Building Live Streaming Apps with User Generated Content

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Build Live Streaming Apps With

USER-GENERATED CONTENT by Holly Regan, Content Marketing Manager

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

01 Introduction 02 Executive Summary 03 What Is User-Generated Content? 04 Reasons to Implement User-Generated Content With Live Video Streaming 05 Social Media and Networking LiveUGC Platforms 06 Gaming and Esports LiveUGC Platforms 07 LiveUGC Live Event Broadcasting Platforms 08 Influencer Marketing and E-commerce Platforms 09 LiveUGC Up-Levels App Experiences 10 How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms 11

Create Tomorrow’s Streaming Experiences With Wowza Technology

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

01 Why should you add LiveUGC to your app or service? Because it: •

INTRODUCTION When the marketing team is begging for deeper customer engagement, the CFO wants to increase revenue and the board is looking for greater returns, how can the development team satisfy their needs? Whether you’re starting from the ground up with a new application, platform or service offering, or you’re incorporating new

Engages current and potential customers in unique ways, creating a two-way dialogue.

Builds trust, authority and SEO value for your brand among consumers who are skeptical of traditional advertising.

Reduces turnover for your platform and provides opportunities to uplevel service to existing users.

Online audiences spend a lot of time watching, creating and sharing their own videos, and there are a growing number of highly successful platforms hosting LiveUGC. While the most well-known examples of this type of content are social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, newer entrants to the market are experiencing great success by finding and adhering to a specific interest, use case or audience focus.

For your LiveUGC offering to stand out from the crowd, it’s not enough to just jump on the bandwagon. You’ll need to know how to make the experience worthwhile for your stakeholders, and you’ll need to make it work for every user, every time. Wowza Media Systems™ offers technology solutions that allow any organization to harness the power of UGC and build it into their website, app or service. To learn more about how brands and consumers are taking advantage of LiveUGC, we teamed up with Tim Siglin—founder of nonprofit streaming organization HelpMe! Stream and a regular contributor to Streaming Media Magazine—to survey respondents in the video and broadcast space. In this report, we’ll explore our findings, discuss how LiveUGC is being deployed across a range of popular use cases and show you examples of platforms that have implemented it well. We’ll also take a look at solutions that can help you build live-streaming apps and services with engaging user-generated content experiences.

features into an existing one, implementing live-streaming user-generated content (LiveUGC) is becoming an excellent option.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

02

Key Findings: LiveUGC drives engagement and awareness.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In March and April 2018, Tim Siglin commissioned a survey on behalf of Wowza Media Systems exploring preferences,

The top reasons companies integrate LiveUGC into their apps or services are to deepen customer engagement (55 percent), increase brand awareness (20 percent) and drive sales or conversions (18 percent).

The top UGC platforms respondents use are those that host video only (used by 84 percent), followed by those that host video, images and text (71 percent).

Mobile is king in LiveUGC creation and consumption.

Respondents recognize the value of LiveUGC, but are still uncertain about implementation. •

While 45 percent of respondents plan to incorporate mobile LiveUGC in the next two years, 75 percent could not name the tools they planned to use to build it into their offering.

Over the next year, 37 percent of respondents say their organization plans to keep using an existing solution for integrating LiveUGC into their app or service; 34 percent are uncertain, and 23 percent plan to use a new solution.

When asked what type of app, platform or service their organization plans to add LiveUGC capabilities to, 20 percent of respondents were uncertain.

trends and tools in LiveUGC platform creation and usage. It gathered a total of 354 responses from broadcasters,

network operators and streaming professionals across a variety of industry verticals. Job titles among individual respondents ranged from C-suite executives to developers to production and broadcast engineers.

Mobile apps are the most popular use case among respondents whose companies have already implemented UGC (36 percent) or LiveUGC (38 percent). Overall, mobile device considerations are the most important factors for our respondents in delivering a great LiveUGC experience: device/platform flexibility (50 percent), mobile playback (43 percent) and mobile live-stream publishing (40 percent).

UGC capabilities are more popular among traditional, live event and over-the-top (OTT) broadcasters than they are among our overall survey population. •

Respondents who work in broadcast/media, OTT, live event broadcasting and live sports use UGC platforms—as well as LiveUGC capabilities within those platforms—at higher rates than the sample as a whole.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

03 So, how did this whole LiveUGC trend get started, anyway? UGC has its roots in the early homepagecreation and blogging platforms of the late 1990s and early 2000s. In these nascent days of the internet, the idea of sharing stories, thoughts and images about either your personal or professional life with the whole world was still a novel one. Today, UGC exists in a vast array of formats and platforms, and can be found in nearly every industry vertical.

WHAT IS USERGENERATED CONTENT? User-generated content is any type of content—whether it’s a blog post, photo, video recording, podcast or livestreaming video—created by users of an app, a platform or

While text-based status updates were once the primary form of content creation, it became increasingly common for users to share photos and video on demand (VOD), whether through external links or uploaded to a site. Understanding the power of this medium, many social networks began building or acquiring companies that specialized in video. The true pioneer of LiveUGC was the website Justin.tv. It started with founder Justin Kan, who equipped himself with a hat-mounted camera and started live streaming 24/7, a practice that became known as “lifecasting.” That same year, the platform was opened to the public, allowing anyone to create their own channel.

a service for other users of that app, platform or service. The content must be original, or modified from its original version in some way, and it is typically created by users voluntarily and for free.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

What is User-Generated Content?

Within the next five years, Justin.tv became increasingly popular for live video—especially for game-streaming content, in which streamers broadcast themselves playing video games and viewers can comment in real time. The practice became so popular, Justin.tv separated that section of the website into an entirely separate site, Twitch.tv, and later rebranded the company into Twitch Interactive. In 2014, Amazon purchased Twitch for just under $1 billion, which started a bevy of acquisitions and product offerings in live video streaming.

1990’s

1990s Early 2000s: Homepagecreation and blogging platforms GeoCities, AOL, LiveJournal and Blogger become popular

2002

Friendster launches

2003

LinkedIn and MySpace launch

On the heels of Twitch’s live-streaming success, Twitter bought live-streaming platform Periscope; YouTube introduced YouTube Live; Facebook Live opened up the platform’s livestreaming functionality to the public. Facebook Live is now one of the top live-streaming platforms in the world—even overtaking YouTube on many popularity metrics, including mobile live streaming.

