Covid has seen an explosion of the use of video streaming via YouTube and Facebook especially amongst churches and other ministries. BUT is this new media truly effective to reach those you are focused on reaching to view media you create in new ways in Africa? Could the use of this new media actually be alienating your viewers and those you wish to reach most? So lets dive in to answer which is truly best, Streaming Video vs Satellite TV
Could the very Media Tool used, be the thing BLOCKING and LIMITING your message?
As everyone rushes to use streaming to help connect congregations to view media in new ways, few have stopped to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool used, BEFORE jumping right into it. Over the last few months we have chatted with many of our clients and churches we work with in Africa.
What they have revealed has been very interesting:
- Almost all saw a massive initial uptake of people viewing their streams. Some amazing encouraging numbers. On 1st look this appeared to be a success.
- Month 2 and 3 however saw a massive drop in view numbers on both YouTube and Facebook with a downward view trend showing.
- Viewer numbers of streaming were no longer growing
So why was this? Why were several different unrelated clients seeing the same trends? Was it that people had more streaming choice to view, or was it something else.
So we dug deeper into things with these clients. We asked the following critical questions everyone should ask before starting any kind of media ministry to ensure the “media” is suitable:
- Where are the majority of your viewers/members located?
- What income group do they fall in? (majority and those you want to reach most)
- Do they have cheap/free access to internet and data to view streaming (streaming uses a massive amount of data)
- What is the true PURPOSE (not to be confused with Mission) of the ministry using media?
Here was what we found, and this started to quickly explain the stats seen on streaming.
- Majority of viewers were in the lower income brackets.
- Many were located in remote areas with limited connectivity.
- All had mobile devices but buying of airtime for streaming was an issue. Money for food came before money for data.
- PURPOSE was not clear. Few knew why they were streaming and how it was fulfilling the ministry’s purpose.
- COST OF DATA was the big limiting factor of people accessing the streaming
These findings explained why almost every client saw a drop in views of their streaming where they were trying to help the congregation view media via streaming. It all boils down to
PEOPLE DID NOT WANT TO/COULD NOT AFFORD TO PAY TO ATTEND CHURCH VIA STREAMING
Streaming works BUT only if people can afford data to view it. Otherwise the streaming becomes exclusive to a well to do crowd only and excludes those in lower income brackets. THIS IS NOT what the church is called to be, “exclusive” but rather INCLUSIVE.
So, IS streaming “FREE” (for the church or ministry but not viewer) to YouTube and Facebook really better than satellite?
Lets take a look at it.
- Satellite is FREE monthly for viewers
- Satellite viewing is a once off charge for viewers for their dish and decoder.
- Satellite signal covers a MASSIVE area allows you to reach people all the way through Africa
- With no monthly fees or airtime charges for viewers it means those who can not afford streaming CAN afford to connect and watch via satellite
- Satellite has greater uptime than DATA and WIFI in many remote areas as well
So why do people think streaming is better than satellite?
- Satellite costs the ministry and everyone is trying to cut costs. But is it fair to put that cost on the viewer you trying to reach?
- STREAMING is cheaper by far than satellite (BUT is it as effective as the reality of reach, costs and stats have now proven. Cheaper never means better!)
- Few understand starting a satellite and its intimidating to them, while many understand streaming and how to do it a little more
YES it may sound bias coming from Purple Turtle Media, a company that helps ministries and others start satellite TV channels (and a company who has been offering streaming since 2010 in Africa, the pioneers and leaders of streaming in Africa before it became mainstream.) but the stats and reality make sense. Ignoring them would be foolish.
IF you are serious about reaching people that need it most and reaching more people THEN SATELLITE IS BY FAR THE BEST WAY TO DO IT!
Why should people PAY to attend church when they are battling to make ends meet to start with? Satellite is inclusive, while streaming excludes those who cant afford it. So which is better for you, Streaming Video vs Satellite TV?
So ask yourself the question:
WHO DO I TRULY WANT TO REACH? WHO AM I TRULY CALLED TO REACH? OR ARE YOU CALLED TO MAKE THE FAT FATTER?
If you would like to find out more how you can migrate to satellite tv and running your own satellite TV channel on is20 satellite so people can view media you create and be touched and changed by it, then GIVE PURPLE TURTLE MEDIA A SHOUT and find out how.
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