Top Live Streaming Platforms and Apps
Want to have a lively engagement with your audience? Then, streaming live is the best option to interact with your audience to increase your brand’s visibility, conduct virtual meetings and conferences.
Considering the pandemic, it is a great opportunity for any business to reach its audience through live interactions. All that you need is an internet-enabled device and a platform to live stream.
This listicle has some of the popular Live Streaming Platforms and Apps that can help you to “Go Live” with your audience.
What is a Live Streaming Platform or App?
A video hosting platform that is embedded with live streaming technology can create and broadcast videos in real-time. Live streaming is unlike the pre-recorded videos which can later be edited as required. The video hosting platform is a component that connects the creator and audience. It helps in reaching your business globally resulting in more consumers and leads despite the barrier of physical location like Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, BuzzFeed and more.
As per the reports from Grand View Research, the size of the video marketing industry is likely to reach USD 233.98 billion by 2028. Further, the pandemic outbreak has created a positive impact on the video streaming industry increasing the need for real-time engagement/entertainment.
Live Streaming Benefits
Live streaming is a trendy way of connecting interactively which helps in increasing your prominence globally. Brands that adapt this technology at the earliest will have an edge over their competitors. Let us have a look at some of the benefits that a business could experience through live streaming.
- Live streaming can automatically help in reaching your target audience
- Live streaming platforms are cheap and are also available for free in the world of digital streaming
- Easy to set up. All it requires is an internet-enabled device with an active account on the chosen streaming platform
- It helps in increasing your visibility by reaching a larger audience despite their locations and also brings in better sales conversions
- It even offers you opportunities to monetize by going live
- Live streaming and archiving events – the captured moments can be utilized for sales or any promotional campaigns
Curated List of the Best Live Streaming Platforms and Apps
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
- Instagram Live
- LinkedIn Live
1. YouTube Live
Creators can educate, discuss and form social communities in real-time with this live streaming platform.
Creators can live stream on YouTube using a webcam, mobile, or encoder streaming. Webcam and mobile are much useful for beginners and encoder settings are for advanced level of live streamings. YouTube Live is a privilege for video content creators and has channels on every subject that viewers are looking for.
- Embedded with powerful analytics, that can give you reports on your channel’s performance and viewers’ behavior
- Live streaming is accessible on social media websites. It can also be played on multiple platforms and social networks simultaneously
- Content creators can archive their previous streams which are accessible to both the streamers and the audience
- YouTube live streaming channels can notify their subscribers regarding their upcoming live streams
- It offers a chat tool to improvise audience engagement and is also equipped with live chat moderation tools ensuring a safe and healthy environment.
- YouTube Live allows creators to add location tags
- Creators can earn money through their live streams in several ways such as ads,
- Super Chat, Super Stickers, and channel memberships
- The channel needs to be a part of the YouTube Partner Programme to monetize its live streams
Amazing real-time examples of YouTube Live: Molbak’s Garden + Home, Ocean Explorer, Tropical Reef
2. Facebook Live
Facebook allows broadcasters to stream live videos on a conversation, a promotional event, Q&A, or any content. The platform allows live streaming from anywhere around the world simply, using the Facebook application.
Facebook produces high-end protection and streaming services with “Live Producer” – a new method of going live on the platform.
This video streaming platform allows creators to schedule their live streaming. This feature is an added advantage as the streamers can promote their upcoming live events to their viewers. Facebook Live’s scheduling process is carried out in two ways,
- An Announcement Post – Post an announcement of the upcoming live streaming
- A Live Broadcast Post – A post containing live streaming will be automatically published on the creator’s page
In Facebook Live, streamers can moderate comments while on live with the available settings.
Adding a donate button & in-stream ads to the live streaming can help to raise money for a cause as well as monetize live videos. Make sure to qualify the eligibility criteria to enable FB’s fundraising and monetizing features.
Facebook has powerful access to social networks which increases visibility and has real-time analytics helping to improvise audience engagement.
Facebook is free for its account holders. Also, integrates with third-party tools like Crowdcast, Zaiper and benefits you with added advantages.
Check out some of the brands that are rocking through Facebook live streaming
BuzzFeed, Dunkin’ Donuts, Benefit, Martha Stewart and more.
3. Instagram Live
This live streaming feature works within the Instagram stories allowing to broadcast live videos for others using the platform. An active Insta account will
include the option “Live” for broadcasting in real-time.
