It's no secret that live streaming is a popular, emerging medium. More and more people are broadcasting themselves to the world on a daily basis to share their lives, thoughts, or just for entertainment purposes. When it comes to choosing the best software for live streaming, there are many factors that you should consider before making a decision.
In this post, we'll review some of the most popular web-based live streaming applications available today and provide you with our summary of each based on features, ease of use, and pricing plans.
First, let's discuss what live streaming is and why it's important for your business. Then we'll cover best practices to follow when live streaming, and then we'll review some of the best web-based software options available.
What Is Live Streaming?
The process of broadcasting a live event over the internet is known as live streaming; this could be a podcast, a concert, a live interview, or anything else you want to share with the internet. The real benefit of live streaming is the ability to connect and engage with your audience instantaneously. For example, if someone sends you a question while you are streaming, you can respond and interact with them in real-time. This process helps build rapport with your community, eventually turning passive viewers into engaged community members, thus growing your business.
Why Live Streaming is Important for Your Business
Live streaming has increased in popularity over the past few years. With more and more people live streaming, your business must be a part of this new trend. It can help you reach out to potential clients with ease and show off your products or services to all who are watching.
With the rise of social media and digital content consumption on sites like Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitch, it's more important than ever to keep up with the latest trends or risk being left behind. Here are some of our top reason why live streaming is essential for your business.
- Connect with your Audience: Live streaming is a great way to connect with your audience. It's a direct connection that allows you to share more than just what's on the screen, and it can make your content much more interactive for all involved.
- Build Trust: Live streaming can help you build relationships and trust with potential customers. You'll have the opportunity to share your story and show off who you are as a brand or individual; this will also help people get more familiar with your product or service, which can increase conversion rates.
- Get Feedback: Live streaming helps you understand what people are thinking, feeling, and doing in real-time. You have access to instant feedback on what's working and what needs improvement. You can use streaming to answer questions, engage the audience and provide valuable insights into your business.
- It's versatile: You can use live streaming for social media marketing, events promotion, or educational purposes. Not only can live streams help build relationships with customers, but they can also promote events and educate potential new clients on what it's like working with you or attending one of your events.
You can live stream everything from your commute to the latest product launch with just a mobile device or laptop. Live streaming opens up many doors for social media marketing, event promotion, and education. Keep reading below to learn more about the best practices we recommend when it comes to live streaming for your business.
Best Practices for Live Streaming
Plan your setup ahead of time to ensure a smooth live stream session; this includes all hardware and software, internet connection, and camera angles. Make backup plans in case something doesn't go as planned. Ensure everything is in order before recording because there won't be time to fix anything once the show starts! Remember that people from all over the world will be tuning in, so make sure they can hear clear audio with no background noise.
Create an engaging overlay theme that will keep viewers entertained. Overlays are animated or static images that sit atop your webcam or around the border of your screen. They provide additional information about what you're streaming or your channel (such as contact info). A good overlay should include your username and branding so that viewers know who they're watching! You can even set up alerts on websites such as Streamlabs; this is a great way to notify your viewers when someone donates to the stream!
Plan out the best time of day to do your stream. Streams can happen at any time, but there are some parts of the day where it may be a live stream than others. Try experimenting with when you go live so you can try to match up with when people are online.
Want to learn more? Head to our blog to read our complete guide to live streaming on any platform.
Best Web-based Live Streaming Studios
Melon is our go-to pick. While we may be a bit biased here, we truly believe no other option comes with the range of features that Melon has. Plus with integration with Streamlalbs like Alerts and Cloudbot moderation, the answer is clear. Melon is the best choice for browser-based streaming.
With Melon, you can go live to every major streaming platform in just five clicks. Built by the team at Streamlabs, there is no complicated setup and nothing to install for you or your guests. Other streaming solutions are complicated and can take hours to set up. With Melon, everything is hosted on best-in-class cloud infrastructure, meaning podcasters, brands, businesses, and individuals get blazing fast response time, low CPU usage, and minimal latency.
Melon is fully customizable and easy to create professionally branded live streams with multistream functionality, custom overlays, and layouts. Melon comes with a ton of guides to help you get set up like a multistream guide, how to use Melon as a Zoom alternative, how to increase your live stream viewership, and much more.
