Comparing the 23 Best Live Streaming Platforms in 2023

When it comes to live video streaming for professional use, there is so much to know. However, since a top professional-grade  live streaming platform is a powerful broadcasting tool that solution providers update regularly, it isn’t easy to find reviews and comparisons that include all the information you need.  Also, considering the sheer number of live streaming platforms out there, choosing one can get challenging.

For new broadcasters looking to get into the streaming game, objectively assessing the best provider for live streaming can be challenging. We’ve put together a review of 15 of the best live streaming platforms for professional broadcasters and seven social video streaming alternatives that are also valuable for businesses, providing an in-depth review of the top 23 live streaming providers. This comparison aims to help you make a well-informed decision on the top streaming platform to use for your broadcasting live streaming needs.

We will discuss what an online live streaming platform is, the top features to consider when comparing streaming platforms for business and professional organizations, and the best streaming platforms and pricing for 2023 and beyond: #23for2023.

Let’s get started!

Please note that streaming platform technology and pricing change regularly, and this post now reflects the most accurate information as of November 2023.

Table of Contents

What is a Live Streaming Platform?

Live Streaming Platform
The technology for live video streaming platforms and OVPs has grown exponentially in the last decade.

Live streaming platforms are video hosting solutions that allow users to upload and broadcast content to their audience in real-time online

Businesses use the top online video platforms to share videos for lead generation, building brand awareness, advertising, and providing paid access to video streaming. When deciding what provider to stream on, you’ll find that some are better than others, depending on your brand’s goals.

For example, one of the top live streaming sites that most people are familiar with is Facebook Live. Similarly, Instagram Live brings a different set of livestreaming and engagement features for brands that want to connect with their audiences online. Still, despite being very popular, these services have many limitations for businesses wanting more control over their live stream experience.

In such a case, it’s best to opt for a dedicated livestreaming service that gives you more control over the stream and viewer experience. That is why it is important to compare the top live streaming providers in order to figure out what the best live streaming platform is for your business.

Live Streaming Statistics 

video live streaming solutions

Many businesses are using live streaming providers to reach their audience in a way that is both engaging and entertaining.

Let’s review a few live streaming statistics that truly demonstrate the growing value of the online video streaming industry:

Want to learn more about the state of the live streaming industry and how live streaming can best help your business? Check out our 115 live streaming statistics article to learn more about how live web streaming is changing the way people consume content. 

Features to Consider When Comparing Streaming Platforms 

The beauty of having so many top live video streaming services to choose from is that there are dozens of combinations of powerful features.

Again, when deciding what the best video streaming service is for you, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution. That means that features that are valuable to you may not be valuable to another broadcaster, and vice versa. Best livestream providers are ones that meet your specific business needs.

Here are a few key features to look for when selecting a streaming platform:

In order to determine which features are the most valuable in a live streaming video service, you should identify the top goals you’d like to reach with online video broadcasting

Do you intend to just reach your audiences and boost your brand awareness? Or would you perhaps want to livestream product launches and drive interest in your latest offerings? Maybe you want to interact with your prospects and customers one-on-one through the livestream? 

Whatever may be your goals, list them down.

Once you’ve got your list of goals, determine which features you need to bring those goals to fruition, and choose your live streaming service for video streaming based on those tools. This is the best strategy for sorting through the top livestream platforms and choosing the best one for your business’s needs. 

But here’s the thing—there are so many live streaming services available online that there’s a good chance that numerous services may fit the bill. In such a situation, which one should you choose? 

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top live streaming companies in the industry so you can choose from them.

Live Streaming Technology Compatibility

 

live streaming technology comparison

As you compare the best live streaming platforms for you, it is important to consider compatibility with other live streaming technology. For example, encoders play a huge role in the live streaming process, and if you’re going to want to use affordable RTMP encoders, you need to see if your provider  supports  RTMP ingest.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are several new streaming protocols that are on the horizon, including SRT and WebRTC. These protocols have different functions, but the commonality is that they support higher-quality live streaming. Since they are still developing, they are not widely supported yet.

For example, WebRTC is specifically designed for real-time video streaming and web conferencing. If this is a functionality that is important to you, you will want to find a live stream service that offers that support or integration that offers the functionality. Continuing that example, Dacast offers a Zoom live streaming integration that pulls in the  web conferencing aspect you might desire. Dacast also offers WebRTC streaming, allowing you to easily live stream directly from your webcam. 

Some other streaming technology compatibility that you should pay attention to include broadcasting software compatibility supported switchers, simulcasting tools, and mobile streaming support. You want to find a streaming video platform that offers as many features as possible to support your business goals.

You’d also want to look out for online live streaming services that offer adaptive bitrate streaming technology. It scales the bitrate of the stream automatically based on the internet speed of the viewer. This ensures that the viewer will get a consistent viewing experience without having to sit through long periods of buffering. That’s because the live stream will keep playing with a lower bitrate even when the internet speed drops.

The Rise of Live Video Streaming for Business

live streaming business

Broadcasting in the professional world is not new, but it has evolved in the past few years. 

Live streaming services for businesses specifically used to be less common. It was normal for professional livestream companies to use live streaming websites designed for consumers and independent content creators, such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

Consumer-grade broadcast providers are very valuable for amateur broadcasters and independent streamers. While they can still be used by businesses (many enterprises already use them) to connect with and engage their social media audiences, they have restrictions in terms of reach and features. However, these free web streaming platforms simply do not have the tools professional broadcasters or streaming businesses need to succeed. Consumer-grade broadcasting providers fall short when it comes to the customization and control offered by professional streaming platforms. 

One of the first roadblocks that come with consumer-grade video streaming platforms that pushed businesses to seek professional corporate live streaming software is the fact that many schools and organizations block Youtube and Facebook because they are social media platforms.

A business using social media live streaming software would miss out on large audiences due to these social media consumer grade broadcasting providers being blocked by a large number of organizations.

Another roadblock with consumer-grade video streaming platforms is that you don’t control how the video player looks, content suggestions, or advertising. The frustration that these free web services caused for businesses forced professional streaming solutions to come into play.

Now, there are many professional live streaming platforms for businesses to choose from that provide more control. Professional video streaming platforms offer more than the ability to avoid having your stream being blocked, they offer the ability to control the video viewing experience, from how the video player looks to what, if any, advertisements play with your content. 

The Purpose of Professional Live Streaming Platforms

live streaming platform technology
Professional grade cloud-based streaming platforms are designed for businesses’ needs that surpass the features of free online video platforms

The main purpose of professional live streaming platforms is to host live broadcasts for businesses and other professional organizations.

Some perks of hosting video on a professional live streaming platform include monetization, customization, access to better security features, and fewer limitations. Many professional online video streaming platforms include integrated video paywalls and tools to ease integration with existing workflows.

With the help of both video and player APIs, you have more control over your live streaming experience on both the ends of broadcasters and viewers.

Many of these professional business video streaming platforms, including Dacast, also offer around-the-clock 24/7 technical support. Most consumer-grade live streaming options don’t offer this kind of support, instead leaving you to figure out things on your own.

Another benefit of live streaming with a professional video delivery platform is that it typically does not put time restrictions on your streams, allowing you to stream for as long as you want. Many also offer white-label video players meaning you can have a professional live stream video embedded directly on your website with no trace of third-party ads or branding.

The purpose of professional live streaming platforms is to provide you with a video hosting service that you have complete control over. With a professional live stream platform, your business needs come first, not those of the platform.

Live Streaming Platform And Pricing Comparison for 2023

In order to help make your search for the best professional live streaming platform a bit easier, we’ve collected up-to-date information on the best streaming platforms’ pricing, pros, cons, features, and more.

Please note that the data in this comparison post for the best live streaming video platform  comes from a lot of unique research, and a number of sources. For example, these sources include platform websites, company background, user reviews, and free trial accounts.

