Production Talk With Bill

by | Production, Streaming

Hi Everyone, recently I have been asked the same four live streaming questions a lot so I wanted to answer them to help anyone who is still struggling to get started. If you have questions about sound, lighting, video, rigging and production please send them my way at

1. Is live streaming staying around?
Live streaming is not a fad. According to recent estimates, video will account for 80 percent of global internet traffic. More Houses of Worship have embraced streaming during and after the COVID pandemic, being able to contact with followers who are home bound and out of town. That connection is worth the investment in a great streaming production. Many Houses of Worship are looking at live streaming as a way to optimize their services or events. Using live streaming enables churches to share services, events and discussions that most of your followers aren’t able to attend.

2. How can you balance the privacy and legal concerns?
In general, no copyrighted material may ever be recorded, and content creators should always be aware of the potential for violating intellectual property rights. Streaming video with Meerkat or Periscope (or any similar service) in a public place is generally legal in most places, but marketers should obtain releases beforehand if they plan to use the content for commercial purposes. Consider live streaming the way you’d consider a TV spot as a marketer. Make sure your followers can see visible signs that the service or event is being recorded for live streaming and video recording. Anyone directly being recorded should sign a release.

3. What are easy ways to add live streaming to the content mix?
Live streaming is ideal for capturing the moment and can be used for behind-the-scenes glimpses of services, how-to’s, quick interviews, live demos, and inserted photos, graphics, and videos, including music lyrics. The challenge, of course, is building awareness among your members and getting them to use it, but I think there’s terrific potential there from a communications point of view.

4. What apps and tools can help in your live streaming efforts?
As live streaming transitions from exceptional to expected, event professionals can use all kinds of exciting technology tricks to make the live streaming experience even better. Here are several you’ll want to explore:

  • Livestream, UStream, – These are the heavyweights of live streaming and offer up more options for developing slicker, branded live presentations. Do you want to put on live education on a regular basis with options for multiple cameras and audio sources and control over elements like bottom thirds and integrated pre-recorded video? These platforms are used by Creative Live, NASA, TED, and all manner of associations.
  • Google+ Hangouts and Google+ Hangouts on Air, YouTube Live Streaming, Blab – The tools at this level are less slick, offer fewer capabilities than platforms like UStream, but still provide some features to control appearance and allow for multiple users to join in from their webcams. These are tools are great for quick and easy interviews and chats.
  • Periscope, Meerkat, YouNow, Facebook Live – Primarily used on mobile first, these tools have the most limitations on what you can do with them, but they are the easiest to use for more people and offer built in audiences that encourage engagement. These live streaming apps also provide a “man on the street” kind of voyeuristic perspective that compels the audience to engage. Timewise, you probably want to or should limit these live engagements to 20-30 minutes at the longest, due to audience attention spans and time limitations within the tools themselves. (Facebook Live only allows for up to 30 minutes streaming at a time).
  • Katch – This is a handy Twitter and Periscope tool. Katch allows you to record your Periscope streams and house them on the Katch site for replay later. It also curates the content its users post and features various streams throughout each day.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, only you will know whether you and your organization are ready for live streaming or not. You will want to ensure you are using the right platform for the right target demographic. There is no time like the present to research ways to integrate live streaming into your marketing strategy. Look over the platforms and choose one that will work best for your organization. Remember relax and enjoy the live stream experience as it will become a new art form and a way to connect you to the world.

About the Author

Bill Di Paolo has worked in live production for over 30 years, He is the owner and technical director of Entertainment Services, a production company based in upstate New York that handles lighting, audio and video for events of all sizes in the Northeast. If you have questions for Bill you may send them to him at

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