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Live Streaming Services in Singapore

by Ariadna

What is live streaming? Live streaming refers to internet content delivered in real time, as the event happens. It allows users to view live events anywhere and at any time. Singaporeans are fast on the heels of technology. We are well-known for being early adopters in most social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Live streaming is not something foreign. However, it has only gained much popularity for the past few years. With the rise of more affordable and faster internet access across the island, Singaporeans are now more than ever, engaging online with video. Companies today are taking advantage of this by organizing their product launches, webinars, and even tutorials online. These are events that Singaporeans would find useful and informative. But with many free online applications such as Google Hangouts, sometimes using live streaming services are often deemed unnecessary. But there are pros to this. In this digital age, doing things instantly is the mantra. People dislike waiting too long for things to happen. If your event is worthy enough, your fans or customers would definitely want immediate access to your event. With live streaming, you can immediately reach out to a wide audience. Also, consumers today are more tech savvy. They would want higher resolution videos. Free applications might compress the video quality thus affecting the viewer experience. Not to mention the advertisements and other promotion pop-ups. This will affect the branding and the overall experience of the event. This is where using professional live streaming services are much needed.

What is live streaming?

Live streaming has got a lot of buzz lately. It has given regular folks the chance to have their 15 minutes of fame as they are able to broadcast live to their followers. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have included a “stories” feature which allows you to go live and share your experience with your followers. Its practicality has also been well-received, as can be seen from the increasing number of companies and educational institutions live streaming their meetings and tutorials. Overall, live streaming has now become a convenient tool for broadcasting events to a wide audience, and the prospect of live streaming has the potential to grow even further.

Live streaming is an emerging trend in the technology world which allows internet users to broadcast live events via live streaming tools. The event that you are broadcasting can range from corporate meetings, product launches, educational tutorials, music concerts, and even birthday parties. To set up a live streaming broadcast, you need a live streaming server which will take in the video signal from your camera and send it to the internet. With the advent of social media in the 21st century, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, many people are now used to finding information online. Imagine, your viewers can now view some important event that you have recorded by using Twitter’s Periscope or Facebook Live.

Importance of live streaming services

In addition to video and audio streaming, live streaming services can also be used for high-quality video conferencing. This allows people to communicate using audio and video, similar to a phone conversation, but with the added benefit of being able to see and hear the other party. It is important for data to be transmitted in real time so that the conversation remains in sync for both parties. This technology is particularly useful for companies that have meetings with overseas clients but do not want to incur the cost of flying the client over.

Live streaming also enables IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). IPTV is a system in which TV channels are delivered over the internet instead of through traditional terrestrial means. For example, live streaming allows for the transmission of satellite TV data, allowing viewers to watch events such as the Olympics or the World Cup. Live streaming services can provide the same quality and availability as traditional satellite TV.

Live streaming data is important because it allows for real-time transmission of data. For example, a student who is overseas can use a live streaming service to access a lecture. This technology is also commonly used in online gaming, where the data being transmitted needs to be seen by peers as soon as possible. An example of this would be a move made in a chess game, which needs to be seen by the opponent as soon as the data is transmitted. In this case, the data is the move itself.

Live streaming services provide a way to transmit information or data to the end user. It involves sending compressed still images from the server to the client. Video hosting services, on the other hand, allow users to upload and share video clips. In Singapore, there are various companies that offer live streaming services. This essay will discuss the different service providers in Singapore, the packages they offer, and compare those packages.

Live streaming services in Singapore

An important sector that uses live streaming services in Singapore is the events industry. With the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry being a key economic driver for Singapore, event organizers are often looking for ways to extend their event reach beyond physical attendance. In recent years, event live streaming and post-event video-on-demand services have been gaining interest. This is due to a seasonal labor crunch for on-site event staff, event attendees wanting to avoid the haze season, and cost concerns due to budget constraints and/or economic uncertainties. A local event live streaming services provider has found an increased demand for live streaming services from SME event organizers and government agencies. High growth potential has also been found in the education and e-learning sector.

