Last updated on July, 30
🏆 Best Live Streaming Platforms for August 2021
Live Streaming is the most exciting way to share your life with friends and followers. It’s also an incredible tool for businesses, educators, artists, and anyone else who wants to connect with people in real-time.
What is a live streaming platform?
Are you planning to launch your content via live streaming? Live streaming platforms refer to websites and applications that let you show your content to other people and have them watch what you’re doing live. You can use it for a broad scope of activities, like gaming. With live streaming, you can show and monetize your content in a convenient and hassle-free manner!
Why do you need a live streaming platform?
Live streaming is becoming more and more popular these days, especially since gamers and vloggers entered the scene. If you want to join the thriving industry, live streaming platforms can provide you with various solutions to attract subscribers and boost your revenue. Moreover, here are the benefits that you can get from live streaming platforms.
Share a Variety of Content
Whether you want to talk about gaming, traveling, or simply your personal life, live streaming platforms can help you with that. Plus, with live streaming platforms, you never have to worry about the ins-and-outs of streaming as these programs have it all ready for you, and that’s why the streaming industry is thriving nowadays.
Stream Content Conveniently
If you think live streaming for the tech-savvies, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Live streaming platforms provide you with robust yet user-friendly features to fulfill your streaming needs. Plus, subscription plans are offered at an affordable price! All you have to do is prepare your content and equipment, and you’re good to stream—that’s how a live streaming platform works.
Interact with Your Audiences
Interacting directly with people in real-time is essential, and live streaming is like an arms-length conversation done virtually. It creates active engagement between you and your audiences, making it easier for you to convey your message to interest them. You can even add background music and humor to your content while you’re at it.
Grow Your Business
Are you planning to launch content for your business? Online streaming is one of the fastest-growing industries today. If you do things right, you can grow your customer base and expand your business in no time. People love to do two things: watch something and talk about what they’ve watched, so why not use this to your advantage?
Better Audience Reach
If you want to make your live streaming venture successful, you need to grow your audience more than anything else. Luckily, live streaming platforms don’t only help you stream your content—they also provide you with features that allow you to reach more audiences, like mobile streaming and social media sharing. Expect an increase in your subscribers quickly!
Many people consider streaming as their full-time jobs today, especially since live streaming platforms allow streamers to earn some incentives. These can be in the form of donations, subscriptions, merchandise, and more. So, if you’re an excellent streamer who has managed to attract many followers, you can earn money quickly and conveniently!
Core features of live streaming platform
The best live streaming platforms will have most, if not all, of the essential features that the industry has to offer. When looking for a platform, consider the features that are suited for you and your purpose. Here are the core features of the best streaming platforms in the market today to guide you on your purchase for your convenience.
Simplicity is beauty, given that not everyone is tech-savvy enough to use a complicated program, which may even put you at risk of messing up your workflow. So, your live streaming platform should help you set up everything effortlessly. That’s why a user-friendly interface is one of the first features that you should look for when choosing a live streaming platform.
Gear and Software Compatible
Nothing is more annoying than incompatible hardware and software. Before anything else, you should check if the platform’s software can work with yours, including your video production tools. It’s also crucial that the platform’s system supports your live streaming gears, and note that it’s better to choose a compatible platform with all live streaming gears.
Customization and Personalization Options
An excellent live streaming platform should allow you to customize your page and stream. For instance, in gaming live streaming platforms, streamers have their customized themes, chatbox emojis, banner placements, and more. Personalization features will allow you to create your identity and differentiate you from the other streamers.
As mentioned above, some people make a living off of streaming. Even if your goal is not to monetize your content, it won’t hurt to choose a platform that has a monetization feature. This may come in handy when your followers grow and your audiences start asking for ways to support you. After all, it never hurts to have some additional revenue.
High-Definition Video Quality Streaming
Streaming your videos in low quality can make your audiences turn their backs on you. Luckily, modern and new live streaming platforms allow you to create high-definition live streams—sometimes even without a broadcasting encoder! Some platforms even support 4k ultra HD streaming, which is four times the number of 1080p video displays.
A live streaming platform with archiving functions is essential. Not every one of your viewers will be able to watch you during one of your live streams, but they may still want to see it. So, your chosen platform should allow you to archive your content for later viewing. It should also secure and organize your files so you can access them quickly whenever you have to.
Tracking and Analytics
Monitoring the number of viewers, primary engagements, and impressions will improve your live streaming performance. Your live streaming platform should let you track these through metrics and reports to pinpoint the aspects you have to improve. Data such as the number of followers, online viewers, chatbox activity, etc., should be available to see and interpret.
Integration with Different Encoders
Most live-streaming platforms can accept streams from different broadcasting encoders. Some even have integration with a specific encoder for simplicity and easy connection. Still, the best thing to do is to go for a live streaming platform that can be integrated with different third-party encoders. That way, you don’t have to go encounter compatibility issues.
Security and Privacy Controls
You never know if and when your stream will get compromised. Your platform should offer protection for you, like password protection for streams and data encryption for your viewers. Some platforms also let you define a list of allowed domains and contents in your stream, while others provide streamers with malware protection features.
Viewer Management and Recognition
You’ll want to make sure that your stream goes on smoothly. So, your live streaming platform should allow you to manage your viewers for flawless content by banning toxic viewers and recognizing great viewers. Some platforms let you give your viewers awards, acknowledgments, rewards, warnings, and ban hammers to keep your live streams clean and engaging.
Reliable Technical Customer Support
In any type of service, customer support is of utmost importance. Your live streaming platform must offer fast, 24/7 technical support. Every second of your stream is important to you and your viewers, and if anything goes wrong, your platform’s support team should be available to assist you promptly.
Types of live streaming platform
Before deciding what live streaming platform to choose, keep in mind that several live streaming platforms are available; some may be convenient and suited for you, while some may not be. Here are the common types of live streaming platforms, including their pros and cons, to help you choose the live streaming platform for your needs.
Paid Live Streaming Platform
These are the live streaming platforms that offer a lot of features. Usually, these live streaming platforms make a subscription-based payment. Their services provide more customization, security, and support to their customers. Plus, these live streaming platforms can deliver a perfectly tailored experience to the audience you are trying to reach.
Pro #1: Target a Niche for Monetization
Monetizing your live stream can be easy, provided your content is good. Professional streamers prefer paid live streaming platforms because their target audience is usually a specific group of people, such as gamers. These platforms help you target a particular niche so you can easily monetize your content.
Pro #2: Safe and Secure
Paid live streaming platforms provide security and data protection for you and your audience. Filters, passwords, and encryption are available to protect your data and avoid dangerous attacks by blocking malicious sites and filtering harmful content.
Pro #3: Audience Appreciation
Audience tiers, levels, and rewards that can be unlocked through subscriptions are critical features for paid live streaming platforms. You can reward your audience and supporters by giving them perks, such as custom emojis, colorful names, shout outs, and more.
Con #1: Lots of Competition
You have to time your streams well to maximize audience numbers. Studying the peak hours and planning your streams will help you maximize your channel’s growth and avoid competing with other streamers for viewership.
Con #2: Expensive Gears and Bandwidth
You have to invest a substantial amount of money for streaming equipment, especially if you plan to be a professional streamer and content creator. Viewers prefer high-definition live streams, and expensive gears and bandwidth are necessary to pull this off.
Free Live Streaming Platform
Free live streaming platforms offer limited features and functionalities. However, this is offset by the fact that these platforms usually have a large user base. This is why free platforms are generally the best live streaming platform to sell products. Greater exposure without paying any costs means more savings, which you can save and invest back into your business.
Pro #1: Large User Base
Most free live streaming platforms are part of a more extensive social media website. A big community can mean a potentially big following. With this, it’s easier to reach a broad audience for your cause and grow your business faster.
Pro #2: Inexpensive Advertisement
Provided that you have good internet and devices, you can quickly market your products and services without spending too much money and resources. This is perfect for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to reduce their marketing costs.
Pro #3: Casual Setting
Finding your niche can be easy. You don’t have to have a specific theme of content to live stream with free platforms. Whether you’re doing chores or just lazing around, you can live stream anything that you want, with free live streaming platforms, anytime.
