Live Streaming Services: A Guide for Singapore Users

There are three types of live streaming services that are available today. These are streaming through your web browser, for example, from YouTube, Ustream, or Twitch. The second type is streaming through a set-top box, such as HyppTV or UnifiTV. The other is known as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). This guide will only focus on streaming from your web browser as this is the most popular method.

Live streaming is the act of transmitting media data in continuous and compressed form over the internet to be played immediately by the viewer, rather than being saved to the hard drive. Audio or video data can be played before the entire file has been transmitted. This is another advantage compared to downloading because the user does not have to wait until the file is downloaded to start playing the content.

Live streaming services are getting very popular these days. It is due to the high internet speed available today. Coupled with the affordable price of internet today, people are enjoying the live streaming services more than ever. From live sport events to online webinars for businesses, live streaming is getting attention from potential users and businesses. In Singapore, live streaming services also create a significant result. This guide will tell you the best way to enjoy live streaming services in Singapore and how to subscribe to it on your favorite device. But first things first, we will start with the basics of live streaming services.

What is live streaming?

Live streaming refers to a broadcast of real-time, live video to an audience over the internet. All you need to be able to live stream is an internet-enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet, and a platform (such as a website or app) to live stream from. Users can interact with the broadcast in real time through likes, comments, and shares, making live video more appealing to internet audiences. Live streaming technology and platforms have evolved significantly over the past decade. New and emerging technologies, such as increased internet availability and access, have offered more advanced platforms for live streaming, which makes content more accessible to viewers. With live streaming becoming easier and more popular, there has been an increase in content as companies like Facebook have provided extra funding for live streaming of news and events. This behavior of providing live content will also likely increase in the future, making live streaming more popular for businesses. Live streaming provider are also used for personal purposes, such as live streaming of an event (e.g., a wedding) to people who cannot attend or tuning in to a live broadcast of something you’re interested in, such as a sports game or a gaming session. There are even uses for live streaming in health and fitness sectors, with live broadcasts of gym classes and instructional videos. Live streaming offers a unique way of connecting viewers to an event or an individual in real time, as it happens. Viewers have the opportunity to connect on a more personal level and feel more connected to an event or person.

Benefits of live streaming services

The main benefit of live streaming is that it is one of the fastest and easiest methods to deliver information to an internet audience. Text content is good and all, but the general public is getting more and more used to rich media content. It’s based on this simple reason, the world over, corporations and industries of all sorts are using live streaming to communicate to the general public. With a simple combination of a webcam and live streaming software, companies can now communicate information to their staff, customers, and general public in a matter of seconds. This is especially useful for companies that have staff in different locations as with live streaming they can all view the same information at the same time. A different aspect is that there is no need to actually store the information on a hard drive. Information can be communicated in real time as it is streaming. This is particularly useful in the music industry. It is a well-known fact that bands produce some of their best work whilst jamming or using an improvisation session. This creativity can be captured and distributed to the general public using a live stream. High end quality is not essential since the work is still in a draft stage, so using a free live streaming account it is an easy and effective way to communicate the work to their fans. This same method can also be used to communicate with the fans if there are any upcoming events or news updates.

Key Features to Consider when Choosing a Live Streaming Service

Video Quality and Resolution Options Video quality is an important aspect in the selection of a streaming service for a consumer as it affects the enjoyment of the content. Different service providers offer different video quality options, and it is important to select a service which offers video quality options that are in line with consumer expectations of quality. If a consumer has a fast internet connection and a high-end PC, they may prefer to stream video in higher resolutions such as 720p or 1080p. In this case, it is important to select a service provider which offers these options. On the other hand, if a consumer has a slow internet connection and a low-end PC, they may prefer to stream video in a lower resolution in order to avoid buffering and playback problems. In this case, it is important to select a service provider which will allow them to do this by providing lower resolution options such as 240p or 360p. It is important to note that currently some service providers only offer quality options of 480p or higher, so they are not suitable for consumers with slow internet connections and low-end PCs. For this reason, it is important for all consumers to consider quality options even if they have only one preferred resolution.

Video quality and resolution options

Live streaming services often offer different quality options to balance playback performance and data usage for viewers. It would be beneficial to you if a service offers different quality options for different broadband speeds. This way you can still offer viewers with slower internet connections the option to view your stream at a lower quality and higher quality viewers at the option to view your stream with a higher quality setting. Some services may also offer a stream quality above the largely standardized HD (720p) quality, which is known as Full HD (1080p). However, this option will require a higher bitrate and faster broadband speed to view. If you’re playing video games, it’s also worth noting that certain services may not support the higher resolutions and refresh rates that modern gaming PCs provide. Some services offer the option to record your stream at the same time as broadcasting it. This is beneficial if you want to store and/or edit your streams to upload to video hosting services later. Usually, the recording will be kept online for a certain period of time before it’s deleted. This period can typically be increased if you’re a paying customer. This option to record is also a great backup in case there are any issues with your own recording software such as dropped frames.

