Live streaming is the modern way of customer engagement. A business that is not live streaming is akin to a man who is smitten by a beautiful girl but is too shy to approach her. While he gathers his courage another confident man – who probably has less desirable qualities compared to him – approaches his lady, requests her telephone number and may be locks a date. Soon after they start engaging, probably fall in love, get married start a family and live together happily ever after.
If you are not live streaming, you are passing an opportunity to engage new clients, investors, partners and employees. Live streaming offers instant connection and feedback from your target audience. The information gathered during a live streaming session will provide insights regarding your field of operation and form the base for critical business decisions regarding client relations: acquisition and retention.
There are numerous companies undertaking live streaming in the market today. Some offer a complete live streaming experience on Full HD while promoting the event on social media such as Niuslinemedia while others offer more basic experience.
- Live streaming is a fairly new concept that will definitely impress your clients and make your business and products seem progressive and modern. The live streaming market is huge and largely untapped mostly because of it is skill intensive. So what is required to set up a profitable live streaming business in Kenya?Equipment: in order to set up commercial live streaming you need to acquire filming equipment including: video cameras, microphones, lights, computers, video mixers and live streaming peripherals. The challenge lies in finding equipment that is compatible, since this is a startup, it may not be prudent to purchase all the equipment from the same manufacturer because it is very costly. Also, the live streaming field changes rapidly due to the numerous innovators in the market, so there is always the danger of purchasing equipment that becomes obsolete before returning investment. Finally, seek for equipment whose spare parts and service center is accessible. Filming equipment is delicate and requires constant maintenance; first identify the maintenance company before purchasing equipment.
Depending on the brand of equipment you choose to purchase, it will cost between Kshs.2.5 million and Kshs.10 million to set up a fully-fledged live streaming studio.
When setting up a live streaming business you may want to first test your market by hiring the equipment from established companies although, this option will offer lower returns in profits but high value in experience and understanding of the live streaming market.
- Skilled and accredited staff: Live streaming is a labor intensive business. A large live stream event requires a production team comprising of at least two camera persons, director, lighting manager, floor manager, sound manger, producer, production assistant, and an engineer. In smaller live stream productions several roles can be bundled to form a lean team. Regardless, the production team needs to be experienced in camera work, editing, lighting, sound and other technical aspects that make live streaming a success. In addition, it’s important to have staff that is accredited by Media Council That way, you are assured of their professionalism and qualification. Accreditation opens doors to cover international and government sponsored events which needless to say are lucrative business. At the beginning build a team comprised of multi-skilled talent that can bundle up roles to make production a success. Production staff is expensive, with the least paid staff taking home a minimum of Kshs.40, 000 per month. As the business continues to grow, it is wise to engage the staff on project basis.
- Vehicle: Live streaming equipment is delicate, expensive and sometimes bulky. A successful live streaming project requires dedicated transport to guarantee the safety of equipment and staff comfort. Sometimes, depending on the event, you may end up setting up a studio in the vehicle. The choice of transportation should be spacious to comfortably accommodate the production team and equipment. In my experience a van such as the Toyota Noah/Voxy, Toyota Hiace, Nissan Serena, Mazda Bongo, Mercedes sprinter, or any other vehicle that offers huge boot space is appropriate. Of course when streaming a small event, smaller cars such as the Toyota Probox or related models will be appropriate.
- Marketing: Once you are clear about your target market, begin to engage through the various marketing channels. Since live streaming is largely distributed through social media, it only makes sense to begin marketing on social media. Most clients seeking for live streaming services intend to reach a wider audience. These clients include: event management companies, wedding planners, funerals parlors, religious institutions and corporates. The key to attracting and retaining clients lies in your pricing strategy. Conduct research to establish how much your potential client is willing to spend on your services. Live streaming events are charged per hour. The current market rate is Kshs.75, 000 per hour. Adjust your price to fit your clients’ needs.
- Internet: A strong reliable internet source will make or break your live stream business. The gist of a live stream is to connect people regardless of distance and time with minimal delay. Live stream productions rely heavily on reliable internet with a considerable band width. Identify service providers that offer portable routers that are compatible with your equipment to guarantee your clients a buffer free production. Depending on your video quality you will need approximately 1 GB of dedicated data per hour. Currently, Safaricom offers the most reliable data regardless of your location in Kenya, see which bundle package works for you Here. If you are streaming from certain urban areas especially the Nairobi Metropolitan, and Mombasa you will find Jamii Telecom internet packages more affordable.
- Power source: since live streaming is an instant venture, you must have a reliable power source within your control. Kenya Power can, and will ruin your live stream and your equipment. Closely related to power is the need for back up equipment to shield your equipment from erratic power outages. Back up equipment vary in size and capacity but their price starts at kshs.6, 000. Depending on your event, you may need a generator to guarantee reliable power supply.
- Licenses and permits
Like any other business, county license fees are a must! Depending on the business location costs start at Kshs.10, 000. Most live streaming companies like to brand their vehicles as marketing strategy, which means that the business must also pay for branded vehicle costs to the county government the cost is again determined by the business location. Additionally, the business needs to pay the annual license fees to Kenya Film Commission at the rate of Kshs.12, 000. This license only identifies the business as a film making company but does not allow the business to film on any location without paying filming fees, set aside some fees for the production location to the resident county government. If the business intends to use drones for filming, get a license and accreditation from KCAA . Finally, set aside some money to pay for music and sound effect copyright. Facebook and Youtube are very strict about copyright infringement and have efficient algorithms that immediately spot infringement which leads to deletion or blocking of the live stream.
Live streaming is definitely an exciting venture which has become more lucrative with the advent of the COVID -19 pandemic due to the need for social distancing, and a limit on unnecessary travel. Even without the pandemic, the invention of high internet speeds with large bandwidth is a great driver to the growth and continuity of live streaming business. In 2020, the worldwide market value of live streaming was USD.50 billion and is expected to grow at the annual rate of 21% between 2021 and 2028. Live streaming will only get better and bigger. It is without a doubt the business for today and the future.