Your Church Services for Free

By Dan Petrik on Nov 6, 2019 11:01:58 AM

More and more churches are livestreaming their worship services as a way to reach people. Much like sermon podcasts, church livestreams let you reach curious new attendees, distant friends and family, and long-time members who can't always make it to Sunday services. But unlike sermon podcasts, livestreams let these people engage with the service in real time (as well as afterward, for that matter). Livestreams also share more than just the sermon — viewers get to participate in the prayer and worship music too.

But that's the why, and we've already covered why to livestream your church services. Today we're talking about the how: how to livestream your church services — and how to do it for free.

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9 Must-Have Apps for Mobile Journalists

By Kate Brannen Smith on Nov 4, 2019 10:09:57 AM

An interesting shift has happened in journalism training just in the past decade or so. When I was in undergrad, journalism students were required to have DSLR cameras and voice recorders. We needed them for our photojournalism, multimedia, and newswriting classes. By the time I was in graduate school, just a couple of years later, journalism students were required to have iPhones (yes, iPhones specifically). And those we needed for, well, everything.

It’s no wonder iPhones are a staple for aspiring and established journalists alike. What blogs and social media did for news gatekeeping, the iPhone did for news technology. Now we’re all gatekeepers, and we all have in our pockets the tech needed to record, photograph, film, write, edit, polish, and publish a multimedia news piece. That brings a whole new meaning to freedom of the press.

We’ve curated a list of must-have apps and resources that will take your already amazing iPhone and deck it out to be the ultimate mobile journalism tool. So check out our list below, and add your own favorite resources in the comments:

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Taking Your Radio Show to Facebook Live

By Kate Brannen Smith on Oct 24, 2019 2:50:37 PM

Radio stations are facing more online competition than ever before. Streaming services like Spotify and Pandora provide music lovers with infinite options, and podcasts provide an inexhaustible number of talk shows on even the most niche of topics. And that doesn’t even include on-demand video services, news subscription sites, digital books and audiobooks, and all the stuff our friends post on social media. Channels abound, content abounds, and competition for audience attention is steep.

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See What’s New in Switcher 4.3 — Cloud Asset Storage, Video Chat for All, and More

By Kate Brannen Smith on Oct 22, 2019 1:57:23 PM

Happy Switcher Studio update day! We’ve been working on the enhancements in today’s 4.3 release for quite some time. We’re thrilled to introduce asset storage, make our multi-user plan more accessible, bring Video Chat to everyone, and turn a number of your requests into a reality. Below you’ll find an overview of the biggest additions and improvements. But before that, we wanted to introduce you to a new plan structure! 

Topics: Latest News
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Basic Gear to Livestream Your Worship Services

By Jimmy Burns on Oct 20, 2019 2:08:00 PM

If you are just getting started with livestreaming for your church, you may be realizing that there are a lot of options out there for putting your service online. Here I’ll outline some of the basic gear and tools you will need to livestream, highlighting a few production tips that are specific to churches.

I’ll start by saying that there is a time and place for heavy-duty gear like professional optics and hardwired cable runs. But to get started streaming your church services, you’d be wasting money to begin there. If you can remove complexity from your video production setup, you’ll be more flexible when it is time to expand. 

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See What’s New in Switcher Studio 4.2 — Upgrades to Video Chat, Audio Controls, and Inserted Videos

By Kate Brannen Smith on Aug 27, 2019 8:48:09 AM

It’s everyone’s favorite day — update day! We’re rolling out Switcher Studio 4.2, which includes enhancements to the Video Chat extension as well as greater audio controls and more options for customizing your inserted videos.

Download the updated Switcher Studio app from the App Store to get these exciting upgrades. (If you don't already have one, you'll need to create a Switcher Studio account to use the app.)

Topics: Latest News
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