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Broadcasting online through personal stations is becoming a mainstay for serious bloggers and business sites. Many bloggers are learning that broadcasting to their audience allows them to engage and develop their personal brand at a different level than purely using the text on a blog.
Once users actually hear a blogger’s voice, a connection is made on a more personal level and this allows more trust to form between a blogger and the audience. This leads to a more loyal fan base, creates more interaction, and bolsters bloggers reputation on their topics.
The selection of online broadcasting services is huge and they each offer some unique capabilities. These 5 broadcasting services are among the best that we could find and at least one of them is bound to fit your specific needs.
This broadcasting services has a lot to offer bloggers. Croice has an easy to use interface that allows anyone to set up a radio station and start broadcasting in minutes. Some of the features that bloggers will find most helpful are:
Free- all of us can appreciate a free service that can really help engagement
Instant Messaging- Croice allows listeners to instant message with each other and the host during a broadcast. This can work great for audience participation and building a relationship with the topic and host
Live Calling- broadcast hosts can have audience members or interviewees call into the show to share ideas, knowledge, and to boost the entertainment value.
Widgets- Croice allows bloggers to embed a widget into blogs or anywhere else. Listeners can tune in to the broadcast straight from the widget and can also instant message and view the presentation or photos that are being shared.
These features allow bloggers to do more than just talk to an audience, they can talk with all of their listeners as well. This brings online broadcasts a new dimension that classic radio could never fully realize. If you are new to online broadcasting, this free service isn’t a bad place to start and has man helpful articles on its blog.
Ustream brings a wider approach to broadcasting for bloggers. This is because they add video to their features line-up, albeit for a premium.The site also acts as a hub where people who are interested in watching videos on a certain subject, can search and find what they are looking for. This means that the service also allows bloggers to record their live broadcasts.
The four main broadcasting plans each come with different features, but I recommend new broadcasters start out with the free “Basic” version that allows users to get their feet wet without making a monetary investment. It offers 10GB of video storage and some basic sharing features which lets broadcasters have a trial run, as it would be hard to actually run a broadcasting campaign using the Basic plan. If you are interest in investing in your broadcasting and want to take advantage of everything Ustream has to offer, the main plans are shown below.
Ustream is really great if you have the money to dedicate to video streaming. It is one of the most reliable streaming sites available which led to it being picked by Sony as Playstation 4’s gameplay streaming host.
When you want to do more than just talk and share images or video during your broadcast, you can use Live36. This is because Live365 provides users with just about any music you want, from Top 40 hits today to delta blues guitar solos of the past. This is great because dealing with music rights and royalties is an extreme headache and adding popular music to your broadcast is always a nice touch. Live365 also allows broadcasters to distribute broadcasts across iTunes and allows live calls through Skype. The main plans are included in the image below.
The pro packages include more than just listed in the image. It comes with quite a few tools that can help bloggers out quite a lot:
Mobile App- to update pre-rolls, set station IDs, check stats and share your station
Customizable Player- which coordinates themes with your website
Social Media- advanced sharing tools to spread your station
Live Customer Support- which is always available to help with any problems
Vivo is an advertisement free live web video service that is really simple to use. It sets you u with your own webpage on their site that is fully customizable to help you tie it in with your blog, and there is no limit on the amount of viewers. Vivo comes with a 30 day free trial to see how you like it. This is really a great offering because it is one thing to plan and create a video broadcast, but another to consistently do it. If after 30 days, you find yourself struggling to keep a consistent broadcast, you haven’t lost any money. If you decide to continue on with the service it will set you back $300 a month, but it includes:
Chat- you can chat live with customers as you broadcast
Audience Q&A- the audience can send in questions which helps keep the show relevant
Document Sharing- if you are having a special live event, perhaps a promotion, you can share documents with your audience.
Professional Team- the professional staff at Vivo helps you plan your live even and brainstorm for ideas. For a fee, they can also come to your actual location and take care of rental equipment and production of your show.
This is one of the gold standards in online streaming. Livestream is full of great features for bloggers and even has a section just for the blogging tools they offer. The live video and audio streaming service can be used for broadcasts from your own home but is made to be used at events that bloggers are attending or hosting. The service gives bloggers:
Mobile App- which allows users to post text, photos, and video clips live from anywhere
PhotoPro- broadcasters can connect a WiFi enabled DSLR to Livestream in order to edit and share high resolution photos live. Bloggers can also send the photos to CloudApp where they can be edited and distributed by one of your team members.
Live Comments- the audience can interact with the host and each other which creates a conversation about your topic. It also allows hosts to guide the conversation to important subjects as they come up.
Analytics- Livestream connects to your Google Analytics account to show you what drives traffic, where your viewers are, and more.
Embed- bloggers can embed their videos into blogs and social networks so viewers and listeners don’t have to go to Livestream to tune it.
Livestream also is actually pretty affordable considering its features. Although for events, you really need to buy their Livestream Broadcaster which allows you to convert a DSLR into a Wifi live streaming video camera. There are 4 plans to choose from, starting from free and going up to $999 a month. Each plan has many different features that are worth checking out here.
There are lots of options when it comes to broadcasting. You may be strictly interested in audio, video, live, or pre-recorded. Whatever you choose, take advantage of the free trials or basic packages first to make sure this is really an endeavor you are willing to invest in. If you already use a broadcasting services, let us know what you think!
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