Facebook Live is crushing it in the battle of the streaming-video platforms: It’s now more popular than industry leader YouTube among weekly live-stream viewers. Professional broadcasters and streaming-video experts in every industry are jumping on the bandwagon; from local news channels to major media outlets. Even DJI drones and TV broadcast feeds can be streamed to Facebook Live.
Today’s broadcasters have complex workflows, and need professional video quality—but when it comes to Facebook Live, simplicity is the name of the game. For broadcasters to leverage Facebook Live and reach the world’s largest and most engaged audience, they need to be able to deliver high-quality, reliable streams using their existing workflows. But that’s not the experience many are having.
To learn more about how people are using Facebook Live, Wowza Media Systems wrote a report based on a survey of more than 700 video-streaming professionals. The Facebook Live Streaming Benchmark Report 2017 reveals their top challenges and benefits, along with some common use cases.
In our first post in this series, we talked about the positive outcomes our respondents are seeing. Here, we’ll look at what’s not working for broadcasters when streaming to Facebook Live.
Equipment, Setup and Integration Are Top Facebook Live Problems
Many respondents say they use professional equipment with advanced hardware and software workflows. Even though their goal is to produce high-quality video, with many using graphics and multi-camera switching, connecting those workflows to Facebook Live is a serious hurdle.
Facebook Live has specific requirements in terms of bitrate, resolution and other settings that have to be properly configured for successful streaming—which can be difficult for those who aren’t familiar with the platform. For a combined 38 percent of respondents, these production challenges are preventing them from streaming to Facebook Live at all.
Broadcasters Have Widespread Playback and Connectivity Errors
More than three-quarters of respondents report errors when streaming to Facebook Live, with more than one-quarter saying they’re often unable to connect. Even those who can connect have problems such as dropped streams, poor playback quality and/or video and audio sync issues (respondents could select all that applied).
This is a serious issue: The vast majority of users are having trouble broadcasting on one of the world’s largest, most popular live-streaming platforms. Whether they can’t plug their equipment into Facebook or their streams aren’t working properly, these problems are standing in the way of the massive gains Facebook Live streaming can bring.
Since one of the biggest benefits of Facebook Live is access to huge new audiences, end-users must be able to view streams in high quality, on a wide range of devices and in varying network conditions. It must also be easy to integrate Facebook Live into workflows for different use cases across industries. So far, this challenge has yet to be solved.
The sky’s the limit for Facebook Live’s popularity—but if it’s going to become standard in broadcasting workflows, these problems will need to be addressed. As we’ll see in the next post, broadcasters from many different industries are adopting Facebook Live streaming for a wide variety of use cases, and their streams need to be as high-quality as their productions.
You can also download our complete report to learn more about how broadcasters from all backgrounds are using this platform.