Live Streaming Pricing: How to Charge for Streaming of Live Events [2021 Update]

Live Streaming Pricing

If you’re new to professional broadcasting, you’re likely wondering about live streaming pricing and how to charge for live online events.

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to calculating costs, but today, we’re going to focus on a key topic: the cost of live streaming an event.

First, we’ll take a look at the factors that determine live streaming pricing in more detail. Next, we’ll discuss the necessary equipment to live stream events successfully. Finally, we’ll review the most common pricing options as well as how to charge for live streaming.

Our goal is to help you understand pricing factors and live streaming cost calculators from the ground up. That way, you can choose the best streaming platform for your needs.

This post has been updated to reflect the most accurate streaming pricing and statistics information as of April 2021.

Table of Contents

  • What is a Professional Video Streaming Platform?
  • How to Charge for Live Streaming
  • Video Streaming Server Price Comparison
  • Additional Costs Associated with Live Streaming
  • Conclusion

What is a Professional Video Streaming Platform?

Video Streaming Platform
A video streaming platform is essential to professional broadcasting.

An online video host is streaming software that is designed to host video content. Some platforms host streams and others host on-demand video content. Many online video platforms host both.

Professional-grade streaming platforms are typically loaded with the features you need to embed your video player in your own app or website. Security, monetization tools, white-label capabilities, APIs, and other features are popular streaming tools available on platforms of this sort.

Paid video hosting tools have a leg up on free ones like YouTube for several reasons.

Free platforms come with distracting ads and heavily monetize all video content for their benefit, not yours. For example, your content can appear next to or alongside ads from competitors. 

As we mentioned, professional video hosts typically offer monetization options, so you can use advertisements if you want to, but it’s not required.

Another major setback is that free platforms like YouTube are the most heavily blocked websites in the world. Many businesses, schools, universities, and other institutions completely block access to these sites which really cuts you off from a large group of potential viewers.

Embedding a white-label video player on your own website allows you to go around these restrictions.

For these reasons, among others, we recommend using professional-grade streaming platforms.

How to Charge for Live Streaming

How to Charge for Live Streaming
There are two district pricing structures for charging users for live streaming.

Before we get into the specific live streaming costs associated with some of the top online video hosts, we’re going to review some of the typical pricing structures that these sites use, including both subscription and pay-as-you-go models.


One of the benefits of live streaming platforms is the ability to price streams via a recurring subscription model. This model costs a flat rate on a monthly or annual basis for access to the streaming service. 

This cost varies widely from platform to platform and even from package to package on any given platform. Sometimes, you can save money by paying up-front for the entire year, rather than on a month-to-month basis.

All streaming plans include an allotment of bandwidth and storage. For many streaming platforms, if you need to use additional bandwidth, you have the option to pay a fee to increase your bandwidth. The cost per GB typically decreases as volume increases.


The second live streaming pricing model is pay-as-you-go. This model is not available on most streaming platforms.

However, this option is ideal for the occasional streamer. A yearly event is a good candidate for this pricing model. For a yearly or one-time event, you can purchase access to live streaming services without committing to a monthly bill.

Dacast offers broadcasters the ability to buy bulk streaming data at competitive prices. You can access your bandwidth for 12 months after purchase, and per GB pricing goes down as volume goes up. 

To learn more about how much bandwidth you might need for a given event, click on the “bandwidth calculator” on Dacast’s pricing page.

Additional Professional Services

Many streaming services offer professional services to help broadcasters who need extra support. Of course, this comes at an extra charge.

For example, Dacast offers a range of professional services to help you get started with live streaming.

Developing is one specific service that many broadcasters find useful. If you don’t have the in-house resources to build a customized website or build an API-based online platform, this can be a valuable resource. 

Video Streaming Server Price Comparison

As we mentioned, live streaming server solutions run at different price points. This has a lot to do with the features and capabilities of the platforms themselves.

Not every broadcaster needs every tool which is why there are so many options available.

