Live streaming content is big business now and it’s a lot more than just gaming. With enough content and some investment, you too can start up a brand new content streaming platform like Netflix or engage subscribers into creating content instead of TikTok.
Or you can instead use live streaming to increase your business outreach and open up new opportunities.
The best live streaming platforms today are offering more than just a medium for you to stream your content.
Now, you can finally go ahead and make a mark in the online world with your streaming service provider instead of hiring dedicated professionals in-house.
Live Streaming: Know What You Need
Businesses use different platforms to connect with potential customers. Professionals use secure live streaming to interact among themselves while working from home or off-site teams.
Others have used live streaming to connect with their followers and even share gaming content online. That said though, not every platform is meant for gaming or for connecting with customers.
We have divided the purpose of using the live streaming feature into three distinct categories.
First is gaming and social media. Users who intend to connect with their friends and followers tend to use live streaming. Some use Twitch, while others choose to go with Facebook Live or YouTube Live.
These services are primarily free to use and offer a direct pathway to connect with the audience.
Secondly, we have businesses and professionals looking for the opportunity to drive targeted branding and marketing with better audience engagement.
Their goal is to use the platform to connect with a larger audience and promote their product or services. YouTube and Facebook are currently the most common choices although businesses are looking to self-hosting and multistreaming as well.
Lastly, we have OTT platforms creating and running their own streams powered by live streaming services from dedicated providers.
OTT platforms are mostly from the entertainment industry delivering content across the world and some service providers can even help you drive up your own OTT platform like Netflix.
So, what kind of live streaming platforms or services do you need?
Figure that out and we’re sure you’ll find your first-choice streaming service provider or platform right here.
Best Live Streaming Platforms in 2022: Based on User Base and Industry Research
There is a broad range of platforms offering live streaming but not every service is suitable for the needs of individuals.
Hence, we have curated a list of the most popular and effective platforms in the personal, professional, and business arenas.
This list will help you get the much-needed clarity in terms of features and services offered at different prices.
10. Facebook Live
Launched in 2006 as a social networking website, Facebook has around 2.8 billion monthly active users.
While live video streaming was added later in 2015, this platform allows you to stream your content directly to all your friends and reach the right audience with some help from the powerful Facebook Analytics tool.
On top of live streaming, the content remains accessible on your profile to all allowed users.
You can change the visibility settings to allow access to a selected person, all your friends, friends of friends, or make your stream public.
It is the biggest among live streaming platforms based on the number of active users.
- Resolutions and Encoding
Facebook Live supports a video resolution of up to 720p at 30 FPS. You can use only H264 and AAC audio encoding.
- Scheduling Live Streaming
You can schedule your stream on Facebook with just a few clicks. You can use a live streaming post to notify the audience about the schedule.
- Embedding Live Stream
You can embed your live streams on any website using the HTML code of your scheduled stream.
- Live Chat
Engage directly with the audience via the comments section on your live stream. You can even choose people who can add comments to your stream, including the intensity to add comments via multiple moderation options.
You need to be qualified for accessing Facebook’s fundraising tool. This feature can be used to raise money for non-for-profit events and even to delegate personal donations.
Facebook Live is a free live streaming platform. You just need to have a Facebook account to use it.
Best Suited For
Businesses prefer Facebook Live because of the larger audience available and the Analytics tool that can be fruitfully used for targeted advertising campaigns.
We also recommend Facebook Live for entertainment and casual purposes, e.g. – video chats, entertainment streams, etc.
Gamers looking can instead consider Facebook Gaming which comes integrated with the basic Facebook account and has all the features of Facebook Live along with Analytics.
9. YouTube Live
YouTube offers live video streaming services since 2015, crossing over 2 billion logged-in users each month.
With more than 70% of user activity coming from mobile devices, YouTube’s substantial number of active users makes this service one of the biggest live streaming platforms based on active user count.
The connectivity and outreach of your content are genuinely global with YouTube Live. Live streams are applicable for mid-roll advertisements. YouTube is best used as a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) medium and it’s a free live streaming platform for all.
However, many deem YouTube Live unfit for business streaming because of its limitations on monetization and use of professional tools.
Additionally, streamers must give up partial ownership of their content.
You can stream videos from 240p to 4K resolutions, with the viewers having the option to encode the video in the resolution of their choice.
