When people think of live mobile video streaming, they likely think of watching a sporting event on a smartphone, but streaming is also a way for individuals to broadcast live, draw an audience, and integrate with social networks. For those considering a mobile broadcast, here are a few tips to help get the most out of your smartphone or tablet.
Get an app
There are only a few mobile apps that can be used to broadcast live video, and four of the biggest come from Ustream, Justin.tv, Socialcam, and Livestream.
Another option is to initiate a Google+ Hangout using Messenger within the Google+ app. The first nine attendees will be able to join and contribute to your live video hangout.
Most standard photography tips also apply to recording video, including using enough light, framing a shot, and keeping the mobile device steady, says Matthew DiPietro, vice president of marketing for Justin.tv. Also, remember your audience and keep the lens clear. Mobile videographers essentially become the zoom lens of their device; get as close to the action as possible so viewers can see and hear what’s going on.
Engage viewers with social media
Michael Seibel, chief executive for the mobile video app Socialcam, says that a live video stream should be compelling and enrich the experience for viewers on a broad level.
That generally means publicizing your event or broadcast before, during and even after. Start tweeting on Twitter or posting on Facebook (Ustream has an app to stream video directly to a Facebook account), but remember to use hashtags and always include your channel URL. If your content is good, you have a good chance of gaining a return audience—but remember to interact with and respond to your viewers. Thank people who retweet or send more viewers your way, and listen to their constructive criticism.
The best connection
Live broadcasting apps work well over 4G and Wi-Fi. Livestream’s cofounder Phil Worthington suggests investing in a mobile hotspot for a great connection while on the go. Mobile hotspots (the Verizon Jetpack™ is one example) are only a few ounces, fit in your pocket and can power up to five devices—which is helpful for monitoring the web and social media as you film.
Invest in an external battery pack
Filming kills battery life quickly, so be sure to have an external battery pack for livestreaming events. Ustream suggests an external battery pack that recharges your device while you are broadcasting. One good example is the Motorola P893 Universal Portable Power Pack.
Do you have any tips on broadcasting from your smartphone or tablet? What apps do you recommend? Tell us in comments.