Livestreaming for Business: Why Live Video Is A Powerful Communications Tool

If 2016 was the year of livestreaming, then 2017 is the year it cemented its position as a formidable marketing and business communications tool. Brands across all industries are demonstrating that livestreaming for business is a great way to engage your audience.

Companies like WeWork and Blinds.com have demonstrated the power of live video to communicate with customers and employees alike. It’s time to think about your brand’s streaming strategy for 2018.

According to our research with New York Magazine, 80% of audiences would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog post. Audience engagement with live video is also impactful in the B2B space with 73% of B2B businesses using live video reporting positive results to their return-on-investment. In this blog, we will cover why you should be thinking about livestreaming for business, and the various ways you can apply live video to a business communications strategy.

Livestreaming for Business: How Live Video Stacks Up

Live Video Builds Trust

Consumers are often cynical of advertising and brands. According to a 2017 survey by McCann Truth Central — the global thought leadership unit of advertising firm McCann — 42% of Americans find brands and companies “less truthful” today than two decades ago.

Therein lies the challenge: Customers buy from brands they like and trust, but trust cannot be achieved overnight. Live video gives you an opportunity to build and reinforce trust throughout all stages of the consumer life cycle.

During a spate of bad weather that was delaying flights, Southwest Airlines decided to livestream from its operation control center to social media platforms to reassure customers.

“We’re trying to keep y’all accommodated, safe and informed,” Brooks Thomas from Southwest’s social media team told passengers. According to the Financial Times, over 100,000 people watched the stream on Facebook Live.

With live video, you can showcase your company’s processes and portray transparency and accountability to customers — and in turn, find new fans.

Engaging Your Audience With Live Video

Live video should be interactive and fun. Whether it’s embedded on your website or streamed simultaneously to Facebook Live or YouTube Live, it is important to engage your customers and followers in real-time. Viewers comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos, according to Facebook.

Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope have made the possibility of significantly growing your audience a reality. These customers are likely to have a history of engaging with your page and will receive notifications about your event the moment you go live.

Portland-based music festival Pickathon was able to grow its audience through an aggressive social media campaign. During a four-day event, their marketing team consistently shared livestreams of performances on YouTube and Twitter. “All through the weekend, we actively promoted the livestream during the event. Every different band, we’d put up a new post. Livestream was right there with us sharing those posts and helping grow our reach,” said Ryan Stiles, co-organizer of Pickathon.

The results are a testament to these efforts: Pickathon saw its online viewership skyrocket from 11,000 in 2015 to 200,000 in 2016. “People said: ‘Hey, I started streaming and then I bought a ticket.’ Now that we’re doing more media through social, that’s a huge help to get that audience,” he added.

Singer John Mayer knew exactly where to find that captive audience with a one night livestream of his Bud Light Dive Bar Tour from Los Angeles to Facebook. The live broadcast reached 1.5 million views and 27,000 comments in its first seven days.

Budgeting for Live Video

To go live, all you really need is a high-definition camera, reliable internet, and an online presence. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow users to stream live for free, with certain limits. If you’re looking for a more professional end-to-end solution, Livestream is not only a great place to start; it also provides a holistic solution for taking your livestreaming to the next level.

Your camera purchase decision will depend on your budget and what you want your stream to look like. Some of our favorites include: Sony PXWX70, Sony PMW- 300K1, and Canon XA10. Mevo, Livestream’s Live Event Camera or our All-In-One Studio Kit, is another consideration if you desire the effects of a multi-camera production studio, at a fraction of the cost or man power of traditional setups.

A dedicated and reliable internet connection is also essential to a successful livestream. Make sure you have twice the upload speed as the bitrate you want to stream at. “The most reliable internet connection when streaming is connecting directly via Ethernet to a dedicated network,” said Bandelli. [Find out more about how to get started with live video]


Building a Live Video Strategy For Your Business

Behind the Scenes and Demos

Livestreaming “behind the scenes” is a great way to humanize your brand. The Philadelphia Eagles use Livestream to broadcast analysis pieces and “Press Pass” interviews with players.

“People are coming to us for access. So we’re going to go behind-the-scenes as much as we can and we’re doing it from somewhere no other camera crew can get to,” said Mark Leblang, Studio/Live Production Manager of the Eagles. “Showing aspects of the team throughout the week has provided fans with a different experience and allowed Eagles fans to feel like they’re really there,” he said.

Live video also provides a more dynamic and engaging way to provide your fans with a first-look demonstration of your product. It serves as a platform to highlight all the bells and whistles of what your company does and demonstrate how you’re different from your competitors.

