All posts by Stacy Nawrocki

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Watch NASA’s Live Stream

Total Solar Eclipse 2017

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will take place in the U.S. for the first time since 1979.

“It began with no ado,” wrote Annie Dillard of the event 38 years ago. “It was odd that such a well-advertised public event should have no starting gun, no overture, no introductory speaker. I should have known right then that I was out of my depth.”

Viewers of this year’s eclipse can expect the same wonder that Dillard describes in her now-famous essay, but those who tune into NASA’s 2017 live broadcast will hear commentary, too.

The eclipse has captured the world’s attention, but it’s not the only event NASA will live stream this year. Online video plays an important, dual role for the space organization. Its regular live broadcasts, using CDNs and services like IBM Cloud Video, are a way to communicate with the public whose tax dollars support its missions, while video is also an indispensable internal tool for research and development.


Setting Up a Live Stream Event

Setting Up a Live Stream Event

When Taylor Swift launched her Wonderstruck fragrance at Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan, she was accompanied by hundreds of excited fans and dozens of media outlets. Also present was video production company Suite Spot, working in the background to make sure the event’s video live stream went off without a hitch.

Suite Spot regularly produces major events like this: filled with high-profile people, large viewing audiences and heavy logistical burdens on the people behind the scenes. While the events themselves can be formidable undertakings, the exposure and excitement generated by a live stream can be a major asset for any company.

Adam Drescher, Suite Spot’s cofounder and partner, explains how he and his team make preparations for success—before, day-of, and after the event takes place—and speaks specifically to the nuances of running live streams at a large scale. Armed with his suggestions, anyone can successfully execute their own live stream for a primetime audience.

Also, if you are looking for tips in bitesize form, be sure to check out our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production guide as well.


Post Acquisition & Merger Integration Plans Need Video

Post Acquisition & Merger Integration Plans Need Video

When mergers and acquisitions are months, even years in the planning, organizations have time to communicate the impact of the change to all employees. Often, however, the change happens fast, leaving little room for creating a communications plan.

But high-impact communication is necessary, and typical avenues such as email newsletters and all-hands meetings might not draw the attention of a workforce that needs extra reassurance and knowledge about the new entity. Such cases require a more compelling presentation format, which is where streaming video can make a difference. Read on to learn more about why your post acquisition and merger integration plans need to incorporate video, while also learning how the company AngioDynamics succeeds with this approach. If you are looking for advice on executing an internal video strategy for this, be sure to watch our archived webinar on Video Best Practices for Your Internal Communication Strategy.


4 Ways on How to Make a Live Video Look Professional

4 Ways on How to Make a Live Video Look Professional

Think about today’s video viewing experience. Thanks to HD video, stereo sound, and high-pixel displays like the iPhone’s Retina feature — not to mention ever-higher bandwidth — entertainment and news video and audio is exceptionally clear, even for the lowliest smartphone or tablet.

Now, take that audience of viewers, accustomed to the very best HD video and deep stereo sound, and place them in front of a live streaming event that doesn’t have the same production values. Dark, blurry video and muffled audio won’t hold their attention, especially when you consider that online video drop off rates can run as high as 20 percent in the first 10 second of a video.

The good news for creators of live video is that even without a team of directors or a state-of-the-art video studio, it’s possible for organizations to up their game in terms of production quality. According to Jeff Irwin, customer success manager for IBM Cloud Video, a few simple fixes and some strategic and affordable equipment purchases can make any live stream look and sound better. So read on to learn how to make a live video look professional with these 4 proven methods. If you find this article useful too, be sure to check out our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production guide as well.


Streaming Video Jobs are On the Rise

Streaming Video Jobs are On the Rise

There are many jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago. Chief listening officer, social media manager and app developer were all unknown titles until recently. Streaming video jobs are another set to add to that list.

As the use of streaming video grows, more brands need a dedicated full-time employee to oversee its production. At the time of composing this article, job search sites Indeed, PBS Digital Studios and Allstate were all looking for video streaming specialists.

