Building a Prosumer Video Set up — Software — Part 1 — Streaming

As we have seen in the previous post, it is now easier and becoming cheaper to produce high quality image ie being your own camera crew. This trends extends to the world of producing and editing, this is where software enters the picture in a very interesting way.

While I think these two worlds are colliding, one way to frame how to think about companies in the space is between producing/ editing live and producing/editing asynchronously.

Streaming:

Streaming software allows a user to live produce their content ie add overlays to their video image or mix video images (themselves and the gameplay for example), switch between scenes (ie focus on content, switch back to them, highlight audience interaction) and overall give the equivalent of a live show being produced, while being both the producer and the creator.

The battle for streaming software is an amazing one in the sense that it has all the characters of a traditional tech battleground with open source competing with startups, M&A from older tech companies, BigTech copy and reap the benefits strategies, companies going up/down their stack, …. There are many projects /software tackling this field and I have just highlighted a few ones that provide good examples on how to approach this space

  • The leader in the streaming software is OBS studio, an open source project with strong community support and a lot of plug ins and additional functions available.
  • As with any opensource software, multiple distributions are available with additional level of commercial aspects build next to it. Streamlabs (acquired by Logitech! ) is the best example of this, with Streamlabs OBS being their version of the OBS software, streamlined for easier usage. Streamlabs sells in parallel premium services and a range of solutions tackling streaming including a video editing collaboration platform.
  • Xsplit is tackling this space with “Saas” offering. It offers a free version with Watermarks and has various SaaS offerings (although including a lifetime license).

Restream, a solution focusing on making it easy to stream content across multiple platforms also its web based studio option. Of note, Restream recently raised a $50m series A from Accel.

Finally, there is a trend for vertical consolidation int the field: bottom up from the hardware and bottom down from the platform:

  • Elgato has its own software: Elgato Game Capture Software. This is supposedly better integrated in the Elgato hardware / software ecosystem which could be a leverage in the future (ie premium features reserved to Elgato GCS).
  • Twitch has its own Studio software it distributed for free: Twitch Studio. Again, a more streamlined, better integrated and simplified experience with Twitch are the main arguments put forward.

Both Elgato GCS and Twitch Studio are free.

From looking more deeply into this space, it is clear it is at this stage it is still in early phase. Most if not all of these solutions are far from being streamlined and easy to use and its unclear yet which solutions will be the leader in the future (OBS current lead is, for me, very much due to the nature of the market being still at the tinkering stage).

However, the dynamics at plays and the evolution of functionalities can be insights into the future of the video streaming production market especially in a business setting. Preset scenes, simplified workflows are one of the key directions. This is very much the direction Mmhmm is going for me, paradoxically, the quality of production is much less good than any of the gamin oriented software.

If you are working in this space, reach out!

For now I am using Streamlabs OBS and playing around with scenes to use on Zoom calls. If you are using it as well and have some ideas let me know!

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