2004

2006

2007

Facebook launches as an exclusive network for Harvard students and alumni

Facebook becomes a completely public platform

Justin.tv launches, and opens live streaming to the public later the same year

2011

Twitch. tv, formerly a Justin. tv channel, becomes its own site

2014

2015

2016

Justin.tv rebrands as Twitch Interactive and is purchased by Amazon

Twitter purchases Periscope

Facebook Live and YouTube Live launch

Google purchases YouTube to help build a video content infrastructure

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

04 Why does UGC work? Showing people actually using and engaging with your brand, platform, application or product is far more authentic than a paid advertisement. Moreover, it encourages the sense of community around the engagement, with actual customers advocating for you voluntarily (and often for free).

REASONS TO IMPLEMENT USER-GENERATED CONTENT WITH LIVE VIDEO STREAMING As these use cases show, UGC is incredibly versatile across industry verticals. Now, let’s explore why UGC is such an effective marketing approach.

Today’s consumers are obsessed with authenticity: 86 percent of people across generations say it’s important when choosing brands to support. Yet a majority find brand-created content inauthentic; instead, they find content created by other consumers the most credible. Indeed, a staggering 93 percent find UGC helpful when making a purchase decision, and consumers trust UGC more than any other type of content. For gamers, peer groups are by far the most important resource: 88 percent of avid gamers in a recent survey cited “talking to friends” as a factor

Q

What types of usergenerated content apps or services have you personally used?

when choosing a game to purchase. Conversely, less than 25 percent consulted expert reviews or game-manufacturer websites. And for these users, “friends” can be either childhood companions or other gamers they’ve never met who live halfway around the world, with whom they’ve built strong online relationships. While video is king and on-demand UGC videos are great content, LiveUGC is the most powerful tool of all for attracting and engaging audiences. Why? The top UGC platforms used by the respondents in our survey are those that host video only, used by 84 percent, or those that include text, images and video platforms, used by 71 percent. In fact, the number-one most popular UGC app among our respondents is YouTube (used by 87 percent), beating even the ubiquitous Facebook (76 percent).

Video-only

6.50%

Still-image only

71.19%

83.62% Image-Video

Text-Image

31.36%

32.77% 52.82%

Text-Image-Video

Other

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Reasons to Implement User-Generated Content With Live Video Streaming

What’s more, the top reasons respondents cite for including LiveUGC in their company’s products or services are that it deepens customer engagement, raises brand awareness and leads to sales and/or conversions:

Reasons to Integrate LiveUGC in Company’s Products or Services

Still not convinced? Also consider that: •

The top two online activities people engage in are using social media platforms and watching videos, respectively.

Viewers watch more than 500 hours of video daily on YouTube alone.

More video content is uploaded to online channels every 30 days than the major U.S. TV networks have broadcast in 30 years.

And user-generated video clips made up over half of all content streamed to smartphones in 2015.

7% 18%

55%

20%

Deeper customer engagement

Sales or sales conversions

Greater brand awareness

Allow family and friends to stay connected

In other words: LiveUGC allows you to engage your target audiences through the mediums and channels they’re already consuming. It creates a feedback mechanism between your platform or service and its users, and builds a virtual community around your offering. LiveUGC platforms allow users to talk directly to one another—whether by delivering a one-to-many, live-streamed message, or by incorporating two-way elements such as comments, emojis and chat. Platforms that host UGC must determine how best to leverage the power of viewer-to-broadcaster and viewer-to-viewer interaction in order to capitalize on engagement.

Engagement with UGC live video streaming can translate to dollars either indirectly, by boosting awareness and authority, or directly, through increased sales, paid subscription tiers or gamification elements, such as badges or gifts viewers can buy and give to their favorite content producers. Hardware is also evolving to support the delivery of interactive, live-streaming experiences. Cameras on mobile devices offer the ability to stream in highdefinition (HD) at ever-higher resolutions; for example, the iPhone X now supports 4K video recording. Handheld 360° cameras that mount onto these mobile devices, such as the Insta360 ONE camera, are widely available to consumers, as well. These innovations facilitate the creation of high-quality UGC by any broadcaster around the world. They also allow apps and services to offer real-time breaking news by appointing everyday users as unofficial, independent “citizen journalists,” reporting from the front lines of live events, concerts, political rallies, conferences and more. Next, we’ll look in greater depth at the types of LiveUGC platforms that are evolving within our four primary segments, explore example use cases and provide a snapshot of the tools you can use to create these experiences within your own platform or service offering.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Reasons to Implement User-Generated Content With Live Video Streaming

BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING LIVEUGC IN YOUR APP OR SERVICE OFFERING Video requires multiple senses to consume.

It strengthens relationships with your target audience.

LiveUGC returns a higher average revenue per user.

Viewers must watch as well as listen, increasing the likelihood that they will absorb the messaging and take further action. On average, viewers remember 95 percent of a message when they watch it, versus just 10 percent if they read it. In fact, our brains are hardwired to pay extra attention to things that combine both movement and noise—a vestige from our hunter-gatherer days.

Live video creates an open dialogue between viewers and publishers—and, by proxy, the sites or platforms hosting that content, building authority and trust. In a recent survey, 78 percent of executives said the biggest benefit of going live was that it enabled deeper interactions with their viewers; 66 percent said live video offered greater accessibility; and 57 percent said live video engaged viewers on social media.

Including in-stream ads allows you to capitalize on every view; you can also offer viewers the option to purchase premium, ad-free subscriptions to your app or service, or to their favorite streamer. Or you can gamify streaming by letting users buy and swap badges and gifts, or participate in leaderboard competitions that reward those with large numbers of subscribers, points, hours of streaming or numbers of streams watched.

Live video has longer viewing times.

Users can go live from anywhere.

One of the clearest engagement factors of LiveUGC is the fact that viewers watch it for longer periods of time than VOD. On internet-connected TVs, the average viewing time for live videos is more than 42 minutes, compared to just over five minutes for on-demand—and on desktop, live video viewing time averages 34.5 minutes, with VOD at 2.6 minutes. That means more time to get your message across, and to turn viewers into loyal customers through integrated calls to action.

No matter who your target users are, odds are, they can go live on your platform, app or service using the technology in their pocket. New streaming codecs and protocols such as H.265, AV1, WebRTC and SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) enable interactive streaming on consumer mobile devices—as well as over suboptimal or low-bandwidth networks, including 3G and congested WiFi connections. Streaming media server software and cloud-based services, such as those offered by Wowza, provide an easy way to build UGC streaming into your platform (more on this later).

