(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted to us by Lift Community Member QbaMango. It details their experience using the new multistreaming service Joicaster. Joicaster is a new service that is under construction and this article serves as a first impression and preview of their service at the time of this article)
As a fresh new streamer your main goals should be having fun, creating and broadcasting high quality content and gathering an audience. While the quality of your streams depends on you and your dedication, there’s a lot of ways to bring more people to watch your broadcast. One of them is multistreaming.
Basically, multistreaming is sending your broadcast to multiple services – for example Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming and Beam.pro – simultaneously. Used correctly, it can be a great tool to grow your audience since you bring people to your stream from all of these sites. Joicaster is a tool that allows you to do this. I’ve been using it for a little while now and I would like to share my opinion on that, and also give you guys information about how Joicaster works and what it has to offer.
Joicaster Features and Pricing Plans
Probably the best thing about using Joicaster is that it’s FREE subscription model has everything you need as a new streamer. You can send your broadcast to up to 4 sites at the same time. You can connect your account to social media so your followers will be informed about you going live and you can use the Live Chat Relay. The Live Chat Relay connects all your chats in one place so you don’t have to switch between sites to keep tabs on your chats on various services.
The big downside of this feature is that there’s no 2-way communication right now. You can’t communicate with your viewers via text chat unless you’re willing to go to the site on which you want to talk with people. Also, you’ll have to have moderators on all of your chats if you don’t want to have to go back and forth between services when you need to ban or time-out problematic people.
On your dashboard you can see the state of all of your streams. You can see if everything is working smoothly and how many people are watching you on each service. You can switch them off separately as well. It is amazing how well Joicaster manages your streams. In one place, you have control over everything. You save a ton of screen space using this tool. You can schedule broadcasts and save your presets with the free service.
If you feel that this is not enough for you and your brand, you can choose one of the priced subscription models. The most inexpensive one is called Plus – it increases the maximum number of places you can send your broadcast to 6 and you can embed your multi-channel video and chat into your own site. This can help you build your personal community easier. Also, Joicaster support says they have a lot more features under development for both their free and paid subscriptions.
Professional and Enterprise subscriptions, even though they probably won’t interest you at the start, are definitely worth a look too. They are designed for people that make a living out of streaming or for big organizations. Number of maximum streaming services that you can use increases to 8 (or custom on the Enterprise model). There are a few streaming services that are available to be multistreamed to that are locked to this price point.
Now, there’s one thing that needs to be pointed out. When using the free or Plus ($4) plans you’re allowing Joicaster to save your videos to use them in the future for their own use. It shouldn’t bother new streamers, it’s a small compromise and you are allowed to use all of these great features for free. Joicaster does not show any ads during your broadcast, yet they have to get funds to support their infrastructure and other expenses. You can treat the Plus subscription model as supporting Joicaster if you like their service. When you choose the Professional or Enterprise model, price increases significantly. For those models, you retain rights to all of your content and it will not be used by Joicaster.
My Personal Opinion on Joicaster
Personally I’ve experienced only the Free subscription model, but I have to tell you it was more than enough for me as a new streamer starting out. I was broadcasting to Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Beam and hardly ran into any issues.
I love the mindset behind making the life of a streamer as easy as possible. I haven’t found any multistreaming service that works as smooth and is so perfectly designed. When I say that you have everything you need in one place it sounds like a cheap advertising slogan, but it’s exactly what Joicaster is. Basically you grab up to 4 of your accounts and put it into one place, called Joicaster Dashboard. Combined chats, ability to control all of the sites that you have chosen separately, connecting your social media to your Joicaster account, scheduling or saving your broadcast settings, stream preview…you can’t ask for more.
Another great feature of Joicaster is that multistreaming through their site does not slow down your PC or put any more weight on your CPU. All of that with only a 3 second delay, thanks to the cloud infrastructure that Joicaster is using. You send one high quality signal from your PC and it is Joicaster that takes care of sending your broadcast into sites you have chosen.
You can see right away that Joicaster is made by some great people that really care about their users. They know how important networking and connecting with your viewers is. Right after I created a Joicaster account I got a message from support that thanked me and offered help with any issues that may arise. Every message that I send is replied to the same day, every problem is solved right away. They make you feel like you’re in the right place. The devs behind Joicaster are always looking for feedback.
There are some things that bother me besides the Live Chat Relay not allowing 2-way communication. One of them is that the only way to change the title of your broadcast or game that you play is by ending your broadcast on the Joicaster site and starting it up again. There’s no “Update” button, so even though you’re not turning off your encoding software (like OBS), you’re stopping your Joicaster broadcast. Therefore, your streams to the sites you have chosen are cut off. Joicaster doesn’t currently have the ability to push title updates to some streaming services yet too, so you have to keep an eye on your streaming titles and chosen games after changing the title of your broadcast on Joicaster. Joicaster is still a work in progress and they are working to address this. It might be confusing for some viewers if you don’t notify them you are restarting to change the title ahead of time and it disrupts the experience. Also, there’s a message sent to your social media (if you’ve connected them) every time you start your broadcast. After changing your title three times you have sent three messages. I’d like a way to avoid spamming my followers while still using the social media functionality.
The other thing that didn’t work perfectly was streaming to YouTube. I experienced a preview bug, where my YouTube (and only YouTube) video was just a grey mess. The bug that really bothered me, that happened to me a few times was also connected with YouTube. After restarting my stream using the “End/Start Broadcast” Joicaster feature, my YT stream didn’t come up again until the end. It was bothering me, but again, support stepped up (cheers, Josh). They gave me the solution for how to avoid this bug for the time being and created the ticket reporting it to the people responsible for that. I’m sure they will continue to find and eliminate these issues.
Even though Joicaster isn’t free of bugs and little problems that might disturb your stream broadcast, I highly recommend trying it out and sticking with it. Give them feedback, they really need it as the newly opened service. Join the Joicaster community if you want to multistream, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.