Streaming in the Worship Market
An emerging streaming category that’s no stranger to technology is the "houses of worship" segment. Many churches, mosques and synagogues started with audio-only tapes and CD recordings for local congregants, then graduated to video on DVD and even broadcast and local cable access television in their communities. Larger organizations–some more visible than others–have even achieved a national or international audience.
Because of the previous use of audio-visual technologies in many of the houses of worship, including tapes of sermons sent to invalid or ailing members, the leap into streaming is a natural move. In fact, a recent article on the topic in a major religious magazine suggested that streaming was a natural progression, especially for houses of worship that wanted to have an impact on more than just their local congregations.
"We moved all our efforts over to the Web because it is a far-reaching medium," the article says, quoting Collin Brown, director of publications at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia. "We have people in 50 countries logging in to either the archives or the Sunday services."
One company servicing the worship streaming market is Streaming Faith. Based in Atlanta, the Streaming Faith Web site speaks the language of its target Pentacostal Protestant audience. According to Streaming Faith president Chance Mason, "TV and radio are limited to geographical barriers, and they are also very expensive means [of deployment]. Our vision is to provide ministries with state of the art technology that allows them to share the message of Jesus Christ with a worldwide audience. By providing the highest quality audio and video feeds . . . we help these ministries to grow and to strengthen [their global congregations]."