Today, every social media platform comes with a live streaming option — YouTube, Facebook, and even LinkedIn all have their own live streaming services. Live streaming continues to grow and is projected to reach $330.51 billion by 2030. With so much growth, it can be hard for live streamers to keep up or stand out. Broadcasting to a single platform is simply not enough. As a content creator or business, you lose out on millions of potential viewers by streaming to only YouTube or only Facebook. Want to reach more viewers on more than one platform? Then you should start multistreaming with Restream.
👀 What is multistreaming?
Multistreaming is broadcasting live video content to more than one platform simultaneously. If you’re streaming to your YouTube channel and decide to stream the same content to your Facebook group at the same time, you’re multistreaming.
For most content creators, choosing a platform to stream to isn’t the issue. What limits them is being able to stream to as many destinations as they want at the same time.
Let’s look at an example.
You’re a streamer who wants to do a live Q&A session. Q&As are a highly engaging type of live content, so it makes sense to go live on every social media network where you have an audience.
However, if you can stream live video to only one network at a time, you have a choice to make. You can either do a separate Q&A session for each platform, or do it live on one platform and then publish a recording of the Q&A on every other platform. You must either sacrifice a huge chunk of time or fail to reach your entire audience in the most engaging way.
Multistreaming is the solution to this problem. Instead of focusing on a single network or setting up the tech to use multiple networks one at a time, you stream only once by simulcasting your content on multiple networks.
🤑 What are the benefits of multistreaming?
Before creators were able to multistream, each network they used meant another broadcast they had to do. If you used YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, for example, you had no choice but to publish three separate streams.
When you multistream, you save time and regain the freedom to choose multiple platforms, without worrying about bandwidth or other constraints. This freedom lets you:
- Use niche and mainstream platforms at the same time. Niche platforms, like Picarto or Mixcloud, are typically where your core community is. Mainstream platforms help you break out of your niche and reach a wider, more general audience.
- Take advantage of the specifics of every platform. Facebook has good analytics and reach, while LinkedIn attracts a very specific audience. Reap the benefits of both by using them at the same time!
- Explore emerging networks together with your audience. As new content delivery networks are introduced, a portion of your audience might start using them instead of one of the major networks. Thanks to multistreaming, you don’t have to choose between emerging and established networks. You can use both.
- Stop trying to attract your audience to a single platform. Rather than convince viewers to choose only one platform, you can meet your audience where they’re at. Having a central platform to stream to all the time stops being so important.
- Get better results without significant investment. It’s possible to stream to multiple sites without a huge time or monetary investment.
Streaming to multiple sites opens a world of possibility to content creators. Whether your goal is to reach new audiences or stay in touch with specific segments of an existing audience on the platforms they prefer, multistreaming can help you achieve it.
🤓 How to multistream
For someone who is already streaming content, going from regular streaming to multistreaming is easy. Broadly speaking, there are two factors to consider:
- The networks you’re using.
- The multistreaming hardware, software, or service you plan to use.
There’s no difference between capturing footage for multistreaming and for regular streaming. You still need at least one camera and a microphone. That footage, however, needs to be fed into hardware, software or a cloud service that can stream the content to several platforms at the same time.
You can start multistreaming in four simple steps:
- Set up accounts on multiple platforms that support streaming.
- Pick hardware, software or a cloud multistreaming solution.
- Set up the multistreaming solution and connect it with the rest of the gear.
- Go live to multiple platforms.
🔗 Which platforms to use for multistreaming
Content delivery networks come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are social networks that have started their own live video streaming services, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
There are also video hosting websites that specialize in live streaming, like Twitch or YouTube (although YouTube is technically also a social network).
There are also platforms that specialize in certain genres of content. Mobcrush has mobile gaming content, whereas Picarto and Mixcloud are designed for live streaming art and music, respectively. Some platforms are best suited for reaching an audience in specific geographic regions as well, such as AfreecaTV, which is popular in South Korea.
Each of these platforms offers something different. Facebook, for example, has the biggest user base and the best audience-targeting tools. YouTube, on the other hand, allows for significantly better video quality, and people are increasingly using it as a search engine. Smaller platforms usually occupy a niche that makes them attractive.
Here are some examples of how you could choose your platforms for multistreaming:
- Stream to the platforms where you already have a follower base.
- Cover only the big platforms, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
- Cover a whole market — use YouTube, Twitch and Facebook Gaming to stream gaming content, for example.
- Use one or two big platforms, plus a niche network — YouTube and Facebook plus Picarto for a visual artist.
It take time to develop a following on these platforms, and you’ll only be able to see the full results of multistreaming with a substantial follower base. So while it’s a good idea to mix and match a little, you’ll also want to avoid wasting time and energy on a network that doesn’t serve your goals. Pick a couple of good ones and focus on growing on them.
🧐 Which multistreaming solution is the best?
There are three multistreaming solutions at your disposal:
- Hardware encoders with multistreaming capabilities. This is the most reliable option. The quality of the stream depends on the bandwidth of your internet connection. Plus, it can get expensive.
- Multistreaming software. This option can be very demanding on your hardware. Bandwidth significantly affects the quality of the stream.
- Cloud-based multistream platforms. This option effectively does away with any bandwidth or hardware requirements, as the cloud platform handles all of it.
