Comparing the Top 7 Live Streaming Platforms

Garima Khatri
Garima Khatri
Updated December 18 2022
Live streaming platform
Garima Khatri
Garima Khatri
Updated December 18 2022

There’s an ever-growing number of live-streaming platforms but finding the one that fits your requirements can feel like murky waters to navigate. But fret not! In this article, we review the top 7 live streaming apps and websites to help you zero in on and figure out the best live streaming platform for you.


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But first… what is a live-streaming platform?

A live streaming platform is a software application that enables users to stream or broadcast video content in real-time to their audiences.


Live streams hold attention 10 to 20x longer than video-on-demand content.


Social media algorithms favor live videos as well. Per a Statista report, 45% of US live stream viewers between the ages of 18-34 use YouTube live to watch live stream video content. 43% in the case of Instagram.


In terms of engagement live content wins too. Facebook live drives an average of 28,000 comments when compared to native videos which received 10,000 comments on average.


People love live content because suspense, FOMO, and spontaneity fuel it.


Live content enables viewers to go behind the scenes as it happens, opening the doors to meaningful connections, unique ideas, conversations, and experiences.


With trust, loyalty, and engagement at its core, live content ultimately helps create a sense of community.


Live streaming is undoubtedly the future for organizations, influencers, and content creators.



Key features when selecting a live-streaming program:

While the need for features differs, here are some key features to keep an eye on when on the lookout for live-streaming websites.


  • Reliable security protocols
  • Stream archiving and storage options
  • Customizable branding options
  • Variety of monetization options
  • Scalable for growing streams
  • DVR ability to replay, rewind, or fast-forward
  • Good uptime, low latency, and HD streaming
  • Cross-platform compatibility, and device-agnostic
  • Multi-source streaming capability (for redundancies)
  • Interactive features like subtitles, chat, polls, and Q&As
  • Comprehensive analytics post-stream, and lastly excellent 24/7 support


Now, let’s dive in and review the best sites for live streaming!


1.     Kaltura

Kaltura is a video technology platform and software suite with enterprise-grade security protocols. Its services enable users to access, manage, create, share, and monetize video content. It uses multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming.


Be it live events, remote learning, video conferencing, or webinars — Kaltura enables broadcasting 24/7 live channels and live events over the internet.


It supports full end-to-end workflows for live streaming — from ingest to playback.


Built-in features include robust CMS, multi-streaming, cross-device compatibility, scalability, interactive custom branding, monetization, multi-language subtitles, quick polls, and a lot more.


This highly customizable live streaming platform comes with a white-label interface that can be branded as you like, and end-to-end media management too.


Key features:

        1. Fully live SaaS platform. No need to install third-party apps, maintain anything on-premises, or fret about infrastructure, devices, and technologies.
        2. Device-agnostic. Users can opt for Kaltura or a third-party player to access to live stream on any device. It supports more than 8000 device types.
        3. No cap on audience size. Kaltura delivers its live streams via Content Delivery Network (or CDN).
        4. Uninterrupted broadcasts. Utilizes geo-redundancy and in-data-center redundancy to ensure no single point of failure.
        5. A comprehensive suite of tools. For example, video transcoder, video player, encryption, and DRM integration.
        6. Supports various video delivery formats, including HLS, DASH & RTMP.
        7. Live recording, live to VOD, and DVR window to let viewers seek back through the live event.
        8. APIs for developers to customize and extend the capability.


Pricing: Kaltura’s offers a free 30-day trial, afterwards you can subscribe to the pricing plan that best fits your needs.


Recommended for: Kaltura is the go-to live-streaming platform for any organization, large or small, that needs extensive customization and branding, A-Z video capabilities, scalability, and reliability.



2.   Vimeo

Vimeo is a video streaming platform; however, it can also be used for live streaming too.


Users can stream live events in 1080p HD. It offers support for RTMPS streams and with advanced plans, you can stream up to two different events simultaneously.


Moreover, Vimeo offers a variety of features such as the ability to stream to a variety of devices (that includes, AppleTV and Chromecast).


Built-in features include – embedding a stream in a website, sharing the stream with a private link, or even monetizing the stream. Vimeo offers REST API for developers to integrate other tools too.


Key features:

        1. Real-time, ad-free streaming in HD quality
        2. Live chat and comment moderation
        3. Secure streaming with RTMPS
        4. Simulcast to multiple platforms
        5. DVR functionality to rewind, replay, or fast-forward parts of the live stream
        6. Customizable branding with graphics and overlays
        7. Analytics dashboard, and good paywall options


Pricing: Free trial; pricing starts at $65 per seat/month.


Recommended for: Vimeo is recommended for organizations and individuals who wish to stream live video content to a global audience.



3.   Muvi

Muvi is a cloud-based, and all-in-one VOD and live-streaming platform. It enables users to create, host, and monetize video content. What sets Muvi apart is its ease of use — users can stream live video to a global audience with minimal setup, and less technical expertise. Use cases include online events, webinars, conferences, concerts, and more.


Key features:

        1. Low latency streaming over any network, with a latency of up to 9 seconds.
        2. Multiple resolutions and formats like 720p, 1080p, 4K and HLS
        3. Supports adaptive bitrate streaming
        4. Monetization features, like pay-per-view, subscription-based, or ad-supported streaming.
        5. Security features like encryption, DRM, and geo-blocking.
        6. Embeddable players and widgets for integration with webpages and mobile applications.
        7. Customizable analytics and reporting to get insights into audience behavior.
        8. Stream personalization and interactive features like leaderboards, polls, and chat.

Pricing: 14-day free tial; plans start at 79 US$/per month (doesnt include infrastuctre fees)


Recommended for: Everyone from individuals, and businesses, to midsize organizations can use Muvi.



4.   IBM Cloud Video

Fully cloud-based, IBM Cloud Video is a streaming video platform to deliver HD live video streaming experiences.


It comes with powerful analytics and monetization capabilities to help in delivering engaging, personalized experiences — maximizing reach and revenue.


IBM Cloud Video enables the streaming of live and on-demand videos securely and reliably and comes with a library of third-party tools to help optimize viewing experiences.


It comes with a suite of tools to help users manage their content. Content management, analytics, monetization options, and audience management are some of them.


Key features:

        1. HD broadcasting and recording with no caps on bitrate or resolution.
        2. Mobile-friendly player, and viewable across all devices regardless of screen size or bandwidth.
        3. Simplified ingesting and compiling of metadata with access to multiple CDNs
        4. Live chat, questions and answers, built-in user management, and user moderation.
        5. Live playlists with looping enabled as per requirements.
        6. Enables customization of the page to align with the brand.


Pricing: 30-day free trial, and custom plans.


Recommended for: large enterprises, start-ups, and SMBs.



5.   Brightcove

Brightcove is an enterprise-level and cloud-based video streaming platform that offers a range of tools and services to manage, distribute, and monetize video content.

It is a versatile and powerful platform filled with features for professionals and casual users alike.

Brightcove enables custom branding of the live streams with logos and overlays. Ideal for live-stream sports events, live music concerts, trade shows, conferences, webinars, product launches, and educational events.


Key features:

        1. HD and UHD live streaming with production-level live encoding and delivery to connected TVs, web, mobile and social media platforms.
        2. Features like pre- and post-rolls, waypoints, interactive components, and social media integration.
        3. Monetization options like pay-per-view, subscription access, and ad-insertion
        4. Supports a wide range of streaming formats like RTMP, HLS, and HDS.
        5. Adaptive bitrate streaming with minimal latency


Pricing: Free 30-day trial, starts at 199 US$/per month (typically requires annual contract)


Recommended for: Media companies, broadcasters, digital marketers, and content creators.



