Live streaming is no longer a fad. It’s a long-term trend, and going stronger year-over-year. From sports matches to educational programming, consumers flock to popular video live streaming platforms for an after-work wind-down. This foray is getting grand. By 2027, the global live streaming market will tally at $184 billion.
Most of these future profits are still up for grabs. But you need to move fast! The first step to entering the booming live stream market is choosing a live streaming platform for hosting, organizing, and distributing your broadcasts.
Best Live Streaming Platforms: Features to Look For
Live streaming platforms provide technical infrastructure for hosting live broadcasts to online audiences. Some support only direct streams, while others allow uploading pre-recorded content for streaming and distribution across different channels — websites, social media platforms, mobile, and smart TV apps.
If you plan to offer paid access to video streams or host broadcasts for lead generation and marketing, here are the features to look for in a live streaming video platform:
- Scalable and secure video hosting
- Live video content management tools
- Convenient video distribution options
- Advertising and video monetization features
- Low-latency streaming for HD video
- Multi-format video inject options
- Playback and cross-device sync features
All of the above are essential for delivering a stellar viewing experience to the viewers!
4 Top Live Streaming Platforms in 2021
When you are ready to go live, here are our top platform recommendations covering a range of needs and budgets.
MAZ Live was designed with an OTT publisher in mind. The platform is very easy to set up and doesn’t require any disruptive meddling with source code. Create an account, connect your hardware or upload video content, and start broadcasting in HD quality.
What makes MAZ one of the best live streaming services for content publishers is an array of handy features to create a delightful viewing experience. These include "simulated live" mode that lets you schedule pre-recorded content for live broadcasts akin to traditional linear TV, as well as automatic pre-recorded live content and extra live-to-VOD functionality.
- Automatic ingest fail-over and adaptive-bitrate live streaming
- Value-added features for OTT publishers such as playbacks, live-to-VOD
- An array of fast video ingest options available
- Native monetization tools for live broadcasts
Watson Media by IBM
IBM offers a comprehensive cloud-based live streaming infrastructure to support heavy-duty video publishing. Highly customizable, extensible, and jam-packed with innovative tech features such as AI-driven closed captions, IBM is the best live streaming platform for larger video publishers and global OTT players.
- All-in-one, a cross-device live streaming platform
- Offers app SDKs for iOS, Android, and MacOS for building mobile apps
- Well-documented APIs for creating custom integrations
- Robust video encoding capabilities for low-latency distribution
Better known as a video hosting service, Vimeo also offers live streaming functionality. The Studio 6 is a user-friendly software suite for broadcasting live video straight from connected cameras (wired and cordless) and cross-distributing it across different platforms, on top of Vimeo. Vimeo Livestream supports cloud simulcasting to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and other top video streaming platforms.
- Large storage capacity for streaming in 4K
- Seamless and fast video uploading experience
- Runs well on consumer-grade devices thanks to hardware acceleration
- Features a beginner mode with simplified workflows
P.S. You can also read about how Vimeo OTT compares to Maz.
Multi-streaming is the hill Restream chose to defend. Similar to Vimeo Livestream, this app helps you run simulcasts on up to 30+ social media platforms at once. That’s a great option to boost your reach.
In addition, you can use Restream Studio to host high-quality in-browser streams. The platform is simple to use and somewhat customizable. You can change backgrounds, add custom logos, call-to-actions, host live Q&A sessions, and highlight comments from your audience. However, this online stream platform doesn’t support in-app mobile live streams, nor provides any monetization tools.
- Massive distribution across social channels
- Fast and simple in-browser live stream setup
- Modern tools for interacting with audiences
- Event scheduling functionality
So Many Live Streaming Platforms to Choose From!
Live streaming is a hot attraction for consumers. And it certain to remain in vogue throughout the 2020s. With so many cost-effective, customizable, and easy-to-setup live streaming platforms available, it’s a crying shame not to act upon this demand. Give one of the live streaming platforms a spin to reach new audiences and re-engage the loyal subscribers!