We are so proud of our cofounder Eric Pio. His feature can be found on page 12-13 in the new Nashville Post Techie magazine for 2018. We had a great time meeting others in the tech community last night at the launch party. Thank you to the Post journalist William Williams for the write up! And thank you to the photographer Eric England who captured the face Eric makes mid-joke when he thinks he’s about to say something funny. LOL
How to Prepare for your Livestream 2 Rock
They say, “Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.”, but I want you to prepare for the worst so that you can prepare to rock.
No matter what content you are livestreaming, there are a few simple rules that every live streamer should live by if they want to get the most out of their live video. Pre-production is key no matter how small or large the event you want to stream, whether it’s a rant in your car or a large-scale music festival. Take a moment and think about how best you can prepare before you hit that “Go Live” button.
Here are 10 steps to your best possible live stream performance.
#1 Test Your Internet
In order to make sure your stream won’t fail, you need to first make sure that the location you stream from has 5mb of UPLOAD speed (not download). Never trust what your provider says your internet should get. Trust me… they exaggerate as a rule. And if you are on your phone, never trust the Verizon map or the AT&T map, or the little bars at the top, they all can lie to you when it comes to uploads. Also, make sure no one else is using the internet you use, because if someone else decides to start using it for big files at the same time as you… it could make your speed drop completely. No kidding, once we were streaming using Google Fiber thinking it wouldn’t matter that others were using it. I mean… it’s Google Fiber. Wrong! 100 students logged on to just vote on something at the same time and boom… it dropped. I had to immediately change my source of internet to a cell. True story. So what should you do to test the speed correctly? I highly recommend you download the Speedtest app on your phone or computer to test the upload speed first. Then if the speed is good, run a 20 min livestream on a bogus account that no one sees to make sure the stream works. And make sure you watch the picture. It might even get fuzzy from time to time, and then you know it’s too slow for quality. Because no matter your source of internet, the speed WILL fluctuate even without anyone else on the internet. The question is how much and will it affect your stream like this. That’s why you want 5mb when you test because you really need 2.5mb speed to stream high quality, but 5mb speed on test means it shouldn’t ever fluctuate below 2.5mb at least.
#2 Set A Time
When you decide to livestream, you should think about what time you will go live. The majority of Americans live on a 9-5 schedule with a lunch break, and they go to bed around 10pm. As a result, use some common sense. You will want to stream short segments during lunchtime (11-1), and longer segments after dinner when they have more time (6-9pm). If you stream on the weekend, the data says shoot for 11am-1pm. Worried about what’s on television at those times? Keep in mind, people don’t watch commercials on TV anymore. What do you do on a commercial break during your favorite show or game? LOOK AT YOUR PHONE! In fact, 88% of millenials are looking at their phones while watching tv. That’s why traditional tv advertising dollars are plummeting and social media ad dollars are skyrocketing.
#3 Create anticipation
When any of the major TV networks schedule a show, do they just schedule it and never tell anyone? No. They tell you over and over and over that it’s coming. “Grey’s Anatomy this Thursday!” “Monday Night Football tomorrow!” “Watch at 8/7 Central.” Blah blah blah. Over and over. They drill it in your head for a reason. In the same fashion, you need to tell your audience when you are going live and remind them as many times as possible. Worried about it affecting ticket sales? Don’t be. Coachella and other music festivals are live streaming it for people for free and are selling out faster than ever. Think about it… NBA games are on tv and sell out. Ellen and The Chew and an insane list of daytime talk shows are on tv and sell out. Think about your major music events? Kelly at Christmas, or the Super Bowl performance with Gaga. It catapults your brand. Live television is by far the best marketing tool to selling your tickets. We all have that urge to see things live. And some of us just want to wave at the camera and say “Hi Mom.” That will never change, whether it’s on your TV or on your Facebook.