Have a look at the Instagram statistics, and get to know its immense growth,
- Followers are notified each time the streamer goes for on live, which helps in expanding your broadcasts
- The audience can submit their comments or questions in real-time through which the creator can receive direct feedback on their business
- The platform is capable of hiding offensive messages or comments during live streaming
- It allows to invite friends for the live streaming and can also restrict who can message when going live
- Answering all the questions during live streaming is quite overwhelming but, this can be easily tackled by posting a “Question Sticker” on your story. On tapping the question mark button, the streamer can start answering.
- Instagram Live allows you to monetize using in-stream ads
- The platform is available free of cost for its users
Some of the brands that produce Instagram live are Ben and Jerry’s, Oliver Jeffers, Bon Appetit and more.
UStream, the IBM Cloud Video allows members to directly live stream from the website using the UStream’s broadcasting application. UStream has nearly 80 million users every month and is considered the largest live streaming platform.
This application is known for its performance and has some salient features through which industries like politics, entertainment and technology are benefited,
- UStream members can record and archive videos which can be for future broadcasts
- The application has different ways to interact with the streamer like chat, instant polling, and also has integration with Facebook and Twitter news feeds
- The search features allow viewers to filter through various categories
- UStream notifies its members through email regarding the upcoming live streams on topics of interest
5. LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn live allows individuals or organizations to broadcast live videos to drive engagement with a professional audience.
This live streaming platform can be utilized for promoting events, demonstrations, showcase innovations, attract employees and more. Enhance your professional group using the Wowza live streaming platform.
In addition to the analytics for live streams, the platform offers chat and chat moderation tools that can block, report and delete comments/viewers. Video broadcasting is available for LinkedIn members whose application for the live stream has been approved.
Thrive Global, Hootsuite, Vimeo and much more use LinkedIn Live for their business updates and events.
Twitch is a live streaming platform focusing on the gaming and tech industry. Twitch, allows you to watch and chat with millions around the world and is considered to be the largest live streaming platform for gamers.
This streaming platform is embedded with multiple ways of monetizing your content.
- Channel subscriptions
- Sponsorships and more
To avail these benefits, you will need to get partnered with Twitch.
Twitch is available free of cost for all its account holders but is embedded with three tiers of subscription plans starting from $4.99 per month.
Ninja, Tfue, Shroud are some of the gamers who use Twitch to share their gaming experience and techniques.
Brightcove delivers reliable and full-featured live streaming. They are experts in creating enterprise-level live streaming using its simple, flexible and restful API.
The platform uses (server-side-ad insertion) SSAI technology, giving the audience a pause-free and buffer-free viewing and helps the creator to earn money through live streaming.
This video hosting platform supports you to reach globally by allowing you to publish full live streams to social channels. You can create clips and push them to your sites and social channels while on live.
Brightcove is equipped with detailed analytics and video marketing tools that help in generating leads and understanding the audience’s behavior. Brightcove has a custom-priced plan for enterprise video stream packages. You need to contact Brightcove for customizing your package and price.
Doterra, Seek, Dropkick Murphys are live streamed by Brightcove to reach their targeted audience.
Wowza offers the best interactive live streaming experience. Wowza delivers reliable, fast streams that influence viewers in real-time. Embedded with unique streaming environments and functionalities like chat, timed metadata and more.
Besides live broadcasting, the platform also supports OTT streaming. The video streaming platform is equipped with advanced analytics that helps in optimizing the end-user experience.
Industries that are benefited through Wowza are Auction, Esports, Gambling, Government technology, Media & Entertainment and Retail.
Wowza is available in three different plans starting from $85 per month.
Carbyne, Angel Eye Health, Culture Genesis, Child Health Imprints utilizes the Wowza stream engine to capture a large audience.
Vimeo can handle unlimited events and storage. The platform also does live streaming for OTT. Vimeo is simple and is available in three different plans.
Vimeo has an intuitive interface, flawless streaming, video management platform, includes live polls and Q&A to live streaming and more. The platform is equipped with live support when streamed during business hours and also available with options of 24/7 support. You can grow your audience by simply getting connected through live broadcasts.
Supermaker, Luppi, Vocal are some of the amazing brands that use Vimeo for their live streaming.
DaCast is suitable for businesses of any level. DaCast produces highly interactive, reliable, flexible and impressive content quality. It is easy to set up and handle because of its affordable services. DaCast is equipped with a wide range of security features and real-time analytics.
