In past decades, the only way to get live political news was by watching C-SPAN. Today, however, live streaming politics (along with social networks like Twitter) is the new 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 particular, they’re embracing online video to reach a younger generation of voters. For example, constituents can now watch presidential debates, local government meetings, and legislative proposals via live video streaming. Local governments, as well, are using live video as a cost-effective way to meet open meeting requirements and increase civic engagement.
In this blog post, we’ll examine the tools that politicians, parties, and governments can use to stream live video and grow their audience bases. First, we’ll review current live streaming politics trends. Next, we’ll discuss how to do successful live broadcasts for political events and meetings. We’ll also review nine key features to seek in an online video platform. Finally, we’ll explore what Dacast’s streaming solutions can offer for live streaming politics.
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 informed 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 pretty simple logic to follow.
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 live broadcast interviews, speeches, press releases, commentary, and campaign events to a massive audience.
How to Live Stream Political Rallies, Speeches, and Meetings
With that context in mind, how can you begin live streaming politics? Yes, you could opt for a B2C platform like YouTube or Facebook Live. These tools are relatively new and in their early stages. And they do 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 or record with these free platforms. Unless a viewer watches in real-time (or within 24 hours after the stream, in the case of Periscope), they’re out of luck. Another major downside relates to branding: these B2C streams will prominently display the platform’s corporate logo. Unsurprisingly, this can distract from a serious political message. Finally, free streaming solutions (1) limit stream duration, (2) offer no security features, and (3) don’t support white-label embedding on your website.
So, what’s the best alternative? Use a professional online video platform, which by nature can handle demanding scenarios and exacting requirements. For example, B2B platforms may even allow you to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously. That way, you can reach social platforms and have a professional white-label stream on your website.
Now, let’s discuss more benefits and features of dedicated B2B live streaming platforms.
9 Critical Features for Live Streaming Politics
So what exactly defines a professional online video platform (OVP)? First, there is a wide variety of video streaming solutions on the market. And they all offer different features and distinct pricing plans. Many focus on a specific segment of the industry, such as video marketing.
Live streaming politics requires specific features and options. Below, we’ll review nine key features that are necessary for politicians, political parties, and governments:
- Website Embedding: The ability to embed live streaming video is key to producing successful events, increasing traffic, and/or gaining exposure. This feature also adds SEO benefits for users; “clicks” don’t redirect to the social platform and take viewers from your content. Instead, 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 stay 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 after the live event.
- 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 video streaming and hosting solution that is ideal for politics. A fully white-label platform by default, Dacast won’t even insert logos or corporate branding to distract from the message at hand.
Dacast is ideal for rapid deployments of live streaming politics. For example, what if you need to live stream a campaign stop on the spur of the moment? We’ve got you covered! 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
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 can make live streaming easy, they simply don’t deliver very good quality content. A quality live stream requires better technology, including a robust video content host. The Dacast system can handle live streaming 1080p or even 4K content for those with fast internet connections. However, Dacast can also deliver lower bit-rates to your viewers with slower connections to minimize the amount of buffering.
High-end features at competitive rates
Finally, Dacast also includes a range of other high-end and customizable features. For example, we offer professional services to help broadcasters with a range of tasks. These include building a custom website for live streaming, integrating live streaming with your existing services, creating mobile apps, and more! We also provide 24/7 in-house customer support. A member of the Dacast team answers every call and message, every time.
Live streaming is an important tool in modern politics. And fortunately for broadcasters today, new tools make live streaming politics easier and more effective than ever before.
Are you ready to start streaming live? We hope you’ll consider our streaming solutions! But 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, simply 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.
And if you’ve experienced other issues and challenges not covered in this article, let us know in the comment section below. As always, we love to hear from our readers!