Education & Government
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Jill Holtz
Content Strategy Manager

Livestreaming your public meetings: Benefits of purpose-built providers vs. free social platforms

October 2, 2023
0 min read
Livestreaming your public meetings: Benefits of purpose-built providers vs. free social platforms

If you are considering livestreaming your public meetings, you may be looking at popular platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live. Or, you could go the route of using a purpose-built solution for streaming meetings to the public.

To help you decide, we have put together some things to look out for as you choose the ideal streaming service for your organization.

Things to consider when choosing a streaming service for your public meetings

Using one of the free services available on social platforms may seem like the easiest option, but there are a few things to consider first:


It’s good practice, and a legislative requirement in some states, to ensure your livestreamed meeting is easily accessible to your community. Over 30 million Americans grapple with various degrees of hearing impairment, while millions more face challenges such as illiteracy or mastering English as a secondary language.

The chances are that a portion of these individuals are in your audience. So, to ensure accessibility to as wide of an audience as possible, you need a streaming service that includes live, high-quality closed-captioning. The benefits offered by automated closed-captioning include:

  • Accessibility for deaf or hard of hearing viewers
  • Compliance with legal requirements
  • Improved audience comprehension, especially for English language learners
  • Flexible viewing in sound-sensitive environments

Live captioning used to be expensive to provide, as it was typed manually and so often lagged behind what was actually happening on screen. Now that a majority of closed-captioning is automated using machine learning and AI, its speed and accuracy has increased.

By choosing the right dedicated streaming partner, you can get up to 90% accuracy, but of course, this is ultimately up to your audio quality. Be sure to choose a solution that also allows you to submit key terms and phrases before your meeting, so you can ensure key names and difficult phrases display correctly every time.

Suitability of streaming solutions for public governance

While both Facebook Live and YouTube Live are recognizable platforms, they are not built specifically for the needs of public meeting streaming.

By choosing a streaming partner that integrates with your public agenda and minutes platform, you can provide your constituents with a dedicated location for all your public information, and the ability to follow the agenda alongside the meeting and see the full context of board decisions.

Security of your content

The security and ownership of your content are important. Did you know that Facebook and YouTube retain ownership of your content to monetize it through ads? They can also remove your content at any time without your permission — for example, if copyrighted music is played.

If content is removed, this may mean you are no longer compliant with local regulations. Therefore, it is important to invest in a streaming service that does not place its logo or ads anywhere, while ensuring your content remains secure and owned by you.

Quality of viewing

Buffering can sometimes be a problem with YouTube and Facebook, disrupting the viewing experience and potentially frustrating viewers. In addition, Facebook Live and YouTube Live have certain limitations, such as a maximum streaming duration of four hours and a broadcast resolution of 720p.

It’s worth investing in a reliable, dedicated solution that guarantees a professional, high-quality streaming experience with minimal buffering and no limitations on streaming length, regardless of the quality of your internet connection.

Distracting or inappropriate ads

Ads shown on YouTube and Facebook Live may distract your viewers and sidetrack them from watching your meeting.

Furthermore, ads may sometimes be inappropriate for your audience. Dedicated streaming services offer ad-free viewing, helping to focus viewers exclusively on your school district's live streams.

Support if something goes wrong

When streaming public meetings, having access to reliable support is vital. You don’t want to be scrambling to find support if something goes wrong.

YouTube and Facebook don’t provide support numbers, which means you could be left without assistance when you need it most. That’s one of the big benefits of a paid, dedicated service: you have access to swift, timely assistance, should you need it.

Choosing the right livestreaming solution for public meetings

Diligent Community, the next-generation governance solution for public and elected boards, has partnered with dedicated streaming platform Boxcast to provide our Video Manager service, tailored specifically to the needs of public meetings.

With Diligent Community, Boxcast integrates with your public website, and the livestreamed meeting appears directly beside the published agenda, so your community can follow along at home. For added accessibility, enable automated live closed-captioning. It offers up to a 90% accuracy rate and provides administrators with the ability to submit key terms and phrases before the meeting, review and edit captions after the meeting, and even add a profanity filter.

Once the meeting is over, timestamped minutes can be added alongside the recording, and closed-captions are discoverable through our powerful search feature, making it simple for your constituents to find the exact information they are interested in.

Boxcast provides flawless, professional-quality broadcasts with their own streaming protocol, BoxCast Flow. This lets you stream super-reliable live HD video without compromising quality or security — even if your internet connection is less than ideal. Not only can you stream in 1080p resolution for as long as necessary, but you can also enhance broadcasts with things like multiple camera feeds or overlaid images.

You can also save time and plan ahead with automated streaming technology. Schedule your broadcasts before you go live to automatically stream to other popular destinations that your constituents already use, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and RTMP.

Ultimately, you do have to consider the cost of your meetings not being fully accessible, viewers experiencing issues during transmission, not having support or certain features available, and potentially delivering a frustrating, suboptimal viewing experience versus the cost of a paid, dedicated service that streams your public meetings smoothly and increases community engagement.

Unlock the full potential of live streaming with Diligent Community’s Video Manager, featuring BoxCast’s integrated service. It offers superior production quality and reliable support to ensure a professional, secure and engaging experience for your community members. Find out how Diligent Community's Video Manager product can help you provide more transparency and accessibility to your community and book a demo.


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