The year is 2019, live streaming services in Singapore are certainly taking off. With brands and businesses looking to expand their marketing strategies into the digital space, live streaming services are of growing interest. Singapore, being a global business hub, has a huge variety in the types of live streaming services that are available, from B2B webinars to B2C live shopping platforms. With the recent shift in social media consumption habits, the youth have now become a substantial audience. Online influencers in Singapore now have the option to use live streaming services as a form of direct engagement with their audience, a more personal alternative to the usual video uploads.

Benefits of Live Streaming Services

Real-time engagement with viewers Engaging with your audience in real time is one of the most important features of live streaming services. It enables you to answer your customer’s questions immediately and encourage them that they are important to you. This is especially important for product launches, as it will affect the buying decision of customers. Event viewers will tend to have a higher retention rate and positive experience, as long as they are part of the discussion. High retention rate and positive experience of the event will lead to repeat purchases. A satisfied customer will always be a repeat customer. By engaging with your customers during the live stream, and giving them a positive experience will also strengthen the relationship with your customers. A strong customer relationship is vital in building a brand, and it will also change customers to fans.

Widening audience reach Live streaming services benefit your business by enabling a global audience to view your live event at the same time. Whether you are launching a product, holding a press conference, or even a wedding, live streaming services can provide a platform to allow everyone, from those closest to your contacts overseas, to be a part of the event. Such that no one will miss the chance to be involved in your big day. Those audience who view the live stream can also invite more people around the world to view it too, stating that word of mouth still remains as the most powerful marketing tool, and with the global audience viewing the event, it will be a good platform to exhibit the features of your products, i.e. its demonstrations and customer testimonials. With wider audience reach, it will increase the viewership of your event and a higher viewing rate will lead to higher sales conversion.

Widening audience reach

What is the one aspect that can make or break an event? No matter how well-run it is, no matter what the objective is for the event, everything boils down to one thing – the audience. How many people have shown up? Are they the right people? Are they interested? These are the questions that plague every event organizer. Live streaming is a great way to widen the reach of an event and find a larger audience. Only a certain number of people can physically attend an event due to various constraints. Live streaming breaks down these barriers and allows anyone, from any part of the world, access to the content. The reach is no longer limited by the capacity of the event venue. An extra benefit of the internet is the potential for content to “go viral”. If you manage to capture the attention of an online audience they are likely to share it with friends and various social media channels, thus increasing your audience even further. An often overlooked benefit of live streaming is that it can help you identify your target audience. Online viewers have a tendency to come from a more diverse background that spans age, location, and interests. Analytical tools provided by online video platforms can give you a lot of insight into the viewing habits of your online audience. This knowledge can be very valuable in helping to shape the direction of future events and marketing efforts.

Real-time engagement with viewers

Streaming platforms allow content creators to interact with their audience in real time. Viewers are able to post messages and comments which the creators can respond to. Streaming platforms often help their streamers by promoting the stream to their users and new users using various methods to make the stream more noticeable throughout the site. This can be a great benefit as it can attract users who would not normally know about the stream. An example of this is through featuring a stream on the front page of the streaming service. On-site notifications can also be provided which let streamers inform users when something is happening. YouTube has an inbuilt subscription system which notifies all a user’s subscribers when they are live. Branding is also provided which helps streamers set themselves apart from others, by providing their own customised branding, it makes it easier for viewers to identify what belongs to that streamer or company. The visual overlay and code can also be customised, an example of this is through the use of Twitch.tv’s HTML5 creative section. This also helps to depict the atmosphere of the stream, making for a more compelling experience.

Cost-effective alternative to physical events

There is no need to rent a venue for an event as the event will be live streamed on the internet. Essentially, the world is your audience and most live streaming platforms are free or very inexpensive. This opens up a huge range of possibilities for event organisers in terms of what type of event they may want to run. Music festivals and concerts are now able to be streamed live to an online audience. Between all of the big name festival goers who cannot afford to attend every festival and the festival lovers who would love to attend an event that may not be practical for them due to location or timing, there is massive potential for a virtual festival event. This is just one simple example and the opportunities here are endless. A successful live stream is not only available to be viewed live, but the content is often saved to be viewed at a later date. This opens further opportunity for event organisers as on demand content has the potential to continue generating viewership and interest for a very long time. This is something that is not possible to the same extent with a recorded video of a physical event as the recorded video will not truly capture the atmosphere of the original event.

