Tips & Tutorials

Get the latest streaming video tips and read in-depth tutorials on broadcasting, live streaming, VODs, asset security and video content delivery strategies.

Best in Show: Put Your Best Paw Forward with These Live Tips

This past weekend, Ustream celebrated an epic overload of cuteness thanks to the AKC Eukanuba Dog Show. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of their prestigious event, and shed some insight on how to make your animal cam (or any broadcast for that matter) go from AWW to Awesome.

Get ready to put your best paw forward with these great tips inspired by the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships!


Lights, Camera, USTREAM! Your Gif Guide to Looking Your Best Live

Lights, camera, USTREAM! As the term ‘social video’ permeates the technology trending space, consumers and brands alike are looking for innovative ways to benefit from live broadcasting. And when it comes to being in front of a camera, you must always have your best foot forward. So my ‘gif’ to you this holiday season, dear Ustreamers, is a blog stuffed with amusing animations on how to look lovely while live streaming. 


Live Video is Reshaping the Ad Game – Here’s How to Make it Work for Your Brand

What does Martha Stewart, Playstation, Salesforce, HBO’s True Blood and radio station Hot97 have in common? Each have become digital influencers in their own right, by utilizing the latest, innovative tool reshaping the advertising landscape: Live Video. In an era when technology and human interaction are intersecting in new ways, adapting multi-dimensional means of engaging your audience is key.

 Curious on how to optimize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns to global audiences? Get ready to take notes, people. In this week’s live webinar, SVP of Marketing David Thompson showcased each brand’s boundary pushing strategies on the Ustream platform, and the number shattering stats surrounding their successful live-streamed campaigns.

 Read more for a recap of our SVP’s informative webinar and educate yourself on the latest trend in digital engagement optimization: the live video experience.


Live Video Meets Public Relations and Advertising: How to Extend Your Reach and Win New Customers

Last week Ustream’s SVP of Marketing, David Thompson, and the Vice President of Digital & TV Entertainment at Emmis NY, Lin Dai, hosted a workshop at PRSA’s 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia titledLive Video Meets PR and Advertising: How to Extend Your Reach and Win New Customers.”  It became clear during the workshop that publicists are interested in integrating live video into their publicity plans, but many of them either didn’t know where to start, or they already had a plan, but weren’t sure how to get the best ROI.  Integrating video into your B2B and B2C plans has been such a hot topic lately; we’re fielding inquiries like these more and more lately. And because we get questions like these so often, I decided to write an article highlighting David and Lin’s five points for how to seamlessly integrate live video into your publicity plan.


Ustream Like a BOSS: 5 Tips to Take Your Broadcast from Lukewarm to Legendary

HIghlightsByLakeshia

What is the most memorable thing you have seen on Ustream in four years?

Having covered all different aspects of curation at Ustream for such a long period of time, this is a question I am constantly asked, and I am always ready with the same response:

I remember sitting down at my desk in the morning, turning on my computer, and one of the first channels to catch my eye was a black screen that for some reason had 20,000 simultaneous views. I checked the profile for a location and it was located in Egypt. We were witnessing in live time a whole nation’s cry in the dark for help. The power of Egypt’s chants for freedom resonated loud and clear, and we soon realized we were witnessing a nation’s history being written. That morning we watched the birth of Egypt’s Arab Spring.


Streaming Weddings As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Streaming Weddings As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Summer has officially started, and with that comes the likes of beaches, barbecues, and our topic of the day: wedding season. At Ustream, we’ve seen a huge uptick in wedding webcasts, as an increasing number of couples nowadays are weaving technology into their wedding planning. In fact, nearly 20 thousand streaming weddings have been broadcast on the Ustream live platform over the last 12 months. Not only that, but we expect the numbers to keep climbing as well.

Check out the infograph below for more numbers. Wedding planners and videographers are well aware of the growing trend, as they realize the opportunity to further expand their offerings. If you are a first time broadcasters, though, and want some generally applicable advice please read our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production before your first live stream.


The Anatomy of a Successful Music Broadcast Event

Guiding countless artists and musicians through the live broadcast experience, you learn a tip or two regarding the science of a successful broadcast. There are a few elements involved that really contribute to a successful music broadcast: content, interactivity, promotion, and most importantly, distribution (aka embed syndication). Half of my job entails that our featured broadcasters hit on as many of those criteria as possible.

Enter Amalgam Digital. The indie online record label with a penchant for innovative online initiatives put together a pitch perfect broadcast event for their newly acquired star talent, rapper Joe Budden. Once upon a time, Joe Budden was a Grammy-nominated, major-label artist with a monster single in heavy rotation.

Half a decade later, Joe Budden and the Amalgam Digital team organized a broadcast event that far outperformed most of the bigger name, currently “hot” artists that have passed through the broadband walls of Ustream.TV.

Here’s how they did it…

Content:
The concept was simple but effective: Joe Budden would start the broadcast with a Q-and-A webchat, then segway into the final studio session as he worked on the finishing touches of his upcoming “Padded Room” album. This works on several levels:

1.) Interactivity: Live video allows for real-time interactions — take advantage of it. Viewers can watch recorded content anytime they want and leave one-off comments, but there’s only one chance to BE a part of the content. Give your fans that in-the-moment excuse to show up on time.

2.) Exclusive peak at the creative process: Watching two hours of someone’s workday can be boring if it’s pre-recorded. But there’s a certain magic to hearing snippets of an anticipated album for the first time, especially AS it’s being created. Give your fans a chance to say “I was there when…”

3.) Stamina: Broadcast events are like real-world music events; sometimes folks show up late. Joe Budden planned on going 3+ hours, giving his fans plenty of time to gather around and build viewership momentum. Too often, artists shut off a broadcast after chatting for 30 minutes, leaving their fans hanging at the peak of their interest. Give your broadcast a breathing chance to go viral… go for the distance!

While the Budden event was clearly a one-off, I should also mention that regularly scheduled programming also plays well over live video.

And that’s content for ‘ya… let that marinate as you cook up some creative inspiration.

Promotion:

If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Amalgam Digital did a great job making sure that forest was full of people. Two days before the broadcast, Amalgam sent out a press release announcement to their network of bloggers and online pubs. Pitching it as an innovative live broadcast event that it was, several online publications bit:

Myspace, Myspace, Myspace…

… and Purevolume and Facebook and Virb and blogs and websites and label sites. Make blasts, embed onto your profile.

Get creative. Ask your fans to take embeds and throw it up wherever they can. Give out an autographed CD to the fan that embeds and blasts on the most amount of websites, blogs and landing pages.

Embed Syndication:

But more than just getting the word out, Amalgam took the next critical leap and hooked uber hip-hop blog Nahright.com to syndicate/embed the entire experience from it’s own eyeball-heavy domain:

Once it hit Nahright.com, a trail of copycat blogs picked up the syndication embeds, effectively creating an instantaneous viral trail on a LIVE event! Check out some of the stops on the trail:

Tapedown.com
DigitialUnderground.com
YoRapper.com
Realtalkny.Uproxx.com

Sometimes broadcasters get protective over their content and their own destination sites. Indeed, 90% of the Budden studiocast was viewed via embeds outside of the Amalgam/Ustream domain.

Ask team Budden yourself, and they’ll tell you that embedded distribution via Nahright was directly responsible for their record-smashing traffic on AmalgamDigital.com. Taking advantage of Ustream’s hyperlinkable text overlays (see below), Amalgam brought Joe Budden front and center to where the eyeballs were already glued. The in-video hyperlink overlay effectively converted those viewers who were already hooked:

Lesson being, be very open about your content. Don’t have access to uber-bloggers? Start with the sites you have control of. Post and embed on your Myspace and Purevolume accounts, your blogs, your sites, etc. Give your fanclub or street team the embed codes, and let them go wild tagging up the clean white walls of the internets. Send out text message blasts to your friends.

Point being, go directly to where the eyeballs are at. Attenion spans are short these days, so fid ways to reduce the amoun of clicks it takes to get to your show, and you’re golden.

The Aftermath:

Digital Amalgam smashed their previous single-day traffic numbers, translating into a spike in pre-order sales for their digital music storefront. With an ounce of creative vision and a dash of inspired execution, Jay and Felix over at Amalgam Digital took advantage of Ustream’s gratis platform to the fullest, garnering the type of Buzz and PR normally reserved for big budget marketing campaign.

Do you have the next killer idea for your artist or music event? I’d love to hear it out and help you execute. Shoot your idea and contact on over to music ustream dot TV. Let’s make it happen!

Stream videos at Ustream


Dead Air – The Live Stream Killer

akaufman1.jpgBack in the 1950’s and 60’s, much (if not most) early broadcast radio and television programming was produced and broadcasted live.

The skills of producing a live broadcast were refined and improved through the years. Early radio broadcasters like Alan Freed and Dick Clark, TV soap operas like As The World Turns and The Edge Of Night, most US News coverage, sporting events like the Superbowl and of course shows such as Saturday Night Live all have also used live television as a device to gain viewers by making their programs more (or atleast appear) exciting.

But the skills these producers used, whether for the 1969 Landing on the Moon, the ’96 Dallas Cowboys Superbowl victory or the live episode of ER in ’97, are no different than for a live Ustream show or event. Since we launched the company in March, the most successful broadcasts on Ustream utilize these somewhat forgotten techniques of broadcasting.

So what in the world am I getting at? There are basic production skills Ustreamers can follow to make their live shows and events more appealing and ultimately more successful.

1. Dead Air is a live stream killer. A live broadcast needs to keep flowing, stay interesting, and keep moving. Failure to do so will cause people to stop watching. We are all busier than ever in our lives and don’t have time for dead air.

2. Start The Broadcast Before The Show Starts. Some call it pre-show, others loop music, but letting people know a show will start soon increases the number of people who wait around for it to start. If you are streaming a conference, turn the camera on and stream the audience, even if it hasn’t started yet. If you do a talk show, use Camtwist to loop some music and put text on the feed that says “Starting at 9pm”. If you are streaming your local high school football game, stream the athletes warming up. In my experience, allowing people to start “gathering” to watch the live event dramatically increases your viewership.

3. Take advantage of the chat. We have found that people tend to stick around for a live show about 5 times longer if you have the chat. The reason is simple: engagement. Engagement is both attention AND interaction. Giving people the ability to interact with others during your broadcast will keep them there longer.

4. When Possible, Stream At Sametime Every Week. Obviously this is not possible if you are streaming a one time event, but for episodic content, begin at the same time each week. The predictability of a show helps people plan and makes it easier for them to remember you are on.

This isn’t the full list of techniques, however, they are a few basic things broadcasters can do to increase their viewership. Feel free to post any other ideas to help improve shows.

For a broader and more detailed list, see my blog post on 10 Tips For Microbroadcasting.


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