A continuous 24/7 live stream is a challenge on its own and is often known as live linear streaming. In many ways, it shares similar features with traditional television broadcasts that run 24/7. The only significant difference is that the stream is run via the internet.
Live linear 24/7 streaming is becoming more popular in recent years, especially due to the fact that more people now have more access to fast internet. More big brands and even TV broadcasters like CBS, ABC, and other networks have also launched their 24/7 live stream options.
So, what should we do if we want to launch our own 24/7 live linear streaming? Here we will discuss the important steps.
Important Steps In Executing 24/7 Live Streaming
Step 1: Planning and Time Management
In a 24/7 live streaming, we have less room for mistakes, and it shouldn’t be done without any planning and proper scheduling in advance. An unplanned live linear streaming is virtually guaranteed to be messy and will significantly decrease your chance of success.
You should at least plan the following things in advance:
- Schedule and time management
- The content throughout the stream that will keep your viewers engaged
- Break time, food, water, snacks, and other factors
- Live-chat moderators and moderator bots. Very important to filter out inappropriate messages
- Your technical setup. Test everything beforehand.
- How you will promote the live stream. Which channels, the design of the promotion, etc.
- Social media posts during the stream. You should schedule your posts across all social media channels.
- Pay extra attention to the health of everyone involved in the live stream. You should ideally rotate shifts with everyone.
Make sure your schedule is always available during your stream, and ready a pen and paper if necessary if you need to make notes and changes during the stream. Agility is very important in a 24/7 live stream.
Step 2: Equipment Preparations
There are various types of live streaming tools available from many different brands, and what we recommend today might be obsolete tomorrow. The important thing here is to understand your needs and requirements, so you can figure out the right ones that will fit these needs. The basic streaming equipment will include:
- Your camera
You’d need to make sure your camera is capable of broadcasting over your internet. Or, you’d need an encoder to translate your camera’s video source into an internet-ready package.
- Your audio source
Can be your microphone, audio file, or others.
- Tripod or stabilizer
It’s important to keep your live stream very still with a tripod stand, and you might also need a stabilizer to ensure a smooth transition between locations.
You can use various software platforms to stream your audio/video sources to your platforms. Remember that during a 24/7 live stream, your equipment will run continuously, and you should avoid having to break every 2 hours due to equipment failures. If necessary, you should prepare spare equipment to allow them to work in shifts.
Viloud offers a versatile live streaming software where you can create a 24/7 linear streaming show from prerecorded videos. You can embed Viloud’s player on any website or alternatively you can get a live link in HLS format and stream your content in a third-party player including OTT platforms (like a Roku channel).
Another important feature to consider is how you can interrupt your channel with a live broadcast anytime. This feature can be useful, for example, when you run a news channel and wanted to quickly switch from a prerecorded content into a live breaking news content. Once the live ends, the channel will automatically switch back into its normal, on-demand site.
Step 3: Prepare Yourself and Your Team
Live linear streaming can be very physically demanding, not only for those on stream (the host, guest, actors, etc.) but also those behind the scenes (cameramen, editors, etc. ). So, you’d need to prepare yourself and your team physically to avoid potential accidents and health issues during and after the stream:
- The right diet and snacking
You’d want to eat foods and drinks that won’t make you tired during the stream but stray away from heavy food that will make you want to take a nap. Also, stay away from sugary snacks and drinks, but aim for more protein to keep you fresh.
Make sure to drink a lot of weather throughout the day. Generally, stay away from (too much) caffeine including energy drinks. Prepare regular break times and bathroom breaks during your stream.
- Break and sleep
Since you might need to stay up for 24 hours straight, depending on your schedule and team compositions, make sure to get enough sleep beforehand. Start almost right after you wake up so you can minimize your time awake.
Step 4: Promotions
Just because your 24/7 live streaming is there, doesn’t mean your audience will automatically notice and watch your stream. So, plan a promotional campaign properly.
Talk to your audience and other streamers/influencers before the date. Ask your streamer peers whether they can support this stream in any way, even if it’s just a simple tweet to help promote your stream. Ask streamers to become a guest host on your stream, which will also bring their audience to yours.
As mentioned, you should prepare a scheduled social media posts during the stream. You can even automate the process with various social media automation tools available. You might not be able to manage your social media during the stream (or you might not have the manpower), so you might need the help of a software/solution.
Remember that it’s okay to be imperfect. If you are tired or not feeling well, you can cut the stream short. If you don’t get as many viewers on your first stream, it’s also perfectly okay. Don’t ever feel bad about taking a break during your stream whether it’s because you are tired or due to equipment issues. Your and your team’s health is always more important than the stream.
Last but not least, remember that the key to your stream’s success is your content. Keeping your audience engaged for 24 hours straight is extremely hard, and engaging, valuable content is the most important factor here. Understand your audience’s behavior, problems, and needs, and figure out how your content can provide immediate value for this audience.
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