Event Streaming Services: Enhancing Live Event Video Streaming in Singapore

Live event video streaming is a way to showcase events to people who cannot be physically present. Recent surveys state that 30% of people who attended a concert, show, or an event will not attend again but will watch the event online. The logic behind it is they cannot attend an event but if they want to at a later stage, they can watch at their own convenience. This will provide more ticket sales and higher attendances in future events. High bandwidth video streaming is available in Singapore, and it is a country that has the fastest and most advanced broadband. Singapore has become a ground for event video streaming. Video streaming and teleconferencing have also become a trend in the education sector. For this to be successful, one will need to access the services of a video conference company. These are just general uses of event streaming services in Singapore. With our new technology today, people can broadcast events from the comfort of their home.

The fast advancing technology has changed the lives of every individual in this world. New inventions, discoveries, and development take place every now and then. The internet has become a part of our day-to-day life and has made our life so simple. Speaking of the internet, the latest craze is online video streaming. This industry is the way to go and is the future.

Benefits of Event Streaming Services

Event streaming services provide valuable means of connecting with and engaging an audience. By transporting the information delivery to an online environment, the opportunities for extending the brand’s reach are both enticing and plentiful. Brands can access global audiences easily and effectively, creating exciting new opportunities for consumer engagement. Simulcasting live events to social media platforms can also provide a great opportunity to leverage audience interaction. An example of this is YouTube’s live streaming feature, which has a built-in live chat, enabling users to engage with the content and each other in real-time. This is an excellent way to create ‘online event communities’, which are becoming an increasingly integral part of the consumer’s online social life. In addition to this, event streaming provides comprehensive content for post-event video on demand viewing. This affords those who were unable to view the event in real-time an opportunity to access the content at a later date, providing great secondary viewership opportunities.

Importance of Live Event Video Streaming

Live Event Video Streaming is an essential tool for companies and individuals alike. By streaming live video content, businesses can reach out to a larger audience and maximize its impact. For consumers and businesses unable to attend the actual event, live event video streaming provides an opportunity to participate in the event. High speed internet connectivity has now made live video streaming an accessible tool for a large portion of consumers, a trend which is expected to grow. With recent advancements in mobile technology, live video content can be streamed to mobile devices giving consumers on-the-go access. The potential reach is huge. Live event video streaming provides an alternative to costly travel for consumers wishing to spectate an event. The ability to interact with the event from home can create a unique experience. With social media integration, viewers can communicate with one another whilst watching the stream creating a community around the event. This can provide companies hosting the event with invaluable feedback.

The evolution of live-event video streaming has transformed conventional consumption habits of video content. On-demand video is an increasingly popular medium for information sharing in today’s fast-paced society. However, an increasing number of events are being recorded on video and saved for later viewing. Over 50% of internet video users stream video content live at least once a month (BearingPoint Study, Video Streaming: The Next Wave). As the live-event and video-streaming cultures converge, there is a clear need for infrastructure that facilitates high quality, live video streaming at an affordable rate. This has created a surge in demand for live event video streaming.

Event Streaming Solutions

Event streaming is setting up a live broadcast or livecast of an event on the internet. It is an emerging technology now and is sure to become an integral component of meeting and event planning. The decision to have a live cast of an event is usually made to extend the event’s audience to increase attendance, or in response to a restricted number of attendees due to cost or logistic constraints. It may also be done as an add-on to a meeting, or other conference or special event, to allow remote participants to get the most value from their time. Live casting and event streaming usually generates interest from those who are not able to attend the event and is a means for them to participate in the event in some form. This might be useful for a sales meeting or training seminar, where it extends the value of the event to those who are being incentivized to attend. An event livecast could be either a simple video and audio feed, or a transmission of onscreen activity such as a PowerPoint presentation.

Choosing the Right Event Streaming Service Provider

Choosing the right event streaming service provider seems to be a simple task at first glance. However, as we delve deeper into it, we realize that it can be quite a daunting task. This is mainly due to the fact that most companies do not have a comprehensive knowledge of what they require from an event streaming service provider. As most companies are looking for a one-time solution, often the last thing on their mind are the specifics when seeking out a streaming service provider. The most common perception that most people have is that service providers for event streaming are all similar, but with different names. This can be no further from the truth. By looking at the mushrooming demand and popularity of video streaming in recent years, an assortment of streaming services has literally grown almost overnight. This has made an already intricate and highly competitive market even more intense. The following are some guidelines to assist companies in choosing the suitable streaming service provider. By having these strategies in mind, it will help to lay out precisely what the company is looking for in a streaming service. This will also save a lot of time, economic resources, and frustration.

