Live Streaming: The Complete 2021 Broadcasting Guide
Live Streaming is the future. That might be a surprise to many, but think about your last month. How many times have you watched a live broadcast? This once “niche” field for gamers has now become a multi-billion dollar industry. Today, live streaming leads the world in education, entertainment, communication, and business. And it’s only the start.
Do you have a cell phone and an internet connection? Congratulations! You now have all the basic tools you need to be a streamer. Of course, it helps if you have something to say as well. Thankfully, live streaming is so versatile that anyone can stream anything they want and still get followers.
Do you like music? Great! Stream yourself playing guitar or singing and people will come and watch. Video games? For years gamers have made tons of money by streaming themselves playing video games. In fact streaming has basically changed the entire video game industry. Cooking, comedy, chatting - whatever you like to do live streaming has an audience for it.
Unlike lots of other types of content, you don’t need much more than a cell phone to stream (although it does help to have extra equipment, more on that later). As a result, it doesn’t matter if you’re at home or on the road, you can stream from wherever you want.
In fact, streaming on the road or while on a trip actually might make you more followers! Especially in 2021, when people are desperate to start traveling again, having a stream on the road is a great way to grab people’s attention.
Here’s probably one of the biggest appeals to streamers: there’s a huge opportunity to make money! All it takes to make it is to get online and start filming yourself performing your best talent. Over time you’ll gain followers, and those followers will give you “gifts.” These gifts can be converted to cash, and that cash goes straight to you.
More popular streamers can get sponsorships, merchandise, and partnerships to earn even more money. If you stream enough, you actually have the possibility to turn streaming into a full time job.
Unlike many other types of content, streaming actually requires interaction. The more you talk to people, the more they’ll like you. Not to mention that you’ll have more fun too! During your stream you’ll likely have people sending you messages, cheering you on, or just trying to get to know you. While it takes a bit of practice to learn how to stream and chat at the same time, it’s one of the best parts of taking things live!
Just remember, like all the best things in life, building a relationship via streaming takes time. Before you know it though, you’re going to immediately recognize names and faces on your favorite app. Since you’re talking live you’ll be able to build those connections in a way that feels truly authentic.
As a result of streaming exploding faster than a volcano, finding others who share your interests is easy and fun. Streaming encourages you to build connections. So finding a group of people united around a common interest (or just one charismatic streamer) feels totally natural.
Even casual streamers are finding that being able to chat and connect during a stream is one of their favorite parts of the entire live experience!
Unlike other forms of content creation, streaming is accessible to everyone! While it is a skill that takes time to learn, you don’t need any expensive equipment or connections. All you need to get started is a cell phone with an internet connection. That’s it! We’ll discuss additional gear worth buying later on, but if you want to give it a try today all the tools you need are likely sitting in your pocket already.
Finally we’ve gotten to the meat and potatoes of this post - how to stream live. There’s no better time to start streaming than right now! Now that audiences are used to a live streaming experience, you have a lot of fellow artists to look to. You can see who’s doing well and borrow from their success for inspiration. Whereas before live streaming was very much the Wild West of online content, today there are a lot of professionals making it their career.
Nearly every app is going to have you create a profile in order to get started. Take this portion seriously and follow this advice to have a better streaming experience:
Trying something new is always nerve-wracking. Streaming has the added pressure of going live, meaning that mistakes will be made. That being said, try keeping this in mind as you take your talent to the ether:
A major mistake that new streamers make is they just jump on the app and start streaming. If you’re new at this you’re going to learn very quickly that this simply isn’t a great strategy. It’s quite easy to run out of things to say.
The last and most important thing to remember when starting your streaming journey is to have fun! As long as you look like you’re enjoying yourself, your audience is going to feel more comfortable watching you as well. Additionally, streaming isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It often takes weeks, months, and sometimes years to build up a huge following. If you’re not having fun then you’re not going to be willing to put in all the necessary hours to become a successful streamer.
As fun as streaming is, you’re going to run into challenges every now and then. Don’t let them get you down! If you’re having these problems, odds are someone else has experienced them as well. To prepare you, these are probably going to be issues that you’re going to run in to:
One of the biggest streaming killers is having a terrible internet connection. When you’re new to streaming you likely won’t have to worry about things like bandwidth and connectivity. As you grow and evolve your streaming may eventually get to a point where you require a much faster internet.
