Live Webcasting Services - Where does the service end?
Most mornings I'll take a call from someone that wants to know more about live webcasting services and how they can share, stream and control access to their video content.
"How do you produce a webcast?" is, of course one of the first questions. They want to understand what a Live Webcasting Company like ICV provides. They want to know what exactly we can do for them and how much of their own staff and resources have to be used.
Essentially, people want to know:
"How will my audience see and interact with my content?"
"How do I control my video content?"
"Where will it live?"
"What exactly do you do?"
Understandable confusion. Because if you haven't managed a live webcast or don't manage digital media assets already, trying to understand the A to Z of the video streaming and live webcasting process is without a doubt, challenging..
Try searching Google for Live Webcasting Services, as many of the people we end up working for have done before calling ICV Digital Media.
You'll find that both the Sponsored Results and the Organic Results are a mishmash companies and services that offer only a certain piece of the webcasting puzzle. Most companies that call themselves "webcasting services" really only offer you some variation on Web Hosting. Most are selling a web server and a streaming server account. A place to send your video to, encode it and then a URL that you can use to share your video. Some sell equipment that you can buy and then use to produce the webcast.. but you have to have a camera.. oh and then you still need that other service that actually streams the video....
That's the "easy" part as far as we are concerned. That is not the "people" part of the job. That is not the part of the process that more and more companies and organizations are in dire need of. Those services are a commodity. What offers true value is an End to End service that gives you something more then what you now have, does it all for you, and does it quickly, from anywhere and at a lower cost then you planned.
What people are really looking for is:
How about actually creating the webcast?
You don't have a video production department. Or, You don't want to use WebCams or the camcorder in the equipment room. Or, You have a BIG event or regularly scheduled events, and you need to have someone that can professionally produce the webcast, and distribute my content. Help me control access, sell it and provide a way to host it, or at least work with your staff to host it on your servers if need be.
Live WebcastingServices don't end with the hosting or encoding.. It will always require video production. And, if you are going to use the content on the web... it also requires skilled web development.
People we talk to often have tried the DIY route and realize they end up with content that is unusable, cant be found on the web, isn't a useful element within a powerful web portal and doesn't meet their goals.
Because we have always been ...eager to prove our abilities to clients and inquisitive enough to want to try new ideas, have become a full webcasting solution.
From Production to Portal. We did it because it made projects simpler if we just did it all ourselves.. It's frustrating to have a lock on your piece of a project for a client that calls and asks you to work on a webcast project with 2 or 3 other vendors. Maybe a web development group, a project manager. An A/V team.. and have the clients other vendors be completely irresponsible, uncooperative or unreasonable..
So from our POV, webcasting services are more then a server or a URL..
It's making sure the client knows the content is professionally produced, the event is handled, the media is stored within a powerful Learning, sharing web portal and delivered from world class CDN servers within a web environment that compliments with their other key web based learning, training, entertainment or marketing content.