Features and Capabilities of Event Streaming Platforms

Traditional Event Streaming Services: In this service, the service provider delivers both the technology and the human resource. This kind of event streaming solution is quite complex, and it should desire a high level of skills and good familiarity with broadcasting technology. It is aimed at users who are well situated with encoding and transmitting protocols. Even though it has an elevated price and the process may be complicated, there is a high degree of customization possible. An illustration may be the streamed event is a closed-door event and accessible to certain members only. The service provider can arrange it to be on a pay-per-view basis and as well safeguard the content through encryption.

Event streaming has evolved as a robust technology to connect with the digital natives and tech-savvy users spread across the globe. Whether it’s an event broadcast, live webcast, or any other event, it is essential to consider the right event streaming solution. From time to time, more than one solution will be required, and scalability issues may lead to the technology’s destructiveness. There are many event streaming service providers available in the market, so one can decide the one who can achieve the goal. Today, there are mainly three types of event streaming solutions available, i.e., traditional event streaming provider, event staffing, and event equipment.

Integration with Existing Event Management Systems

Since we have learned that there are services to suit any specific needs, let’s take a look at how to find the right service. Most large companies will often have a technology partner. Consulting with a technology partner is a good idea because technology partners often have contacts with associated service vendors. Given a list of requirements, a technology partner will be able to make inquiries with vendors and will likely acquire the best service to suit those requirements. Using the same UFC example, the UFC would consult with their technology partner to ensure proper acquisition. If you are an individual with a small event, you would need to take a look at the price of services that are within your budget and then compare the features of those services for the best match. Generally speaking, it is always best to find a service that has an assistance representative to ensure a solid transaction. In the case of a wrong transaction with an automated service, it may be troublesome to go through refunds and cancellations. Speaking with a representative will ensure the right service and transaction and may even score some extra features at a lower cost.

There are myriad event streaming services across the internet that cater to anyone’s specific requirements. The tough part is trying to find the best event streaming service that is right for you. Your event streaming service requirements may vary from less complex to very complex. A less complex example of event streaming would be that of a web camera view of a festival. This doesn’t require very much work and likely could be done for free. Varying in complexity and cost, event streaming services have evolved to an impressive level. Take, for example, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships). The process of streaming a UFC event has many requirements. Here’s a short list of some of the requirements: paywall for premium content, adaptive streaming technologies, high quality guaranteed uptime SLA, DVR features, stats and logs of viewers. With a list of requirements such as this, it is clear that one size does not fit all. This is why it is important to know the features of various streaming services and to deal with a representative in order to get the best deal possible.

Live Event Video Streaming in Singapore

In the local context, streaming services are an attractive alternative to traditional broadcasting or recording of events onto physical media (such as DVDs), especially for events with a regional appeal or smaller niche target audience. Such events often have limited funding and face the difficulty of breaking even when using traditional media. DVDs have a high upfront cost with replication, and there is the additional problem of not being able to recover replication costs if not all the discs are sold. Traditional broadcasts, on the other hand, have a high opportunity cost as the media company needs to ‘block out’ a time slot, and it is harder to measure success due to the reliance on viewership ratings.

With Singapore’s strong internet infrastructure, live event video streaming has been increasing in demand as a means of propagating event content to both local and international audiences. This is largely due to recent advancements in live streaming technologies by key players in the media and communications industry. The Media Development Authority’s (MDA) announcement of the launch of a pilot content on demand (COD) service for digital media is also a key development, as it will likely increase the amount of content available for streaming and make it easier for event companies to reach a targeted audience.

Growing Demand for Live Event Streaming Services

The growing demand for live event streaming services is evident in today’s digital era. Organizations understand the value of creating content for their intended audiences and realize that there is no better way than an event or experience. With the fast growth in live streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Live, and Periscope, it is now easier than ever to create and cultivate content for an online audience. This movement has not gone unnoticed in Singapore, with several companies and agencies in recent years asking for live stream services to broadcast their events. From business to consumer (B2C) events and consumer to consumer (C2C) events, there is a demand propagating from various industries. One of the biggest investors of live stream content of late has been the esports industry, with live streaming tournaments and events, be it large or small, and even casual gaming. The trend towards a more mobile and less traditional workforce also plays some part in the growing demand for streaming services. With cloud-based technology becoming more prevalent, this also allows for more convenient and accessible ways to manage and view content with events happening. As such, streaming services now provide a platform for virtual attendance of an event, be it a class lecture, tutorial, or a company meeting. This virtual attendance can be in the form of a live stream or an uploaded video at a later time. This is especially evident in the education sector where educators and students alike can benefit from a convenient yet cost-effective solution to content delivery.

