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Comparing Youtube Live vs Facebook Live to Top Video Platform Alternatives [2022 Update]

By Max Wilbert

55 Min Read

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Max Wilbert

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

Table of Contents

    Today, live video streaming is becoming increasingly mainstream. Websites like YouTube and Facebook have made it easier than ever for anyone with a smartphone to start live streaming. The popularity of YouTube and Facebook has normalized the idea of live streaming video. Millions of people are now familiar with this type of content, especially due to the rise of YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

    Major corporations like Facebook and Google (the owners of YouTube) are going all-in with live streaming video compared to even a year ago. Prominent tech figures like Mark Zuckerberg describe themselves as obsessed with live streaming video. If you’re on Facebook, you will get notified when Mark himself goes live on the platform.

    This growing ubiquity represents an opportunity for other businesses too. Live video is an incredibly powerful tool, especially in 2022. Whether for marketing, sales, training, entertainment, or media, live video is a compelling technology that brings people together.

    In this article, we’ll look at two of the biggest social media video platforms out there for live video: YouTube Live vs Facebook Live. First, we’ll explore these platforms, their features, and the pros and cons of each. Then, we compare YouTube Live vs Facebook Live to online video platforms aimed at more professional users.

    Through this comparison, you’ll discover what exactly you’re looking for when it comes to live streaming and which steaming solutions work best for your business. You’ll understand the difference between Facebook Live vs YouTube Live, as well as all the other online video platforms you can use for a more professional live streaming experience.

    New to Dacast and interested to try out our live streaming platform for yourself? Sign up today for a 14-day trial to test out all of our features for free. No credit card is required.

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    Table of Contents

    • Facebook Live Video Streaming
    • YouTube Live Streaming
    • Zoom vs YouTube Live
    • Professional Live Streaming Platforms
    • Why Use a Professional Live Streaming Video Host?
    • A Comparison of Facebook and YouTube Live Alternatives – Updated for 2022
    • Final Thoughts

    As a business, you need business-grade live streaming software. You are looking for professional tech applications that work and work well. While you may be currently comparing Facebook Live vs YouTube Live, through this article you may learn that neither of these platforms is right for you.

    Facebook and YouTube live streaming are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to live streaming options. Keep in mind your business goals and content strategy while reviewing these different platforms.

    Let’s begin!

    Facebook Live Video Streaming

    We will begin with Facebook. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg along with fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes.

    As of February 2021, there are roughly 2.93 billion monthly users on Facebook.

    When it comes to Facebook live streaming, these videos and their search popularity increased by 330% in just one year.

    Facebook Live Streaming
    Anyone can go live on their Facebook account. As a free platform, it’s one of the go-to options when people begin streaming.

    About Facebook Live Streaming

    Facebook Live was released in April 2016 to give people the opportunity to broadcast live to their Facebook friends. While many people didn’t initially fully understand the need for this new feature, those who started using Facebook Live streaming immediately started seeing immediate benefits.

    Many people use Facebook regularly, so sharing and watching live video content is a natural extension of the service. Some Facebook live streams reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of visitors.

    Facebook updated its ranking algorithm to show more live videos on people’s news feeds. But, if you missed a live video from a friend or someone’s page that you follow on Facebook, live videos remain on the account’s wall after the Facebook live streaming event has finished.

    Many people wonder, “Is Facebook Live free?” The good news is that it is free to use Facebook Live. You can go live from an individual page, from a group page, or within an event.

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    Here are the Facebook Live video guideline details:

    • 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

    How Facebook Live Streaming Works

    facebook live stream
    You can either go live on Facebook from your mobile device or your computer! All you need is a device with a camera.

    Using the Facebook Live streaming service is simple.

    On mobile devices, starting a live stream involves using the Facebook app. All you have to do is:

    1) Open your app

    2) Navigate to the top, and click on the LIVE icon right below the status input area labeled “what’s on your mind?”

    3) Click on the blue Start Live Video button

    Tap that button, and you have the option to start a live stream. You can then give a description of your live video and choose a target audience if you wish. From there, a single tap lets you go live. That is all you need to start live streaming on Facebook.

    On a desktop, live streaming via Facebook Live is easy as well.

    • Create a post at the top of your news feed to go live. 
    • Click the 3 dots and then click live video. 
    • Write a short description of the content of your live video. That way, people know what your video is about. 
    • Finally, click go live and start recording and broadcasting your content.

    Facebook suggests using Google Chrome as your browser in order to go live to avoid any technical issues. As you can see, it is easy to start Facebook live streaming on either a mobile device or a desktop. 