Showing rather than telling adds credibility. In an era of “fake news,” when consumers increasingly seek to validate information sources, LiveUGC video shows a firsthand account of the event that’s unfolding, the game being played or the product the seller or influencer is promoting—allowing the viewer to discern for themselves, and to speak directly to the source. That’s why 94 percent of avid gamers cite watching gameplay footage as a crucial factor when making a purchase decision, and viewers are more confident that a news story is true when it includes video or other visuals.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

05 What’s more, Facebook has a publicly stated focus on video that engages users and allows them to directly connect with one another:

SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING LIVEUGC PLATFORMS

“Video done well can bring people together. But too often today, watching video is just a passive experience. To shift that balance, I saw that we were going to focus on videos that encourage meaningful social interaction, and in Q4, we updated our video recommendations to meet other quality changes to reflect these values.” —Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook

Today, there are a number of social UGC platforms that revolve almost entirely around live-streaming video, such as YouNow and Live.Me. These networks allow users to broadcast to the whole world, or simply to video chat with friends and family, and most are geared toward the average, non-professional live streamer. However, regardless of users’ technical background, it’s important that your app or service support the delivery of high-quality video that helps users stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of their own viewers, fans and followers.

The evolution of UGC on social platforms has brought us to today’s Facebook Live-dominated era. The popularity of this channel is largely due to the ubiquity of Facebook and the live platform’s ease of use—whether for smartphonewielding novices or video professionals who integrate Facebook Live into their studio workflows.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Social Media and Networking LiveUGC Platforms

Social Media and Networking: LiveUGC Platforms We Love BUILD A LIVEUGC SOCIAL PLATFORM There are a wide variety of social media and networking platforms for creating and sharing live content with friends, family and fans. And live-streaming SDKs and APIs make it easy to integrate these capabilities into any new or existing app or service. If you’re creating a social LiveUGC app, low-latency streaming delivery is crucial for real-time interactivity, so viewers and broadcasters can have realworld conversations without awkward pauses or delays. Supporting square video and adaptive-bitrate streaming are also important on mobile devices, as these contribute to higher levels of user engagement. Whether you’re managing your own streaming infrastructure or using a cloud-based streaming service, ensure your application or service can support interactive experiences in the right formats for mobile audiences.

This social networking and communications platform allows users to broadcast original content or to video chat directly with contacts. Building on Wowza Streaming Engine, Streamago climbed to the number-one position in the Apple and Android app stores shortly after its launch.

Snapchat started as a person-to-person platform for sharing photos and videos with friends that disappear a short time after being posted. It now also includes news and “Live Stories” from around the world. Snapchat has also focused increasingly on stickers and augmented reality (AR) elements that can be added to photo and video messages.

YouNow encourages users to broadcast to the world, incentivizing its top-performing streamers with financial payouts. Many users live stream musical, artistic or humorous performances. Direct viewer-to-broadcaster engagement is integral to YouNow, and gamification elements allow broadcasters to capitalize on rewards from fans. Built on Wowza Streaming Engine software, this app can also be used for direct video chat with family and friends. Streamers across industries have adopted this platform to create live content that engages audiences in unique ways, with use cases that range from celebrities talking with fans to the local news sharing stories to sports teams offering exclusive sidelines coverage. And with the Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance offering deep integration with the Facebook Live API, any broadcaster can now deliver professional streams that make users want to participate.

Built on Wowza Streaming Engine, Periscope has famously been used for UGC coverage of protests, political events and other high-profile streams, since it allows any smartphone user to go live in seconds and to broadcast for an unlimited amount of time. Users can choose whether to live stream publicly or just to friends and family.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

06 UGC Platform Use by Type In fact, respondents to our survey who self-identify as gamers (30 percent of total respondents) create more content across all UGC verticals than non-gamers:

GAMING AND ESPORTS LIVEUGC PLATFORMS

84.3%

Video-only

83.3% 35.3% 31.8%

Still-image only

58.8% 50.4%

Image-Video

41.2%

Text-Image

27.4% 74.5% 69.8%

Text-Image-Video

8.8%

Other

5.6% 0%

50% GAMER

90%

NON-GAMER

While playing video games was once a solo activity, it’s now become one of the most popular forms of social UGC, thanks to the large and active online communities found on game-streaming and esports platforms.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gaming and Esports LiveUGC Platforms

UGC Platform Use by Platform (Gamer or Non-Gamer)

On a per-platform basis, gamers still outpace non-gamers in many areas. Surprisingly, more gamers create UGC on platforms not traditionally associated with gaming, such as Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest; unsurprisingly, only 9 percent of non-gamers use Twitch.

75.5% 76.2%

Facebook

81.4% 89.3%

YouTube

64.7%

Instagram

50.0% 26.5% 27.4%

Flickr

36.3%

Snapchat

19.1% 51.0%

WordPress

36.5% 13.7% 9.1%

Medium

35.3% 30.2%

Pinterest

41.2%

Twitch

8.7% 59.8% 53.2%

Twitter

25.5%

Tumblr

15.5% 66.7% 58.3%

LinkedIn

0%

50%

GAMER

90%

NON-GAMER

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gaming and Esports LiveUGC Platforms

More gamers than non-gamers also use LiveUGC capabilities on these platforms. Again, while it’s unsurprising that gamers go live on Twitch in much greater numbers (28 percent versus 4 percent), they also best non-gamers in LiveUGC usage on Instagram (22 percent versus 9 percent); on blogs, via WordPress (9 percent versus 5 percent); and on Snapchat (8 percent versus 3 percent).

UGC Platform Use by Platform 54.9%

Facebook

56.9% 62.7% 21.6%

Instagram

9.1% 7.8%

Snapchat

2.8% 8.8%

WordPress

5.2% 28.4%

Twitch

4.4% 12.8%

Twitter

11.9% 6.9%

LinkedIn

3.7% 0%

35% GAMER

While some organizations have invested in multimillion-dollar esports arenas that include full production studios, LiveUGC can be easily integrated into everyday gaming apps and services. Some consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PS4, even come with builtin broadcasting applications. Games that include live streaming software allow users to broadcast directly from the game, rather than simply screen-sharing. For example, the popular Unity Engine provides instant live-streaming capabilities for game developers to include as in-title features. And NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience allows users to stream gameplay from their graphics card to popular online channels.

53.6% YouTube

BUILD A LIVEUGC GAMING PLATFORM

70%

You can also turn any game into a live-streaming platform by building in screen-sharing and real-time commenting capabilities; many also include gamification elements (e.g., the ability to send badges and donations, or leaderboards pitting streamers against one another). Some video recording and streaming software platforms, such as OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), include screen-capture and -sharing functionality that allows users to broadcast their gameplay to a streaming service— an approach that is commonly used in esports.

