Facebook streaming: LIVE, Premiere, Watch Party. What's the difference?

Facebook Streaming for electronic music professionals

Since its debuts in mid-2000 on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitch amongst others, video streaming has taken an astronomic scale and is now an unavoidable way to reach new audiences and fans for your music, all around the world, faster and cheaper than it has ever been before.
Content has become a central piece of our digital economy. 80% of the internet traffic will be video by 2021 (Cisco, 2017), making it consumers’ favorite type of content. But how can electronic music producers, DJs and events can leverage social media streaming tools and specialized platforms to grow there business? Let's first review the various options out there.

Facebook LIVE.

Facebook LIVE is a type of publication, accessible from your Facebook Profile or Page. The LIVE post only functions with a video feed encoded and sent to Facebook in real-time. This can be done from your mobile using the camera, or from a video encoder.

A video encoder can be software and free like OBS, or hardware and "affordable" like the Black Magic Design ATEM. The choice between one or the other depends mostly on the filming conditions, number and types of cameras, and expected quality for your live-stream. There's not always the need for a 20k$ setup, but keep in mind that TV quality results are achieved with the right equipment for the right conditions, and a crew of experienced professionals in each of their role: Director, Camera operator, Streaming Engineer, Sound Engineer, Community Manager.

Tip 1: Internet bandwidth, especially upload speed is probably the most important factor in a LIVE stream. Insufficient speed can result in low video and audio quality, stream interruptions and breaks disrupting your viewers' experience, therefore lowering retention and positive engagement.

Tip 2: You can 'fake' a LIVE stream by using a pre-recorded video file as the video source on your software encoder. Facebook will interpret that incoming feed as if it was captured in real-time.

Tip 3: Crossposted LIVE videos will lose their @ mentions, tags and metadata on the pages it's been cross-posted to. You can manually update these publications while the LIVE is ongoing.

Facebook LIVE stream setup

In 2019, there was two main methods to start a LIVE stream on Facebook.

LIVE streaming from Facebook Creator Studio

LIVE Streaming from Facebook Creator Studio

Visit your Facebook Creator studio. Click on the Create Post button and Go Live. This will open a new LIVE post window.

Facebook LIVE post settings

On the right-side panel, you can add your live-stream post caption, title, and tags. As well a the settings of your video stream, groups, and profiles to respectively share and crosspost your stream to partners. Note: Pages receiving your LIVE video as a crosspost will receive a notification to approve first, or go live automatically at the beginning of your stream depending on their crosspost settings with your page.
The left panel gives you the Server URL and Stream Key necessary to connect your encoder with your publication. Once connected and ready, your publication can be scheduled (within the next 7 days) or 'Go Live Now'. The first option will publish an announcement post on your Page, offering people to get notified shortly before your LIVE is planned to start at. Your Page followers will receive a notification when your LIVE post starts too.
You can also grab the embed code of this post to feature it on your website for example.

LIVE streaming from your Facebook Page wall

LIVE streaming from Facebook Page wall

Alternatively, you can setup a Facebook LIVE stream by visiting your Page wall, clicking the 'Live' button in the 'Create' Block. The process is then the same as per the Creator Studio method described above.

LIVE streaming from Facebook Live Producer

Since the end of 2019, Facebook released their new 'Live Producer' tool meant to simplify and standardize the procedure. The tools and options are the same. It's the page layout that changed mostly.

LIVE Streaming from Facebook Live Producer

Facebook Premiere stream

Facebook Premiere is a feature that came to the platform after the LIVE one. It allows you to create a streaming experience with concurrent viewers from a pre-recorded video but distinguished from a real-time LIVE stream. Video Premiere streams have several benefits compared to the LIVE stream. Since the video is uploaded to and processed by Facebook's servers, your bandwidth will influence your upload time but has no risk of breaking up the stream if it is to low or goes down. This does remove a lot from the 'LIVE' stress, allow you to better prepare your promotion campaign, as well as giving you more time to interact and chat with your video Premiere viewers.

Facebook Premiere stream setup

in 2019, there are two main ways to setup a video Premiere

Premiere from Facebook Creator studio

Similar than for the LIVE publication, visit your Creator Studio and click the 'Create Post' button and 'Upload Video'. Select the video you want to Premiere from your device to open the publication panel.

Premiere video from Facebook Creator Studio

Add your video title, post caption, tags, etc... before moving to the 'Publishing Options' tab.

Premiere Video post settings

There you will be able to select 'Premiere' in 'Choose How to Publish Your Post', add a date and time, plus a thumbnail (optional). By clicking 'Schedule', an announcement post will be created on your page, offering people to get notified shortly before the Premiere starts. Your page followers will be notified when the publication starts Premiering at the time you scheduled it.

Premiere from your Facebook Page wall

Visit your page wall and scroll to your 'Write a post...' block. Click on 'Photo/Video', then 'Upload Photos/Video'. Select the video file you want to Premiere. Refer to the previous section for the next steps.