    If you want to get more technical, you can use a video encoder for Facebook live streaming. Set up your encoder software using the following settings:

    • Video bitrate: no higher than 2500 Kbps
    • Resolution: no higher than 1280 x 720
    • Frames per second: 30
    • Select the appropriate video and audio sources

    After you set up your encoding software, visit your Facebook page.

    • Click on the tab labeled “Publishing Tools.”
    • On this page, click the option labeled “Video” and then click “Live.
    • From here, you can enter the “stream key” and/or “stream URL” that generates into your encoder.
    • Enter a description on the next page.
    • Finally, click “Go Live” to begin streaming.

    That is how you use a video encoder for Facebook live streaming.It is a very simple process.

    If you have been wondering how to start live streaming on Facebook Live now, you have step-by-step directions for live streaming via mobile, desktop, and with a video encoder.

    Facebook Live Pros and Cons

    The main upside of streaming live on Facebook is the built-in audience. If you’ve invested time in building a social media following on Facebook or on other social media platforms such as TikTok, LinkedIn Live, or Twitch, it’s a no-brainer to use their platform to live stream. 

    Pro: Support High-Quality Cameras

    Additionally, the service is sufficiently powerful. With the Facebook Live API, you can stream using high-quality compatible cameras for live streaming. Facebook Live allows you to connect high-quality video cameras to their platform. 

    Pro: Free to Use

    Facebook Live is also free, which is great for people looking to start streaming as a hobby. They provide you with the tools you need to live stream without having to take on any additional costs. 

    Pro: Video API

    Finally, the video API allows you to integrate with existing workflow. This allows you to easily integrate your set-up in your workflow, making going live more easy and natural. 

    However, when comparing YouTube Live vs Facebook Live it’s important to consider any drawbacks. In our own research and trials, we discovered some major downsides to Facebook Live.

    Con: No Content Indexing

    One of the main drawbacks is that users cannot index Facebook Live video content. That means that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo don’t ever “find” Facebook posts. This limitation includes live and archived videos.

    You can search for the content within Facebook itself, but searching inside the platform isn’t very useful. It’s a confusing interface compared to YouTube, Google, and other search engines. Finding posts, especially if they are older, is nearly impossible. 

    The lack of indexing is a negative when comparing YouTube Live vs Facebook Live for video streaming, especially for businesses.

    Con: No SEO Optimization

    This is a major drawback when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Facebook content simply won’t rank on a search engine. Unless you can spontaneously generate a large audience on Facebook, your content is unlikely to find traction among viewers after the fact.

    Con: Only 1080p Streaming

    Previously, there was a drawback when it comes to resolution. Facebook Live streaming used to only support a resolution of 720p HD, which is not full high-definition.

    Thankfully, Facebook listened to its users and now has a max resolution of 1080p (1290×1080). They’ve also increased their max bit rate to 4000 Kbps, from 2500.

    Still, you can’t offer your viewers 4K live streaming with Facebook Live. If that is important to you, that can be a major drawback.

    Con: Video Length

     

    Other limitations include a maximum video length of 90 minutes. This threshold is overly restrictive for many users and the type of content they’re looking to stream. If you want to stream long, engaging content or many types of events, like a concert, you need a longer streaming length. 

    Additionally, Facebook Live doesn’t support the following useful live video features:

    • Monetization
    • Access and security restrictions
    • Subscriptions
    • DRM

    You can access an audience directly on Facebook Live, but there are limitations to Facebook Live’s streaming capacity and features.

    YouTube Live Streaming

    Next, we’ll discuss YouTube in the YouTube Live vs Facebook Live debate. This video streaming platform was created in February 2005. The following year Google bought it for $1.65 billion.

    YouTube allows users to upload, view, and share digital videos online. While Facebook works to keep people in touch through multiple uploads and content options, YouTube solely focuses on video.

    YouTube Live
    YouTube is probably the first platform people think of when it comes to video content. But, YouTube Live is simply one of the features of the platform.

    About YouTube Live

    YouTube Live is a live streaming service that offers an easy way to reach your audience in real-time. Whether you’re streaming a video game, hosting a live Q&A, or teaching a class, YouTube Live tools will help you manage your stream and interact with viewers in real-time.

    The biggest benefit to YouTube Live is that it offers more functionality than Facebook Live, putting YouTube ahead in the Facebook Live vs YouTube Live debate.

    How YouTube Live Streaming Works

    YouTube Live mobile
    While YouTube is free, there are several requirements for streaming on the platform.

    To live stream on YouTube, you need a few things. While YouTube Live offers more than Facebook Live, it is harder to get started.

    First, you need a YouTube/Google account. Second, you need to “verify” your account. Note that if you want to embed your stream on an external site, you need to link an approved AdSense account to your YouTube account. In order to live stream on Youtube on a mobile device, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers.

    Stream Now

    Once you have met these qualifications, there are two ways to get started. “Stream now” is a fast and easy way to begin streaming. This method allows you to use your webcam or another connected camera to start a livestream.

    Events

    Alternatively, “Events” allow you to pre-schedule a live event, invite people in advance, and set up backup streams. “Events” also enable you to use higher-quality cameras connected to encoders.

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    Here are the Facebook Live video guideline details:

    • 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 live stream capacity is really generous, but you have to meet specific requirements before you can start live streaming.

    YouTube Live Pros and Cons

    When comparing YouTube Live vs Facebook Live, YouTube wins out in terms of searchability and live video SEO.

    Pro: Live Video SEO

    YouTube videos show up in search results. That just isn’t the case with video from Facebook Lives. Since YouTube is a Google-owned business, videos tend to rank relatively high. Even Bing, Yahoo, and other engines rank YouTube Live videos highly in search results.

    Pro: Great Search Functionality

    Finding videos on YouTube is also easier than on Facebook. The search functionality is much more powerful. In general, YouTube strives to make videos available forever. Facebook content is technically available forever, but it’s strongly biased toward finding of-the-moment material. Hence, the timeline design of Facebook.

    In fact, many videos, including live streaming, gain significant views after the fact. A live stream can continue to bring in viewers months or even years after it was initially broadcast. 

    Pro: YouTube Live API

    The service also has a YouTube Live API that allows for programmatic access to their live streaming service. This makes it easy to stream live on YouTube while streaming on other services. Users can also integrate apps with YouTube live streams. This allows one to live stream to YouTube and Facebook simultaneously.

    Con: Lack of Control of Content

    However, there are a few major drawbacks to YouTube Live. First, you give up control of your own content. That means that YouTube has the ability to promote your content within its platform or stifle it. They can use your content for advertising purposes. They can restrict your content and take it down. It is their platform, so you have to play by their rules.

    Cons: Advertising 

    Anytime you broadcast or upload content via YouTube, YouTube gains access to use your material in its own advertising. You don’t control who advertises on your content and have very limited control over when advertisements are shown. This takes away from your ability to create a custom experience for your viewers.

    Cons: Blocked Website

    Additionally, YouTube is one of the most blocked websites in the world, especially in businesses and schools. Notably, it is fully blocked in China. Attempting to load the Youtube app or website while in mainland China will return an error. Your content isn’t worth anything if your target audience is unable to access it.

    This is a big drawback for many users. For example, with a free B2B platform like YouTube Live, you can’t stream live video on your website while maintaining control of your video content and your brand like you can with professional-grade B2B platforms (e.g., Dacast, IBM Cloud Video, etc.). It is also not the best platform to be able to monetize your content, as who is allowed to participate in revenue sharing is mostly dependent on YouTube itself.

    You’ll likely need to look elsewhere if you’re seeking streaming solutions for your business or school. In the Facebook Live vs YouTube Live debate, if you want a business live streaming solution, you may want to look for an alternative, as both platforms have limitations.

    Zoom vs YouTube Live

    Before we dive into the different types of video platforms for businesses, it’s critical we mention Zoom. Zoom has grown in popularity this year due to the need for video calling while working remotely.

    Many businesses and business professionals see Zoom as a way to share videos with an audience. Many yoga and fitness studios have created virtual classes through Zoom live streaming during the COVID-19 virus.

    While this is a fantastic way to keep in touch, Zoom is primarily a video conferencing cloud platform meetings, webinars, and conferences. Those businesses looking to scale an online video content strategy will need other Zoom alternatives than Facebook Live, Youtube Live, or Zoom. They will need a streaming solution that provides them with control over their content. 

    Professional Live Streaming Platforms

    Professional Live Streaming Platforms
    A free social media platform isn’t the only way to stream video online. There are many professional, business streaming solutions that provide you with more control over your content.

    YouTube Live and Facebook Live are undoubtedly popular social media platforms. However, they’re far from the only solutions in the live streaming market. While they are some of the first options people consider because they’re well-known and free, it’s worth spending some time choosing the right video streaming platform for you.

    Other live streaming service providers will often give more features and functionality. For many reasons, professional users often prefer other video streaming solutions.

    Why Use a Professional Live Streaming Video Host?

    For people who are looking for a more professional appearance, social streaming platforms aren’t the best fit. It isn’t about Facebook Live vs YouTube Live, it is about finding the right professional video streaming hosting solution.

