How to Become a Reseller by creating your own Live Streaming Services?
Over the past few years, live streaming has become a regular experience across all kinds of activities in our daily lives. From a luxurious marketing tool to the favorite past time of the millennials, there has been a massive growth in terms of live video content consumption and live Streaming services.
If you could spare a minute and observe the stuff being streamed live these days, you could notice how it includes everything from your daily lives.
· Want to watch a basketball game? You can stream it live on the ESPN app;
· Want to attend a live concert? You can stream it live on Facebook or Twitter;
· Want to watch a Fortnite game? You can visit N numbers of Twitch and YouTube channels.
From Olympics, eSports, and eLearning classes to the Sunday Church Services, you can literally find a live streaming platform for any kind of stuff. Consequently, I can say that not just the presence of video streaming is secure but also the future of live streaming videos is bright.
Here in this article, we are going to focus our discussions on one specific segment of the live streaming industry and video streaming solutions — “How to start reselling business for live streaming services?”
What is reselling in live streaming services?
Reselling live streaming services is an identified business activity where a broadcaster purchases a live streaming plan in bulk from an enterprise and then distribute it in chunks to other small entities. The broadcaster gets the bulk plan in wholesale rates and offers live streaming services to individual as well as business users with some added margins.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Let’s say you run a small live streaming service where you offer services to the others. You have a small team of technicians and camerapersons who setup live streaming services on demand for your clients. Say, you got a contract from a church to live stream its Sunday services on their website every week.
Now, can purchase a bulk live streaming plan from an enterprise like Dacast and use their services to host live streams on the church’s website. They will offer an API, which you can set up on the church’s website to connect their live streaming services to it.
All you have to do is prepare a set up in the church with multi-angle cameras, microphones, and encoders. Then connect the setup with the API to capture the feed from your setup and transmit on the church’s website.
In all this, the enterprise will provide you the necessary requirements such as encoders, decoders, video player, and media server; all inside a simple API. Your task as a live streaming services reseller is to capture the feed and transmit it to the enterprise’s network, rest is all taken care of by them.
The Reselling business Ideas in live streaming are quite similar to your local cable TV provider. They purchase the broadcasting rights in bulk from the big media networks and then distribute it to the local TV audience from their own setup and custom monetization channels.
Based on the nature of the plan, things being handled by your business, and other customizations, there could be several derivations for this simple set up. For example-
· You can opt for the service provider’s network and stream the event on any website.
· You can opt for the service provider’s network and stream the seven on social media.
· You can opt for the network as well as a website from the service provider to stream the event.
· You can opt for just the media server bandwidth, get an API for the tool, and create a whole new live streaming platform around it. You get to customize the website and add your custom monetization channels.
What else can you resell as live streaming services?
You can apply the same business model and derivations to a wide array of individual and organizational requirements.
· News and media: You can offer services to local news networks and media houses.
· Businesses: You can sell services to small business organizations for streaming live events.
· Universities: You can sell to the educational institutes who can use it for teaching purposes.
· Sports leagues: Sports organizers can stream live games on multiple platforms for branding and monetization.
Benefits of becoming a reseller of live streaming services
Live streaming in itself requires a complex infrastructure. Not everyone can afford to set up the entire infrastructure for personal or dedicated use. The live streaming service setup requires expensive hardware, massive CDN and Media servers, Encoders, Decoders, and various software solutions.
That’s where enterprise solutions providers come to the picture. They bring all these complex requirements together at their expense and offer a simple interface in the form of an API(s), which other businesses can utilize to conduct live streaming.
They have already invented the wheel for you. You need not build the expensive infrastructure all over again. You just need to purchase a plan from them and use their infrastructure to offer your custom live streaming services. Even some of the biggest enterprises do not build the entire infrastructure in-house, they just rent from others and resell with an added value. For example, Netflix did not build its own data centers and CDN networks, it just rented the infrastructure from AWS, so that it can focus more on its primary business activity.
The same kind of advantage you can give to others as a reseller of live streaming services. If a brand wants to live-stream its product launch event, it need not build its personal data centers, CDNs, encoders, decoders, APIs and other solutions. Neither it has to purchase cameras, Mics, computers, etc. It can simply hire a broadcaster (reseller) who would make the live stream possible in a much affordable cost.
Consequently, we can say that reselling live streaming services actively includes the below perks for all:
· Allows small businesses and enterprises to conduct live streaming in affordable costs.
