How to: Livestream

Before you groan and say that you know, of course, how such a livestream goes: Sure, you know that. Technically speaking, there is hardly anything in the whole network that is simpler: you press any – mostly red – button and then you are live. That’s not what this text is about, logically. It’s about how to make a livestream something sensible. Because, you guessed it: It’s not really that exciting when live streaming takes place. Which leads to the question:

Why are so many livestreams so boring?

Probably one or the other knows: Great thing, such a livestream, you think, logs in, you go on air – and suddenly you realize: Not so easy to bring something halfway useful in the camera. That may be due to the event. Not everything that you like yourself must interest others. But that can also be due to oneself. Confident and literally worth seeing in front of a camera, that sounds so easy. But the number of lousy livestreamers, creators, and instagramers is daily proof that this is not the case.

In addition: Of course, livestreams and all the content stuff on the net are much easier and faster to produce than their analog predecessors in the classic media. But that does not mean that you do not know any quality standards at all. The status quo for live streams is just that of the early YouTube: wobbles, rushes, looks like amateur video, but is ok, because, hey, “the people” want it that way. However, there is the same answer to this idea as in the early days on YouTube: No, they do not want! Why would someone want a shaky, badly set video? Because he’s on the net right now?


So, if you want somebody to watch your streams, please make a little effort. The excuse “Did we know, live streams just do not pull” is somehow so 2005.

When does a livestream make sense?

Whenever there is something to tell and to show gives. Livestreams live on pictures. If you just stand around, that does not really increase the chances of many viewers. So if there is nothing to see, people do exactly what they are always asked to do in this saying: they do not stop, they just keep going.

That can be anything: Events, panel discussions, interviews – the imagination is limited. Only one thing you must not do: boring people!

Is a smartphone enough for a livestream?

Theoretically yes. Practically not. For that alone, not because a stream without any additional accessories is likely to be a very wobbly and difficult to understand thing (like YouTube in the early days). Because we’re on the YouTube example right now: I’m sure that the genre of streams will become more professional in the next few years. It does not have to be the same as the “big” TV, but the similarities will increase. Just as we see more and more professionally made material on YouTube today.

So please always bring along: the material that I had already described in the episode on videos. Microphones, tripods, all the stuff.

Do I have to schedule a stream? And if so, what and how?

Yes, you should plan. Absolutely. If you are not a classic reporter in permanent outdoor use, then that’s very possible. This benefits not only you alone, but above all your potential users. Because in case of doubt adjust to it and in the ideal case even be happy if you go live. First, of course, he has to know that, and secondly, how it is: You have to make his mouth a bit watery.

Especially on Facebook, the streams are good and easy to plan. But a few things you have to know:

  • The scheduling is earliest seven days before and no more than ten minutes before the video
  • Title, tags and location can be defined in advance. In times of the algorithm an important info!
  • User can put a reminder

YouTube makes it easy for its users: Here’s a quick and easy synopsis of what you need to know about live streaming there. The principle is however similar to Facebook.

at Twitter it goes on and on Instagram so.

Do not forget: From the livestream will later a record, which can be looked up in the timelines, etc. later. This happens almost automatically, only on Instagram, the recording must be explicitly shared in a story – otherwise everything is gone.

What am I doing during the stream with the users?

TV reporters have it easy. Usually they do their thing, then they are gone, nobody bothers them. The Livestreamer, on the other hand, is usually all at once. Moderator, cameraman, sound engineer. And at the same time the one who answers the questions and comments of the audience. Or at least somehow reacts to them.

Interaction is the order of the day. That sounds easier than it can be done in practice. And of course there is no obligation to answer everything. But just the interaction with the audience is the salt in the soup. So always keep an eye on the user comments. That you sometimes have to react spontaneously and sometimes things go wrong, forgive you the user. They know that this is not a scripted and cast event, but real life. And then something can go wrong.

Jakubetz recommends

“Switcher Go” is the name of an app that uses relatively simple means to take livestreams to another level. This allows you to insert pre-produced posts. The handling of the app is almost self-explanatory (see video here) and therefore interesting for beginners.

Somewhat more complex, but probably also more diverse, if not quite mature: Behind this is a Munich start-up, which creates a kind of virtual control room. In the end, up to five cameras (smartphones) will be interconnected and controlled from this same control room.

Interesting idea especially if you want to broadcast larger events. Of course, the app will not be able to give it free of charge, but still: This move “real” live broadcasts much closer than with the previous technical possibilities. Those interested in the app can at least sign up.

An interview with Jakob Bodenmüller, one of the founders of Higgs, you can hear here.

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