Apple’s Live Streaming Video For Events Is Terrible. Is Yours Any Better?

There may be no one left on Earth who needs an introduction to Apple. The world’s richest company today has a market cap larger than the GDP of many sovereign nations, built on the runaway success of the company’s reinventions of the computing, music, and telephone industries.

More impressively, Apple’s succeeded through an obsessive dedication to quality. The iPhone, iPad, iPod, and MacBook Pro product lines have been hailed as the gold standards of their markets, and there’s little doubt today’s Apple Watch will take similar preeminence among smart wearables.

In virtually every other industry — even the technology hardware industry before Apple’s rise in the 2000’s — one never finds the luxury brand in such a dominant market position. It’s hard to even imagine a world where a majority of garages house a Rolls Royce, or where half of all feet were clad in Coach — yet somehow Apple’s been able to convince the market that better technology is worth paying for.

So count us confused when it comes to how Apple shares that new technology with the world — because it seems Apple just can’t figure out how to reliably live stream its events.

Apple Live Stream Video Error - Panopto Live Streaming for Events blog post 

This was the screen that met a huge number of excited media, analysts, and current and future customers who tried to tune in to the live video of Apple’s new product announcements this morning. And in case you can’t quite make out the tiny text at the bottom of that banner where Apple explains the issue, here it is enlarged:

Apple Error - Panopto Live Streaming for Events blog post 

Apple — perhaps the single most influential leader in all things technology and owner of a well-deserved reputation for fanatical dedication to user experience — has thrown up their hands when it comes to actually live streaming their events, and can only offer a feed to a subset of the 20% or so of people who are running the latest version of Safari.

Everyone else — or about 4 in every 5 people who may want to watch — only got the slides.

This letdown comes on the heels of Apple’s last live streaming failure — when the video feed during Apple’s much-anticipated Apple Watch introduction went out, and untold thousands in the audience saw only this test pattern.

Apple Live Stream Video Error 2014

Live Streaming for Events Can Be Complicated. The Right Video Platform Makes It Easy

Apple may get away with browser restrictions and the occasional outright transmission failure in their live stream video because, hey, it’s Apple — people willing to literally wait in line to buy their latest products. When their stream goes out, much of their audience will find another way to follow along.

Most organizations, however, don’t have that luxury. Video failures will mean that audiences simple tune out — and may never come back. That’s especially true when the video in question is intended for internal audiences — live streams of company town halls, conferences, and internal training sessions need to be reliable or employees will just go back to their email.

Fortunately, live streaming video is easier than Apple makes it look.


With a video platform like Panopto that includes native support for webcasting, you can live stream high definition video of your presentations and events to audiences of thousands around the world. Using Panopto, you can easily broadcast your product launch events, press conferences, presentations, meetings and more to employees, partners, customers, or the general public.

With Panopto, you can instantly turn any Windows PC into a professional live streaming device. Panopto’s unique multi-camera functionality streams video from multiple camera angles while simultaneously recording to disk, saving you time in post-production and minimizing AV equipment costs. Viewers can also submit questions to the presenter for an interactive experience. The result is a professional online event at a fraction of the cost.

Best of all, a Panopto webcast can be played online with any web browser that supports Flash, as well as on any iOS mobile device including both iPhone and iPad. That means with Panopto you can reach the 20% of people who rely on Safari — and the other 80% following along on Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and more.

Webcasting with Panopto ensures your audience can play your video live stream on virtually any computer, — and that no matter how big that audience gets, you can scale to meet the need for bandwidth without failing over to a test pattern.

Your events are only valuable if your audience can actually see them. While Apple may still be working out the kinks on their own system, for everyone else, easy, professional, reliable live streaming for events is already available as a standard part of a modern video platform.

Interested to learn more about live webcasting at your organization? Contact our team for a demo, or request a free trial of our software.

Published: March 09, 2015