What is Streaming Hosting?
If you produce audio and video content, you may need a web host that supports streaming media. Not all of them do. In addition, you’ll need a host that can cope with potential traffic spikes without downtime, and it’ll need to support the type of content that you intend to publish or distribute.
Is your website the next YouTube? Pandora? Spotify? If your goal is to provide video or audio on demand to your site’s users, you need streaming hosting. OK, so maybe your site’s not quite that big yet. Regardless, if you plan to stream movies, music, or video or audio files of any kind, streaming hosting is what will keep that media running smoothly with fewer snags and interruptions.
Not all hosting plans can accommodate the resources it takes to stream audio or video files. Streaming hosting is specialized for media sharing. Imagine how frustrating it would be for your users to sit through a video that constantly stops and starts. Or for them to try to listen to music only to have their favorite songs cut off. How many of those visitors do you think would return to your site? Right.
Streaming hosting alleviates those kinds of issues. Some hosts that offer streaming plans are making them available via cloud hosting, which takes much of the burden of streaming off the local computer, speeding things up and increasing fidelity and reliability.
Many streaming audio/video hosting providers also offer managed hosting, removing much of the day-to-day management and maintenance from your plate, and you can be there’s more to be done with a media-streaming site.
If what you plan to stream is anything along the lines of webinars, tutorials, or industry leader interviews, you may want to look for a host that archives your streaming media. This way, should anything happen to your site, you’ll be able to recover that data, and continue to provide service to your customers and listeners.
Why Use Streaming?
Over the last decade, streaming sites have sprung up all over the web. YouTube is perhaps the most common, but there are thousands. Why would you want to bypass these established services and set up your own streaming service?
There are a few reasons:
Streaming gives you more control over the way content is distributed
You can host content for other users using a membership system, possibly charging a fee
Your content doesn’t need to be associated with anyone else’s brand or website
It’s easier (though not hassle-free) to host content that other sites may not publish
You can create your own niche
Note that publishing your own content isn’t going to protect you from the law. If a site like YouTube won’t allow something because it’s copyrighted (or controversial), your web host will probably have the same opinion. However, some hosts do have more relaxed rules about what’s allowed to be streamed.