In this comparison, we’re going to cover the plans available on Dacast, Vimeo, Wistia, and IBM Cloud Video. Each of these platforms offers three to four standard plans in addition to custom plans or trial plans.

Let’s take a look at the prices of these top competitors in the professional video hosting space.

1. Dacast

live streaming event video platform
Dacast’s video streaming platform has four different plans for broadcasters.

Dacast is a unified streaming platform that is built for both live streaming and on-demand video hosting. Both of these functions are available with all packages.

The difference between Dacast packages has largely to do with the amount of bandwidth and storage that comes with each.

Starter Plan

The Starter plan costs $39/month and comes with 1,000 GB of bandwidth per month (1.2 TB / year) and 50 GB of storage. The plan is ideal for affordable streaming to small groups.

This plan includes all of Dacast’s basic features, including live streaming, on-demand video hosting, 24/7 customer support, unlimited concurrent viewers, full 1080p HD broadcasting,  mobile device support, secure video delivery, content scheduling, player customization, and more. 

Dacast’s Starter plan is best suited for businesses and organizations that are just getting into broadcasting.

Please check out our complete list of plan features to learn what the Developer plan has to offer.

Event Plan

The Event plan goes for $63/month and comes with 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage. This plan is best suited for broadcasters who want to host one-time or occasional live events. The Event plan includes all of the features included in the Starter plan and adds advanced & real-time analytics, M3U8 links, live countdown, a monetization paywall, and live & VOD playlists.

Scale Plan

As its name suggests, the Scale plan is built for businesses and organizations who are ready to take things to the next level. This plan costs $188/month when billed annually and includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage. 

This plan comes with all of the features of the Developer and Event plans, plus phone support, unlimited live channels, VOD chapter markers, advanced library management, and China delivery.


If your needs exceed the resources available with the other three plans, Dacast is willing and able to provide you with a unique pricing package for high-volume plans of any size. Please contact us for custom pricing.

2. Livestream

Livestream live Streaming Solution
Vimeo Livestream is a streaming server solution that offers live broadcasting and video hosting services.

Vimeo offers several streaming plans for consumer-grade use, but their professional-grade plans with live streaming capabilities are sold through Livestream, a platform that they acquired a few years back 

Under Livestream, Vimeo offers three main pricing plans. Let’s take a look at a breakdown of what each offers.

Vimeo Premium

Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This plan is their best option for professional broadcasting, as it includes privacy and security features, powerful analytics, a white-label video player, and more.

This plan runs at $75/month.

Vimeo Enterprise

The Enterprise plan includes everything that the Premium plan includes, plus a larger storage capacity, live stream recording, eCDN, video API access, multiple simultaneous streams, and Q&A moderation.

Enterprise plans are custom priced.

Vimeo OTT

The Vimeo OTT-specific pricing package comes with the relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.

There are two OTT plans:

  • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
  • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month

3. Vimeo

Vimeo Live Streaming Platform
Vimeo has transitioned out of the B2C space and has become a tool for professional broadcasters.

Although Vimeo started as a consumer-grade service, similar to YouTube, it has evolved into a platform that is capable of fulfilling the needs of professional broadcasters.

Vimeo offers five different pricing plans.


Vimeo’s Basic plan is absolutely free to use forever, but, as one would expect, it comes with limitations. This plan is aimed at individuals and organizations who want to use the Vimeo platform as long as they are willing to follow their community guidelines and login once in a while.

The plan doesn’t come with privacy features, customization capabilities, live streaming, or advanced analytics, which makes it best suited for independent content creators rather than professional broadcasters. For these reasons, it provides the same experience as a social media platform such as YouTube does.

Basic plan users get 500MB per week of upload space, up to 5GB total account storage, basic video embedding features, video analytics, and the ability to download converted video files. Plan holders are limited to uploading up to 10 videos per day, create 1 channel, 1 group, and 3 showcases, and the ability to publish videos natively to social and eCommerce accounts.


