Live Streaming Services in Singapore: Choosing the Right Platform for Your Needs

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Live streaming is the broadcasting of real-time, live video to an audience over the internet, which often includes a chat function for real-time feedback and interaction with the viewers. Viewers are able to subscribe, pay, and often steer the course of the video by requesting certain content. This is an alternative to traditional VOD (content that is recorded and uploaded for unlimited future downloads and is streamed on-demand) and is catching on as many have seen it as a way to build an audience, fan base, and even revenue. Viewers are attracted to live streaming due to the spontaneity and, in many cases, the inability to watch the same content on VOD. Live streaming services in Singapore are offered by a variety of different platforms and vary in costs.

Live streaming services in Singapore are growing rapidly, driven by the relentless appetite for video content among the online generation. The potential is evidenced by the projections for increased connectivity and bandwidth in the next few years, and Singapore’s vibrant media landscape presents opportunities for online broadcasters. Additionally, Singapore’s status as an established media hub in Asia has helped fuel growth in this sector. The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has also been encouraging new media with the launch of the Digital Content Grant, which funds the creation of compelling and innovative original made-for-web content that connects with the audience through storytelling. Live streaming is anchored on immediacy and interactivity. It has the potential to help content creators reach global audiences who want to be part of the action and interact in real-time with the broadcasters.

What are live streaming services?

Live streaming services, by definition, render a stage for virtual web-based events or activities with a flawless display for viewers to watch in real time. Usually, the viewers would require a player to watch the broadcast and there will be other controls such as a radio player to have one-way communication. Live streaming server can come in all sizes from personal applications that require a simple install with a username and password to access the streaming application to large-scale enterprise implementations that require security and integration with existing infrastructure and a platform to handle millions of viewers. Live streaming server must be scalable in order to handle the load of large events. Although some basic live streaming applications can be free, there are limitations to the things you can accomplish with this kind of platform. Most live streaming server tools are tailored toward industry-specific applications such as selling products and services. Unlike public platforms such as social media, category-specific video platforms enable brands to reach their target audience. One such product needing categorized video is employee training. Often, if a company has a remote or foreign staff, onboarding can be difficult. Creating a training video library can streamline this process and bring new staff up to date quickly. Recording the training videos is just the first step; the more important step is delivering the video to the staff in a way that is secure and organized. A sales video is of no use to an IT professional, so having separation between sales content and IT content is paramount. A file repository with a content delivery network is ideal, but creating custom video apps may be cost-prohibitive. This is an instance where integration of existing infrastructure with a white label platform is key.

The popularity of live streaming in Singapore

A survey administered in 2016 polled 1,000 people from Singapore and found that 29% of those surveyed had watched a live stream in the past month. It also turned up some information on what kinds of people watch longer and shorter amounts. Reflective of research from other countries, Singapore’s live streamers are more likely to be younger and have completed more education. The poll also found that mobile usage while watching television was very high. When asked about how they spent their time while using a mobile device, many replied that they had done it to search, read, or tweet about the show. Actions of this sort are ideal for a live streamer looking to engage their audience, as it holds the viewer’s attention while they are not actively watching the show, and doing it about a show increases the likelihood that they will discuss it with others. Finally, many Singaporeans are bilingual. A live stream offers the unique opportunity to reach out to the viewer in his or her native language using features like Twitch’s chat and channel feed. With the global trend of cord-cutting looking to hit Singapore in the near future, there is much potential for growth in Singapore’s live streaming viewership. The same survey mentioned above also projected growth from Singapore’s broadcasters. It found that people who had recorded and uploaded videos of themselves had doubled since 2013 to 16% of the surveyed population, and another 18% expressed interest in beginning to do so. Live streaming would be an easy and logical step for many of these people, and for more casual video-makers, it could serve as an alternate platform to simply record, since live content would show up on Twitch or YouTube Gaming without the producer’s need to edit and upload it. With live streaming also growing in popularity around the world, it’s easy to imagine an increase in Singaporean live streamers who hope to reach an international audience.

Benefits of Live Streaming Services

Live streaming services in Singapore have become increasingly popular over the past few years. This is because of the appeal that businesses have found in being able to reach a wider audience as well as the cost effectiveness of implementing such a solution. It is an especially useful tool in the context of Singapore, which is a very small country, where these services are able to further increase their local reach as well as extend their international reach. Live streaming is a service that allows a user to view videos in real time as well as broadcast their own live videos. YouTube Live is one popular choice of live streaming service, however there are also dedicated live streaming services such as DaCast, uStream, and Twitch. Live streaming services in Singapore may also choose to do a webcast, which is broadcasting media through the internet. Live streaming has the benefits of reaching a wider audience, the ability to interact with viewers in real time, and serves as a cost-effective solution for various events. Traditional events in Singapore such as sports events, music concerts, and international conferences can be streamed to an international audience which would not normally gain access to the event. This helps to increase the international reach of the event and build an international fan base. Webinars and online learning courses can also benefit from the ability to reach an international audience as well as interact with viewers in real time. Live streaming services Singapore can also cater to small and medium-sized enterprises, being an effective way to promote their products or services with a wider audience and increase their brand awareness.