Compatibility with different devices

One of the key problems with many live streaming services is that they do not work on all devices. When trying to access a stream on a smartphone or tablet, it is not uncommon to be redirected to an app store to download the apps corresponding to the service, only to find that the app is not available on that specific device. Similarly, trying to access a stream on a games console, smart TV, or set-top box can also be an exercise in frustration, with many services simply not having an app available for the device. The best way to avoid these compatibility issues is to find a service that is entirely browser-based because these are most likely to work on any device. Failing that, make sure that the service does have apps available for all the devices you are likely to want to watch on. Bear in mind any other people who may need to access your stream, whether it be to view private sports events or relatives tuning in to watch a wedding, making sure that the service will work for them too.

Customization and branding options

One of the strengths of using Facebook Live as a broadcast platform is that it’s inherently social and connected to the profile pages of the people or brands who are broadcasting. This contrasts with the somewhat impersonal nature of public live streams on YouTube or Twitch. YouTube does offer a live streaming service for content creators, but it is less widely used for personal broadcasts. Live videos can be fired up from the mobile app, and the YouTube Gaming app in the case of gamers, and there’s actually a fairly complex system of setting up live streams for viewers and creators to navigate although in 2017 YouTube is making an effort to simplify it. There’s an events page for scheduling streams in advance, SEO tools for promoting streams, and detailed documentation for stream options including setting up a stream as a paid event. YouTube live streams can be as public or private as the creator wants, right down to restricting it to a specific YouTube channel. Since Twitch is very much geared towards content creators there’s a high level of customisation possible with the live broadcast and the channel environment. Quality options range from the top source quality down to mobile quality, 1080p 60fps is supported for users with sufficient connectivity, and broadcasts are automatically recorded for future VOD viewing. Twitch is built around the use of chat and subscription notifications, so there’s a good number of options around integrating these into the stream with various overlays. Sub buttons are often a goal for mid-level Twitch streamers and there are also alerts for subs, resubs, and donations. Specific games can be tagged for easier discovery in the Twitch directory and there are even features to allow timed re-broadcasts of streams for streamers who want to promote their content outside of their usual broadcast hours. This is a clear contrast to the much simpler setup for Facebook live streams or YouTube streams from smaller creators.

Monetization options for content creators

A major concern for any content creator is the ability to generate some revenue from the content he creates. Different live streaming services have different monetization options for content creators. Ad revenue share is a simple and common way for content creators to get a share of the ad revenue generated by the site. This method is usually incorporated into the partner program for a site. The partner program is a tiered system that offers increasing levels of participation with requirements usually being based on the amount of content provided and level of viewership. At the entry level, just about anyone can apply and is accepted. This level usually only allows participation in ad revenue share. As you go up the ranks, typical features would include higher revenue share, access to more advanced site tools, and in some cases direct funding from the site. These programs are typically great for anyone intending to seriously run live shows and eventually make a living off it. An often overlooked method of monetization is direct sponsorship by third parties, usually companies with a product to sell. This could involve anything from placing a company’s logo somewhere on the stream page, to making shout outs and references to the company during a show. This method is typically suitable for content creators who have a high viewer retention rate and can offer a very targeted audience for the sponsor. Depending on the deal, it’s possible to earn a decent income. However, having to seek out sponsorships with no guaranteed returns can also be a risky use of time. Finally, there are virtual tipping systems. These are most common in Asian countries but there are also examples of it in the west. Viewers purchase virtual items/currency from the site and then “tip” the content creator by giving them the virtual items which can then be cashed out at a later date. High popularity with fans and a personalized community is usually required to make this a viable method of income.

How to Get Started with Live Streaming

“Now that you have the required hardware sorted, you’ll need to get yourself set up on a streaming platform. The largest of these are Twitch and YouTube, and both are free to use. Twitch has additional paid options that were previously free such as ad-free viewing and channel customization with its premium Twitch Turbo and Twitch Prime offerings. YouTube has a Twitch Prime alternative in the form of YouTube Red, though it doesn’t offer much for streamers at this time. It’s easier to get noticed on Twitch due to the higher viewer count of popular streamers, and the Twitch affiliate program allows smaller streamers to make money and grow their channel, while YouTube has had some issues with networks monopolizing viewers and search results through sub bots and black hat SEO. Mixer is a newer but quickly growing streaming platform owned by Microsoft, often praised for its ease of use and higher stream quality due to less compression.”

