The Best Live Stream Platform of the Year

This list should help you zero in on the best live stream platform for your streaming needs. I’ll include both free and paid content delivery networks, so you can see what you can fit in your bidet. Let’s get to it! 

The Best Streaming Platforms Right Now 

YouTube Live 

YouTube Live - best live streaming platform

High-definition broadcasting up to 4K60, the option to embed live broadcasts on your website, and capabilities like live chat offers you a solid foundation on which to grow your audience. These features make it one of the best live streaming platforms.

Pros: 

  • The #1 website for video in the world and the #2 most used search engine, making it the obvious choice for free organic reach and SEO for streamers and watchers.
  • Videos may be seen on almost any device.
  • Because most people are already familiar with YouTube, the player and interface are also familiar.
  • A player that can be embedded can be used almost everywhere.
  • Playback is quick and consistent. 

Cons: 

  • Anything ID (YouTube’s automatic system that listens/looks for copyrighted material to protect YouTube from legal action – it will delete content that it feels violates copyright laws even if you have valid authorization for it)
  • Free (it’s a double-edged sword in that visitors are frequently subjected to advertisements and recommendations that you have no control over)
  • Lack of control (you have no influence over your audience or their experience; you must follow the platform’s rules and algorithms)
  • Because the number and duration of commercials have been increasing recently, I predict people to start shifting away from YouTube more and more in the future as alternatives become more available.

Its Best Feature: Easy discoverability and organic reach 

Allowed Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps (51 Mbps maximum bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP 

Related Reading: How to get a YouTube sponsor – See Here

Facebook Live

 

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a logical choice for sending your live stream because it has 2.5 billion monthly active users and live videos receive some of the highest interaction on the site.

Pros: 

  • Streamers and viewers can use this platform for free.
  • The largest possible audience as well as organic reach
  • Because live broadcasts appear in people’s news feeds, it’s the quickest method to get in front of them.
  • Any other alternative has less potential for community involvement and participation.

Cons: 

  • Not everyone, especially the younger generations, uses Facebook.
  • Rights Manager (Facebook’s automatic system that listens/looks for copyrighted material in order to protect the company from legal action; it will remove anything that it feels violates copyright laws, even if you have valid authorization for it)
  • Unpredictability (Facebook Live’s reliability has been hit-or-miss since its inception, so it’s better not to rely on it as your sole source of streaming)
  • Reputation (it looks that Facebook’s glory days are over, making it increasingly difficult to attract new audiences as users abandon the network or grow disengaged)

Its Best Feature: Easy to use 

Allowed Formats: Up to 1280 x 720 at 30 fps (4 Mbps maximum bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMPS 

Twitch 

Twitch - best live streaming platform

While Twitch is most known for being a gaming broadcasting platform, it may also be an excellent choice for non-gamers. It’s one of the best live streaming platforms out there.

Pros: 

  • AWS infrastructure is used (highly reliable and a great way to diversify your stream from other providers)
  • A player with a chat feature that can be embedded (an easy way to build a community through your website)
  • Reach a younger demographic that isn’t represented on other platforms.

Cons

  • Non-gamers are less familiar with it.
  • When compared to the other two alternatives above, organic reach and SEO are considerably lower.

Its Best Feature: Has community-building tools 

Allowed Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps (6 Mbps maximum bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP 

Castr

Castr - best live streaming platform

For about $10 per month, you may send your stream to various locations.

Castr also provides live streaming and video hosting in addition to simulcasting.

Pros: 

  • If you only require simulcasting, this is the best deal. If you only need simulcasting, this is the best deal.
  • Good customer service is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Akamai CDN is vast and trustworthy.

Cons: 

  • When compared to alternative possibilities, live streaming and hosting services might be costly.
  • A basic grasp of streaming and encoding is necessary. 

Its Best Feature: Being able to simulcast at lower costs 

Allowed Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps (6.5 Mbps max recommended bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP, RTSP, HLS, and MPEG-TS

Resi (Previously Living As One) 

Resi

This patented Resilient Streaming Protocol raises the bar on streaming quality and dependability.

Social, online streaming (embeddable player), and multisite subscription options are available (connect remote physical locations).

Resi also has a proprietary hardware encoder, as well as a subscription plan, required, resulting in a wholly integrated and resilient ecosystem that simply works.

Pros: 

  • This is an excellent option for Internet connections that are slower and less dependable.
  • A vast range of plans and features to meet a wide range of demands and circumstances
  • Outstanding customer service 
  • Hardware solutions that function almost right out of the box
  • Live streaming with time-slip player capability allows you to link several physical locations.

