Who doesn’t love a good video? On demand or live streamed, videos offer an escape from reality, great entertainment, and educational value. For brands and content creators like you, they are a fantastic way to connect to your audiences.
And your own website is the perfect platform to do it from, especially if you want to showcase your live broadcast. This means you first need to learn how to embed a live streaming video into your site.
In this guide, we’ll tell you what video embedding means, what benefits you can get out of it, and share our best tips and tricks on how to embed a live streaming video on your website.
What is a live stream?
A live stream, or a live streaming video, refers to any media content being transmitted to viewers over the internet in real time. Through the process of live streaming, people can watch a live event as it is happening, as long as they have a steady internet connection.
It’s important not to confuse live streaming with streaming. When you watch, for example a YouTube live stream, you’re practically watching it at the same time as it’s being disseminated. You can stream a pre-recorded video like your favorite series on various streaming platforms (Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.)
What does it mean to embed live streams?
Live stream embedding means adding live streams to your website using a video player or an online video platform. Sometimes, this process could be as simple as copying and pasting a link, depending on your website or the social media platform you choose.
YouTube has got free tools to embed videos into websites, however, it’s worth remembering that like most free tools, it carries its limitations. Some of them include lack of control over the advertisements that run on your content and loss of website traffic as the social media giant pulls website visitors from your site and back to YouTube with its related videos.
If you want more control over your content, use a professional video hosting platform like JWP or Vimeo instead of free platforms like YouTube or Facebook Live. That way, you won’t have to worry about your videos being deleted without a decent reason (YouTube has been notoriously famous for that…), you’ll get plenty of tutorials, expert customer support, and you’ll be able to keep your viewers on your website for longer.
Benefits of embedding live streams on your website
You can realize many benefits of embedding live streaming videos on your website, instead of linking them, both from a user experience perspective and an SEO one. This is particularly true if you use a premium video hosting platform.
Let’s start with the SEO benefits. Embedding videos is a great way to boost your rankings on major search engines like Google or Bing.
Following SEO best practice, for example making your video publicly accessible, uploading a high-quality thumbnail, and submitting your video sitemap, will help your video get surfaced for relevant searches. In turn, this will help increase your website traffic, reduce web page bounce rate, and help convert website visitors.
Embedding videos, instead of uploading them, also helps overcome bandwidth, storage, and file size limitations, ensuring your website speed doesn’t compromise the user experience or SEO.
When it comes to user experience, embedding live streaming videos means you can customize and optimize them for online viewing with an embed code. You’ll be able to set the video’s start time, the right frame size, width and height of your video to delight your audience with an optimal viewing experience.
If you think about how popular video content and live broadcasts have become over the years, you might be missing out on reaching new audiences and gaining a competitive edge if you don’t learn how to live stream and embed your videos.
How does video embedding work?
In simple terms, video embedding works by adding a piece of code (aka embed code) from your video hosting platform to the code of your website. For example, if you’ve built your website using Wix, you’d have to search for a HTML code in “Settings” and under “Mode” and paste your embed code there.
iFrame is the most universally used and compatible embed code which allows you to embed videos, presentations, and other HTML objects in your content page.
There is also a different way to embed live streams into your website without having to manually add the embed code. If you have a WordPress website, you can use the JW Player for WordPress plugin. Check out more details in our support guides section.
How to embed live streams on your website
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to successfully embed live streams on your website, but you do need the right tools and a simple step-by-step guide like our one below:
1. Choose a live streaming platform
The first step is to pick the right live streaming platform for you. Such a platform is used to manage, host and monetize your videos.
There are plenty of live streaming platforms out there, including free ones like YouTube, Twitch, and Vimeo. If you need extra features, functionalities, and security reassurance, you might want to go with more professional platforms like JWP, Brightcove, Muvi, or Dacast.
Each will have its distinct advantages, but in general, premium platforms offer attractive video monetization options, custom video players to better optimize viewing experiences, and live streaming APIs to manage your content exactly how you want it.
2. Create a live channel
Once you’ve decided which live streaming platform to go for, you need to create a live channel.
If you want to create a live channel in JW Player, go to the Instant Live page and click Create Channel.
For further instructions, visit our handy Get Started with Instant Live document.
3. Generate and paste your embed code
Once you’ve generated your embed code, find the place on your site where you’d like to embed it. Depending on a platform, this could be as simple as opening your HTML editor and pasting it there.
If you want to find out how to embed a player on JWP, follow our guide here.
4. Save and test
Don’t forget to save your changes and publish the web page you’ve just edited.
Always triple-check and test the live site to make sure your video player has been set up correctly and everything is running smoothly.
How to embed videos from social media
You can also embed videos and your favorite playlists from your social media channels:
- Facebook – Each video on Facebook is supported with the embed feature. Navigate to the top right of the Facebook post, click on the three dots, and press ‘Embed.’
- Instagram – Open up Instagram from a desktop, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the post, and press ‘Embed’.’
- LinkedIn – Click the icon with the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the post, click ‘Embed this post’. Then, press ‘Copy code’ from the pop-up window that appears. Wait for the notification that the code has been copied to your clipboard.
- Twitter – Start by clicking on the three dots in a tweet, then select ‘Embed video’. Next, copy and paste the generated HTML markup on your website to display a video-focused embed.
- YouTube – If you want to embed a YouTube video into your website, find the embed code by going to the YouTube play page, click ‘Share’ and then ‘Embed.’
- TikTok – Open TikTok in your web browser and locate the video you want to embed. Click the ‘Share’ arrow icon at the bottom right of the video. Select ‘Embed’ and copy the code provided.
If you come across any problems whilst trying to embed videos from social media, check out the support pages from each platform or contact your web hosting provider who should be able to assist you.
How to improve an embedded live video with an encoder
When live video streaming, it’s important to offer the best possible viewing experience. The last thing your viewers want is a shaky audio or lagging video.
To improve the quality of your live streams, you might need to consider an encoder. A live streaming encoder refers to hardware or software that converts your raw video content into a digital format so you can stream it on your favorite platforms.
As a rule of thumb, you need an encoder if you’re using anything other than a webcam or a mobile phone to capture your video stream. The type of encoder you go for will depends on your needs, operating system compatibility, budget and experience.
If you’re just getting started with live streaming and need an easy-to-use, free software encoder, check out the open-source OBS Studio. If you’re a broadcasting pro, you might be interested in some more advanced hardware encoders like TriCaster.
Take a look at our blog on the eight best live streaming encoder solutions for more recommendations.
Embedded video examples
Here’s a couple of examples of businesses taking advantage of embedding live streams and VOD on their website with JW Player:
- SNY is a Emmy Award winning, multi-platform regional sports network. Its website, SNY.tv has become the ‘go-to’ digital communal home for New York sports fans to get video highlights and features, recaps, news, and fan reactions on their favorite sports teams. Since SNY started using JWP in 2020 to host video exclusively on their owned and operated website, the network saw a 108% increase in video views and 84% increase in average daily video watch time.
- DER SPIEGEL is a German digital news publisher which uses live streaming for standard live events, live talk shows, press conferences, and more. During the U.S. election, DER SPIEGEL ran live shows during the presidential inauguration and other high-volume events, generating 2 million live streamed minutes of President Biden’s Inauguration on January 20, 2021.
Hopefully, the process of embedding a live stream on your website doesn’t seem too complicated now. One final thing to remember is to always check that the privacy settings of your live video match the privacy settings on your web page to ensure your viewers can indeed watch the video.
We hope our guide helped you understand the value of embedding live videos into your website and you feel more confident knowing how to do it yourself.
If you’re ready to take your live streaming to the next level, contact one of our team today.