- Chat feature
Live streams can be incorporated with the usual chat to engage with the audience. They can even use Super chats and stickers to show their support for your content.
- Advertisement Based Monetization
Only users with many followers and higher overall watch time can take benefit from the monetization schemes. For that, you need to know how to become a YouTube Partner.
- Embedding Videos
You can embed a YouTube live video to any other website using just the HTML code.
- Scheduling Live Stream
Live streams can be scheduled in advance to notify the audience.
YouTube Live is the best free live streaming platform you can use today to share your content.
Best Suited For
YouTube Live is best suited for any and every user who is neither expecting dedicated monetization nor targeted user bases.
Brightcove offers comprehensive B2C and B2B streaming services which include various plans to meet the requirements of different users.
Brightcove is headquartered in Boston, the USA with an online presence stretching back 17 years as a core driving force in video creation and video marketing.
Live streaming is just one of the features offered by Brightcove.
- Live Clipping
You can create clips from the live stream and publish them to social media channels while simultaneously streaming.
- Server-Side Advertisements
You can insert pre-roll advertisements, the next step forward from live video advertisements. These advertisements can be added using server-side ad insertion (SSAI). This feature can bypass the threat posed by ad-blockers and create direct user engagement.
- Tech Support
Brightcove offers complete 24/7 customer support to resolve issues on the fly even if you are live streaming your content.
- Viewer Controls
The audience can easily control the flow of video and take advantage of their cloud DVR time travel. It allows users to re-watch specific clips or restart the video while the live video continues.
- Security Features
All your premium content can be added for DRM encryption so that only paid users can access those content. It will also save you from piracy which can decimate your online revenues.
You can publish your live streams to social media channels by using Brightcove’s multistreaming feature and amplify your outreach to the audience.
Brightcove is mostly dedicated to video portals but has recently added live streaming as a part of the services offered with premium plans.
Live streaming is offered in its Enterprise Communications plan, which has two sub-plans, Starter, and Enterprise. It also has a custom plan named Monetization with integrated features of live streaming and OTT platforms.
Starter – Price revealed after contacting customer care. (Starter option has limited features and offers around 8 hours of live streaming per year at SD resolutions)
Enterprise – Price revealed after contacting customer care. (Enterprise option has comprehensive live streaming, analytics, and API integration features. It offers unlimited HD live streaming.).
Get in touch with Brightcove to start a free trial here.
Best Suited For
Brightcove is a leading thinker and innovator in the video tech and hosting domain. Providing personalized services with dedicated personnel, Brightcove is best suited to deploy big streaming projects, primarily that of businesses.
7. LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professionals. It can be considered a professional social networking platform, allowing users to connect and explore new horizons.
From hiring to marketing, selling products, or learning online skills, LinkedIn is a domain in itself!
However, the Live streaming feature of LinkedIn can be used for both Businesses-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business connectivity. It is perfect for users targeting professionals for selling services or businesses searching for collaboration opportunities.
It can be used for various purposes, from promotional events, celebrations, hiring drives, guest interviews, live demonstrations, etc. However, this feature is not readily enabled on every profile.
You will have to apply for using LinkedIn Live. Moreover, this live video streaming service can be accessed only using a third-party streaming tool listed by LinkedIn.
- Engagement Metrics
This data is available on a screen where you can read the number of reactions, comments, and shares on your live stream. It can effectively be used to measure the success of your stream.
- Audience Firmographic Data
This data can be used to analyze the designation of professionals who viewed your video along with their geographical location. It can be used to measure the outreach of your content and make significant changes.
- Best Practices Guide
LinkedIn has created a perfect live streaming guide to maximize your potential outreach on the platform.
- Chat Features
LinkedIn live streams allow users to comment and chat during the broadcast.
Currently free to use with certain restrictions, viz. –
- Maximum stream length: 4 hours
- Maximum resolution and frame rate: 1080p and 30 FPS
- Supported Encoding: H264 video and AAC audio
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 only
Best Suited For
LinkedIn is dedicated for professionals to extend and expand their outreach into the business workspace and it’s the best live streaming platform in it.
Although LinkedIn Live is yet to really make a mark, we will surely see more holistic integrations of it with time and more popularity as well.
Wowza offers live streaming solutions at a premium value. Known for affiliations with big brands and government corporations, it provides dedicated streaming servers to ensure negligible downtime and the lowest latency while streaming.
