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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.)
Unless you want to enroll in a class or buy a textbook on social media analytics, it can be hard to find concrete information about how to interpret all the data points for your live videos. Rarely do I click on the unicorn of Google search results — one that provides the complete answer about how to use post insights and video data to make better content. Often the first question you’ll be asking yourself is, “How do I even choose which metrics actually matter to me?”
This is the eighth post in our Live Video Content Strategy series, helping you craft a strategy for your live videos.
It’s almost time to go live, you guys! If you’ve been following along with this series, you should have a live video content strategy document that’s nearly complete — audience identified, topics chosen, goals stated, etc.
The last step in building your strategy is to determine how you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of your live videos after the fact. Which metrics will you look at to know whether your content plan succeeded?
Sharing your church services online is a great way to reach people who are unable to attend the gatherings. By streaming the services live, you enable those who are at home, at work, out of town, or in the hospital to participate in real time and feel like they're still an active part of the congregation. Another way to help people participate is to make sure worship song lyrics are accessible.
In the church sanctuary or gathering space, lyrics are often visible on a screen or available in hymnals, allowing everyone to sing along whether or not they know the words. If at-home participants see only the video footage of people singing in your livestream, however, they'll be unable to sing along if they don't know the words. This is especially true for those with hearing loss because they may have additional trouble understanding the words being sung by the congregation.
Fortunately, Switcher Studio's live-video editing app makes it easy to display lyrics — not to mention scripture, graphics, videos, and more — as part of your livestream to Facebook, YouTube, your own site, or almost anywhere else. Just follow the simple instructions below. If you're not a Switcher user, churches can get a free 14-day trial to take it for a spin during a few services. (Since Switcher runs with just iPhones and iPads, you or your tech team can try it without purchasing any gear.)