We regularly update this comparison of the top major live streaming platforms with every detail, as streaming platforms change live broadcast services, plans, and features, in order to ensure the accuracy of this live streaming platform comparison. This way, you’ll know which live streaming company you should choose for getting your streaming services.

Let’s take a look at the provider overview, basic functionality, key and detailed features, pros, cons, and pricing for the 23 best live streaming platforms.

1. Dacast

streaming platformDacast’s live streaming platform is the leading professional online video and hosting solution.

Overview and Company History:

With offices in London and San Francisco, Dacast is considered a competitive offering in a crowded marketplace. Dacast is a full-featured, self-service solution for live streaming and  VOD hosting

Dacast is a unified streaming solution that makes the annual list of the most important, innovative, and interesting live stream companies on the 2021 Streaming Media Magazine’s Top 50 List. This powerful video hosting platform helps companies worldwide scale and monetize their online video content.

Basic Functionality:

Dacast provides comprehensive live streaming and secure video hosting services. Users can embed videos on their websites while maintaining 100% control of their content. Among other features, Dacast offers an  integrated paywall, password protection, referrer restriction, and an  analytics dashboard.

Key Features:

Dacast distinguishes itself by offering high-end features with competitive pricing plans. These include ad-free broadcasting, white-label service on all plans, and top-tier CDN delivery (including the option for a  multi-CDN solution). 24/7 phone support is also available for premium and  enterprise-grade plans.

Additionally, the Dacast platform stands out from other online video platforms (OVPs) with its ease of use and accessibility. Even new broadcasters can create a new live channel and start a new live stream in just a few minutes.

You also get adaptive and multi-bitrate streaming capabilities with Dacast that enable you to deliver a smooth live streaming experience to your viewers. It also enables you to reach the vast audience in China through live streaming, which can help boost your reach even further.

Detailed Features:

New!

Pros:

Cons:

  • Requires a bit of a learning curve

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
  • Max file size: None
  • Max video length: None
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS

Pricing:

Streaming platform pricing plans with Dacast start at $39 per month and includes four levels:

  • Starter plan: $39/month (billed annually); ideal for newcomers with 1.2 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per year
  • Event plan: $63/month (or $750/year); for organizations that would rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event, offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage; additional data and storage can be added as needed
  • Scale plan: $165/month (billed annually); includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 2 TB of storage; add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label video player, and  video API access; additional bandwidth is available upon request for monthly plans
  • Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high-volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.

Read more here about Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans.

Try Dacast risk-free for 14 days with our free trial. Access all of our features and see how our live streaming platform can help you reach your streaming goals. Dacast is a professional streaming platform with accessible pricing allowing businesses of all sizes access to an affordable video on demand and live video streaming service. 

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2. Brightcove

brightcove wowza alternativeBrightcove’s Video Cloud uses an innovative HTML5 video player with the latest ingest and transcoding technology. Source: Brightcove

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2004, Boston-based 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. Since the acquisition, Brightcove has announced  end-of-life plans for the Ooyala OVP.

Basic Functionality:

Brightcove offers a number of modular products. These include: Video Cloud hosting, the Lift video player, Once for server-side ad insertion, Live for streaming video, OTT flow for internet TV, Zencoder for  cloud video transcoding, and tools for monetization.

Key Features:

Brightcove’s features shine in the arena of analytics. Its detailed analytics and video marketing tools are quite valuable for businesses that aim to capture leads and understand their audience.

The online live streaming company also gives you multiple monetization options if you intend to launch an OTT service and earn from it. You also get detailed analytics into the performance of your live streams, which can help you determine if you need to change your distribution channels and strategies.

Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Global content delivery
  • Tech support, but only at a basic level with slow ticket-based responses (unless you upgrade to a paid support plan)
  • Video API access, but only on custom-priced plans
  • Security features, but with high-end features only available on custom plans
  • Monetization options, but only on custom-priced plans

Pros:

  • Good analytics
  • Includes custom video portals
  • CRM integration

Cons:

  • High price point
  • No live streaming with packages under  $499/month
  • Monetization is limited to custom-priced plans
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Determined by user
  • Maximum dimension: Determined by user
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (since Brightcove uses a responsive player)
  • Max file size: No limits on files size
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: Varies by plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP

Pricing:

Mainly targeting huge clients, Brightcove offers several pricing plan levels but does not provide pricing. You would have to get in touch with their team to find out the pricing structure for their live streaming features. 

Brightcove also includes custom-priced plans for their Enterprise Video Suite packages. Interested broadcasters can contact their sales department to receive a quote or sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Brightcove is not designed for small to medium-sized businesses; they target large businesses with big budgets who are willing to pay for all the upgraded features they offer as part of their streaming platform.

3. IBM Cloud Video

ibm video cloud live streaming platform

IBM’s streaming manager is an end-to-end solution, cloud-based OVP, ideally suited for live or on-demand content for Enterprises. Source: IBM Cloud Video

Overview and Company History:

Next up in our online video platform comparison is IBM Cloud Video (formally UStream). Founded in 2007 to connect military service members with family, IBM purchased UStream in 2016.

Around the same time, IBM acquired ClearLeap, a video management system, Cleversafe, a video storage service, and Aspera, a large-file transfer tool. All of these different companies were used to create create IBM Cloud Video, allowing IBM to become a platform for live streaming and VOD.

Basic Functionality:

IBM Live Video is a live streaming company first and foremost. However, it also hosts VOD (Video On Demand) files recorded from previous live streams.

Basic streaming accounts are free, with advertising supporting IBM Cloud Video. Paid accounts remove advertising and grant access to advanced features. Enterprise accounts allow for full custom branding and offer analytics, multiple live channels, content syndication, and more. The more you pay, the more custom livestream services you have access to on IBM Cloud Video.

IBM offers phone support for Pro and Enterprise users, and forum-based support for free users.

Key Features:

IBM Cloud Video provides both a customer-grade and an Enterprise streaming solution. This platform also offers a unique Enterprise Content Delivery Network. Their professional-grade OVP has solutions for live event coverage, video marketing, monetization, marketing, and more. Its inclusivity justifies its elevated price point.

Like Dacast, you also get China access through Hong Kong video hosting, which can help you drive better brand awareness. You also get OTT video management features that can come in handy if you want to launch an OTT service and monetize it. 

Detailed Features:

  • Enterprise video streaming
  • Enterprise content delivery network
  • Video distribution and workflow
  • OTT video management
  • Video monetization options
  • Live streaming 

Pros:

  • Reliable platform
  • Suitable for larger clients
  • Good customer support
  • Wide range of features for broadcasters
  • Hong Kong (China) video hosting

Cons:

  • Additional fees are required in order to stream above 720p resolution
  • Poor closed captioning support

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 480p (480 x 270)
  • Maximum dimension:  4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: No published aspect ratio
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: 1TB – 5TB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MPEG2, H264, H263, MPEG4, VP6, VP8, THEORA, WMV, MP3, AAC-LC, NELLYMOSER, PCM, SPEEX, VORBIS, WMA

Pricing:

IBM pricing plans range from $129 to $1299 per month and include the following:

  • Silver: $129/month
  • Gold: $649/month
  • Platinum: $1299/month
  • Custom: Please contact IBM Cloud video for custom plan pricing.

You can check out this third-party review for more details.

IBM Cloud video is a great platform for live streaming content for your business, and turning live streams into VOD. That makes it perfect for OTT service providers who want to host live streams and on-demand videos. 

4. JW Player

JWplayer live streaming platformJW Player’s live streaming platform is a sophisticated set of tools with a video player that is open source. Source: jwplayer.com

Overview and Company History:

First conceptualized in 2005 as part of a student project, JW Player began as a small piece of open-source code to play audio and video files. This code then became the basic video player for the fledgling YouTube, which continued to use the JW Player until Google acquired the platform in 2006.

Originally, JW Player was best known for its HTML5 video player for VOD content. In recent years, JW has expanded its video offerings beyond on-demand content to include live streaming.