Con #1: Limited Features and Customizability
Features and customization of your channels and pages are limited compared to paid live streaming platforms. Certain functions, such as advanced viewer recognition and security, may not be present or limited.
Con #2: Inappropriate Behavior
A large user base and casual setting can also mean inappropriate behavior from your audience. Kids and teenagers also frequent these websites, which could mean constant attack, whining, and even cursing. It can be hard to filter these offensive comments and behavior from your viewers.
Who needs live streaming platforms?
By using a live streaming platform, gamers can connect and interact with each other. They can also share their gameplay, walkthroughs, guides, and techniques. They can also play together, share tips and tricks to improve themselves, and genuinely enjoy the games they’re playing. There’s a reason why gaming is the largest live streaming community in the world.
A live streaming platform for music can help musicians share their talents and grow their followers. You can perform your music with a live audience, receive immediate feedback, and improve yourself with these platforms. Also, it’s entirely possible to attract the attention of record labels and get them to listen to you, and with some luck, sign you under them.
As mentioned above, some people consider streaming as their primary source of income. These people are called professional streamers. They need a live streaming platform to do their job, cater to their audience, and earn money. A highly customized and personalized streaming platform is key to success, along with a pleasing personality that appeals to their viewership.
Hobbyists and Vloggers
You don’t necessarily have to be part of a group or any category to need a live streaming platform. As long as you want to show something, interact live with your audience, and connect with them personally, then go ahead and look for a streaming platform. A live streaming platform exists to connect people, whether friends or strangers, locally and globally.
Podcasting has become the norm nowadays. Podcasters talk and discuss a particular topic or current even while listening to them, just like radio and tv shows. A live streaming platform for podcasting usually lets people download podcasts into audio files. This makes it easy for listeners to download and listen to the podcasts anytime and anywhere.
Businesses try their best to market their products and services. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not trying to minimize spending. By using a live streaming platform, marketing can be made more comfortable. Direct feedback from customers and more creative marketing methods are also possible given that live streaming activities are comfortable and very flexible to do.
Much like businesses, entrepreneurs benefit a lot from having a live streaming platform. Free live streaming platforms are also available for you to use. Trying to reach out to potential customers and possibly sell your product can be achieved easier. You can also do events and raffles to boost your popularity and reach a much wider audience without shedding money.
Celebrities and Influencers
Celebrities and influencers love attention. Live streaming platforms act as a way for them to get attention even when they are not on television. Many fans flock to their live streams just to get a glimpse of their personal lives, which is a win-win situation. Celebrities and influencers get to have the buzz and attention, and their fans get to interact and see their idols.
Chefs looking to share their recipes will benefit from using a live streaming platform. People get to watch the chef cook, learn about the recipe, and try it for themselves. This also serves as a free advertisement for the chef in case he/she has their restaurant or are looking to have one.
Many instances have already happened where a live streamer got hired due to a video that he had done. Using a live streaming platform to showcase your skills and talents can help you career-wise. Some job recruiters visit streaming platforms to see if a person has abilities that would fit their company’s needs. This is why personality is also essential when you stream.
News and Sports Outlets
Constant information updates are the bread and butter of news and sports outlets. With a live streaming platform, it is easier for them to spread information and reach out to their audience. Viewers and listeners can also conveniently give out comments, reactions, opinions, and feedback all at the same time.
Step-by-step guide on how to get started with a live streaming platform
Step1: Define the purpose.
Before everything else, you should know what you want. Are you planning to be a game streamer? Do you need to expand your brand and grow your audience? Do you want to sell a product or service? You should be able to define what you need before jumping in and choosing a live streaming platform. After all, it always pays to know.
Step 2: Do a budget plan.
Almost everything involves money, including choosing a live streaming platform. Although video streaming is relatively cheap, not many people are willing to pay a certain amount of money for this service. The activation of a live streaming package will entirely depend on your budget; having a budget would surely speed up the process.
Step 3: Consider your target audience.
This step aligns with step one. Considering your target audience is essential for planning. This will also help you narrow down your choices. Age, interest, location, size, and demographics are important things to consider when choosing a platform. Choose a platform that will help you catch traction from different groups of people.
