About 7 years ago I first started experimenting with live streaming using a platform called Mogulus (now Livestream.com). We simply hooked up a handy-cam to a laptop and were live! It wasn't fancy, but it worked and thanks to social media we literally doubled our audience in a moment. I've learned a lot since this time and took almost a 5 year hiatus from live streaming.
You might have assumed I took a step back in technology. At the end of the day it was less about technology and more about strategy. We felt we could create a better experience with some post edits as well as using simulated live experiences allows us to reach people in different time zones more effectively. This strategy has served us well, but technology has changed and we feel we are now at a place to better offer both live streamed services as well as simulated live experiences.
So today is the day that we beta test live streaming after weeks of setup and we will publicly launch next week. While the act of live streaming itself isn't complicated, the moving parts can be. Here are some of the steps we've had to work through:
- Video/audio feed through the switcher and into the encoder
- Separate audio mix as live room mix rarely sounds good through a live stream
- Dedicated internet line to make sure there's stable bandwidth
- Embed/Integration with Media Social
- Countdown clock added to CommunityBible.com
- Integration into Roku Channel and Amazon Fire TV App
- Integration in the CBC Mobile App
I'm sure there is more, but you get the point that it's not a simple task. Let me be clear though, the potential ministry impact is well worth the effort invested!
I will share more in the coming weeks, but until then I would love for you to check out our Live Streamed services at OnlineChurch.com and let me know what you think. We will be live streaming this morning at 10am, 11:30am and 1pm CST. I hope to see you there!
I want to also say an extra thank you to the great folks at Media Fusion. They offer the best technology at the best prices when it comes to live streaming and media distribution for churches. Even better than the technology that they offer are the people behind the technology. I can't recommend them enough to you and your church!