Thursday, 11 April 2013

Web Streaming: Why You Should Get Involved

Yesterday on the blog we discovered the answer to the question what is web streaming. Today we'll look at why you should use web streaming and how your audience will benefit when you do.

Find out more about streaming via this weeks Podcast
The Good Points of Streaming:

Streaming allows the audience to be more spontaneous. Audiences no longer need to decide on content in advance, wait for it to download then move files to an MP3 player. They can click a button on a web site and hear the content of their choice Ondemand while on the move, at work or relaxing at home. 

Click once and hear content instantly, that is the future, or is it the past? 


Podcasting utilises one of radios USP’s - that of ease of use and instant-ness. These new additions seem to be working for audiences. 

My research - for a recent Masters Degree - shows the majority of people polled 36.6% now consume ondemand content via streaming sites – the examples I gave were BBC iPlayer, Mixcloud and Soundcloud. 

With the BBC recently releasing BBC iPlayer Radio and the continued success of site such as blogtalkradio.com there is clearly a market for quality, easy to use streamed audio. 

By Roobarb!

The Bad Points of Streaming:


Not Universal:


“The main issue I see is that the Cloud isn't universally available yet. During my journeys to University last year - from Newcastle to Sunderland (approximately 16 miles) - there are two breaks in the 3G network. 


No 3G signal equaled no streamed audio. Many apps which stream audio reconnected to the cloud once the user (me) is back in range, however not all did. Which was a constant frustration and a major turn off for me (a lover of streamed content). I can’t help but feel that the average technophobe will not put up with disconnection. 

I believe streamed audio cannot live up to its full potential until this issue is sorted. There is potentially good news on the horizon though as 4G is on the way to many cities in the UK. Hopefully 4G will improve bandwidth and will enable stronger signals, which will aid mobile streaming.




Heavy data Charges

Another issue is that streaming over 3G is way too expensive when a listeners or viewers mobile data allowance runs out. Heavy data usage on UK mobile networks can be prohibitively costly. 


Content producers will need to make files smaller or lobby mobile phone companies to up data allowances if mobile streaming to reach its full potential.


Photo by By Pivada7

The Future is mobile:

The technology is still in its infancy and prone to faults. However, where available, the cloud allows anyone connected to the mobile internet to have almost instant access to millions of hours of audio content. Spotify for example allows its premium users access to fifteen million music tracks. Faith in mobile streaming and cloud based data is clear to see in Facebooks recent actions. 


Below is a quote from an article by Robert Cyran - Reuters Breakingviews columnist from Monday May 14, 2012.

“Paying $1 billion for the popular picture-sharing app may boost the social network in mobile… People are spending an increasing amount of time connecting via their mobile phones. This shift is worrying for the formerly desktop-focused Facebook, whose own prospectus warns of the risks to its business of an increasingly mobile Internet”.
 


Facebook likes mobile!

The future of successful content is mobile, easy to use and instant. 


Is your work mobile friendly? Can people stream and enjoy your content on the go when and where they want to?

If not, web streaming is a subject worth exploring further. 

Below are books on the subject which you may find useful:

Streaming Media by Tobias Kunkel
 
Mobile Web Design for Dummies
 

You can also check out MYOB Show's other relevant blogs...


I hope they help. 

Dom O'Neill

Listen to streamed audio via the player below
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