    For example, a company that live streams an event may want to monetize its stream. A university may want to stream multiple lectures simultaneously. Businesses, universities, social organizations, and media channels often fall into these situations.

    Likewise, video streaming services for churches and houses of worship will need to look beyond social streaming platforms. As mentioned above, a professional streaming video host is ideal if you want to stream live video on your website. And this is where features offered specifically by professional video platforms come into play.

    These features include the ability to:

    • Monetize broadcasts with an integrated paywall
    • Restrict access to certain geographic locations or IP ranges
    • White-label & Branding Control
    • Stream multiple events concurrently
    • Maintain all rights to broadcast content
    • Access dedicated tech support
    • Ad-free broadcasting

    These features, among others, define a comprehensive live streaming platform. To guarantee these features, most dedicated streaming providers charge for their services.

    Typically there’s a wide range of pricing plans. Some services are aimed at large businesses, while others are more affordable for smaller businesses or individuals.

    Though Facebook and YouTube are free, they simply can’t compete when it comes to functionality and the video needs of corporate enterprises.

    A Comparison of Facebook and YouTube Live Alternatives – Updated for 2022

    Let’s take a look at the 12 best live streaming platforms on the market, as well as compare Facebook Live and Youtube Live to top streaming alternatives.

    1. Dacast

    Dacast Video Hosting and Streaming Platform
    Dacast is a Streaming-as-a-solution platform. It leads the way in online video and hosting solutions.

    Overview and Company History:

    One of the most popular live video hosting services is Dacast, our own live streaming platform. Based in San Francisco with offices in London, Dacast is a unified streaming solution that offers a wide variety of professional features. We offer both live streaming and video on-demand hosting.

    Last year, Dacast earned the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Best Small/Medium Business Video Platform and Runner-Up for Best Education Video Platform. In 2019, Dacast acquired the vzaar platform, expanding its comprehensive OTT platform provider.

    Basic Functionality: 

    Dacast provides comprehensive live streaming and professional online video hosting services. Broadcasters are able to embed videos onto their own websites while maintaining 100% control of their content. This is something that isn’t possible with a lot of the other platforms we’ve discussed including Facebook Live streaming.

    Among other features, Dacast offers an integrated paywall, password protection, referrer restriction, and an analytics dashboard.

    Key Features:

    The best features of Dacast include easy-to-use live streaming and on-demand content platform with the following features:

    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)
    • Video 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:

    Pricing plans with Dacast include four packages:

    • Starter plan: ideal for newcomers with 1,000 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per month, at just $39 per month billed annually.
    • Scale plan: includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage for $188 per month billed annually. These Scale pricing plans add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label Cnames, and video API access.
    • Event plan: for organizations who’d rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event. It offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage, and costs just $63 per month (or $750/year). Additional data and storage can be added as needed.
    • Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high-volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.

    Broadcasters can contact Dacast directly to learn more about custom-priced high-volume plans. Dacast offers control over your content that you can’t get with live streaming on YouTube and Facebook.

    2. Twitch

    Twitch streaming video platform
    Twitch is a popular video platform for streaming content geared towards video games and special interests.

    Overview and Company History:

    Twitch.tv is a very popular application in the world of video gaming. Streamers set up channels where viewers and supporters can follow them.

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

    Basic Functionality: 

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

    Key Features:

    • Tools for tipping
    • Primarily used to stream video games
    • Live chat for viewer engagement

    Detailed Features:

    • Twitch is a social network that is primarily meant for Esport live streaming.
    • 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:

    Twitch is very targeted for the video game market. They offer mobile broadcasting, allowing you to go live directly from your mobile device. 

    Viewers can watch content on a browser, from gaming devices, and on the Twitch app, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

    Cons:

    One of the biggest drawbacks of Twitch is that it is a consumer-driven platform and is made for connecting with a consumer audience. It isn’t designed for internal or training purposes. Also, they don’t support advanced video streaming tools within the platform.

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
    • Video aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: Not available
    • Max video length: 48 hours
    • Total file storage: Not available

    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 3 tiers:

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

    Twitch is great for individuals looking to make money live streaming video game and tech content. It serves a very specific niche, unlike live streaming to Facebook and YouTube, which tend to serve larger audiences in a wide range of niches.

    3. LinkedIn Live

    Linkedin Live Streaming
    LinkedIn Live Video is permission-based, and only approved members and Pages can broadcast live video content to a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn Page, or Event.

    Overview and Company History:

    LinkedIn is a well-known social media platform that was designed for networking among professionals. The platform recently rolled out LinkedIn Live, which is an exclusive offering that is designed to help brands connect with professionals through live-streamed content.

