Live streaming

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As live streaming of German real-time transmission is called a streaming media supply are (video or audio ), which in real-time ( english live ) is provided. Interactive live streams are also known as webcasts . If it is a course, it is also referred to as a webinar .

The signal is often converted digitally using encoder software and can thus be transmitted via a digital transmission channel (e.g. the Internet ). Different streaming codecs are used depending on the degree of compression and transmission quality .

Live streaming is not the same as broadcasting live webcam images on a website. With the latter, a still image, for example a webcam , is uploaded to a web server via FTP at a certain interval .

In contrast to live streaming, there is on-demand streaming .


There are a variety of computer programs that enable live streaming of audio, video, or both. Many software companies such as Microsoft , Adobe and Real offer ready-made solutions.

A distinction is made between peer-to-peer (P2P), streaming servers and a software solution using simple web servers, the content of which is accessed by streaming clients .

In the case of the P2P solution, a central server mediates a connection between two participants - mainly in video conferences - who exchange data independently of the server. The advantage is that the central server is not burdened with the data and the video / audio stream is transmitted between the two computers via their lines. The operator of the server cannot influence the quality of the transmitted stream. This technology is used by the Eyeball software, among others , but most Java applets that support live video streams on the Internet also use this technology.

In the case of the server-based (streaming server) solution, the stream is sent from the generating computer (producer) to a central server, which distributes the stream on the Internet. This means that good picture and sound quality can be achieved with a technically well-equipped server. A stream can be broadcast to thousands of viewers at the same time, for example at live concerts. Even video conferencing are so easy to make.

Live streaming is often used in television broadcasts.

Direct video transmission via smartphone camera is supported by the Periscope and YouTube Live apps, and also by a webcam on the YouNow video portal .

History and Applications

Beginnings and technical development

Already in the 1990s, were live streams in Internet TV / IPTV , web radio and used for broadcasting events and individual places. In addition to TV broadcasts, specialty programs that would not be possible on traditional television or would have too low an audience rate gained popularity . It was only with the widespread network expansion, the switch from ISDN to DSL , easier-to-use services and the increasing number of Internet users that live streams also became more popular.

In 2003 the video conferencing service Skype ( Video over IP ) was launched, which was later taken over by Microsoft .

The number of users of live stream platforms in Germany rose from 15.6 million in 2013 to 24.3 million in 2017.

Today, live stream services are mostly optimized for smartphone and tablet computers or even just designed for them. In 2014 the first live stream was transmitted with a 4K resolution.

Broadcasts of computer games

The live streaming website started in 2007 . Computer game broadcasts have been outsourced to the Twitch website since 2011 . was discontinued on August 5, 2014. Twitch, on the other hand, developed into the most successful platform for live streaming, which is due, among other things, to the success of Let's Play videos. In 2013, Twitch had more than 45 million viewers per month on 6 million streaming channels. Due to the success of computer game live streams, other platforms followed, such as Mixer from Microsoft in 2015 and in 2013, which was renamed in 2017 . The YouTube Gaming service was created in 2015 for computer games on YouTube. In late August 2014, it was announced that Amazon had acquired the company from Twitch for $ 970 million. Twitch is the world on the 26th Alexa -Rang and in Germany , it is ranked 23rd

Livestream transmissions have also become more and more important for e-sports . B. the esports broadcaster ESL TV to Twitch. A special form of live streaming of computer games are games that are geared towards the live stream. So z. B. by voting in the chat, decisions for a game can be read. A well-known example of such an action was Twitch Plays Pokémon from 2014, which has since continued with many other games.

The streamer with the most followers (over 14.5 million) is currently Ninja , who is best known for the computer game Fortnite . In German-speaking countries, this is currently MontanaBlack with over 1.7 million followers. In December, the number of active streamers on Twitch was 551,000.

Since the mid-2010s, cloud gaming services have also become more popular, in which the image of a computer game on a server is transmitted to the client via live stream. Well-known services are e.g. B. Shadow, Google Stadia , xCloud , Project Atlas , GeForce Now , PlayStation Now (predecessor was Gaikai ) and MESS from the Internet Archive .

Software and hardware

Consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from 2013 have already integrated functions for live streaming. So-called video grabbers were previously used for this . Some computer games and computer game clients have also added functions for streamers, e.g. B. for direct live streaming or anonymization. As an important software for the Live Streaming established itself Wirecast (2004), Open Broadcaster Software (short: OBS) from 2012 and XSplit from the year 2016. In addition, developed over time several overlay extensions such. B. Streamlabs. Some programs such as vMix allow guests to be switched on natively or content from social media to be displayed.

Live streams in front of the webcam as a form of entertainment and vlog

For non-gaming content, the platforms YouNow , which was founded in 2011 and launched in Germany in 2014, and Periscope from 2015, prevailed. Live streams on Facebook and Facebook Watch have also become more popular. YouTube started live broadcasts of important events such as concerts or sporting events or Felix Baumgartner's jump since 2009 . In April 2011, the live stream function was activated for selected partners. In 2013, the function was first activated for users with at least 10,000 subscribers, then 100 and at the end of the year for everyone.

The streamers often report on their lives in their live streams, interact with the viewers or pursue a creative activity or a hobby. A sub-form of the live stream is the charity live stream , in which the reach of the live streamer (s) is used to collect donations. Well-known examples of this are friendly fire and loot for the world .