Basic Functionality:

JW Player is perhaps best known for its HTML5 JW video player for VOD content.  This player supports MPEG-DASH playback, CSS skinning, DRM, and other advanced features. The company also now offers JW Live, a full-service live streaming provider.

Key Features:

In terms of JW Live, the platform supports HLS adaptive live streaming, multi-bitrate transcoding, simultaneous streaming to Instagram Live, and real-time analytics. The video live streaming service advertises itself as simple to use with a four-step process for beginning a live stream. Overall, JW Live is designed for users with a large budget and/or a large business enterprise.

JW Player also gives you the ability to monetize your content through ads. This makes it great for OTT platforms that want to go ahead with AVOD (advertising video on demand). The platform’s also fairly easy to use, making it a great bet for those who aren’t technically strong. Finally, China content delivery ensures that you can reach a much larger audience.

Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Global content delivery, but the Great Firewall 
  • Tech support blocks China’s delivery, but only in the form of email support through the $100/month plan level
  • Video API access on all plans
  • Security features are basic but functional. Only custom-priced Enterprise plans offer DRM
  • Monetization (only via advertising)
  • Continuous archive of live events for instant live-to-VOD content
  • DVR pause and rewind of live streams
  • Stream live events to web players, mobile apps, OTT apps, and social media platforms

Pros:

  • Great video player
  • Simple, easy-to-use platform
  • Good advertising tools

Cons:

  • Live streaming is limited to custom-priced plans with a 12-hour duration
  • Only ad-based monetization
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
  • Max file size: 25GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV

Pricing:

JW Player offers essentially 2 pricing plans:

  • Video Platform: You get a free trial of the video platform plan but need to request a custom pricing quote from the team after that.
  • Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming

Both plans offer a bunch of features including analytics, ad insertion, studio DRM, HTML5 player, mobile SDKs, and instant live streaming. 

5. Vimeo Livestream

Vimeo Livestream streaming platformVimeo’s Livestream offers live broadcasting and video hosting solutions for businesses of all sizes. Source: livestream.com

Overview and Company History:

Originally founded in 2007 as “Mogulus,” Livestream represented one of the largest live streaming companies in the world. 

In 2017, Vimeo acquired the Livestream platform. Since the acquisition, the two platforms have merged their online live streaming services. 

Today, the Vimeo platform powers over 10 million events per year and focuses on an integrated system of hardware, software, and cloud services.

Basic Functionality:

Vimeo offers both streaming and video hosting services. This basic functionality includes analytics, a video management platform, privacy controls, and more. To access basic live streaming functionality, users must purchase a Premium plan.

Vimeo provides tech support via email for hosting plans. For live support, users must purchase a Premium or Vimeo OTT custom plan. You need a bigger budget in order to access live support with this streaming platform. 

Key Features:

What sets Vimeo apart is its offering of a range of proprietary hardware and software for live streaming. These offerings integrate smoothly with their platform, minimizing the fuss of implementing a live streaming program from the hardware on up. 

Vimeo Livestream is quite straightforward to use and has pay-per-view and subscription monetization options. You also get added security in the form of password protection. Additionally, viewer engagement features like Q&A and polls work well to drive a connection with your audience. To make things easier for viewers, you also get automated closed captions and registrant email notifications. 

Detailed Features:

  • Video management service
  • High-quality videos and streams
  • Large storage capacity
  • Privacy options
  • Upload from anywhere

Pros:

  • Unlimited events and viewers
  • No in-stream ads
  • Sleek and professional appearance 
  • Thoroughly detailed analytics
  • Easy to use
  • Pay-per-view option

Cons:

  • Does not generate as much traffic as other sites
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Recommended dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 3GB
  • Max video length: Information not available
  • Total file storage: Information not available
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)

Pricing:

Vimeo Livestream offers three main pricing plans, including:

Vimeo Advanced:

  • Advanced pricing: $65/month
  • Their Advanced plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This plan is the best option for professional broadcasting on this platform.

Vimeo Enterprise:

  • Enterprise Pricing: Please contact Vimeo for custom pricing information
  • The Enterprise plan includes white-label service, monetization, and video API access. It also includes branding control and added security features.

Vimeo OTT:

  • Custom pricing, you need to contact them for a quote and demo. 
  • This OTT-specific pricing package comes with the Vimeo.com relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.

For more details, check out our comprehensive guide to Vimeo Livestream pricing.

If you are new to live video streaming, Vimeo’s integration of proprietary hardware and software helps simplify the complexity of the live streaming process. If you have an advanced video production team, having to use Vimeo’s integrated proprietary hardware and software may feel limiting to your team.

6. Muvi

muvi live streaming video platformMuvi’s live streaming platform is an all-inclusive, fully managed OTT solution. Source: muvi.com

Overview and Company History:

Next up in this review, Muvi is another of the best live streaming platforms focused on over-the-top OTT media. This  online video platform is unique in that it functions as a turnkey appliance for OTT broadcasters.

In fact, this model empowers users to launch their own video or  audio streaming platform quickly and easily. Additionally, the platform includes an all-inclusive and fully-featured website, mobile, and TV apps.

Basic Functionality:

Muvi is a PaaS-based video stream platform with an all-in-one OTT solution. Their OTT service allows businesses to launch white-label multi-device streaming, video on demand (VOD), and audio streaming. The platform includes fully managed, end-to-end solutions, all controlled from single streaming video CMS, with no coding or IT team required.

Key Features:

With Muvi, you can have your own multi-screen OTT Video On Demand (VOD) platform in an instant. Their streaming solution comes with a plethora of functionalities and capabilities. The best part is that it is a very simple and straightforward service that doesn’t require any coding and development expertise as everything is fully managed from Muvi’s end.

Detailed Features:

Pros:

  • Hosting
  • CDN
  • Video CMS
  • Transcoding
  • DRM
  • Website and Apps for Mobile and TV.

Cons:

  • Not user friendly
  • Hard to integrate or connect
  • CMS user interface is complex
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 144p (256 x 144)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840  x2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: not available
  • Max video length: not available
  • Total file storage: 1TB, 2TB, 5TB (depending on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, M4V, AVI, 3GP, MPG

Pricing:

Muvi prices its plans at the following five levels:

  • Standard plan: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB each of bandwidth and storage, and API access.
  • Professional plan: at $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) increases limits further and adds premium support.
  • Enterprise plan: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
  • Ultimate plan: Custom pricing. It offers unlimited concurrent users, monthly security and performance reports, and more.

Additionally, you can try Muvi One free for 14-days before signing up for a paid plan. For more information, check out this third-party review of the platform.

Muvi is more than a streaming platform. It offers businesses the tools to create their own OTT video or audio experience simply and easily, without coding or advanced IT knowledge. 

If your business is looking to create and monetize your own streaming, eLearning, or audio streaming platform. You can widen your audience base with cross-platform reach with your own branded over the top platform, website, and apps.

7. Resi

resi streaming platformResi is an end-to-end live streaming platform for professionals. Source: resi.io

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2014, Resi is an end-to-end video broadcasting platform that is equipped with a variety of streaming tools. This company offers all of the tools that broadcasters need to get started with live streaming.

Resi is branded as an “affordable” solution, but prices are not listed on their website.

Basic Functionality:

Resi offers a variety of live streaming software in addition to some hardware offerings.

Key Features:

Resi has several notable features including live stream hosting, simulcasting, and encoding technology in addition to a few hardware offerings.

Detailed Features:

  • End-to-end live streaming support
  • Simulcasting capabilities
  • Some encoding support
  • Automation tools
  • Cloud streaming
  • Monitoring tools

Pros:

  • Produces high-quality live streams
  • Wide range of functionality
  • Highly reliable
  • Reliable support

Cons:

  • Limitations on analytics
  • Limitations on chat
  • “Dated” interface

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: None
  • Maximum dimension: 1920×1080
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Max file size: 15 GB
  • Max video length: 6 hours
  • Total file storage: Unavailable
  • Compatible video formats: MP4

Pricing:

Interested broadcasters must fill out an inquiry form to get information on Resi’s pricing.

