YouTube can be a useful resource for livestreaming and hosting content.
It’s free, it’s accessible, and pretty much everyone uses it. But while YouTube can be a helpful platform for church livestreaming, it’s certainly not perfect. In fact, some of the issues churches face when trying to stream to YouTube can be downright maddening.
Additionally, using YouTube as an on-demand platform to host your church’s video content can be extremely limiting and expose your audience to a whole host of problematic and distracting content. Thankfully, churches no longer have to rely on YouTube—or other popular video sharing sites—as the centerpiece of their media strategy.
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The Struggles of Using YouTube for Church Livestreaming and Video Hosting
- Low Visibility Due to the Algorithm
For starters, YouTube is notorious for its algorithm quirkiness. Your content could be highly visible one week, and it might be buried the next week, making it difficult for viewers to access your stream or discover your uploaded videos. This can be particularly detrimental to casual viewers of your livestream—meaning growing and supporting your online audience becomes much more difficult than it needs to be.
Your online viewers are also bombarded with YouTube’s recommendations for other videos and content that directs them away from your stream. Make no mistake, YouTube—like any other social media website—is designed to diffuse people’s attention by inundating them with a constant stream of flashier and shinier options.
Additionally, because the algorithm is personalized to each individual viewer, you have no control over what kind of options will appear in the “suggested videos” sidebar—which means your church’s streams are competing with content that’s been individually tailored to your viewers’ tastes and preferences.
Another major issue with using YouTube as your primary streaming platform: Censorship.
There are instances where YouTube’s algorithm will decide to take down videos because they are deemed to violate a policy — or disgruntled internet trolls could report your videos as being offensive, triggering an exhausting “review and appeal” process.
A tricky thing here is that YouTube’s policies – and other social media sites’ policies – are constantly shifting. While community guidelines and standards do serve an important purpose, the seemingly arbitrary way in which YouTube appears to enforce their policies could result in your content being taken down without notice.
- The Copyright Dilemma: YouTube vs. CCLI
It’s common for pastors to use video clips from movies or TV shows to help illustrate sermon points. While churches can (and always should) get the proper licensing to legally show these clips, YouTube’s algorithm, unfortunately, doesn’t always recognize those licenses.
But this issue doesn’t exist just for video clips. YouTube can end livestreams for copyrighted audio, too. YouTube doesn’t recognize CCLI licenses, resulting in livestream takedowns any time the platform identifies copyrighted music. Even if you simply use supplemental tracks during worship, YouTube can sometimes determine when master tracks are incorporated into the mix, automatically shutting down the stream.
For churches streaming to YouTube, these scenarios almost guarantee that your livestream will be compromised at some point. Even when you have all the proper CCLI licensing required to play music for pre-service and post-service ambiance, YouTube’s algorithm can still automatically take it down. Suffice it to say: it’s frustrating.
Perhaps most alarming, YouTube enforces a “three strikes” policy when it comes to copyright offenses, meaning your church’s channel could be permanently removed from YouTube, taking down the audience you’ve built over the years.
These unfair copyright strikes aren’t limited to YouTube. Paul Mitchell, the production director at Chase Oaks Church (and Resi customer) said, “We had Vimeo copyright strike us twice for short clips from movies we used as illustrations in a couple messages. We almost lost all of our active and archived video for the church.”
- Distracting & Inappropriate Ads
Since YouTube is a free platform, it draws income through advertisements. When your congregation views your services on YouTube, they’re subjected to YouTube’s ads, which can be risky. Ads on YouTube can be obnoxious, distracting, and sometimes inappropriate. Imagine a family from your church gathered in their living room, ready for worship, only to be bombarded by ads for a political campaign, lingerie brand, or horror film. Not exactly the ideal scenario for preparing your congregation’s hearts for worship.
Recent developments have always further complicated the ad situation. A lot of internet users utilize “ad-blocker” browser plug-ins to surf the web without annoying interruptions. However, YouTube recently announced that they’re cracking down on ad blockers, meaning your viewers who are using an ad blocker may soon be prevented from playing videos—unless they disable the ad blocker or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
In a perfect world, your church service livestreams and the other great video content your church produces would be ad-free, eliminating the distractions caused by YouTube’s algorithmic advertisements and recommended videos. Ideally, you wouldn’t need to feel anxious each time you play pre-service music or load up a video clip for a sermon illustration. You wouldn’t constantly fear your stream and other videos could be shut down due to censorship.
Resi’s Commitment: Your Content. Your Way.
When you use Resi’s platform for your church service livestreaming, you get a worry-free experience. Resi provides high-quality, reliable streaming without arbitrary and nonsensical censorship, ensuring your messages remain untampered and easily accessible for your congregation. Also, you don’t have to worry about headache-inducing copyright strikes on worship music or sermon illustration clips.
With Resi, you don’t have to worry that a social media platform will dictate the integrity of your sermons and other church content. Instead, you can retain the authenticity and integrity of your messages.
Remove the Frustrations, Make the Shift to Resi On Demand
Youtube and other social media and video-hosting platforms are efficient and effective ways to help people discover your church. But, for reasons shared above, they’re not necessarily reliable platforms from which to hinge your streaming strategy upon and provide your congregation with a great viewing experience.
So, can your church offer a top-tier streaming and on-demand experience without the hassles and pitfalls of relying on one of the big video hosting platforms? Thankfully, you do have another option —hosting your video content on one of Resi’s easy-to-use and beautiful Media Sites.
With Resi On Demand’s enhanced Media Sites feature, you can create a centralized, easy-to-use website for your congregation to engage with your church’s content. You won’t need to deal with ads, unexpected stream takedowns, or wrongful copyright infringement issues. Instead, you’ll get stress-free solutions for all your livestreaming needs. So no more worrying about problematic content, ever-shifting algorithms, and distracting ads that plague the big video hosting platforms.
Best of all, with Resi On Demand’s Autosave to Library feature, you can automatically upload your livestream to your library as it’s streaming, so, by the time your livestream comes to a close, your content is instantly ready to post or share from your library — saving your tech team hours of waiting and extra post-production work each week. Questions about how Resi’s livestreaming solutions will integrate into your church’s worship and online production system? Get a quick demo and chat with one of our streaming experts who are ready to help!Get a demo