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Live Streaming of Aerial Photography and Drone Filming: Setup and Monetization
Streaming is the method of delivering video or audio content over the Internet. Live aerial video streaming is one of the hottest trends in sports, events, content creation, and the music industry. This is due to the growing popularity of drones and advancements in drone and drone filming technologies. There is a huge demand for aerial footage, and the film and short film industries are thriving on advances in consumer drone technology.
However, how can we create videos and how to distribute them and, above all, how to make money from them. In this article, I discuss some of these issues and explain how to set up a video streaming system and how to make money from our video content. What equipment should you use, what software is available, and the pros and cons of the different platforms and services available to us for video streaming and marketing?
The request for aerial videos:
Aerial videos are in high demand in almost every walk of life. People like to see aerial views of sports and events from unusual angles. Before consumer drones, it was extremely expensive to make such videos. However, it is now very cheap to get amazing aerial views. Additionally, agricultural imaging and industrial inspection of large structures are other areas where aerial video is used.
The Live Streaming application of aerial videos:
Drone owners can use their FPV (first person view) and VR (virtual reality) headset types to see amazing exteriors when flying their drones. Now imagine that with the live streaming of these videos, thousands of other people could experience the same effects from the comfort of their homes. This is the experience people want to have. You can fly your drone and share the view with thousands of others.
Another wide-reaching application is broadcasting industrial inspection videos to control rooms and meeting rooms in factories and businesses. It is usually carried out by small drone companies offering these services. This area of video streaming has huge potential, and in the future, we can expect huge growth in this industry.
Other apps include streaming political and religious events to show the aerial view of rallies. Additionally, news channels use live broadcasts for important events. Similarly, people want to stream their wedding videos to someone who is not attending, etc.
Air Live Broadcast Setup
You can use a helicopter for aerial photography, but we’re talking about a cheaper version, so we’re only talking about drones here. Live broadcasting from drones is still a new technology. Some of the considerations for aerial live streaming are:
1. Live Streaming Services:
The first thing you want to decide is where you want to live stream your drone videos. Some of the live streaming services are YouTube Live, ustream, LivestreamTwitter’s periscope, and Facebook live streaming service.
2. Drone camera: Some cameras broadcast video generically, but you need a drone with a camera that gives a clean HDMI output to be able to use live streaming services. If your camera does not provide its own HDMI output, you will need to find an appropriate adapter.
3. Next you need an encoder that takes HDMI and streams it over the internet.
4. There are two main protocols used by streaming services. RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) and RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol). Take a look at which one is right for your service because your choice of encoder depends on it. There is also HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) where you split the video file into small segments and transmit it to a player via HTTP protocol.
5. The broadcast standard (ATSC, NTSC, PAL, or SECAM) is another consideration when streaming drone video on any of the services. You would need to stick to the specifications of the service request. Just look at the technical specifications section on their website.
6. Another consideration is the transcoding capacity (into other broadcast standards) and the latency of the platform (transmission delay) you are using.
7. Internet speed should be reasonable to stream the live video.
8. Some companies offer autonomous solutions for drones which can be expensive, but if you provide commercial services, you may want to consider these solutions. One of the companies is Amimon. The company offers various products for drone enthusiasts and professional users. Two of their popular products are Connex and Connex Mini. However, their Flying Eye drone might be quite an expensive thing to buy! Another company is Newtek, and ustream recommends some of their devices.
9. Also, if you want to use high-end camera rigs or high-quality professional VR cameras and cloud streaming, you can consider all products from companies like 360designs and wowza.
10. Some live streaming service providers have their own video streaming equipment that you can use if you are considering joining that particular company for your drone videos. It could save you money compared to Amimon’s products. For example, livestream has Livestream Broadcaster Pro which is a device while ustream recommends some encoders as Ustream Certified Encoders and offers software called Ustream Producer and Ustream Pro.
11. It’s a good idea to test your stream on multiple devices before you start streaming.
12. You get a link for your live video stream from your service provider. You can send this link to anyone to view the broadcast. You can follow the instructions for the platform of your choice.
How to make money with your videos (during the live broadcast and after):
Making videos costs money and it would be a good idea to monetize your live stream and then videos and get money.
Monetization during live video streaming:
First of all, we are talking about live streaming, and if you use YouTube live, you can earn money instantly while you live stream! There is a feature called super chat which was recently introduced by YouTube. You can enable this feature and your fans will be able to chat with you while streaming. Their conversation would be highlighted during the video stream. This way, you would be able to see their conversation and their chances of getting a response would probably increase. However, to be able to send this kind of chat message, they would have to pay. You then get your share of YouTube. This is probably the easiest way to monetize your live stream. The super chat is however available to people with a certain number of subscribers and in only a few countries.
Monetization of Prime Video content:
Top notch video content is not the one that is of high quality but also if you show it to the right audience. If you have created such high quality videos, you have many options to make money from them. There is a big market for video on demand. Traditionally, it was a challenge to distribute your film. You would have to go through the distribution channels. Now, some companies still follow the same practice, but on some platforms you can reach them directly. There are three types of marketplaces where you can sell your videos. The first type are the transactional platforms, where people pay a little money to see the video, the second category is the subscription platforms (iTunes) where they pay a monthly or yearly subscription to have access to the videos and the third is ad-based (You Tube, Hulu, DailyMotion) where you get paid based on the ads shown on your videos. A brief introduction to these marketplaces is below:
If your video is very high quality and you have done a lot of publicity and you have thousands of social media followers, you might be able to sell that video to Netflix and make a lot of money. However, to strike a deal, you need to find a distributor or go to film festivals and get Netflix’s attention.
2. Amazon Prime Video
Prime video is another alternative to sell your Prime content. For this you do not need any distributor. You can directly download your videos using Amazon Video Direct.
iTunes requires you to pass their quality control before accepting your movie. But before you even reach iTunes, you normally have to use an aggregator which will charge a fee and put your video into the proper format for iTunes. Next, you need to go to one of the Apple-approved encoding companies, who will then encode your videos properly according to their needs. You can avoid the aggregator, but you cannot avoid the house encoding. So there are a lot of steps involved, and finally iTunes also checks the quality.
This platform is based on advertising. You pay a fee to a distributor, place your movie on the platform, get traffic to your movie, ads will run, and you get a commission.
As you probably know how YouTube works. It is very easy to sign up to your You Tube channel and start uploading your movies. Based on advertising, you can earn money with your videos.
6. Point of view (point of view)
This is a place where you can find resources for non-fiction filmmaking. On their website, you can also find organizations that provide funding to individual artists and filmmaker companies. Every year they ask for submissions, and if your movie is approved, it will air on PBS television.
7. Vimeo on demand
Here you can start selling your videos after paying a monthly fee of 19 AUD.
You can use this platform in the same way as You Tube. Also, if you have a website, you can stream Daily Motion videos on your site and get a commission for advertising on those videos. But this requires DailyMotion’s approval. If your site has traffic, you will get this permission and start generating revenue.
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