Live streaming is a great way to engage with your audience in real-time. But what if you want the benefits of a live video, but the flexibility of pre-recorded streaming?

In this post, we'll take you through different ways to use pre-recorded live streaming. This will help you build that know, like, and trust factor, while still being able to engage with your viewers.

But, first, let's understand why you should consider using a pre-recorded live.

Why choose pre-recorded live streams?

First thing's first. It's important to understand that you don't really need to "go live" when you're running a live stream.

Most social media platforms offer a feature to premiere a video such as Facebook Premiere or YouTube Premieres.

Think of it this way. All those television shows you watch that say "live" aren't actually live.

Oops, did we just burst a bubble there?

The truth is, most of these "live" shows are pre-recorded and for good reasons!

For a better, clearer picture, let's look at two of the top reasons here:

The freedom to have more retakes and edits: A pre-recorded video has virtually no chances of screwing up. Why? You have the freedom to take two, three, and even four retakes till you get what you want. Plus, you can always edit the pre-produced content and elevate the production quality in post-production.

You get greater control over your content: When you schedule a pre-recorded live, you can record an episode that looks just like your original live stream. You can also create a very different-looking stream using a non-linear editing tool, such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro, to schedule them for later like a live video.

It offers more flexibility: Another reason to consider using pre-recorded streaming is that you can add flexibility. Maybe you need to attend a meeting or take a class at the time you normally go live? You can pre-record your live stream and schedule it at the normal time, but still attend your obligations. This provides you with the flexibility, as and when you need it.

How to use pre-recorded streaming with StreamYard?

Leaning into the pre-recorded videos format becomes easier with StreamYard. You can easily schedule your pre-recorded content and go live when you want to – even when you're not there!

Here's how you can use a pre-recorded video in StreamYard, and schedule it as a live video:

1. Log into your StreamYard account, and on the Broadcasts page, click "Create a broadcast" and then select "Use pre-recorded video" from the drop-down.

2. Next, click "Choose a recording", then pick "Past Broadcasts" if you want to use one of your past StreamYard recordings:

Skip the above step if you want to upload a video.

In this scenario, click "Upload" and either drag and drop a file or upload it from your computer.

3. Next, choose the destinations you want to go live on and enter a "Start time", "Title," and "Description".

4. An optional step here is to "Schedule an announcement post". This will show the post on your chosen destination, announcing when the video will go live.

5. Finally, click "Create and schedule broadcast", and your pre-recorded video will be scheduled!

Here is a video about using pre-recorded streaming with StreamYard:

Ways to use pre-recorded streaming

Now, let's discuss some of the ways live streamers can incorporate pre-recorded streaming in their video strategy.

1. Making a foolproof live stream

If you don't have adequate upload speeds when streaming, you may get frustrated with the picture quality, dropped frames, or crackling audio. Don't forget about the experience that your viewers will have.

This is where pre-recorded videos can be especially useful. You won't have to worry about changes in your Internet speeds, which can lead to your video freezing and appearing choppy.

2. Creating more professional live videos

To make mistakes is human, but many people don't consider that when they're watching a live stream, especially if it's from a global brand. If you're creating corporate videos or any video where you can't afford to make mistakes, pre-recorded live streams are your safety net.

However, this doesn't just apply to "serious" videos. Some performers in the entertainment industry rely on using professionally made videos to reach a greater audience and have more impact.

Keep in mind that the each company places a different importance on what they value. Some focus on transparency and would prefer to stream everything live, including any mistakes, while others want to have a mistake-free stream. For instance, if you're a singer who wishes to showcase their talent via their YouTube channel or Instagram account, you may consider using a pre-recorded version with proper lighting and sound editing, rather than an actual live stream where your sound and appearance depends on the equipment and current venue.

3. Adding more relevance

When going "live," there isn't always enough time to engage with viewers in real-time. If you have a busy live stream, you may miss a number of the comments. This can lead viewers to feel frustrated that their question wasn't head.

Pre-recorded live streams allow you to create content that is precise and to the point. Since you can't display comments during the pre-recorded stream, it gives you more time to engage with viewers in the comments on the destinations that you're streaming to.

As a result, there's a greater chance of the customer staying hooked to your videos for the long term.

4. The best option for creativity

Do you want to be creative with your live content but wonder how to do that with live broadcasts? For example, you may want to show animated lower-third graphics.

Bringing out your creative side becomes challenging when you're live streaming by yourself. You have to manage the show, while also trying to engage.

As a result, you may leave out creative elements because you have a lot to do.

With pre-recorded streaming, you can get creative in the content creation process, and then schedule your finished video to go live at a later date.

Not only does this let you show your artistic side through effects and transitions, but it can also be less stressful for you as a live streamer.

Looking for a superb source for some creative inspiration? Here's a stunning live stream by Apple where they used a pre-recorded video to keep their audience's attention at WWDC 2021:

5. Avoiding live stream cancellations

Life can sometimes get in the way. Maybe you had a last-minute trip or emergency come up?

If you're unable to be present on the stated date and time, you have two options:

  • Either miss out on the live stream altogether, which can disappoint your audience
  • Or, record your content and schedule it to go live with StreamYard

Last-minute items can come up. The good news is that you'll have a backup plan if they do. This will also help you avoid having to cancel a live stream, which can lead to your audience losing trust in your if it's always happening.

6. Virtual training or events

It's debatable whether live streaming or pre-recorded live streams are more beneficial when it comes to virtual training or events.

While live streams do allow two-way communication and more interactive sessions, you can't control what may go wrong. Using pre-recorded live streams can be a better option if you're putting on a high-stakes event, but have unreliable internet.

7. Expanding revenue streams with Premieres

If you want to expand your revenue streams, then you can use pre-recorded streaming and get social media algorithms to work in your favor with Premieres. Your pre-recorded live shows up as a live video, except you're not there, live.

For example, you can record your videos and schedule them to be premiered as live videos on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook using StreamYard. This is a fantastic way to watch your content along with your audience in real-time.

While you can't display their comments on screen, you can spend more time interacting with your viewers.

Another benefit to using pre-recorded streaming is so that you can free up some time to work on your business.

Many of us are often working in our business, meaning we're preparing the graphics for our live streams, scheduling them, and then going live.

This can create a bottleneck if you're looking to bring in revenue for your business.

When using pre-recorded streaming, this gives you a chance to attend events (online, in-person, or hybrid), so that you can drum up new sources of income, opportunities that you might not have gotten if you were working in your business.

All set to use pre-recorded streaming?

While there are various uses of pre-recorded live streams, it is always a good idea to let your viewers know that they are watching a pre-recorded video live to avoid breaking their trust.

That said, for professional, creative, and relevant videos, pre-recorded live streams are your best pick. But if you're still confused about whether to take the pre-recorded route or stick with live broadcasts, here's a guide listing the pros and cons of both content forms.

So, tell us if you have ever used pre-recorded streaming? If yes, then why and how? Do leave your comment below and keep the conversation going.

Start creating with StreamYard today

Get started - it's free!