The standard plan starts at 15$ a month and includes the ability to multistream to up to three destinations, with no watermark. You can invite up to six participants, get unlimited streaming, up to 4 hours of recording time, disconnect protection, and many other features.
Melon also comes with overlays and branding to help your stream stand out from the crowd.
For $15/month, Melon comes with the most value for dollar relative to all solutions on the market. Other options are $19, $25, or even as expensive as $79.
The Pro plan starts at 49$ a month and you can multistream to an unlimited number of destinations. You can add up to nine participants, get audio-only recording options, up to 10 hours of recording time, media file upload limit of 300MB, and Full HD (1080p)
Visit the Melon pricing page to view a more detailed breakdown.
StreamYard is a live streaming studio that can be used in a browser. You can stream directly to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Periscope, Twitch, and even custom RTMP outputs.
StreamYard is also free to use, but to unlock some features you’ll have to pay for the Basic or Professional package.
The basic package starts at $25 and gets you up to three multistreaming destinations. At this price point, you can also add up to ten guests, four hours of recording time, and various backgrounds and overlays for branding.
The professional package starts at $49 and you get an additional eight hours of recording time, eight potential multistream destinations, and the ability to broadcast in 1080p.
Overall, StreamYard is also a good service, however, you can get everything you need in the standard package from Melon at a cheaper price point. Not to mention, Melon comes with several free features that outclass the competition like integrated Alerts with Streamlabs and the ability to accept tips from viewers.
Restream allows users to simultaneously broadcast live video to more than 30 social networks. Anyone can use the service, but the majority of the features are most beneficial to entrepreneurs, marketers, and corporations.
Some key features included with Restream include event scheduling, branding options like overlay layouts, and cross-platform analytics.
Restream comes with several different pricing points. Depending on if you are an individual creator or brand/company the best subscription for your needs will vary. We’ll look at the subscriptions services best for the individual creator, but check out their pricing page to review all of the details.
The standard package costs $19 per month. You can stream to 30 platforms and receive one custom/additional destination. You can record up to six hours per stream, which is saved for 15 days. You can also add up to ten guests to the screen.
The professional package begins at $49 per month. You can stream to 30 platforms as well as three custom/additional destinations. You can stream pre-recorded videos and store 10 hrs of recorded video for 15 days
Restream is a good service in general. The standard plan costs slightly more than Melon’s monthly plan, but it includes a few extra features such as more guests and additional multistream destinations. Most of the time, you won’t need this many options, but if you feel like spending the money for those extra benefits, definitely check out Restream’s website to learn more about the options available to you.
Lightstream is a live streaming application that offers tools and technology for content creators to share their work on various platforms. These include Twitch, Youtube Live as well as Facebook Live videos.
Key features include remote control functionality for your stream,3rd-party integrations for on-stream alerts and motion graphics, and dynamic layout control to customize your UI.
Lightstream comes with two paid plans. The gamer plan starts at 7$ a month but limits your stream 720p at 30 FPS. The Creator plan starts at 20$ a month and you get access to adding remote guests (up to 7), streaming to custom RTMP destinations, and PC screen share. Visit their pricing page for more details
Ultimately, LightStream creates adequate streaming software, but the limited functionality at the various price points may make you consider other options that come with more features for free.
Be.Live is a user-friendly streaming platform that supports Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn with the ability to customize your stream according to what you want.
Their standard plan starts at 24$ a month and comes with unlimited streaming hours, branding options, multistreaming up to two destinations, and the ability to add 4 guests.
If you’re looking to upgrade for 37.50$ a month you can get incremental value including 1080p steaming quality, multi-camera support, up to 8 hours of recording, and unlimited storage.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to browser-based streaming services. At the end of the day, no other service provides the features that Melon does at that low of a price point.
You not only save the most money, but you also gain access to all of the key features required to create a successful live stream, such as custom overlays for branding, up to six guests, unlimited streaming, up to four hours of recording, and much more.
Not to mention that Melon is integrated with Streamlabs, making it easier to add custom alerts to your stream and monetize it than any other platform on this list.
As always, you can reach out to [email protected] if you require any assistance. Happy streaming!