Advancements in Live Streaming Technologies

Given the growing importance and relevance of streaming services for Singapore, it is important to have a clear understanding of the current technology and also to have a look at what is likely to be possible in the future. Streaming technologies have greatly advanced in recent years and it is important to understand how they work and why one particular technology may be more suitable for a given application. Traditionally, internet video is stored on a server as a file and when a user wishes to view the file is downloaded via the internet to the user’s computer, where it is displayed using some video player. With on-demand video more often than not this is still the case. Live video streaming is different to this and involves the transmission of video (in a format usually derived from a video camera i.e. sequences of ‘true’ images as opposed to a video ‘constructed’ from a sequence of still images) from a source to a destination in real-time. Audio data may also be included with the video. In more recent years live streaming from the source has become increasingly popular for video conferencing, live transmissions of events (such as concerts) and live IPTV. With live streaming there is no option to save the file to a hard drive and replay it at some later date. The file is only ever transient and only exists whilst being transmitted from the source to the destination. At present the most popular protocol for transmission of live video over the internet is the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) which was originally developed by Macromedia (now a subsidiary of Adobe Systems). RTMP works optimally in pairing with Flash which whilst losing popularity is still the most widely available browser plugin for displaying video and other rich media. Other protocols exist, for example RTSP but none are as widely supported as RTMP.

Challenges and Opportunities in Singapore’s Live Event Streaming Industry

Another challenge would be the very competitive market in Singapore. There are currently more than 100 companies that are providing audio and video live streaming services. This causes a price war between companies and most of the time, the lower price wins the job. Although this is beneficial to clients, it is not for the service providers. They will end up having very low profit and will not be able to invest in better equipment for better service quality. This in turn leads to the same quality of service being provided, thus there is no improvement to the current standard and it’s difficult to set a newer/better standard to follow.

One of the biggest challenges faced would be to satisfy customers’ expectations. Clients often have an ideal scenario on how they want the live stream to turn out and very often, it would not be easy to meet these expectations. Other than the outcome, timeliness is also crucial. A survey mentioned in the MDA report showed that 67% of viewers were frustrated by slow buffering speed, while 51% were unsatisfied with the video resolution. This happens when the network condition from the event venue is poor. In Singapore, it is very common to have outdoor events in places where network bandwidth is low. Event streaming services providers will have to find a way to ensure high video quality despite the network condition.

In the recent years, the demand for live event video streaming services has increased tremendously in Singapore. According to a Media Development Authority (MDA) report, online and mobile video consumption is about 43.2% and it is expected to grow up to 50% by 2017. However, with the rise in demand, key players in the live event video streaming industry are facing numerous challenges and at the same time, opens doors to more opportunities for those who are able to tackle them effectively.

The problems addressed were the lack of creativity in the current websites, the slow pace of advancement in current websites, and the lack of support current websites have for sporting events. We have managed to solve the problems by creating a portal where we have integrated the services of sport news, live video streaming, forum, and online betting. In addition to that, we have also created mobile applications for Android and iOS users, and a Chrome extension. Here’s what the portal looks like. We have fulfilled the first two gaps, which are the creativity and the slow pace of advancement through the website and the mobile applications. This will be discussed according to their impact towards the respective problems. The website and the mobile apps have a modern design, with a minimalist look to give the users a fresh vibe when visiting. This contradicts the current websites in Singapore, which have less creative designs, unorganized contents, and heavier page sizes. The live video streaming and the integrated services for news, forum, and betting have much impact compared to the current static sporting events websites. This is because those current websites did not optimize the usage of the internet to get sporting events as an online user attraction, and the owners of the websites and users only scatter around in social media like Facebook and Twitter just to create some discussions based on the events. This is proven by the lack of sport forums in the current websites. This leads us to the current problem where recent sporting events are not so well informed to the public, and there are very few people involved in discussions of the events. By bringing live video streaming, news, and forum services to our portal, it will be determined that this will be a replacement of current static websites in the future.

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