Key Considerations for Live Auction Streaming

From cattle, to memorabilia, to fine art, we have seen a monumental rise in the number of online and live streamed auctions since 2020. The pandemic caused many auction organizers to shift their business models to virtual, as in-person bidding was forbidden. While initially hesitant to shift to digital due to the traditional nature of the auction business, auctioneers have since embraced digitization with open arms after noticing that online bidding unlocks an entirely new pool of bidders, who in turn increase the number of bids and drive up sale prices. As a result, the focus of these auction organizers has turned from providing a seamless in-person bidding experience to trying to maximize reach with in-person and virtual offerings with live video streaming.

Real-time, Synchronized, Highly Reliable Video Drives Revenue and Protects Auction Organizers and Bidders

It is impossible to offer a fair in-person and online auction simultaneously without real-time, synchronized, high quality video. Even a one-second delay could be the difference between a winning and losing bid. Offering remote bidders the opportunity to participate in the auction if their bids are going to be rejected due to live streaming delays is simply unfair.

There are four critical aspects to run successful live auctions with bidders competing both onsite and online. Live online bidding platforms must:

  1. Minimize streaming latency - To level the playing field between bidders that are in-person and online, streams must be delivered as fast as possible, so that remote bidders can make decisions just as quickly as those onsite.

  2. Synchronize stream viewing - To provide a fair, uniform auction experience for all of the online bidders, each of them must see the stream at the same time with synchronized video playback.

  3. Stream in high quality - To ensure full transparency for remote bidders, live audio and video streams have to be in high quality. It is essential that online bidders can hear the auctioneer’s voice clearly and can see the item for sale in high quality so bidders know what they are truly bidding on.

  4. Ensure reliability - To maximize the revenue generated by a live auction, the live stream must always remain on and cannot fail. No stream means no remote participants for the live auction.

The Solution - Phenix Real-Time Streaming

Phenix serves many of the auction industry’s leading brands streaming live video. All in real-time, in sync, in high quality and with remarkable reliability. Let’s examine each of these in a bit more detail.

  1. Latency

    Whether you are publishing video from a webcam, mobile phone, or a 3rd party tool like OBS, Phenix delivers video in real-time with less than ½ second of latency or delay.

  2. Synchronization

    In terms of protecting the auctioneer, Phenix’s patented SyncWatchTM technology is as crucial to providing a uniform hybrid auction experience as our real-time latency. Phenix synchronizes all video, delivered anywhere around the world, within 3 video frames, which is imperceptible to the human eye. A viewer in Australia sees the same live video feed at the same time as someone in Los Angeles, Cape Town, or Tokyo.

  3. Quality

    Streaming in high definition is only one piece of the quality puzzle. Auctioneers often operate from remote locations and deliver their live video streams to bidders in even more remote locations. To address these challenges, Phenix has patented Adaptive Bitrate technology that adjusts the quality dynamically so each viewer receives the highest quality suitable to his or her connection speed at any given time. All of this is accomplished while maintaining less than ½ second of end-to-end latency and complete synchronization.

  4. Reliability

    Phenix’s robust video platform leverages multiple infrastructure providers (Google Cloud + Oracle Cloud Infrastructure) with complimentary high availability delivery capabilities to ensure maximum reliability for auction organizers. If there is an outage on one of Phenix’s cloud providers, traffic automatically and seamlessly reroutes to the other cloud provider without any interruptions in the live stream. Auction organizers trust Phenix’s resilient platform so they can sleep soundly at night while fostering millions of dollars in annual transactions.

Phenix Drives the Auction Streaming Market

Phenix delivers auction streams for customers across the globe spanning automotive, livestock, memorabilia, and fine art.

Here are some key metrics for auctions streams delivered over the Phenix platform from October 2023:

  • Publishing hours: 231,575
  • Auctions: 129,911
  • Viewing Streams: 11,299,113
  • Unique Viewers: 583,394
  • Viewer Hours: 1,783,917
Customer Case Studies

Manheim by Cox AutomotiveManheim-COLOR-Icon-with-CAI-BLACK-RGB-720x160-b81732b1-7422-4916-8d99-14239bc20107

  • World’s largest automotive resale marketplace, facilitating the sale of 7 million cars
    worth $50 Billion annually
  • 1,000+ live auctions channels with 100,000+ daily bidders
  • Serve 1 million car buyers and 40,000 auto dealers in real-time


  • Drouot is a leading French auction platform auctioning fine art, antiques and collectibles
  • In 2022, Drouot did €573 million in annual auction sales, a 9% increase from 2021
  • In 2022, hosted 6,570 live and online auctions, a 19% increase from 2021, representing more than 2.6 million art & collectibles, offered by 714 auction houses across Europe

Live online auctions require the lowest possible latency, synchronized viewing, high quality audio and video, and maximum reliability.

Phenix clients sleep soundly at night when it comes to live auction streaming thanks to the platform’s real-time latency (<½ second), patented SyncWatchTM technology, HD streaming, and globally reliable infrastructure. 

Whether you are an auctioneer, auction house, or auction software provider looking to build out an auctions platform, Phenix has the expertise and industry experience to help you achieve your goals. Reach out to to learn more or click here to apply for a free trial on our website!