Cons: 

  • Proprietary hardware is required, which might be too expensive for many budgets.
  • It is not possible to bring your own encoder (BYOE).

Its Best Feature: Absolute dependability, even with sluggish and unreliable Internet connections

Allowed Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 30 fps (Prism Encoders) or up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps (Ray Encoder)

Protocols Accepted:  *Resi Encoder Required

Wowza

Wowza - best live streaming platform

For the past 15 years, Wowza has been a known brand in the world of live streaming. It is so important that it serves as the backbone for several other prominent streaming CDNs.

Wowza has everything you need to stream safely and consistently, with a comprehensive selection of high-quality hardware, software, and cloud offerings.

Pros: 

  • One of the largest streaming platforms in the world, offering a diverse set of services and goods.
  • Customer service is excellent, and the forum is pretty busy.
  • One of the few ways to watch Facebook Live in 1080p.

Cons: 

  • It’s easy to overspend.
  • For faster customer assistance response, a paid support package is necessary.
  • Because it is geared for professionals, the learning curve can be pretty high.

Its Best Feature: Scalability

Allowed Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps (20 Mbps max bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP, RTSP, WOWZ

BoxCast

BoxCast

This platform is solid and user-friendly, thanks to a well-established and stable infrastructure and excellent hardware encoders.

BoxCast is a viable alternative with features like simulcasting (Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope), innovative TV applications (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast), automatic captioning, ticketed events, and even multisite players.

Pros: 

  • You can use your own encoder (no need to purchase proprietary hardware or software)
  • Facebook and YouTube simultaneous broadcasting
  • Some packages include automated captioning.
  • The multisite player allows several physical sites to be connected.

Cons: 

  • Unless simulcasting to other platforms, there is very no organic reach or SEO (the audience has to come to you)
  • When compared to alternative solutions, some features might be costly.
  • It is necessary to have a basic grasp of streaming and encoding.

Its Best Feature: Hardware encoders from Boxcaster make setting up and launching a stream a breeze.

Allowed Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps (Boxcaster Pro) or up to 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps (RTMP and Boxcaster)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP 

Restream 

Restream

Simulcasting was one of the initial services offered by ReStream. Since then, it has swiftly risen to prominence as a popular middleman, with a slew of new features making it one of the best live streaming platforms.

You get a robust platform with a complete software studio, live chat, and scheduling option that offers more than simply simulcasting.

Pros: 

  • Basic simulcasting at a reasonable price
  • Simulcast to a wide range of platforms
  • All plans have a chat feature.

Cons: 

  • The basic priced package still includes watermark restream
  • The basic plan does not support 1080p.
  • A basic grasp of streaming and encoding is necessary.
  • There isn’t a fully embeddable player available (their embed widget is not as widely supported as other platforms)

Its Best Feature: Accommodates most platforms 

Allowed Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps (15 Mbps max recommended bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP

Dacast 

Dacast

Dacast allows simple live streaming and hosting with no frills. If you don’t stream frequently and don’t have a huge following, this might be an excellent budget-friendly alternative for you.

Pros: 

  • There’s a lot of bang for the buck for regular live streaming. 
  • M3U8 connections for connecting to third-party apps are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cons: 

  • There isn’t much in the way of organic reach or SEO.
  • Simulcasting isn’t possible without the help of a third-party provider.
  • A basic grasp of streaming and encoding is necessary. 

Its Best Feature: Economical choice for smaller-audience streaming

Allowed Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 25 or 30 fps (4.5 Mbps max recommended bitrate)

Protocols Accepted: RTMP

Related Reading: How to Create a Podcast Studio – Check Them out Here

Final Thoughts 

There you have it, the best live streaming platforms around to boost your online exposure. 

Live streaming allows for actual engagement, which builds a bond with viewers. However, because there is less space for viewers to empathize with the presenters, videos on demand just cannot produce the same emotion.

A human aspect is added to a live broadcast by the fact that it is indeed live. At any time, anything can go wrong. When speakers make an error, stumble, or chuckle over something, viewers recognize the genuineness and relate with them, in contrast to television news, when anchors appear rigid and impersonal. 

Why do you think people like seeing them make errors live on television? It gives them a human face and makes them personable.

I hope this is a strong starting point if you’re looking to get into streaming now. Good luck!

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

Brooks Conkle

Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on BrooksConkle.com to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

Brooks Conkle

About Me

With 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I help hustlers build multiple income streams so that they can control their financial future and create a flexible lifestyle.
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Disclosure:  these articles contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links from Amazon and other companies, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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