For most people who are new to multistreaming, cloud-based platforms might be the most cost-efficient; they don’t add any new hardware or bandwidth demands. Multistreaming with cloud platforms is only as demanding as streaming to one delivery network. Plus, they are easy to set up and use.
🦑 Restream — your multistreaming companion
Restream has all the benefits that make cloud-based services a great choice for multistreaming. It allows you to simultaneously broadcast your live videos to all your favorite streaming platforms.
The full list of Restream features is extensive. Some of the highlights are:
- Full support for over 30 streaming platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter and LinkedIn. Multistreaming to supported networks is the most convenient and cost-effective way to increase your audience reach. Restream also has native integration with some of the most popular encoders used by streamers, like OBS Studio and XSplit.
- No-frills streaming solution with Restream Studio. A webcam and a browser are all you need to create professional live streams with Restream Studio. This powerful streaming suite comes with dozens of amazing features, including the ability to add guests to your streams, upload and play your own videos, customize your stream with overlays, watermarks, and background images, and play copyright-free background music during your stream.
- Multi-chat support with Restream chat. Read and reply to your viewers’ messages across all streaming destinations in one place!
- An ability to use networks we don’t support. Restream does not limit you to our directly integrated networks. Any platform that provides you with an RTMP URL and stream key can work with Restream.
- Scheduling pre-recorded content to go live. Upload and schedule videos so you can take a day off, target different time zones, produce high-quality content, and manage your streaming schedule.
- Advanced monitoring and analytics tools. You can find out what’s going on with your stream while broadcasting to address video quality and minimize downtime. Furthermore, the analytics feature provides a simple yet effective way to assess your performance so you can make improvements.
- Social alerts. Why not blast an alert to let audiences know about your upcoming live stream?
- Scheduling your live streams with Restream events. This feature allows you to schedule a live stream in advance and notify your audience about the upcoming event. With Restream events, you can also set a custom thumbnail for the event and change the titles and descriptions for your live streams.
- Earn money with the Restream referral program. Your friends get a $10 Restream credit for registering via your referral link. After they upgrade to a paid subscription plan, you can receive up to $49, which you can later withdraw to your PayPal account.
If you’re new to multistreaming, Restream offers a whole suite of useful features that you can use to multistream your content with few technical limitations.
👉 How to set up Restream for multistreaming
All you need to multistream is a Restream account and an account for each platform you want to stream to. You might also need encoding software if you want even more control over your streams. Restream works with the most popular encoders, including OBS Studio, XSplit and more.
From the Restream dashboard, click the Add Destinations button. Choose a platform and click it to sign in. Restream lets you connect your profiles so setup is quick and automatic. You can also connect manually but this is not recommended unless you can’t connect via our general API process.
Repeat this process for each platform you want to stream to. For more in-depth instructions, read our help article about adding channels to Restream.
🚀 How to use Restream Studio
The easiest and most direct way to multistream is with Restream Studio. If you’ve set up Restream for multistreaming, the Studio allows you to go online without having to use an encoder. All you need is a webcam, a Restream account and a web browser, and you’ll be able to multistream within minutes.
You can do more than just multistream, too. For example, Restream Studio allows you to use Restream’s chat feature easily while streaming in the Studio. Here’s what else you can do with Restream Studio:
- Invite guests directly to your stream and host interviews, Q&As, webinars, etc.
- Upload and share videos with the audience on your stream.
- Share your screen with the viewers.
- Add custom captions to effectively promote your brand.
- Live stream in Full HD (1080p).
- Add your Restream feed as another source in your encoder with RTMP Source.
- Upload custom graphics for logos, overlays, ticker tapes and backgrounds.
- Display a chat overlay on your stream so all viewers across all platforms can keep up with the conversation.
- Use split-track recording to create a polished podcast from your live stream recording.
- Play copyright-free background music that sets the perfect tone for your live stream.
- Record your live streams and repurpose them later to attract more audiences.
- Stream to your and your guests’ channels at the same time.
- Present slideshows and presentations during your live stream.
- Share the functions of running a live broadcast with your team members by designating a role to each person, from the same account.
While Restream Studio puts you in the driver's seat as quickly as possible, it also gives you easy access to some options that control the look of your stream.
Is multistreaming free?
With Restream, you can broadcast to up to two networks simultaneously with our Basic plan. To stream to more than two channels at once, you must sign up for one of our Standard plans or above.
Can I stream to YouTube and Facebook at the same time?
You can absolutely stream to YouTube and Facebook at the same time. Read our guide on how to do it.
Do I need additional bandwidth to multistream?
Restream does not require additional bandwidth to stream, no matter how many platforms you are multistreaming to.
Does Twitch allow multistreaming?
Twitch does not allow Affiliates to stream the same content on other platforms as they stream on Twitch within the same 24 hours. Nothing prevents Twitch Affiliates from recording and re-broadcasting streams on other platforms afterward. Twitch streamers who are not Affiliates or Partners do not have this multistreaming restriction.
Multistreaming is a no-brainer these days. Why limit yourself to one platform when you can easily broadcast to several without any extra effort? Restream offers a reliable and convenient multistreaming service with unbeatable features and an easy setup. If you know which platforms you want to use, you just need to create an account with Restream and you’ll be ready to broadcast whenever and wherever.