Camera set-up at broadcast studio at Das Corvatsch by our member Limelight Veranstaltungstechnik in Munich, Germany
Over the course of the past year and a half there was a surge in building live streaming and video production studios, and for a good reason. With the temporary halt that was imposed on making live events, companies sought alternate ways to connect. While some large multinational clients (mainly in the technology and communications sector) chose to build their own recording facilities in-house to produce video content for marketing purposes and invested in different levels of green screen technology, most companies have relied on AV and event technology providers and their newly built, professional recording and live streaming studios that are capable of delivering a variety of events but can also house different levels and types of video production.
Utilizing a live streaming or video studio is a great way to showcase your company and market new ideas and products. Over the years, video has become a high-value marketing resource for producing high-quality content, gaining visibility, traffic, and market conversions. In the age of virtual and hybrid event production, the value of a great studio space has increased even further for companies that wish to connect in a meaningful way with their target audience. When it comes to creating events or producing original video content, two options come to mind: “Should I/we rent?” or “Should I/we build?”
It is a question that corporate leaders often ponder; is it better to rent a professional studio set-up with crew, or is it worth building their own custom studio for their various needs? While both options have their unique advantages, it is important to properly weigh and evaluate your specific goals before deciding on what solution would best fit your needs.
In this article we aim to offer insight into what the specific pros and cons of renting vs. building a studio for live streaming and recording are, which will help you can make a more informed decision regarding which option to go with.
Building a custom live streaming studio
Why should you?
Building a video studio for live streaming and recording provides the advantage of convenience and flexibility in the sense that you can implement any desired changes to the space temporarily or permanently, at your own convenience. It has a handful of other benefits, too, for instance it gives you the freedom to record content without having to adapt to a third party’s schedule, and have your own space always available to you – all the more convenient if you can build it on your own premises! It also provides an efficient solution for virtual internal meetings, podcasts, webinars, private B2B meetings, etc.
Investing in your own studio for content creation purposes is worthwhile if said content plays a vital part in your company’s marketing strategy and you need to produce it regularly and frequently. Building a dedicated studio space for recording and live streaming is a necessary step if, for instance you run an online consultancy or coaching business, or you are involved in e-learning and education. And, of course, it is a must for content creators and YouTubers whose business comes from monetizing their videos and need to constantly produce new content for their follower base.
Why shouldn’t you?
There are a number of important points you need to consider before making such an investment, and the problems that may arise as a result.
– The risk of building your own live streaming (or regular) studio is that unless you run one of the businesses mentioned in the previous paragraphs, this space will be sitting idle and unused for most of the time.
– The investment you make needs to match the content that you wish to create. This means that while small businesses, startups, content creators, and consultants can deliver what they promise with less high-quality equipment and a simple set-up – a camera, a microphone, a couple of lights and maybe even a ring light, those who aim for more professional content will need to invest heavily in the right AV gear.
– AV equipment used for events is not always right for a studio setting, especially when it comes to live streaming, which can prove to be an expensive mistake if the quality of the broadcast or recording is lacking in quality as a result.
– Live streaming leaves no room for error, as you cannot edit your content before sharing it with your audience. Without a professional AV crew to take care of the equipment, the setup, and potential issues, the risk of a technical glitch ruining your audience’s experience is quite high.
– Equipment maintenance is a costly business, and should only be done by professionals. Even if your gear sits idle for long stretches of time, regular cleaning and maintenance is still vital to ensure that the expensive LED panels, cameras, microphones, switchers, studio lights, etc. continue to function perfectly and do not get damaged by dust, humidity, heat, or cold.
The questions you will need to answer honestly before embarking on the journey of building your own live streaming studio for your business are:
– Will I use it enough to make the investment worth it?
– Do I have the means to purchase the right equipment to match my content’s needs?
– Am I willing to invest in regular equipment maintenance even if I do not use the gear most of the time?
– Do I have a professional production crew at my disposal to handle the studio equipment?
– Is my staff qualified to run a studio production?
– Have I weighed the pros and cons of building versus renting a live streaming studio?
If you answered the last question with a “no” or a “not yet”, read on!
Renting a live streaming studio
Renting a live streaming studio eliminates the need for companies to build their own studios from scratch. It helps eliminate the cost of purchasing gear and cut back on additional expenses involved with the setup while providing a professional, fully-equipped space and state-of-the-art equipment capable of facilitating any broadcast or live streamed event.
Alternatively, if a client requires state-of-the-art equipment at an alternative location, they can also rent the necessary studio gear and have them delivered and set up on-site by an AV partner.
In addition, a rental solution comes with a complete and experienced crew for the job who will take care of the complete production, unless you are opting for “dry hire”.
What is “dry hire”, anyway?
Why renting a studio is your best bet?
Video has gained massive traction in recent years, especially in the business sector. It accounts for over 68% conversions and 38.7% sales across major industries. As such, investing in a strategy that can provide the level of high-quality video content your brand needs to make the numbers is a smart business choice.
Renting can provide you with the space and high-quality equipment you need to create the most impactful, professional-standard live streams, webinars, product demos, commercial shots etc. without breaking the bank.
The event point of view
If you need studio space to host any kind of event – be it in a hybrid or fully virtual format – and showcase your message in a professional setting, here are some benefits that you can count on if you rent from a trusted AV partner:
A professional live streaming studio is equipped with industry-standard equipment and amenities to accommodate your team, the crew, and in-person attendees. In today’s world adhering to strict health and safety measures on and off the set is equally important as providing a comfortable environment, and it is a standard that all professional studios follow.
