Pricing Standards for Live Event Webcasting

To analyze how other companies are charging for their Live Webcasting services and how we compared, we did a small survey to gauge how we were doing.

We discovered that small, independent companies like ours typically quoteed from in the region of around $1500 per day (on average) of encoding only services…

Note: It is important to understand that when they say encoding only, it generally means the client must provide a video/audio feed from their own video camera and the vendor would only ‘encode’ the feed and send it to a CDN (ie. Content Delivery Network) for distribution to the viewing audience.

Also to be noted, these quotes were for a single camera feed (or if 2 or more cameras were required, it was the client’s responsibility to have the feeds mixed live by their own videographers and send a single, pre-mixed feed to the vendor for encoding and delivery.

There were of course even smaller ‘companies’ of one-man shows where the individuals claimed to provide webcasting a even lower rates, however, these persons were not experienced producers (ie. videographers masquerading as webcasters) who used free video delivery platforms like Ustream, combined with single-camera setups and extremely amateurish audio capture methods. The danger of using companies such as these is that if something goes wrong with the feed (as it very well can), they would be unable to deal with the problems, thereby jeopardizing the entire webcast.

We then asked a few small local companies to quote on multi-camera productions. For a 3 camera shoot (including 3 crew members) plus live video switching and audio insertion, the low end was $7500 and it went up to almost $12,000 per day!

When we asked for a 3-camera production with live switching controlled by a single producer to operate a live switcher controlling 3 static cameras, we were quoted an a low of $4500 per day, going as high as $6000 per day.  Note: This included encoding but no web page displays and also, this was without any other features such as Interactive Chat, archival copies of the captured footage, additional remote viewer streams, etc.

At the extreme high end, “typical” costs from a couple of well known, large A/V providers for a full 3 camera crew with encoding ranged from $10k to $15k per day – but the benefits were not any better than what was offered by the smaller companies.

That’s when we realized that we were seriously under-pricing our services (see the pricing charts on our website) but in the interests of providing an equivalent (often better) service with quality and reliability at fair and affordable rates, we decided to stick to our original pricing schedule – and we’re glad we did!