The video conferencing market is booming. The combined market that includes devices, services, and infrastructure is $7.8 billion large, and it’s expected to grow annually at a rate of 12.1%, reaching $13.82 billion by 2023. People want to communicate with visuals in the 21st century and for many of them, the software of choice for meetings and webinars is Zoom.
Zoom has also been making strides in the live video streaming field, too. It enabled streaming webinars to select third-party platforms, which is an incredibly welcome addition. For the power user who wants to stream to multiple platforms at the same time, Zoom can also be a great tool. It just takes a little bit of ingenuity.
Why Use Zoom to Live Stream?
Whether you’re a startup looking to keep the overhead down, a person looking to video chat with friends, or a professional interested in running webinars, Zoom is a tool you should be familiar with. It is one of the most prominent video conferencing tools, and it comes packed with some great features.
The reason why the live streaming community is interested in Zoom is twofold. The first is that the video conferencing software allows for things like polling, virtual hand raising, great audio options, and having people who participate in the conversation on the screen together at the same time.
The second reason live streamers might be interested in Zoom is that it already offers some live streaming options. The people who subscribe to the Zoom Webinar add-on can live stream to YouTube and Facebook Live.
For many streamers, that’s all they need. For the people who know how useful multistreaming can be, being able to stream to one platform at a time simply doesn’t cut it. But they can still enjoy all of the benefits of the Zoom Webinar and multistream even though Zoom doesn’t have native multistream support. All it takes is a simple workaround, then you can broadcast your Webinars to as many platforms as you like.
Live Streaming Zoom Webinars to Multiple Platforms
So Zoom Webinar doesn’t let you stream to Facebook Live and YouTube at the same time. But the add-on allows you to add a custom live streaming platform. If you want to multistream with Zoom Webinar, instead of adding a live streaming platform, you should add a multistreaming service.
Here’s how it works
Step one: You need to have accounts on every streaming platform you plan to multistream on. Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, whatever platform you want to use, create an account on it.
Step two: You will need to create an account on a multistreaming service. Restream is a multistreaming service with a strong market presence and plenty of support for platforms, so we’ll use it as an example. Create a free account and connect all your channels to it.
Step three: Once you add all the channels you want to use, and you pick the server closest to you, Restream will generate a stream URL and a stream key. You’ll need the two in a moment.
Step four: The final step requires you to add Restream as the custom live stream service in Zoom. First, you need to enable it in the Webinar settings. Next, try to schedule a webinar, and click the “schedule webinar” button to get several options tabs, including one for live streaming.
There, you’ll find buttons for YouTube, Facebook Live, and one that just says “live.” Under the one that says “live,” you’ll have to enter the stream URL, stream key, and a URL to a page where your webinar will be live streamed. After you’re done, you can save the options. Next time you want to go live during a webinar, click the “more” button in host controls, and choose the “live on custom live streaming service” option.
The OBS Studio Workaround
The other way you can multistream with Zoom doesn’t require you to have access to the Webinars add-on. Having a Zoom subscription is not necessary, but even the basic tier will give you plenty of options to get more people involved with your stream.
You will need Restream, and you’ll also need OBS Studio. If you’re already interested in live streaming, you’re probably familiar with it. If not, you should be, because we’ll be adding Zoom as a video source to OBS Studio, and then connecting your Restream account with it.
Step one: Schedule a meeting on the Zoom app and start it. You should do this before you start a session with OBS Studio. Only when the meeting has started, and you’ve given Zoom the camera permission, you can go ahead and open OBS Studio.
Step two: On the left-hand side in the bottom of the OBS Studio window, you’ll see a window that lists sources. Click the “plus” button, choose “window capture,” rename it to whatever you like (Zoom is a good choice), and press “ok.”
Step three: Another window will open, with properties of your source. You’ll see a dropdown menu titled “window.” When you click on it, you’ll be able to find your Zoom meeting on the list. Select it, click the “ok” button. Zoom is now a video source in your OBS Studio.
Step four: Connect your Restream.io with OBS Studio. After that, you should be able to stream your Zoom meeting via OBS Studio and Restream.io to all the platforms you’ve connected to Restream.
Putting Zoom to use for live streaming
There’s a lot you can do when you know how to use Zoom in your live streaming setup, and especially if you combine it with a multistreaming service. Zoom is a popular solution for communication in a workplace setting, so a lot of its use cases involve its usage in a professional or business manner. Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t multistream with Zoom for your side projects, or even a hobby you want to turn into a business.
Here are a couple of ways you can use Zoom to live stream:
- Give a behind-the-scenes look. Behind-the-scenes are one of the types of content businesses make when they want to demonstrate their company culture and increase reach. With Zoom, you can take going behind the scenes a step further by broadcasting team meetings. You need to be extra careful not to blurb out any business secrets, though, but your audience might appreciate the rawness of a live behind-the-scenes look.
- Produce an online show with co-hosts and panelists. Zoom works great for any kind of content where you could use a video call-in feature. It helps you co-host your show with someone who’s not in the room, or it might even be used to create your very own panel of guests.
- Stream product demonstrations from several locations. Product demonstrations are great, and adding some social proof, or even a couple of words from product ambassadors or employees, can make them even better. With Zoom, none of them has to be in the same physical location as you, which is a fact you can use to save on travel or location expenses.
- Make your educational content available across the world. Is there something you’re good at and you want to share your knowledge? You can gather a couple of highly interested people and host a webinar with them with all the options Zoom offers. But you can then live stream whole sections of the webinar online, to reach new audiences.
These ideas should only get you started, really. When you combine teleconferencing, webinars, and live streaming, you can create any number of interesting types of content.
Some of the things you should keep in mind when using Zoom to live stream include:
- You can record your Zoom webinars. Paid users can record them to the cloud, both paid and free users can use Zoom to record their content on the local hard drives. You can use the footage to stream it again later, upload it to your platform accounts, or edit it into new videos.
- Zoom can transcribe your webinars for you. Don’t worry if you didn’t prepare a detailed script for your webinar – Zoom will produce a transcript for you. You can use it later to turn your webinars into other types of content, such as a book or a series of articles.
- Zoom has advanced features such as polling. You can use these features to make your meetings and webinars more engaging and interactive.
- You can see an attendee list in Zoom. It’s always good to have a list of meeting attendees. You will be able to see who attended it from within Zoom. Better yet, Zoom will let you ask the attendees for additional information when joining the meeting.
People who like to live stream, and especially those who do it for business purposes, are always on the lookout for new and better ways to reach their audiences. That’s why multistream is becoming such a big deal. Learning how to use Zoom with your multistreaming set up is a good choice even with the free version of Zoom. But pairing a powerful multistreaming service with the awesome Zoom Webinar service, now that’s a way to get the best out of both worlds.