Live streaming is set to become the future. In fact, the industry was set to be worth £56.3 billion by 2021 according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. However, with the recent surge in necessity for the live streaming market, research from Grand View Research, Inc suggests that the industry could be worth £142.34 billion by 2027. It’s clear that the industry is growing at a rapid rate, and businesses and individuals are taking advantage of it.

With so many options to choose from when it comes to providers, the question stands: who should I stream with? With a vast number of people jumping to Zoom, as we move forward, should we stick with Zoom or are there other more suitable options? Let’s see…

Overview

Before looking at the options, it’s best to assess what you want out of a live streaming platform. We’ll be assessing the following platforms based on 8 key areas:

  • Audience Size – How large of an audience can you have
  • Streaming Duration – How long can you stream for
  • Budget – How much does it cost
  • Public or Private Stream – How can viewers watch
  • Stream Quality – What is the maximum quality available
  • Interface – Is the layout like a video conference or like a TV channel
  • Video On Demand – Does the platform offer a video library to watch previous live streams or videos
  • Multicam Support – how many cameras does the streaming solution support (streaming platform added into third party software)

1. Zoom

Let’s get Zoom out of the way, because that’s the main one most people will be comparing against. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Zoom is arguably the most well received video streaming platform in the past decade at least. It has allowed families to meet together, guests to attend weddings, and people to be reunited during 2020. Widely adopted partially due to its ease of use, and it’s widespread popularity, which further fuelled more people to use it.

Features:

  • Audience Size – 100 participants (Free Plan), More can be added for varying prices
  • Streaming Duration – 40 Minutes (Free Plan), 24 hours for the Pro plan
  • Budget – Plans start from Free, and range up from there
  • Public or Private Stream – Audience attends via use of credentials
  • Stream Quality – Up to 720p
  • Interface – Video Call Interface based around audience participation
  • Video On Demand – No
  • Multicam Support – Single Camera

Overall, Zoom is great for video calling and online hangouts. However, it struggles when it comes to providing a professional stream for anything other than meetings.

2. IBM Cloud Video (UStream)

Originally founded in 2007 to bring military families together online, UStream was later purchased in 2016 by IBM, to later be renamed as IBM Cloud Video. Primarily a live streaming platform, UStream also offers the functionality of hosting video libraries for viewers to watch past live streams.

Features:

  • Audience Size – 5 concurrent viewers, based around viewer hours
  • Streaming Duration – 100 viewer hours to 5000 viewer hours based on pricing
  • Budget – Free for 30 days, includes ads for streams with more than 5 viewers unless on a paid plan ($99+pm)
  • Public or Private Stream – Public, Can be password protected from the Silver plan on
  • Stream Quality – Up to 720p
  • Interface – Video Interface based around host, similar to a TV channel
  • Video On Demand – Yes
  • Multicam Support – MultiCam Available

Overall, IBM Cloud Video is good for those with the budget to support a host focused stream. However, its lack of HD quality support and viewing hours make the price tag heavy when compared to other platforms.

3. Vimeo Live

Originally founded in 2007, Livestream was later purchased in 2017 by Vimeo. Once acquired, Vimeo brought Livestream into its already large presence in the Online Video Content Marketplace to provide customers with not only a video library, but also a live streaming platform as well.

Features:

  • Audience Size – Unlimited
  • Streaming Duration – Unlimited/ Up to 7TB storage
  • Budget – £70pm
  • Public or Private Stream – Public or Private based on preference
  • Stream Quality – Up to 1080p
  • Interface – Video Interface based around host, similar to a TV channel
  • Video On Demand – Yes
  • Multicam Support – MultiCam Available

Overall, Vimeo is favourable for those who already have the equipment and budget to livestream, while those without the budget may want to look for something more manageable in terms of budget. However, Vimeo does bring more to the table than the points mentioned here, and given the budget, it does provide a user-friendly live streaming experience, from setup to stream.

4. Dacast

Unlike YouTube or Vimeo, Dacast is primarily focused on business-to-business, which is reflected in both its pricing and its layout.

Features:

  • Audience Size – Based on the pricing plan & duration of stream
  • Streaming Duration – Based on the pricing plan & audience size
  • Budget – Pricing starts at $19pm
  • Public or Private Stream – Public, Can be password protected
  • Stream Quality – Up to 1080p
  • Interface – Video Interface based around host, similar to a TV channel
  • Video On Demand – Yes
  • Multicam Support – MultiCam Available

Overall, Dacast is suitable for those on smaller budgets, although is still based on a pricing plan. Lesser known, but does support HTML5 embedding into websites as well as other features.

5. YouTube

Originally founded in 2005, and bought out by Google in 2006, YouTube has grown to become a giant in the Video Content Marketplace, offering video libraries as well as video live streaming.

Features:

  • Audience Size – Unlimited
  • Streaming Duration – Unlimited
  • Budget – Free
  • Public or Private Stream – Public, Can be made so only those with a link can view
  • Stream Quality – Up to 1080p
  • Interface – Video Interface based around host, similar to a TV channel
  • Video On Demand – Yes
  • Multicam Support – MultiCam Available

Overall, YouTube is ideal for those without a large budget but who still want to produce professional video. The main downside is that live streams cannot be made password protected, only link protected.

6. Twitch

Twitch was founded in 2011, and is a subsidiary of Amazon. It’s mainly focused on the gaming community, and as such the content is mainly gaming focused. It has been added to the list as it is a large competitor for live streaming, however, mainly in the single genre of gaming.

Features:

  • Audience Size – Unlimited
  • Streaming Duration – Unlimited
  • Budget – Free
  • Public or Private Stream – Public
  • Stream Quality – Up to 1080p
  • Interface – Video Interface based around host, with a focus on a live stream chat with the audience
  • Video On Demand – Yes
  • Multicam Support – MultiCam Available

Overall, Twitch is suitable for those without a large budget, however, YouTube is better suited for streaming anything other than gaming due to the heavy focus on gaming content found on Twitch. As such, if you or your business is looking to make money from gaming content, then Twitch is ideal.

Don’t Want the Hassle of Setting Up Your Own Live Streaming Platform?

If you’re thinking about live streaming your upcoming business event, conference or talk, contact our team today. We offer businesses and companies professional live streaming services so that you too can benefit from live streaming. From helping you setup your own live stream for future use, to streaming your one-time event, get in contact today about your live streaming needs.

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