6.   Qumu

Qumu is a cloud-based SaaS platform used for enterprise video management and streaming. It helps manage, distribute, and measure the reach of their videos. It provides a secure, self-service platform that enables users to create and stream live content in multiple formats and track the performance. Excellent choice for webcasts, webinars, and presentations.


Key features:

        1. Adaptive streaming technology that enables quality viewing experience for all — regardless of their location.
        2. Capability to switch between multiple cameras.
        3. User-friendly and customizable interface to meet the specific needs of any platform (like desktop or mobile).
        4. Comprehensive insights into viewer engagement.
        5. End-to-end encryption, secure access control, and content protection for users’ live streaming.
        6. Flexible integration with other tools and applications.

Pricing: Free 30-day trial; plans start at 99 US$/per month.


Recommended for: Professionals, educational institutions, and organizations of all sizes.



7.   JW Player

JW player is a feature-rich video player software that supports live streaming. It is compatible with multiple streaming protocols and can be used to embed live-streaming videos on websites.


It is designed to be highly customizable — which lets users modify the layout and add custom branding.


Great to deliver lessons, lectures, and seminars, and host business meets, as well as sports music, news, and gaming events.


Key features:

        1. Repurpose content be it live or video-on-demand.
        2. Access multiple latency settings – normal to 10-second end-to-end latency.
        3. Supports 12-hour event streams along with full event DVR.
        4. Multi-device streaming (including OTT apps, and social media platforms).
        5. Monetization options like ad support.


Pricing: 30-day free trial; need to contact the company directly for custom pricing.


Recommended for: Publishers, broadcasters, and media-driven companies.


Low Latency Streaming


Why is it important to select the right live-streaming platform for your business?

Selecting the right live-streaming platform is important for businesses because it can impact the reach and success of their content, and ultimately revenue.


The right platform depends on the goals of the streaming, desired audience, and the budget.


So, for example;

  • If you are an organization looking to launch and monetize live streams that showcase your brand only, while keeping full control and ownership over your content and who gets to access it — a platform like Kaltura would be ideal. It lets you launch, operate, and manage the broadcasts in a single platform.


  • On the contrary, if you exposure is more important to you than monetization, brand awareness, exclusion of competing brands, and no control over your content or your audience, then you might want to look into free live streaming apps such as Twitch, Instagram live, Facebook live, and YouTube live. Their algorithms have done wonders for many independent content creators. However, for all the reasons I just mentioned, you won’t find many major brands using these free options as their main live or on-demand video platform.


Regardless of the platform, a good user experience, HD streaming, low latency, multi-streaming, and good uptime are a must.


Depending on specific needs, the platform should support the technical requirements for the broadcast and have the right set of features — like, live chat, monetization options, playback, looping, custom branding, subtitles, and analytics.


Some platforms may provide more features, better analytics, or a greater audience reach. Factors such as scalability, compatibility with other platforms, and cost should also be considered.


Different platforms offer varying levels of customization and analytics — so businesses need to understand their goals, do their research, and pick the one that best fits their needs.


Live Streaming Setup


Free vs Paid live streaming platforms – what’s the difference?

Both, free and paid live-streaming platforms can be interactive, engaging, and shareable.


But free platforms are limited and offer less control over the stream.


Free platforms come with the bare minimum features be it live streaming, video hosting, support, and even analytics. In fact, they might place ads during the stream or limit the number of viewers who can watch the channel at one time.


On the other hand, paid live-streaming platforms provide more stability, scalability, and customization.


With a paid platform — users gain access to more features such as multi-bitrate streaming, live chat and polls, analytics, monetization options, custom branding, and other advanced features.

Moreover, customers get priority support with much quicker response times and priority bug fixes as well.


Paid platforms ensure no scope of error and have dedicated servers and resources to handle traffic spikes.




And that’s a wrap!

These are some of the leading video streaming platforms that are available in the market. Weigh the features and pricing and choose the one that best fits your requirements.


Happy streaming!

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