Resi boasts that their streams never feature a spinning wheel, but that is achieved by the fact that live streams are delayed about 90 seconds from live. If you are okay with a 90 second delay between when you say something and your viewers see it, then this could be the platform for you.

8. StreamShark

streamshark live streaming platformStreamShark’s OTT platform features a live streaming workflow with easy-to-use features and global CDN delivery. Source: StreamShark.io

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2011 from research out of the University of Melbourne, StreamShark is another of the best live streaming platforms providing multi-faceted online video functionality. StreamShark is a business wing of MetaCDN. This means that the platform specializes in fast and innovative content delivery.

Basic Functionality:

As a streaming service, this company offers a consumer-grade (B2C) platform and a distinct enterprise platform for streaming. StreamShark is a technology company with reliable video stream delivery expertise for global reach. It excels at making the live streams of large-scale, high-profile events a massive success, with viewers having an exceptional viewing experience.  It is a great live event streaming platform.

Key Features:

Their live event platform offers users the ability to efficiently and reliably manage the different phases of an event’s stream while ensuring maximum reach and reliability of the live stream via its multi-vendor approach and HLS ingests. Additionally, the company focuses overall on providing global video CDN services. If you have a global audience you need to reach, it is one of the top live streaming platforms. 

With the Enterprise package, your business can access advanced features such as peer-to-peer delivery to reduce bandwidth load on corporate networks when conducting a live stream for employees. They also offer end-to-end encryption and 360-degree 4K streams.

Detailed Features:

Pros:

  • Localized media ingestion
  • Video Encoding
  • Redistribution
  • Increased storage space

Cons:

  • No Channel support
  • No embeddable playlists
  • Fair to no video analytics
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: not available
  • Max video length: not available
  • Total file storage: 500GB, 1TB, 3TB
  • Compatible video formats: HLS, WebM VP9, WebM VP8, WebM VP9 DASH, MP4

Pricing:

Monthly live streaming plans with StreamShark begin at $199 per month and include the following:

  • Standard: $199/month; includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth; 500 GB of VOD storage an additional overage of $0.10 per GB
  • Team: $499/month; includes 4,000 GB of bandwidth; 2,000 GB of storage, and lowers per GB overage prices to $0.09
  • Business: $999/month; includes 9,000 GB of bandwidth; 5,000 GB of storage, and reduces the overage to $0.08 per GB
  • Enterprise: Please contact StreamShark for their custom enterprise solutions and plans

StreamShark caters both to small and medium size businesses with their monthly live streaming package, and to large corporations that need to host big corporate events. They offer a range of online live streaming packages for businesses.

9. Kaltura

Kaltura streaming and business video hosting solution

Kaltura provides the widest range of live streaming video solutions for any company through engaging video tools. Source: kaltura.com

Overview and Company History:

With a video management foundation in its open-source software, Kaltura offers a unique focus on the live streaming market. Historically, this company has worked most extensively with educational institutions.

Basic Functionality:

While the Kaltura software is free, it requires an infrastructure of servers for hosting and distribution. This platform represents an alternative to the self-hosted model (e.g., Dacast). That said, Kaltura offers cloud-based video hosting and distribution services for both VOD and live streams.

Key Features:

Kaltura shines when it comes to extensibility. The open-source nature of their software means that a community of users creates and shares countless add-ons and integrations.

However, the downside of Kaltura’s extensibility is that the platform can be confusing to use. With so many different features, it can be overwhelming for beginner users.

Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive broadcasting are included
  • Global content delivery via a combined CDN approach (with the option to bring your own CDN)
  • Tech support via a ticket-based system, which is slower than chat or phone
  • Video API access
  • Security features, including a range of authentication and encryption options
  • Monetization, including all major models (subscription, advertising, PPV streaming)

Pros:

  • Many available features
  • Good monetization options
  • Robust security

Cons:

  • No phone or chat support
  • Highly complex
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

Pricing:

Kaltura doesn’t publish pricing information on its website. However, some users have said that plans start at about $1000 per month and go up. For more details, you can read about this platform’s pay-for-what-you-use pricing model.

Kaltura is a great live broadcasting platform if you have a more technically advanced video production team that would thrive and enjoy all the additional user-generated features the platform offers.

10. StreamYard

streamyard live streaming platformStreamYard is a simple live streaming platform for broadcasters. Source: streamyard.com

Overview and Company History:

StreamYard, founded by Hopin, is an in-browser live streaming platform. This platform is relatively basic but will do the job for broadcasters with minimal live videos needs.

Since this platform is pretty basic, it is relatively easy to start streaming on StreamYard.

Basic Functionality:

StreamYard is a simple in-browser live broadcasting designed to improve audience engagement. StreamYard does not support on-demand streaming.

Key Features:

StreamYard uses in-browser streaming technology. This provides a wide range of functionality without any downloads necessary. The brand customization features on StreamYard are some of the most valuable.

You can also use the platform for multistreaming and directly stream to top platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Detailed Features:

  • Custom branding
  • Graphic overlays
  • Simulcast to social media platforms
  • Multiple on-screen presenters
  • Screen sharing 
  • Audience engagement tools

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Engaging
  • Great for collaborative streams

Cons:

  • Very basic platform 
  • No monetization
  • No VOD
  • Limited browser compatibility 

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • StreamYard does not publish upload guidelines and specs.

Pricing:

StreamYard offers three pricing plans for individuals. These include:

  • Free: Access StreamYard on a limited basis for free.
  • Basic: $20/month; access some advanced streaming features, including unlimited streaming, brand customization, graphic overlays, simulcasting, and stream recording.
  • Professional: $39/month; adds up to 10 hours of stream recording, multistreaming to 8 destinations, full 1080p HD, and individual audio recordings

It also offers three pricing plans that are specifically built for businesses.

  • Premium: $79/month, up to 1000 viewers, 15 backstage participants, 10 seats, and 4 hours of pre-recorded streams
  • Growth: $239/month, up to 10000 viewers, greenroom, and 8 hours of pre-recorded streams
  • Business: Custom pricing. You need to get in touch with their sales team to find the pricing details. 10000+ viewers, 700+ hours of storage, and more

The rates we’ve mentioned above reflect the monthly pricing when billed annually.

StreamYard is great for businesses without a dedicated IT team to support live streaming events. There is no need for additional software or to download anything. They offer unique branding, with the ability to add your logo, colors, overlays, images, and GIFs to the video player. Up to 10 different people can broadcast at once, and they support audience interactions. 

StreamYard is a great online live streaming platform for businesses and an easy-to-use tool for live streaming.

11. StreamLabs OBS

StreamlabsOBS streaming platformStreamlabs OBS is a top choice for free professional software for live streaming and recording.

Overview and Company History:

Streamlabs OBS, also known as “SLOBS,” is another powerful software for live streaming. It has similar functionality to OBS Studio, but it uses a graphical user interface rather than a command-line interface, making it easier to use. The latest version of StreamLabs OBS is v1.6.1 and is available for  download here.

Basic Functionality:

Streamlabs offers quite a few features for editing and multicasting live streams. It is the chosen broadcasting software for many professional streamers. One of the unique aspects of this software is its web-based live streaming studio called MelonApp. The app allows you to broadcast to Facebook, YouTube Live,  LinkedIn, or Twitch with one click and without leaving your browser.

Key Features:

The Streamlabs website doesn’t indicate any limitations on operating system compatibility. However, the platform is suitable for streaming on Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, and YouTube Live.