Due to the popularity of live streaming, some celebrities and well-known groups also used the feature regularly.

Other uses of live streams

Another live stream phenomenon is video chats with strangers through platforms like Chatroulette and Omegle , both of which were launched in 2009.

In the field of remote maintenance and screen sharing via the Internet, TeamViewer from 2005 in particular proved its worth . Before that, services such as the Remote Desktop Protocol from Microsoft were already available for local networks .

In the area of pornography , sites such as LiveJasmin (2001), Chaturbate (2011) and BongaCams (2012), which are among the most visited sites on the Internet, measured by Alexa rank. But well-known porn websites also expanded their offerings to include a live stream function. Actors are referred to as camgirl or camboy.

Live streaming as broadcast

In 2017, state media authorities in Germany announced that live streams over the Internet could also be classified as broadcasting or broadcast-like and would then require approval under media law. This applies to professional, editorially prepared live streams; Smaller live streams operated as a hobby do not come under the term broadcasting and do not require any corresponding approval. For example , Gronkh has now applied for and received a broadcast license for his stream, which he runs together with employees . In 2018, the state media authority in Baden-Württemberg awarded the first broadcast license for a Facebook live stream. In 2019, smaller streamers such as Drachenlord and DerZinni were also warned by the Bavarian State Media Authority for lacking a broadcasting license, and they were prohibited from producing live streams. According to the media authority, audiovisual offers that meet the following criteria are compulsory to broadcast:

  • linear, i.e. broadcast live,
  • can be seen by more than 500 viewers / users at the same time,
  • are editorially designed and
  • Be broadcast regularly and repeatedly "along a broadcast schedule".

The basis is the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty . However, this regulation is heavily criticized and described as out of date because a broadcast license for a hobby live streamer is expensive, more than 500 viewers could always watch on platforms such as Twitch and it is questionable whether reporting from one's own life and announcing it of opinions is to be regarded as "editorial", and because the airtime is interpreted too "vague". There are already drafts for a new state media treaty with a special regulation, which are supported by PietSmiet , among others .

Risks and Dangers

Live streams are also misused for actions such as swatting , trolling , donation fraud , phone pranks, publishing private data and addresses, violating privacy or joking orders, in order to inflict financial, emotional or physical damage on the streamer. In some cases, stalking , cyberbullying or sexting with minors can also occur. Stream sniping in particular is a problem in computer games . The often insufficient intervention of emergency services and police when committing criminal and violent acts, such as the live broadcast of the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch via Facebook, is also criticized .

Income from live streaming

Some streamers earn money through advertising in and between the streams, product placements in the live streams, reflinks as part of affiliate marketing , merchandising items and paid subscriptions with additional functions and rewards such as e . B. additional emoticons and donations z. B. via "Bits", a currency specially introduced by Twitch , or platforms such as Patreon .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Livestreaming - Number of users in Germany in 2017. Accessed on July 25, 2019 .
  2. heise online: World's first 4K live stream over the Internet. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  3. ^ Twitch 2013 Retrospective
  4. Gaming. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  5. Amazon buys Twitch for $ 1 billion.
  6. The Most Followed German Twitch Streamers, July 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  7. Twitch - Monthly Active Streamers Worldwide 2017. Accessed July 25, 2019 .
  8. Nathaniel Mott July 24, 2019: Streamlabs Throws Single-Monitor Streamers a Bone. Retrieved November 17, 2020 .
  9. Purchase Live Stream Software | vMix. Retrieved August 11, 2021 .
  10. YouTube is going LIVE. Retrieved November 17, 2020 (American English).
  11. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  12. YouTube: Livestreams are now possible for all users. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  13. Markus Böhm: Live streaming platform: Twitch wants more . In: Spiegel Online . April 12, 2019 ( [accessed July 26, 2019]).
  14. Top 5 Celebrities on Twitch: Celebrities Stream. June 9, 2016, accessed on July 26, 2019 (German).
  15. US rapper Snoop Dogg trolled smoking Twitch viewers - Retrieved July 26, 2019 (Austrian German).
  16. June 23, 2017: Post from the institution
  17. See the overview and classification at Hannes Berger: Livestreams on the Internet as broadcasting? , in the journal for state constitutional law and state administrative law (ZLVR), 2/2017, p. 57ff.
  18. Is no longer a managing director of PlayMassive GmbH. - Twitch Clip Stream. January 12, 2018, accessed January 12, 2018 .
  19. First broadcast license for livestream on Facebook. March 20, 2018, accessed July 21, 2020 .
  20. Missing radio license: "Drachenlord" is not allowed to live stream. March 29, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  21. heise online: Broadcasting license: Landesmedienanstalt Bayern prohibits "Drachenlord" live stream. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  22. Broadcasting licenses for live streaming offers. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  23. Markus Böhm: Missing radio license: "Drachenlord" YouNow livestreams are prohibited . In: Spiegel Online . March 29, 2019 ( [accessed July 25, 2019]).
  24. ↑ State media treaty: streamers may in future broadcast games without a broadcast license - Retrieved on July 25, 2019 (German).
  25. Younow: How dangerous is the streaming portal? Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  26. Murder suspect broadcasts his own arrest live on the net. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  27. ^ After Christchurch: Facebook announces stricter rules for live streams . In: time online . May 15, 2019, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed July 25, 2019]).
  28. Customer Support. Retrieved December 9, 2020 .
  29. This is how Twitch streamers make their living. December 25, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .