A few years ago, I went on a 10-day multi-city business trip that took me to Texas, North Carolina, and Memphis, TN. I jokingly refer to that trip as the Great Barbeque Tour of 2015. While on that trip I enjoyed the best of Texas beef brisket, North Carolina chopped pork, and Memphis dry-rub ribs. When people asked me which of those was my favorite, my answer was simply “Yes.”
Church leaders frequently ask me which formats – Live, Simulated Live, and On Demand – they should employ when making their services available online. My answer is the same: “Yes.”
The three formats each have significant advantages of their own and reach a different segment of your potential audience. When all three formats are a part of your strategy, you increase the available options for your online audience. You have more “hooks in the water” to catch fish!
Over the last decade, the adoption rate for On Demand and Live by churches has grown exponentially, but the adoption rate for Simulated Live is still relatively low. Here are four reasons why Simulated Live broadcasts should be a part of your strategy:
1. Simulated Live requires virtually no additional effort
If you are capturing your service in its entirety for on-demand availability or for archival purposes, you already have the content. Using a platform like Piksel’s Digital Enterprise, setting up the Simulated Live broadcast takes only a few clicks and requires no further action. You run a countdown and have chat or social media interaction exactly like a live event. The experience for your audience is identical.
2. It allows people who are not able to watch live to participate in a live experience
Think about those who are present for your service but are working in another environment or venue (Greeters, Parking teams, Children’s ministry volunteers, etc.) during the worship service. Additionally, there are people who would love to stay connected with your ministry, but they have to work or have responsibilities somewhere else during the live broadcast.
3. We are accustomed to watching TV “by appointment”
The majority of us have watched a program that we are interested in at a certain time most of our lives. True, more and more of us are watching programs via on demand or even binge watching, but a significant number of people still watch at a specified time. Using Simulated Live allows you to promote these “rebroadcasts” as events, send reminders, and encourage viewers to invite others to join them for the event.
4. You have complete flexibility in scheduling
Simulated Live allows you to determine what times are best for your audience and schedule the broadcast (or broadcasts) accordingly. We have customers who offer Simulated Live broadcasts during weekday lunch hours. One customer has a loyal audience halfway around the world, and the original live broadcast would be in the middle of the night for them. Simulated Live allows them to watch at normal worship time for their time zone.
If you are not currently using Simulated Live broadcasts as a part of your digital media strategy, I urge you to prayerfully consider adding it.
Got questions? Talk to us! Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
About the author
Alan Riley is the General Manager of Piksel Faith, committed to working with church leaders to master new digital mediums. A self-confessed nerd, photographer, writer and guitarist, Alan also currently serves as the Interim Worship Pastor at Towne View Church in Metro Atlanta. Connect with him on Twitter @AlanRiley or on Facebook at Facebook.com/alanriley