Using a low-latency delivery protocol, such as WebRTC; SRT (Secure Reliable Transport); or WOWZ, which is accessible through the Wowza Ultra Low Latency Service, is crucial for the gaming segment. Gaming and esports services rely on realtime streaming delivery to ensure viewers are seeing gameplay as it happens, and streamers are receiving comments in time to beat the game. Video quality is another important consideration. High resolution and frame rate are necessary in order to deliver the highest-quality rendering and the greatest clarity for fast-moving games, making 1080p60 streaming highly desirable. Using top-of-the-line streaming services, such as Wowza Streaming Cloud, and professional encoding hardware, such as the Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance, help ensure the highest-quality delivery (up to 1080p60, when supported by the destination) to all your desired platforms. And tools such as the Wowza GoCoder SDK can help you create these streaming experiences for mobile gaming. We’ll talk in more depth about the technologies for building and delivering LiveUGC experiences in the next chapter.

NON-GAMER

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gaming and Esports LiveUGC Platforms

Gaming and Esports: LiveUGC Platforms We Love

The biggest name in gaming offers streamers access to huge, highly engaged audiences, while viewers get to watch the world’s top gamers play. And Twitch just happens to be built on Wowza technology, delivering high-quality, reliable game streams to viewers anywhere in the world, on any device. Most importantly, Wowza supports the low-latency delivery needed for real-time gaming and esports streams.

This gaming and esports platform puts viewer-to-broadcaster interactivity front and center; not only does it allow real-time chat, but it also lets viewers control elements of the game itself by choosing weapons, changing the surroundings, creating bosses and more. To support this, Mixer has the lowest latency of all the major gaming platforms we recently tested. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.

In addition to game streaming, Smashcast is home to major esports tournaments. After being acquired by Azubu and rebranded from its former incarnation as Hitbox, the service has sought to decrease latency, with a stated goal of improving interactivity between esports champions and their fans. For example, a recently launched feature called the “Hype-o-Meter” lets viewers virtually “cheer” for their favorite player.

This mobile app allows users to live stream content from their smartphone or tablet while chatting with viewers in real time. While not exclusively a game-streaming service, Mirrativ is most commonly used to broadcast mobile games, and is one of few ways to share this type of gameplay with viewers in real time.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

07 The biggest reason is that there’s big money at stake: • • •

LIVEUGC LIVE EVENT BROADCASTING PLATFORMS Live event broadcasting, particularly for sports, concerts and festivals, has a more complicated relationship

Broadcasters pay high premiums to TV companies for the rights to offer exclusive coverage of live events on network, cable and online channels. In turn, the TV companies pay upwards of millions of dollars to secure and distribute those rights. Broadcasters pass this cost down to end viewers, who pay fees and subscriptions for premium access to live content. If online viewers can see the same broadcast for free on Twitter, there’s no incentive to pay—and all these millions of dollars go down the drain.

Broadcast rights holders typically attempt to block or remove fan streams that may conflict with rights. And sometimes, broadcasters themselves could have their streams shut off by the host platforms, if their rightsmanagement algorithms detect potentially protected content being streamed. However, a growing number of organizations are now building their own live event broadcasting platforms that are specialized for specific audiences, allowing users to share their experiences of non-rights-restricted events, such as:

with UGC platforms than other industry verticals. Most live event producers and broadcasters view LiveUGC platforms as distribution channels, extending the reach of their audience to cord-cutters and digital audiences. But there are a few drawbacks to instantly streaming to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch or any other established platform, or letting fans do it themselves.

• • • • •

Non-professional or youth sports. Musical, comedy or dramatic performances by up-and-coming artists. Small or independent festivals, theaters, conferences and other local events. Academic and professional events, lectures, courses and meetings. Political and government use cases, such as town hall meetings, rallies and campaign events.

YouTube, Facebook and other social media apps require users to create channels or filters or to follow specific pages and personalities to find the type of content they’re looking for. But specialized apps—such as SportsLogic for youth sports, and Granicus for government broadcasting—offer live streams focused for their specific, and sometimes encrypted, audiences.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

LiveUGC Live Event Broadcasting Platforms

And the tide is slowly beginning to turn on social platforms, too. Knowing fans will share UGC no matter what they do, many large event sponsors now attempt to leverage this content as a marketing vehicle, creating official campaigns and hashtags attendees can use to share photos and video clips of their experiences before, during and after the event. Even professionals in this space can’t get enough of UGC capabilities: Among our survey respondents, those who work in broadcast/media, OTT, live event broadcasting and live sports use UGC platforms—as well as LiveUGC capabilities within those platforms—at higher rates than the overall sample. Some U.S. professional sports leagues (e.g., the NFL and Major League Baseball) and concert promoters and awards shows (e.g., Live Nation and the MTV Awards) are also beginning to strike deals with Facebook and Twitter to live stream official coverage of select events. In 2017, The Glastonbury Festival—a massive international music festival in the U.K.—went a step further. Not only did tech partner EE allow live streaming, it actually encouraged festival-goers to contribute UGC as an alternative perspective to the BBC’s official online broadcast. To accommodate the surge in online traffic, EE installed what it described as “the most powerful temporary 4G network” in the UK, along with WiFi-enabled tents and charging stations for smartphones.

EE wanted as many fans as possible to create and share UGC from Glastonbury. In the words of Director of Communications and Sponsorship Mat Kearns:

“A lot of what people share will be their personal experiences, away from the main stages, enjoying the incredible array of acts, artist and experiences. … Streaming from Glastonbury is not about broadcasting, it’s about sharing a unique view and personal experiences instantly with friends.”

BUILD A LIVEUGC LIVE EVENT BROADCASTING PLATFORM When building a live event broadcasting platform, scalability is key. Your app or service must be able to scale instantly and non-disruptively to accommodate peak demand for audiences of varying size. It must also have a global footprint to reach viewers in disparate geographic locations. Finally, you must be able to deliver the same high-quality broadcast to users with low-bandwidth connections and poor-quality networks, and who are accessing the stream on a wide range of devices. Services such as Wowza Streaming Cloud can help you deliver a high-quality live event stream to audiences anywhere. Leveraging the Wowza CDN (Content Delivery Network), you can reach viewers anywhere in the world, and adaptive-bitrate streaming automatically delivers a properly transcoded stream to users watching on any device. Protocols such as SRT can also be utilized to help ensure reliable delivery across poor-quality or congested networks. We’ll cover the tools for live event broadcasting platforms in more detail later.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

LiveUGC Live Event Broadcasting Platforms

Live Event Broadcasting Platforms We Love For Division II and III colleges and smaller schools that don’t have Pac 10 budgets, BlueFrame Technology provides an affordable streaming solution, built on Wowza technology. Even school video technicians unfamiliar with streaming can easily broadcast games to online fans anywhere in the world. This helps schools recruit athletes, attract applicants and keep alumni and current students connected.

While users can live stream anything they want, Live.ly is an offshoot of the video-sharing network Musical.ly, and is largely used to share LiveUGC musical and lip-syncing performances. The platform was developed on the request of Musical.ly users who wanted the ability to interact in real time. Live.ly is home to many influencers, who can monetize their streaming through donations from fans. This solution for managing youth sports leagues offers a live-streaming component, SL Live, built on the Wowza GoCoder SDK. This gives coaches, parents, administrators and athletes the ability to live stream games and highlights from their mobile devices, and to share them both within the app and on social media. SportsLogic also receives and time-syncs feeds from multiple devices to offer multiple camera angles.

Built on Wowza Streaming Engine using the GoCoder streaming video SDK, G9MD is the first health carespecific platform for live and on-demand video streaming. G9MD is used to broadcast surgical meetings, medical procedures, physician lectures and other educational content, and is easy for those without a technical background to use.

As manager of the world’s largest and most reliable legislative content network, Granicus relies on Wowza Streaming Engine to power its live and on-demand streaming service. Granicus boosts civic engagement by live streaming public meetings and collaborative sessions with citizens.

Anyone can stream sporting events with pro-level quality using the Meridix platform, which is built on Wowza Streaming Engine software. Whether it’s a youth league, a college game or a professional championship, Meridix puts the power of LiveUGC in the hands of anyone with a smartphone.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

08

INFLUENCER MARKETING AND E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS LiveUGC is now used not only to advertise products and services, but also to drive direct sales. This takes one of two primary forms: influencer marketing, or e-commerce platforms with integrated UGC functionality.

Influencer marketing involves a brand or organization recruiting an influential personality—whether that’s a celebrity, a thought leader or an average Joe with a large and loyal online following—to do their marketing for them. This approach leverages the power of the influencer’s endorsement to build trust and authority for the brand’s products or services. While brands sacrifice some control over messaging, they have a lot to gain in terms of connecting with current and potential customers. Today, consumers trust influencers above almost all other sources: 92 percent trust them more than traditional ads or celebrity endorsements. When making a shopping decision, more people trust influencers (33 percent) than even their own friends and family (17 percent). That’s because influencers are seen as experts in their space, whereas celebrities are perceived as selling their name to the highest bidder. Influencers naturally weave product placement into their own original shows, which may be hosted on either the brand’s or the influencer’s online channels. This allows influencers more freedom to produce content they know will resonate with their audience and that is true to their personal voice. As an added bonus, it lends legitimacy to the endorsement that is passed on to the product or service. Influencer content also results in greater engagement, since influencers can reach out to viewers directly and in real time. They can host live Q&As with the audience, or conduct viewer polls to help drive the action. Viewers can ask to see

different angles of a product, or for examples of how the influencer uses it in everyday life. And most importantly, influencers can direct interested viewers to where they can purchase. LiveUGC is also beginning to emerge in which viewers can purchase from directly within the live stream. For example, Amazon hosts a weekly livestreaming show called “Style Code Live” on its video platform, in which viewers can purchase the products being discussed through their Amazon accounts while watching the show. Some platforms, such as Busker and Live.Me, allow any user to create a live stream for selling products, where viewers can engage with them as if they were salesperson at a brick-and-mortar store. Viewers can ask questions, see different views or colors of a product and, ultimately, purchase directly through the app or service. Streamers may sell individual products, whether secondhand or of their own creation, or they may have entire product lines and collections. In this model, the platform itself serves as the sponsoring brand. Many influencers already promote products and services they like through their content, so it only makes sense that brands would seek to leverage these endorsements and reward the creators. Hashtags make it easy for influencers to call out brands in their posts on social and other channels. And these kinds of recommendations are the most authentic, since they aren’t scripted or even commissioned by brands.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

Influencer Marketing and E-commerce Platforms

BUILD A LIVEUGC INFLUENCER MARKETING & E-COMMERCE PLATFORM Using live-streaming SDKs and APIs, such as the Wowza GoCoder SDK and Wowza Streaming Cloud service, it’s easy to build a custom streaming video application that allows users to sell and shop directly through the platform. For apps that have an auction component, it’s important to choose a software or service that offers real-time streaming delivery, such as the Ultra Low Latency Service offered through Wowza Streaming Cloud. Scalability is another key factor to consider for e-commerce platforms. Shopping spikes for certain categories of products based on holidays and other seasonal factors, so your app must be able to handle a sudden surge of shoppers during peak-demand times (think graduations, mother’s and father’s day, Labor Day weekend and winter holidays). Make sure your software or cloud platform can accommodate these shoppers. Wowza Streaming Cloud offers auto-scaling capabilities to intelligently adjust streaming instantly and non-disruptively to handle any size audience, which we’ll discuss in our final chapter.

Influencer Marketing and E-commerce: LiveUGC Platforms We Love Livby was the first live-streaming shopping app, letting users add their favorite brands and influencers to participate in live shopping experiences whenever they want. Conversely, brands can either create their own live videos, or they can choose from the platform’s own network of influencers to host their live streams for them.

Secondhand marketplace app Mercari lets users buy and sell items directly from one another. Sellers upload photos and descriptions; buyers browse and select their items; and Mercari sends sellers prepaid shipping labels to get item(s) to buyers. Users in Japan can even host livestreaming auctions within the platform so users can bid on items in real time, using functionality that’s built on Wowza technology.

Men’s fashion app Revel features interactive, shoppable stories told through video, photos and text and created by brands and influencers. The platform focuses on curated products from up-andcoming brands, which users can select from the stories and purchase directly within the app. They can also “like,” share and discuss products and stories with other users, both within the app and on social media.

Japan-based Live Shop offers an app built around live-streaming influencer videos. Influencers are selected by the app creators and required to produce professional-looking streams. This startupfounded platform originally made money from affiliate links posted by influencers, but now has its own inventory, so viewers can click to buy directly from within the app.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

09 Instacart Instacart is a popular delivery app that brings groceries from a user’s local store to their front door in less than two hours. To leverage LiveUGC and attract more shoppers, Instacart could create a tool wherein local chefs host live cooking segments, giving viewers the ability to generate shopping lists for each meal from local grocers within the live stream. This gets users excited about cooking, and with the pre-built lists, simplifies their at-home culinary experience.

LIVEUGC UP-LEVELS APP EXPERIENCES LiveUGC is incredibly versatile; while it might not be a fit for every application, we decided to have some fun

LetGo One of the fastest growing used-item sales apps, LetGo offers an easy-to-use alternative to Craigslist—and by including a LiveUGC element, LetGo could eliminate some of the safety issues that have plagued the Craigslist platform. With this feature, people could create their own live video of items they’re selling, and even implement a two-way chat tool so users can virtually meet prospective buyers before meeting in person for greater security.

and think of ways it could fit into a variety of platforms we all use every day. We took a look at some of the most popular mobile applications in the Apple App Store and Google Play and thought of a number of ways incorporating LiveUGC could up-level the experience.