· Allows individuals to conduct live streaming on a small scale. Example, live wedding streaming.
· Allows reseller to adopt custom monetization models and make significant profits.
· Allows resellers to offer a range of services based on the required features and scale of streaming.
· Allows enterprise solution providers to reach out to new customers indirectly through resellers.
· Allows everyone to leverage live streaming without knowing its complex architecture.
How to develop your own live streaming platform for reselling services?
There are two ways to offer live streaming services. One, you purchase both the infrastructure and the live streaming platform (website/ mobile app) from the host. Two, you only opt for the required infrastructure in the form of API, also called as purchasing the required bandwidth. You can develop your own live streaming platform around the API.
The first option is great for those who do occasional live streaming. However, if you are thinking about working as a professional reseller, it’s in your best interest to build your custom platform. By doing so, you will have full control over your branding and can customize your monetization channels better. For example, pay-per-view, subscription, Freemium, etc. In this way, you will have a more diverse plan to offer to your reselling customers.
Say, a sports league wants you to stream their live game and also impose a ticket on it. You can do this easily for your client by adopting the pay-per-view model on front-end of the live streaming platform.
Building your own live streaming platform around an API
There are two ways to build your own live streaming platform around your host’s API. One, you can develop the entire platform from scratch as an expert coder or by outsourcing the project. Two, you can purchase a turnkey live streaming platform. Here is a breakdown of both-
Developing a live streaming platform from scratch
If you have an expertise in web development, or can afford some time, money, and resources to outsource the project, you can go this way. Depending on your requirements here is how much it could cost to build a live streaming platform from scratch:
The overall cost will include the salary and subscription cost of the following required resources:
· 4–5 Website developers
· 2–3 iOS developers
· 2–3 Android developers
· 2–3 graphic designers
· 2–3 software testers
Even if we take the salaries to the resources as minimum as $50/per hour, developing a live streaming platform would cost you around:
- $80.000+ website with basic features
- $100.000+ iOS Mobile App
- $100.000+ Android Mobile App
- Total of $280.000+ for development of the entire suite.
Besides this, you will need to purchase the following set of essential APIs to make your platform work. The following components are the building block and those are what you need to start streaming from your platform. Each offers a dedicated set of service without which your platform cannot stream live videos:
a. Video encoder: For encoding the video feed into data packets and transmitting them over a network. For example, Flash Media Live Encoder and Telestream Wirecast, etc.
b. Media server: A dedicated server to host large video files and route data packets over the web through a faster channel for buffer-less streaming. Example: Adobe Flash Media Server, Wowza Streaming Server, AWS Media Server.
c. A video Player: A software suite with multiple components to decode the data packets at the user-end, and create a buffer stream while also playing the feed in the real-time. Also offers playback controls. For example:
i. Playback controls: Flash player, HTML5 player, JW player.
ii. Video decoders: H.264, H.263
iii. Audio decoders: AAC, MP3
Using a Turnkey live streaming platform
If you want to avoid all these hassles and purchase a readymade live streaming solution, there are two possible alternatives to do that:
A. Purchase a SaaS service
There are several cloud services for streaming live videos in the market. They offer a readymade dashboard, which you can access to set up your streaming event and broadcast it to the public. I recommend this method if you are an occasional live streamer as they are generally expensive and come with limited ready-made features.
However, as a professional reseller, you would want a more versatile solution with obsolete control and custom branding. This is where the next option is the best possible solution in my opinion.
B. Purchase a self-hosted live streaming script (turnkey live streaming platform)
These are also readymade live streaming platforms. The only difference is that they offer source code access and can be hosted on a web-server of your choice. For example, a turnkey live streaming solution like StreamNow comes out-of-the-box with the following suite:
· Live streaming software
· Website (Web RTC)
· Android App
· iOS App
· All essential APIs discussed in the above section.
You can install the script on a web server of your choice and get a readymade dashboard. The access to the source code enables you to easily customize the platform and it’s UI as per your requirement. Such solutions come inbuilt with multiple monetization channels, and you can easily monetize your streams as per client’s requirements.
Make a wise decision
I think turnkey is an ideal approach to create your own streaming service and reselling it to the masses. When you can get everything in a single package with just a one-time cost, why waste time in developing from scratch? Now you have enough knowledge to make an inform decision about starting a live streaming business. So choose wisely after evaluating your requirements. It’s a long-term commitment, and you don’t want to make any mistake selecting the most reliable option to build your live streaming platform.