Broadcasting and the media have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, and the terminology has changed along with it. People are no longer programmers of media channels, but content creators or streamers. In some cases, however, people are using old broadcasting terms to describe digital analogs.
Simulcasting is one of those words we sometimes hear today, even though we’ve come up with a perfectly adequate new word that reflects modern times (multistreaming). Let’s unpack what simulcasting really means and why you should care.
What is a simulcast?
Simulcast is a portmanteau of the words “simultaneous” and “broadcast,” and that’s exactly what it means — a simultaneous broadcast. Simulcasting can refer to one of three things:
- Broadcasting a signal from multiple towers at the same time to get wider coverage, but the number of channels you’re broadcasting to stays the same
- Broadcasting a regular program with an additional audio channel via secondary audio programming (SAP)
- Broadcasting simultaneously to more than one channel
The third definition of simulcasting — broadcasting simultaneously to more than one channel — is essentially the same as multistreaming. The only real difference is that simulcasting might refer to broadcasts on cable networks and multistreaming usually refers to broadcasts that appear online.
Why should you care about simulcasting?
If you live stream video content on websites like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn, you might be familiar with multistreaming. It means streaming to more than one of these platforms, websites or networks at the same time. It’s the simulcasting of the live streaming world.
The benefits of simulcasting
Simulcasting can take your live streaming to the next level. Here’s how:
- Expand your audience: By streaming on more than one platform at a time, you increase your potential viewership. You can engage with your audience on each platform, and viewers can choose to watch your live video on the platform they prefer.
- Stream to multiple channels on a single platform: If you have more than one YouTube channel or Facebook page and Facebook group you’d like to broadcast to, simulcasting lets you stream to all of those channels without any extra hassle.
- Reduce costs and save time: You save time and money on producing content for each platform by streaming your videos to each one at the same time.
- Broadcast to niche and major platforms: Stream content for your core community on niche platforms like Behance or Mixcloud and reach a general audience on platforms like YouTube and Facebook — all at the same time.
- Take advantage of each platform: Each streaming platform has different features you can use to optimize viewership for your stream. Reap the benefits of Facebook’s analytics suite while also using YouTube’s chat feature.
How to simulcast with Restream
To be able to stream to multiple platforms at the same time, you’ll need a multistreaming service. Restream supports more than 30 live streaming platforms and allows you to create custom RTMP sources to stream to platforms that aren’t supported.
When you multistream with Restream, you get access to tons of benefits that make live streaming easier, including:
- Going live on multiple platforms at once directly from your web browser
- Broadcasting pre-recorded videos live
- Seeing all your messages from each platform’s live chats in one central hub
- Getting all the audience, stream performance and chat insights you need to improve your live streaming
- Customizing your streams with graphics, backgrounds, logos and overlays
Whether you’re simulcasting or multistreaming, the goal is always the same — to reach a wider audience. Some types of simulcasting do it by giving audiences content in a way that’s better suited for them, while others simply help more people access your broadcast.
Either way, it’s a tradition that modern-day streamers are carrying into the future. Tools like Restream might make multistreaming a breeze, but you should still take some time and learn a thing or two about it. Then, you can use simulcasting (or multistreaming) to help your live streaming reach new heights.