The 8 Best Live Streaming Platforms or Apps 2020 (FREE & Paid)
1, YouTube live
YouTube Live is a live streaming feature on the popular video-sharing platform YouTube. The tool offers a wide range of broadcasting features, apt for anyone from a press conference with a few dozen people to a sports event with a few thousand people to a full-fledged event with advertisements and promotions.
It offers one benefit that no other platform in this list does—the search potential of being on YouTube, such that an event can be located simply through Google search. For those with personal or business accounts on YouTube, this is the best way to tap into the existing audience as well as attract potential viewers from around the world via Google search auto-integration.
YouTube Live is designed with impressive analytics and it offers incredible services like chats, tools as well as an interactive platform for communication. You need to not make additional efforts for post-production. Here you will be able to get videos on demand as well as catch to watch them live.
YouTube Live is available, free of charge, to any creator who verifies their account and activates the live streaming feature. There are 3 privacy settings for YouTube Live - public, unlisted, and private. YouTube allows you to broadcast in up to 4K resolution with 60 frames per second.
Creators can live stream on YouTube via webcam, mobile, and encoder streaming. Streaming from your mobile device can be incredibly practical when streaming an event you’re attending. If, however, you need to set up some real gear for video streaming, streaming with webcam Restream Studio is the best option. It’s also an option that will give you the best stream quality thanks to the Full HD feature.
2, Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a live video streaming feature on Facebook that allows you to broadcast a live video out to your audience through your company page or personal profile. It is available for free.
Companies using Facebook live on their pages have the ability to customize and control their audience once it has ended. Page followers and visitors may get a notification when a page or individual is going live. The best part is that they will be able to interact with potential viewers on a real-time basis.
Unlike Periscope and Meerkat where your video is available to anyone following in the app or online, Facebook Live Video can only be seen by the people you choose. Whether you’re trying to raise brand awareness, get more leads in the door, or increase interactions with your current customers, Facebook Live is a tool you should be using.
Overall, Facebook Live doesn’t offer the same video quality as YouTube Live and doesn’t come with handy monetization options. But, the number of people who are on the social network is so staggering that it alone would suffice to make Facebook Live a go-to live video streaming site for events. It taps into an already existing audience base—Facebook friends or Facebook page followers.
Luckily, you don’t really have to choose a platform. Restream Studio allows you to live stream to YouTube and Facebook at the same time. Moreover, you can stream to as many platforms as you want! In Restream Studio, you can find lots of other cool possibilities, like the ability to invite guests on stream, upload videos, and share your screen with the audience.
3, Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a feature that works within Instagram Stories and allows users to broadcast live videos to other users on the platform. Instagram Stories are shown at the top of the feed. Any accounts that are currently live will include the “Live” icon.
One of the cool things about this free live streaming platform is that you can invite one of your viewers to join you in the conversation. Go live with another user on Instagram by having them join your stream and request to go live with you. This yields a split-screen interaction that viewers can watch.
Instagram Live is quite similar to Facebook Live in its functionalities and user experience. The catch is that Instagram Live allows users to go live only on the mobile version of the tool and not the desktop version.
After you’ve made a live stream on Instagram, you can save videos to Stories so that they can be revisited by viewers for up to 24 hours after a live stream. If you want to find a great way to leverage Instagram Live for events, think about using it to deliver behind-the-scenes footage or short snippets of content you wouldn’t mind disappearing after a day.
Instagram has a 60-minute cap for live stream video length, but you can easily restart your stream after those 60 minutes end.
On the plus side, you get the ability to turn comments on and off.
Whenever a live stream starts, push notifications alert the user’s followers.
You can track metrics such as viewer count, likes, and comments during and after live streams. However, an Instagram Business account is needed for metrics such as accounts reached and impressions.
For those with a personal or business Instagram presence, this tool will help tap into an existing audience as well as reach potential digital viewers from around the world.
Periscope is a free streaming software that’s owned by Twitter, that lets you share and experience live video streams from your mobile or tablet device.
It technically doesn’t count in the “native live streaming platforms” category because it’s a separate platform, not built into your Twitter account. One of the downsides of this is that you have to manually set up streaming to your Twitter followers.
Periscope helps broadcast events to Twitter as well as the Periscope TV website. Alert Periscope followers with an auto-generated notification whenever a broadcast starts.
Store event broadcasts for replay and let those appear on your Periscope and Twitter followers’ feeds.