Aaptiv Leading workout app Aaptiv offers subscribers unlimited access to trainer-led audio classes. Users can choose from a wide range of cardio and strength training workouts, both for the gym and outside—but simply listening to trainers describe movements such as plyometrics can be confusing. Wouldn’t it be cool if trainers could broadcast their workouts, complete with live-streaming video, so users could see the full routine, ask live questions about movements to avoid injuries and even feel like they’re participating in a real class?

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

LiveUGC Up-Levels App Experiences

Zillow One of the most frustrating parts of finding a new house—especially when you don’t live in the market—is trying to get a sense of space and depth through just pictures. Flat images can be deceiving, but with live video, a realtor could easily take prospective online buyers around a home and provide a virtual showing. Adding a LiveUGC component to real estate app Zillow would give listing agents, brokers, buyers and their agents the ability to get key questions answered before they even step foot in the home—potentially speeding up the time to an offer.

Duolingo This popular language-learning app helps users gain fluency from the comfort of their home. But learning a new language involves a lot of listening and repeating. An automated bot can’t always understand your pronunciations and correct them appropriately— but a human instructor can. By implementing LiveUGC within the Duolingo app, users could take live language courses rather than just filling in blanks and clicking boxes, resulting in higher coursecompletion rates and more satisfied learners.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

10 Like other areas of streaming, LiveUGC reflects greater trends in computing and content consumption. While LiveUGC opens up a world of exciting possibilities, it also brings with it some challenges that may seem daunting to organizations looking to implement it for the first time. Despite the vast majority of companies believing that LiveUGC helps increase customer engagement, brand awareness and sales, many are still uncertain whether they can or should implement LiveUGC into their offerings—and, even if they want to, how to go about this, and what solutions to use.

Q HOW TO BUILD LIVE-STREAMING USER-GENERATED CONTENT Like other areas of streaming, LiveUGC reflects greater trends in computing and content consumption. While LiveUGC opens up a world of exciting possibilities, it also brings with it some challenges that may seem daunting to organizations looking to implement it for the first time.

Over the next two years, into which of the following does your company plan to include LiveUGC capabilities?

Application (desktop)

32.37%

App (mobile)

36.22%

Service offering

30.45%

Hardware appliance

15.06%

6.73%

Uncertain

23.72%

None of the above

Other

5.77%

0%

Q

Over the next 12 months, does your company plan to keep using your current solution or start using a new solution for integrating LiveUGC into a new or existing platform, application, product, or service?

20%

40%

37.18%

Existing

New solution

23.08%

Uncertain

34.29% 11.54%

None of the above

0%

20%

40%

This data reflects that even video and broadcasting professionals may not realize the solutions that are available today to help developers at any organization build LiveUGC capabilities into their app, product or service. It’s now easier than ever to create live, interactive experiences that engage more users, increase brand awareness and deliver high-quality, reliable live streams to audiences on any platform, anywhere in the world. © 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

In this chapter, we’ll explore how to build LiveUGC solutions that meet user demands for: • • •

Global Delivery and Scalability Mobile Capture and Playback Flexible, Cross-Platform Delivery

We’ll also discuss how to decide whether you should build your own solution, or pay for a managed service to handle your platform’s LiveUGC streaming.

GLOBAL DELIVERY AND SCALABILITY Not unexpectedly, platforms and services enabling users to generate and deliver live streams have global appeal. This fact was supported in a recent study by Netimperative, which showed that the following international populations engaging with user-generated live streaming:

What’s more, according to a report in the South China Morning Post, the number of livestreaming users in China grew by 82 million between 2016 and 2017 alone. Respondents to our own survey of video and broadcast professionals also hail from areas across the globe: The largest proportion are from North America (44 percent), but Europe (29 percent) and the Asia-Pacific region (15 percent) are also well-represented, with smaller percentages scattered across other regions.

Q

In which region of the world are you based?

North America

43.69% 3.41%

South America

Europe

29.35% 2.39%

Middle East

Asia-Pacific

15.36%

Australia/New Zealand

2.05%

Africa

1.37%

Other (only if separate from above options)

2.39%

0%

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA: 42%

25%

50%

ASIA: 33%

LATIN AMERICA: 31% NORTH AMERICA: 27% EUROPE: 16%

The ability for users to contribute their voices and live streams as part of this global trend brings great opportunities—but also some great challenges.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

BEING LOCAL, GLOBALLY By definition, LiveUGC apps for social networking, gaming and influencer marketing enable multiple users to contribute and consume content, with relatively uniform performance and quality, from anywhere with network connectivity. This means you need to have computing resources to process your stream, located as close as possible to where people are both creating and watching the content—anywhere in the world. A well-performing stream is one that starts quickly, is available for viewers to access soon after it begins and is delivered in the best possible stream quality. And for the best stream performance, it’s best to locate stream processing resources (i.e., those for transcoding, transrating and transmuxing) as close as possible to the source. It’s also best to have delivery nodes located as close as possible to your end viewers.

Having a global or highly dispersed user base can complicate this. However, there are a few common methods organizations are using to address this challenge, including: •

Leveraging global streaming platforms and APIs as services.

Deploying and managing global streaming infrastructures.

“I regularly have discussions with developers, and most of them don’t have the time to become streaming experts themselves. Often, they’re focused on making a ‘Prius’ type of application that’s lean, agile and does what it has to do with a sleek UI. But when they begin to integrate interactivity and video, two-way communications or combine real-time data with streaming video, they need more power. A Prius engine won’t cut it when they really need a ‘Tesla Ludicrous Mode’ boost. That’s what the API-based Ultra Low Latency Service from Wowza gives them: a turbocharged video service that’s built for speed, and easily fits into their workflow via API calls. Now betting apps, interactive UGC, esports, chat apps and a variety of other services can increase their engagement and user satisfaction without latency.” —Chris Michaels, Streaming Industry Evangelist, Wowza Media Systems

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

LEVERAGING MANAGED STREAMING PLATFORMS AS A SERVICE AND APIS

MANAGING YOUR OWN STREAMING INFRASTRUCTURES

The fastest way to create and deliver a global live stream is to use a managed global streaming service: either a Software as a Service (SaaS), or a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, such as Wowza Streaming Cloud. These managed services relieve you of the burden of managing, updating and staffing for your own infrastructure, while also offering access to software APIs for customizable streaming delivery.

This approach involves standing up and managing compute and software resources (such as Wowza Streaming Engine) to handle the workload of streaming. Your infrastructure may consist of your own machines (either on-premises or co-located), or you may be using infrastructure as a service (IaaS) in the form of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google or others.

