Businesses that can harness the power of both live streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) can create huge engagement opportunities.
Each form, live stream and VOD, has advantages and disadvantages.
When you live stream, it has immediacy, viewers can engage with an event as it happens and there’s a low barrier to entry.
Video-on-demand (VOD) gives creators more control over the creation and publishing of videos and allows audiences to watch whenever they want and on a variety of devices.
Growth of Live Streaming and Video Conferencing in the last decade
Live streaming and video conferencing have grown significantly over the last decade, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic shifted the way people view live streaming. For example, many types of instructors who used to hold regular classes took their studio sessions online. Today 63% of the population between the ages of 18 and 34 watch live streaming content on a daily basis.
Live streaming in media and entertainment
Live streaming in media and entertainment is a growing trend.
The popularity of traditional television has been steadily declining as it doesn’t offer the flexibility of OTT services like Netflix and Hulu.
Nowadays, people can stream their favorite series and movies using a variety of devices such as cell phones, tablets and smart TVs.
Live streaming in online education
Live streaming has had a transformative impact on the education industry and received an extra boost during the pandemic. This has opened up many learning opportunities all over the globe.
Today individuals do not have to leave home to get an education as they can learn from the comfort of their own homes through various online courses, workshops, and schools.
Online courses and videos courses are particularly important for underdeveloped countries where there may be a lack of learning opportunities as it gives people the chance to learn from experts globally.
During the ongoing pandemic, live video allowed educational institutions to continue working, even through the lockdown.
The experiment on online education was so successful that many of them are considering making remote learning a permanent option, even post-COVID-19. Global educational systems are likely to continue undergoing significant changes over the next few years.
Live streaming in business
Live streaming technology has created many opportunities in the business world, with the most notable example being online live conferencing.
Live conferencing technology during the pandemic made meetings and video conferences with people all over the world possible at the click of a button.
Video calls make communication more effective in the workplace and are likely to continue now that so many people work remotely.
The move to remote working is gaining steam and employees are demanding more flexible working conditions and more video conferencing will happen than ever before.
Benefits of live streaming in business – video entertainment, internal communication & online courses
- Live streaming is cost-effective. Streaming using even a mobile device is possible so the minimal investment is needed to get started.
- Live streaming helps businesses to get in front of more eyes and build credibility.
- Live streaming can make a brand more transparent by giving consumers insight into what goes on behind the scenes, at special events etc. It also allows for active dialogue with viewers, which can foster more credibility and trust.
- Live streaming puts a face and personality to a brand so it can boost relationships and build brand awareness.
- Live streaming makes collaboration between content creators easy. This offers a great user experience as viewers can witness different viewpoints. Co-hosting live videos can attract bigger audiences.
How has VOD transformed the video hosting industry?
Integrating video-on-demand (VOD) is essential for businesses who want effective online video assets that deliver value to users for much longer than the short duration of a live stream.
VOD is the most popular way to watch video in 2021 and Cisco predicts that VOD traffic will double by 2022.
Multitude of uses for VOD
There are many uses for VOD streaming in online educational institutions and businesses of all sizes.
Educational institutions can offer online courses that people can watch from anywhere in their own time. Educational learning becomes more affordable and students can learn at a pace that suits them.
Learning management system (LMS) can benefit from making content once and profiting from it over and over again.
Businesses use VOD to recap important events, standardize corporate training programs, share pre-recorded lectures, and much more.
What is video-on-demand?
Video-on-demand (VOD) gives viewers the opportunity to choose when, where, and how they watch videos.
They just have to click on a link to watch a video. As it is streamed via the internet, no cable or satellite connections are required and anyone who has enough bandwidth can watch.
Benefits of VOD for viewers
- Viewers can watch at any time, unlike when watching traditional TV, where there is a set schedule.
- They can find and watch pre-recorded content using any internet-enabled device for video-o-demand.
- Users can use media controls to play, pause, rewind, fast forward, and control how they watch with VOD for their own convenience.