Vimeo’s Plus plan costs $7/month and comes with 5 GB of bandwidth per week, 250 GB storage every year, and allocates for a single user. The only professional functions available at this level are player customization, privacy controls, and social distribution.


The next tier up on Vimeo is the Pro plan. This plan costs $20/month and comes with 20 GB of bandwidth per week, 1 TB storage every year, and 3 team member seats.

This plan unlocks tools to create and publish unlimited videos, custom video templates, review and approval, private team collaboration projects for up to 3 team members, customizable showcase sites, and streaming on your own site. It also has unlimited stock photos, videos, and licensed music tools.


The Business plan costs $50/month, and comes with 5 TB total storage, 10 team member seats, with no weekly bandwidth limitations.

In addition to greater customization capabilities such as custom branding, this plan has sales and marketing-specific tools like CTAs, lead generation, and showcase SEO. It also allows you to connect with Google Analytics.


For $75/month, the Premium plan and comes with 7 TB total storage, and claims unlimited live streaming on Vimeo. However, the plan limits to 10 team member seats and includes all of the features included in previous plans plus some tools that are specifically used for live event streaming such as unlimited live events, streaming to multiple destinations, live Q&A, graphics, and polls, as well as audience chat. 

4. Wistia

Wistia Video Hosting Software
Wistia uses a combination of subscription and pay-as-you-go price.

Wistia is another major player in the video hosting space, and they offer one free plan and two paid pricing plans.


Wistia’s Free plan is for beginner broadcasters who are still getting their feet wet. Since it is free, it comes with standard features but also strict limitations.

Users with the Free plan can only host 3 videos or podcasts to embed anywhere, 1 channel to share via public Wistia link, and caps channel subscribers 250. Free users also do not have the ability to remove Wistia’s branding from their videos.


The Pro plan from Wistia costs $99/month and allows users to embed 10 videos or podcasts anywhere they’d like. Pro also comes with 1 channel to share via public Wistia link, and caps channel subscribers 250 (with email notifications), but allows for your own branding on the video player. This plan also gives users the option to add additional videos or audio files for $.25/month.


Wistia’s Advanced plans are all custom priced and they unlock 100 videos, premium integrations, advanced support, and Facebook and Google integrations.

5. IBM Cloud Video

ibm cloud video online video platform
IBM Cloud Video is a streaming solution from IBM, which is a huge tech company.

IBM Cloud Video software offers three distinct pricing plans in addition to a custom pricing plan. The plans offer access to the same features, but the amount of storage, the number of channels, and viewer limits are what set each plan apart.


IBM Cloud Video’s Silver plan starts at $99/month. Besides the free trial, this is the most basic plan they have to offer.

This plan includes 100 viewer hours, 5 channels, 1 TB of video storage, HD transcoding (up to 720p), video embed control, channel password protection, channel customization, live polling, CTAs, and phone support.


The Gold plan is a step up from the Silver plan and includes all the same features. However, it starts at $499/month and bumps viewer hours to 2,000, 10 channels, and 2 TB of video storage.


As the Gold plan, the Platinum plan is the most inclusive plan and includes all features as the Silver and Gold. It costs $999/month and includes 5,000 viewer hours, 20 channels, and 5 TB of video storage.


If your needs exceed what’s provided with the three standard plans, IBM Cloud Video is able to create custom plans with the features and tools that fit your needs.

6. Kaltura 

kaltura business video hosting
Kaltura is a cloud video streaming solution geared towards large institutions.

Kaltura offers customized plans for Learning & Development, Communication & Collaboration, and Marketing & Sales. These plans are built around each company or organization’s streaming needs. Kaltura does not provide information on pricing for these plans beyond credit allotments

These custom plans offer a pay-as-you-go streaming structure and set credit allotments to redeem or bandwidth and feature integrations. Pay-as-you-go packages are billed monthly and larger plans are billed annually. Credits can be purchased in $6000 increments and are discounted when you spend a larger amount.

