We started using restream.io to simultaneously broadcast to 3 different channels. At Greenwood we send our live stream to Facebook Live, Periscope/Twitter, and Youtube. We are a church of about 800-900 in attendance at our physical location in Weatherford, TX. We decided a few years ago that we would use social media to try and reach people with the gospel. We still use social media to promote events and that sort of thing, but we are increasingly using it to share stories of how Jesus has changed lives. That’s where the desire to send our live stream to three different channels comes from.

restream.io for Live Stream: Audience

We have a vastly different audience on our three platforms. I’ll start with Facebook because we’ve been there the longest. On Facebook, our audience is mostly over 40 and mostly women. On instagram our audience is mainly under 35, and balanced between men and women. Since restream.io doesn’t support streaming to Instagram, I won’t mention it much more – though it is a large part of our social strategy. Youtube tends to get our youngest audience. Those folks are under 30. We use periscope connected to twitter so that we can stream on Twitter. Our Twitter audience is pretty small right now, so I won’t give it’s demographic. I can tell you that we are mainly trying to reach men on Twitter (and even international men since most twitter users are not in the USA).

restream.io for Live Stream: Strategy

We have a pretty regimented strategy for social media that we are in the process of implementing. I’ll detail the overall strategy in a separate post. Here I will mention that we have two weeks worth of content in rotation so that things stay fresh on each channel. We have a life-change story from each ministry one week, and a story about a core value for each day the next week. Along with those stories, we throw in announcements, etc. So where does the live stream fit into our strategy? First, we have about 45-60 people each week who will watch the stream while they are out of town. We’ve trained our folks to know that they can still be a part of our service while travelling. Second, we encourage people to share the stream (this is social media after all!). Our people have friends who aren’t believers and don’t go to church. It is frequent for us to find out in a baptism meeting that a person’s first experience with our church was watching a live stream on social media.

restream.io for Live Stream: Numbers

I’ve already alluded to the fact that we tend to have 40-60 peak live viewers, according to restream.io’s metrics. In the example below you can see how most of our viewers are still on Facebook live, since we’ve only been using restream.io for about 5 weeks.

restream.io for live stream

The Magic Behind restream.io

We save bandwidth by using restream.io. We don’t have fiber availability at our location. We do have 2 ISP’s connected so we have decent bandwidth, but the upstream is only about 18Mbps. I honestly cannot even send a full HD stream to one location without the streaming cutting in and out, since other things are happening on the network at the same time. So, instead of resigning myself to a single 720p stream we use restream.io. This service takes that one 720p stream and them “re-streams” it to 3 different channels using their server and bandwidth. The magic is that I’m only sending one 720p stream up from my ISP, and I’m leveraging this service to turn that one channel into three. Some of you will have a fiber connection and a service like this won’t be needed. Most of us have to get creative, and find a way to make due on limited bandwidth.

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