Benefits of VOD for businesses
- Research shows that 50% of people will watch a video about a product before buying it. Using video in marketing shows that you care about providing customers with the information they want.
- Websites with VOD content keep user attention for longer and can convey a brand message better than static content.
- More time in production means less mistakes and content creators can polish content for the best results.
- Build trust and understanding by showing potential customers how your business operates with behind-the-scenes video content.
- Convenience for customers who can access value-added content at any time.
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What is a video hosting platform for VOD streaming?
To leverage VOD streaming requires the support of a video hosting platform that allows for uploading, storing, and distributing videos.
How does using a video hosting platform help?
Professional VOD platforms and video hosting platform offer features that make it easier to store and organize videos so that viewers can get the most value from them in a secure way.
Following are the features offered by video hosting solution for video-on-demand –
- Video CMS
- Video Player Customization
- Video Transcoding
- Advanced Video Security
- Advanced Video Analytics
- Restricted Access
Video CMS: Intelligent management of a video library enhances the use of video assets in many different areas such as staff training, optimizing the customer experience, marketing campaigns, and much more.
A video CMS makes it easy to tag videos with categories and subcategories for a more efficient search. Tagging is a feature that can keep users watching for longer by helping to build smart playlists which recommend more content based on videos viewers have already watched.
Video Player Customization: Being able to customize a video player with your own logo and your brand colors offer more brand continuity. You can even adjust the controls to suit your viewers.
Video Transcoding: What works well on a desktop does not always work as well on a mobile device and vice versa. Different devices have different size screens and you want your viewers to see your videos at the highest quality. Transcoding gives each viewer the most optimized file type for the device they’re using without you having to manually create different file types.
Advanced video security: Video security is essential to protect your video content from the time you upload it. Various security features can offer layers of protection, such as encryption, domain lock and password protection.
Encryption secures videos through codes and passwords to keep it safe and it’s only accessible to certain users who have permission.
SSO ID management means that employees can log on using credentials they already use to view videos. When video content is secure, you can scale without worrying about security issues.
Advanced video analytics: Video analytics offers data on how viewers consume videos, such as which ones they watch, how much they watch, and which parts engage them most.
With insight from video analytics, informed decision-making is possible to make improvements.
Restricted access: Adding an IP whitelist restricts playback of videos to viewers on specific IP addresses.
This helps when companies want employees to watch internal videos that contain sensitive company information. Users can only watch if they’re connected to the company network.
Why do you need to convert a live stream into VOD?
When a live stream is finished, it has no further purpose unless the live stream is converted into VOD.
Live streaming videos like Q&A videos and live interviews are easy to repurpose for future viewing. Repurposing a live stream and making modifications using editing tools is not that difficult.
A major advantage of VOD streaming and VOD platform is that it’s possible to produce batches of videos, upload them, and create an accessible video library.
A single live stream broadcast can turn into many forms of content, including the live stream itself, replay video, video-on-demand, a podcast episode, a blog post, and more.
Once a live video isn’t live anymore, it is called a replay video and you can promote it.
Use enticing clips of replay videos to create teasers and place a call-to-action at the end of a clip. It is easy to trim out the parts that aren’t important to replay viewers.
Marketers can use repurposed live videos in email copy to validate information mentioned in the video. Even screenshots of videos can create presentation slides, GIFs, and more.
Short videos are very popular on social media platforms and offer a way of sharing enticing, engaging content.
How can you save time, effort and increase ROI with VOD on a dedicated landing page (account site)
Having a dedicated landing page or account site definitely means you can save time and effort while increasing ROI.
It helps to use readily available design solutions to create your landing pages and these often have advanced marketing features.
It should be possible to customize your account site page in many ways, such as by adding your logo, brand colors and brand statements with video hosting solution like Cincopa.
Easily add CTAs
VOD platform can create a valuable resource to which it should be easy to add CTAs. In-video features can help to customize and personalize videos on landing pages.
Adding calls-to-action (CTAs) directly into videos can encourage viewers to sign up for a newsletter, download a content offer, and more.
You can choose where to add custom email collection forms to videos so you can build up your email subscription list and create relationships with subscribers.
Monetize a landing page
- Subscription VOD: You can offer subscriptions to users. This means they receive exclusive access to content for a subscription fee and they can view as much video as they want. You may require a password from them to view your content so they have access but you can protect your revenue.
- Transactional VOD: Users pay a set price per piece or series of content, and then they receive access to view that content. It can offer higher revenue to content creators as viewers pay individually for each piece of content.
- Advertising-based VOD: Access to video content is free but viewers are exposed to advertising.
Save time and money with optimized search
When teams can’t find the right video assets to use at the right time, it often results in unnecessarily reproducing assets and wasting time and money.
Optimizing search functionality with Video Asset Management (VAM) can enhance the use and help improve ROI.
When videos are more discoverable with keywords in meta-date, auto-tagging and categories, it is easier for employees to find video content and use it appropriately.
The ROI of your company is affected if video assets are lost, corrupted, mislabeled or misused. When you have more control over the content, you can reduce costs and more strategically allocate assets.
Integrate with other tools and management systems like LMS, Marketing Automation (HubLMS, Salesforce)
By being able to integrate videos with your other tools and management systems, you can leverage them for many different business purposes.
Teams can integrate videos into emails, use them at various stages of the customer journey, add training videos to a learning management system (LMS), and more.
Use video analytics to acquire actionable insights
With available video analytics, it is possible to gain useful insights that can inform many aspects of business, including marketing and sales.
For example, it can make segmenting your audience possible so you can take a more customized approach.
Why is it important to create your own dedicated page for live streams rather than use Facebook/YouTube live streams?
YouTube is the most popular video hosting platform, which offers extensive reach but this comes with certain disadvantages.
Using YouTube live streams and Facebook live streams is free, easy to use and accessible to most people.
This may sound like the perfect solution but here are some reasons why using a professional live streaming solution is better.
5 Reasons why you should refrain from using YouTube live stream or Facebook live stream:
- Your video assets are not fully under your control
- A lack of video customization
- Video unreliability
- Control over advertising
- A lack of video support
Your video assets are not fully under your control: By using YouTube and Facebook’s infrastructure, the trade you agree to is that what you put on the platforms is ultimately under their control.
If they want to block it or take it down for some reason, they can do so.
If you and your enterprise want full control over your landing pages and the videos on them, you should use a video hosting platform that allows you to create landing pages.
A lack of video customization: When using YouTube and other free hosting platforms, videos always carry the platform’s logo and there are various limitations when it comes to how content is distributed.
On YouTube, it also means that viewers have a whole list of recommended videos to watch that can distract them from what you have to offer.
When you can embed a video player with your own branding on your landing page, it creates brand continuity you won’t find with many third-party VOD hosting platforms.
Video unreliability: When your live stream is one of millions, the quality may suffer and you could experience buffering and freezing.
Using a professional hosting platform gives you access to a video content delivery network (CDN). A network of widely distributed servers can speed up video content delivery.
There is no lagging or freezing because the server closest to the viewer’s device streams the content.
Control over advertising: Platforms like YouTube and Facebook give you free access to their platforms in exchange for showing you ads.
Your own account site gives you a chance to use ads in a way that supports your brand and marketing efforts.
A lack of video support: With so many users on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, you may find it very difficult to get support when you run into a technical issue.
With your own account site, you have access to all the technical support you need on a 24/7 basis to help you if you have any trouble.
Free platforms may work well for independent content creators but for those who want a secure, scalable, easy to monetize platform, a professional-grade solution is the best option.
Using both streaming video on demand and live streaming is an ideal way to create layers of value for your brand.
You can live stream to reach out to a wide audience with more immediacy and authenticity. Video-on-demand also holds equal significance if you want to ensure better performance of your business and build a long-term asset you can count on.
The best way is to use a combination of both live streaming and VOD for a comprehensive approach that will not only impress your customers but generate more revenue for your business.