    Basic Functionality:

    To stream on LinkedIn Live, broadcasters need the support of a self-hosted streaming setup or a third-party streaming platform (like Dacast and the other OVPs we’ve discussed).

    LinkedIn Live is a great tool for broadcasters that are trying to reach a very niche audience that includes professionals.

    Key Features:

    • Social media streaming app
    • Highly exclusive features
    • Only accessible on an application basis
    • Integrates with LinkedIn Events

    Detailed Features:

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

    Pros:

    LinkedIn Live is free to use and specifically designed to reach and connect with other professionals. It is a great way to build brand awareness and can be a great platform for live streaming and connecting with other businesses.

    The application is designed to encourage engagement between you and your viewers.

    Cons:

    LinkedIn Live isn’t open to all uses; the access is limited to those on an application basis. You need to use outside and additional streaming technology to go live; the platform doesn’t offer all the features you need within it. 

    The platform is also highly regulated, so you are not free to broadcast anything you want.

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    Video guidelines and specs on LinkedIn Live depend on the third-party software that you choose.

    Pricing:

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

    LinkedIn Live allows businesses to connect specifically with business professionals. Facebook and Youtube live streaming has more of a general audience. You still need to work with a self-hosted streaming setup or a third-party streaming platform to use LinkedIn Live, as it isn’t a fully independent option.

    4. TikTok

    Tiktok Live Streaming Platform
    TikTok is primarily used by the Gen Z demographic. Source: tiktok.com

    Overview and Company History:

    Originally launched as a China-only platform in 2016, TikTok merged with Music.ly in 2018 and found great success around the world. The app became particularly popular at the beginning of 2020 when users in their teens and early 20s created a variety of dances and other trendy videos that are meant for other users to replicate.

    This app is still growing in popularity, so creators have remarked that the algorithm is still much more user-friendly than other social platforms. This means that there is room for new users to grow.

    Basic Functionality:

    TikTok is primarily a social media platform that just happens to be based on video sharing, but when used strategically, businesses can use it to lead viewers to their websites for their intended conversion.

    Key Features:

    • TikTok has some live streaming tools
    • The platform is primarily used for sharing short video clips.

    Detailed Features:

    • Highly controlled live streaming tools
    • 15-60 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:

    TikTok is free to use, and it has a user-friendly algorithm. If you create engaging content, it is easy to go viral. The app is also designed to match viewers with content that matches their interests based on the other content they watch in the app. 

    Cons:

    There are no monetization options within TikTok; when people talk about making money on TikTok, it is through outside brand deals, where brands pay them to share information on their channel. 

    You can also make money by directing viewers from TikTok to an outside platform. Plus, you can’t remove TikToks branding and add your own. 

    With live videos, there are no limits on the video length. 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 1080 x 1920
    • Maximum dimension: 1080 x 1920
    • Video aspect ratio: 9:16
    • Max file size: 287.6 MB  on iOS and 72 MB on Android
    • Max video length: 60 seconds
    • Total file storage: No storage limit
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV

    Pricing:

    TikTok is free to use.

    TikTok is all about short video content, setting it apart from Facebook and YouTube live streaming. It isn’t designed for longer live video content.

    5. StreamYard

    streamyard streaming platform
    StreamYard is a Youtube alternative with support for in-browser streaming.

    Overview and Company History:

    StreamYard, founded by Hopin, is an in-browser live streaming platform. This platform is relatively basic, but it will get the job done for broadcasters with minimal live streaming 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 streaming platform designed for improving 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.

    Detailed Features:

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

    Pros:

    StreamYard is a simple-to-use platform and makes it easy for you to start live streaming. They allow for multiple on-screen presenters and graphic overlays, making content really engaging. It is a great platform for engaging in collaborative streams with multiple people in different locations.

    Cons:

    The drawback of StreamYard is that it is a very basic platform. It doesn’t support video-on-demand. It offers no monetization options and has limited browser compatibility. 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • StreamYard does not publish upload guidelines and specs.

    Pricing:

    StreamYard offers four pricing plans. 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;
    • Enterprise: StreamYard also offers enterprise plans that are priced on a case-by-case basis.

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

    StreamYard is a simple platform that allows you to stream in a browser without any advanced tools; however, it lacks advanced functionality as well.

    6. Vimeo Livestream

    online video platform
    Vimeo is an option for businesses of any size looking for streaming services.

    Overview and company history:

    Another alternative provider is Vimeo (Livestream). Formerly known only as Livestream, Vimeo acquired the company in 2017. Since then, Vimeo has merged its services and website with Livestream. Today, this business has a unique focus on full end-to-end integration. Vimeo (Livestream) sells a number of hardware tools such as encoders and cameras that can function with this streaming service natively.

    Basic Functionality: 

    Both live streaming and video hosting services are available through Vimeo. The basic functionality includes tracking, analytics, and production support. However, white-label streaming, live transcoding, and password protection are only available on premium plans.

    Key Features:

    API functionality on Vimeo (Livestream) exists in three categories: API tools, Player API, and Channel API. These allow you to customize, control, and modify your content. They also facilitate custom programming and integration.

    Other key features include:

    • Full-HD quality
    • All-device video player with adaptive bitrate streaming
    • Video management service
    • High-quality videos and streams
    • Large storage capacity
    • Privacy options
    • Upload from anywhere
    • White-label service
    • Live audience chat
    • Monetization options

    Detailed Features:

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

    Pros:

    Vimeo Livestream doesn’t play any external advertisements on your content. It also allows you to stream as many events with as many viewers as you want. 

    It is easy to use and has a very professional and sleek layout. It offers detailed analytics, allowing you to learn from your live events to stream better events. It offers a pay-per-view option, allowing you to make money from your live events.

    Cons:

    Vimeo Livestream as a platform doesn’t offer as much traffic as other sites, and it doesn’t offer any China 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 Premium:

    • Premium pricing: $75/month
    • Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD services. This plan is the way to go for professional broadcasting.

    Vimeo Enterprise:

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

    Vimeo OTT:

    • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
    • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month
    • The OTT-specific pricing packages come 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.

    Unlike Facebook and YouTube live streaming, Vimeo is more focused on business customers and offers more robust professional features.

    7. Brightcove

    brightcove cloud video platform
    Brightcove uses an HTML5 video player to better live streaming and video hosting.

    Overview and Company History:

    Another popular platform is Brightcove. This provider primarily serves mid to large-sized businesses with an array of services. This social media live streaming alternative was founded in 2004 and is one of the oldest video solutions in the game. Last year, 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:

    The basic functionality of this YouTube Live alternative includes video monetization and transcoding.  Brightcove offers support for OTT (Over the Top) content and TVE (TV Everywhere) technology.

    Key Features:

    Other great Brightcove features include the ability to bypass ad blockers and capture leads via popup forms inside the video window. Additionally, Brightcove offers powerful video marketing integrations with widely used platforms like Salesforce.

    Other key features include:

    • Live streaming and video-on-demand hosting
    • Video and Usage Analytics
    • Server-side ad insertion
    • Cloud transcoding and adaptive bitrate streaming

    Detailed Features:

    Brightcove API

    There are a number of APIs for the Brightcove platform. These include the Media API, which allows you to interact with your library. Additional APIs support the other Brightcove product categories. Comprehensive documentation is available on all of these.

    Other features include:

    • 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)
    • Security features, but with high-end features only available on custom plans
    • Monetization options, but only on custom-priced plans

    Pros:

    Brightcove offers enterprise-grade features and can support large corporate live events. It includes custom video portals, allowing you to create unique live events. Plus, you can integrate Brightcove with your content management system (CRM). 

    Cons:

    The biggest drawback to Brightcove is that it has a high price point, with no live streaming packages under $499/month. It is really targeted at larger businesses with big budgets. Plus, it doesn’t offer China delivery, so if you want to connect with a Chinese audience, this isn’t a good option.

    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:

    Brightcove offers three pricing plan levels that target higher-end clients. Brightcove’s pricing is no longer posted, but plans include basic video marketing tools and analytics with SD streaming quality for unlimited viewers.

    However, larger users will prefer the Enterprise communications plan, which is custom-priced. Those plans add advanced security tools, HD-quality streaming, and phone support (30-min response time).

    The three pricing tiers include:

    • Starter: includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
    • Professional: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overage plays, with +10 users
    • Enterprise: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overage plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

    Brightcove, unlike live streaming on Facebook, is built for business marketing and monetization needs.

    8. Wowza

    Wowza video hosting platform
    Wowza focuses on live streaming for business-critical applications

    Overview and Company History:

    Wowza was founded in 2005 as a bootstrap start-up with capabilities for live streaming on phones, tablets, and consoles. Wowza is a feature-rich company that offers two main products and has always focused on being first in class for cost-effectiveness.

    Basic Functionality: 

    The first is a Wowza Streaming Cloud, a cloud-based live streaming service. Features include support for 4K streaming, white-label service, and security controls.

    The second Wowza offering is the Wowza Streaming Engine software. This package allows you to set up your own streaming platform on your servers using the same software on the cloud platform.