Detailed Features:

  • Multistreaming to many popular platforms
  • Highlighter free video editing tools
  • Layout editor with drag and drop
  • Selective recording of streamed content
  • Replay buffer to replay clips for your viewers
  • Dynamic in-game overlay for single monitors
  • Streamlabs Deck with a live stream remote control app
  • Secure streaming

Pros:

  • Easy for beginners
  • Tools for designing stream layout
  • Selective recording
  • Gaming overlays
  • Tools for tipping and donations

Cons:

  • No scoreboards
  • Limitations on graphic overlays
  • Some features are clunky

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: N/A
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p
  • Aspect ratio: N/A
  • Max file size: 300MB
  • Max video length: 4 or 10 hours (depends on plan)
  • Total file storage: 30 days recording storage
  • Compatible video formats: N/A

Pricing:

The Streamlabs app is free to download with the Starter plan. However, you can opt for the Streamlabs Ultra plan for $19/month to get access to 10 GB of storage, 1000+ themes, and 3+ destinations for stream distribution.

Streamlabs is a great tool for businesses or individuals focused on streaming live content to social platforms. They offer personalized stream overlays and integrate with a range of apps that can provide you access to improved analytics, viewer interaction tools, and more automation tools.

12. Cincopa

cincopa live streaming platformCincopa is a live streaming platform that is most commonly known for multimedia hosting. Source: cincopa.com

Overview and Company History:

Cincopa is a multimedia hosting platform that large organizations use to store their content. In addition to media hosting, Cincopa offers all of the tools that broadcasters need to host high-quality  live streams.

Cincopa offers plans for different budgets. The range of pricing offerings, paired with the flexible functionality of this platform makes it a great tool for many different kinds of broadcasters.

Basic Functionality:

Cincopa’s primary purpose is hosting different types of media files, including video, audio, and images. However, this platform also supports live streaming. 

Key Features:

Cincopa provides all of the features that broadcasters need for a professional streaming experience, including video monetization, stream recording, OTT streaming, powerful content delivery, and more.

Another perk of this streaming solution is that it supports integrations for a customizable streaming experience.

Detailed Features:

  • Multimedia hosting
  • Live streaming support 
  • Powerful video player
  • Video monetization
  • Integrations for customization
  • OTT streaming
  • Reliable CDN partnerships
  • Secure streaming

Pros:

  • High-quality streaming
  • Professional streaming experience
  • Wide range of useful tools
  • Customizable streaming
  • Reliable customer support 

Cons:

  • Live streaming is a secondary offering
  • Some complaints of media storage limits

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 144p
  • Maximum dimension: 4K
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3, 16:9
  • Max file size: 1, 2, 20GB (depending on the plan)
  • Max video length: not available
  • Total file storage: 5 videos, 40 videos, unlimited videos (depending on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: AVI, MOV, WMV, MP4, M4A, F4A,  F4B, F4V, F4P, M2TS, MTS, VOB, MKV, RMVB, M1V, QT, DIV, DIVX, DV, 3GP, 3GPP, 3G2, MPG, MPEG, MPE, FLV

Pricing:

Cincopa offers three different pricing plans, including:

  • Plus: $25/month; includes marketing tools (CTAs, email integrations, etc.)
  • Corporate: $99/month; advanced broadcasting tools
  • Agency/Enterprise: $350/month; advanced broadcasting tools with more flexibility 

Please check out Cincopa’s pricing page for a further breakdown of storage and capabilities that come with each plan.

Cincopa is an image and podcast hosting platform that supports live streaming. If you need all three of those video live streaming services in one place, they may be the right platform for your business.

13. Restreamrestream multistreaming platformRestream specializes in multistreaming, but its Studio solution hosts live streams. Source: restream.io

Overview and Company History:

Restream is a streaming platform that specializes in multistreaming but offers some other streaming products.  Restream Studio is their offering that supports in-browser live streaming.

Restream studio offers the ability to broadcast video in real-time, designed to increase brand exposure and sales.

Basic Functionality:

Restream is a platform for broadcasting live videos in-browser, most popular among the gaming, tech, government, sports, media, and music industries.

Key Features:

Restream is primarily a multistreaming platform, but it offers support for collaborative in-browser streaming alternatives.

The platform enables you to launch scheduled events, enable in-browser streaming for your audiences, and provides tools to help you collaborate with your team. The reach of your stream to 30+ destinations makes it a great platform for distributing your content. 

Detailed Features:

  • In-browser streaming
  • Multistreaming capabilities 
  • Features for boosting engagement
  • Peer-to-peer streaming support
  • Tools for audience interaction
  • Brand customization
  • Scheduled events

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Tools for collaboration
  • On-brand streaming
  • Tools for audience engagement 

Cons:

  • Not a dedicated streaming platform
  • In-browser streaming is secondary to live stream hosting

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Recommended dimension: 1920 ×1080
  • Aspect ratio: Unavailable
  • Max file size: 2GB (for pre-recorded streams)
  • Max video length: 1-4 hours (depends on plan)
  • Total file storage: 10 videos
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MKV, M4V, MOV

Pricing:

Restream has several pricing plans for both individuals and businesses. These include the following plans:

Individuals:

  • Free: $0/months (for individuals)
  • Standard: $19/month (for individuals)
  • Professional: $49/month (for individuals)

Companies:

  • Premium: $99/month (for businesses)
  • Business: $299/month (for businesses)

These prices reflect monthly rates when paid monthly, and offer discounts when paid for a full year in advance.

Restream touts that with one live stream, you can reach 30+ destinations all at once. However, their free plan only allows you to be multistream to 2 channels, their standard plan allows for multistreaming to 5 channels, and the professional plan allows for streaming to 8 channels. If you need to stream to more locations than that, you need a company plan.

14. Wowza

cloud streaming platform wowza

Wowza’s cloud platform features a live streaming engine for business-critical applications. Source: Wowza.com

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2005 by David Stubenvoll and Charlie Good, Wowza is a bootstrapped start-up, with live and on-demand live streaming capabilities to phones, tablets, consoles, focusing on greater accessibility, further flexibility, and the best cost-effectiveness.

Basic Functionality:

Wowza offers two main products, the first of which is the Wowza Streaming Engine. This product is widely used in the industry for self-hosted streaming. Wowza streaming services, however, come with the Wowza offering. The Streaming Cloud functionality includes a variety of features aimed at providing low-latency content access to global audiences of all sizes.

Key Features:

Wowza’s live streaming platform’s core capabilities help developers, event producers, and technical entrepreneurs deliver live streams to their viewers/customers through third-party integration, captioning, API, and more.

You can also monitor the performance of your live streams through Wowza. The pay as you go pricing also means that the platform is quite affordable for small businesses and can be scaled as you grow. 

Detailed Features:

  • Cloud management portal
  • Up to 4K streaming
  • Wide range of security options
  • APIs available
  • Live stream recording

Pros:

  • Audience Engagement
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Robust security
  • Mobile Screen Support
  • Video Looping
  • China video delivery

Cons:

  • No Multistreaming
  • No Session Recording
  • No Video Monetization Tools
  • No Multiple Camera Feeds
  • No Audience Analytics
  • No Event Scheduling

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: Not available
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP

Pricing:

Wowza recently overhauled its pricing plans and added several options. These are split into 2 main tiers: Video and Streaming Engine.

Wowza Video:

Wowza Streaming Cloud offers three different pricing plans and live streaming video services.

Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

  • Pay As You Go: $29/month, with a 3-month minimum; flexible streaming with low startup costs
  • One Month of Streaming: $149 one-time purchase; includes 15 hours of live streaming and 500 viewing hours also at 720p
  • Enterprise: Custom plans, you can find the pricing by connecting with their team. 

All of these Live Event plans include full brand control, adaptive-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

Wowza Streaming Engine:

The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

  • Basic: $195/month + $195/month for each additional instance 
  • One Month of Streaming: $295/month + $295month for each additional instance
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

Wowza is a platform that has streaming plans that work for both individuals and businesses. If you need a live streaming portal with plans that will grow with your business, Wowza may be right for you.

15. Panopto

live streaming platform panoptoPanopto’s live streaming platform is a reliable solution for managing, streaming, and recording videos for any organization. Source: Panopto.com

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2007 in Pittsburg at Carnegie Mellon University as a tech project, Panopto is a video company f ocusing on  businesses and universities. This platform enables you to stream, share, record, and broadcast video content. With more than 100 employees in 6 offices worldwide, Panopto serves an audience of over 5 million end-users in the e-learning space.