Premiere video from your Facebook Page wall

Premiere one video simultaneously on multiple Pages

This is a more advanced but really practical feature that few know about. Here we want to schedule a Premiere stream of a single video, to be started simultaneously on multiple Facebook Pages. The interest here is in notifying each Page followers while accumulating metrics to one single video post, but also to preserve the @ mentions and video's metadata across all selected pages, at the difference of a crosspost LIVE stream.
This is only possible via the Facebook Creator Studio, 'Create Post', 'Post Video Across Pages'. You will need Crosspost relation and Editor access for all the Pages you want to Premiere the video on.

Premiere video on multiple Facebook Pages from Creator Studio

Select your Primary Page (the main one having the relevant crosspost relations and where you will look at for the analytics). Add the Pages to crosspost and simultaneously stream to. Select the video from your device.

Post video across multiple Facebook Pages

When using 'Post Video Across Pages', any change in the Primary page metadata (here DanceTelevision) will be reported to the rest of the Crossposting Pages. Write your standard video title, description, and tags on the first line. You can then edit any of these for each Crossposting Page specifically if you desire to (for example for a description in another language).
Now, how to Premiere on all these pages at the same time? The trick is to schedule all posts at the desired stream time (this will apply date and time for all publications), and then revert the Primary post to 'Premiere' with the same date and time. When clicking 'Finish' the video will process on Facebook's servers, an announcement post will be created on your Primary page, and a Premiere stream will start on all the listed pages at the indicated date and time. This is an effortless method to maximize your reach and conversions.

Edit video Premiere post on multiple Facebook Pages
Schedule video Premiere simultaneously on multiple Facebook Pages

Facebook Watch Party stream

Watch Parties are the latest born of Facebook's streaming tools. A Watch Party is a replay of a video already published publicly. It takes the form of a linear non-skippable stream with concurrent viewers that will share a comment section in real-time. Similarly to LIVE, Watch Parties can be scheduled ahead of time (creating an announcement post at completion) or started immediately. Watch Parties create a new post on your Page, but viewership results will belong to and build upon the analytics of the video(s) you've queued up in it. Therefore, we use them mostly to support scheduled Premiere post and to build up views and engagement on past video streams.

Facebook Watch Party stream setup

The method here is slightly different. The main part is to identify the unique URL of the video(s) you want to Watch Party. It can be found using keywords on the search bar of the Watch Party post, or by pasting the permalink of the video post in this same search bar.

Watch Party from Facebook Creator studio

Watch Party setup from Facebook Creator studio

Visit your Creator Studio and click the 'Create Post' button and 'Create Post'. Select the 'Watch Party' button on the right side panel to open the video search. Search with keywords or add the video permalink to 'Add to Queue'. Once your queue is completed, click 'Done'. Add your post caption and then 'Post' to get the Watch Party started. Page followers will be notified that a Watch Party has started.

Watch Party video on Facebook Page from Creator Studio

Visit your Creator Studio and click the 'Create Post' button and 'Create Post'. Select the 'Watch Party' button on the right-side panel to open the video search. Search with keywords or add the video permalink to 'Add to Queue'. Once your queue is completed, click 'Done'. Add your post caption and then 'Post' to get the Watch Party started. Page followers will be notified that a Watch Party has started.

Watch Party from your Page wall

The process is identical to from the Creator Studio, but from your Page wall, it is additionally possible to schedule your Watch Party ahead of time.

Watch Party video from Facebook Page wall

Visit your Page wall and scroll to the ''Write a post...' block. Click the three dots to display the Watch Party button. Search or add your video(s) using URL(s) and click done. Add your post caption and select at the bottom of the pop-up window either to Post now or Schedule for later. If you Schedule, an announcement post will be created on your page, offering viewers to get notified shortly before the start of you Watch Party stream. Page followers get notified by Watch Party announcements and at the start of the stream.

What type of Facebook stream is best for me?

You now know the three different types of streaming publications on Facebook, how to set them up, and their pros and cons. We recommend you to select which to use based on your type of content and the objective of your streams.
LIVE is the best (and only) option for real-time live streaming from a venue, but it is also riskier and harder to pull off.
Premieres are best for pre-recorded videos, very convenient to set up and scale-up across multiple profiles. Facebook's server sometimes has trouble processing and streaming your uploads, we advise you to prepare them ahead of time and export your videos with Facebook's encoding recommendations before you upload.
Watch Parties are great to organically boost already published content, create topic-based long-form programs from short videos, and interact differently with your viewers.

Now ready to stream like a pro on Facebook?

We hope the above elements helped you better understand how to use Facebook streaming tools to grow your electronic music business. More questions? No time to do this by yourself? Get in touch! DanceTelevision coordinates such publications daily and for dozens of Publishers. Let us help you out!