Increased brand visibility and awareness

Brand visibility refers to how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. Awareness is about making sure your target audience really knows your brand and understands it. Both of these aspects are important for your brand’s marketing strategy. One of the live streaming’s benefits is the ability to meet customers where they are. Having a strong brand means you will be able to spread your brand and marketing messages to your audience more easily. By using live streaming, you can increase your brand’s visibility and the audience’s awareness of your brand. With the increase of brand familiarity and awareness, many of our users have experienced higher sales through live streaming before. This is because they are able to provide information about their products and services that the customers may not have known previously. This ultimately led to the customers purchasing the product because they have an increased understanding of what they are buying.

Enhanced user experience

High quality and clear videos ensure that a viewer’s first experience with a live stream is a good one. Influencing streamers to consider live stream as a video production influences them to create more content. The better an experience is for an initial viewer will determine whether or not they come back for more. High FPS and audio quality are the two core factors that influence the realism and atmosphere in a live stream.

Audio quality is equally as important. Audio is what sets the atmosphere and brightens up silent visuals. High quality audio has the potential to make a user feel captivated and absorbed. Any professional videographer will know that the right choice of background music can really impact a viewer’s emotions. A live streaming service should include audio with a minimum amount of noise and be no less than 128 kbps. This will ensure that there is no audio distortion and can give the best possible listening experience. Background music can be streamed at a higher bit rate using services from SoundCloud or YouTube, so make sure the user knows that the live stream audio and the background audio are separate volume controls. This will allow users to bump their favourite tunes whilst watching their stream.

24 Frames Per Second (FPS) is the standard frame rate in which movies are shown. You may notice that live TV is very realistic looking and can be so colourful and bright that it looks almost fake. TV broadcasters use a method called Post Processing to add effects to make certain things look better, or to edit out parts that look bad. Videos are smooth and easy to watch. High FPS live streams will look smooth and realistic and can be enhanced further by applying the similar post processing effects during editing.

Live stream services in Singapore can enhance user experience by providing high quality and clear videos. Videos are in the form of compressed data, so some videos may be fuzzy or choppy. Clear and high quality videos can make a user’s experience more enjoyable and keep them engaged.

Choosing the Right Live Streaming Service

There are others who intend to do live streaming as a regular communication channel. This group of people will be more interested in a complete live streaming solution which consists of a live video player to embed into their website and a dedicated smartphone app for their viewers. In comparison to the previous group of people, this group will have to consider more carefully which live streaming service is more suitable to them.

Based on your event and needs, there are different live streaming services that are more suitable to you in comparison to others. For example, if you are going to live stream an event at an outdoor location, a mobile phone live streaming application such as Ustream Broadcaster or the Sunday Streams Live Encoder may be more suitable to you in comparison to streaming from a laptop.

Consideration factors

There are several live streaming services available in the market today, each with their own pros and cons. In order to choose the right live streaming service, it is important to take into consideration several factors before deciding on any one service. Aspects to consider would be the pricing and packages the service offers, what kind of customization options are available on the service, the level of technical support and the reliability of the service, and user reviews and recommendations.

Consideration factors

Reliability is a major factor. Your event has to go live on time, and when it does, it has to be a smooth transmission. Look for a provider with a solid infrastructure, guaranteeing at least a 99% uptime. Seek evidence of this or, if necessary, inquire as to scheduled live events which you can observe to make your own judgment. A dedicated event offering will often provide varying scalability options to suit different event sizes and an allocated, fully managed service with a company SLA will ensure the best possible transmission.

Customer service has to be at the top of the list. If this is not present from day one when making an inquiry, then how can you expect this from your event? Look for a company that offers a personal touch, who can take the weight off your shoulders and manage the whole process for you. Some of the larger platforms may only offer an email support service, which could cause frustration when technical problems arise. In this scenario, it is worthwhile shopping around and trialing some of the smaller, more specialized providers mentioned in the introduction.

