Posting Worship Services Online

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Right now we record video of our sermons and post them to YouTube. We've received requests that people would like to have the entire service posted (not just the sermon) and so I thought I'd reach out to all of you for advice.

Does your church currently stream your entire services online or post them in a video form? If so, what platform do you use? Have you run into any issues?

One potential issue would be copyright, but we have purchased a streaming license through CCLI. If we stream the entire service we would also need to think through any copyright issues surrounding video clips or other media items included in the service. 

Would value your thoughts or advice! 

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Guide

Hey Nicole! Great question. Under CCLI's streaming license, you can record live worship services. The license covers only the music covered by CCLI, so if you do anything other than that (other forms of media or songs not covered) you would need additional licensing. The copyright owner also has the right to restrict the streaming of their content on services like YouTube.

Aside from licensing, I would also encourage you to think through the actual sound quality of the stream. You'll probably want a separate mix for the streaming, as the house mix will often be very different than someone watching/listening from their computer or phone.

If you have any other questions feel free to reach out. You can also check out churchjuice.com for more free resources.

Bryan Haley

I was going to say the exact same thing, so I'll just add to Bryan's point.

If you just use the sound mix that comes from your sound board for your audio recording, it has the potential to be very embarrassing for your singers. Even the best voices can sound pretty bad when they're not blended properly within a mix. So, you'd probably want to investigate suspending a microphone from the ceiling that captures the actual sound of the overall mix, including the congregation.

You also need to be very careful about sensitive personal information that may be shared during a complete service. Is personal information about people's physical or emotional health being shared during prayer requests that is okay within your church walls, but not necessarily meant for mass consumption? When people do a testimonial in front of their church, are you authorized to share that with the world? If you're recording video, do you have permission to show the faces of congregation members in an online setting?

Food for thought...

Hi Nicole,

Copyright is one concern about livestreaming the service but another thing to consider is privacy.  A church service often has a congregational prayer which often has prayers for the people.  Do people like to have their prayer requests broadcasted all over the world or to just stay in the local church community?  I have not watched enough of livestreaming but will it just be centred on the people up front - pastor, praise team, those involved with the service?  May need to consider whether people like to be on the website. 

We have a license through CCLI that allows us to post our entire service online.  We do not do online streaming.  CCLI has a few conditions, including making sure that words/music on the screen is not the dominant image.  For congregational singing, the camera pans out to show the congregation and makes the words/music on the screen hard to see.  We upload our videos to Vimeo and then link our website to Vimeo.  To see what it looks like, click here.  The sound quality is not the best (see other comments about mix) but it seems to serve us well.