Facebook Live Case Studies

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By | 2017-04-11T00:48:09+00:00 January 11th, 2017|Articles|Comments Off on Facebook Live Case Studies

We spoke with 15 publishers including PBS, The YES Network, and TechCrunch to find out exactly how they’re broadcasting to Facebook Live, and the technology they’re using to do it.

For our article “Facebook Live: A Progress Report After One Year of Growth,” we interviewed 15 video publishers to get a sense of the strategic reasons why they’re webcasting on Facebook, as well as technical details about how they’re doing it. Since their responses contained far more detail than we could include in the article, we’re publishing them here, unedited. When possible, we’ve included links to each publisher’s video page on Facebook; in some cases such as Twentyfourseven Films, the company we interviewed doesn’t have its own Facebook video page, but rather published to its clients’ pages, so we’ve linked to those instead.

To jump to a specific publisher’s interview, click on the organization name:
PBS
The YES Network
Twentyfourseven Films
Central Valley TV
Fox Sports Brasil
Oracle
TechCrunch
McBeard
King Jesus International Ministry
LiveX/DJI Mavic Drone Launch
Pro Watercross
Krishna De
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Brandon Sullivan/AccuWeather
John Marshall Weather

PBS

PBS is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. PBS recently began producing some live events with Telestream Wirecast. Renard T. Jenkins, VP Operations, answered our questions.

Describe the typical event that you stream to Facebook Live via Wirecast.

We have recently begun to utilize Facebook Live as an additional distribution path for both topical and some special events. 

How did the Wirecast’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

The Wirecast integration helped streamline our process. It also afforded us a solution that allowed us to quickly integrate it into our overall distribution system.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

With the exception of the inability to stream captions during the Live events, the experience thus far with FaceBook Live has been primarily positive. Live captioning capabilities would be a huge improvement for the platform and would probably generate more views during the initial distribution. The interface is relatively easy to navigate. The speed at which the content is available after the event has ended is impressive. We have had anywhere between 10K and 30K simultaneous users for our events and we expect the numbers to continue to increase.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results? So far, we have been pleased with the results that we are seeing from Facebook Live.

Our numbers continue to increase with each event that our programming department decides to stream.

Any comments about Facebook Live’s real time analytics? Have you found this invaluable, eye candy, useless?

The instantaneous results are helpful for a quick real-time idea regarding the success of your event.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

I think it will become more important over time because it is direct avenue to our ever moving and ever mobile populations.

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The YES Network

The YES Network owns the exclusive local TV rights of the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets and Major League Soccer’s New York City FC. The YES Network broadcasts to Facebook Live using Telestream Wirecast. Managing editor Kevin Sullivan provided these answers to our questions.

Describe the typical event that you stream to Facebook Live via Wirecast.

When it comes to Facebook Live, there’s no such thing as a “typical event” for us. Because of the ease of use, we’re able to utilize the feature in a variety of different ways. For example, among our most popular streams is when we simply go live outside of Yankee Stadium at a Yankees game and allow our users to absorb the sights and sounds happening in the Bronx. Our numbers show that the voyeuristic nature of these live videos is appealing to our users. And on the complete other side of the spectrum, we also do a heavily-produced weekly live talk show, complete with multiple camera angles, user comments, and graphics normally seen on linear programming. In addition to all of this, we also go live during games featuring our talent interacting with users about the action they’re seeing on YES; we regularly shoot pre-game production meetings; we interview players before games; and when our studio shows go to commercial, we often keep the cameras rolling for a behind-the-scenes look via Facebook Live. So you’ll see that, given the breadth of what we produce, there really is no such thing as a “typical event.”

How did the Wirecast’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

When Facebook Live launched, we quickly went into action utilizing our cell phones to capture anything that would interest our users. What we found is that there are certain times when a cell phone camera is both accepted and expected. Capturing the vibe outside Yankee Stadium before a game would be a good example of this. But there are other times when a higher quality presentation is required. For example, doing our weekly talk show wouldn’t be possible on a cell phone. We simply wouldn’t be able to properly mic up the talent, roll out graphics, or cut between cameras. That’s where Wirecast comes in. The Wirecast software allows us to do all those things quickly and easily, complete with a professional looking end product.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

As content creators, it’s important to us that our content and brand is in front of Yankees, Nets and NYCFC fans wherever they may be and on whatever device they are using, regardless of the platform. With that in mind, Facebook is often prioritized, given the reach the platform offers. So that’s where we will continue to be.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Facebook Live has benefited us in a variety of ways. When looking at it in a silo, Facebook Live has enabled the digital media department to produce high quality video that reaches hundreds of thousands of users. That’s exciting to us. But on a bigger scale, and more importantly, it gives us another tool to help accomplish one of our chief goals, which is to drive tune-in to our network. When we go live outside Yankee Stadium or stream behind-the-scenes video of our pre-game show, we’re creating awareness for our on-air product. So when a user is sitting on his or her couch thumbing through their Facebook timeline and sees that one of their friends commented on our stream, we just reminded somebody new that the Yankees or Nets are on the air on YES. That’s incredibly valuable to us.

Any comments about Facebook Live’s real time analytics? Have you found this invaluable, eye candy, useless?

