By the end of 2019, more than 3 million people will have cancelled their cable subscriptions. These individuals are joining the growing ranks (33 million households and counting) of cord-cutters who get all their entertainment, news, and educational content via the internet. And each of them will choose a video live streaming company to provide OTT services for them.
If you’re interested in providing OTT video services to these cord-cutting viewers, we can help. This post explains why and how to build and start your live streaming company. We’ll also define a video API and discuss its applications for any live streaming company. Let’s jump right in!
Why to Add Live Streaming to Your Business
Video streaming rose 72.4% between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019. At this point, more than 63% of people ages 18-34 watch live-streaming content regularly. Of course, TV replacement isn’t the only use-case for live streaming. In fact, live streaming is a much more versatile technology than TV. And that’s something all sorts of businesses can use to their advantage.
Simply put, there are many reasons for businesses to get involved with live streaming. At the top of that list is profitability. As that article points out, live streaming is making up the majority growth in the video streaming market.
That said, live streaming can also support any type of business. In a business setting, the most common uses of live streaming are internal meetings, conference keynotes, and internal updates or announcements. To be more specific, businesses can stream live video externally. Likewise, they can use video as a product itself or to promote other products or services. Businesses of all kinds can benefit from live streaming conferences and events. Also, they can incorporate video content internally, for training and so on.
Best Ways to Start a Live Streaming Company
In the early days of online video, live streaming was a challenge for many reasons. Today, however, it’s easier than ever before to create a live streaming company. Faster internet connections, mobile broadband, better live streaming camera quality, and the proliferation of streaming solutions have made the rare into something pretty simple.
For example, a company with a 4 or 5-figure budget can create highly professional productions today. What used to cost for millions for TV stations we can now approximate for a tenth of the cost (or less). Low-cost high definition cameras, the ubiquity of powerful computers, and free or affordable software encoders have all impacted this trend.
Many other advancements have helped to make live streaming more accessible as well. I mentioned streaming solutions a moment ago. These solutions now make it possible to host and stream live video, monetize, track viewership, and more.
Broadcasters can do all of this–and more–through a simple web interface. That said, many businesses are choosing to take a different path by using APIs. Let’s take a closer look at the role of video APIs for a live streaming company today.
What is a Video API?
The term API stands for “Application Programming Interface.” An API is a custom programming shorthand that allows you to create custom interactions with a given program or service. If we consider a standard web interface as “normal,” an API yields a “power user” approach. In the case of video APIs, they allow a live streaming company to do things like:
- Create custom live streaming mobile apps
- Integrate live streaming into existing workflows, websites, apps, and services from other providers
- Resell white-label live streaming and video hosting solutions
- Set up custom workflows with automation
- Build custom platforms that can automatically populate your latest live streaming content and archives
- Automatically export analytics data to custom dashboards in real-time
If you’ve ever used a service like Zapier or IFTTT (If This, Then That), then you’ve used APIs. These services show how combining basic features from different services and platforms can result in novel and valuable new workflows.
The easiest and smartest way to build your own live streaming company is with a video API from an existing OTT video provider. This way, you do not have to build it yourself—which is HUGE when you don’t have unlimited resources. You can also use APIs from other services to facilitate customization, integration, and fast development.
The whole point of a video API is to make things easier. As Avrid Dyfverman, CEO of Deportivo, explains: “APIs are like having your own MacGyver. They do a lot of the hard work. Secondly, they solve a lot of tricky problems.” If you or your live streaming company don’t use APIs, you are likely to fall behind competitors. Meanwhile, your in-house developers will waste their time reinventing the wheel.
How to Integrate Your Live Streaming Company with a Video API
Most businesses are migrating to API-based workflows for online video. According to Streaming Media, “The video workflow and distribution environment is incredibly complex, and the way to build a best-of-breed system or even just gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.”
Getting started with an API can sound technical. But most modern APIs use standardized syntax and adhere to a standard called “RESTful.” In other words, most programmers can easily learn and start using APIs in a short period of time. That is, as long as proper API documentation is available.
The integration component is actually pretty easy. But before you can start coding, you need access to a video platform and a video API for your live streaming company.
How to Gain Access to a Video API
The best way to gain access to a video API is via a professional-grade online video platform, or OVP. A modern, professional OVP should provide live streaming functionality, as well as video on-demand (VOD) hosting. Plus, it should include options for security, video monetization, analytics, and more. These services are the foundation for any live streaming company. They allow you to easily launch and scale your live streaming with predictable costs and reliable tools.
However, not all online video platforms provide access to APIs. Some only provide API access at extremely high monthly costs. Likewise, not all APIs are created equally. Some platforms don’t adhere to RESTful standards,for example. And some go above-and-beyond by including SDKs (Software Development Kits) that make it easy to start streaming on platforms like iOS and Android.
Here at Dacast, we provide an online video platform with all of these features and more. Our service includes a robust, well-documented API, as well as SDKs to make development easier. We specialize in live streaming, and we also offer an advanced video hosting platform for VOD. And as a bonus, all videos are delivered via the Akamai CDN, ensuring scalable video delivery worldwide.
In this article, we’ve introduced you to how to start a video streaming business. As this post highlights, creating a live streaming company is much simpler than it used to be. And APIs make this process more powerful than ever before.
In 2014, Forbes had already predicted that APIs would soon become a key strategic element for business growth: “APIs represent an attractive source of potential new revenue for companies,” that article states. “Recent activity suggests companies have just begun to explore potential applications.”
That prediction is coming true today. Here at Dacast, more and more of our users—especially the larger businesses—are using video APIs. Do you want to learn more about our platform and how it works? You can start today with Dacast’s 30-day free trial (no credit card required).
Do you have questions or comments about this article? Let us know in the comment section. We love hearing from our readers and we welcome your feedback. And we will get back to you! For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, we also invite you to join our LinkedIn group.