Fifteen million daily users are the pool from which you need to attract an audience if you stream on Twitch. You have to compete against two to three million streamers in the process, statistics show. Upping your game shouldn’t be incidental; it’s a continual process if you want to succeed. Learning how to stream to multiple sites will be a natural step.
Sure, you’ll probably want to tweak your overall streaming strategy. Every little effort counts, and some seemingly small things, such as live streaming timing, count for a lot. You can imagine, then, how great simulcasting would work for you and your channel, and sooner than later you’ll want to stream to multiple sites.
What Is Multistreaming and Why You Should Start Thinking About It Early
Multistreaming, streaming to multiple sites, and simulcast streaming are three different terms that mean the same, simple thing — streaming video to several platforms at the same time.
Multistreaming is a fairly common practice these days, and everyone from religious organizations to news media is doing it. Why join their ranks, and do it early on? As a content creator who broadcasts their work, you don’t have to worry about bringing people to a single place where they can be physically present and enjoy your content. What you’re doing isn’t theater or a music concert.
However, it’s not exactly that people can watch you wherever they like — they still must navigate their devices and come to the streaming platform you’re using. So, you have to advertise your presence on a platform if you want to draw a crowd. You need to bring the audience to you.
But if you multistream on Twitch and, say, Facebook and YouTube, you’re going where the audience is. That’s proactive and probably more rewarding than sulking in your corner of the Internet while waiting to be found.
Plus, Facebook and YouTube are not just streaming platforms. Facebook is the biggest social network in the world. YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Both can extend your reach immeasurably, and that’s just one of the benefits.
How to Multistream
If you know how to broadcast a live stream, you probably understand the general schematic of streaming. You have your live feed, you have something that handles encoding the stream and pointing it towards a content delivery network. If you want to multistream, that something in between your live feed and the content delivery network needs to have multistreaming capabilities.
One option you have is to use streaming software with multistreaming support from your own computer. You might need to learn a thing or two about what an RTMP is to make it work, but that won’t be a huge issue. The fact that multistreaming using streaming software will eat up a lot of your CPU and bandwidth will eventually become an issue, though, especially if you want to stream to more than a couple platforms.
The other option you have it to get a dedicated hardware encoder that can also multistream. You’ll still have to configure it manually, but you won’t put too much of a burden on your computer because the dedicated encoder will do that part of the labor. You’ll still need plenty of bandwidth, though.
If you don’t want to put your outdoor touch screen kiosk through all that work and if you want to have some bandwidth left while streaming, using a cloud multistreaming option is just the thing for you. You only need to cast your stream to the cloud, it will take it from there and stream it all over the net. Restream.io is such a cloud multistreaming option.
Which Multistreaming Option to Choose?
The one thing that you have to realize about multistreaming is that it’s unmistakably a step up in your content making and broadcasting game. Multistreaming requires you to start thinking about streaming as a pro does. You need to think, among other things, about delivering quality your audience expects, and your old hardware or bandwidth might not be up to the task.
It is generally accepted that using multistreaming software is the least ideal option. You can dabble with it and experiment with streaming to different platforms. Eventually, however, you will need to start thinking about getting encoding hardware and upgrading your bandwidth to be able to handle multiple streams at higher quality.
Or, you can choose to work with an encoder and a cloud multistreaming platform. You can have a relatively narrow bandwidth and still be able to stream quality video because it only needs to get to the cloud — the cloud spreads it to other content delivery networks.
But then you need to think about branding. If you can build your own server and get a connection with a great upload speed, technically you’d have the most control over your streaming. You’d also spend a lot of time on the technical side of streaming to multiple platforms instead of developing your content and your brand.
Restream.io, for example, offers through its Scheduler tool the ability to schedule broadcasting of pre-recorded video. So even when you’re away on a trip, and you’re not sure whether you’ll have the time, technical conditions, or even the desire to stream while away, your audience can still enjoy new content from you. And as anyone who is in the content creation business will tell you, consistency is key.
As you grow as a content creator, it’s only natural that your appetites for more success and bigger or more diverse audiences will grow. Because of the magic of multistreaming, you won’t have to leave your core audience behind while you migrate to another streaming platform. You won’t have to stifle your growth by staying loyal to the people who were with you from the beginning, either. You can’t lose with multistreaming and the gains can be incredible. With a low barrier to entry, there are no excuses for not trying it right away.