So what’s contributing to the position’s rise? As Business Insider noted, “While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.” This increase in live streaming also has a trickle down effect for video on-demand as well. In fact, 19% of organizations are adding 25 hours of video content or more to their corporate libraries each month. This is in 2013, according to a joint IBM Cloud Video and Wainhouse Research report.

As the need for this role grows, workers who are adept at video production and can keep a cool head when the inevitable disruptions occur during live events will find a new outlet for their talents. Video integration into social and business platforms continue to fuel the growth of this industry, meaning the long-term outlook for such streaming video jobs is solid.


DIY Video Studio Setup on a Budget

DIY Video Studio Setup on a Budget

Once an organization decides to present streaming video on a regular basis, carving out space—and budget—for an in-house studio makes good sense. The prospect may sound daunting, but the studio doesn’t need to look like the headquarters at CNN : It can be equipped with the basics for somewhere in the $12,000-$15,000 range.

Brian Malone, CEO of video production company Malone Media, travels around the country working with companies, nonprofits and government organizations to share their messages through video. Here, he explains how with help from the IT department (and some smart hardware and software purchases), organizations can deliver streaming video on a few minutes’ notice. But first, they need a basic setup and equipment, and this article discusses approaching a DIY video studio setup while being mindful of the end budget.

If you are looking for an expanded guide on this subject, please reference our Video Studio Recommendations white paper.


4 Live Video Analytics You Shouldn’t Ignore

4 Live Video Analytics You Shouldn't Ignore

There’s a gold mine of data in live video streams — data that can guide communications programs and help organizations refine future presentations. Important engagement clues are buried deep in the data: How long are viewers actually tuning in to company video? Are they responding to calls to action? How often are they engaging?

During any live stream, metrics are key for assessing performance, spotting trends and honing everything from a video’s message to its quality. Here are four impactful (and often overlooked) data points to collect from your live video analytics to get a complete picture of the event’s success.


Improve Live Streaming Video Audience Engagement

Improve Live Streaming Video Audience Engagement

Wondering how to improve live streaming video audience engagement? Facebook and Twitter, texts, email, Slack, real-life meetings – just some of the many distractions that can lure viewers away from streaming video presentations such as training sessions and corporate town hall meetings.

It’s hard enough ensuring that viewers pay attention when they’re sitting around a conference table or seated in an auditorium. But if they’re not even in the same room as the presenters, how can you attract their attention over the course of the video stream? The communicators and video experts below say that by planning out every segment of streaming video, and adding valuable content to cover presenting gaps, you’ll improve the chances that audiences will stay engaged until the very end.


Avoid These 4 Live Streaming Video Mistakes

Avoid These 4 Live Streaming Video Mistakes

The live stream video begins, and the carefully prepared speaker begins addressing an audience of thousands of viewers. The presentation is going smoothly until, just a few minutes into the opening keynote, the video freezes. Some viewers sound the alert in the chat window, others try checking their own connection. But many viewers have left: On average, one in five viewers will immediately stop watching a stream with poor video quality and never return.

Most of the time, common live streaming video mistakes—poor sound quality and a broken (or unattended) chat function, among others—are easily avoided with careful advance work. Organizations new to streaming video should heed this advice from Jeff Irwin, customer success manager for IBM Cloud Video. In the process of helping customers implement and manage streaming video, Irwin has identified common mistakes that stand in the way of streaming events and their viewers.


Live Stream Surgery for Patient Education

Live Stream Surgery for Patient Education

Fans of Olympic swimming may remember Cody Miller, who took home a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Games. What made Miller’s accomplishments all the more remarkable was that he wasn’t just swimming against the clock, but also against his own physiology: He suffers from pectus excavatum, a condition that causes a sunken chest and significantly reduces lung capacity.

Around the same time as Miller won bronze, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital had a patient with the same condition ready for corrective surgery. Today, it’s typically a 45-minute, routine procedure. But parents and children can sometimes be scared off by the prospect of such an invasive and altering procedure. What if the hospital could show the process to assuage parents’ fears?


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