#4 Light the Scene
There’s a reason tv studios and theatres invest heavily in lighting. It makes people look good on camera. In the same way, you need to either light the scene or you need to find the best lighting available in a room. Even if you are live on your phone, please don’t stream if you look as dark as this photo on the left. Find a better light or window! If we can’t see you, what’s the point? You might as well do a podcast because brand trust is effected by poor quality video. 23% say they are less likely to buy from a brand after experiencing poor quality video. Who do you want to buy from? Think about your cheesy local commercials that you watch. You judge them. You know you do. A low quality video is remembered as a low quality service. Higher quality video is more trusted. Better light = better quality.
#5 Ask for Shares
If no one knows you are live, no one will watch. So first, make sure anybody involved in the livestream shares the livestream. Whether it’s a sponsor, an artist, a speaker, a venue… make sure they share it. And when you go live, remind people watching to share it and support you. And start off each stream by asking your audience sitting in front of you to share it and support you. In the end, more shares means more views, so you should be asking everyone you can to share. Create a call to action and if that doesn’t work try making it a game. “One lucky person who shares this post will win tickets to our secret show this Friday.” I would share it if it were an artist I liked, wouldn’t you?
#6 Fill dead time
How many of you will watch a television station with a still picture on it? How many of you will change the channel? Enough said. If nothing is happening, don’t leave the stream up. And make sure you pre-plan your live video to make sure there is never any dead time. Sound check? Have b roll ready or an interview or divide it into multiple streams. Don’t leave the stream dead. Viewers will leave and they won’t come back. In fact, they may get upset that it’s still on their feed and they will hide the post. At the VERY least, have a countdown, then they at least will know WHEN to come back.
#7 Create Movement
If you stay in one place with one camera, it can get pretty boring. Let’s face it. As much as we want to believe that we are as interesting as Class A Celebrities, 99% of us are not. We need to keep moving around the stage, or keep putting up graphics, or keep switching cameras (if possible). You ask any director in Hollywood, single camera films are hard for a reason. There are very few directors who attempt it. The shots get stale, and people lose interest easily. We live in a quick world, and we demand movement to keep our attention. If you’re not Michael Jackson with a Moonwalk we can “oo” and “aah” at on a wide shot, I highly recommend walking around or back and forth while you are live or throwing up some graphics. I think about the boring professors I knew who spoke in a monotone voice and sat at their desk to teach. I fell asleep in the back of the room. I couldn’t help myself. Don’t be that guy. Put on your walking shoes or prepare some graphics. There are softwares out there to add graphics. Go find them.
#8 Engage the Audience
There are only 2 reasons that live video is better than recorded video on demand. First, if you are on Facebook, your followers receive notifications when you go live. Second, you go live to ENGAGE the audience. Pay attention to their questions. Ask where they are watching from. Say hello back. Make them feel like they are there. It’s the whole point of live. It is the most engaging tool available to the ENTIRE world. You can be in Kentucky playing a back porch show, say hello to some friend of a friend in China, and they never forget you. Create fans for life simply by saying hello. You never know which will spread your name everywhere.
#9 Analyze the Data
As with any project, sit down after you go live and think about what you could have done better. Look at the analytics and see when people tuned out. Why did they stop watching? What could you have done better? Were there any technical hiccups to fix or pre-planning that you could have done? Did they click through to look at other things on your page? Did your stream get a lot of shares or likes? Think through everything and make your next live stream perform better!
#10 Reuse Reuse Reuse
You need to take your live video and make smaller clips out of it. Those clips can be reused over and over. 1 song at a time. 1 great philosophical moment at a time. One funny blooper at a time. Your content should be chopped into as many pieces as possible. Social platforms are weird and full of thousands of friends and pages. You never know what follower is on when. One post may reach them and the next won’t. But use that streaming content as many times as possible as video on-demand content and on as many platforms as possible. Your content is your treasure whose value is TIMELESS. I’ve seen people reshare a song they posted a year ago, but I just NOW saw it for the first time, loved it, and now I’m searching for more of their songs. Realize the power and value of your content and harness it.
I hope these tips help you on your quest to rock. I’m still learning and growing in this quest to rock too, so subscribe to my blog for future updates in this school of livestream rock.
Rock on, friends.
