There are several live streaming platform options for personal use. However, for enterprises where security, reliability, and quality are major concerns; you need to have the services of a credible live video streaming platform. For broadcasters planning to enter live video content streaming or enterprises planning to leverage live streaming for internal communication and learning; live streaming platforms are crucial.
What is a Live Streaming Platform?
A live streaming platform is a service that provides real-time decoding and transmission of real-time audio and video data. All the features can be added with a few code lines instead of writing everything from scratch. For instance, building a live streaming application from scratch can take you more than a week or even a month, depending on your programming and technical prowess.
With live streaming platforms, you can easily set it up without worrying about the implementation of crude APIs. Everything is almost plug-and-play with live streaming platforms.
ZEGOCLOUD is a good example of a free live streaming platform. They provide scalable and high-performance live streaming features for many platforms. Web, mobile, and even desktop apps are available. There’s no doubt that it’s by far the best live streaming platform out there.
You’ll have access to all the features you could have ever wished to have in a live streaming application, as ZEGOCLOUD’s Live Streaming Kit is richly featured and very reliable. You can build your application without worrying about growth rate, as everything is being handled by the SDK.
Why You Should Choose Professional Live Streaming Platforms
There are numerous advantages to building your live streaming applications on professional live streaming platforms. Below are some of the reasons why you should choose professional live streaming platforms:
1. High-quality live streaming
High-quality video encoding formats are supported by professional live streaming platforms. So you don’t have to worry about the quality or spend time trying to implement the feature, as you do so by simply calling an API.
2. Stream without interruptions.
Live streaming on conventional platforms like YouTube or any other social media app can be very annoying, as you’re likely going to see an advertisement in the process. With professional live streaming platforms, you’re free from all forms of advertising.
3. Insights tracking
Professional live streaming platforms provide information about your live streaming activities.ZEGOCLOUD, for instance, offers advanced live streaming analytics on dashboard consoles. So you can get insights by seeing how your live streaming activities are going so far. You can monitor important information like engagement, viewer counts, and behaviors with various professional live streaming platforms.
4. Revenue opportunity
With professional live streaming platforms, you can easily add a paywall where people can pay before they can access live streaming events. This can take the form of a pay-per-view strategy or any other type of revenue generation strategy.
5. Cost effective
Let’s assume you’re not a programmer and you want to build live streaming services from scratch. This is going to cost you a lot of money. Even if you’re a programmer, hosting these programs is also very costly. We also have a free live streaming platform where you can watch live streaming videos for free.
Best 9 Popular Live Streaming Platforms
With the abundance of unverified information present on the internet about live streaming video platforms, it might become overwhelming to pick the right option. Here, we have collated the list of the top 9 best live streaming platforms with their key features to help you make a more informed decision.
ZEGOCLOUD is a professional live streaming platform dedicated to providing quality real-time live streaming SDK, To date, they have serviced in over 200 countries around the globe. With ZEGOCLOUD’s easy-to-use and powerful SDKs, developers can add real-time live streaming capabilities to their live streaming apps in just a few lines of code. The ZEGOCLOUD platform is trusted by thousands of companies and is powering an average of more than 2 billion minutes of real-time communication every day.
- Reliable and Stable Streaming Cloud: You can monetize video streaming on IBM Cloud Video by leveraging third-party services. It allows the insertion of ads in live video streaming.
- Flexible and Accommodating Streaming Engine: Simple SDK integration with 4 lines of codes, easy service access in 20 minutes.
- Powerful Backend System for Transparent Monitoring and Reporting: Real-time network quality monitoring, comprehensive stream quality reporting.
- Live Interactive Video Streaming: It supports one-to-one video calls, one-to-many video broadcasting, and many-to-many video conferencing. It can be used in many different scenarios where video interaction is required, such as video social networking, group video conferencing, online classroom, etc.
- Real-Time Audio Streaming: It supports one-to-one voice chat, and one-to-many voice conversation (up to millions of participants), applicable to VoIP phone services, ganging-up in games, internet radio stations, and so on.
- Audio/Video Recording and Archiving: The Audio/Video Recording and Archiving service empower enterprises with an on-premises video witness system that can meet various legal and compliance requirements. It can be used for video witnessing of bank account opening, brokerage account opening, in-person interviews, and other events.
