This week we’re gradually rolling out Switcher Studio 4.4, which includes both form and function updates to the Switcher app. It will be available to all Switcher users over the course of the next few days. So be on the lookout for these changes soon, and check out what’s new below.
As of last week, the U.S.-based Switcher team has gone all remote. We’re tackling the same projects and holding the same meetings, but we’re doing it at a distance, hoping to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We know you’re likely in the same situation, which is why we’re amping up your Switcher Studio access to help you do your work at a distance too.
Livestreaming your weekly church services is an excellent way to grow the reach of your church virtually. Viewers can participate in the service in real time — from anywhere in the world and from any time zone. Livestreaming your church services aids not only new visitors who are checking out your church but also current members of your congregation; neither illness nor travel will prevent them from joining in the weekly service.
Of course, to extend your streams' reach, it is important to increase the engagement that takes place during each stream. On platforms like YouTube and Facebook, higher engagement means more people see your stream. By encouraging engagement, you can also helps at-home participants feel more like they're there in person.
Here are a few tips that will help you to maximize your engagement during your church's livestreams.
As a marketer, I rely heavily on media kits. They’re the first thing I look for when I want to place an ad or purchase a sponsorship in a specific content channel, whether that’s an email newsletter, a blog, a podcast, a video channel, etc.
That’s why it’s super important for livestreamers to create a media kit — and for news or multimedia organizations to include their livestreams in their media kits. Media kits help you monetize your content by presenting potential business partners and sponsors with all the pertinent information about your brand, your channels, your reach, and the cost to partner with you.
Attending local government meetings is an excellent way for members of a community to stay up to date on what's going on. But not everyone can attend meetings in person. Livestreaming local government meetings ensures that all members of a community are able to "attend," whether they can be physically present or not.
Any number of people may want to produce the livestream of a local government meeting, including local news organizations, interested community members, or the government body itself.
Here we'll cover some easy steps to take to begin livestreaming the local government meetings in your community. You'll also learn how to ensure that the members of your community know where to find the streams and how to tune into the feed.
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.
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):
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.
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.