Amazon is the world’s biggest company, with $797 billion of market capitalizations. In the United States, it accounts for roughly 50% of all e-commerce, and it’s quickly moving into the brick-and-mortar space. There are few things Amazon can’t do. There’s also plenty of things it allows users and sellers to do, including live streaming video with its new Amazon Live service.
Want to know how to live stream at Amazon Live? If you’re a registered Amazon Seller, all you need to do is download the Amazon Live Creator app, and you’ve done most of the work. You can stream using the smartphone’s hardware, or you can opt to use a discrete camera setup.
Of course, even if it was this easy to set up live streaming on Amazon Live, there are still lots of questions that need answers before you broadcast your first video. So let’s see if we can figure out what exactly is Amazon Live, and how to use it in the best possible way.
What is Amazon Live?
Amazon Live is Amazon’s live streaming feature that allows Amazon Sellers to stream video content as a promotional or a sales tool.
Amazon has a lot of experience in the video streaming market. Prime Video, also known as Amazon Prime Video, has been active in one form or another since 2006. It gives Amazon over a decade of experience with video-on-demand.
As far as live streaming is concerned, Amazon is present on the market through Twitch. It bought the live streaming platform in 2014, which has since then operated as Amazon’s subsidiary.
Amazon Live is something completely different from Prime Video or Twitch. It is a live streaming platform, and it also provides on-demand video of previous streams. But the platform has been released purely to let sellers use live video content as a sales tool.
How to live stream on Amazon Live
Amazon Live isn’t readily available to all users. It’s a sales tool for Amazon sellers, after all. It’s not a platform that is available to the general public in the way Twitch or YouTube is.
Before you start live streaming on Amazon Live, you need to make sure that:
- You are a professional Amazon Seller
- You are registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry
- You have an iPhone, ideally, although an iPad will do
- You have access to a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection
If you meet all the requirements, you need to go to the App Store and download the Amazon Live Creator app. This app is all the software you need for the most basic streaming setup, and you can only get it for iOS. It’s still unclear when we’ll see an app for other operating systems.
After downloading the app, you need to log in using the Seller Central or Brand Registry credentials. When you log in, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Pick a brand – before streaming, you need to choose the brand of the product that will be the topic of your stream. You need to have that brand registered with the Brand Registry.
- Pick a source of the stream – it can be either the phone camera or an external camera. We’ll cover the latter in a moment.
- Add products to the live stream – Amazon live is a sales tool, after all. It lets you add several products to the product carousel which will display them during the stream.
- Choose a name for the live stream – it’s always best to go with something appealing and descriptive. Try to stand out.
- Practice – or don’t. But Amazon Live gives you a chance to try out your setup in the Practice mode without having to worry about going live unprepared.
- Schedule stream – Amazon Live gives you an option to schedule a live stream. If you go ahead and do it, a notification will appear on Amazon Live about the upcoming stream.
Some of these things are optional, like scheduling streams, or using the practice mode. The others are necessary. When you go through all of them, you can push the button and start live streaming.
The stream might appear in several places. The Amazon Live page is one of them. The product’s page is also a good possibility. Amazon also says that the stream might appear “across various placements where Amazon customers browse,” but it’s not very clear what that means. Still, it’s safe to say that, after you go live, your stream will appear somewhere where your target audience will be able to see it.
How to live stream to Amazon Live using an external camera
The Amazon Live Creator app lets you pick an external camera as a source of the video for the stream. Anyone who already streams live video knows that this entails the use of encoding software. OBS Studio is a great and popular choice, and here’s how you live stream to Amazon Live using it.
Step One - After you install OBS Studio, you need to connect your external camera with your computer and choose it as a source of video in OBS Studio.
Step Two - Open the Amazon Live Creator app, choose the external camera as the source option. You’ll see a “get URL and stream key” button, and after clicking on them, you’ll see the RTMP URL and the stream key.
Step Three - Enter the URL and the key into OBS Studio. After that, all you need to do is start the stream in OBS Studio, and then start it in the Amazon Live Creator app. When you’re done streaming, end the stream in the app first, and then in OBS Studio.
The best thing about the option to use an external camera is that, with the RMTP URL and the stream key, you can use additional tools to expand your reach. For example, if you have a paid subscription to Restream, you can add the custom URL and key and stream, simultaneously, to multiple platforms.
Tips for successful live streaming on Amazon Live
Just like streaming on any other streaming platform, streaming on Amazon Live has its own set of unofficial rules and best practices. These are invaluable if you want to make the most out of your Amazon Live streams and stand out from the audience. Here are some tips you might find useful.
Stream with multiple people
This is a very important tip. Being in front of the camera and engaging the audience via chat at the same time is very difficult on Amazon Live. Luckily for you, you can have multiple people logged into the Amazon Live Creator app with your brand. They can handle chatting and switching between the products and the chat while you’re in front of the camera.
Add the most important product first
The first product you add to the product carousel will get the most attention. It makes perfect sense to use the position to showcase a product, be it a bestselling product or one you’d like to see sell more.
Have at least 5 Mbps upload speed
When live streaming video content, it’s always a good idea to use the most stable internet connection you have. Usually, this means a physical connection to the modem. With Amazon Live, however, you’re stuck with your iPhone and Wi-Fi. Still, you can at least make sure that you have enough bandwidth – an upload speed of at least 5 Mbps would be a good start.
Always use the practice mode
Practice mode lets you pick who can watch your live stream. It pretty much lets you be the only person who sees what you do. That can be great if you want to check the quality of the audio and video before going live to an audience. At the very least, it will show you how good your internet connection performs when live streaming.
If you really want to use your iPhone instead of an external camera, the very least you should do is use a tripod. The rule of thumb is to always go for the best production value, even if the value is only in using a tripod instead of holding a phone in your hand.
Live stream pre-recorded content
Amazon Live allows you to live stream pre-recorded content only in the sense that it doesn’t prohibit it. You will have to use a third-party tool, such as the Restream Scheduler, to do it. If you live stream pre-recorded content, you’ll be able to devote your time to answer chat messages, handling the products in the carousel, and toggling promotion messages yourself.
Think about boosting your stream
There is an option to pay for a boost in reach of your live stream. This is something you should consider, but only after you case out the platform and learn the lay of the land. Boosting might be a waste of your money. However, it might also help you stand out from the competitors. You need to figure out which is it for you and the products you sell.
Think about adding the stream to your Amazon Store
Your stream could appear on your Amazon Store, but that’s not something that happens by default. You need to contact Amazon at firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for them to get in touch with more details.
You can download your streams
Amazon Live will save your live streams after they’re done. You can download them whenever you want from the “streams” section of the Amazon Live Creator app. Remember that you can edit the stream for highlights and use them in a new video.
You can continue chatting after the stream has ended
No need to keep the stream going if you’re in the middle of a conversation with a customer. You can continue the chat even after you have closed the video stream.
Amazon Live isn’t a live streaming platform like the others you can use to market your products. For one, you need to be an Amazon Seller to be able to use it, but that’s not the biggest difference at all.
As opposed to other, more general platforms, Amazon Live has a theme. The content you stream on the platform has a goal. Whether you stream how-to videos, product demonstrations, a Q&A session, or product launch promotional content, what you stream should help you sell more products on Amazon.