Access broadcast stats such as live viewers, replay viewers, and time watched to better understand the audience. Allow all viewers to comment on live streams or send likes, or limit this functionality to the people you follow.
Analytical insights about the audience are less detailed compared to similar tools such as Facebook Live or YouTube Live.
Periscope offers benefits no other streaming apps do. For example, you can stream audio-only broadcasts to Twitter from Periscope.
Who is the tool most suitable for? For those with personal or business profiles on Twitter, the tool taps into the existing audience as well as generates interest from unconnected Twitter and Periscope users who might be interested in the event.
Twitch is the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers and the things we love. More than 100 million gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat.
Twitch is owned by Amazon that first focused on video-game play and esports content, but it is increasingly a mainstream platform for what the company calls "multiplayer entertainment." Twitch is by no means a general live video streaming site like YouTube or Facebook Live. But it’s not only a gaming website anymore, and it might be a great platform for you to stream non-gaming live events.
It assists users to watch anything they like directly from their console and PC. It provides access to all-powerful platforms for the fastest live streaming.
The basic account is available for free and it can be created directly from Facebook. For a turbo account, you need to pay $4.99 every month. Users will be able to enjoy an ad-free experience on this platform.
On the free YouNow Live Streaming and broadcast app, you can interact with live streaming broadcasters or go live with your own broadcast to connect with your live audience!
Find live streamers and friends with your interests, whether it be gaming, sports, music, vlogging and more! Have fun guesting onscreen, taking selfies, sending gifts, and creating moments.
YouNow Live Streaming is available on its website, on Android and iOS apps.
In 2019, in an attempt to bring user broadcasters and fans back, YouNow developed and implemented similar features that Live.me and Twitch already had on their social media platforms. These similar features included high definition resolution broadcasting, the ability to assign chat moderators and the ability to have multiple guest broadcasters (up to 3) at the same time with the broadcaster. Gold bars replaced likes as the in-app currency on the lower priced YouNow gifts at time of this redesign. YouNow has also introduced a new platform rewards system in the form of Props.
YouNow is a live streaming service geared toward younger audiences. The majority of the users are under 24 years old. It is the most suitable for small or midsize events where the goal is to generate interaction with a younger audience. This tool can also be used in innovative ways for events such as auditions, showcases, or gaming competitions.
Brightcove is one of the oldest online video platforms in-game. Its product offerings focus on cloud encoding, live streaming, and VOD (video on demand) hosting. In 2019, Brightcove acquired streaming platform Ooyala, known for its cloud video technology.
Brightcove Live is a resilient, cost-effective, API-driven platform built specifically for media organizations and enterprises. Brightcove Live is used to broadcast live events to both desktop and mobile devices.
Mainly targeting huge clients, Brightcove offers two pricing plan levels. These include the $499/month (billed annually) and custom-priced plans at a higher price-point. Interested broadcasters can contact their sales department to receive a quote or sign up for a 30-day free trial.
It’s bringing a host of new features, such as 24/7 streaming, server-side ad insertion (SSAI), cloud DVR, content protection, on-the-fly live clipping and live to VOD asset creation.
Brightcove Live is available in multiple regions across the globe, which helps you to improve resiliency and latency by provisioning streams closer to your live source. It offers awesome video management tools with video marketing options.
Dacast is the only video platform offering high performance live streaming and video hosting features at the best prices on the market.Dacast is considered a competitive offering in a crowded marketplace.
In 2019, Dacast earned the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Best Small/Medium Business Video Platform and Runner-Up for Best Education Video Platform.
Dacast offers a fully integrated, self-service video platform for live video and on demand (VOD) streaming.
The Dacast OVP lets broadcasters host video content and start streaming in minutes. Getting started with live streaming on Dacast is simple. Start by creating an account then create a live channel Then set preferences such as encoding, embedding and monetizations and start streaming.Its white-label solution allows users to control their live streams and on-demand content.
They help over 155,000 organizations stream live video, reduce bandwidth costs, and improve broadcast quality with easy-to-use full-service platform or via Broadcaster API.
Streaming solution plans with Dacast come at three levels. The Starter plan is ideal for newcomers with 1,000 GB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage monthly, at just $39 per month billed annually. However, business users will likely want to use the popular Scale plan, which includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage for $188 per month billed annually. These Scale pricing plans add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ads insertion, white-label Cnames, and video API access.
It offers classic video streaming features. It is popularly used by professionals from the business world and the support system is highly useful with 24x7 hour connectivity.
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