The Top 7 Live Streaming Platforms You Need To Know

comaprisonMark Zuckerburg referred to our current era of tech as the “golden age for live video”. In fact, he predicted that soon, most of the content people will be seeing and sharing (on Facebook) on a daily basis will be video. Speaking generally, he’s not wrong—roughly 86% of internet users around the world are watching and sharing videos online. Recently, the tide has turned considerably in favor of live streams, and the sheer number of streaming platforms popping up on the web prove it.

When it comes to choosing a live streaming platform, it’s not about choosing the “best” in any one category, whether it’s popularity or affordability. Choosing a platform is about determining which is best suited to you, the publisher. The questions to keep in mind are; which features do you require of a streaming service at what budget, and which platform best conforms to those?

The services you are likely already familiar with are YouTube and Facebook. These are undoubtedly the most widely recognized, although they are definitely not designed exclusively around live streaming and are extremely limited in that capacity. They are, however, free, popular, and accessible by pretty much anyone with an internet connection and the need for online validation in the form of likes.

YouTube Live

Pros:

  • Free!
  • Viewers can pause, rewind, and resume while streaming
  • Accessible – starting a live stream is a breeze, as users are most likely already familiar with the on-demand platform

Cons:

  • No paywall
  • Must give up distribution rights to your content
  • YouTube bot detects and shuts down streams with copyrighted music

Facebook Live

Pros:

  • Free!
  • Easy setup in seconds for anybody with a Facebook page
  • Broadcast remains on the feed as on-demand video
  • Reach – people who have already liked a page receive notifications about live streams as well as seeing the stream on their news feed

 

Cons:

  • No support
  • No paywall
  • No geo-restriction
  • Time limits – longer streams may require Facebook verification

So, if your low-budget is really no-budget, YouTube Live and Facebook Live are still decent platforms to stream your content.  They are directly integrated into the largest media and social media platforms in the world, respectively, but are lacking in advanced features.

If you demand more of your live streaming platform, don’t worry—there are many customizable and feature-rich services to choose from, and we have taken the liberty of compiling them below. The top paid platforms combine hosting, broadcasting, embedding, monetizing, and user analytics into all-inclusive packages. Some of the essential factors taken into consideration are listed in the table below.

Platforms ServerRoom.net Livestream Wowza Ustream DaCast
Price FREE or $39/mo – $499 mo $40/mo – $200/mo $49/mo – $799/mo $99/mo – $999/mo $19/mo – $390/mo
Storage Unlimited Unlimited 50GB 50GB 20GB
24/7 Support √ (phone) X From $500/mo X √ (email)
Ad Free Viewer Hours Unlimited Unlimited 10 100 300
White Label From $799/mo From $999/mo
Analytics From $199/mo From $499/mo
Paywall X From $1199/mo From $999/mo X

 

 

ServerRoom

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Unlimited storage and unlimited plays
  • VR and 360 enabled
  • Simulcast to Youtube and Facebook
  • Adaptive bitrate, DVR, and nDVR options
  • Free encoding software, compatible with any H.264 encoder
  • Integrates with DRM
  • 24/7 phone support for all paid plans

Cons

  • No proprietary Paywall, although it can be integrated with Cleeng.

Livestream

Pros:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live
  • Possess their own camera systems, encoders, and free encoding software

Cons:

  • Live stream support only available with pricey custom plans
  • Limited customization of embedded player
  • Limited to one channel

Wowza

Pros

  • nDVR
  • VR and 360 enabled
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live
  • Live support during live events w premium packages

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Limited to one channel
  • No paywall

Ustream

Pros

  • Free 30-day trial
  • Password protection
  • Simple interface – start streaming as soon as five minutes after purchase
  • Works with every hardware and software encoder on the market

Cons

  • Limited to one channel
  • No 24/7 support
  • No paywall

DaCast

Pros

  • Password protection
  • Digital rights management
  • Custom paywalls and pay-per-view
  • Integrated streaming to Facebook Live

Cons

  • Minimum 3 – 12 month commitment
  • Slow customer support response

Got something that just has to be seen by an audience in real time, right now? Whether you’re spreading team spirit for the big game or preaching to the choir at church service, you can rest assured that, each of these paid live streaming platforms deliver high quality content securely at lightning fast speeds, provide APIs that make integration with distribution channels effortless, and in most cases, provide tangible customer support.

 

Comments

comments