The credit packages are structured as follows:

  • 10% discount on $6000 in credits, making the annual payment $5400
  • 12% discount on $12,000 in credits, making the annual payment $10,650
  • 20% discount on $24,000 in credits, making the annual payment $19,200
  • 25% discount on $60,000 in credits, making the annual payment $45,000
  • 30% discount on $90,000 in credits, making the annual payment $63,000
  • 35% discount on $120,000 in credits, making the annual payment $78,000

For annual credit allotments of $150,000 or more, broadcasters can contact the Kaltura sales team for custom plans.

Setup costs are built into each unique pricing plan. Kaltura also offers a free trial, so you can try the platform before you make the hefty investment.

7. Brightcove 

Video Hosting Cloud Software
Brightcove offers plans for Marketing, Enterprise Comms, and Monetization. 

No pricing information is listed on the Brightcove pricing page, so broadcasters should contact the Brightcove sales team directly for this information. 

However, they have posted quite a bit of information about how their streaming packages are structured. Let’s take a look.

Enterprise Comms and Marketing

Enterprise Comms and Marketing plans come in the following tiers:

  • Starter:
    • 50 or 200 videos
    • Up to 100,000 plays with no overages
    • 2 or 5 users
    • 1 video portal
    • 3 social destinations
  • Enterprise:
    • Unlimited videos
    • 100,000+ plays with no overages
    • 10+ users
    • Unlimited video portal
    • 12+ social destinations

Marketing also offers a Professional plan that offers the following:

  • Unlimited videos
  • 100,000+ plays with no overages
  • 10+ users
  • Unlimited video portal
  • 6+ social destinations

There are some feature limitations on the starter and professional plans.


Monetization plans are entirely customized.

8. JW Player

JWplayer video streaming platform
JW Player’s live streaming platform is a sophisticated set of tools with a video player that is open source.

JW Player has three pricing plans: Trial, Starter, and Enterprise.


Trial plans have access to all of JW Player’s powerful features for 30 days. Trial broadcasters are allotted 25 GB for hosting and 75 GB for streaming so they can get a look at how the platform works in action.


Starter plans start at $10/month, and they come with 150 GB for hosting and 500 GB for streaming.

Starter plans come with very limited feature offerings. This plan is only equipped with basic streaming features and does not include monetization support, video analytics, simulcasting to social media, live event streaming support


Enterprise plans are totally customizable in terms of both pricing and advanced feature access. Contact JW Player for more information.

9. Vidyard

Vidyard Video on Demand Hosting
Vidyard is a marketing-focused VOD hosting platform.

Vidyard splits its streaming pricing into options for Individuals and Teams.


  • Free – $0/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and creation
    • 1 user
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 5 video embeds
    • Minimal feature access
  • Pro – $15/month
    • Unlimited video creation
    • 1 user
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 20 video embeds
    • Fair feature access


  • Teams – $300/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and  creation
    • 3+ users
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 50 video embeds
    • Great features access
  • Business – $1200/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and  creation
    • 5+ users
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 100 video embeds
    • Full access to advanced features

10. Wowza

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

Wowza offers two streaming products: the Wowza Streaming Cloud and Wowza Streaming Engine. Each of these products is broken down into different plans. Let’s check them out.

Wowza Streaming Cloud 

Wowza Streaming Cloud is a service that comes in the following plans:

  • One Time – $149
    • One month of streaming
    • Meant for one-time events
    • 15 live streaming hours
    • 500 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Pay-as-You-Go – $25/month
    • Flexible pricing model 
  • Basic – $85/month
    • 180 live streaming hours
    • 6000 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Plus – $425/month
    • 1200 live streaming hours
    • 60,000 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Enterprise – custom pricing
    • Enterprise plans are built to meet your streaming needs

All of these plans (other than One Time) are billed annually and have full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

We urge you to check out the bandwidth calculator from Wowza to see which plan suits your streaming needs.

