By: Chris Hogan, Senior Director, Segment Development, Wowza Media Systems
Video is permeating society, and churches worldwide need to be sure they leverage it while staying within budget. In a recent survey from AT&T, 41 percent of respondents said they use mobile devices to connect to faith-based organizations or inspiration sites. With this shift in congregation viewership, churches everywhere are working toward quickly and easily live-streaming sermons, services, conferences, and other events to remote worshipers on various devices.
Live streaming helps churches expand the reach of their message to new audiences and deeply engage with their congregations, but managing costs and ensuring that live-streaming technologies are written into the budget is crucial to success. How can donation-based organizations counterbalance costs for growing congregations who expect sermons to be delivered to them live and on demand across a variety of devices?
Streaming allows churches to reach remote worshipers, whose givings often more than cover the cost of today’s streaming programs. Plus, features and options that were on the cutting edge of technology a few years ago are now mainstream, simple, and cost-effective. Here are five tips from Wowza Media Systems™, the market leader in live and on-demand video and audio streaming, on how to offset streaming costs while ensuring high-quality viewer experiences:
- Use what you have: Start with the equipment you already own, and make adjustments as you grow and evolve your streaming program over time.
- Simplify the process: Purchase technologies that are easy to set up and operate, such as the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, to deliver high-quality streaming at minimal cost. With the right technology solutions and partners, IT/AV teams can implement products that handle all of the streaming steps while providing the flexibility to adapt to your specific needs.
- Look to the cloud: Consider cloud-based or cloud-hosted streaming software for its lower infrastructure costs and scalability. Churches can use cloud-based solutions to adjust capacity up and down on the fly while also cutting costs related to hardware and maintenance. Additionally, intensive processing jobs can be handled by third parties. These factors make the cloud ideal for live-streaming popular services and events.
- Be forward-thinking: Think beyond the short term and choose future-proof technology that stays on top and ahead of industry developments. Doing so eliminates the need to frequently change solutions. If you want to try out new features, such as streaming from mobile devices, create a workflow that is nimble and flexible so you can incorporate these features when the time is right.
- Focus on flexibility: Look for flexible, pay-for-what-you-use pricing plans that fit your budget and allow for growth without locking you into long-term contracts. Be sure to note if specific payment plans grant access to all available features and easily scale as audience sizes and frequency of streamed events fluctuate.
Live streaming has never been more cost-effective and user-friendly—and it’s growing in popularity every day. Now is a great time to take a new look at what streaming can do for your church, no matter what size your congregation. Don’t delay—get started streaming today!
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