5 Questions To Help You Budget Your Next Livestream
How much you pay for livestreaming will depend entirely on the size and scope of your project. If you’re sending a mobile journalist to livestream an event in the field, the cost will be much lower than if you need a multi-camera system to produce a high-quality stream in a studio.
Here are five questions you should ask yourself when determining how much you should budget for a livestreamer or live production company:
1. What are you streaming?
Streaming a conference or panel is different than streaming a street protest. Knowing the story and scope you want covered will help you determine your livestreaming needs.
2. How professional do you want your stream to look?
A livestream produced by a company who specializes in live services is going to cost much more than a freelance mobile journalist, but the quality will also be higher as they use better cameras and systems. A livestream produced by a mobile journalist will cost less, but the video won’t be HD if they’re streaming from their phone using wifi or data. Plus, the experience of the journalist or livestreamer will make a difference both in story and in image quality.
3. How many cameras do you need?
If you need to cover different locations on the same stream, or want different camera angles, you’ll need a multi-camera setup that requires several operators. Since livestreams run the gamut from a single streamer on the ground to a highly produced live production, you’ll need to consider the first two questions on your stream’s scope and quality in order to determine how many cameras — and operators — you will need.
4. What kind of equipment do you need?
The majority of livestreams are done with a smartphone camera, but higher level productions can use broadcast cameras, encoders, and streaming platform APIs, such as the Facebook Live API. And if you’re trying to stream from somewhere where there isn’t a strong internet signal, you can hire live operators with transmission equipment, such as BGAN or LiveU. However, these are often expensive subscription based services, and live operators will probably pass their costs on to you.
5. How difficult or long will the stream be?
How long you need to be live for will also determine how much you should offer a livestreamer or live production company, especially if the environment is difficult to shoot in. You’ll have to pay for both the streamers’ time and effort and should consider this in your budget.
Hiring a live production company with a multi-camera and encoding setup can cost upwards of $20,000, depending on your needs. However, a mobile journalist or live operator might only charge $200 to $1,000 for an hour long stream. Answering these questions and figuring out the specifics for your stream will help you budget and find the best producer possible.
Learn more about producing livestreams for events and news. Here’s how you can hire a mobile journalist or livestream production company on Storyhunter.
By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor