What is simulcasting?

The term simulcasting is an amalgamation of the words “simultaneous” and “broadcasting,” which is exactly what it means: the simultaneous broadcasting of live content over numerous channels. Simulcasting can refer to broadcasting content from multiple base stations that emit the same data signal to gain greater geographical coverage. 

More recently, however, the term is trending among content creators to refer specifically to the simultaneous broadcasting of live content over social media platforms. It has become particularly prevalent since Twitch announced it would finally be permitting its users to employ simulcasting as of October 2023, having previously disabled the function in a controversial move in June of the same year. 

So, how is simulcasting done? Why is it becoming so popular? And why is it important to keep these trends on our radar?

Simulcasting on socials

Simulcasting has become a powerful tool for content creators, allowing them to reach wider audiences with just a few clicks. While not a new concept, Twitch's decision to allow signed Partners to simulcast in October 2023 significantly boosted participation. One analysis of three popular live content creators —Ninja, Willeyrex, and TheGrefg— revealed a surge in their average audience size of 68.9% across various platforms after adopting simulcasting. This indicates that for every 1,000 viewers on one platform, an additional 700 viewers joined each minute on another, showcasing just how effective simulcasting is for expanding audience reach.

Why is simulcasting so popular?

Simulcasting offers a multitude of benefits for content creators who stream their content live. This tool enables them to expand their audience reach, engage with viewers across multiple platforms simultaneously, and even stream to various channels within a single platform. By broadcasting to both niche and major platforms at the same time, streamers can reach different audiences and take advantage of unique features offered by each platform, ultimately saving time and reducing costs associated with producing content separately. This broader reach is also likely to increase engagement with audience members, and the opportunity for community expansion.

Simulcasting provides a safeguard for content creators, allowing them to continue broadcasting across multiple platforms and channels should one go down. While simulcasting is not permitted across all platforms, some of the most popular platforms that permit this tool include YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn Live, Kick, and Twitter. Following a controversial decision to ban simulcasting in June 2023, causing many users to switch to other platforms, Twitch announced that as of October of the same year, it would allow its creators to stream across other live streaming services simultaneously.

How does simulcasting work?

Content creators have three primary methods for simulcasting live content across numerous platforms and channels. The first method involves using an encoder, which is considered the most technically complex option. Encoders help content creators transcode content to meet the requirements of each streaming platform, ensuring compatibility with each site's resolutions and bitrates. 

Content creators can also use simulcasting software or apps, offering a user-friendly approach to broadcasting on multiple platforms simultaneously. These services automate the process, allowing creators to go live in just a few clicks and often providing additional customization features. Lastly, while not technically simulcasting, content creators can use a share code to direct viewers from multiple platforms to a single broadcast location and streamline the viewing experience across different social platforms.

The live streaming experience 

As with all live streaming, one of the main objectives of simulcasting is for content creators to increase their reach, interaction, and community engagement with a high QoE for all viewers. As an audience member, the beauty of live streaming lies in feeling part of something bigger, knowing that there is a collective experience taking place with viewers from all corners of the globe. 

As such, there is huge potential for live streaming initiatives and projects, which can be supported by solutions such as Edge Intelligence, System73’s live content broadcasting technology. Our solution employs an infinitely scalable, centrally orchestrated broadcast tree that harnesses Edge devices to expand the content delivery network around the world. Our AI-based logistics solution is able to improve redundancy and implement the most intelligent rerouting of content to bypass congestion and reduce latency, which is especially advantageous for high-stakes live events.

For more information about Edge Intelligence or to book a call with System73, visit system73.com.