- Voice Chat room: It supports simultaneous speaking in group voice chat, background music, and sound effects. It allows users to keep the chat active in the background while switching to other applications.
You may also like: How to Build A Live Streaming App
OnTheFly is one of the most prominent and efficient live-streaming platforms, with features that stand out amongst its competitors. Its potential features, like studio-grade recording, file storage, and branding, make it one of the most creator-friendly platforms.
- Go live– OnTheFly offers a stunning “Go live” feature that brings in loads of features that aid creators in customizing and presenting the streaming most innovatively.
- Studio-grade recording– It provides top-grade tools to experience high-quality recording with the best-in-class recording and storage features.
- Branding– Make your streaming session a way to market your business by adding brand logos, overlays in the streaming session.
- Background template customization- It comes with templates to add aesthetics to your streaming by customizing with multiple background templates.
- Unlimited chat– indulge in interactive chat sessions with your viewers and get live feedback on your presentation, raise questions, and conduct polls for more engagement.
OnTheFly has exciting pricing plans that suit all kinds of businesses and creators. To know about the pricing structure, contact their support team.
Phando is one of the most capable live streaming platforms that offer intuitive end to end online video management to organize, moderate, and monetize VOD and live streaming videos. The live streaming and OTT video platform offer an end-to-end solution that is highly secure and efficient to ensure the reliable delivery of high-quality video content.
- Monetization: It offers multiple video content monetization tools including pay-per-view, paywall, and subscription models. Broadcasters can also leverage custom ads to monetize videos more efficiently.
- Analytics: Phando offers real-time intelligent data of viewers to help broadcasters make more informed decisions. Leverage analytics to create content based on viewer preferences and geographies.
- Mobile and HTML5 Video Player: Phando offers seamless delivery of video content across devices including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. It leverages device detection and mobile-ready encoding flavors to deliver uncompromised video quality.
- Video Transcoding: Its video transcoding feature enables broadcasters to deliver adaptive bitrate quality videos without buffering.
- Robust Video Management: Through Phando’s intuitive user interface, broadcasters can easily organize content, edit, moderate, create playlists search media, and much more.
Phando offers a free trial of its live video streaming service. Its paid plans start from $49 per month. It offers a discount of up to two months’ worth of subscription fees on annual billing.
4. IBM Cloud Video
IBM acquired UStream in 2016 and has branded it IBM Cloud Video. It offers multiple cloud streaming and video services including storage and GPU computing. As an OTT video platform; it offers uploading, managing, and delivering VOD and live streaming content.
- Monetization: You can monetize video streaming on IBM Cloud Video by leveraging third-party services. It allows the insertion of ads in live video streaming.
- Customization: It offers a channel on which broadcasters can showcase upcoming events, previously live-streamed videos, and other events. It allows integrated branding on the page.
- Live Chat: Its Live Chat feature allows viewers to engage with other viewers during the live streaming and interact with the broadcaster.
- Recorded Video: Live streaming videos are automatically saved as private videos after the end of streaming that can be shared later on broadcaster’s channel.
It offers a free trial that allows the broadcaster to stream video content to up to five viewers at the same time without ads. Its starter plan costs $99 but allows broadcast only in 720p HD.
Brightcove has segregated its offerings into multiple categories including Video Player, Video Marketing Suite, and OTT Flow among others. It comes equipped with an industry-standard HTML5 player and complete live streaming capabilities.
- Monetization: It doesn’t come with integrated monetization features. However, broadcasters can easily leverage third-party platforms to monetize their videos.
- Adaptive Streaming: Brightcove optimizes the bit-rate of video streaming depending on the internet speed of the viewer to deliver a buffer-free video viewing experience.
- API: It comes equipped with a developer API to allow broadcasters to develop custom apps and other software around live streaming video content.
- Analytics: It comes with real-time analytics capabilities. Brightcovecan gain access to crucial insights including the number of plays, player loads, and the number of viewing minutes among others.
Its pricing plans are not available transparently on its website. You need to contact their sales team for a custom price quote.
The live streaming video platform has been recently acquired by Vimeo. It is quite popular among enterprises to deliver live events seamlessly in a secure manner through seamless management and centralized delivery.
