Streaming has been a part of our daily lives for a long time. However, it is undeniable that since lockdown its importance and influence have increased considerably. So much so, that today it is practically impossible to find content creators of any kind who do not make some use of this technology. It is, therefore, a new world endowed with its own codes and tools that may be alien to non-Z generations. That is why we have decided to make this article on the basis of streaming.
What exactly is streaming?
It could be said that streaming has two meanings. The first refers to “the technique that allows films, series, etc. to be played continuously in a browser or similar without the need for prior downloading“. This is the case of platforms such as Netflix or HBO. The second refers to “a live broadcast or transmission that can take place via television, radio or the internet“. The other, and specifically on the internet, is the one that interests us and is the focus of this article.
It doesn’t matter what your relationship with streaming is. You’ve probably heard of most of the platforms mentioned below. What’s more, you’ve probably consumed their content on more than one occasion.
All social networks have incorporated streaming options: Instagram Live, Facebook Live and also Linkedin Live. The big video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo also have, unsurprisingly, streaming tools. There are also platforms linked to the professional world such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, Crowdcast or Livestream. In the case of the last, we are talking about absolutely multitudinous and interactive events. And of course, the real giant of the streaming world: Twitch.
The importance of hardware for streaming
The right hardware should always be the starting point of a streaming project. In other words, the equipment must meet the needs of the proposal. However, this does not mean that it cannot be simple, and more importantly, affordable.
-A computer. It doesn’t need to be top of the range, but it does need to have the tools and power to carry out the streaming.
–A good internet connection. An absolutely essential element. If you don’t believe us, think of the number of times you have left a live stream because it cut out or didn’t load properly.
–Image and sound. In general, this type of audiovisual content revolves around one or several people, seeing and hearing them well is fundamental. Again, it is not necessary to have the most expensive camera and microphone on the market. A camera and microphone that do the job will do the job just fine. However, details such as lighting, reverberation and background should not be overlooked. In the end, it is all about creating the best streaming within your own possibilities.
The importance of software for streaming
Next to the hardware, software is the other fundamental part of a good live stream. Some issues to consider when selecting software include:
–Appropriateness. The software will vary depending on the content to be streamed, not all platforms are suitable for everything. It is also important to take into account where the target audience is.
–Exploration. In addition to the functions and software included in each platform, more can be incorporated. For example, there are additional compatible tools that allow you to interact with your audience such as Discord or StrawPoll or track viewers, subscribers and donations such as StreamLabs.
–Interaction. Contact with the audience in real time is essential but so is contact between different platforms. Selecting one platform does not exclude others. In fact, in most cases, there are tools that allow them to be interconnected, such as IFTTT.
So, as a content creator, should you get into streaming?
The overwhelming success of some streamers and the apparent simplicity of the proposition has led many to join the trend. More often than not, with tragic results.
In this respect we are in complete agreement with Ibai. A few days ago, one of the world’s leading exponents of streaming reflected on this issue. He encouraged all those who have concerns about streaming to explore it, but to do so without any kind of expectation. In other words, not to treat him or the more successful streamers as an example. And certainly not to try to emulate their success and set it as the goal to be achieved. Simply because for every one who succeeds, there are thousands who don’t. Starting out as a content creator under these parameters does not ensure success, but rather a constant and endless source of frustration.
That said, if you are a content creator and you think your proposition fits into streaming: go for it!
Pic © Twitch-Stand auf der Gamescom 2017