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Churches are prolific content creators. Week after week, they thoughtfully prepare and present content—such as sermons, devotionals, worship songs, and more. But how do you make your gospel-centered content available beyond your church’s walls? By adding a church media hosting and streaming solution to your digital strategy, you enable your community to revisit or engage with your meaningful content while also expanding your reach to a broader audience.
With so many media hosting and streaming solutions for churches to choose from, it’s important to explore the capabilities and limitations of each before deciding on any one provider. Here are six of the most important aspects to look for:
Church media hosting and streaming services that offer powerful integrations are essential to the needs of churches because of how they help save time and streamline processes. Here are some of the specific integrations you should look for when evaluating a new media solution:
Live streaming integration
Church live streaming is crucial for taking your content even further and connecting with your audience in real time. A good church video streaming integration should allow you to easily embed your live streams anywhere on your church’s website and custom mobile app.
Latest media item integration
Many churches follow the proven approach of dedicating a section of their website’s homepage to highlight their most recent sermon. And with a “latest media item” integration, you can too! This kind of integration is a huge time-saver because once you publish a new video or audio file, it instantly appears online and in your mobile app. No more weekly updates!
Media library integration
Your church content should be incredibly accessible to both your community and those engaging with your ministry for the first time. Having the ability to add all or part of your media library (for example, a library of all your devotional videos) to your website is a great way for your audience to browse your available content or search for a specific topic or pastor.
The Subsplash Platform features all three of these media integrations to help churches expand their reach while saving time and resources! To see these powerful integrations in action, check out live streaming and on-demand media on the Interbay Community Church website.
When evaluating solutions for your church’s media hosting, be sure to ask yourself, “Is this improving my team’s overall workflow?” Some solutions may seem promising at first, only to disappoint when you realize the extra time and effort they’ll cost you!
To take your message further while also improving your overall workflow, look for a platform that includes “one-click publishing” in its feature set. One-click publishing is the ability to publish your content across a variety of channels with a single click. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
With Subsplash Media, you can create a beautiful media library—for your sermon series, worship songs, podcast episodes, and more—and make your content easily accessible. Simply upload your audio and video files to the Subsplash Dashboard and watch it publish to your church website and custom mobile and TV apps—instantly, with just one click!
On the contrary, in order to share media hosted on Vimeo or YouTube, you need to add embed codes to each and every location where you want your media to be displayed: your app, your website, and so on. While the Subsplash Platform also allows for embed codes when you need them, one-click publishing is the better option to streamline your workflow.
The best media hosting solutions for churches offer customization beyond a standard video player. This is key for making your content unique to your ministry and your branding!
Customization varies across the board when comparing different media hosting solutions for your church. Inexpensive or free options, like YouTube, often lack customization options and require users to use a third-party application in order to edit beyond the default settings.
Even paid solutions that do offer customization often come with limited functionality. For example, Vimeo’s customization options limit users by only allowing for changes to the appearance of a video’s title, play bar, and various buttons that appear on the video player.
Subsplash Media stands out among church media and streaming solutions because customization options are automatically offered on all plans. It’s incredibly simple to upload your own photo or video thumbnails and banners to your Subsplash Web App (Check out this example!), add your brand color, and connect your social media accounts for a beautiful web and app presence that is unique to your church.
It should go without saying, but the only content your users should see is your own! But this isn’t always the case with many video hosting and streaming solutions.
Uploading your church media to YouTube, for example, can potentially create more opportunities for your community to disengage from your content by bouncing to a “related video” or being distracted by an advertisement.
Video streaming solutions that are built with the church in mind should create a beautiful and distraction-free space for gospel-centered content. Subsplash makes this simple because there are never ads or other distractions, meaning you can maintain an on-brand, church-focused experience for your users on both your app and website.
What good is a media hosting and streaming provider if you’re always running out of storage space? Having enough storage is key to connecting all of your church media content to your website and mobile app.
Think of the hours of meaningful content you already have and will continue to upload. For example, if your average service is one hour long and recorded in 1080p (full HD), you’ll need approximately 5GB of storage space for that one video file. If you have two unique services every weekend, that’s a minimum of 260GB of storage space needed for just one year—and that doesn’t include other media you’d want to share with your community, like a daily devotional podcast, choir performance, or Sunday school classes.
Vimeo’s storage amounts vary by plan, but the cheapest plan only offers 5GB a week (or 250GB a year). In order to access additional storage with no weekly limit, churches using Vimeo will very quickly find themselves needing to pay even more for an upgraded account!
Churches using Subsplash for media hosting and streaming, however, have access to 5TB of storage space—with no weekly limits. Compared to Vimeo Plus, which caps out at 250GB a year, Subsplash offers 20x more storage!
While YouTube doesn’t have constraints on storage space, churches will run into different—equally frustrating—challenges. For example, if your account is terminated or if you delete any of your videos, that content will be gone forever (unless you’ve saved your own backup). Additionally, in order to upload videos longer than fifteen minutes, you’ll be required to go through an account verification process. Considering the typical length of a sermon is at least 30 minutes, YouTube’s 15-minute limit isn’t sufficient for most churches.
The best media hosting solutions for churches offer dedicated support teams to equip you for success. If something goes wrong with your church video stream, you shouldn’t have to troubleshoot on your own!
Church media hosting and streaming solutions like Subsplash automatically include dedicated support through email, phone, articles, and live coaching. But this isn’t the standard for all media hosting providers.
Similar to its storage capabilities, Vimeo only offers access to support for select subscribers, according to their plan—the more expensive the plan, the better the support. For example, if you’re on the Plus plan, support is only guaranteed via email during US business hours and within a four-hour window. In order to access live chat and weekend support, your church would have to pay more by getting a high-tier plan.
While YouTube might seem like an intriguing option, due to being a recognizable and inexpensive service, its support access is far from ideal. Getting connected with an actual support member can be tricky. YouTube’s support is limited to a Help Center for common questions and a Community Help Forum to discuss and troubleshoot issues with other YouTube users. To be eligible for email support, your church must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program—an exclusive program only available to user accounts with 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of “Watch Time” on your video content over the past year. Churches should not have to prove themselves or qualify for a service to ensure that they will get the assistance needed for effective church media hosting and streaming.
In addition to their dedicated support team, Subsplash offers access to onboarding and client success specialists, guaranteeing your church is taken care of for all of your media hosting needs!
By utilizing a powerful media solution that’s tailored to churches, you can effortlessly connect your church content to your website and custom mobile app. From robust features like website and app integrations and one-click publishing to access to our dedicated support team, Subsplash Media is ultimately the best for equipping your team and engaging your audience.
Want to learn more about how your organization can take engagement to the next level with Subsplash media? Check it out!
Already a Subsplash Client? Log in to your Subsplash Dashboard to start uploading your church media today, or schedule a call with your Client Success Manager!