We use Facebook Live’s analytics as “bulletin board” material, so to speak. For our weekly talk show, we start out each production meeting by looking at the prior week’s numbers and asking ourselves how we can top them. In this instance, the Peak Live Viewers stat becomes very important to us. This allows us to go back and see where we may have lost viewers. We then look for patterns; if we find that a certain topic or segment tends to lose viewers, we eliminate it moving forward.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

We certainly anticipate Facebook Live becoming more important over time. Heading into the baseball season, we were among the first media outlets (not just sports) to take advantage of Facebook’s newly-launched branded content initiative when we began production of a season-long video series sponsored by Tri-State Ford. Based on the success of that, we’re now in the planning stages of creating a variety of live shows with easily sponsorable elements.

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Twentyfourseven Films

Twentyfourseven Films Ltd recently produced several unplugged performances featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers and Biffy Clyro for distribution via Facebook LIve using the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K camera and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K mixer.  Twentyfourseven Films Managing Director Bela Molnar answered our questions below.

How did the Blackmagic Design’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration? 

For me, the two most important things about using Blackmagic Design equipment for a platform like this, that is still relatively new, are scalability and ease of connecting to the platform.

I’ll start with the second one. Blackmagic Design products work straight out of the box with Facebook Live once you plug them together. I did not have to test different workflows and wrack my brain for how to make it work. It was as simple as unpacking the equipment and connecting them together – we could go live immediately. That’s a huge bonus as people are always scared of new platforms and what the technical requirements are. But in my case, I didn’t have to go out of my way to be able to all of a sudden pick up Facebook Live as one of the services I can provide for my clients. So that’s a huge benefit.

It’s great for my potential clients because I don’t have to surcharge them for investing into further products. And it’s easy for me because I don’t have to spend time researching and buying new equipment. I was able to use the Blackmagic units I already had to go live on Facebook. That’s the simplicity/brilliance of the Blackmagic products. Even when a new platform pops up, the technical capabilities of the equipment are already there. It shows the forward thinking of Blackmagic Design and the developers and engineers who are creating the products. They’re not just designing the equipment for today, but equipment that will hopefully stack up for the next three, four or even five years. In an ever-changing landscape, which is what we are living in in terms of the digital industry, that’s amazing because everything changes so quickly and new things pop up all the time. It’s amazing to be able to manufacture and sell a product that is future proofed for at least a few years. Look at our iPhones. If you don’t buy a new one every year you fall behind compared to what other people are capable of doing. And when you invest thousands of dollars into certain brands and technologies and equipment, you want to know that your money is safe at least for a few years.

The other important benefit about Blackmagic Design products is scalability. Projects come in all sizes, from a one camera live stream up to a twenty camera live stream. I refer to Blackmagic Design as a ‘Lego’ structure. Blackmagic products are like Lego pieces and using them you can build a tower as tall as you want to. You can just keep stacking them up. I’ve never been phased when a client comes to me and has a multi camera shoot, whether it’s four or 14 cameras, because I just scale up and down in terms of how many repeating units I put into my production workflow. Again, that’s amazing. Other manufacturers don’t have that kind of scalability or the simplicity of that scalability.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

Most of my projects are related to the music industry/entertainment industry. The music industry is always trying to stay connected to their very elusive young audience and fanbase. So they have to try everything that’s brand new – new platforms, any kind of digital campaigns that can keep an artist connected with that young fan base. These young people just naturally pick up on anything and everything that’s new, so you can never really predict what’s going to be next. Because my clients are coming from that industry, I always have to be at the forefront of technology, and when Facebook Live popped up, record labels immediately jumped on it as a new way of promoting their artists.

So the conversation very quickly came to me to talk about how we can benefit from this platform. Even before we had Facebook Live available, we did a couple of live streams on Facebook, but back then it was a very vigorous process and we had to use a third party application. Obviously once Facebook Live became official, my clients asked me to investigate how we could use it. It was great that I could very simply provide that service and help my clients in the industry push onto a new platform.

Describe the “typical” event you stream to Facebook Live.

The Biffy Clyro stream we did this summer was a typical stream for us. The project started with the record label because they wanted to promote the new album and tour, so they were interested in achieving a global reach. And obviously Facebook Live is platform that’s at the moment very much at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Facebook Live is the hottest item right now when it comes to live streaming video content. Everyone spends so much time on Facebook anyway so it’s easy to target them, as it’s in an environment where they’re already spending quite a bit of time.

The whole concept was a four camera shoot, kind of an “MTV Unplugged” style miniature concert. We hired an actual recording studio as the venue and the band was interviewed by radio and television personality Fearne Cotton. The program had two parts, starting with an interview in studio with Fearne which lasted about half an hour, then we launched a new music video halfway through the program so people were able to see the music video for the first time. Then when we came back after the music video they performed the five song mini concert. For a band that has played in large venues and stadiums, it’s always unique when they play in a small recording studio with a more acoustic set. We filmed it with four cameras and of course live streamed it on Facebook. It was very straightforward. In this kind of live setting you just have to be on high alert and make sure your signals are reliable and everything is connected correctly.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

The only thing I would say is that Facebook Live wasn’t invented for Business to Consumer, it was invented for Consumer to Consumer. It was invented for ad hoc recording primarily for people using their mobile phones to live stream, rather than the high end professional stream that businesses can provide. They quickly realized while it’s great that people are streaming all sorts of things, they’ve also created a lot of noise on Facebook and not a lot of high quality content.

So Facebook’s brand partnership team started talking to various brands and agencies and record labels to inspire them to come to Facebook Live and exploit the capabilities that Facebook Live can give them. The only real problem with that is because they never really targeted businesses before, they never invested in their own encoder software. Even though I can 100% rely on Blackmagic Design in terms of the technology, my production is only as good as the signal that goes out live on Facebook. The very last step before it goes live is an encoder software, and it’s not Facebook’s software. In fact they recommend using a third party, somewhat beta-phase software, which puts people a bit on edge. You put together a big production and you’re depending on a non-recognized encoding software. That’s my only concern. I wish Facebook would have made a deal with the big encoder companies like Wirecast and gotten their own encoder software for people who want to broadcast live, multi-camera, high end content. We don’t have that today, and I wish they had that in place from day one.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Absolutely. I’ve definitely got 100% happy clients in the end which is always what I want. Facebook is ahead of any other platform in terms of the average time spent on it. People tend to live on this platform. It’s nice to live stream engaging content to them and actually upgrade what you were able to have on Facebook before rather than introducing a new platform to them. I know for a fact there are a lot of people who tune into a live stream and then minimize the window and just listen to the music part of it. We see messages from people who say ‘I wish I could watch it as well but I’m at work and I can’t have the video stream on my screen but I’m listening to the music on my headphones.’ For the Biffy Clyro stream we had 1.2 million total views and about 100,000 simultaneous viewers. Even without the numbers, the most important thing is a smiling client at the end of it.

I had filmed Biffy Clyro four years ago for a project, and I had a chat with them after the live stream this summer and they couldn’t believe how much has already changed in the last few years. Now they can sit in a small recording studio with their guitars and attract millions of people watching them. They were very positively surprised how much reach Facebook Live creates and how quickly it can create it.

It’s all the viral effect which is great for these projects. With television you can have X million people watching but it doesn’t have the viral effect and international reach that Facebook Live has. People can watch it from anywhere, it really has a global reach. People love that, brands love that, bands love that.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

At the moment it’s important. I think its importance is very much driven by today’s very young audiences and as we know they don’t have much of an attention span. There are so many new startups popping up left and right and we see new things all the time. It would be foolish to say that Facebook Live is going to be around for a long time. I think the service will exist as long as Facebook exists, but on the scale of popularity I can’t see anything in this day and age lasting a long time. It feels like everything comes and goes. Things tend to have a massive spike in the beginning because they’re new and interesting and then they kind of level off and drop into the background.

There was that Meerkat live streaming application a couple of years ago and everyone thought it was amazing. I just read recently that they went bankrupt. Facebook is obviously bigger, but it’s not even the size of the business that matters, it’s just when something shinier pops up, someone has to take a back seat. At the moment Facebook Live is popular, it’s a good platform, it does what it says it can do, you can definitely use it to reach out to a global audience and that’s always going to stand, but I don’t know how much attention it will hold onto in the long run.

I think another thing that’s great about it and perhaps helps keep it alive is there are a lot of impromptu news bites coming through Facebook Live. We’ve seen some intense news reports about things you couldn’t have live streamed before. And even just general news – I know the BBC uses it sometimes for ad hoc reports when they don’t have time to get a full crew there. Even a lower quality news bit is better than completely missing it. So I think that helps it stay alive as opposed to a traditional live stream platform which might be more prone to a decline. Because it’s easy to reach from mobile phones, it’s probably going to stay with us a bit longer than other platforms. But who knows what’s coming?

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Central Valley TV

Central Valley TV‘s mission is bring quality media content on a daily basis to a community underserved by television. Photojournalist Carlos Rodriguez uses Teradek Cube for broadcasting live from on-location and answered our questions.

Describe the typical event you stream via Facebook Live if there is one.

The typical events are mostly breaking news situations. The community I live in is very public safety oriented. It’s very important to our residents to stay aware of their surroundings and whatever situations may be playing out. Crime incidents, protests, press conferences, emergency situations, traffic and natural disasters like wildfires and floods.

How did the Teradek Cube’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

The Cube’s Facebook integration was a perfect match for me because it allowed me to put my viewers closer to whatever subject I’m broadcasting with a higher quality touch. In news situations, the local newspapers will broadcast to Facebook using their cell phones. I say it that way, because for myself, as a journalist, I find it somewhat offensive. There has been a lot of great content since smartphones hit the scene, and they can be great tools in a pinch, but I feel my community deserves something better and more professional. The Teradek Cube has delivered and bridged this gap for me. For example, my iPhone cannot zoom the way my Fujinon lens does. This can be an important factor on an event I may be working.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

Before Facebook Live, I was using an embedded player on my company’s website. Facebook is a huge trafficker, so it was essential to use Facebook to announce and notify whenever I would broadcast a live news event. It wasn’t the greatest option but it worked at the time. Since using the Teradek Cube with Facebook Live, I have seen the traffic for the live broadcast easily double or even triple on some occasions, not to mention the amount of engagement from viewers. The Cube is an essential tool I never leave home without. It is always attached to my camera.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

There really hasn’t been a delivery issue I can remember. The number of viewers depends on a few different factors, like the type of incident and the impact it will have, and the time of day. It has varied from several hundred to thousands. Facebook live allows me to reach more of an audience directly. I notice more viewer traffic than if I were to direct the audience to my website. It also makes the broadcast more easily shareable, increasing the total viewer potential.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

I feel Facebook Live will only grow over time. It hasn’t been around very long and in my opinion has already had a snowball effect on my viewership. It is a quick way to reach many people directly.

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Fox Sports Brasil

During the Rio 2016 Olympics, FOX Sports Brasil published to Facebook Live using Make.TV’s Live Video Cloud. Luis Santos, Director of Engineering and Operations, Fox Latin American Channels, responded to our questions.

How did Make.TV’s Facebook-specific features allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

At the recent Olympics in Rio De Janiero, FOX Sports Brasil worked hand in hand with Make.TV using their newly-launched Live Video Cloud platform to drive consumer reach for live video via Facebook for the first time. The software is designed specifically for compatibility with Facebook Live, among other destinations to acquire, manage and distribute video content submitted by professional editors and amateurs to create one of a kind video output. Make.TV aggregated feeds from various sources outside the stadiums and via remote interviewers and pushed the videos to FOX Sports’ Live Control Room for broadcast on the FOX Sports Brasil social channels and the FOX Sports Brasil website. Using the Live Video Cloud Selector FOX Sports Brasil was able to direct multiple inputs to multiple outputs, including Facebook Live.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

If they are on YouTube, of course, we want to be there too.  Make.TV gives us an opportunity to utilize the second screen in a new way.  Unlike traditional broadcasting constraints of linear television feeds, FOX Sports is able to offer multiple live videos from various angles, locations and perspectives directly to Facebook. During the Olympics, the live broadcast was available on FOX Sports Brasil’s YouTube channel with a multi-angle player, allowing viewers to switch between the different incoming feeds. The Facebook Live feed complemented the YouTube distribution model by reaching thousands of live viewers outside the YouTube universe.   

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

The use of the Live Video Cloud has been a tremendous success.  We were able to stream with the quality of 2 mbit/second or more via mobile.  We were pleasantly surprised by the reach and engagement.  This was our first time integrating this type of technology and using this new medium so we didn’t know what to expect.  We found the audience was ready for fresh content.  One production that was a particular social phenomenon drew simultaneous views on the Facebook channels of FOX Sports in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia along with the native Brazil stream.

For the FOX Sports opening party, multiple mobile reporters were equipped with FOX GO, a white-labeled version of Make.TV’s Streamtag app to enable mobile user contributed video. The feeds were then routed to the Make.TV Selector application where they were monitored, curated and selected for output. Selected feeds were broadcast to the FOX Sports YouTube multi-angle event player. 

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

The Facebook Live integration was so successful that it is informing future production and distribution decisions.  FOX Sports Brasil is now using Facebook Live as an integral part of its broadcast strategy around marquee events. The evidence from the Olympics demonstrated that FOX Sports is able to deliver exciting and exclusive content to everyone on broadcast and 24/7 channels, with a strong multiplatform publishing synergy.  One example of that was when we featured Brazilian and Chilean hosts commenting on the Olympic games, along with results and reactions to viewers’ questions during a daily 30-40 minute show on Facebook Live. Audiences instantly grew to six figures within mere minutes.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

Facebook Live is only going to become more important over time. It is naturally a place where people are accustomed to UGC.  First, it was self-reported information and musings on what someone was watching or their reaction to a big game, then photos and clips, and now, live news and entertainment content.  It is an evolution of the medium, but also one with innate power because of the integration of Facebook into users’ daily lives.  People check their Facebook feed before getting out of bed.  There are only a handful of sites that share that type of intimate connection with their users.

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Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems. Akira Wing is an Internet Broadcast Engineer at Oracle but not an official Oracle spokesperson. Akira’s comments are not an endorsement of FB or FB Live.

Briefly, tell me about the event..

We live stream Oracle OpenWorld to the public and this year we used Facebook as a way to stream specific keynotes from executive speakers such as Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd in tandem to our webcast embedded on oracle.com. We capture the event on-site from Moscone and receive a feed of that broadcast to our studio at HQ in Redwood shore where we typically stream out to Akamai CDN globally. This time we streamed not only through the Akamai CDN, but to Facebook CDN as well.

What are the primary tools you use to stream to FBL?

We used hardware based StreamZHD rack encoders from Digital Rapids (now Imagine) to stream directly to FB’s CDN.

Do they have FBL specific integrations? If so, what are they and how do they enhance your usage?

We did not use any specific integrations. We broadcast directly through the FB default UI.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your overall live streaming strategy?

We broadcast via FBL in order to engage people who were already following Oracle branded FB pages in order to utilize our social media presence. Anyone who caught a glimpses of Keynotes in progress were also invited to like, comment and view the entire event on oracle.com.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

The service worked smoothly for us during events but there were some shortcomings we noticed in the setup and execution phase. For instance, there is no redundancy; There is no backup-failover entry point. If the stream goes down for any reason there will be interruption in service.

Each time we create and run a test or event, the FB UI generates a new streaming URL, which requires Streaming Techs to update settings on the encoder for every new event. This creates additional effort and diligence on behalf of streaming staff. We would prefer if there was a way to keep a few of the same streaming URLs and instead, with the entry points password protected and keep those same URLs active for repeating events. Some sort of Akamai integration with FB could be useful as well.

There is no live support from Facebook, this is completely self-service. If there are issues on the player, CDN or other FB facing infrastructure, we are “on our own”. There was no contractual support available at this time.

From a user perspective; There is not currently any mobile browser support. If you are viewing on a mobile device, you must find the live stream from within the Facebook App.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

We were hoping FB users who follow Oracle might stumble upon OpenWorld live keynotes in progress in an organic way and provide some engagement. I think (and hope) that it did produce those results.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

I see it as more important over time for external broadcasts as such a large portion of internet activity worldwide is on FB and it only continues to grow.

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TechCrunch

TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.  Ned Desmond, COO of TechCrunch, answered the questions below.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your overall live streaming strategy? 

If you want to capture new audiences, you need to go where the users are. Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that we’re at the beginning of a golden age of live video, and I couldn’t agree more. We’ve already seen some of the first videos go viral on FB Live (Chewbacca woman), and I expect to see more and more of this as more content creators start using FB Live.