“Before you go live with your event, there is a number of preliminary steps to make sure your stream looks and sounds as good as it can. If you just want to stream gameplay, you can get away with just using a headset microphone and the Twitch app, but music and IRL streamers will need to pay more attention to quality.” Start off by making sure your hardware is up to scratch. High quality audio can make or break a viewer’s experience, and the built-in microphone on your phone or laptop probably won’t cut it. If you’re using a desktop PC, a dedicated USB or XLR microphone will sound infinitely better. Streamers on consoles will need a microphone connected to their PC or broadcasting device, so make sure that’s possible before buying one. The next thing to consider is the amount of bandwidth you have available. If you have a slow upload, viewers will be forced to watch a choppy or constantly buffering stream. If your internet can’t quite handle the desired quality, consider using lower settings as the higher resolution will not look good if dropped frames are causing the image to stutter. High motion games will also look worse on the same settings as something slower paced.

Setting up your live streaming equipment

To create a scene, click on the “Add New Scene” button in the bottom left corner of the window. You do not need to name the scene at this point as you can do that later. After you have made a new scene, it will be automatically selected and the “Add sources” window will appear on the right. In the add sources window, you can add various media inputs to create the desired layout for your scene.

Step 1: Start XSplit and set up your scene When you start XSplit you will need to create a new “scene”. A scene is a combination of various inputs (webcam, capture card, game capture etc.) arranged or layered in a specific way that suits your broadcast. For example, you might have one scene which shows only your webcam and a chroma keyed background, another scene might show only gameplay captured from a capture card. You can switch between these scenes during your broadcast.

Steps for setting up your live streaming equipment vary according to the kind of broadcast you intend to make. This section will give you a general outline of the steps involved in setting up an XSplit-based live stream. XSplit is a popular live streaming program, used most often by gamers, but suitable for any kind of broadcast. This guide assumes that you have already installed XSplit and have all the necessary software and equipment to produce a stream (e.g. capture card or PC game). It will not cover setting up IP cameras and webcam streams.

Choosing the right streaming platform

For individuals working under close deadlines but looking to establish a quick and casual connection with their audience, Facebook Live’s accessibility due to its large user base could be the sound decision. There would be no need for any special equipment, and the video can be broadcasted directly from a mobile phone or computer. YouTube Live’s suite of tools for live streaming includes the ability to schedule events ahead of time and promotion through giving your audience a preview of the content on your channel. This may be beneficial for companies who want to promote and drive traffic for their live stream. Twitch, being the de facto platform for video game-related content, does not necessarily require one to be broadcasting a video game. “In Creative [Twitch’s creative arts category], there is more potential for artists to gain an audience through socializing with other artists and fans. Compared to streaming in the game development section, there’s more space to grow here…”

Although live streaming platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch are extremely popular and ostensibly free to use, their environments are often riddled with distractions that could be detrimental to your live stream. Personal stories aside, Jacob’s own experiences with live streaming seem to mirror those sentiments. “I mainly used Twitch to stream my artworks. But at times, it can be quite frustrating when viewers come in and out of the channel and ask for free drawings, disrupting the pace of the artwork.” Though none of the platforms require money to use, time is considered a precious commodity, and investment on the wrong platform would lead to unsatisfactory results. Noting that the goals and audiences for different streams can vary greatly, it’s wise to consider beforehand the right platform for the right content.

Promoting your live stream

Once you have set up and scheduled your live stream through your chosen service, the turnover of viewers is not always as high as you’d expect. To increase traffic to your stream, the general rule is to start promoting early. If you can, start talking about your stream a week before it is set to go live. People are more likely to watch if they have been reminded multiple times. Additionally, consider creating a trailer for your stream to catch the attention of potential viewers. Sharing is the easiest way to advertise. If you have any art to share, fan art of the game you plan to play for example, post it on places like Twitter with a link to your stream. Check to see if the game you plan to stream has its own subreddit on and share your stream there. Be sure not to spam, for this could result in a ban from the subreddit. If you have friends that also stream, consider hosting their stream. In turn, they may host you and bring their viewers to your stream.

Engaging with your audience during the live stream

There are several ways to engage with your online audience while you are live streaming. Here are a few ideas to get you started. If you have a small audience, you can easily respond to questions and comments in your video. Many streaming services provide a chat feature that is embedded into the video page. Make sure to take advantage of this feature! It can help facilitate discussion within your audience and you can get immediate feedback on your content. In some cases, it can be good to assign someone to manage the chat to make sure that nothing gets missed. Eye contact is very important in face-to-face communication, and in the online world, it is the same. Try to address your audience directly and encourage them to participate in the chat. A good tactic is to ask your audience a question related to your content. People are more likely to answer questions than start discussions on their own. As your live stream grows in popularity, this is a great way to facilitate discussion within your audience. If possible, it can be a good idea to run weekly Q&A sessions in which your audience can ask questions about any topic. This is a good way to get to know your audience and to build a loyal fan base. Finally, doing contests or giving away free stuff is very effective for audience participation, but it is likely not feasible until you have achieved a meaningful audience size.

Latest Post