Step 4: Choose a reputable platform.
Remember always to choose a trusted platform, and live streaming platform ratings and reviews can help you a lot. Nothing is more annoying than selecting a shady platform which may not provide fast and continuous customer support. It may also have lax security that may result in you and your viewer’s data getting compromised.
Step 5: See if a free trial is available.
There are free live streaming platforms, as well as free trial versions for paid live streaming platforms. Trying these versions will help you get an idea about the quality of their service. You can also use this as an opportunity to compare their features to help you choose the best platform for your live streaming needs.
Step 6: Ask for input and recommendations.
Before you finalize everything, you can always ask for input and recommendations from your friends, colleagues, and even other streamers. They can offer important information, and some may even help you decide and choose what’s best for you. It wouldn’t hurt to ask, and you can ask for tips and advice from them.
Step 7: Learn the platform.
If you are new to the live streaming scene, you should first learn about the platform before deciding. Try reading articles as well as blogs about the platform and check the internet for tutorials. In this way, you can ensure that the live streaming platform you decided to choose is not only suited for your needs but your technical knowledge as well.
Step 8: Close the deal and get started.
Finally, make the deal. Ask the provider for inclusions in the package you chose and their customer care and support. If possible, check if a guide is available and, if not, ask them for one. If you followed every step, you did everything to be a right and careful customer. Now, go and get started with being a live streamer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Timing is the key to live streaming. According to statistics, viewership starts to peak at around 6 PM up to 8 PM during weekdays. As for weekends, it begins at approximately 11 AM up to 6:30 PM. It is best to keep these peak hours in mind to maximize your streaming time and viewership.
During peak hours, competition with other streamers will be high. There’s only so much time that viewers can give, and with many streamers to choose from, you might have to compete for viewership. Try to have different schedules for weekdays and weekends. Studying viewer patterns and proper planning will also help you maximize your viewership.
Live streaming rose to popularity in the 2010s. Video games, news, and sports were among the first content streamed that paved the way for live streaming. Since then, live streaming has continuously become popular. Nowadays, a popular live stream can easily attract hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viewers worldwide.
Live streaming platforms for social media were the dominant platforms in 2016. These platforms gather viewership that totals billions. Back in 2016, the live streaming industry was worth over $30 billion. It’s also projected to grow up to $70 billion by 2021, which is more than double, by the way.
Yes, they do. This is more popularly known as “live broadcasting,” which is only shown on television before. Nowadays, there are free TV live streaming platforms available for people to watch. Live reports, updates, conferences, and talk shows are live-streamed, and unlike television, viewers can freely comment and react to the broadcast.
You can monetize your stream in a lot of ways. You can set up a donation page, subscription-based content, and sell stream-related merchandise. You can use a live streaming platform that gives gold, stars, and freebies to your viewers. These perks are accessible to them after they purchase them as a means of supporting you.
The gaming community is one of the pioneers of live streaming. Between 2018 and 2019, live streaming platforms best for gamers saw a growth of as high as 210%. The best platform for gamers is highly customizable, personalized, and provides a lot of interaction. Gamers love to talk and share their love for games with each other.
Absolutely. Professional solo streamers and group streamers have a team dedicated to helping them set up their streams. Producers and job directors for live streaming platforms are also there to help the platform improve its services. They can also assist the streamers when they need help with something like blocking, lighting, and scenario.
Suppose you have the means and the equipment to do so, then yes. News outlets are using live city-wide live streaming platforms to cover news and events simultaneously happening within your city. They use drones equipped with cameras and helicopter crews to take pictures and videos to live stream these things for people to see.
Yes, but it depends on the purpose. If you plan to become a professional streamer, you have to learn the technical stuff of setting up your streams. But if you just plan to do only the occasional and casual live streams, then it’s easy. Just look presentable, have the right equipment, internet connection, and then your all set and good to go.
The best live streaming platforms for business are free live streaming platforms. They typically have many users, providing you with great exposure. This is enough for you to earn traction and gain customers. However, if you want more features and functions, paid live streaming platforms will still offer great exposure for your business.