What do you need to consider when choosing the right live streaming service? At this stage, most consumers already know whether they need live or on-demand services. However, deciding on a live event and having a firm idea of the task at hand are two different things. A webcast can range from a small online PowerPoint presentation to a full-scale television production. Regardless of the type of event, our consideration factors remain the same.

Pricing and packages comparison

Low-Cost: A simple webcast at the lowest possible price. Mid-Cost: Enhanced webcast features, typically with an increase in audience and video quality. High-Cost: Premium event with all the bells and whistles.

The comparison between pricing and packages is extremely in-depth and time-consuming. To simplify the various offerings, we have separated each company’s costings into three main levels: Low-Cost, Mid-Cost, and High-Cost.

Different live streaming services provide a variety of pricing, packages, and payment models. In our comparison, we will use a hypothetical scenario for a small business webcast and compare it with similar specifications and service levels across all companies. It’s important to note that packages constantly change, and our analysis could be outdated in the near future. However, this provides a good insight into the different pricing and package types between the providers.

Customization options

In order to engage and interest your viewers, you should choose a live streaming service which allows you to broadcast your content on your own site. This is the best way to ensure that your content is not just streamed to an audience who might put it on in the background and then become distracted, but instead is heard and watched by people who are interested in hearing your current event and take the time to search and visit your site. Whether they enjoy it or not, people can forget when and where to search for your content – with it on your site you will eliminate this confusion. Simultaneous event broadcasting and event archiving are other features which will draw viewers. The first allows you to have multiple viewings of the same event which is targeted at different consumers, and the latter will allow you to reach those who missed the original event. These are also great ways to repurpose content.

Technical support and reliability

The variety of hardware and software configurations, internet connection speeds, and various streaming protocols makes a live streaming service technically complicated. An important consideration in your purchase of a live streaming service will be the technical support the service provides to the customer, and the dependability of the service. Support is the help a user receives in getting his/her system setup and live event running. It is the level of hand holding the service provides you with your individual issue. Support may be provided by phone, chat, email, or other methods. Be very clear about the level of support offered with your service. Often times a service will provide forums and provide a higher level of written documentation on their website to serve as a lower cost alternative to phone support. Support is extremely important to the user until they are confident that their problem can easily be solved or has been answered before. A live streamer should also consider the dependability of their service. How often do service have service interruptions? The most basic information on this can generally be found through user reviews and trial periods, but sometimes digging into the service’s history for any major interruptions can be telling. Often times major service interruptions can be the result of network attacks or other higher level technical issues, so it may provide peace of mind to know the provider’s network and software infrastructure. This information is often times in the form of a network status page or other documentation on the provider’s site.

User reviews and recommendations

It is always good to be patient when searching for user reviews and recommendations. Take your time to collect as much information as possible before comparing the user reviews and recommendations. A wise decision would be to also consider the other factors mentioned in this article before making a choice based on user reviews and recommendations. User reviews and recommendations may be biased and what one person finds good for their needs may not necessarily be good for you.

Recommendations would likely come from friends or family who have used a live streaming service before. If it is a positive recommendation, chances are it is more trustworthy than user reviews since it is from someone we know well and trust. But of course, do take into mind that the live streaming service that they used may not be the best choice for you. Language they may differ from the type of language or resolution that you want to stream at. Some live streaming services are focused on a particular type of allowance and do it well. An example would be live sports streaming or event streaming. This type of service would not be suitable for someone who wants to regularly stream themselves through a webcam.

User reviews and recommendations also play an important part in helping users decide which live streaming services to go for. There are always users who have signed up for a particular live streaming service and sometimes they are more than willing to share their experiences. There are a number of forums and blogs, and the easiest way to find them is through search engines. A simple search using terms like “live streaming service reviews” would return several results. Another place for user reviews would be at popular IT and tech magazines or websites. An example is CNET. Such online magazines would usually do a review on a particular live streaming service over a period of time. This includes a test on the live streaming service and also constantly updating the review based on the changes made to the service.