Wowza Streaming Engine 

Wowza Streaming Engine is a software solution and it comes in the following plans: 

  • Basic – $125/month 
    • $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • 48 hour support response time
  • Business – $245/month 
    • $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • 8 hour support response time
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions
    • Features offerings are custom on this plan
    • Includes  24/7 support

Additional Costs Associated with Live Streaming

live recording equipment costs
Knowing the charge for live streaming solutions can help you choose the best video host.

The cost of live streaming goes beyond your investment in a video streaming solution. You’ll need to invest in some live streaming equipment. Three essential pieces of equipment include cameras, audio capturing devices, and an encoder.

Let’s take a quick look at these three additional investments.

1. Cameras

Your camera can make or break the quality of your broadcast. Smartphone video cameras are quite capable these days, but businesses and other professional-grade streamers will likely opt to invest in a dedicated camera.

To determine which camera you’ll need, a number of factors come into play. These include:

  • Resolution and bitrate
  • Outputs (HDMI, SDI, pro-audio)
  • Compatibility with an encoding software or hardware
  • Budget/Price

If you plan to live stream a one-time event, you may want to consider hiring a video production company. This type of company can provide all the necessary cameras and audio equipment. This means that you can avoid investing in expensive equipment you don’t need long-term.

However, if you plan to broadcast regularly, your best bet is to invest in a trusty camera. Live streaming cameras can cost up to $5,000+ for a TV broadcast-quality camera, but you can purchase a solid mid-range camera with excellent video quality for roughly $2,000.

To make a decision about cameras, you may want to consult professional video technicians at a shop like B&H Photo Video where they can match you with the best equipment for your needs.

2. Audio Equipment

For basic live streams, a video camera with a built-in mic may suffice. However, for most professional use-cases you’ll want better audio equipment. This can include lav (or “lapel”) microphones, directional “shotgun” microphones, or omnidirectional mics.

You’ll also need cabling. If you have many different audio sources, mixing requires specialized equipment. Consult an audio engineer for complex situations. Otherwise, online tutorials are generally sufficient for getting started.

Audio equipment costs range from free (integrated into the camera) to $5,000+ for a complex setup. For under $500, you can buy a small setup with high-quality microphones.

3. Encoder

A video encoder is a piece of hardware or software that transcodes a video into a format suitable for streaming. The encoder then sends this video to the live streaming service to stream it to viewers. No matter which encoding option you chose, you want to ensure secure video upload for your streaming content.

Live streaming encoding software ranges in price from free to around $1200. We recommend looking at our comparison of streaming software encoders for more details. 

A software encoder also requires a computer to run. If you’re streaming a complex, demanding multi-camera stream with animations and other extras, you’ll likely need a powerful computer with top-of-the-line hardware.

Hardware encoders are dedicated pieces of live streaming equipment. They’re most often used in two scenarios. The first is for mobile live streaming when a battery-powered hardware encoder is perfect. The second is in studio settings to power mission-critical streaming.

There are free software encoders such as OBS Studio that can run on mid-range computers, but high-end hardware encoders range from around $200 to $2500+.


There are several costs involved with professional broadcasting, but at this stage, you should have a good idea of the average streaming server price. Dacast, Wistia, IBM Cloud Video, and Vimeo are all great solutions for video hosting, but you should choose the one that gives you the most bang for your buck in terms of the specific features you need.

Since different broadcasters have different goals, it is great to have all of these options available.

Have you narrowed down your list of potential live streaming services, but you’re still not sure what to do next? We recommend taking advantage of available free trials to test out the platforms for yourself. Why not start today with Dacast’s 30-day free trial (no credit card required)? Just click the link below to start streaming today!


Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about live streaming pricing? Let us know in the comments section, below! For exclusive offers and regular tips on live streaming, feel free to join our LinkedIn group.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your live broadcasts!