- Monetization: Livestream offers the subscription and pay-per-view sales model. However, access to monetization functionality is only available with the enterprise plan.
- Live Chat: Users can leverage the Live Chat feature to comment on the live streaming video in real-time for greater engagement.
- Analytics: Livestream offers real-time analytics to help you gauge the response of videos through engagements and the number of views.
- API: It offers the developer API to enable development teams to build a third-party video streaming application.
Its premium plan is billed annually at $75 per month. For the enterprise plan, Livestream offers customized quotes depending on your requirements.
Wowza is one of the leading live video streaming platforms that offer great customer support to its clients. It flawlessly delivers HD videos, audio streams, and low-latency video to any type of device at multiple scales.
- Monetization: It offers a pay-per-view model and supports custom ads to monetize live streaming and video on demand.
- VR & 360° Streaming: Wowza offers the capability to stream 360-degree immersive videos in 4K video quality to the global audience.
- IP Camera Streaming: It allows developers to embed IP camera streams into mobile applications and websites to stream videos without the need for an encoder.
- Customization: Developers can leverage Wowza’s APIs and third-party integrations to build a customized live streaming solution that meets specific requirements.
- Live Support: It offers live support during live streaming events to resolve issues and provide assistance for the setup. However, this feature is part of Wowza’s premium support packages.
- Adaptive Bitrate: Its adaptive bitrate feature allows broadcasters to deliver buffer-free live streaming and video on demand on slower internet connections.
It offers a 30-day free trial. Wowza’s subscription plans start at $45 per month that are billed annually.
Panopto offers a simple solution for live streaming and delivering video on demand efficiently. Its modern video streaming architecture offers reliable delivery of high-quality videos on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Its highly secure and customizable offering makes it one of the preferred choices.
- Monetization: Panopto offers another video monetization tool called InPlayer through which broadcasters can embed a secure paywall, add pay-per-view, or offer subscription payment options to monetize videos.
- Waiting Room: It offers a customizable waiting room. The virtual waiting room is created to accommodate users who arrive early before the start of the broadcast or live streaming.
- Analytics: It offers real-time analytics to enable broadcasters to measure the reach of their videos through the number of viewers, minutes of viewing, and geography-wise stats.
- Interactive Live Streaming: Panopto offers viewers the to engage with other viewers through threaded discussions, comments, and digital notes. Viewers can also submit questions to the broadcaster for a live Q&A session. The entire experience with live conversations is recorded to ensure users can watch it later as well.
- Secured Video Streaming: Panopto offers total control over who can watch the videos. Broadcasters can restrict access to departments or even teams. Viewers are required to log in even while accessing the video through a direct link.
DaCast offers an end-to-end SaaS approach. The platform is known for its ease of use and offers OTT video streaming and live video streaming solutions across devices and platforms without compromising on quality. It offers China playback accessibility and advanced VOD (video on demand) features.
- Monetization: DaCast offers pay-per-view tickets and allows viewers to make online payments within the video player to gain access to live streaming content. However, it asks for a commission of 9.9% + $0.40 per user payment. It also takes up to 35 days to make the payment to video broadcasters.
- White Labeling: It comes with white labeling features including the provision to change the color combination of the video player and add a branded logo on videos.
- API: It provides the API to video broadcasters to build a custom video streaming solution over the DaCast platform.
- Auto Archiving: It automatically records all the live streaming videos and makes them available instantly for later viewing after the live streaming ends.
- Audio-Only Streaming: It provides the option to deliver audio-only streaming for viewers who don’t want to watch videos or are using the platform on low bandwidth.
It offers both annual and monthly subscription plans. Monthly plans start at $19 and annual plans start at $125 with a three months commitment.
Panopto hasn’t shared its pricing plans on the website. It offers customized quotes depending on the requirements. Above mentioned live streaming platforms offer different functionalities and USPs to grab the attention of businesses. However, you should go for an option that offers absolute reliability, data security features that meet your requirements, and cost-efficiency.
Live streaming platforms have revolutionized digital content consumption and interaction. They connect people globally, provide opportunities for self-expression, and offer new avenues for content creators, influencers, and businesses. With ongoing technological advancements, the future of live streaming platforms is promising. Let’s embrace this digital era and maximize the exciting world of live streaming!
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