Getting Started

Whether you're just shopping OR you've recently purchased Realm Streaming, this short guide can help you understand our streaming solution and what you'll need to get started.

Realm Streaming gives you complete control over hosting, sharing, and live streaming your services or other video content.

You can use Realm Streaming to
  • hold live services online or stream to an overflow room.
  • manage video and other media-rich files.
  • display your media in a branded theme.
  • setup restricted channels.
  • allow members to easily share content on social media.
  • view analytics for your content.

To learn how you can use Realm Streaming to reach those outside the physical church walls, visit our marketing site or contact a sales representative at 1-844-467-3256 to request a demo.

We also recommend that you familiarize yourself and your staff with the licensing and equipment you'll need. In this brief guide, you'll find resources to help you understand what those are.

Know Before You Livestream

Not sure if you need a copyright license before you stream your service? Here's some guidelines to help know what to ask.

Your music director or minister of music is probably familiar with a copyright license and what it covers for using music in a worship service. Generally speaking, a copyright license grants the use of a particular work (e.g., a song, a hymn, lyrics, a religious ritual) and compensates the owner for their work. However, one important exception churches should know about is the Religious Service Exemption (“RSE”).

You need a copyright license if your church does any of the following:

  • uses technology to create, distribute, or display copyrighted works
  • stores songs, lyrics, a service sheet, or other copyrighted material for visual projection
  • prints songs, hymns, or lyrics in bulletins or other formats so that congregations can follow along and sing
  • arranges your own vocal and instrumental arrangements when a published version isn’t available
  • displays copies of copyrighted material for the congregation to sing along with
  • translates lyrics to another language when a published version isn’t available

If your church is new to live streaming, there are other requirements that a copyright license does not cover -- you’ll need a streaming license as well. A streaming license allows you to digitally transmit songs on your church website, a hosted website, or a streaming service.

Tip: Did you know that Facebook and YouTube have algorithms and AI technology that can detect recorded music by an artist? Breaking copyright laws may prompt social media companies to shut down your stream or your account temporarily or permanently.

You need a streaming license if your church does any of the following:

  • live streams or re-transmits songs in audio and/or video form
  • distributes audio or video files of songs to personal computers, portable media players or other similar devices
  • uploads videos to YouTube, Vimeo, other such platforms, provided that copyright owners can monetize and place ads on videos of their own copyrighted works

To learn more about the licenses you’ll need to live stream your next service, below are a few companies that help churches obtain the appropriate licensing:

Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. See your Software Services Agreement for more information.

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Equipment

Choosing your audio visual equipment.

There's a wide range of environments and influences that can affect audio and video quality. Depending on your location, you can usually find brick and mortar stores with knowledgeable sales representatives to give you advice for your particular environment. There are also a number of online retailers, such as B&H Photo or Adorama, with toll free numbers connecting you to well-informed sales reps.

Before you shop for equipment

You may want to create a budget for recording and streaming. Then decide what kind of experience you want to provide for your viewers. While budget constraints may put some brakes on your ideal experience, it's still a good idea to be able to verbalize or have on hand a simple list of expectations. For example, options range from streaming with a mobile device on a tripod to cutting edge audio, video, lighting, and staging equipment installed and operated by trained individuals. Take a look at our equipment guide for inspiration!


This image shows the cover of our streaming equipment guide

Ask for help

If you have a challenging acoustical or visual environment, we recommend you contact an experienced audio visual consultant, or ask for help from trained volunteers who can help identify specific problems in your environment. This may be especially important for older congregations with hearing difficulties. Don't be afraid to take this step as it could save you some money in the long run. Many challenges can be overcome with simple, but creative solutions.

Finally

Communicate your plan and any budget shortcomings.