With video-on-demand and livestreaming content on two ends of the digital media spectrum, 24/7 livestreams are rising up to bridge this gap, offering a new degree of accessibility. A constant broadcast guarantees a creator is always available to their audience for however long their audience wants to watch. This helps maintain audience engagement. It also fosters a more active community and maximizes the time a viewer will spend on a single channel.
Popular 24/7 livestreams
Continuous streams vary greatly when it comes to genre. Some of the most well-known non-stop livestreams are as simple as playing licensed music over static backgrounds. Channels like Monstercat on Twitch boast hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Channels like ChilledCow on YouTube boast millions, with hundreds or thousands of concurrent viewers at any given time.
Full networks have been formed around 24/7 livestreams, like Venn. Streaming from their own site, Venn.tv features around-the-clock content centered around video games and related entertainment. Their content ranges from news shows to actual play RPG sessions.
Other channels feature raw, natural footage over anything curated. Examples include OceanExplorerGov broadcasting underwater explorations and SPACE (Official) streaming live from the International Space Station.
What are the benefits of a 24/7 livestream?
Streaming 24/7 offers a unique experience compared to more standard formats like limited streams or VOD. Constant streaming benefits both the viewer and the creator.
On the audience end of things, it makes new content always accessible. Tuning into a live broadcast offers fresh entertainment, meaning viewers won’t have to rewatch old videos. They also don’t have to wait for their favorite creator to go live to take in their favorite media.
As much as it benefits the audience, though, it benefits the creator twice as much. A constant stream means no conflict with time zones. Viewers who may typically be asleep or unavailable during a standard stream can enjoy the content at any time. Opening up the stream to more viewers at more times encourages audience engagement. It gives viewers more opportunities to interact with each other and form the bonds that elevate an audience to a community. This can be pivotal to a channel’s success.
More content generally means more dedication from the creator, which leads to more dedication from the viewer. On top of that, the longer viewers are on a page, the more ads can be run, bringing in more revenue for the channel.
What kind of content works best?
While there is no one type of content that means guaranteed success, a few have risen to prominence among non-stop streams.
Music proves to be one of the most successful, largely due to its ability to be left on in the background and that viewers do not have to choose their own music or playlists while they are going about their business. Many channels find choosing one genre and sticking to it provides enough consistency to keep audiences tuned in.
Creators must be careful when streaming music, however, as issues of copyright claims easily come up and might take down a broadcast altogether. Twitch specifically limits the ability to stream music to verified labels and similar entities to avoid any conflicts arising from who owns the content being shared.
Pre-recorded video content is also a great option to include in a 24/7 live stream. This content typically shows a much higher level of production quality, as it does not have to be created on the fly in real-time, and can make for a much more interesting show.
That said, this also cuts down on the interactive elements that many viewers look for to distinguish a stream from VOD. Re-streaming previously filmed segments make for a good filler in a 24-hour content cycle. Something streamed in the afternoon can easily be replayed in the night, largely reaching separate audiences, yet still providing entertainment at all times.
What does it take to run a 24/7 livestream?
While still feasible for an independent creator, setting up a 24/7 live stream can be considerably more intensive than a limited one.
The computer setup
A constant stream requires a relatively beefy computer setup, as most mid-range PCs are not up to the task of endlessly broadcasting. You need a powerful computer to handle the job. It’s better than finding out the hard way, with a stream dropping out unexpectedly and being unable to be brought back online before losing viewers.
Beyond the computer itself, there are no other strict requirements in terms of hardware. Items like cameras, microphones and mixers will naturally yield better results the more that they are upgraded. With that said, whatever setup a creator uses for a standard stream is generally sufficient for a 24/7 one.
Specific needs may vary depending on what type of content is being streamed. However, some sort of broadcasting software is required to manage audio and video sources and set the layout. Programs like XSplit or Streamlabs OBS offer powerful options to run your stream. LiveStream Producer, specifically, offers a solution to a specific problem.
Streams on major platforms have limited durations. Twitch caps shows at 48 hours and YouTube at 8, at which point a stream needs to restart to continue broadcasting. LiveStream Producer handles restarting broadcasts all on its own.
The other vital thing needed to host and maintain an around-the-clock stream is around-the-clock oversight. Leaving a stream unattended for long periods of time can open it up to a wide variety of issues. Internet connections can go out, the equipment can fail, copyright claims can shut it all down. Most of these issues can be easily remedied. However, without someone on hand to address them promptly, they can also ruin a stream.
24/7 livestreams are an exciting form of content generation with a lot to offer in the current digital landscape. There are no set guidelines for what can make around-the-clock content successful. Creators can take a stream, play around with it and make it whatever they want.