According to Facebook’s head of Live, users are on average spending 3 times more time watching a video when it’s live. That’s powerful engagement, especially when you consider the implications for advertising and stealing dollars from TV.

What’s incredible about this distributed live streaming strategy is that it increases user awareness about events like Disrupt, and this causes live video numbers to increase for all other platforms (TechCrunch.com, YouTube, etc).

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

We’ve seen concurrent viewership on Facebook Live for Disrupt hit 9,000 viewers, with a trickle down effect of over 55,000 total views within a 48-72 hour period. According to Facebook’s own writeup, TechCrunch Disrupt New York received over 1.9 million video views, while TechCrunch San Francisco received 6.5 million views.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

Yes – more and more important. Facebook is becoming the new television. I wouldn’t be surprised if your entire Facebook feed is all video within the next 3 years.

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McBeard

McBeard is an agency that helps brands like Mary Kay Cosmetics promote their products and services via social media. David Chang, a producer for McBeard, uses Telestream Wirecast for his productions, and answered our questions below.

Describe the typical event that you (or your clients) stream to Facebook Live via Wirecast.

We are normally streaming pre-recorded content and are starting to elevate our live broadcasts by streaming through high definition cinema cameras to improve the user experience on our pages.

How did the Wirecast’s Facebook integration allow you (or your clients) to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

We are now able to offer a wider range of Facebook Live for our clients. Before, the only options were to broadcast from a mobile device directly through Facebook, but Wirecast allows us to be more creative and add polish to our FB Live executions.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s (or your client’s organizations) overall live streaming strategy?

Facebook Live allows influencers or talent to connect directly with the audience. It also provides a new and fresh type of content beyond standard photos, graphics, or videos. It’s a completely new experience for fans that allows them to feel more connected to a brand.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

We always run into some kind of minor issue, but that is expected with such a new media format and working out kinks to a new type of execution. Internet bandwidth seems to be the most common issue because of the several channels the broadcast must go through.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results for you or your clients?

Because the organic FB Live algorithm strongly rewards Live videos, the benefits and results have been amazing. Organic reach is higher than ever and it gives our clients a new challenge to continue to be forward-thinking.

Any comments about Facebook Live’s real time analytics? Have you found this invaluable, eye candy, useless?

We have found engagement to be rewarding for our clients as well because they are comparing the numbers to more traditional content pieces (graphics, photos, standard videos, etc.). Once there is a more established standard for FB Live analytics, I assume clients will start to have different benchmarks.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

FB Live will grow more important over time because it is the most authentic way for brands to connect with their audience on FB. Fans feel closer and more intimate to the things that interest them and it also gives a “behind-the-scenes”-type feel to what they’re viewing. As brands start to be more in touch with their audience’s desires and viewing habits, they will utilize the FB Live experience more and more.

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King Jesus International Ministry

King Jesus International Ministry is a Miami-based ministry which broadcasts to Facebook Live using Haivision KulaByte encoders. Andres Brizuela, Marketing & Public Relations Director, and Eddy Puerta, from the media department, answered our questions.

Describe the “typical” event you stream to Facebook Live.

Brizuela: We stream our ministry services that include music, a teaching and a miracle crusade. Usually this takes about 3 hours in total.

How did the Haivison’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

Puerta: King Jesus Ministry has standardized around Haivision KB (KulaByte) encoders because of their reliability, flexibility and ease of operation. We are constantly innovating the way that we stream and Haivision’s Engineering team has successfully overcome every challenge we send their way, including Facebook Live streaming, with their KB product line.

Brizuela: By using Haivision to stream to Facebook live, it allowed us to connect to our broadcasting cameras inside the arena, that gave us tv quality material, for Facebook live. This includes angles, graphics, and much more. This helped us give our Facebook live audience a way better experience, so that they too could be with us during our event.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

Brizuela: Most of our followers spend more time on Facebook than any other platform, and in addition, Facebook notifies them every time that we are live. This helps us reach our target in a more effective manner than with any other live platform at the moment.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

Brizuela: Our total amount of viewers in our largest event of the year was 158,000 unique viewers at the time we ended the event. On our first try it gave us a hiccup, but has worked great ever since.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Brizuela: Yes, definitely. It has brought live events to an online audience, in a more interactive manner that has benefited us and our followers.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

Brizuela: Facebook is the largest social media platform, I am sure that just like Twitter it will begin to have broadcast channels stream their content through it, and Facebook like always will find new innovative ways to improve themselves.

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LiveX/DJI Mavic Drone Launch

DJI is the manufacturer of the Mavic family of consumer and professional drones. Corey Behnke of LiveX produced DJI’s live product launch of the new Mavic drone, streaming to multiple Facebook Live pages with Teradek T-Rax encoders and the Core Fleet Management platform. Behnke provided the following answers.

How did the Facebook-specific features of the Teradek T-Rax + Core enable DJI to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than they could have without this integration?

Because DJI is a global brand they have multiple geographic Facebook pages – by utilizing the Facebook features in Core we were able to effectively broadcast to as many Facebook Pages as DJI wanted to (EMEA, Asia and Americas pages).

