In 2017, HowLive set its sights on developing the industry’s first integrated live event music streaming platform. Intimately familiar with the challenges of integrating hardware, software and media production tools to produce and stream professional-grade video and audio, the team at HowLive understands what it takes to perform, engage audiences, retain their loyalty and maintain ongoing engagement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, HowLive has produced and streamed over 200 virtual events through their HowLive.TV platform, including live musical performances, virtual rallies, and fundraisers.
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had owning/working with your business?
Working with artists, performers, athletes, business and community leaders to bring what they do to their communities, is always a great experience. Especially with the pandemic, we feel blessed to have the opportunity to broadcast music, dance, faith services, sports commentary to people at home that can’t be together right now. To hear from viewers how much they enjoy the streams and how it gave them an opportunity to be in touch and participate with others socially is very rewarding.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting your business?
Production of live events is dynamic and presents a number of challenges pending the performance, lighting, sound, movement and crowd participation. At HowLive, we also needed to develop a scalable delivery mechanism so viewers could reliably watch live events from their mobile devices. We set our sights on uncharted territory with lots of technology and moving parts. Trying to get hardware, software and camera products developed by different manufacturers to work seamlessly together was very challenging. Streaming, internet and data transmissions speeds are not always reliable, so we had to develop technology to work within the constraints. At the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring fans watching live events have a great, great experience.
What is the story behind its creation?
While the HowLive founders are experienced business and technology leaders, we are also musicians. We know what it takes to perform on the big stage and what it feels like as fan to have a front-row view at a live performance. We were looking for technology that would enable production and streaming of live events direct to fans as if they were there. A professional all-in-one streaming solution did not exist in 2017. We wanted to use robotic cameras for multi-angles, amazing 1080 video and sound, and improve reliability and scalability to millions of devices. We learned that it required lots of technology, hardware, software and resources to deliver. We also questioned why it was so complex and difficult to do. So we started with the idea of how can we develop a pre-integrated solution, ensure a quality broadcast and be so simple to use that we could shift the resources required from 8-10 people to produce an event and execute with 2 people.
Why was it important to be located in San Francisco?
San Francisco and the Bay Area represent one of the most diverse social and business communities in the world. The best of the best live, work, perform and play here across all entertainment and business genres. Our ability to share live events and performances that promote our culture, arts, entertainment, sports, faith is the bridge to a greater community, globally. We represent the San Francisco Bay Area very proudly!
What are some projects that your organization has been a part of here in San Francisco?
In addition to 500+ broadcasts from venues and artists in the Bay Area, we are especially proud of the San Francisco events we participated in which include Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, Carnaval San Francisco 2020 virtual fundraiser benefiting the Mission Food Hub, the Excellence in Business Awards, 111 Minna Fun-Raiser, Cornell fundraiser benefiting SF Suicide Prevention, and The San Francisco Arts Education. We are also proud to help produce “We Are the City,” a virtual showcase to engage with San Francisco youth affected by the stay-at-home orders of Covid-19. Partners in this event included Livable City, Project Level, Sunset Youth Services, Upstar Records, Peer Resources, Loco Bloco, Horizons Unlimited, The DJ Project, Samoan Community Development Center, BAYCAT, and Young Women’s Freedom Center.
What makes you different in terms of your culture, products, services, inception, etc.?
HowLive is passionate about the energy of live performance music, dance, theatre, sports, community events, etc. We understand viewers appreciate unique live experiences and want to feel as though they have a front-row seat at the performance or being part of the event. Live streaming doesn’t need to be overly edited or produced, this is what makes the content unique.
We do everything possible to assist artists, venues and organizations, especially impacted by COVID, generate revenue. We supported an outdoor fundraising event for Life Rolls On hosted by Jason Mraz on Santa Monica Beach. Everything was brought in, stage, flooring, lighting, sound systems and power. Within a few hours, we are broadcasting a private formal event for 500 to thousands of supporters around the world to generate funds. We take great pride that the HowLive platform is used to make this happen.
Looking ahead we’re really excited about bridging 3D/2D solutions that enable artists to add animation to their performances and provide fans. Imagine having your own branded live club that fans could also participate in and become part of the event. The possibilities are endless for live events extending beyond the physical constraints of a venue and how artists
How can your business help other businesses as well as people in their everyday lives?
In today’s world, the HowLive platform can be used to broadcast any event, private or public, to any community or consumers around the world. The HowLive platform includes built-in features like Pay Per View events, donations, merchandising, advertising, sponsor placement and social engagement, all in one solution. With built-in tools to monetize and engage consumers, the use cases are endless. We uniquely enable consumers to experience live performance, live, on-demand or linear. For example, the SF Art Gallery, 111 Minna hosting a live gallery event and selling art online. Or Santa Clara University hosting an annual fundraising event with alumni supporting the funding activities. Or the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Panel helping to raise funds for local sports programs.
Learn more about HowLive’s services at HowLive.TV.