-Marissa Pio, CoFounder of Pioplay Livestream
Pioplay Livestream is proud to be the first video production company in Tennessee specializing in mobile HD live streaming and 4K productions.
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Knowledge Bank / Mayor’s Opportunity Now Initiative
This summer we had the incredible honor of participating in a wonderful new initiative started by Mayor Megan Barry called Opportunity Now in which the city employed 10,000 young people ages 14-24. This initiative selected Knowledge Bank as their financial literacy partner, a nonprofit whose mission is to create hope and opportunity through financial education.
To assist in the hurdle of educating 500 students across 9 different sites, Knowledge Bank brought on Pioplay Livestream to broadcast the workshop to each of these locations simultaneously. Through a weekly series of live streamed workshops, Knowledge Bank was able to not only educate these young people on financial principles but also keep track of their progress and the outcomes were outstanding! Here are our favorite stats and a few student group photos too!
82% of students felt they were better prepared to manage their money after Knowledge Bank workshops.
75% of students created a budget!
83% of the surveyed HS interns had a checking and/or savings account at the completion of the program.
59% of students saved more than $300 (94% of students saved something)
Founder Courtney Hale commented, “Although we were only expected to provide programming for 500 students, Pioplay allowed us to make financial education accessible to ALL students in the Opportunity Now program. I could not have been more impressed by the Pios’ professionalism and quality of work.”
Because of Pioplay Livestream, 10,000 Nashville students gained access to Knowledge Bank workshops. Thank you Knowledge Bank for bringing us on such a wonderful and impactful city initiative. Even after the first week, we heard of one student already hired for a full time position at $15/hour straight out of high school. Her internship through Opportunity Now gave her a chance to prove herself and learn lifelong career skills. What a remarkable program!
To learn more about Knowledge Bank and the wonderful work they are doing in our city, visit http://www.knowledgebanknashville.org/
To learn more about the Mayor’s Opportunity Now program, visit http://www.nashville.gov/Mayors-Office/Opportunity-Now.aspx
Left to right: Marissa Pio (Pioplay co-founder), Courtney Hale (Knowledge Bank founder), Eric (Knowledge Bank volunteer)
The iPhone Gospel: Why the Trend of Facebook Live Matters
I can still remember when iPhones came out. I thought they were huge and ugly like a fanny pack, but also overly priced and completely unnecessary. It was a new toy my friend wanted to show off, but I was barely interested in even looking at it. At the time, I was still obsessed with MySpace more than Facebook, and I still had my stack of cds that I treated like a trophy, making sure they were never left in danger. I lost count of how many of my friends lost cds in Memphis simply because they were left in plain view in their car, but I never let that happen. No, my cds were never left in the car. They were like the golden ticket of my creative soul. I was a singer-songwriter, and I needed my muses to stay safe. But eventually, like everyone, I became convinced that digital copies on my phone were the only way to keep my music safe and with me at all times. And then at some point down the line, I also decided to install the Facebook app, and my music dreams faded away… but my social media dreams of having your attention came true. The inner spoiled only child syndrome of mine finally found its cure.
Whether we like to admit it or not, the majority of us love attention. We love those likes, comments, and shares. It’s addicting, and now it’s a part of our everyday culture. I’m pretty sure anyone under the age of 20 can’t even remember a time without a like button. So what is happening NOW in this current age of technology that (like the iPhone or like Facebook) 10 years from now we won’t even remember how our lives didn’t revolve around it? According to Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook revolutionary minds and according to every other social media app that always follows suit, it’s live streaming. Almost every social media app added live streaming in the last year, so it must be important. And why do they think it’s the future? What tarot cards are they reading? Well, if you haven’t heard, Netflix just surpassed cable in subscriptions. Cable subscribers are declining in record numbers. TV show finales this past season tanked. The New York Post called it a “bloodbath” for ratings. And where are all of those viewers going? Our tech savy millennials are saving their pennies and cutting the cord, opting in for cheaper streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube for their entertainment which is forcing every major media outlet and provider in the world to rebuild their business model around streaming.