22 thoughts on “Live Streaming Pricing: How to Charge for Streaming of Live Events [2021 Update]

  1. Ron Dettmann says:

    How do I go about setting up a live stream event for a 9 month hike?
    I need to stream about 16 our per day and to have access by 100 people the first week to up to 100 million by the end of the nine months.
    I currently have no website.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Well if you are only streaming for 9 months, you will definitely need an Event plan.
      But as I understand, if it is for a hike, you might need a lot of hardware for that. Streaming backpacks are always very convenient but don’t usually last more than 12 hours.
      And you would need to be sure you have very good connexion everywhere!

    • Glen Hancock says:

      I’m interested in live streaming through 64 separate streams from a world event center. What can you offer my company?

      • Harmonie Duhamel says:

        Hi Glen, Dacast is an automated service that provides a professional level streaming solution with options for paywall support to generate revenue. Its a white label broadcasting platform that lets broadcasters build their own brand while attaching pay-per-views and subscriptions to create premium media content. Could you please send us more details about your project at
        Thank you. Best regards,

        • Harmonie Duhamel says:

          Hi Richard, I hope you are great. My colleague Clarissa Moodley contacted you yesterday to give you further information. Please feel free to contact us anytime if you have any other questions. Best regards,

  2. Grace says:

    Hi we are looking at getting the World Shinkicking Championships broadcast live from The Cotswold Olimpicks next year, as an extra stream of revenue.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hi Grace,
      Streaming an event is always a good idea as you might have people that want to watch it worldwide. We have several clients that are/were streaming worldwide things such as Car races or even the Football WorldCup. Have you try our platform yet? We will be able to give you a call and a quote regarding how many people you hope are going to be watching the event.

  3. Gerard van der Heide says:

    I am working on a plan to broadcast live from multiple IP cameras and expect 1000’s of visitors during the time of the event varying between 1 to 1,5 hours during 26 weeks a year and 1 or 2 days a week. Before I carry on I would like to know what I need and a costs overview.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Best for you would be to have a quote from Karmen, our account manager. I will give her your email! Thanks a lot Gerard.

  4. Darryl Bey says:

    I would like to live stream a concert event on a event by event basis. The concert will be presented in an indoor venue and I would like to have it streamed to a jumbotron across the street in a park from the venue.
    I need a price to do this. I do not want to buy equipment. I want to pay professionals to make this happen. HELP!

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      It is hard to price on the basis of what you wrote! Have you been able to call our sales rep and check what they could tell you?

  5. Gaby Gomez says:

    Hey! If I’m to stream live music performances, which costs should I consider for artist rights, labels, syndicates, etc.? how do you quote all of this?

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hey Gaby!
      It will depend on your needs and how many people you think there would be watching your stream simultaneously.
      The best for you is to try with a free trial, and if everything sounds good we can call you and give you a quote personally!

  6. Leau Hall says:

    My Son and I would like to live stream concert . He’s a Elvis ultimate tribute artist Jay Dupuis W/band and hopefully live audience. A pay per view stream . Need information of how to have it done?

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. Please
      contact our Customer Support team at this link and someone will be
      more than happy to assist you. Have a great day!

  7. Andres says:

    Good Morning,
    I would like to know how much it would cost to stream sports classes. 20% will be recorded live from MobilePhones and 80%will be recorded professionally in recording studios. Our strategy is very Similar to Fitness+ (just lauch from Apple). The intention is to be the Netflix of Sports. The content will be seeing only in LatinAmerica and Spain (Spanich lenguaje content).
    Can you please help us understand, how much it will cost to be able to have over +200,000 subscribers being able to stream their sports classes from any divice anytime. Thanks for your help.

  8. Shandon Bates says:

    I’m trying to help our local gymnastics team stream a competition in Oregon, where we are fairly locked down. They’d like to stream up to 6 events at a time, have it broadcast to screens or projectors in a sparsely populated viewing space (one parent per gymnast), and be able to charge a nominal fee ($5-10) for remote viewers to help defray the cost of renting the venue. It will likely be mostly over wi-fi, given the location, and needs to be cost effective so that they can keep the cost down and cover their expenses. Any guidance would be great.

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