Benefits of using global streaming platforms and APIs include: •

Quick startup: Cloud services provide almost instant access to hardware, software and networking assets specifically optimized for streaming delivery. Rapid scaling: Streaming platforms and APIs provide elastic scalability, enabling you to scale computing resources (to support additional inbound streams) and network resources (to support larger audiences) in an on-demand or even automated fashion—completely transparent to you and your users. Low capital expenditure: Cloud streaming SaaS and PaaS offerings enable you to deliver streaming without incurring costs for acquisition, maintenance and operations.

Some of the advantages of managing your own infrastructure include: Greater control: This provides you the ability to control, add and isolate resources for your streaming workflow(s) at a very granular level to match your schedules and needs. For instance, it’s a fairly common practice among cloud infrastructure (IaaS) providers to over-provision and/or over-tier compute, networking and storage performance. Live-streaming workloads can also vary significantly in terms of the resources required: particularly CPU and networking.

Security (or at least, peace of mind): While opinions vary as to whether managed or home-grown platforms are more secure, some feel better knowing and controlling which security features are employed within their software stack. Potential cost-savings at scale: When streams experience sudden spikes in viewership (known as the “Thundering Herd”), this can result in overcharges from a PaaS solution, as opposed to an internal infrastructure. A 2016 study conducted by 451 Research found that at both high rates of average infrastructure utilization (65 to 100 percent) and workforce utilization (2000 to 500 instances managed per engineer, respectively), private infrastructure was able to break even with—or be more cost-effective than—public solutions.

Break-Even Point For Public vs. Private Cloud Pricing Based on labor efficiencies and utilization

If you require the ultimate flexibility of deploying and managing media server software yourself, make sure that you size them appropriately; monitor resource load; and take advantage of load-balancing tools to ensure adequate performance, quality and a good overall user experience. Version control: Often, when using a SaaS or PaaS solution, services are automatically updated to the latest API versions—which, if using custom code, could cause outages. With internally-managed infrastructures, you choose when and if you want to upgrade and/or roll-back to previous versions, ensuring continuity of service with custom applications.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

MOBILE CAPTURE AND PLAYBACK Global mobile device usage continues to show strong and steady growth across all regions, age groups and use cases—and those related to streaming and viewing video lead the pack. With evergrowing segments of the population using a mobile device to create and watch content, one thing is clear: If you’re going to leverage LiveUGC, mobile is essential to your strategy, and it’s here to stay.

Our survey data reflects this trend: Mobile apps are the most popular use case among respondents whose companies currently incorporate both UGC and LiveUGC (used by 36 percent and 38 percent of respondents, respectively). Desktop applications are a close second (used by 32 percent and 33 percent, respectively), followed by service offerings (30 percent and 38 percent).

Q

Q

Does your company currently incorporate user-generated content into any of the following?

Application (desktop)

32.37%

App (mobile)

17.95%

19.55%

None of the above

23.72%

None of the above

12.18%

Other

5.77%

0%

33.65%

Uncertain

6.73%

Other

44.55%

Hardware appliance

15.06%

Uncertain

App (mobile)

Service offering

30.45%

Hardware appliance

35.90%

Application (desktop)

36.22%

Service offering

Into which of the following does your company include live user-generated content (LiveUGC) streaming capabilities?

20%

40%

2.88%

0%

25%

50%

However, many respondents also report that either their organizations don’t include UGC in their offerings, or are unsure whether they do. This may be due to concerns about the difficulty, time and affordability of implementing these capabilities—but advances in technology have made this process easier than ever, as we’ll discuss in more detail below. One thing our respondents do appear to recognize, however, is that the future is mobile. Nearly half (45 percent) say their companies plan to incorporate the ability for users to create and consume LiveUGC via mobile apps in the next two years. Large numbers also plan to add it into desktop applications (36 percent) and service offerings (34 percent).

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

MOBILE-FIRST (AND MAYBE ONLY) For some time now, the talk across a number of industry verticals has been about “mobile first,” reflecting the ever-increasing trend of computing and consuming content on mobile devices. LiveUGC streaming capture workflows rely heavily on the ability of the broadcaster to initiate and capture content without requiring specialized or complicated equipment. Luckily, the near-ubiquitous nature of smartphones, with their considerable processing power and optics, give almost anyone the ability (with the help of a mobile streaming app) to stream high-quality video from anywhere, anytime.

Q

What factors are most important to your company’s plans for delivering a quality live-streaming UGC experience for its users?

Mobile content sourcing

19.55%

Mobile live-stream publishing

39.42%

Mobile playback

42.95%

Audience scaling

If your application falls within the realm of social, influencer marketing or live event broadcasting, including a mobile app in your offering is a must-have.

32.05%

Quality

53.85% 49.68%

Device or platform flexibility

On the consumption end, mobile is critical across all use cases. Mobile viewing has well surpassed all others as the preferred method. According to comScore, on average, users spend almost 70 percent of their media time on smartphones, with the trend continuing to accelerate. Thus, successful implementations of app and service offerings that include LiveUGC require the delivery of great mobile viewing experiences. Our survey respondents who plan to integrate UGC live streaming recognize this: Taken together, the most significant factors in delivering a great LiveUGC experience for end users are mobile-device considerations. From developers to sales, C-suite executives to IT teams, device or platform flexibility is one of the top two considerations (along with quality), accounting for half of the ranked responses. Mobile live-stream publishing (40 percent) and playback (43 percent) also top the list.

31.41%

Internal (build-your-own) solution

22.12%

Managed service

Uncertain

6.73%

None of the Above

7.05% 0%

30%

60%

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

Hours Per Day Spent on Screens by Orientation USA, 2010-2015, iab 2017 Video Landscape Report

MOBILE GOING VERTICAL Not to say that your vertical market focus isn’t important— but what we’re talking about here is vertical video. Since the introduction of the 16:9 screen, many of us have preached the “proper” way of formatting streaming in the horizontal (landscape) rather than the vertical (portrait) view.

VERTICAL VIEWERS CONVERT

20% HIGHER

For TV and computer viewing, this makes perfect sense. But for mobile viewing, this is increasingly fighting the ergonomic and natural tendencies of users. Research from the iab 2017 video landscape report revealed that:

• Users hold their phone vertically 94 percent of the time. • Vertical viewing accounted for 29 percent in 2016, up 480 percent from 2010. • Campaigns have reported vertical viewers converting at a 20 percent higher rate. • Snapchat reported 9x the ad-completion rate when viewing vertically over horizontally.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

Our survey data reflects this historical trajectory: Most respondents still prefer to both shoot and view video in horizontal format (79 percent and 67 percent, respectively). However, the percentages of respondents who prefer to view video in either square or vertical format are slightly higher than those who prefer to shoot in these formats (14 percent prefer viewing in square and 16 percent in vertical, versus 10 percent each who prefer shooting in these formats). This shows that while the bias toward shooting in horizontal format stubbornly remains, viewing preferences are beginning to shift—and content creators will need to begin to shift, as well. Interestingly, when we looked at data for respondents who identified as gamers, we found that they were twice as likely to prefer shooting in square or vertical format, and were more likely to prefer watching social video in square or vertical format. This is likely because gamers want the ability to see comments, suggestions, badges and gifts sent from viewers without covering up the onscreen action.