Basic Functionality:

With a primary focus on internal use for online education, Panopto provides powerful tools for creating “internal YouTubes” and integration with  Learning Management Systems. Panopto is a more focused online video organization than the other best live streaming platforms.

Key Features:

With Panopto, users have a single mobile-ready solution for recording live videos, live streaming, video search, quizzing, and analytics. Their content management (CMS) system allows for the centralization of video streams, playlists, and playback. You also get access to Chinese audiences through Panopto’s China hosting. Finally, customizable branding means your video player will help grow your brand too. 

Detailed Features:

  • Lecture-capture and video-search software
  • Analytics
  • Access control & security features
  • White-label streaming
  • Integration with LMS systems; APIs  for further integrations.

Pros:

  • Audio Content
  • Document Indexing
  • Full-Text Search
  • Video Content
  • Asset Categorization
  • Customizable Branding
  • China hosting

Cons:

  • No customizable templates
  • No image editor
  • No SEO management
  • No version control

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Compatible video formats: AVI, MP4, MPG, WMV, MOV, QT, ASF, 3GP, WMA, MP3, M4V
  • All other upload guidelines and specs are only available to paying customers. 

Pricing:

Panopto recently simplified its pricing packages  and you have to get in touch with their team to find out custom pricing for your requirements. 

After establishing a contract, you have access to unlimited streaming and storage. However, this aspect may represent a potential downside for some streamers as Panopto does not handle any external-facing video content.

Panopto understands the needs of educational institutions, making it a great platform for educational institutions.

Top Social Video Streaming Platforms

As we mentioned, free B2C streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook are not ideal for  video hosting on a professional level. Live streaming social platforms tend to have limited features and functionality compared to the professional streaming services mentioned above.

Despite its limited functionality, social media live streaming platforms are useful for teasing content and building a loyal following for your brand. Doing a live stream on social media is also free, making it appealing for those unsure about professional broadcasting.

Let’s take a look at a few of the top social media streaming platforms.

16. YouTube Live

YouTube Live streaming platformYouTube is one of the most popular video platforms. Source: youtube.com

Overview and Company History:

YouTube was one of the first social broadcasting sites to make  online streaming popular, and it has grown exponentially in the past decade. This Google-owned website is designed for consumers, but many businesses use it while they are getting into broadcasting.

YouTube is not the best platform for live hosting since the site has strict limitations on monetization and other professional tools. Additionally, YouTube Live requires that broadcasters give up partial ownership of their content when they upload it to the platform. It is a live stream service that your business can use, but it has major limitations. 

Basic Functionality:

YouTube Live is a free B2C platform for streaming live videos, designed for users with little to no prior broadcasting experience.

Key Features:

YouTube is primarily a consumer-grade video sharing platform. It supports VOD and live streaming, but the most popular content on the platform is on-demand videos. But considering the sheer reach of the platform with over  2 billion monthly active users, your online live streams will get unparalleled reach through YouTube. It’s particularly useful for live streaming events and product launches. 

Detailed Features:

  • Ad-based monetization is limited to users with large followings and watch times
  • No notable security features
  • Popular among consumers
  • Powered by Google
  • Easy to share videos
  • Videos can be embedded in other websites
  • No white-label capabilities

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • YouTube is a household name, so viewers are comfortable using it
  • Easy to use (for both viewers and broadcasters)
  • Easy to embed video player
  • Live and VOD hosting

Cons:

  • Cannot remove YouTube Live branding
  • Limitations on live streaming
  • Strict restrictions on content. For example, if there’s a popular song playing in the background, your video can be abruptly taken down for copyright reasons.
  • YouTube Live owns partial rights to your content. For example, if you rely on in-video sponsorships, you may be forced to start giving a cut of your revenue to YouTube in the future.
  • Distracting third-party in-stream ads and branding
  • YouTube Live will suggest the videos of competitors off to the side, which can drive away potential fans

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (adds padding to videos with other aspect ratios)
  • Max file size: 128 GB
  • Max video length: 12 hours
  • Total file storage: No storage limit
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, FLV, AVI, Web M, WMV, MPEG-PS, 3GPP

YouTube is a free platform that allows you to broadcast videos, live stream events, and monetize live videos. However, that free tag comes with a cost, as you don’t have complete control over your content that a professional-grade live streaming platform can offer your business.

17. Dailymotion

live video streaming platform dailymotionDailymotion is often referred to as “the French YouTube.” Source: DailyMotion

Overview and Company History:

Dailymotion is a streaming platform that calls itself a place where you can discover content you love from around the world, live or on-demand, and where video-makers are free to share their world and connect with a passionate audience. One thing that many broadcasters like about Dailymotion is that it allows just about any content, whereas YouTube is quite strict.

The purpose of Dailymotion is essentially the same as YouTube. It is a basic platform for new broadcasters to upload and host video material. Since this site is free, it is pretty “bare bones” regarding professional broadcasting tools.

Basic Functionality:

The growing popularity of Dailymotion and the greater freedom of expression makes this streaming platform a great choice for many broadcasters.

Key Features:

Dailymotion is a basic video sharing platform that consumers and independent content creators primarily use. It includes tools for easy video sharing.

Detailed Features:

  • Basic video sharing platform
  • Based in France
  • Small creator’s fund
  • Copyright protection tools
  • Minimal content limitations

Pros:

  • Very few content restrictions
  • Growing in popularity around the world

Cons:

  • Not as popular as YouTube
  • No significant monetization tools (other than a slim “creator fund’)
  • Limited video analytics

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (adds padding to videos with other aspect ratios)
  • Max file size: 128GB
  • Max video length: 12 hours
  • Total file storage: Unlimited
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV,  MPEG-PS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM

If you want a free platform that isn’t YouTube, Dailymotion is the next logical choice. Dailymotion has fewer restrictions on what content can be shared on its platform.

18. Facebook Live  

Facebook Live Streaming PlatformFacebook is a social media platform that businesses use to reach consumers with video. Source: facebook.com

Overview and Company History:

Regarding video hosting, Facebook offers both “Live” and “Watch,” which allows businesses and organizations to host on-demand content or broadcast live content. 

Live streams can be hosted on personal profiles, pages, and groups, but on-demand “Facebook Watch” videos can only be published on Facebook Pages.

Facebook Live is commonly used by businesses and organizations that are just dipping their toes in live broadcasting. Since it is a free platform, Facebook Live poses many challenges related to video ownership, time limits on videos, monetization, and more.

Aside from those few technical restrictions, live streaming with Facebook Live is valuable for connecting with existing audiences. 

Basic Functionality:

It is common for broadcasters who use premium streaming solutions to connect their accounts to multicast on Facebook and their websites. That allows users to tap into their existing Facebook audiences while accessing the professional tools of a hosting solution.

Key Features:

Facebook is a social media platform with tools for uploading and sharing videos to online communities. The live streaming feature on Facebook gives viewers commenting and reacting capabilities. They can write to you in real-time and you can answer their questions right away. Similarly, the engagements can help increase your reach on the platform and help make your live streams successful.

Detailed Features:

Pros:

  • The app is free
  • Viewers are familiar with the platform
  • Live chat promotes engagement
  • Taps into existing following

Cons:

  • No monetization options
  • Time limits on live videos
  • Cannot remove Facebook Live branding

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 720p (1280×720) 
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16, 2:3, 4:5, 1:1
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Max video length: 90 minutes
  • Total file storage: No storage limit
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, AVI, 3GPP, WMV, FLV, MKV

Facebook Live works best when integrated with a professional live streaming platform that allows for simultaneous casting to multiple sites. It can allow you to connect to your already-developed Facebook audience. 

19. Instagram

Instagram Streaming PlatformInstagram is an app for sharing photos and videos. Source: instagram.com

Overview and Company History:

Instagram is a popular social media app with various video-sharing features. If you want to broadcast live videos with high production values, the app isn’t for you, but it is great to share pre-recorded videos. 