With Fiber Optic cable internet quickly being installed in major cities across the United States, it’s only a matter of time before all of us are quickly and easily streaming everything we can possibly imagine – our entertainment (not just Netflix but LIVE programming like sports, news, and concerts), our education (from preschool classes to Continuing Education courses), our events (from conferences to festivals), even our own personal events like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and baptisms. The word “streaming” no longer defines just the music industry like Spotify or Pandora. It encompasses the entire world of entertainment and events. And with the power of social media, live video streaming entertainment is quickly taking over the news feed. From Garth Brooks weekly Facebook Live show to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s live performance at the Ryman to your local news, from MLB and NFL games to ComicCon 2017, the entertainment world is about to be LITERALLY be at your fingertips 24-7 on your phone WITH the ability to interact and engage with your friends in real time all over the world. The capabilities are here; and one by one the biggest brands, artists, leagues, hosts, and sponsors are noticing the power of live streaming.
Personally, I learned my lesson with the iPhone. When Steve Jobs said in 2007 at the launch, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” He was right. In 2021, there will be 1.5 mobile devices in use for every person on earth. At 5.3 billion, more people will have a mobile device than running water (StreamingMedia.com).In fact, what Steve Jobs said would happen almost always happened… because he said it. In 1998, Steve Jobs said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” He showed us, time and time again, and we followed. And to me Mark Zuckerberg is to the social media world what Steve Jobs was to the tech world… GOSPEL. So when Facebook Live launched, my husband and I immediately changed our business model. The Pios: An E-Motion Picture Company (launched in 2015) first started out as a video production company specializing in social media video ads; but with Facebook Live’s launch in early 2016, we knew social media marketing in the live space would soon skyrocket. Facebook favors live video, automatically notifies followers of live video, and engages with the live audience in real-time. Talk about conversion rates! You get to see the results of connecting with your followers on the spot! So for the last year, we researched every live streaming platform, tested multiple units, and searched high and low for the answers to creating the best live streaming productions. We’ve put all of our eggs into this basket (now specializing specifically in live streaming productions), and now this year… the numbers are finally rolling in. Our bets were right. Live video is watched 8x longer than recorded video (Tubular Insights), and 82% of social media users prefer live video over any other content (New York Magazine Survey). And according to a recent report from Cisco, live video is growing at lightning speeds. In 2016 live video used 0.1 Exabytes of mobile data per month, but their research indicates that will grow to 2.0 Exabytes per month in 2021 (Cisco).That means in just 5 years since Facebook Live’s launch, live video will become 20 times more popular. Zuckerberg was right. Live video is the future.
We want to be a part of the future of live streaming, and we want to help our own community’s brands be a part of it as well. As they say, you need to “future proof” yourself. And the future is happening now. 10 years from now, you won’t even remember the name of your cable provider. That is unless, they are still your internet provider. Because living without gig speed internet in 10 years will be living without your favorite TV programs. And marketing without live streaming will be marketing without social media. The two will be synonymous. Future proof yourselves friends because the future is here and it’s moving FAST.
10 Ways Live Streaming Makes You $$$$$
Since Facebook Live launched worldwide a little over a year ago, the world of live streaming is quickly propelling itself forward to the frontlines of social media marketing. Between Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Twitter, and Instagram… social media no longer exists without the option to engage LIVE. BUT have you noticed that those using a professional HD service to live stream rather than their iPhone are more successful? In fact, 90% of Facebook Live video viewers say that video quality is the #1 factor when deciding whether to watch a live stream (New York Magazine Survey). And considering 70% of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other content (Vidyard), it should be noted that live video is watched 8x longer than videos on demand (Tubular Insights).
So how can YOU and YOUR BRAND take advantage of a multi-camera live streaming service like Pioplay to increase your own revenue? We’ve made a top 10 list just for you!