In addition, most studios come equipped with lounges, green rooms, kitchen and dining area, meeting facilities, etc. that ensure you spend your shooting day in comfort, and utilize down-time between being on camera or on set as productively as possible.
Renting a live streaming studio provides an ideal option for hosting your online or hybrid events. By availing yourself of the professional environment they offer, you minimize the risk of technical setbacks that can disrupt the event and would be more difficult to overcome were you to host the event at your own facility.
The expertise, the quick decisions, and the multiple backup plans of an AV crew, who are familiar with not just their own equipment but also the technical requirements and the workings of a live stream or a broadcast, will save you valuable time and embarrassment. No matter what goes wrong (and, by Murphy’s first law, we know that sometimes anything that can go wrong will go wrong), an experienced AV partner can overcome the issue quickly and efficiently, perhaps even without your audience noticing a thing.
A studio rental setup can be utilized for a variety of event types: connecting different offices and branches of your company from all over the country (or even all over the world), taking part of in a multi-hub hybrid event with your presenters and a small in-person audience, connecting remote speakers or guests to your live event from a professional studio, linking your event platform with studio live streams from different locations, going fully online with a flexible and creative virtual setup – the possibilities are truly endless.
The great advantage of renting a studio space for any of the above purposes is the professional team that has the experience in a large variety of event types and the venue itself. As we mentioned in the first point, in most cases such facilities come with a number of studios under the same roof, each suited for different types of events and different technical needs (live streaming, broadcast, xR, etc).
The marketing point of view
Live streaming is one of the best ways to launch a new product, for instance, in as many locations as you like, to extended audiences all over the world. In everyday use, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Vimeo, or Twitch, are adapted to easy and uncomplicated live streaming.
Video marketing has grown tremendously in popularity because of its cost effectiveness and ability to deliver high-quality brand messages. Combined with the advantage of connecting with audiences in real time, no matter where they are, makes live streaming a huge asset for marketing purposes. While not all content needs to be professionally made (think of using influencers with social media live streams), the kind that requires pre-production and a professional setting, such as a global product launch, or marketing activity for a nationwide film premier or an international sporting event (such as the Olympics) must be of top-notch quality.
Renting a studio (or, in fact, multiple studios) for such purposes saves you the additional worry and work related to the production, as it will be taken care of by an expert technical team and a state-of-the-art facility. All you will need to provide is the content itself.
Speaking of saving you worry and extra work, hiring a live streaming studio space also leaves more time for you to dedicate to other aspects of your business. Massive marketing campaigns and event productions are stressful enough on their own, so having an AV partner take on the lion’s share of creating your live stream and save you the time and resources you would otherwise need to allocate to the project is priceless. In addition, their crew will make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, so you can save time by not worrying about what can wrong and how to fix it – the technical team is there to figure that out for you.
One of the greatest advantages of renting a live streaming studio is efficiency. The robust combination of your AV partner’s venue capacity, technical expertise, professional gear, creative skills, can-do approach, and expert management is hard to beat. Having produced and live streamed or broadcast hundreds, or even thousands of virtual and hybrid events from a studio environment, AV companies combine these experiences with those of delivering live events for, in many cases, decades. They understand their clients’ needs, goals, deadlines, their fears and their concerns, are well-equipped to adapt to and even exceed their expectations, and always deliver results of uncompromised quality for their money.
What to look out for when renting a live streaming studio?
As with any other important business decision, you need to take a careful look at all the factors that can influence your budget, and ultimately your final product. Below we would like to give you a few points to consider when thinking about renting a studio:
– If you are unsure about the price offer you receive, make sure you get quotes from multiple sources when searching for a studio location. Keep in mind, however, that many factors can influence the price: the size and location of the studio (whether it’s in e.g. a premium venue, a downtown spot, or located in the agglomeration), its accessibility, the facilities it offers, the equipment that they use, etc. Prices are also influenced regionally, especially when it comes to labor costs, and they can vary even city by city.
– Also keep in mind that cheaper is not necessarily the better. Live streaming requires special equipment, and a studio setting requires different gear than what a live event would, and at times this can increase the rental price. If a studio rental and virtual production quote sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
– At the same time, do not forget that different technology comes with a different price tag, but it does not mean that you need to compromise on the quality of your end product, it simply means that you need to figure out what you would like to achieve and choose the right studio accordingly. We must not compare the cost of a green screen studio to that of an xR stage, as the technology used is completely different, and while xR is a mind-blowing addition to any event, it is not a necessity for many event types.
– Asking for a detailed quote helps you better understand the different elements that make up a studio rental and virtual or hybrid production package. If you have any doubts, we recommend you to ask questions and have a conversation with your AV provider, so that they can better understand what your needs are.
Renting from an AV partner
Although building a studio for live streaming and recording can be ideal for making video content for various purposes, just by itself it will not be able to provide the quality of professional video production without involving the expertise and guidance of AV professionals.
Over the years the AV Alliance members together have carried out thousands of fully digital and hybrid events, and used all of that experience for perfecting their streaming and broadcast capabilities and expanding their portfolios with a variety of event types: from graduation ceremonies to symphonic concerts, from award ceremonies to conferences with thousands of attendees, we have risen to the challenge.
Most of our members have their own, fully equipped and state-of-the-art virtual studios – in many cases in multiple locations – at their clients’ disposal, covering the spectrum from live streaming studios to green screen and LED set-up, and even the most advanced extended reality (xR) stages and full virtual studios that are also perfect for filmmaking. Take a look at our global studio network and its nearly 80 locations in which you can avail yourself of one of our members’ studio facilities.
To find out more about renting a studio space in your area, we invite you to get in touch with our AV Alliance members today!