Why did DJI decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into the organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

In order to get maximum reach DJI needed to get out to multiple platforms; they streamed to a custom DJI Chinese Portal on the west coast, their multiple Youtube Channels and their Facebook Pages. Facebook Live allows them to reach a huge audience spontaneously that likes their product but may not otherwise know about the launch that day.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

Facebook Live is robust – the main issues we have are Content ID, No 1080 only 720p, and the fact that the audio transcodes down to 96Kbps for VOD :(.  We did have the stream stop (we believe it was because iJustine was using copyrighted music – we don;t know because Facebook is a black box – but we were able to get stream back up within seconds in Core.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Yes. It is becoming a go-to streaming destination for most of our clients. The reach of FB live is tremendous.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

More important – as it gains an even stronger foothold in people’s lives it will be that much more important as a streaming destination. Brands have spent a lot of money over the years on their Pages and this gives them exposure and marketing they would not otherwise have had.

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Pro Watercross

Pro Watercross is the leading watercross racing & freestyle circuit in the USA. Richard Ignacia produces live events for Pro Watercross with the vMix live video mixer and answered our questions below.

How did vMix’s Facebook-specific features allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

The vMix-specific features made it much easier to integrate the Facebook Live option into my production.  I actually use a multi-stream product – restream.io, but the vMix API interface for Facebook Live was very intuitive and made the production flow much easier when I had to stream to Facebook.  Without this option, it would take more steps to apply the Facebook Live settings losing valuable time for me as a mobile livestream producer where time is essential with my production.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

I decided to broadcast to Facebook Live because quite frankly, that is where the audience is.  A majority of the target audience for our sport (Jet Ski Racing) had Facebook accounts and it was simply a matter of a direction to the Facebook Fan Page (Facebook keyword search Pro Watercross) for our target audience to Like and Watch the content directly on Facebook.  It was also convenient for the viewers to like, share, and comment on the Live Stream content directly and keep the content more engaging as a result of the interaction.  

Moving forward, the current strategy right now is brand exposure. The specific live stream content that I am streaming is Jet Ski Racing under the Pro Watercross brand. Pro Watercross is a national jetski tour which travels around the United States to about six venues from Ocean Beaches, Freshwater Lakes, and Rivers.  The production has a very small staff which caters to jet ski racers from around the world that come to the events.  

Prior to livestreaming, the only “static” media available were recorded videos and pictures.  Broadcast television produced shows with ESPN and the Speed Channel, but that ended over 10 years ago. I started live streaming with them in 2015 and the exposure number keep ramping up.  For the 2016 broadcast year, the tour has been exposed to over 4.7 million viewers from around the world. Brand exposure for Pro Watercross is now being identified with new sponsorships from business and companies interested in the additional exposure. More sponsorships means more revenue.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

The experience with Facebook Live has gone viral.  The way Facebook Live distributes views based on their “News Feed” has exploded the overall exposures.  There are two areas that I have been monitoring exposure, the first is actual “Views”: this is the actual number of views people “click” to watch the content.  The second is “Facebook Reach”: this is where the view shows up on viewers “News Feed.” How “News Feeds” show up on another person’s “News Feed” is quite not fully explained, but from my understanding, if one viewer clicks a live view, that person’s friend list shows his activity and thus show up on that person’s “News Feed”  Some click the content, some don’t, but in that moment, the content was exposed to that person’s friends and so on and so on.

One example of an explosion of this reach is a livestream of an event back on Sept 18, 2016. We have over 1.9 millon Facebook Reach and over 70,000 views. Facebook Live was able to distribute the content very reliably, but Facebook has a strict Copyright policy which they enforce so if there is any copyrighted songs played during the broadcast (even a slight background sound from other audio sources such as a PA Radio), Facebook would shut you down immediately. This has occurred on a few occasion while I was broadcasting and the PA mic picked up an ambient song from a “boombox” and Facebook identified is as copyright content and immediately shut down my stream.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Facebook Live has produced some unexpected positive results.  There still are some issues to tackle with, such as the 2 hour limitation on recorded events and their strict copyright policies, but overall Facebook Live has been able to distribute content to over 4.7 million people for our 2016 broadcast year.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

Facebook Live will become more important as more and more people know and understand the value of instant live content or recorded content.  The quality of the broadcasts are rivaling higher quality recorded content, but I envision that technology will soon or surpass recorded material vs live material. Case in point, the majority of the broadcasts are 720 HD Resolution.  I expect the resolution rates to increase with new technology in mobile devices and the advent of the 5G Cellular network in 2020. (5G is expected to be 1gbs compared to the current 4G at 100mb/s).  I see Facebook Live integrating with other live content delivery such as Facetime and Facebook Messenger and other Live communications mediums.

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Krishna De

Krishna De is an award-winning digital marketing, brand engagement and social media speaker, commentator and mentor. She uses Facebook Live for a variety of purposes, including marketing and training, and provided these answers to our questions.

What are the primary tools you use to stream to Facebook Live?

I have used and tested many different tools for streaming to Facebook Live in addition to the streaming from my mobile devices – when streaming using the native Facebook app on my phones I use the Facebook App, Facebook Pages App and Facebook Groups app on my iPhone 6 and my Samsung S6. I would also typically use a lavalier mic to enhance the quality of my audio and use a tripod for stability. I also try to ensure I have the best lighting possible and use my studio lights if streaming from the office.

When streaming from desktop I am using my PC and a Logitech c920 and my mic is a Blue Yeti.

Third party tools I have used for streaming to Facebook Live from my desktop include OBS and VMix for streaming software. But I have also used tools including the Windows 10 Facebook live Huzza.io, Smiletime.com, BeLive.tv (currently in beta and pricing is not yet available) and BlueJeans for Facebook Live (currently in beta and pricing has not yet been released) when streaming from my desktop.

Third party tools I have used for streaming to Facebook Live with my smart phones include Top5 Live, Live Air Solo (before their integration with Facebook Live was discontinued), ManyCam (currently in beta), BeLive.tv and BlueJeans for Facebook Live.

There are a number of other tools I plan to test – of particular interest to me is the soon to be launched Switcher Go for mobile and the Telescope.tv Live Studio which will be launching for mobile and PC hopefully later this year (it is currently available for Mac users and provides some interesting engagement tools including interactive polls where the audience can participate simply by commenting in Facebook chat therefore providing an engaging live stream experience where the results will show on screen).

Do they have Facebook Live-specific integrations? If so, what are they and how do they enhance your usage?

All the third party tools I have mentioned I have used because they have the ability to stream to Facebook Live – many with an inbuilt integration and others where you have to add the RTMP code for Facebook.

The main reasons I use third party tools are so that I can access enhanced features including:

  • the fact that I often want to have a landscape live stream rather than the square format currently available from the native mobile apps from Facebook – this allows easy repurposing to platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo
  • the ability to live stream from desktop with additional cameras
  • as an example of a third party tool providing additional functionality, BeLive.tv allows me to add multiple camera sources from different locations plus the ability to add annotations to the screen and showcase comments on the video without having to use streaming software. One of their beta features also allows for 2 people to be on screen at the same time
  • another third party tool that provides unique features is BlueJeans for Facebook Live provides me with a high quality stream where I can moderate and join the stream from my desktop but my guests can join me on screen from their iPhone or desktop. We can have up to 9 people on screen at the same time and we can share our screens or we can show pre-recorded video content – all without having to use streaming software. In addition, I get access to a high quality video recording. Using BlueJeans for Facebook live makes it easy for me to both moderate and be a guest on a show without the heavy load on my CPU.

Don’t get me wrong – using tools such as vMix or Wirecast (which I have yet to try) can provide for really well produced live streams, and there is definitely a time and place to use them but typically you are better to have a producer or production team manage that kind of live stream. As a small business, I most often am on screen, moderating and also producing a show at the same time.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your overall live streaming strategy?

I was excited to see Facebook Live introduced and was an early adopter using it as soon as it was available on my Page, Profile and Groups. I have previously used live stream platforms such as back in 2008 using Qik on my Nokia phone, then later using Google Hangouts On Air, YouTube Live and more recently Meerkat when it launched and Periscope (where I started streaming the day it launched).

I tend to use Facebook live on my personal profile more for testing.

On my main business page I have used Facebook Live to connect and engage with people who had already come to connect with my business to provide them educational content rather than posting an article, a video or directing them to a separate resource or webinar. I have shared tutorials, tips, previews of events and workshops and even published a mini-series using Facebook Live.

I use Facebook Live on one of my Pages to deliver a weekly show with a co-host and guests. We had previously used other platforms to stream from including Blab.im (which is no longer in existence) and Firetalk.com. However, streaming to our specific show page on Facebook allows us to reach and connect with an audience that we had already started to grow. Delivering content using Facebook Live is of benefit to the audience too as they do not have to leave Facebook to watch the show live. We had always made the show available on the Facebook Page as a replay, but having an audience with us in real time on Facebook adds a different sense of engagement.

In addition, I should add that if we wish to, we can also now grow a highly targeted audience thanks for Facebook paid advertising. I use Facebook Live in private Groups to deliver premium content to clients and Group members.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

Facebook Live itself I have found to be robust as a platform – the challenges are usually if I have been in a location where the data connection is not particularly strong or sometimes the third party tool I have been using has had a problem.

One of the biggest challenges in many of the third party tools I have used is where comments from Facebook Live are not visible – most tools do not bring the comments into the interface. That means you need to monitor comments on desktop, or what I find to be the most reliable is to monitor and comment back in the chat in real time on my smart phone. Of course you could also have a member of your team actively moderating the comments and highlighting to the host questions from the audience to be brought into the live stream and responded to.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

At this stage I have been using Facebook Live for awareness, demonstrating thought leadership and developing strategic relationships rather than for direct sales and yes it has been delivering the results we have been looking for.

There are however many more things I am considering in my marketing plan for Facebook Live in the year ahead especially as Facebook Live and other third party tools continue to evolve.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

There is no question that Facebook live has become increasingly popular in 2016. I think it has some way to go before it becomes over saturated with users. As a consumer I like how we can customise the live notifications we receive from pages that we follow.

Many businesses I know have still to test using the platform and often many brands (unlike news organisations who are avid users) seem to use it for specific campaigns rather than truly integrating Facebook Live into their communications plans.

I am a little concerned that my feed will become increasingly filled with live streams from my Facebook friends that I am not interested in watching, especially as Facebook has rolled out an off line ad campaign in the US and the US to build awareness and increase adoption of Facebook Live streams.

But I am not about to stop using other platforms for live video for my business. It is great to see so many options becoming available to us so that we have choice about the platforms to use to support specific strategic objectives.

As always relevant, timely, entertaining and engaging content will win the day – your audience will follow you wherever you choose to stream.

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, New South Wales. They publish to Facebook Live from their Ooyala Live stream. Scott Maxworthy, who is Head of Digital Commercialisation for the Sharks, answered our questions.

How are the Facebook-specific features of the Ooyala OVP enabling the Sharks to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could without this integration?

The key difference is production quality and control.  With Ooyala Live we can easily plug in our multi camera studio output feed that you simply cannot do with the standard Facebook live functionality.  We can also simulcast and syndicate our content to other channels. Next season will incorporate remote live camera crosses into our shows and to potentially integrate programmatic server side advertising.

Why did the Sharks decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into the organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

Very simply as part of our “people” and fan engagement strategies we need to be active in the same spaces our customers are meeting and talking. It’s also about being relevant to your audience and providing some sort of value to them in return for their highly valued attention.  The real-time feedback gives viewers the unique opportunity to interact with our hosts and guests (such as the coach and players) which creates a very high level of engagement, media authenticity, responsiveness and accountability.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

The experience has been great and more a partnership than your typical supplier > customer relationship. As a (globally) small-ish sporting organisation willing to constantly push innovation over the years we’ve (hopefully) educated our audience that everything we do is a constant process of improvement and with that approach there has been earlier and will be instances of technical challenges – either from our end as the publisher or a system configuration. Thankfully those issues are resolved quickly.  

Largest audience – Due to broadcaster media rights we are currently limited to producing and delivering content outside of Game so the strategy is less about how many and more focused on deeper level engagement.  For example the 30-minute fan based “sharkcasttv” show has an average 10,000 unique viewers but less than 500 simultaneous live viewers. Next season we will rollout new live content for game day.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Yes, with Sports News content there are around 5-10 times more video views via Facebook Live then website VOD.  There are increased challenges of live production (like accidental live mics during pre-roll ) but that only increases authenticity. In terms of customer experience fans feel much closer to the Club and feel they have a much greater voice.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

In the short – medium term yes for most but as we all know there will be something new on the horizon – from snapchat to private Messenger channels to games. Your typical millennial audience is not in Facebook as much as their parents – their content consumption is different and publisher/ brands need to fully understand this challenge.

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Brandon Sullivan/AccuWeather

Brandon Sullivan is an AccuWeather meteorologist who produces for FaceBook Live with a Terakek VidiU Pro. He provided the answers to these questions.

How did the Teradek VidiU Pro’s Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

When I am out in the heart of a storm, I need all my equipment to work without me having to tend to it. Facebook Live streaming from my Teradek Vidiu Pro allows me to hook up my camera, mount it on the dash, and show the world what is going on. I don’t have to tie up my cell phone or be trying to adjust things while trying to drive and stay safe.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

I’ve regularly used platforms like Periscope and YouTube to stream, but Facebook is where my largest audience lies. Facebook Live allows videos to go viral so much quicker with Facebook’s massive network, and sharing abilities, so it’s a natural choice for when I am trying to get an intense video to get spread quick, and maximize my viewer count.

Describe the “typical” event you stream to Facebook Live.

My Facebook Live streams revolve around storm chasing and severe weather. I love to broadcast live right as the storm chase is about to begin, so viewers can see the whole journey, from picking a target, driving to the storm, and then the ultimate thrill of being inside the storm.

How has the experience with the service been (is it robust, any delivery issues, what’s the largest number of simultaneous users)?

I’ve had great experience using Facebook live. Even in situations where networks are stressed, I’ve been able to push a solid stream and connect with my users. I’ve hosted thousands of live viewers at once and then over 250k views after the storm, all while maintaining great quality, but also a steady stream of comments in real time, so I can answer questions and keep the audience informed and entertained.

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

Facebook Live has produced absolutely great results for me in my live streaming experiences. It’s been stable and has always been a great experience for my followers to interact with me on my journeys.

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

I think Facebook live will continue to grow over time. In fact, of late I’ve admired various news sources broadcasting live, as well as even political campaigns doing live streams. Facebook is the best way to capture a massive audience, and with the tools to stream great quality audio, I think even things we traditionally see on TV now, such as breaking news, even weather forecasts and more will eventually migrate toward a solution such as this, where a big audience can be captured no matter where they are.

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John Marshall Weather

John Marshall is a meteorologist who broadcasts his forecasts directly to viewers from his website and Facebook Live using Boinx mimoLive. Marshall provided the answers to our questions below.

How does the Boinx mimoLive Facebook integration allow you to more effectively utilize Facebook Live than you could have without this integration?

Boinx mimoLive Facebook integration is far superior than just using Facebook live.  I have a green screen studio and along with mimoLive’s features I can broadcast just like I’m in the television studios in New York City (I’m a TV meteorologist and having been on the air for 18 years). Quality is of utmost importance and mimoLive delivers!  Facebook Live without mimoLive is amateur looking.  The user is dealing with the shaking of the device much of the time. The integration with mimoLive give a crisp, professional look.

Why did you decide to broadcast via Facebook Live, and how does Facebook Live fit into your organization’s overall live streaming strategy?

Being a meteorologist, up to the minute weather updates are essential to my business.  Without mimoLive’s streaming capabilities I would not be able to compete in a market flooded (no pun intended) with weather information.

Describe the “typical” event you stream to Facebook Live.

A typical event I would stream to Facebook Live is a weather broadcast.  There would be several weather maps ending with a 5 day forecast.  When there is severe weather the viewer appreciates the live quick response with the streaming live.  The viewer is used to seeing me live; it gives it that “real” feel.  

Has Facebook Live produced the desired benefits/results?

The live streaming with mimoLive has wowed the audience. Many in the business are wondering-how is he doing this? We can’t become complacent in this ever-changing world of technology.  

Do you see Facebook Live becoming more important over time, or less important? In either case, why?

Live streaming will become the mainstream over time.  The audience wants “live” over taped video.  It just grabs them!  This way of broadcasting will become the norm.  Live streaming with mimoLive has exceeded my expectations. The journey continues.  

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