Ranked Preferences for Shooting Video With Mobile Device

9.89%

Square video

Horizontal orientation (sideways, 16:9)

75.71%

Vertical orientation

9.60%

0

1

2

3

Ranked Preferences for Viewing Video With Mobile Device

Square video

13.84%

Horizontal orientation (sideways, 16:9)

66.67%

Vertical orientation

15.54%

0

1

2

3

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

REACT NATIVE

FLEXIBLE, CROSS-PLATFORM DELIVERY Mobile streaming means working with, and optimizing across, multiple operating systems, versions and platforms. While this presents the opportunity to reach a much larger population of viewers at once, creating multiple, simultaneous apps and platforms can also increase your project’s complexity, time to market, cost and risk. Fortunately, there is a growing suite of tools—including SDKs (Software Development Kits), development frameworks and open-source repositories—that converge cross-platform development and make it easier than ever to tap into the most innovative functionality. SDKs: In an increasingly competitive landscape of LiveUGC apps and services, you need to deliver value to your organization and users now—so it’s crucial to get to market quickly. SDKs get developers up and running with rapid speed, offering ready access to mobile streaming APIs and best practices.

Creating a streaming workflow and passing streaming-centric commands is often challenging for even seasoned developers, and a reliable SDK can be critical in abstracting and simplifying the process. Well-implemented SDKs, such as the Wowza GoCoder SDK, provide a stable development platform that helps remove the risks of building a mobile live-stream publishing app by: • • • • •

Accelerating development and shortening the time to value. Ensuring compatibility across a variety of devices and OS versions. Providing a stable development framework. Providing a tested and proven feature set. Providing a support network, including a community of developers working from a common toolset.

Frameworks: Traditionally, iOS apps have been developed in Swift or Objective-C; Android apps in Java; and Windows mobile apps in C#, requiring parallel development with broad programming skill sets. The end result is often challenging for all parties involved, with disparate functionality and release cycles for users and complex product life cycles for developers. Several cross-mobile-platform development frameworks, such as React Native and Xamarin, have been introduced, enabling single-stream development of cross-platform applications. Organizations can either build applications from scratch, or utilize SDK “wrappers” built for these frameworks to satisfy their market needs with a single project.

Initially introduced by Facebook as open for use in 2015, React Native has become one of the most popular frameworks. It’s backed by industry giants Samsung and Microsoft, along with thousands of contributors delivering hundreds of releases to date. Popular apps built utilizing React Native include: • • • • • •

Instagram Tesla Uber Eats Skype Airbnb Discovery VR

In addition to React Native providing the ability to streamline cross-platform development, it also enables organizations to leverage existing JavaScript skills to build applications with rich mobile UI and performance characteristics. [Check out the React Native wrapper GitHub repository for Wowza GoCoder SDK here.]

XAMARIN Originally introduced in 2012 and later becoming part of the Microsoft development framework stable in 2014, Xamarin leverages C# shared codebase. This enables the large community of developers (over 1.4 million in 120 countries, according to Xamarin) with .Net and C# skill sets to build cross-platform Windows, iOS and Android apps with Native user interfaces.

How to Build Live-Streaming User-Generated Content Platforms

HERE’S A LOOK AT HOW WOWZA

The Wowza GoCoder mobile app and SDK provide an easy way to build capture, delivery and playback from any iOS or Android device. This allows users to both create and play high-quality live video content with their mobile device—from anywhere in the world, at any time.

TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU INTEGRATE LIVESTREAMING UGC INTO YOUR APP, WEBSITE

With Wowza Streaming Engine media server software, you can add proven streaming technology to your offerings, your way. Start with a single on-premises server, and build all the way out to a global network on public or private cloud resources. Wowza Streaming Engine supports the functionality you need, such as: • • • • •

Low-latency protocols. Mobile-compatible formats. Scalability. Integration and compatibility with other popular tools. The ability to adapt to new technologies as they become available.

OR SERVICE: The Wowza Streaming Cloud service offers many of the live-streaming benefits of Wowza Streaming Engine as a fully-managed SaaS/PaaS offering. That means you don’t have to be a streaming expert to offer high-quality video content. Wowza Streaming Cloud delivers global resources for both stream processing and delivery, accessible by either a UI or live-streaming APIs—so organizations of any size can reliably deliver to audiences of any size, anywhere in the world.

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

11 CONCLUSION:

CREATE TOMORROW’S STREAMING EXPERIENCES WITH WOWZA TECHNOLOGY Our survey revealed that most people who incorporate some form of LiveUGC for work purposes satisfy their primary goals: engaging customers in deeper ways, and building brand awareness. Most organizations are using it in a mobile app, with desktop apps coming in a close second; thus, mobile delivery and playback, along with streaming quality, are the most important factors when building their apps or services. While three-quarters of respondents’ companies see the value of LiveUGC, many remain uncertain as to whether they will implement it, or what tools they should use to do so. Some of this hesitation may lie in organizations’ doubt as to whether they can stand out from the crowd of social LiveUGC apps. However, this also presents a huge opportunity for organizations that create LiveUGC platforms specialized for their audience: Since there is so much noise on social media, use-case specific LiveUGC apps and services such as those for e-commerce, sports, auctions and government broadcasting allow

creators to reach a targeted audience, and users to easily find and share the exact type of content they desire. We’ve even heard of service providers, such as Mercari, who have seen a major increase in sales and platform interactions after introducing LiveUGC features to their existing platforms. Thanks to live streaming APIs and SDKs, such as those offered by Wowza, it’s now easier, faster, more costeffective and less time-consuming than ever before to create and deliver these LiveUGC experiences. At a bare minimum, you’ll need the tools to capture, process, distribution and play back the The Wowza product portfolio, including Wowza Streaming Engine software, the Wowza Streaming Cloud service and the Wowza GoCoder SDK, can help your developers quickly build the LiveUGC experiences that will take your organization to the next level. The question isn’t whether you should be building apps, service offerings and hardware with LiveUGC capabilities. The question is, what are you waiting for?

© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.

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© 2018 Wowza Media Systems™, LLC. All rights reserved.