Wowza can transform any video and share its live stream on any platform.
- Multiple CDNs
Each of their plans is crafted to support further scaling. Wowza makes use of the largest number of CDNs, including Akamai, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and others.
- Lowest Latency
Wowza uses powerful substitutes for low-latency streaming, including Apple’s HLS, SRT, and real-time communication protocols.
Their emphasis on content security ensures zero piracy, with a focus on reducing vulnerabilities.
- Global VOD Service
It can broadcast live streams to international audiences using its flagship live-to-VOD solutions.
- Stream Analytics
You can access complete user activity and optimize the end-user experience using real-time stream analytics to better schedule your live streams.
Choose between the managed live streaming service and the downloadable media server software. You can get started with a free 30-day trial.
Choose between two available usage formats –
Wowza Streaming Cloud: This is a managed streaming service where your streaming requirements will be provided by Wowza over the cloud. Pricing plans are as below –
- One Month Plan – $149 per month (15 hours of live streaming and 500 viewing hours at 720p.)
- Starter Pay as you go – $25 per month billed at $300 annually with monthly usage bills sent separately.
- Basic – $85 per month billed at $1020 annually (180 hours of live streaming and 6000 viewing hours at 720p.)
- Professional Plus – $425 per month billed at $5100 annually (1200 hours of live streaming and 60,000 viewing hours at 720p.)
- Enterprise – Custom pricing.
Wowza Streaming Engine: Offers customizable streaming solutions which are meant for users who have or can manage the necessary requirements for streaming. Pricing is as below –
- Basic – $125 per month prepaid. (48 hours response time for support)
- Plus – $245 per month prepaid. (8 hours response time for support)
- Enterprise – Custom pricing.
Best Suited For
Wowza is a streaming media server capable of performing all the back-end tasks required for streaming.
This is best suited for users who intend to stream on a large-scale across various platforms with the least hands-on effort.
5. IBM Cloud Video
IBM Cloud has been offering cloud services for a long time. After acquiring Ustream in 2016, it is renamed and rebranded as IBM Cloud Video.
It was initially launched in 2007 as a tool to allow military personnel to interact with their relatives during the limited free moments in the Iraq war.
IBM has even incorporated its renowned Watson Artificial Intelligence engine into the live streaming features of Ustream making this a secure and feature-rich streaming platform.
- HD Live Streaming
Being a professional service-oriented platform, IBM Cloud Video has no restrictions on your video feed’s bitrate or resolution. You can provide HD content (720p) to your viewers.
- Broadcast Recording
All your live streams are also backed up as recorded files, which only you can access. It can later be used to share with a different target audience or used for recordkeeping.
- Live Chat
IBM Cloud Video features a built-in user management system that allows you to integrate chats and engage in Q&A sessions with your audience. This chat module is like that on YouTube Live, easy-to-use.
- Multi CDN
IBM’s live streaming service allows you access to multiple CDNs (content delivery networks) for global outreach. The purpose of a CDN is to cache the existing content using its network of servers worldwide thus providing broader coverage on the whole.
- Customizable Channel Page
This allows you to customize your settings and logs as per the target audience. You can highlight previous broadcasts, scheduled streams, and share essential information with your audience.
- Live Playlist and Video Looping
This feature allows you to connect with your audience with multiple playbacks scheduled for an automatic replay of live streams.
There are 4 paid plans to choose from – Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Custom for higher volume needs. All paid plans differ in terms of streaming hours per month, the number of supported channels, and Cloud Storage.
Silver – $99 per month (100 viewer hours, 1 TB video storage)
Gold – $499 per month (2000 viewer hours, 2 TB video storage)
Platinum – $999 per month (5000 viewer hours, 5 TB video storage)
Before you purchase the premium service offered by IBM Cloud Video, use up the free trial. It includes live streaming to 5 viewers in HD resolutions and 500 GB storage space for recording and uploading purposes.
Download Link: Learn more about IBM Cloud Video.
Best Suited For
IBM Cloud Video is arguably one of the best live streaming services for organizations with extensive streaming and storage options.
Vimeo Livestream services can be accessed from multiple platforms. It offers pathbreaking professional service in the Livestream domain. Their professional services cover both video uploads and live streams.