If you plan on hosting an event then your need for high-quality internet is undoubtedly much higher. Having a much larger bandwidth will mean the difference between a fun stream vs a grainy video that reminds the audience of driving down a dirt road.
For the casual streamer, one of the best things you can do is make sure you’re in a spot with full bars. Switching to a better provider is also strongly recommended if your internet connection isn’t cutting it. For larger projects, make sure you have a reliable source of internet. Things like Ethernet cables, carry-around dongles, etc. are all smart choices. Even if you think you don’t need them, get one to use as a backup just in case the Wi-Fi goes down.
Nothing ruins a stream faster than shaky video quality. Viewers need to be able to see in order to feel connected to you. Having a bad camera or unflattering lighting is going to get in the way of that. Your phone and computer both have a camera, but those cameras were meant for video chatting, not live streaming.
If you’re tired of looking grainy during your stream then you’re going to want to upgrade your camera. Individual webcams for both phones and computers can be sold for under $300 - with an incredible quality difference! If you use a cell phone, consider getting a selfie stick or LED lighting. For a traditional camera, a tripod should do the trick.
Don’t underestimate the lighting as well. Lighting is one of the most important things you can have for any stream. Make sure the light is focused on your face so everyone can see your eyes and your smile.
Most viewers are willing to forgive bad video quality if the sound is okay. If your sound is terrible though you have an almost 0% chance of building an audience. Particularly if you plan on playing music, you’re going to want to make sure to take care of these sound issues as fast as possible.
You don’t need to spend $1000’s on Hollywood-level microphones to make sure you’re heard. In fact, the best thing for you to do is test out your microphone before you start streaming and see how things sound. If the quality is already good - great! Much like the cameras though, you can buy a $100 microphone and be confident that nobody is going to miss a word you say.
If you plan on using several external microphones and cameras then you’re going to need an encoder as well. The issue is that the market has hundreds of these devices / software and you need to find the one that works for you.
Determine your needs for the encoder. Are you on the go a lot? Do you need something that’s going to be compatible with an array of devices? If convenience is your goal then you can go for a software encoder. The problem with those is that they run a bit slower than hardware ones and can take up significant CPU space. Hardware encoders are going to give you the highest-quality stream you can ask for, but they certainly aren't cheap.
The most annoying part of any stream - not having consistent quality the entire time. Without keeping things steady you’re going to have viewers running away faster than a group of ants getting water poured on them.
The first thing you can do to counter inconsistent quality is probably the most obvious - make sure you have good internet connection. If after double checking you see that isn't the problem, invest in an adaptive bitrate streaming solution. These systems monitor your internet connection and adjust the quality of the stream in real time based on your broadband and CPU.
Equipment You Absolutely Need:
Equipment You Don’t “Need” But Should Have:
Equipment for When You’re Ready to go Pro
Deciding on which app deserves you is tough. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on which app you’re going to stream on:
Whether you want to go live and get discovered, show off your talents, or start supporting others, you’ll find Tango is the best place where your creativity can shine. The app is available on iOS and Android. If you want to live stream with Tango, installing it on your mobile device is the first step to take.
Tango is one of the best apps to go live with. You can use the app to video chat, meet new friends, or show off your talents. It’s also a place where you can support performers and artists.
This social media live streaming platform lets you monetize your community as you show off what you're good at, creating the potential for a broadcasting career where you get paid with a simplified and streamlined payout process. Tango lets you collaborate with your friends or other streamers, and offers a dual broadcasting feature that you can’t find on other platforms. You can even play interactive games in the live streams to create a much more enjoyable experience!
You have questions, we have answers. Here are some of the biggest questions currently asked about Live Streaming in 2021.
Streaming apps like Tango are harmless. It’s another way to interact online. Due to the inherent risk of interacting with strangers on the internet, many apps and platforms have a Mature 17+ rating associated with them.
After installing the Tango app, you can start using it for video chats and more right away. Here are the steps to follow so that you can start enjoying the streaming experience:
Tango is a fantastic option for making live calls. It’s a straightforward app that makes it free and easy to speak with others who use the same multi-platform. That means you can communicate by video, text, or voice regardless of the mobile device. Group calls and chats are also possible.
There are a few common ways to get paid for your time spend live streaming: