Simulcast Streaming: How to Live Stream to Multiple Locations
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Broadcasting live streaming video on your websites comes with several advantages.
The ability to incorporate your own branding, monetize your videos, completely own your content, and generally have more control over what you broadcast is useful. However, when you only stream in one place, there is the potential to lose out on viewers.
Although free live streaming platforms come with their own limitations, their popularity can be beneficial to you in the sense that they bring your content to a new world of viewers.
This is where simulcasting, or streaming on multiple platforms simultaneously, comes into play.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about simulcast streaming for live online video broadcasting. This includes a guide that covers three ways to run a successful simulcast stream with pros, cons, and tips for each method. Let’s get started.
Please note that the Dacast team has updated this post to reflect updates and changes to simulcasting solutions as of April 2021.
We’ll Be Answering…
- What is Simulcasting?
- Why Simulcast Stream?
- 3 Ways to Setup Simulcast Streams
- Switchboard Live for Seamless Simulcast Streaming
- How to Simulcast Stream Using Share Codes
- Multi-Destination Streaming at the Encoder Level
What is Simulcast Streaming?
The term simulcast is a shorthand term for “simultaneous broadcast.” It describes simultaneously broadcasting a video via multiple delivery channels.
The term simulcast originally comes from the world of radio. When a radio broadcast was transmitted on several stations simultaneously, it was referred to as a simulcast.
In the context of live online video, simulcast streaming refers to streaming live on multiple distribution platforms at once. For example, you may want to simulcast on your own website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitch, Periscope, and other popular social sites. This is all possible thanks to a few useful pieces of software.
Why Simulcast Stream?
The biggest benefit of simulcast streaming is that it allows you to maximize your audience. It allows you to keep the many advantages of live streaming on your website, while reaping the benefits of streaming on the more limited platforms, as well.
Research shows that viewers love watching videos on social media. People watch live streaming videos an average of 16 hours of online streaming video per week, which is an increase of 52% over the last two years. longer on social media live streams than video-on-demand. Eighty-two percent of viewers say they prefer seeing a live stream over a brand’s social posts. Video content on social media produces 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
Simulcasting gives you the best of both worlds.
3 Ways Setup Simulcast Streams
There are three ways to set up simulcast streams. You can integrate Switchboard Live, use share codes, or use a powerful encoding software.
Let’s break them down.
1. Switchboard Live for Seamless Simulcast Streaming (The Best Option)
The first method—and the best approach—is to use a service like Switchboard Live. Switchboard Live is a simulcasting service that allows you to effortlessly stream your live video across multiple platforms.
Switchboard Live has many advantages. First, it’s fast. Just connect all your accounts, and stream directly to Switchboard to automatically syndicate the stream across multiple platforms.
One of the perks of using this method over other methods is that Switchboard can override technical limitations imposed by Facebook Live. Since so many businesses use Facebook to connect with their followers, this is a platform that you definitely want to stream on.
If you want to start simulcast streaming with Switchboard Live, the simplest way is to use a professional online video platform that integrates with this service, such as Dacast.
2. How to Simulcast Stream Using Share Codes (The Easiest Option)
The simplest way to simulcast is to use a live stream share code. This option is quick and easy if you are broadcasting with a professional online video platform like Dacast.
While it allows you to simulcast, a share code isn’t true multi-platform streaming. Instead, it’s based on sharing a simple link on Facebook, Twitter, or other social platforms. A thumbnail will display, and when the user clicks or taps, the video content opens in a new tab.
However, this method does have some significant advantages with video monetization and password protection. Neither Facebook nor YouTube offers very powerful monetization tools.
By using a share code, you bypass some of these monetization issues. For example, you can use your own paywall for pay-per-view streaming or subscriptions. Alternatively, you could implement advertising monetization.
The share code method from a platform like Dacast has some other benefits as well. For example, Facebook live streams are limited to a 4-hour duration per stream. The Dacast share code bypasses this issue, allowing 24/7 linear live streaming.
How to Use the Share Code Method
The Dacast online video player makes it easy to share your live streams and VODs to social networks via a share code. To use this method, simply visit the “publish settings” for your live stream. Once you’re in, look for the Facebook share code on this page.
Copy this code. Next, go to your Facebook page or wall. Once you paste this code, the title and a splash screen of your video content will appear.
From there, you can add any text you want. Then click ‘post,’ and users will be able to click the play button. This will launch the live stream or video in a new tab.
3. Multi-Destination Streaming at the Encoder Level (The Technical Option)
There is one additional simulcast streaming option to discuss: multi-destination streaming at the encoder level.
This is a more technical solution, but it is the option that works best for many different types of users. You can use this same method to stream to Dacast and Twitch, YouTube, Periscope, and other platforms.
So how does this method work? Essentially, it involves setting up multiple stream destinations in your encoder settings. This is very easy when you’re using a software encoder like Wirecast, VidBlasterX, or vMix.
However, there are two main drawbacks to this method. First, it requires more upload bandwidth, since you’re sending out multiple copies of the same stream. Secondly, this method does not allow multi-destination streaming if you’re streaming to Facebook.
Facebook does not currently allow streamers to broadcast to multiple platforms simultaneously. The best way to bypass this limitation is to use Switchboard Live, as described in option #1 above.
Live streaming is incredibly popular today. Even compared to a year ago, 47% of live streaming video viewers are watching more live videos. Simulcasting is a great way to ensure your streams reach as large an audience as possible.
By running a simulcast stream, you ensure that you’re reaching your social audience, website viewers, etc. In other words, you’re not excluding any potential viewers. By using a service like Dacast that integrates with Switchboard Live, this process is simple.
If you’re looking for a powerful streaming solution, Dacast is here to help. We include a built-in paywall, video advertising tools, analytics, security options, and much more.
Feel free to contact our support team directly to discuss your specific needs. We’re here to help, and we will walk you through any technical questions you may have.
We also offer a 30-day free trial of Dacast, with no credit card required. It’s a risk-free way to test out our platform today. If you’re interested in trying the platform for yourself, click here:
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