The 2018 Toyota Camry made its debut from Detroit auto show as Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor, unveiled distinctive features of the four-cylinder car. The carmaker also took the opportunity to showcase its new Nascar racer, inspired by the 2018 Camry, and welcomed its Nascar driver Kyle Busch onstage. The video has since generated over 10o,ooo views on Livestream.

Company-Wide Meetings and Announcements

If you’re a business looking to announce breaking news, introduce a new product, or just simply communicate with your employees regularly, livestreaming can be an efficient and cost-effective way of reaching your employees and customers globally.

Spotify executed that seamlessly when it livestreamed the announcement of its global parental leave policy to its employees worldwide, via a town hall-style video presentation in New York City. The result was an inspiring and high-quality video experience for every Spotify employee worldwide.

Livestreaming also lets you connect with employees, and extends the message beyond the room. Custom blinds and drapery store Blinds.com livestreams its weekly meetings with CEO Jay Steinfeld to reach its remote workers. The company’s weekly “Say Jay” meetings are an opportunity for Steinfeld to emphasize the company’s culture of openness as well as receive honest feedback from his employees. Here at Livestream, we stream our bi-weekly all-hands meetings to our offices around the world, collecting feedback and taking questions live with Slido.

WeWork, one of the fastest growing companies of 2017, has employees in every global time zone. They use Livestream to connect on important issues internally, but also to stream their Creator Awards with their larger community.

Live Events

Publishers like the Texas Tribune have built new revenue by streaming live events. Its decision to livestream state senator Wendy Davis’ 13-hour filibuster in 2013 saw over 250,000 views across 180 countries, generating over 400 membership sign-ups after the stream concluded.

Another example is the American Association of Advertising Agencies which, through livestreaming its annual state of the ad industry conference “Transformation,” saw over 16,000 viewers join their event live, with over 25,000 additional viewers tuning in for on-demand content.

Even remote locations and limited access to power and internet couldn’t keep endurance events company Tough Mudder away from livestreaming its “World’s Toughest Mudder” 24-hour obstacle course challenge from Los Angeles.

Livestream worked with Tough Mudder to build a custom player that allowed viewers to switch between camera feeds and direct their own show. The strategy served as an essential recruiting tool for new audiences curious about getting involved, especially “for people on the fence who aren’t sure if they can do that,” said Jesse Bull, SVP Brand and Creative at Tough Mudder.

“This gives them a more visceral experience that’s unique and real-time,” he added. An event with around 70,000 unique livestream views converts into around 20,000 Tough Mudder website visits. Bull is confident that traffic and engagement translate into more sales for its events.

Livestreaming for your business offers near unparalleled immediacy, authenticity, and more importantly results. So the next time you want to reach your audience, don’t forget to include live video in your business communications strategy.


Ready to launch your livestreaming business strategy? Check out Livestream’s business communications solutions.

Using an eCDN for Corporate Communications

Imagine delivering a flawless, broadcast-quality live video message from your executive team, or a live training event, to all of your employees, on any device, wherever they are, without clogging your network bandwidth. Can your corporate network support live events for large audiences without creating a bandwidth bottleneck or crashing? This is something organizations must find solutions for when planning internal live broadcasts to ensure high-quality streaming for no-fail events.

Livestream’s new Peer-to-Peer Enterprise Content Delivery Network (eCDN) solves for these issues by supporting an HD-quality seamless live viewing experience while minimizing the stress on your corporate network, reducing bandwidth consumption and cost, and maintaining privacy and security regulations.

Livestream’s eCDN for corporate communications empowers IT and communications teams to deliver a flawless streaming video event, without risking network health or compromising critical business functions.

What is eCDN?

An eCDN is an enterprise content delivery network, which is one way for companies to distribute content within their corporate network, creating a safety net for their internal bandwidth pipe.

A peer-to-peer eCDN helps to avoid network bottlenecks that occur when a large number of concurrent viewers in one office are watching the same content, such as a live broadcast. Instead of individual employee devices all pinging a single server to access a stream, a P2P eCDN reduces the amount of bandwidth needed coming from the external server. Instead, Livestream’s eCDN uses the bandwidth inside the company, redistributing the requests to devices within the LAN, improving stream quality and reducing the bandwidth load on a company’s internal network.

How Video Is Driving Corporate Communications Trends

Video is the fastest and easiest way to learn and retain information. Streaming your internal and all hands meetings has become de rigueur at large companies, but these in-demand, data-heavy streams can have massive network implications.

Today video is being used in organizations for a variety of purposes:
• Employee training and product demos
• All hands or town halls
• Internal HR events and panels

Streaming company-wide meetings is an effective way to keep employees engaged. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, engaged employees report 31% higher productivity and 37% higher sales. Conversely, the Dale Carnegie Institute reports that businesses with disengaged employees lose $11b annually.

