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How Does Interactive Live Streaming work?

How Does Interactive Live Streaming work?

An Interactive Live Streaming system is attracting a lot of businesses in recent years. Inke, one of the largest live-streaming platforms, changed its name to Inkeverse and marched toward metaverse in its business.

Nowadays, the new trend shows that the metaverse is taking off. In the next future streaming from a virtual 3D studio will be a reality. Let’s learn more about it and how ZEGOCLOUD solutions and technology fit this scenario.

High-Level Architecture of the System

Live streaming is the process of broadcasting live video to an audience. An Interactive Live Streaming system upgrades this process. It you to interact with your audience members or co-hosts through real-time video.

An Interactive Live Streaming System typically consists of several core components. A client-side media engine, an RTC network, a CDN, and an instant messaging module:

  • The media engine handles all the client-side media processing, including capturing, pre-processing, encoding, transmission, decoding, and rendering.
  • The RTC network takes care of real-time data communications and acceleration.
  • The CDN is responsible for high concurrency distribution.

The pre-processing modules process media data before encoding to add special effects such as beautification or avatar. The instant messaging module is useful for text chat, virtual gifting, delivering live quiz content, and other purposes.

You may also like: What is Interactive Live Streaming?

Interactive Live Streaming

Interactive Live Streaming for dynamic engagement

In an Interactive Live Streaming session, you can co-host a show with other hosts. Furthermore, you can interact with invited audience members through audio and video in real-time. In this scenario, the host, co-hosts, or audience members participating in the real-time interaction will subscribe to each other’s stream. This takes place within the RTC network rather than the CDN to achieve ultra-low-latency communications.

There are three parts to the stream journey:

  • The process of publishing a stream from one host to the RTC network is pretty much the same as what we’ve discussed just now for the basic live streaming scenario.
  • To accelerate transmission, the dispatch center will select an optimized route for the stream intelligently
  • The media servers on the route will transmit and relay the stream to a nearby edge node of the RTC network for a co-host or an audience member, who will subscribe to and fetch the stream for playback.

Large-Scale Interactive Live Streaming

When a user starts live streaming, the client-side media engine will start capturing. It transmits the stream to a nearby edge node of the RTC network. The stream will first arrive at the RTC network. Then, a dispatch center and a cluster of media servers will accelerate the stream. This stream is relayed to the CDN for high-concurrency broadcasting. When an audience member subscribes to the published stream, the client-side media engine (on the subscriber side) will pull the stream from a nearby edge node of the CDN.

ZEGOCLOUD uses a private UDP-based transmission protocol to accelerate stream delivery across the RTC network. To forward the stream to the CDN, transmission protocol turns into RTMP. This is because the CDN supports RTMP but won’t recognize a private transmission protocol. CDN can achieve large-scale distribution at a lower cost.

ZEGOCLOUD also offers a standard live streaming solution with an end-to-end latency of about 1 to 3 seconds for broadcasting.

Stream Recording on the Cloud or on-Premises

There is a strong demand for social platforms or educational institutions to record live streams for playback on-demand. There are different ways to do the recording. As streams are normally distributed through a CDN, you can perform the recording on the CDN as well (that is, cloud recording). Otherwise, you can deploy the recording service on your on-premises servers. Or else, you can record streams and save them locally on end-user devices (that is, local recording).

  • Cloud recording

The streams are transmitted to the CDN and then recorded and saved in common media formats like MP4 or FLV.

  • On-premises recording

ZEGOCLOUD’s RTC network (MSDN) pulls the streams. Your on-premises servers will record them by using ZEGOCLOUD’s on-premises recording SDK.

  • Local recording

You can do it by calling the related APIs of ZEGOCLOUD’s live streaming SDK.

You can choose to record all the streams of a live streaming session separately or mix them into a single stream. Then, record the mixed stream.

Instant Messaging for Virtual Gift, Likes, and More

These features enhance user engagement significantly. The instant messages are rich structured messages supported by message templates that allow you to fill in icons, text, and themed layouts.

Let’s use ZEGOCLOUD’s in-app messaging feature as an example. It supports custom messages that can be used for sending virtual gifts, likes, and others. Once a virtual gift is sent, a virtual gifting message is broadcasted in the room with text and colorful icons to notify the users about the event. You can use instant messaging to implement likes and other features in the same way.

AI-Powered Effects like Stickers and Beautification

These AI-powered audio and video effects can create a lot of fun for users. They are effective tools to boost user interactions. You can apply audio effects to make your voice sounds nicer, change your voice to a baby voice, etc. Also, you can apply video effects to complete your look prettier, add makeup, put AR stickers on your head, etc.

ZEGOCLOUD’s AI Effects solutions adopt a very open and developer-friendly policy and provide various interfaces for customization.


An Interactive Live Streaming system is a comprehensive solution with various technologies to work together seamlessly. If you are working on a live streaming platform and new ways to improve user engagement or add live streaming into a metaverse, ZEGOCLOUD will help you develop your project.

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