In the past, pay per view streaming events were the exclusive domain of major cable broadcast companies. But today, all that has changed. In fact, nowadays anyone can run pay per view streaming events. So what are some of the factors contributing to this more accessing streaming technology? First, the declining costs of high-quality video and broadcast equipment have made it much less expensive to do live broadcasts. Additionally, the proliferation of broadband internet connections has improved accessibility for viewers. Finally, the availability of live stream video hosting has made it simpler than ever before to get on the live streaming bandwagon!
In particular, we think pay per view streaming events are great. Why? They can generate buzz, engage an audience, and bring in serious revenue. Moreover, they can attract hundreds, thousands, or even millions of viewers from around the world to watch your event in real-time.
However, running pay per view streaming events can be very difficult. There is a multitude of challenges, both technical and otherwise, that can arise. In this article, we’ll examine a few of these challenges. Specifically, we’ll focus on one aspect of streaming solutions for pay per view streaming events: customer support.
Managing Live Pay Per View Streaming Events
Before Pay Per View Streaming Events
To ensure that your event runs and airs smoothly, you’ll need to do quite a lot of work on the front end. For example, you’ll need to ensure that you have an adequate bandwidth for your broadcast. That way, your live stream will have as little buffering and as few dropped frames as possible.
You’ll also need to make sure that other aspects of the technical quality of the event are all adequately tested and in place. These aspects include sound quality, video angles, and streaming infrastructure. Taking the time to verify these systems beforehand will save lots of trouble when the event arrives.
1. Tickets and Customer Support
Before monetizing your stream, you’ll need to set up and test the purchasing and customer support infrastructure. Most ticket purchases will trickle in over the days and weeks preceding your event, so you’ll need to prepare this system well in advance.
Additionally, your purchase system for pay per view streaming events needs to handle the high loads that can occur if your event goes viral. Or, more commonly, the rush to buy a ticket right before the event starts.
Dacast’s live streaming system includes an integrated paywall. This feature allows users to purchase access to a PPV video stream right in the video player window. Furthermore, a robust server infrastructure supports this system, which scales dynamically as more people access a certain stream.
2. Payment and Email Gateways
Another important consideration before your event is potential problems with payments and confirmation emails. If you experience a surge in traffic whereby thousands of people are purchasing tickets in a short period of time, payment processors may flag these payments are possible fraud and deactivate your system.
That would be a nightmare in the midst of a big event, for obvious reasons.
Similarly, your email provider may mark you as a spammer if your system sends thousands of email confirmation notices within a very short window of time. They may even shut down your service.
To ensure that these problems don’t become a reality, be sure to contact your payment and email providers before you start selling tickets to any live pay per view streaming events. Make sure to discuss this issue with them concretely.
During Pay Per View Streaming Events
Once your event begins, the customer support infrastructure that you’ll need in place becomes even more important.
Prior to an event, customer support tickets will likely trickle in. However, once a large event begins, you’ll likely see the volume of customer support tickets increase many times over. These peak loads can put a high strain on servers, as well as on customer support staff.
This surge can present a major challenge. During most events, for example, the core staff will work on the event itself. But customer support is a core responsibility for broadcasters. And that’s why a robust team to do customer support is integral during this period. If your staff isn’t adequate for this challenge, you can consider outsourcing your customer support to a dedicated agency.
Here are a few of the common issues with which your customer support team may have to contend:
Dacast offers a variety of payment options to broadcasters who are monetizing access to pay per view streaming events. Users can set rates for any monetary value. Likewise, they can choose either a discrete viewing period (for one-time events) or access to a given period of content (for events or channels which provide ongoing content) for hours, days, or longer access windows.
Customers will always encounter some difficulties with any electronic payment form (no matter how simple). As a result, your customer support team will need to be on hand to answer questions and provide basic reassurance to customers. In particular, customers will want reassurance that their financial data will be properly encrypted and secure when purchasing via Dacast.
If you are running live pay per view streaming events, it is your responsibility to provide refunds to customers who decide to cancel their subscription. While these cancellations are unfortunate and can be a pain to process, they are a part of doing business. As such, you do need to plan for them.
Another common issue with pay per view streaming events is overcharges. Inevitably, some customers will accidentally purchase the wrong subscription model, click the purchase button twice, or sign up for something unintended.
Like refunds, dealing with these overcharges—including issuing refunds and canceling accidentally-purchased subscriptions—is part of the business of pay per view streaming events. You will need to be prepared for these instances, too.
4. Promo Codes
When it comes to customer support for pay per view streaming events, one option is to issue promotional codes or coupons to special customers, friends, and early purchasers. Additionally, customers who have negative experiences and who you want to earn back can appreciate this gesture.
The Dacast PPV payment system (and most other live streaming video hosts) allows you to generate promotional codes. This way, broadcasters can offer a set dollar amount, or a certain percentage rebate, from the normal cost of a given live stream.
In this article, we’ve covered some common and key aspects of doing pay per view streaming events, particularly from a customer service angle. We hope these tips and suggestions have empowered you to give pay per view streaming events a try!
Of course, you’ll want to consider post-event tasks and follow-up as well. When your pay per view live event is over, you’ll likely still have a lot of work to do. These follow-up tasks might include supporting your customers and wrapping everything up nicely. Don’t forget to take the time after every event to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. And of course, leave time to review what you can do better next time.
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Thanks for reading, and feel free to post in the comments below if you have any questions!