Reach a wider audience

For geo-blocked events, live streaming is highly effective as it allows the event to be watched by an international audience who would not have been able to view the event otherwise. This is a common occurrence for sporting events where the rights to broadcast the event may only be held in certain countries. By live streaming the event as well, those not in countries with broadcasting rights are still able to view the event. An example of this is the UFC, a large majority of their events are geo-blocked and the only way to view them in countries without broadcasting rights is with a VPN or not at all. An increasing amount of fans are now choosing the latter and live streaming would be an effective way for each and every one of them to view the event.

Online video consumption has risen dramatically in recent years. With this, live streaming has become a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals to reach out to large audiences. One of the most significant benefits of live streaming is the ability to reach a wider audience. This is especially so for an event that is geo-blocked, or an event where the audience does not exceed the event capacity.

Interact with viewers in real-time

Live streaming technology enables you to engage with your viewers in real time. During a live stream, viewers can communicate with the broadcaster and amongst themselves via an on-screen chat system. This allows for an exchange of ideas – the broadcaster can ask questions of their audience and get immediate answers. The live nature of the communication can also be helpful for building up a feeling of comradeship between you and your viewers. Real-time interaction is invaluable for making your audience feel personally connected to you. It is this real-time bond that can make viewers much more likely to invest financially in a stream – to make a one-off donation or to subscribe. Viewers who are personally invested are much more likely to become long-term fans. For content creators, these kinds of fans are the most valuable asset.

Cost-effective solution for events

How is live streaming cost-effective as compared to traditional methods in relation to the same goals? Let’s say a company or private event holder wishes to hold a small event. Before the pandemic, the only option would be through a seminar held at a small venue. By using a streaming service company with the launched event, said event becomes able to reach a much wider audience than what is possible at the venue. Viewers in different countries and time zones are able to view the event without worry about traveling to Singapore. The host can also interact with the viewers in real-time, creating a more engaging and global experience for the audience. This is all possible while costing less than the traditional venue seminar. An even larger saving can be made when considering some seminars can be held online from the start, meaning there is no need to book any venue.

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way many people view live events. With the various restrictions placed on live event ownership, many turn to a purely online solution. Updating slides and generic presentations is no longer a viable option, and that’s where live streaming shines. Through using live streaming services event holders can effectively communicate with their desired audience in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In context of Singapore, finding and using a live streaming service for events is the most beneficial choice moving forward. This is because Singapore is striving towards becoming a smart nation, and live streaming services fall perfectly in line with that goal.

Choosing the Right Live Streaming Service

When choosing the right livestreaming service, there are several issues to consider. It is important that you choose a service that meets your streaming needs. Some services are intended to stream templated events while others are geared toward generating ad-hoc streams. Since adaptive bitrate streaming is so very important, you will want a service that offers this. If you are not familiar with the importance of this feature, adaptive bitrate streaming dynamically changes the quality of a video stream based on detected network conditions. This is very important as it will ensure the viewers can see your live stream at the best possible quality, and it will prevent any buffering issues. If you may need to stream from a mobile device, you will want to choose a service that offers mobile streaming. This is offered by platforms such as Ustream, Justin.tv, and Livestream.

Consider your streaming needs

Different streaming services cater to different needs. Some are very user-friendly and allow you to quickly and easily get a stream running, while others are more complex but also offer more tools and features, such as custom RTMP connections and white-labelling. Some are designed to be a jack-of-all trades and are great all-rounders, while others cater specifically to one type of streaming, such as gaming or events. Make sure you choose a service that is tailored to what you want to do – platforms like Twitch are great for gamers with lots of interactivity and unique features such as channel points and custom emotes, while something like Livestream (from Vimeo) is a solid option for event streaming with support for multiple cameras. Another important thing to consider is the level of support and customer service you require. This will generally scale with the size of your project and your own expertise, although it’s good to know that if anything goes wrong you can get timely assistance. Look around for user reviews and experiences with customer service teams – were problems resolved quickly and professionally? Does the service have live support or is it just a ticket system? People’s support experiences can often be very subjective and vary widely, so it’s good to get a consensus of opinions.

Evaluate the platform’s reliability and support

Reliability is the platform’s uptime in terms of percentage. Higher percentage means lesser downtime. If the streaming service is unreliable, then that affects your event as it may mean viewers tuning in may experience disruption. Support is the level of customer service the platform provides and how quick they are to respond to queries or issue requests. Some streaming services will only provide email support, others provide live chat and some others provide phone support. Phone support can be useful for getting a quick response to a complex issue, and but is becoming less common for this type of service. The level of support that is necessary for your event largely depends on how mission critical the video content delivery is. In this day and age, almost everything has some kind of customer review available, with live streaming services Singapore being no exception. Take time to search for and read customer reviews and forum threads on the services you are evaluating, this will give you insights on the experiences of other users and may highlight problems or concerns that you were not aware of. Be careful to avoid site sponsored reviews as these will generally not provide an unbiased view.

Compare pricing and features

Prices usually range from an affordable one-time event charge to a monthly subscription. It would be best to weigh the pros and cons between an investment in local companies or international brands for live streaming services. Comparing what each option offers and whether it meets your current needs. It may be a good idea to engage a local company for event-based projects as they would be able to provide immediate technical support and troubleshoot any issues that arise during the event. Subscription-based services are ideal for long-term projects or a consistent channel of communication with clients. Do consider how much you are willing to invest in the long run and the usefulness of the service to your viewers.