With their 24\7 customer support and direct interaction with developers, you will no longer have to think of hiring professionals to meet your streaming requirements.
Instead, choose to monetize from their well-crafted enterprise plans.
Vimeo’s Enterprise OTT is currently being used by over 1500 channels covering over 5 million end-users.
- Integrated Google Analytics
Use Google to customize your content as per the trending topics based on their search engine results and achieve better outreach. You get access to social stats, custom reports, Live, and post-event analytics.
Vimeo Livestream allows up to 1080p live streaming with 30 fps.
Viewers can customize the resolution of the live stream as per their likings.
You get DNS protection, password protection, Private link sharing, and project collaborations with up to 10 members.
- Custom Branding
Add personal brand logos and taglines to attract more audiences. You can directly publish your live stream to multiple leading social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- Priority Support
Live support for your streams during business hours as per US Eastern time. Their Enterprise OTT plan also provides 24/7 customer support for both streamers and respective subscribers.
Sell your videos through custom plans or OTT features. You can add branded applications with in-application purchases.
Vimeo offers a wide range of services across their Premium, Enterprise, and OTT plans. Premium is meant for live streamers, while Enterprise offers a closed platform to communicate with customers and employees coupled with data security features.
The OTT plan is designed to help you start a white-labeled streaming service accessible and integrated with iOS, Android, or desktop OS.
Premium – $75 per month billed annually at $900. (Offers unlimited live streaming, 7TB storage, unlimited viewer access)
Enterprise – Negotiable custom plans based on usage requirements. (Offers Live streaming, Video monetization, and Custom solutions).
OTT – Negotiable custom plans based on usage requirements. (Offers API, SDK, DRM, and more.)
Best Suited For
Vimeo Live offers an excellent balance of features suited for individuals and businesses.
This is one of the best live streaming services to establish a stable and scalable multistreaming system or even an OTT platform.
Dacast has been offering live streaming services since 2008, and it is among the best B2B live streaming platforms today. They have never looked back since launching their international operations in 2010.
Dacast relies on HTML5 technology for content delivery, while stream delivery is supported by HTTP live and dynamic streaming.
It is available on all major platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. It uses the top-tier content delivery networks to ensure the global outreach of your content.
- Video Hosting Platform
Their powerful video hosting platform allows you to upload, transcode, monetize, and analyze the video content.
The comprehensive video content management system makes this one of the best live streaming platforms today. You even get to use API integrations, video transcoding, and mobile streaming services.
- Analytics Tool
The analytics tool available right on the dashboard provides access to multiple viewer-related data including consumption per time, device, location, top content, etc. This tool will enable you to make better decisions of content type and understand user behavior.
- White Label Platform
You can customize the video player with a personal logo and completely personalize the appearance of the streaming site.
- API Based Online Video Platform
Complementary to the White label platform, you can use the API integration to design your own OTT platform.
Dacast comes bundled with iOS and Android software development kits to help you design your very own streaming base.
- Video Transcoding Option
This feature will allow your audience to choose the video resolution and use it to save their bandwidth.
- China Video Hosting
Dacast can deliver your live streams even in China without any buffering!
- Secure Video Upload
You can choose to upload bulk video files or add additional security measures from their advanced video hosting platform.
Dacast offers 4 paid services, namely Starter, Event, Scale, and Custom. All plans are billed annually. As of now, Dacast does not offer any monthly service.
Starter – $39 per month (1.2 TB per year with 50GB per storage, including video streaming, hosting, 24/7 support, unlimited concurrent viewers, Full HD broadcasting)
Event – $ 63 per month (6 TB per year with 50GB per storage, every feature of Starter plan, along with real-time analytics, Live and VOD playlists, live countdown, Paywall, Pre, Mid, and Post-roll of advertisements)
Scale – $ 188 per month (24 TB per year with 1TB per storage, every feature of Event plan, along with phone support, unlimited channels, Advanced Library Management, China streaming for VOD)
Custom – Negotiable (Added support, Special Features, Large Scale Events, and negotiated usage agreement)
Start with their 30-day free trial before using their paid services. These trials are a terrific way of assessing the suitability of the service for your requirements.
You need to sign up to use the free trial offer. Start streaming within minutes without even sharing your credit card details. You get 10 GB bandwidth in the free trial, and it is available for each of the paid plans.
Download Link: Visit their official websites right here.
