Webcast, or web streaming is something most of use on a daily basis. However, the technicality of the process is a mystery to most.
We work with the latest high-definition (HD) equipment, which is getting smaller and smaller, to film unobtrusively all kinds of live events: conferences, exhibitions, outdoor events, road shows, award ceremonies, annual general meetings, etc.
We also have a setup with the leading video streaming companies to seamlessly integrate client’s videos on their web sites.
Videos on web sites can be either live streamed (like a live TV programme), or shown as video on demand (like YouTube). We do both. In fact, all streamed events are also available as video on demand at no extra cost, other than hosting.
The cost of web streaming varies and here are the factors:
Filming the event
Obviously, the event has to be filmed in order to be streamed, or edited and made available as video on demand (VOD).
We film with at least two cameras. If the event is all about the single speakers on stage, then most of the times two-camera setup is sufficient.
However, if you would like to capture anything else, like a panel of speakers (more than two people), or questions from the audience, then three, or more cameras are needed.
Once the setup is agreed and images are acquired, they are edited live and streamed. This is where another set of variables comes into play:
This is expressed in Kilobits per second (Kbps) and the more Kbps the higher the quality. Generally the lowest quality you would use for video is 300 Kbps which will look good in a smallish window (like YouTube) but not so good on a full screen. The most common quality used is 800 Kbps which whilst not quite up to the standard of a DVD is really pretty good. Many viewers might not appreciate anything above that, as their internet connection could become the limiting factor.
The longer you broadcast, the more it costs, as you would expect, but not as much as you might think.
Number of Viewing Minutes
This is the most variable factor to work out, as it is often a mixture of guesswork and wishful thinking. It is not only how many people will watch the broadcast, but also how much of it, on average, they will watch.
There is a difference between 100 viewers watching all of a 1-hour broadcast and 500 viewers watching 5 minutes of a 1-hour broadcast.
An example of a difference between three streams:
Stream 1 (adds about £200 to the cost of the filming)
all viewers watching full 4 hours
Stream 2 (adds about £350 to the cost of the filming)
all viewers watching full 8 hours
Stream 3 (adds about £450 to the cost of the filming)
all viewers watching full 8 hour
If you’re thinking of flying two people from Japan, business class, to London for an event, why not webcast it? The price would be comparable and you’d save their valuable time.
Spending even more money on airplane tickets, hotels and hospitality? Web streaming makes sense.
As webcast is on your web site, you can have it behind a paywall (blocked access to a web page, with a screen requiring payment) and make a profit out of it. For some attendees would make sense to pay a relatively small charge, compared to the cost of flights, hotels and the time spent travelling.
If you have an event you’d like to be seen as a live broadcast (all over the world), from your own web site, please get in touch for a no-obligation quote.
Questions we would ask in order to prepare a quote:
- What is the venue / location for your event?
- How many people are attending the event?
- How long is your event?
- A list of speakers and the running order.
- Would you like to film the faces of people from the audience asking questions?
- How many people would be watching the webcast (approximately)?
- How soon after the webcast would you like the VOD files on your web site?
- Do you require hosting for the VOD (video on demand, i.e. the recording of your event)?
- Apart from filming the even in the main room (for example: a conference), would you like to film additional interviews (short, long, vox-pops)? This can be made available as a VOD, or streamed in between the conference sessions.
Oil & Money conference organised by Energy Intelligence and the International Herald Tribune in London.
All 13 sessions, lasting approximately an hour each, plus 2 luncheons were filmed over two days. In addition, we also filmed seven interviews with the energy industry leaders, each lasting between 10 and 20 minutes, as well as 15 vox-pops, lasting 3-5 minutes each.
The interviews were filmed in a small breakout room and vox-pops all around the venue.
The client decided to stream the event, but more importantly, to make it available on VOD as soon as the sessions were finished, because the majority of their audience is in a different time zone, in the US, five to eight hours behind.
The dedicated conference web page was behind the paywall, giving value to their existing customers, as well as making it available for anyone who decided to follow the event from the comfort of their own office.
The event was filmed with five cameras (three for the conference sessions, one for interviews and one for vox-pops).
The conference sessions were available to view as VOD about 20 minutes after the session’s end. The interviews and vox-pops were edited and made available the next day and the written transcript of the whole conference, including the interviews, was made available 2 days after the conference.
Windsor Media also provided the audio-visual setup for the conference (stage, projections, lights and sound system) in partnership with our sister company Carlton Promotions.
Images from the conference
vox-pop (short, impromptu interview)
awards ceremony, night before the conference