Do you love to interact with people online? Live Streaming is a way of interacting with an audience, well, live. The trend of going live has been gaining a lot of popularity and with the COVID 19 situation, more and more people are using live streaming platforms to reach and connect with their audience. Yes you can too stream any of your life events live. For example, if you are visiting a new place, you come live on social media platforms to share your experience and your friends can watch it too. In fact, the stream can be about a new recipe, a workout routine, literally anything. Sharing with the world has just become EASIER and REAL-TIME

Benefits of Using Live Streaming Platforms

Live Video Stream is beneficial, effective, and can impact wide spectrum of activities such as products, services, film/series promotions, live announcements, and online classes. Many companies have found a direct way of interacting with their customers through live video streaming.

1. Top-Notch Streams

Streaming on your own, can jam your servers and contrary to that you want the stream to be glitch-free, and fluid. 

Today there are so many live streaming platforms that care about your needs as a customer. Even with next to no technical knowledge you can perform high-quality streaming. All you have to do is choose a live streaming service with good infrastructure and CDN (Content Delivery Network) for high-quality video.

Content Delivery Network is a compilation of servers scattered across the globe with the purpose of caching and dispensing assets(video information) faster.

2. Global Reach

Addressing an event physically has restrictions on available space and the number of people who can attend it. Live Streaming has no such shortcomings, and you can approach people from all over the world. Another benefit is availability, anybody can watch your live stream from their phones. A platform with extensive server capacity will be a great choice.

3. Well-Informed & Interesting Content

Live streaming is not limited to only live video or audio broadcasting. You can add tons of multimedia to make stunning presentations. For example, you can add pictures, texts, and can live chat.

4. Money Factor

Given its potential, you may wonder it might come with a hefty price, well, to be honest, it is almost free. All you need is a smartphone, laptop, tablet, with a camera and a functional account onFacebook to assess FacebookLive or on Instagram to use the Instagram Live feature. Absolutely, free.

Earlier when business relied on TV broadcasts for live streaming it was definitely expensive and required equipments but that is not the case anymore.

Rise of Live Streaming Platforms

Rise of Live Streaming Platforms

As mentioned above, anyone who has a smartphone any other device with a front camera can go live from anywhere they want. One of the factors, responsible for the rise of live streaming can be the live feature introduced by the very popular social media platforms. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter all have live feature. 

It is projected that by the year 2021, the Live streaming industry will be more than $70 billion worth.

Live video streaming has opened up new avenues for brands as well. This way they can communicate their stories well and increase customer conversion rates. In 2018 more than $90 billion was spent by brands on video content and by 2023 it will cross the $100 billion mark.

Make Money With Live Streaming

Well if you want to get on the bandwagon, it is not too late. If you have some interesting video content ideas, get ready to make some money out of it. Now there are various ways in which you can money out of your live stream, we have mentioned a few here.

  1. Many live streaming platforms offer the streamer the Pay Per View Subscriptions. This is a pretty simple idea,  as a streamer, you can ask your subscribers or viewers to pay for hidden content. Hidden content has to be special, behind the scenes, bloopers or you can also do giveaways. But please note that the special or hidden content should be worth the money.
  2. You can also make an account on Patreon for the payment collection, although it is not a live video streaming platform, it is easy to integrate with platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram, and Twitter
  3. To give you an idea, Video creators received more than $3.5 million and  Patreon made it possible.
  4. Another great approach to make money through live streaming is through Affiliate programs.
  5. To give you an idea, you can include a product link from your sponsors, and every time, someone visits via that link and buys the product you get a certain percentage (commission) of the sale.
  6. You can sign brand deals and get sponsorships.  When you endorse a brand and discuss its usage, it definitely builds the trust of the viewers and converts them into potential customers.
  7. With brand deals and sponsorship, you as a streamer may get cash or sometimes free product and merchandise.
  8. You can create and sell your own merchandise and it is a viable revenue model. Be it t-shirts, mugs, keychains, creators and streamers brand them and sell it off. You can wear it during your live stream and include all the buying information for the viewers.

Best Live Streaming Platforms

If you are a first-timer gearing up for a live stream gig, let us help you sort the best live streaming platforms. Here is the list of 8 best live streaming platforms.

1. Twitch

Twitch

The number one platform for live streaming and one of the most popular for the gaming genre. It is available for desktop and mobile, iOS, and Android devices and has around 15 million active users regularly.

According to Statista, there were approximately 3 million active streamers on Twitch and as of May 2020, the number has risen to a whopping 7.4 million streamer. And since it focuses on live streams of games, i.e, video games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Escape From Tarkov, and many more. It also broadcasts live sports and thus there is huge potential in esports and broadcasting.

Best features

  • live stream esports professionals and tournament at any time of the day.
  • Each live stream has a dedicated chatroom and brings the gaming community. Streamers can control what appears on their stream.
  • Twitch supports and hosts community meet up for members. It hosts such meetups in 40+ cities around the globe including cities in the U.S and Australia.

Cons

  • The lack of parental control.
  • It is a platform only for live streaming 

Pricing

  • Standard is available for free
  • Turbo is priced at $8.99 per month
  • Prime is available at $12.99 per month

2. YouTube Live

YouTube Live

Youtube for decades has been entertaining us with videos made by creators all around the world.  Second, after Facebook, Youtube has the highest number of monthly active users and there are more than 2 billion users around the world.

