Choose the Right Livestreaming Tools and Platforms

Oct 30, 2019 | 212 Articles, Business, Communication, Creativity, Digital, Marketing, Video

The number of video viewers in the U.S. is expected to surpass 230 million by the year 2021, with spending on digital video advertising estimated to be as high as $14.38 billion throughout 2019.

With such a significant investment on the line, brands must learn to utilize livestreaming to their full advantage. Read about all the best practices in our white paper. A variety of platforms and tools are at your disposal, depending on your preferences, needs, and budget:

Twitter became interested in livestreaming tools and features in response to the 2013 protests in Taksim Square, Istanbul—realizing that although users could read live tweets about the protests that were taking place, it would be far better if they could see things in real time.

Twitter answered the call in 2015 and acquired Periscope, which can be accessed on both iOS and Android platforms and serves as an excellent content-marketing tool. Many companies use Periscope to livestream Q&As and offer behind-the-scenes looks at how their businesses operate. Their audiences can participate by commenting through the Periscope app. Followers can also watch autoplays of Periscope broadcasts right on Twitter without leaving the platform.

Facebook Live
Facebook has more than 2.4 billion active users, and the popularity of Facebook Live has risen by 330% since its inception. This free livestreaming tool is a godsend for users who have a strong data connection. One built-in advantage is that Facebook followers are notified when a livestream video event occurs. Users can instantly engage through emoticon reactions and comments.

YouTube Live
Gone are the days when YouTube was only for watching pre-recorded and uploaded videos. Due to the amount of control over live broadcasting YouTube Live allows, its streaming tool suits on-the-ground reporting. YouTube Live is also simple to monetize through advertising and sponsorship, although due to the lack of control over ads, an uninterrupted stream is not guaranteed.

Read our white paper to get all the latest best practices on using live video!

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Open Broadcast Software (OBS)
Because Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have little leverage in digital rights management (DRM), many prefer livestreaming software. Open broadcast software has limited technical support, leaving users to discuss their issues in a community forum. On the other hand, it is free and open-source—one of the most flexible livestreaming software platforms you can use, in fact, allowing users to alter programs and write their own lines of code.

For users who consider OBS’ lack of formal technical support too nerve-racking, there’s another alternative. StreamNow provides access to monetization features that let users charge their audience on a per-video basis or to run a subscription-based service through PayPal, which is built into the platform.

StreamNow’s peer-to-peer commenting system is similar to Facebook Live’s; the audience can follow broadcasters and receive notifications of upcoming live events. The dedicated administrator’s panel makes it possible to flag, delete, and modify videos.

Three of the top livestreaming services for marketing are DaCast, IBM Cloud Video, and Livestream. But you get what you pay for; unlike with the above-mentioned tools, these online video platforms require a paid subscription for video hosting or livestreaming services. However, because these platforms provide all the tools necessary to livestream—as well as upload, manage, and organize videos—many businesses find them worth the investment.

Founded in 2008, DaCast focuses on the professional market and has more than 100,000 broadcaster subscribers across industries: media, education businesses, religious groups, governments, sports-related streamers, etc. TV and radio stations appreciate the affordable bulk livestreaming pricing and high-end features like powerful video API for high-volume, 24/7 streaming.

This service also features strong internal analytics and integration with Google Analytics. Users can customize videos with their logos and branding, package several videos and streams together, add live viewer counters to streams, and embed video anywhere.

IBM Cloud Video
Livestreaming services provider IBM Cloud Video, originally called Ustream, was first developed as a video chat service for members of the U.S. military. Today it provides not only livestreaming but also AI, storage, and GPU computing—to a customer base of users such as film production studios, TV stations, and creative online educations hubs. IBM Cloud Video offers the ability to embed videos anywhere, a viewer counter, an analytics platform, full branding control, and support packages.

This New York company, originally called Mogulus when it was founded in 2007, was acquired by Vimeo in 2017 and now provides livestreaming services to more than 10,000 clients, focusing on the high-end business market that includes media companies and major brands like Spotify, iHeartRadio, and USA Today.

Livestream’s other marketing features include ad-free, customized logos and branding; video embedding; live and on-demand video content bundling; a video-player-integrated viewer counter; and analytics that can also connect to Google.

Still waiting to dip your toe into the (live)stream? Once you have tried and committed to the right tool for your needs, you won’t look back. Get all the information you need in our white paper.




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