10 Ways Live Streaming Can Make You $$$$$
1) Live Streaming Increases Event Attendance Online AND In Person
At first thought, you may be surprised by this fact. You might assume that if people have the ability to watch an event from the comfort of their home, then they would be less likely to buy a ticket to that event. However, think about what you watch on television. You watch sports, yet you would love to go to a NFL or NBA game. You watch a talk show, yet if you were in town you might want to buy a ticket to be in Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel’s audience. There is still an aspect of being in the atmosphere that broadcasts cannot duplicate, yet they SELL very well. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that 67% are more likely to purchase a ticket to a similar event after watching a live stream of that event (New York Magazine Survey). Yes, I will watch Bruno Mars or Aerosmith on television, but what I watch on tv will also make me more likely to go to the concert when they are in town. In fact, I personally wasn’t interested in Jimmy Buffet’s music, but after watching the complete livestream of his concert on Facebook recently (off of a FB friend’s share of the stream), I would love to go to his show now. I got to see the elaborate set, the enormous amount of talented musicians involved, and the very animated background singers. They sold me. Live streams help SELL your event.
In fact, Dreamforce 2015 had 160,000 attendees while 6.1 million watched the event live and another 6 million watched the video on-demand, growing their total audience 75 times (Livestream.com) . With live streamed events, ticket sales do not require a cap!
2) Live Streaming Gives You A Better Way to Pitch
Off the top of your head, how do you become interested in a product, an artist, or an event? I’m guessing you would put referrals and commercials in your top 3. I personally hate junk mail, sales calls, door to door, and even radio commercials. They interrupt my life. However, video gives me a chance to see the product in action, and when my friends SHARE a video on Facebook, I’m more likely to check out what they are pitching! If my friend likes it, then I might. In fact, 70% of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other content (Vidyard). Live video takes that advantage up another notch because it also gives the audience a way to not only share that experience with others but to experience a brand’s pitch in real-time, creating more consumer confidence.
3) Live Streaming Keeps You in the Forefront of Your Customer’s Minds
One thing that you may notice in your own Facebook notifications is that when you are online… Facebook automatically notifies you if one of the page’s or people you follow just went live! In fact, Facebook also FAVORS live video in the news feed! And the longer your live video is viewed, the higher it will be in the news feed as a previously recorded file as well (TechCruch.com). As a result, your live video has the best chance of being seen of ANY social media post!!!!
4) Live Streaming Widens Your Audience Reach
Videos are shared 1200% more than text and photos combined (Brightcove), so considering Live video is viewed 8x longer than recorded video (Tubular Insights)… live video will reach more audiences AND keep their attention. As a result, you not only widen your opportunities for new clients or fans, but you automatically deepen their interest and leave a more lasting impact in the memory or recall of your brand.
5) Live Streaming Engages Your Audience in Real-Time
Every platform allows for chatting! Even our embeddable players for your website have a chat board option. You can take questions and answer them. These discussions with your fans and consumers is priceless when trying to create a community of influencers in your market. While videos on demand allow for commenting on these platforms, live videos allow for true discussion between the brand itself, you, your friends, and the other followers. You instantly begin creating community among your followers.
6) Live Streaming Increases Anticipation for Upcoming Products of Services
The more you go live and show your excitement about an upcoming launch, the more your customers will be excited too. Just like email newsletters keep fans and consumers informed about upcoming releases, so too does your live video give the chance to build interest but in a more engaging and eye-catching way. Email newsletters so often get deleted like junk mail, but live video is more likely to auto-play in the news feed of your audience’s favorite platform. Garth Brooks uses his weekly Facebook Live show called “Inside Studio G” to drum up excitement for upcoming shows and ticket releases, making announcements, taking fan questions live, and showcasing fan stories.
7) Live Streaming Strengthens Your Brand Through Cross Promotion Opportunities
By tagging other brand pages involved and simulcasting to their multiple Facebook pages and social media platforms simultaneously you can do a variety of cross promotion! This is one of our favorite tools here at Pioplay. With the rise of influencer marketing, this tool is priceless when considering how you want to live stream. It allows you not only to target your brand’s audience but also the audiences of others involved. For example, let’s say Ford wants to cross promote with Tim McGraw’s new album. You could simulcast to Ford’s page, Tim McGraw’s page, all of their channels on YouTube, Twitter, Periscope, etc. You could even target the audience of the location of the performance, like Bridgestone Arena’s Facebook page. The simulcasting options are amazing for broadening your audience. Many times these sponsorship opportunities are a great way to fund a high quality multi-camera live stream event or a daily show.
