Live streaming is just what it sounds like—users transmit their media live, so that people can view it as it’s happening. It’s the closest thing to a live television broadcast on the Web. The possibilities are near-endless (from fundraisers to award ceremonies to live event coverage to breaking news, and so forth) and can lead to large dividends in viewership and interest.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s presentation to the staff of the Mayo Clinic got a jolt of immediacy from live streaming this video:
Live streaming your special event may seem incredibly daunting and technical, but it can actually be a fairly painless process. And while there are plenty of Web sites and companies that would love to accept your money in order to broadcast your stream, there are also a few methods that won’t charge a dime.
YouTube is always a good starting place, since YouTube partners are able to live broadcast, and let’s face it, it’s YouTube. Average partners may find it a rather involved process to live stream, but if you’ve signed up for the YouTube nonprofit program as we advise, it allows live streaming, as well as other benefits.
However, if you want to bypass all of that and make it even easier, Google Hangouts On Air is a great way to live stream for free. We discussed Hangouts in an earlier post, but only glossed over the power of the On Air feature. It allows users to easily turn a Hangout into an event. And all this requires is a Google Plus account, which takes maybe five minutes (or less if you already have Gmail). And Hangouts have the added benefit of potential user interactivity.
Nothing adds a sense of relevance and urgency to any information like knowing that it’s happening right now. Live streaming can add that relevance and urgency to a campaign, and just a little know-how can put it well within reach.