    Key Features:

    Wowza has a number of APIs in Java and REST to build infrastructure around its streaming platform. These include a server-side API for the Wowza Streaming Engine. This API integrates with databases, storage, web servers, and external processing.

    Other key features include:

    • Live streaming and on-demand video hosting
    • Host-you-own streaming server product
    • White-label streaming
    • Mobile-compatible video player
    • Customer support (*note that phone support and fast responses cost extra)
    • RESTful API available

    Detailed Features:

    • APIs are available
    • Live stream recording
    • Cloud management portal
    • Streaming up to 4K
    • Wide range of security options

    Pros:

    Wowza offers audience engagement tools so that you can interact with your live audience. They offer basic performance monitoring, allowing you to see what is happening with your content. Plus, they have robust security, keeping your content your own. 

    Plus, they offer video looping, allowing you to play content repeatedly. Additionally, they offer mobile screen support.

    Cons:

    Wowza offers no multistreaming options, so you can’t stream to other locations, such as social media sites, when you live stream. Also, they don’t offer session recording, so if you want to save your live streaming content and use it later, you will have to use an outside tool.

    Wowza also doesn’t offer video monetization tools, so if you want to make money from your live content, you will have to use outside tools. It also doesn’t support multiple camera feeds, so you are limited to a single camera. 

    Plus, they don’t have advanced audience analytics, nor do they offer advanced event scheduling, which can limit your ability to promote your live stream.

    Pricing:

    Wowza pricing plans range from $49 per month to $199 for the streaming cloud and $95 for the streaming engine plans. There are also enterprise plans with flexible pricing, but those require contacting Wowza directly.

    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: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine.

    Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services. Within Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

    • Basic: $99/month and includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1,000 viewing hours based on a video resolution of 720p
    • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase and includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1,000 viewing hours also at 720p
    • Plus: $499/month and includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7,000 viewing hours based on a video resolution of 720p

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

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

    • Basic: $125/month + $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • One Month Event: $245/month + $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

    Wowza is a platform built for professional businesses, unlike YouTube Live and Facebook Live streaming, which is made for everyone. It offers 4K streaming and live stream recording, but still has some limitations, with no video monetization, multi-camera feeds, or audience analytics.

    9. Kaltura

    Kaltura Streaming Video Solution
    Kaltura provides a wide range of live streaming video solutions.

    Overview and Company History:

    The Kaltura online video platform targets large institutions. In particular, Kaltura focuses on four markets: video services for educational institutions, enterprises, media companies, and OTT video services. Historically, this company has worked most extensively with educational institutions.

    Basic Functionality:

    This video streaming solution is an alternative to the self-hosted model. The software for Kaltura is free, however, it requires an infrastructure of servers for hosting and distributing content. Kaltura provides cloud-based video hosting and distribution for both VOD and live streams.

    Key Features:

    The Kaltura Management Console (KMC) offers tools to create, upload, edit, manage, publish, and deliver live and on-demand video to viewers. Key features of the KMC include:

    • Live streaming and VOD hosting
    • Secure content delivery via Akamai, Limelight, and eCDNs
    • Live transcoding, live production software, and video marketing tools
    • Video APIs, SDKs, developer tools, and code recipes
    • A highly customizable, and therefore highly complex streaming platform

    Detailed Features:

    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
    • Video API access
    • Global content delivery via a combined CDN approach
    • Ability to bring your own CDN
    • Security features include a range of authentication and encryption options
    • Monetization includes all major models – subscription, advertising, PPV streaming

    Pros:

    • Many available features
    • Totally customizable streaming experience
    • Great monetization options
    • Robust security

    Cons:

    • Ticket-based system for support
    • Highly complex
    • Not suited for new broadcasters
    • No China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 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 their website, but it is on the higher end in terms of cost. This live streaming solution offers custom-priced and pay-as-you-go plans to broadcasters. Interested broadcasters must contact their sales department directly to design a custom package.

    Given the degree of customization of plans with Kaltura, this option is best suited for large-scale enterprises with larger budgets.

    Unlike Facebook live vs YouTube live, which is all about social media video content, Kaltura is focused on offering professional live video hosting for educational institutions.

    10. JW Player

    JWplayer video platform solution
    JW Player began as a small piece of open-source code to play audio and video files. It’s grown since then into a live streaming player.

    Overview and Company History:

    The JW Player project (as the name suggests) began as a video player. This streaming platform was founded in 2005 as part of a student project. Today, this service offers video hosting services and live streaming.

    Basic Functionality:

    This solution is known for its HTML5 video player for VOD content. In addition to that, JW Player is now a full-service live streaming provider.