Best Suited For
Dacast is one of the best live streaming platforms solely based on the professional level of services as well as the features offered.
You can rely on them to scale your multistreaming needs or to host your streaming platform and they can even help you do it with bundled-in software kits.
Twitch has completely dominated the live streaming sites for gaming since 2011, crossing 15 million active users every day with over 1.4 million concurrent users in its 9 years of dominance, and It is the best streaming platform for gaming content creators.
Twitch offers a lot of monetization benefits as compared to similar platforms.
Perfect for independent streamers and is highly popular in the Esports gaming section.
Twitch supports a maximum of 1080p in 60 FPS and supports both Nvidia NVENC and X264 encoding.
Community interactions are a great part of Twitch, and its chatrooms offer an immersive experience. Streamers also have the option to modify the comments that appear on the video.
Twitch is a dedicated streaming platform for gamers so expect a lot of monetization options. You need to become a Twitch Affiliate first to qualify as a top streamer and gain access.
Generate substantially from Paid subscriptions, Twitch Prime Subscriptions, and Advertisements. Twitch even allows streamers to add sponsorship content.
- Channel Analytics
Substantial analytics and data are available on Twitch Analytics and you can fruitfully utilize it to increase subscribers, viewers, and overall monetization.
Twitch does not charge streamers for their content, but in return, they allow streamers to make money from their audience from Twitch Subscriptions.
- Tier 1 subscription – $4.99/month
- Tier 2 subscription – $9.99/month
- Tier 3 subscription – $24.99/month
Best Suited For
Twitch is by gamers and for gamers only. This is the best streaming platform for gaming by a mile and more.
StreamShark was founded in 2011 but started its commercial operations under the name of MetaCDN, a cloud-based content delivery network. MetaCDN was rebranded as StreamShark in 2015, marking a rebuild of their live streaming service and later centering on it.
StreamShark is rated as one of the best live streaming services around, currently leverages Amazon Web Services, Edgecast, and Windows Azure for a global content delivery service. StreamShark now supports a maximum resolution of up to 1080p.
Multistreaming is a breeze with StreamShark as it offers native integrations for multiple live streaming platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, & Twitch.
You can control streams of all the platforms from one dashboard. It allows you a unified social chat and teleprompter tool, which can divert the focus of the streamer towards specific chat queries.
- Instant Stream Archive
Your live stream is also converted into a video file within seconds of ending your stream. It allows you to keep a record copy and stream it simultaneously.
- Real-time stats
Get access to real-time insights of viewer action and behavior. The dashboard shows complete information of no. of viewers, viewers who left midway, and other specific details.
- Live DVR Rewind
Users who join your live stream a bit late will have the option to toggle between the lapsed video content and start from anywhere they want, a rare feature available only with the best live streaming platforms.
- Chat Feature
StreamShark chat can be embedded within the video player and used as a separate window.
- Live Highlight Clips
You can create video clips of essential sections from the live stream, embedded into it, or shared independently of the primary live stream.
- Privacy Controls
Your live stream is secured with StreamShark’s privacy rules and security engine. It offers complete protection of the stream with a password, geographical location, IP, and email address.
Their platform is even safe from DNS attacks, allowing them to provide a reliable live video streaming service.
StreamShark offers 3 distinct plans for its live-streaming platform: Standard, Team, and Business plans. These plans differ based on data usage, streaming hours, and no. of simultaneous streams allowed.
Standard – $199 per month (1000 GB of data, 1500 viewer hours, four simultaneous live streams.)
Team – $499 per month (4000 GB of data, 6500 viewer hours, seven simultaneous live streams.)
Business – $999 per month (9000 GB of data, 13500 viewer hours, 12 simultaneous live streams.)
StreamShark also offers its users a 7-day free trial of its services. All you need is to create your login ID to try the offered services and features before going ahead with the paid plans.
Download Link: Visit their official website here.
Best Suited For
StreamShark can be your first choice multistreaming dashboard if you stream on multiple platforms. Pick a plan based on your monthly usage requirements and go ahead, perfectly suited for gaming, entertainment, or business.
While the best live streaming platform for gaming would be Twitch, you can have streaming requirements not related to gaming at all. If so, understand what you expect from your streaming platform or service provider and the scale of operations you’re looking at. Always consider your future requirements to understand the streaming service that best aligns with your needs.