Basic Functionality:

Both consumers and businesses upload small, shareable clips to the platform to share with followers. Businesses often use Instagram Live to tease the content on their site or app. They add CTAs that lead users to their websites with products or longer videos. Instagram Live is popular for eCommerce businesses and offers sellers the ability to include shoppable and product links in their stories, reels, and live broadcasts.

Key Features:

Instagram is a social media platform for sharing pictures and videos. Basically, Instagram Live is a social network that allows you to live stream music and videos. If you want a dedicated streaming service, it’s better to look at other platforms.

Detailed Features:

  • Live streaming on stories
  • Video and photo sharing
  • Direct messaging tools (which can be used to share posts and interact)
  • Minimal privacy controls
  • Some business tools

Pros:

  • Free to download and use
  • Popular among most age groups
  • Easy to navigate
  • Uploading and sharing is almost instantaneous
  • Some business tools
  • Supports streaming
  • Live shopping

Cons:

  • No monetization features
  • Poor privacy tools
  • Limited streaming hours
  • Minimal live streaming features
  • You can be temporarily blocked from live streaming if you mistakenly violate Community guidelines
  • Stream can be taken down abruptly if the platform hears popular music in the background

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 864 x 1080 (recommended)
  • Maximum dimension: 864 x 1080 (recommended)
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 4:5
  • Max file size: 15 MB
  • Max video length: Depends on which feature you use
  • Total file storage: Unlimited
  • Compatible video formats: MP4

Instagram is great for video sharing; however, you are going to want to back that up with a professional live streaming service.

20. TikTok

Tiktok Live Streaming PlatformTikTok is very popular with Gen Z users. Source: tiktok.com

Overview and Company History:

TikTok is a live video streaming app that is still relatively new to the scene, and its algorithm is geared toward growth. That means it’s relatively easy to go viral and build a following on this app, even if it’s by mistake.

TikTok is a social media platform through and through, but when used strategically, businesses can use it to lead viewers to their websites for their intended conversion.

Basic Functionality:

Please note that most TikTok users are Gen Zers, meaning most viewers on the platform are around the age of 25 and younger. This option is best suited for businesses with an audience in that age group.

Key Features:

TikTok has some live streaming tools, but the platform is primarily used for sharing short video clips.  You can get live streaming features on the platform once you cross 1000 followers. It makes it slightly challenging to get live streaming capabilities, but once you do, you’ll be among the few who have it. 

Detailed Features:

  • Highly controlled live streaming tools
  • 15-180 second video sharing
  • “Dueting” tool, which allows users to use parts of existing videos for their own
  • “For You Page” that generates content based on viewers’ interests
  • Very young users

Pros:

  • Free to download and use
  • The algorithm makes it easy to go viral
  • Suitable for quick growth
  • Generates a “For You Page” based on viewer behavior
  • Because they limit who can go live, when you do get 1000+ followers, you’re able to stand out with live videos

Cons:

  • Extremely limited monetization options
  • A 180-second video length limit
  • Cannot remove TikTok branding
  • Ongoing issues with data privacy
  • Not everyone can go live. You need 1,000+ followers.

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 1080 x 1920
  • Maximum dimension: 1080 x 1920
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Max file size: 287.6 MB  on iOS and 72 MB on Android
  • Max video length: 3 minutes
  • Total file storage: No storage limit
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV

TikTok supports 15 seconds, 60 seconds, or 3-minute videos. This isn’t long enough for a live stream event but it can be a way to connect and grow your audience with short sound bites.

21. Twitch

Twitch Streaming PlatformTwitch is a popular video platform for streaming content geared towards video games and special interests. Source: twitch.com

Overview and Company History:

Twitch is a live streaming app that doubles as a social media platform. It was founded 9 years ago as  Justin.tv Justin.tv no longer exists, and they spun off the original platform and sold it to Amazon.

Viewers can subscribe to their favorite streamers so that they are alerted when they go live.

Basic Functionality:

Twitch.tv is a consumer-grade platform for independent streamers, and it is especially popular among Esports (video game) streamers.

This site is pretty niche, but it is a great platform if you are trying to reach an audience in the gaming, fantasy, or tech industry.

Key Features:

Twitch is a social network that is primarily meant for Esport live streaming. It’s a great platform for streamers and individuals to quickly gain a large audience and might also be helpful for gaming brands as you can partner with influencers on the platform to grow your reach. 

Detailed Features:

  • Viewers can “Tip” streamers
  • Primarily used by streamers who broadcast gaming and special interests/hobbies
  • Tools for an audience to chat with streamers and each other in real-time

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Relatively easy for beginners to use 
  • Tools for engagement and community interaction
  • Robust chatting features
  • Several monetization options

Cons:

  • Not designed for professional use
  • It May require some encoding tools
  • Limited monetization tools
  • Strict community guidelines
  • Several monetization options, but you need to qualify first by becoming a Twitch Partner or Affiliate.

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: Not available
  • Max video length: 48 hours
  • Total file storage: Not available
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV

Pricing:

Twitch does not charge content providers to use their platform, but they allow them to make money off of their users. This program is called Twitch Subscriptions, and it includes three tiers:

  • Tier 1 subscription – $4.99/month
  • Tier 2 subscription – $9.99/month
  • Tier 3 subscription – $24.99/month

If you run a gaming business, Twitch is a great live streaming platform. You can also connect a professional streaming service to Twitch for greater functionality and control over your stream.

22. LinkedIn Live

Linkedin Live streaming platformLinkedIn Live is revolutionizing online networking. Source: linkedin.com

Overview and Company History:

LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for professionals to network and gain connections. Since the pandemic’s start, people have had to get creative with building their “Rolodex,” and LinkedIn has come in handy.

LinkedIn recently rolled out LinkedIn Live, a premier business offering that helps brands connect with professionals through live-streamed content. LinkedIn Live requires the support of a custom RTMP  streaming setup (self-hosted) or the support of a third-party streaming platform (like Dacast and the other tools we’ve mentioned above).

The value of streaming to LinkedIn live is that it is possible to target a very specific audience, professionals in your industry. However, this could also be a negative for some broadcasters looking to go beyond this specific audience. 

Basic Functionality:

LinkedIn is primarily a social media platform, and LinkedIn Live is a newly added feature for enhanced engagement. 

Key Features:

LinkedIn Live is a regulated platform that allows brands to connect with professionals in their industry. Even individuals on LinkedIn can use it to go live. However, you have to get approved for live streaming capabilities. But this exclusivity makes it even more valuable. 

Detailed Features:

  • Social streaming to a professional audience
  • Quality control and exclusivity 
  • Designed to boost engagement
  • Integrated with LinkedIn Events for virtual event hosting

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Very specific audience 
  • Helps build brand awareness
  • Boosts engagement among an audience

Cons:

  • Users must apply for access
  • Requires third-party support
  • Highly regulated 
  • Offers no ability to monetize your content

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Video guidelines and specs depend on the third-party app that you use for support

Pricing:

LinkedIn Live is free to use as long as LinkedIn accepts your application.

To stream on LinkedIn Live, you will want the support of a professional live streaming platform.

23. YouNow 

YouNow producer channel
YouNow is a livestream provider perfect for interacting with a niche audience. Source: YouNow

Overview and Company History:

YouNow  is a live streaming platform that allows users to create and share real-time video content with their followers. As one of the top live streaming solutions companies, YouNow is available to users on both web and mobile platforms. Users can broadcast content in various formats, including solo, group, and interactive streams. 

YouNow has a solid user base, with roughly 40 million active users every month. The platform is particularly popular among younger audiences. 

Basic Functionality:

Users can interact with one another in real time through the platform’s live chat feature and earn virtual currency (called “Props”) by participating in streams and completing certain tasks. 

Key Features:

As you log into YouNow, you see a page filled with live streamers broadcasting at the moment. That helps you attract new audiences easily. 

