After moving out and finding a place of my own, I found out the hard way just how difficult it is to keep myself afloat in a state consistently haunted with high rental costs. This actually motivated me to adopt a lot of penny-pinching techniques, most of which I learned from online communities and blogs like The Penny Hoarder.
As you can probably tell from their name, The Penny Hoarder is a website dedicated to publishing content on money-saving ideas. In just the last few years, they’ve grown from a small individual blog to over 5 million followers on Facebook and 7 million subscribers.
“We blog about the latest deals and provide our readers with helpful ways to earn and save money,” said Jeff Stevens, Social Media Director, Live Programming at The Penny Hoarder. “Our audiences look to us to help improve their lives. Our mission is to put more money into our readers’ pockets.”
With a huge following on Facebook already, The Penny Hoarder’s social media team wanted to try their hands at the newest method of content distribution, live streaming. The goal was to turn their written articles into visual content for their fans, with a set schedule for broadcasting every day like a traditional TV show.
“Our blog posts are basically scripts for videos where we could make our content come to life, so it was an easy thing for us to turn to. We knew we could use Facebook Live to give our viewers unique content experiences no other brands are talking about.”
Stevens and his team had produced many videos for the blog before, but they were pre-recorded and posted for on-demand viewing. Switching to live streaming was going to be a challenge. As Stevens wanted to monitor and add graphics during the live show, he had to be on location at The Penny Hoarder headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida to do it. With his home base all the way in New York, he needed a way to direct, add graphics and other effects to the live broadcast remotely from several states away.
Luckily, Teradek had a solution to this. To start, the team captured footage with a Sony NX-Cam and audio with a Rode Lavalier microphone connected to a Zoom F8 mixer. The camera was connected to a Teradek Cube 205 streaming encoder, which could send the stream directly to online streaming platforms and decoder destinations around the world.
At the times Stevens is in the studio during the live show, he would connect his iPad, equipped with Teradek’s Live:Air switcher app, to the same network as the Cube. This causes Live:Air to automatically pick up the Cube’s feed, allowing him to load graphics, add titles, load prerecorded footage and send the stream to The Penny Hoarder’s Facebook Page.
However, in order to edit the show when he’s in the New York location, his production team in the studio would send the stream directly to Stevens’ Core account. Core is Teradek’s cloud-based stream management service that allows users to stream to multiple destinations at the same time, as well as monitor, configure, and route the streams from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
Using his iPad, Stevens pulled the feed from Core into his Live:Air app, allowing him to do all of his normal editing for the live show in his New York location. Once the edits were done, instead of going live from Live:Air, Stevens transports the feed back to Core and goes live to Facebook from there. The purpose of sending the video back to Core is to utilize its better management and monitoring tools, and allowing both he and his team (in different locations) to control it at the same time.
My 2 Cents
Seeing a lot of success in their live shows early on, Stevens and his team now produce the show every day with a set schedule, with tens of thousands of viewers (sometimes 100k+) tuning in to each video broadcast. The show has been so well-received that they have big plans for its future.
“We’re looking to hopefully build a bigger studio and add more series to the show. There are a lot of people (typically the young adult audience) that look to us for guidance on ways to live more frugally and get their lives on the right track. We want to be able to provide that for them by making our shows more exciting and interesting for everyone,” said Stevens.
Thanks to the Cube, Core and the Live:Air app, The Penny Hoarder is able to find new ways to attract more members and, more importantly, deliver innovative frugal-living tips to people seeking financially responsible lifestyles.
“When we make our videos, we genuinely want our viewers to learn something from our tips. Using Teradek technology, we’re able to find easy ways to deliver unique content to our viewers at home. It helps make our jobs easier and, by extension, make life more manageable for everyone.”
Like them on Facebook and check out some of their amazing finance tips here.