Mobile Live Streaming: How to Live Stream from a Mobilephone
As of October 2022, there are almost 6.64 billion mobile users worldwide. That’s more than 83% of the world’s population. Thanks to this widespread mobile phone usage and better internet availability, the way we use our phones is changing.
Think about it, this little marvel of technology has replaced how many devices and gadgets? As kids, we all remember having televisions, clocks, torches for emergencies, calculators, and countless other pieces of equipment, small and big, used in our homes. Gone are the days when food was ordered from restaurant pamphlets, and recording was done with a point-and-shoot camera.
Today, smartphones are not just taking us over; they are also taking over our devices. It’s only natural then that cameras, recording equipment, sound mics, and light equipment are the next on this list.
Why Use Mobile Live Streaming?
If you want to start live streaming immediately, you can do so with a smartphone. You don’t have to wait to invest in any fancy equipment. Your smartphone has a camera, microphone and supports the apps you need to live stream. It has all the basic equipment you need to start broadcasting right now without investing in additional equipment.
If your business wants to get into the live streaming game now, streaming from a smartphone is the quickest way to do so.
On the Go
Another reason why streaming from a smartphone is attractive is because it is easy to create live streams on the go with your smartphone. Most people always have their smartphones with them, so if something comes up that you suddenly want to capture and stream live, all you have to do is pull out your phone and get started.
Mobile live streaming is also handy for community events where you can’t or don’t want to bring your entire video recording set-up. The following community events can easily be captured with mobile live streaming via your smartphone:
- Company events
- Local news
- Sporting events
The pandemic made mobile live streaming more popular, as you could do it without having your entire production crew around. It highlighted the convenience of this method of live streaming on your phone.
Of course, nothing beats a professional recording setup with TV-grade cameras and equipment, but a phone streaming setup comes in handy in some situations. Live streaming with a phone is a great alternative when you need a quick recording and broadcasting solution.
No Editing Necessary
When you create video content through your phone, it usually requires some minimal editing on your PC if you’re uploading VOD. But thanks to the nature of live-streaming, its charm is in the real-time feel of unedited footage. Letting you stream video from your phone, straight from your mobile camera’s eye to your viewer’s screens.
Especially handy if you don’t create video content full-time content and are short on time and budget. That’s another advantage of using your cellular device to live stream. If you’re live streaming for business advertisement, it only makes sense to reduce cost and use what you already have available at hand.
The Technology Behind Mobile Streaming
Let’s take a look at the iPhone Pro 13. It has a pro camera that allows for telephoto, wide, and ultrawide shots. It supports Dolby Vision HDR and 4K 60 fps recording. The iPhone Pro 13 offers image stabilization, ensuring your recording isn’t shaky. It also comes with night mode, 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, and 6x optical zoom range. In addition, it includes a strong microphone equipped with audio zoom.
The iPhone Pro 13 is an excellent example of what a top-of-the-line mobile phone for live streaming looks like. If you want to stream from a smartphone, the three essential features it should have, as the iPhone Pro 13 has, are:
- HDR support
- Audio zoom
Looking back, the iPhone 6, released in 2014, only supported 1080p HD video recordings at 30 fps or 60 fps. Although one could broadcast on this phone, it didn’t have modern smartphones’ professional video recording capabilities.
When you record a video with your phone, the content is processed by a dedicated app that encodes your video. The app adds any visual overlays or aspects you have set up. Then, the app sends the video file to your online video platform via RTMP ingest.
The online video platform then sends the files to the content delivery network, and its servers deliver the files to HTML5 video players via the HLS streaming protocol. This allows your viewers to access your live stream on your website or whatever platforms you broadcast your live stream to.
Advances in smartphone technology and apps have made mobile live streaming possible and highly accessible.
How to Live Stream from Your Phone
1. Prepare for Your Stream
Before you start with the technical side of live streaming with a mobile phone, you need to identify your streaming goals:
- What type of audience are you trying to reach?
- What type of content do you want to share with your audience?
- Do you need text or graphic overlays to communicate with your audience?