Detailed Features:

  • Allow viewers to become paid subscribers
  • Offer stream replays for free or paid download
  • Create 25-second videos of past streams
  • Host Bar giveaways where viewers can buy perks

Pros:

  • Free to use for everyone
  • Gives you access to 40 million niche users
  • Easy to attract new audience and market your business

Cons:

  • Stream replays only available for only 30 days
  • Free users have relatively limited options
  • Still a small platform with a niche audience

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Video specs depend on the type of app and device you’re using to broadcast. 

Pricing:

YouNow is a free live streaming platform, however, to use certain perks, you need to level up on the platform. 

How to Create a User-Facing Live Streaming Platform

face streaming

All of the professional-grade streaming platforms we covered above are great options for hosting and managing your content, but you will need to create a user-facing platform where viewers can access your videos and streams.

Depending on which top live streaming platform you choose, you will be able to customize a gallery through that platform, or you’ll have to build a custom site to embed your video player.

Dacast, for example, offers an Expo Video Portal where broadcasters can organize their content by playlists for viewers to access. The portal can be easily customized to reflect your branding and best suit your audience.

As you create your live streaming platform, you’ll need to work out pricing, monetization structures, and more details. You’ll also have to work on how to market your live streaming content online and drive more traffic to your website. It’s a critical part of growing your company and boosting its revenue. 

For more information, check out our dedicated guide to building a live streaming website in 6 easy steps.

Live Streaming to Multiple Websites

When there are so many platforms to choose from, it might be tough to single out any. If you’re struggling to decide, consider multistreaming to multiple platforms at once. This is especially helpful if you want to drive more viewers to your live stream through social media platforms but don’t want to go live on each of them individually. 

Even if you’ve decided on one platform, you can still find it beneficial to stream on multiple streaming platforms. For example, maybe you want the professional features of Dacast while leveraging the wide reach and built-in audience that YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch offer. If that’s the case, no worries. It’s quite simple to stream with Dacast, Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube simultaneously.

Many platforms either natively offer the ability to stream to multiple websites or integrate with a service that allows you to stream to multiple websites simultaneously. That way, you can reach more people while giving your audience the flexibility to watch on whatever platform they prefer.

In practice, it’s quite easy. You’ll only need one setup, meaning you won’t need multiple cameras or anything. Depending on the platform, you may have to copy and paste a few pieces of information into various locations, but each platform generally has easy-to-follow instructions.

Common Integrations to Look For

Sometimes, you may like what one specific platform offers, but they seem to be missing a key feature or two. If that’s the case, there’s a chance they offer common integrations. Some common integrations for live streaming platforms include the following:

  • Software that allows you to stream to multiple platforms at once
  • Software that allows you to include a chatbox in your video streams
  • Marketing tools like email marketing software, customer relationship management software, and analytics

Multistreaming/Simulcasting

If you find value in streaming to multiple platforms at the same time, you’ll be happy to know that many platforms integrate with software that allows you to do so. For example, Dacast offers the ability to multistream/simulcast to multiple platforms at once while also maintaining a secure streaming destination within the platform.

Be sure to double-check the platforms that each multistream software is capable of streaming to. For example, one software may support streaming to Instagram, whereas another might not.

Chatbox

Many live streaming platforms don’t natively offer the ability to live chat during a broadcast because you can easily find tools. It’s generally quite simple to integrate with a tool like RumbleTalk if you want a platform that supports 2-way communication or wants to give your audience the ability to ask questions.

Some chat platforms even allow you to manage the chat for multiple streaming platforms from a centralized place. It’s a great way to engage with your audience and build a stronger relationship online. 

Marketing Tools

A popular use case for live streaming is marketing. Because of this, many top platforms, like Dacast, natively support many marketing capabilities. However, if you find that a live streaming platform you’re interested in doesn’t, there’s a chance they support integration with marketing software for email marketing, relationship management, and lead generation.

In effective marketing, it helps to know more about your audience — specifically where they’re tuning in from, what devices they’re using, their age, and so on. One of the top platforms for analytics is Google Analytics, so it’s a good idea to see if your preferred platform integrates with it.

So, What is the Top Streaming Service?

As we’ve discussed, many streaming services are on the market. As a result, it can be challenging for us to choose which is the best live streaming platform for you. It entirely depends on the goals of your specific business because all streaming platforms have their positives and negatives.

Ideally, you narrow this list down to a top 3 and evaluate them based on your specific broadcasting goals.

If you’re stuck, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is video going to be a big part of my business now and into the future? If you plan for video to be a big part of your business, you want a platform that can easily scale and support increasing viewers.
  • How do I plan to monetize my business and videos? Not all platforms support ad-based revenue and subscriptions. Some platforms offer more tools for e-commerce businesses, while others cater to those who plan to monetize using a paywall.
  • What type of content will I live stream? For example, suppose you plan to use live streaming for internal business purposes like new hire orientation. In that case, you’ll certainly need to prioritize different features than if you were planning to stream video games.
  • Who is my ideal audience? Many organizations block common consumer platforms like Facebook and YouTube to maximize workforce productivity. If you have a B2B business and your audience works in an office setting, this is something you should consider.
  • How strongly do I feel about video piracy? It’s sadly too common for people to download videos off the internet and leverage them for their gain. In the same way, you rarely know who created the most popular memes, you need to consider that this commonly happens for business videos too. If you’re concerned about this, features like watermarking or DRM are a must.
  • Am I in a regulated industry? Data privacy and security should always be a consideration—even more so if you’re in an industry like healthcare or finance. Professional platforms almost always provide more security features than free platforms. And even among the professional ones, some have more robust offerings than others. Besides live streaming features, look for qualities like AES video encryption, secure video upload, tokenized security, and password protection.

Am I technical, or do I have anyone on my team who is technical? If you run into technical problems, do you know how to troubleshoot your live stream? Some platforms offer around-the-clock technical support, whereas others, such as YouTube, offer little to no live support.

FAQs

1. How do I broadcast live streaming?

Here are the steps that you can follow to broadcast your livestream:

  • Invest in the right equipment to shoot and record your livestream
  • Set up your studio environment
  • Select a reliable livestreaming provider to help you go live
  • Choose the right settings and distribution modes
  • Do a test stream
  • Go live

2. What is the difference between live streaming and broadcasting?

While live streaming and broadcasting are both similar in the sense that video is shared with viewers in real-time, they have a subtle difference. 

In live streaming, various signals are sent to different devices to watch the same video stream. It enables streams to be a two-way street with better engagement. 

On the other hand, broadcasting involves a single signal being sent out and multiple devices can pick it up. In this case, you don’t have a two-way communication mode.

3. Which live streaming service is best?

Here are the best online live streaming services that you can choose from:

  • Dacast
  • Brightcove
  • IBM Cloud Video
  • JW Player
  • Vimeo Livestream
  • Muvi
  • Resi
  • StreamShark
  • Kaltura
  • StreamYard

4. What is the cheapest way to stream live TV?

The cheapest way to livestream TV online is to get a subscription to an affordable cord-cutting service. Some of the cheapest ones in the market for livestreaming TV are:

  • Pluto TV
  • Local Now
  • Sling
  • Philo
  • Frndly TV
  • Hulu + Live TV

5. What is a livestream service?

In simple terms, an online livestream service is a platform that gives you all the tools you need to go live and share your streams with viewers in real-time. While there are providers dedicated to livestreaming for businesses, even individuals can host livestreams through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram that offer livestreaming features. 

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you to get a better idea of the streaming platforms available and what you should be looking for as you compare each one. Most importantly, we hope you’ve succeeded in narrowing down your live streaming service provider.

Want to start streaming but you’re still not sure which streaming service to choose? We highly recommend taking advantage of free trials for the best live stream platforms.

On that note, why not start today with the Dacast 14-day free trial? Sign up today to begin streaming live in a matter of minutes. No credit card is required.

So which platforms have you used before, and what did you like most about them? Let us know in the comments section below. For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, join our  LinkedIn group.

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Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.