    Key Features:

    • Live streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) hosting
    • Video recommendations engine to generate a custom “watch next” recommendations
    • Tools for monetization via advertising, and detailed revenue tracking
    • Analytics tools

    Detailed Features:

    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
    • Global content delivery
    • 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 via advertising

    Pros:

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

    Cons:

    • Live streaming is limited to custom-priced plans with a 6-hour duration
    • Only ad-based monetization
    • No China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
    • 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:

    JWPlayer pricing plans include the following tiers:

    • Free trial: JW Player offers a 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, a non-commercial license, 25 GB hosting bandwidth, and 75 GB streaming.
    • Starter plan: At $10 per month, the Starter pricing plan includes an HTML5 Video Player, a video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth, and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month (billed annually).
    • Enterprise plan: these business-specific plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.

    Unlike live streaming to Facebook and YouTube, JW Player provides you with full control over your content and supports global content delivery.

    11. Muvi

    muvi live streaming solution
    Muvi is a live streaming platform focused on OTT media.

    Overview and Company History:

    Moving along in our live video streaming platforms review, let’s consider Muvi. This corporate video streaming solution centers on OTT media businesses. Overall, Muvi aims to provide a “turnkey” service to broadcasters. In short, Muvi focuses on OTT services that are quick to get up and running. They say their model empowers users to launch their own video or audio strategy quickly and easily.

    Basic Functionality:

    Muvi’s OTT multi-screen video streaming solution helps businesses launch white-label multi-device streams. They also provide VOD and audio streaming. It’s fully managed and all controlled from a single CMS.

    Key Features:

    • HTML5 all-device video player
    • White label custom branding
    • Various monetization options
    • Support for video and audio streaming
    • Dashboard management CMS for naming and organizing content
    • 24/7 support

    Detailed Features:

    Pros:

    • CDN delivery
    • Hosting
    • No coding required
    • Video CMS
    • Transcoding
    • DRM
    • Website and Apps for Mobile and TV.

    Cons:

    • Not extremely 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 support.
    • 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: $8,900/month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
    • Black plan: this is a custom solution and includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

    Muvi offers a professional custom video hosting option for businesses that want to control their video player and monetization.

    12. StreamShark

    Streamshark Live Streaming Platform
    StreamShark features a live streaming workflow and uses a global CDN delivery network.

    Overview and Company History:

    StreamShark is one of the best live streaming platforms for businesses. It was founded in 2011 and provides multi-faceted online video functionality.

    Basic Functionality:

    As a corporate streaming solution, StreamShark offers both a consumer-grade (B2C) platform and a distinct enterprise platform for streaming.

    Key Features: 

    • Manage different phases of an event’s stream
    • Multi-vendor approach
    • HLS ingests
    • Provides global video CDN services

    Detailed Features:

    Pros:

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

    Cons:

    • No 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

    StreamShark is a professional live streaming platform that has all the functionality a business needs, without too many fancy or advanced features.

    Pricing:

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

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

    Final Thoughts

    In this article, we’ve compared the social media live streaming platforms YouTube Live vs Facebook Live. These services are free and offer some useful capabilities. However, they have substantial drawbacks. For many users, they’re just not professional or feature-rich enough to get the job done. You may have figured that out yourself for your business.

    When comparing the more B2C public-facing Facebook Live vs YouTube Live to B2B-oriented private streaming platforms, the alternatives are much more powerful. The ability to perform video streaming in a white-label fashion is a professional necessity. This and other features, such as the ability to stream ad free, customize the video player, and monetize content, make these platforms more attractive to business professionals. For businesses and individuals hoping to generate revenue, paywalls and flexible advertising models are essential components of live video.

    Many find a good alternative to the YouTube Live vs Facebook Live dilemma with a streaming alternative like Wowza, Dacast, IBM Cloud Video, Vimeo (Livestream), or Brightcove. These professional service providers offer a much more robust platform for video streaming and broadcasts. You have to pay for that functionality, but it’ll likely be well worth the cost to a discerning user. This is especially true for the more affordable platforms.

    Consider your strategy and the scalability you’re hoping to achieve with online streaming. If you’re not able to scale with Facebook Live or YouTube Live, a professional streaming solution is most likely your answer.

    We hope this article has helped you to understand the differences between these platforms, as well as Facebook and Youtube alternatives.

    Want to try Dacast for free? Enjoy a 14-day free trial to discover our platform and all its video features for yourself (no credit card required).

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    Check out our other blog posts for more comparisons between these different platforms. For the best broadcasting tips and exclusive offers, join our LinkedIn group.

    author avatar

    Max Wilbert

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

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