YouTube has been working constantly on the video quality and legality of content it offers and it also launched YouTube Live. It helps the streamers meet their audience’s live. With just one account on YouTube, you have access to its Live feature as well. You need no other platform. It presents the streamer with powerful analytics and interactive communication.

Best features

  • It allows effortless monetization of the live videos.
  • Effective and helpful tools easily manageable by even beginners.
  • It allows Mobile live web telecasting. Cutting the need for extensive production or a lot of equipment.

Cons

  • It lacks live streaming enhancing tools like picture-in-picture, multi-camera streaming, background audio playlists, etc.
  • It is blocked in many countries including China, so your target

Pricing

  • YouTube LIVE Streaming services are free of cost. 
  • But here are some requirements: 
  1. You need to have a minimum of 100 subscribers. 
  2. You need to have an account verified by your mobile number.

3. Facebook Live

Facebook Live

Yet another Social media platform that allows seamless live streaming is Facebook. Facebook Live allows you to broadcast live video to your friends, audience via your profile or company’s page. Launched in the year 2016, many brands and marketers are already receiving benefits from it. 

Best feature

  • Excellent platform for news sharing, Q&A sessions, sneak peek of a new product launch, and behind-the-scenes at a live event.
  • Facebook live allows you to choose your target audience. You can target location-based audience.
  • It sends out instant notifications to followers once the person or business goes live.

Cons

  • Interaction with the audience is limited

Pricing

The Facebook live streaming platform is available for free to those who have an active account on Facebook.

4. Periscope

Periscope

A live streaming platform that garnered 1 million within 10 days of its launch, Pericope acquired by Twitter created headlines in 2015. It became a major market plater in video broadcasting and a fresh social media sensation. The platform has 1.9 million daily active users and to date, there have been 200 million broadcasts on Periscope.

Best features

  • Using periscope puts your best tech foot forward. It uses cutting edge technology for live broadcasting.
  • Interactive platform and instant feedback from the audience.
  • Option to set video replay settings for all your broadcasted videos so that viewers can view and enjoy them anytime.
  • Once Streamers goes live they can receive notifications about supporters, comments, and new joining.
  • Viewers or your audience can invite others to watch your streams

Cons

  • It doesn’t support monetization,i.e, pay per view, or subscription.

Pricing

  • It is free of cost

5. Instagram Live

Instagram Live

Instagram is the place that gave birth to organic influencers be it for fashion, lifestyle, body positivity, or cooking and art. It launched Instagram Live in the year 2916, and we can tell one thing for sure, that brands and businesses love it. A great live streaming platform to connect with our followers in real-time. 

Best Features

  • Once done with a live session you can save a replay of video to your Instagram Stories
  • Interact with followers and react on their send likes or comments
  • It also allows you to pin selected follower comments to the top of the video.
  • You can track viewer engagement and metrics.
  • It sends an automatic notification to your followers whenever you are on for the live stream.

Pricing

  • Available free of cost. You just need to have an account or profile on Instagram.

6. Dacast

Dacast

A combined platform that offers video management and live streaming solutions Dacast was launched in the year 2008 and the platform is designed and suitable for streamers from enterprises, institutions, and other expert organizations.

Best Features

  • You can easily embed videos on your website.
  • Round the clock tech support.
  • Offers multi-bitrate streaming to audiences.
  • Multiple monetization options such as SVOD, AVOD and TVOD.

Cons

  • Technical aspects take time to get hold of

Pricing

30 Days Free Trial Available

  • Starter Pack- $19 per month billed annually
  • Premium Pack- $125 per month billed annually
  • Enterprise Pack-$289 per month billed annually

7. Vimeo Live

Vimeo Live

In the year 2017 Vimeo acquired the live streaming platform and also offers video hosting. Vimeo live offers great audience interaction, Q&A, live polls, email capture, and custom calls-to-action. It also allows you to live stream to up to three separate platforms simultaneously via an RTMP stream.

Key features

  • Offers hardware and software for good output
  • Creators can host unlimited streams and viewers
  • Every pricing plan offers a huge storage space.
  • Analysis Display 
  • Pay per view option available
  • Easy to use user interface

Cons

  • Traffic is limited compared to other sites

Pricing

30 Days Free Trial Available

Billed Annually

  • Plus-$7/mo 
  • Pro-$20 /mo
  • Business-$50/mo
  • Premium-$75/mo

8. YouNow

YouNow

YouNow is a social live streaming platform, you will find amazing creators with exceptional talents and you can also video chat with anybody in any part of the world. You can stream directly from your phone or a desktop.

Key Features

  • Creators can receive gifts from their followers
  • Age demographic is 18-24 years for both creators and viewers.

Cons

  • Stream for longer to get more likes

Pricing

  • Available for free

Conclusion

Live Streaming can pay off really well if you have the right content to offer. Always take care of the guidelines each platform states. So what’s stopping you?

If you are still confused, you can always begin with live streaming platforms that are free of cost or ones that offer 30 days free trials like Vimeo Live and Dacast.

Let us know your views on the above mentioned live streaming platforms, and your suggestions are always welcomed.