You want to stream your event and are suddenly faced with a number of important questions, the first of which may be "Which platform should I be streaming to?" Below we take a look at some of the options available to you and the factors that may help you decide.
Does your content need to be gated?
Gated content is content that requires a user to perform some action to gain access to the content. The most common forms of gating are taking payment and asking for information. For example, you may want to live stream a show that you want to charge for. Another example is streaming a free workshop to only those who have provided you with information you need to build your database, such as name and email address.
For un-gated content, the most widely used platform globally is YouTube and you can get up and running on YouTube in a few hours. Since this article is aimed at content creators, performers, coordinators, organisers, instructors or anyone looking to gate their content, we will focus on those options only.
So, you want to gate your content. Great, let's look at the various options you have.
There are of course many features and subtleties which are outside the scope of this article, but we will look at the most important factors.
What options do you have for initially restricting access to your content and then also for sharing of your content by your audience?
YouTube allows a stream to either be publicly listed, unlisted, or private. Private streams are by invitation only, and so this is not appropriate for most events. Unlisted and public streams can be shared by viewers to their networks and the video can then be watched by anyone with the link. It is important to realise that a viewer can ALWAYS get the link and share it, whether the video is public or not. There is no payment gating available on YouTube.
Facebook allows for audience filtering based on age or location but to have more specific restrictions, you will need to create a private group, add specific people to that group and then live stream to that group. There is no payment gating available on Facebook.
Vimeo Premium is Vimeo's streaming plan. This allows for restricting access based on a password. If you want to add paywalling, you may need to consider their OTT platform which is a different service entirely.
Quicket allows you to capture payments and any number of custom information requirements from your audience when they reserve their spot to watch your stream. If your stream on Quicket is gated, even if audience members share the link, the recipient of the link will still be forced to go through the gating process on Quicket (i.e. payment or info collection) to gain access. You can also entirely un-gate access to your Quicket stream meaning anyone can access it and share it.
It is worth noting that you can embed a Vimeo livestream on a different platform (such as Quicket) and lock the domain so that viewers can only view the content through that external platform. This is a good hybrid approach if you want to stream on Vimeo Premium but require information or pay walling from viewers on a platform like Quicket. In such a case, even if an audience member shares the link, the recipient will still need to go through the external platform to access that link, effectively protecting the access.
If you embed a YouTube live stream on a platform like Quicket, you still cannot stop people sharing the link to the YouTube video directly, because YouTube does not have a domain locking feature.
Lots to understand but now you have an idea of the basics of each platform. YouTube and Facebook are good options for widespread sharing and largely un-gated streams. If you want a Vimeo streaming account you must pay a lot upfront but get plenty of benefits once you've paid.
For everyone else, Quicket's solution allows you the biggest range of gating options, and usage based pricing.
Lastly, you can always use Quicket for the gating and payments, and then embed an external platform's streaming link into your Quicket event (think YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Zoom and so on). Just be aware if you embed a YouTube, Facebook, or other publicly accessible platform, your audience will always be able to share your content regardless of how you try and gate it.
Feeling overwhelmed? Give us a call at Quicket and we'll help you understand it all a little better.