- Where will your audience access your stream? On your website, on social media platforms, or both?
- What is the size of your audience?
Knowing who you want to reach, where to reach them, and what content you want to share will help you produce a more successful mobile live stream.
2. Choose an Online Video Platform
No matter where you’re streaming to, we recommend using a professional online video platform, like Mslive, to host your stream since it will give you access to professional features, like tech support, monetization, security, branding customization, and more.
You can use simulcasting to stream to your website or app and Facebook at the same time, but this is something to work out before you get started. Simulcasting allows you to simultaneously broadcast to multiple platforms at once; if your audience is spread out over multiple platforms, this is something you should consider using.
3. Choose a Mobile Streaming App
Here are a few of the top apps for mobile live streaming:
- Larix Broadcaster
- Wirecast Go
- Airmix Solo
- Broadcast Me
You’ll want to make sure that your chosen app offers the features that you need to reach your streaming goals. For example, if text and graphic overlays are important for your unique needs, choose an app that offers that.
- Live streaming capabilities
- 24/7 support
- Adaptive bit-rate streaming
- Strong content delivery network (CDN)
4. Connect Your OVP and Streaming App
Once you’ve chosen both an online video platform and software, you must connect the two. Setup will be unique to each combination, but we recommend looking at our guide to live streaming from your iPhone for general connection instructions. For more detailed support, please feel free to contact us.
5. Create a Detailed Video Content Plan
It is also a good idea to have a detailed video content strategy for your stream before you get started. Write out a script or bullet points that you’d like to cover. If one person is filming a subject or an event but is not on camera, they should have an idea of what angles to film at. However, if the subject (whether it’s you or an associate) is filming with the front camera, this shouldn’t be a concern.
6. Test Your Setup
From there, take some time to conduct a few trial runs to make sure your streaming setup is running smoothly. It is best to make mistakes and work out kinks before you’re broadcasting to a live audience. That way, when you start to live stream from your phone, you will know exactly what to do.
7. Start Streaming
Once you’re confident that you can stream seamlessly with your setup, it is time to get started. Get the camera rolling and start your stream. Those are the seven basic steps you need to follow in order to create a live stream using a mobile phone. As you can see, the mobile live stream setup is pretty straightforward.
Best Apps for Mobile Streaming
Professional mobile streams require some help from a dedicated mobile streaming app.
Here are a few of the top apps for mobile live streaming:
- Larix Broadcaster
- Wirecast Go
- Airmix Solo
- Broadcast Me
Head over to our comparison of the Top Apps for Live Streaming with RTMP ingest for an in-depth comparison and review of these applications.
Watching Broadcasts on a Mobile Device
Mobile live streaming has certainly opened many doors for broadcasters who want to record and stream from beyond the confines of a studio, but the advances in handheld, internet-enabled devices have created opportunities for accessing video content on the go, as well.
The ability to watch online video content from a smartphone has changed the way that people consume media and how businesses reach their audiences.
The HTML5 video player was designed as an alternative to Adobe’s Flash player, which was not compatible with many different types of devices. HTML5 is considered universal and accessible since it is compatible with pretty much any browser and any device.
HLS is a protocol that was developed by Apple to deliver content from online video platforms to user-facing HTML5 video players. Back in the time of the Flash player, RTMP served this role. However, RTMP ingestion is now used for ingesting video streams rather than delivery. It brings the video content from an RTMP encoder to the online video platform.
Additionally, API and mobile SDK access is a resource that some online video platforms (including MSlive) have which makes it easy for broadcasters to customize their video players and add them to mobile or smart TV streaming apps.
Learning how to stream on mobile is an excellent way for you to let your creative side flow without much expense, in equipment or time. You can still use live-streaming as a means of sharing your experiences with your audience.
One tool we highly recommend you invest in is a great video hosting and live-streaming platform. Mslive offers reasonable plans to suit every budget. It’s a platform that will help you maximize your full potential, no matter your method of communication.
Streaming from your phone is a great way to cover events and create content outside of the confines of your office or studio. It is pretty easy to do, and it is a lot less expensive than filming with a proper professional setup.
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