This engagement data is driving demand for access to video in the workplace: according to Cisco, global business IP traffic is set to grow 21% from 2015 to 2021, which will require updated infrastructure to handle the load.

To avoid additional expenses or potential network failures, many corporations are considering eCDNs to meet these new challenges.

Traditional content delivery vs. Livestream’s eCDN for corporate communications

In a traditional content delivery setup, viewers connect to a server to obtain the streaming video they have requested. This server can either be inside the company or external – an example would be video content cached and delivered from a Cloud provider. Both of these setups have their limitations.

If everyone in the company tries to connect to a single server at the headquarters, the connections will quickly become saturated and the server will likely crash as it was not meant to handle thousands of simultaneous requests for data-heavy video.

If the server is in the cloud, companies often have significant limitations when it comes to connecting to the internet. They generally have a fixed capacity when it comes to external bandwidth, and networks are often not dimensioned for a massive amount of data requests from outside their network. Firewalls can further delay external calls, creating huge bottlenecks.

This makes streaming live video within the enterprise network very difficult. There are several means of mitigating this problem, and these solutions are collectively known as “eCDN.”

Solution 1: Install caching servers within the company network at each site.

Installing caching servers allows you to place a copy of the video close to your viewers to avoid the congestion of large numbers of requests to a single server. The challenge is this solution requires both significant CAPEX (cash) and OPEX (operating expenses). Servers are expensive, and installing and maintaining them requires significant expertise and dedicated personnel. In addition to regular maintenance, you’ll also need a dedicated IT team at each site to maintain servers to guarantee no-fail live streams.

Solution 2: Use an internal multicasting tool.

A multicasting tool broadcasts content en masse to every computer on the network. This requires specific equipment that supports multicast, and may also necessitate changing workstation software to be able to support multicast streams. This is not the “typical” streaming setup so it can require additional configuration in addition to this CAPEX.

Solution 3: Legacy P2P solutions.

Peer-to-peer within company networks has existed for many years. The principle of P2P is to use the abundant bandwidth within the enterprise network. However, the solutions on the market have had several major drawbacks: at the very least they have required users to install a plugin in their browsers or an app. Some providers even require companies to change their entire video stack and use a special, non-standard streaming protocol.

Solution 4: Livestream’s peer-to-peer based eCDN

Our eCDN distributes the stream with peer-to-peer networking, harnessing idle internal network bandwidth to more effectively distribute the stream. With Livestream, employees connect to the stream as they would in a typical video streaming setup. However, instead of getting the entire video directly from the server, their video player will also ask for segments of content from nearby co-workers viewing devices. This more efficiently distributes bandwidth requirements within your network, eliminating the risk of bottlenecks to the server, slow connections, and poor video quality.

Benefits of Livestream’s eCDN for Corporate Communications

Livestream’s peer-to-peer eCDN shares video across your intranet, utilizing a fraction of the bandwidth necessary from external servers. This allows you to stream high-quality video without interruption, without impacting your bandwidth or internal network.

Lower network costs
With our cloud-based eCDN, you’re not paying for higher capacity networks or any additional hardware.
Ease of use for employees
Using our eCDN does not require viewers to download additional plugins or software. They can still view your streaming video anywhere you would normally display that content. Additionally, since our eCDN is cloud-based, there is no installation cost or time spent.
Better quality streaming at scale
Viewers across the corporate network will experience better video quality and less buffering from using an eCDN.
7-day US-based support
Livestream Enterprise support experts are just a phone call away, any day of the week.

How eCDN works with your existing Livestream account

Many eCDNs work with desktop plug-ins or costly additional hardware or software. Unlike other peer-based eCDN solutions, Livestream requires no installation on workstations and no changes to your video workflow configuration. We use standard HTTP streaming formats and offer plug-and-play integrations for desktop.

Our technology is based on WebRTC, meaning connections are made directly through the browser and there is no workstation software to install, and no browser extensions or plugins for users to manage.

Livestream’s eCDN can be activated one time by your account manager and then can be toggled on and off within your Livestream dashboard to use as you see fit. There is no work or downloads required by the end user, and no additional hardware to purchase.

How do we set up your eCDN?
• First, we test the webRTC connections inside your network.
• Your account manager enables eCDN on your Livestream account and tests different devices on the same network. If you have multiple sites, we will test each site.
• Finally, Livestream will organize a global test with the company users and a test live video. After this, your eCDN is ready to stream.

Want to learn more? Existing Livestream customers can contact their Account Manager, or visit this page and complete a Custom request form