It used to be the case that the only way to get live political news was to watch C-SPAN. But these days, live streaming politics (along with social networks like Twitter) is the vehicle of choice for political communication. For example, the US saw a 217% spike in live news viewership during the 2018 midterm election.
Politicians and parties are following these trends, too. In response, they’re embracing online video to reach a younger generation of voters. For example, presidential debates, local government meetings, and legislative proposals can all now be watched via live video streaming. Local governments, as well, are finding that live video is a cost-effective way to meet open meeting requirements and increase civic engagement.
In this blog post, we’ll examine what sort of tools politicians, parties, and governments can use to stream live video and grow their audience base. First, we’ll review current trends with live streaming politics. Then, we’ll cover to do successful live broadcasts for political events and meetings. Next, we’ll review 9 key features to look for in an online video platform. Finally, we’ll explore what Dacast’s streaming solutions can offer for live streaming politics with success.
Let’s get started!
Politics is Going Live
Today, politics is playing out online. Between Twitter, live streaming, and 24/7 news coverage, the internet is the place we go to stay up to date on political happenings.
In fact, eighty-two percent of viewers say they prefer seeing a live stream over social media posts. In another poll, data shows that eighty percent of people would rather watch live video than read a blog. For politicians and political parties, that’s some simple logic. The people have spoken.
Overall, live streaming politics can help to foster a more engaged electorate and press. With live video, campaign statements, promises, and attacks can be corroborated or debunked in real-time. Gaffes and mistakes can be immortalized via online video (which may feel scary if you’re a politician, but which does help promote an open and fair dialogue). In short, you can broadcast live interviews, speeches, press releases, commentary, and campaign events to a massive audience, instantly.
How to Live Stream Political Rallies, Speeches, and Meetings
With that context in mind, how can you begin live streaming politics? Yes, you could go to a platform like YouTube or Facebook Live. These tools, which are still new and in their early stages, allow anyone with a smartphone and a data connection to live stream.
However, you should be aware of the many downsides to those free, consumer-grade options. First, your live stream won’t save, so unless someone is watching in real-time (or within 24 hours after the stream, in the case of Periscope), they’re out of luck. Another major downside is branding: these streams will prominently display their own corporate logo, which can distract from a serious political message. What’s worse, streams are limited in duration, there are no security features, and they offer no support for white-label embedding on your website.
The best alternative is to use a professional online video platform designed for demanding scenarios and exacting requirements. In fact, these platforms may allow you to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously. That way, you can reach social platforms but also have a professional white-label stream on your website.
Let’s jump into some more of the benefits and features of these platforms now.
9 Critical Features for Live Streaming Politics
So what exactly defines a professional online video platform? First, note that there are a wide variety of video streaming solutions on the market. They all offer different features and different pricing. Many focus on a specific segment of the industry, for example, video marketing.
Live streaming politics requires something different, however. Below, let’s review nine key features that are necessary for politicians, parties, and governments:
- Website Embedding: The ability to embed live streaming video is key to producing successful events, increasing traffic, or simply gaining exposure. This feature also adds SEO benefits, as “clicks” don’t redirect to the social platform and take viewers from your content. Traffic remains on your site.
- Multi-destinations Streaming: Streaming on multiple platforms allows you to maximize your audience base. Get all the benefits of social streaming, plus the professional features of a white-label platform.
- Scalable Network: Reach the largest possible audience with a professional Content Delivery Network (CDN). A top-tier CDN greatly reduces buffering and lag issues and can reach viewers on their devices worldwide.
- Security: Most political live streams will be public. However, some private meetings and government material do need to be kept secure. Tools like password protection and geographic and referer restrictions allow you to secure your content.
- White Label: A “white-label” service is one that doesn’t insert any outsider logo on your content. Instead, you can use your own branding. This further boosts professionalism and increases brand awareness for your product, cause, or organization.
- Live Recording: Ensure that every live event also records as VOD. Then, make these videos available to your audience afterward.
- Live Countdown: A live countdown informs your audience when an event will start. This helps to build excitement pre-event and keep viewers tuned in until it begins.
Dacast for Live Streaming Politics
Here at Dacast, we offer a plug-and-play live stream video hosting solution that is ideal for politics. And our platform is white label by default, which means no distracting logos or corporate branding to distract from the message at hand.
Dacast is ideal for rapid deployments of live streaming politics, such as when a campaign stop needs to be live-streamed on the spur of the moment. With Dacast, a reliable internet connection, and a decent video camera, you can get a live stream up and running in minutes.
Reliable, global content delivery
In addition, Dacast is an ideal live streaming platform for both political campaigns and those who cover them. Our platform is built on a robust, top-tier CDN, Akamai. A global network of servers, Akamai encodes and delivers live video to viewers anywhere on the planet with maximum speed and minimum fuss.
High-quality, multi-bitrate live streams
While free streaming apps make live streaming easy, they simply don’t deliver very good quality. A better live stream requires better technology, including a robust video content host like Dacast. Our system can handle live streaming 1080p or even 4K content for those with fast internet connections, but will also deliver lower bit-rates to those with slower connections to minimize the amount of buffering.
High-end features at competitive rates
Finally, Dacast also includes a range of other bonus features. For example, we offer professional services to help you build a custom website for live streaming, integrate live streaming with your existing services, build mobile apps, and more. We also provide 24/7 customer support that isn’t outsourced. Every call is answered by one of our team members.
Live streaming is an important tool in modern politics. And luckily, new tools make live streaming politics easier and more effective than ever before.
Ready to get started? You don’t have to take our word that Dacast is a feature-rich video platform with pricing plans that can fit your budget! Instead, you can sign up for our free trial to access free live streaming and all our great features for 30 days—no credit card required).
For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, we also invite you to join our LinkedIn group. As always, we love to hear from our readers!
And if you’ve experienced other issues and challenges not covered in this article, let us know in the comment section below.