Political commentator Ben Shapiro is currently featuring a different sponsor during each of his Facebook Live broadcasts with a short verbal endorsement, logo in the corner, and a discount for the sponsor’s product/service featured in the video description.
8) Live Streaming Strengthens Your Brand Through Original Content
Did you hear that Netflix just overtook cable in their number of subscriptions? As a result, cable advertising is declining FAST. Why? Cord cutters are ruling the fates of media outlets and taking back control through digital media channels like Netflix, Hulu, and now Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are signing original content deals as we speak with major players like the MLB, Ellen DeGeneres, Jamie Foxx, and Wimbledon. You could be a part of that new wave of original content on social media! Produce your own show without the need for traditional television broadcasts. Find your audience in real-time! Advertise your own product on your own time! Then target and find your niche audience through Facebook’s advertising platform. Millennials are the future of content, and that’s where you will find your audience now, not on cable… but on the internet.
9) Live Streaming Strengthens Your Brand Through Exclusive Content
Host VIP shows, ticketed shows that can increase your revenue, or just make it a simple password protection for the air of exclusivity! Make your content even more valuable to the diehard fans who make up a huge chunk of your revenue, and create more diehard fans by growing that exclusive content’s value. For instance, you can do a living room concert and take requests from fans and answer fan questions. You can host a VIP live signing of your newest book and have the first 50 people who buy the ticket have access to it. Whatever exclusive content you want to provide, there is a way to ticket or password protect it with our service.
10) Live Streaming Increases Your Discoverability through Quality
Live video quality is the most important factor for 67% of social media viewers and 90% for Facebook Live video viewers. (New York Magazine Survey). 23% of people who are presented with a poor video quality experience will hesitate to purchase from that brand in the future. (KZO) By live streaming your broadcast in HD with multiple cameras, you will stand out from the crowd of low quality iPhone video and audio. To see the Pioplay difference, visit our comparison demo here (iPhone vs Pioplay quality), and visit our YouTube channel for more samples here. We’ve specifically chosen the best cameras for low light, the best encoder for HD resolution, and the best software for pinpoint rack focusing from any unmanned camera. You can have a camera hanging from the ceilings pointed at your pedal steel guitar, and we can rack focus and zoom in and out from your face to the guitar. We’ve made the quality of your content our number 1 priority. We have a variety of graphics, transitions, even texture overlays, to make your content look better than traditional television. That’s right… better… with our 4K cameras, you can be sure that your broadcast will be the highest quality and that the video recordings you receive afterwards will be the best quality for editing purposes.
In the end, no matter why or how you decide to go live, just keep in mind… your media is a reflection of your brand. Every time you broadcast, your fans and customers will notice not only the value of the content you are creating but also the quality. And that quality could make or break their confidence in your brand. Live streaming will only make you real money if you look like you can afford to spend money!
Our Pioplay packages range from small non-profit production rates to large corporate full-scale production rates. Contact us if you would like to learn more! While we are extremely mobile and can fit in any venue from a tour bus to an amphitheatre, we will also bring you the best HD streaming and 4k production available for a fraction of the cost of outdated traditional television broadcast trucks (which were not built for HD live streaming encoding).
It’s like buying a suit, would you rather buy a Men’s Warehouse suit and have it tailored or buy a custom suit tailor fit for your measurements with all the fabrics you picked for yourself? With our encoder, our dedicated live streaming servers, our 4k cameras and automated technology, and our simulcasting options, you won’t find anything more tailor fit for your live streaming needs. Your live video shouldn’t just work, it should fit the brand quality you want to reflect!
Does your live stream just work or is it a perfect fit? You decide.
Marissa Pio, CoFounder of Pioplay Livestream
Pioplay Livestream is proud to be the first video production company in Tennessee specializing in mobile HD live streaming and 4K productions.