4 Live-Streaming Systems With New and Useful Features

Find out about recent updates that provide more options for planners who want to share their events online

Live Media Group's new Nowlive system allows viewers to watch multiple streams at one time and also displays related social media content.
Live Media Group's new Nowlive system allows viewers to watch multiple streams at one time and also displays related social media content.
Photo: Courtesy Live Media Group

Live streaming has gone mainstream, as the debut of apps such as Periscope and Meerkat earlier this year now make it possible for anyone, anywhere to broadcast live audio and video. But for professional-quality productions planners turn to full-service live-streaming companies, many of which have been around for years and have perfected their craft. Here’s a roundup of some of the newest options available.

1. Live Media Group debuted its new Nowlive system June 25 during the red carpet premiere of the movie Magic Mike XXL. By downloading the Nowlive app, users can control their viewing experience, for example watching four channels of live content at one time in a grid view or instantly switching one channel to full screen. There is also a picture-in-picture view that allows users to control the size and position of the channels and to switch between them. The player also aggregates related content from Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr so viewers can see and share what others are saying without disrupting their viewing experience. The Nowlive app also offers a "virtual wristband" feature that allows hosts to create pay-per-view access to exclusive content. For example, at a concert the performances could be available to everyone, but only those with the wristband would be able to see backstage interviews.

2. Earlier this year Ustream launched two new products, Ustream Align and Ustream Demand. Align provides enterprise-grade security designed for streaming internal meetings, shareholder meetings, product previews, and more. Viewers can watch securely on any device, whether in the office or out in the field. “More than 50 percent of our customers were already adapting our existing platform for internal communications,” says David Gibbons, vice president of marketing at Ustream. “With corporate security continuing to increase in importance—and the recent attack on Sony is a prime example—our customers were requesting enhanced security functionality to protect their internal communications.” The system offers a secure portal for live and recorded videos, with multiple channels to reach different employee groups. Another new product is Ustream Demand, which provides lead capture and analysis from streaming and on-demand videos.

3. In March, Livestream released the Broadcaster mini, a pocket-size encoder that when connected to an HDMI camera and paired with the Livestream app allows quick and easy streaming to viewers on any device. “Without having to be tethered to a wall with an Ethernet cable, users are free to broadcast live from more locations and more places within those locations,” says Max Haot, Livestream C.E.O. and co-founder. For more casual streaming with a unique perspective, the company has updated its iPhone app to enable live broadcasting from GoPro HERO cameras. With a fully charged GoPro and iPhone, users can stream for nearly two hours. The app also supports live video filters, posting of snapshots to the feed, and chat functions.

4. DaCast has added an option for password protection for both live and on-demand video content on its streaming platform. The password-protected video can be embedded in a website or shared on Twitter. DaCast also now offers a viewer counter that can be added to live, on-demand, and playlist content. The real-time counter appears in the upper right corner and reflects viewers watching through website embeds, Twitter links, direct links, and the DaCast Viewer portal. Hosts can also use DaCast’s optional built-in paywall to charge for access to content.

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