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Facebook vs YouTube live streaming: which is best?

Live Streaming Canberra

Facebook vs YouTube live streaming: which is best?

Once upon a time broadcasting your event required a huge outside broadcast truck, 100’s meters of cables and a crew of 20 riggers….oh and a TV channel to broadcast on! Newcast Studios Director Damien Maher has  been involved in the live streaming industry since 2006, when he was working as Executive Producer of video production at Fairfax Media. Fairfax was looking into new technologies that circumvented terrestrial TV broadcasting, which was prohibitively expensive, to broadcast key events such as The Budget, federal elections and breaking news events.

Free platforms that reach your audience

Fast-forward to today and things are very different. YouTube and Facebook have invested millions into their live streaming offerings. Now, you can stream right from your phone with remarkable results! Your followers are notified that you are ‘live streaming’ and most people actually click on what your streaming. Pity then they see shaky angles and poor audio so they click off pretty quickly!

Live Streaming Canberra

What we like to watch

Television has trained us to appreciate professionalism when it comes to broadcast events. You probably don’t notice the multiple camera angles, pro audio and graphics when you’re watching but you would notice them if the event was shot on an iPhone! It’s worth considering this when you are planning your next event – what is your audience watching at the other end and what would they would like to see – seamless content or shaky iPhone?

Facebook v YouTube live streaming

Here’s why YouTube is better:

  • Mail out links: YouTube Live Stream can be sent as a link over email and doesnt require an account to view – Facebook requires an account to view
  • Embed player: YouTube video player can be embedded on any web site and shared on any platform – Facebook only allows viewers to watch on Facebook
  • Comments on or off: YouTube comments can be disabled – Facebook requires a live moderator to delete comments during the stream
  • Notify subscribers via email: YouTube subscribers to your YouTube Channel can be notified of the time and date of the stream – Facebook goes live to your timeline
  • Thumbnails: YouTube makes it simple to upload thumbnail art – Facebook can too but you need to understand the Facebook API
  • More stable: YouTube’s streaming servers are more solid – Facebook tends to crash or drop out more frequently

Heres why Facebook is better:

  • Instant live: Facebook streams directly to your likers – YouTube subscribers are less numerous and less frequently on the site
  • Higher reach: Facebook’s reach is massive and the numbers are always higher – YouTube requires the player to be embedded on multiple sites
  • Autostream: Facebook auto plays the stream to your device – YouTube you need to click on a link (which is enough to make 40% of  people switch off!)
  • Better engagement: Facebook’s interactivity is fun- filled with smileys and comments – YouTube has little interactivity
  • Better insights: Facebook’s insights are live – YouTube requires 24 hours to provide the same depth of analytical data
  • Better on-demand: Facebook viewer numbers increase on-demand – YouTube tends to stay the same

In summary:

Facebook is better for numbers, reach, interactivity, on-demand catch up numbers and quick/rich analytics

YouTube is better for scheduling, requires zero moderation, reliability and for essential for anyone to watch – most notably those people who don’t have a Facebook account!

If you’re considering live streaming, contact us so we can talk you through which platform is perfect for your next event.


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