Streamers can have complete control over the content as required as well as on monetization, streaming and uploading features. The platform offers Whitelabel services and also works with Akamai CDN. The live streaming features also include streaming to social channels and live countdowns covering up a large number of audiences.
DaCast also offers monetization through pay-per-click, subscriptions, rental, and more.
DaCast is available at the pricing plans starting from $39per month.
Businesses that can be benefited through Live Streaming
Live streaming can be utilized by businesses of any type/level.
The goal of live streaming is to bring in more audience to your business. The concept of live video streaming is getting more popularised almost in every industry. Here are some suggestions on who will benefit through live streaming.
Business and Brands – Live streaming platforms give great support to many businesses to promote their products, service, demonstrations and more. It helps to cover a range of target audiences and improves viewer engagement. Brand awareness also gets increased through live broadcasting.
Speakers/Trainers/Personal brands – Public speakers, online trainers in the educational industry, gym trainers, dancers, musicians need their listeners and viewers to have an interactive experience with quality streaming. Speakers/Trainers from these industries look for live streaming platforms to increase their visibility and monetize through broadcasting.
Social Media experts – These are none other than the “Influencers” of social media. The social media experts make sure that they stay in the spotlight by working on trending topics/business. Live streaming helps to reach globally in no time. The broadcasting platform can guide them to keep their followers/subscribers/viewers engaged through interactive sections.
Gamers – Live streaming platforms are equally serviceable for gamers as they can easily interact with fellow gamers and share their gaming techniques & experiences. Gamers make sure that streaming has excellent video management and security features. They use the live streaming platform to broadcast Esport events and tournaments in addition to gaming.
Tips to monetize through Live Streaming
Below are some of the methods to monetize through live streaming a video.
Run Advertisements – Run in pre-roll/mid-roll/in-stream ads, while going live. Here, the revenue gets generated based on the total number of views on those ads. Various broadcasting platforms help you to earn money by running ads during the live stream. Choose the right platform or social network and start monetizing.
Pay-per-view – This method works quite straight forward. Here, your viewers have to pay to watch your broadcast. If you are delivering unique and quality content your viewers will be willing to pay to attend your live stream.
When you offer something quite common, viewers will opt for creators who broadcast without payment. So, if you are confident about the uniqueness of your content you can make this method your monetization option.
Make people pay for a cause (Donation) – Letting your viewers donate during the live stream. Create an external donation link or enable the fundraising feature in your streaming platform through which your viewers can make their transactions. This feature will be a game-changer if viewers can support their creators through donations.
Get Subscriptions – Subscriptions are quite common when it comes to money-making through live streaming. This method has two ways of implementation.
- You can hide your content and make your viewers pay monthly (subscriptions) to view the content. Once they have paid, viewers have access to all your content. This is how OTTs work.
- Your viewers will have complete access to all your content. But, you can make them pay for monthly subscriptions for added benefits like chat emotes, notifications and more.
The nature of the platforms is completely different in these methods but, depending on your business you can choose to configure the monetization option.
Affiliate Programs – Affiliate program is the best method if you are looking for options to earn by money streaming. Sign up for an affiliate program. You will get a product link from a sponsor, share the link with your viewers while on live. Whenever someone visits the link and buys the product, you will get a percentage of sales. Make sure that the platform you choose to live stream is in deal with the partnership program to get benefited through affiliate sales.
Sell your merchandise – Create and sell your merchandise would be a great way to get monetized by live streaming. Promoting your products on live streams would encourage your viewers to purchase. In addition to making money, this method would help in increasing customer satisfaction in your business.
Live streaming is a great way to skyrocket your business/service. Grow your audience and revenue by choosing the most suitable platform for your live broadcasting. Adding live streaming to your business increases consumer engagement and conversions.
If you are live streaming for a cause (Donation) then Facebook live would be the best choice. If you are looking for a monetization option through live streaming then, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook can help you to make it. Twitch is specially meant for gamers, to share their gaming experience and strategies. For live streaming to cover professional communities, LinkedIn Live is supportive. Likewise, the above-listed live streaming platforms have their own uniqueness and functionalities. Choose the most appropriate broadcasting platform, add live streaming video to your website and keep your growth inclined.
After conducting thorough research and carefully considering the ratings and the type of services, we have selected some of the standard live video streaming platforms that support your development along with some interesting monetization options.