Live Streaming vs. Recording | What to choose when you are starting out

Starting out as a video content creator?

You might be deciding between live streaming vs recording. Wondering which one you should focus on – live streaming content or recording a full-fledged video.

So, which is better? And what is most suited to your style?

Choosing between Live Streaming vs. Recording?

If your goal is the greatest impact with a call to action, you should choose Live Streaming. And if you want to educate, have fun and gather interest in a topic, Recording is the way to go.

In this article, we will discuss live streaming vs recording, why you can decide one over the other based on your priorities.

Why Choose Live Streaming over Recording?

The live streaming industry has grown by 99% between April 2019 and April 2020.


Live streaming is booming right now. So many creators are into live streaming right now that it is mind-blowing. More and more people are joining this trend and there is space for more.

With over 9.3 billion hours watched, Twitch is now the biggest live streaming platform.

(Source: StreamElements)

But at the same time, live streaming can be difficult. You need to commit to it for a certain period of time before taking a backseat and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Here is what you can achieve by choosing live streaming:

  • Creating Intent Driven Content

Live streaming is a boon to people with clear sellable content, as it’s more close-knit with one on one attention. Your audience is more likely to take action during a live interaction.

After watching a live video, 67% of viewers are more likely to buy a ticket for an event or a concert (Eventbrite)

So, if you are trying to promote your product or content, you should try your hand at live streaming. It is more effective than a pre-recorded video, where interaction is only through comments.

  • Building your Community Faster

Interacting with your audience is the fastest way to build your community. They give support, ideas, and course-correct if you lead astray of your original intent.

79% of marketers say live video facilitates a more authentic interaction. (Go-Globe)

Interacting with your audience allows you to find their interests and pain points. It can help you build better content for them. You can also create products, tutorials, merch better suited to their specific needs.

  • Achieving Sustainable Growth

Coming on a live stream gives a bigger impact on your channel than recorded videos. Your audience engages faster, responds to questions, and even shows interest in subscribing.

Live videos hold users’ attention 10-20x longer than pre-recorded, on-demand content. (Forrester)

Everybody loves attention, whether you are a small or a big streamer. You should definitely try to give attention to your audience. Remembering some kind of information about them creates a lasting bond. They may want to check out your channel again to get that special attention.

Giving 1-1 attention can become difficult when you make it to be a big streamer. But starting out doing this while you’re still growing can make it manageable.

  • Establishing Familiarity with Repeatable and Reusable Setup

Setting up your live stream can be difficult at the start, but once it is set up, it is quite repeatable and reusable. With Live Streaming, you can pick up where you had left it the last time.

Just starting out? Read this article: OBS vs Twitch Studio: Which is Better for Your Streaming Needs?

Also, the audience likes familiarity. Take for example the most famous Youtuber, PewDiePie. He built his community by producing great content while chilling in his chair. He interacted with the audience using the same setup consistently. He also upgraded his setup over time and didn’t think much about the location or gear he needed for his next video.

You can churn more volume of relatable content, with less pre-production planning.

  • Saving Time

Yes, it can save time. Unlike popular belief that a streamer has to spend most of their time in front of a computer, you can end up saving time.

A streamer generates longer, more engaging, and entertaining content while spending lesser time.

Pre-recorded videos should be crisp, to the point, and have super-packed information. To shoot a 30 mins video, you might spend 4-5 hours recording with many takes, cuts, and adjustments between. Add to that, hours of post-production editing that are required to make it more consumable to the audience. If there is no structure around it or if it’s a fresh take on a subject, then doing a creative spin on it can take even more time.

Live streaming does not need any retakes while shooting or editing post-production. All the time spent streaming becomes your content.

Why choose pre-recorded video over Live- Streaming?

Video will make up 82% of Internet traffic by the end of 2022, up from 75% in 2017

Pre-recorded videos are on the rise due to the increasing video consumption trend. There is a lot of video content across all platforms now and there is demand for more. It has become a stable consumption type for people all around the world now.

As a creator, pre-recorded video allows you to provide well-researched content. If you are new, pre-recorded videos can make you comfortable and familiar with a camera.

Below are the top reasons for choosing Pre-recorded videos over live streaming:

  • Flexibility

Pre-recorded video format allows you the comfort of your preferred location and time.

You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule as most live streamers do. This helps if you have limited time or patience. You can create videos at your own pace and release them consistently.

Pre-recorded video also helps in better engaging the audience using a contextual location. For example, a video on a topic like a football would have more impact shot on a football field rather than in front of a PC.

They also allow you to take as many shots as you can to create that perfect shot. The results can be fantastic as compared to a live stream.

  • Create in depth videos about a topic

66% of people in Germany used YouTube to develop a new hobby in 2020. A whopping 94% of people in India used YouTube to learn to do things themselves. Globally, 82% used YouTube to learn to do things themselves.

There is a growing trend of people using recorded video to pick a skill or hobby. Many people use it for entertainment purposes but videos are a great way to learn how-tos and new topics.

Our brains process visual information faster than text. This is the reason why many people turn to videos to learn new things. A lot of corporations have also converted their training into video formats.

So, if you have a topic to explain, deep dive, and provide that crucial insight then pre-recorded video is the way to go.

  • Allows you to be more creative

From 50 Best Explainer videos, 86% have animation in them

Pre-recorded videos can use animations and effects to evoke emotions and resonate better.

You can use animated videos to explain tough topics. Your audience will associate more with the aid of visual cues and imagination. It can be expensive and time-consuming to make a live stream as stunning and beautiful.

Furthermore, the equipment and technology for making a video are easier to get hold of and lesser expensive and complicated.

In Conclusion

So, live streaming vs. recording, which one would you choose?

I say, why not use both live streaming and pre-recorded videos as a means to connect with your audience?

You may be leaning either way as a primary way of connecting with your audience. But keeping a mix can boost your career.

Streamers, you can try to leave pre-recorded shortened videos with slick editing. This way people can find that content even when you are offline. It is evergreen content and a chance to connect with new people who might find you while just browsing.

For the pre-recorded video creators, streaming can be a great way to connect with your audience live once in a while. Your audience will know that you are authentic and can relate more to your personality.