The world of live streaming — along with live streaming apps — is constantly growing and changing.
What was once a niche form of content has become an essential tool for many different businesses, organizations, and individuals.
From Facebook Live to Youtube Live, from Periscope to Twitch, from Amazon Live to [You guess what’s coming next], there are plenty of options available when it comes to live streaming apps for businesses.
There’s a reason that’s happening: viewing habits are changing. Billions of people prefer the low-key, personable, real-time, non-production variety of video content.
Something that’s real, by another human, and that others can relate to.
Live streaming provides just that.
An increasing number of businesses are turning to live streaming apps to improve their global audience.
Whether broadcasting a sports event, musician performance or lecture, live streaming is a great way to drastically increase your viewer engagement and provide viewers with on-demand content following the broadcast.
Which of these live streaming apps will you choose? What live streaming apps are the best fit for your business?
Here are the best live streaming apps for business that will help you get started (and a few points that should help you inch closer to your decision).
Note: Several social platforms have live streaming built in and we aren’t covering those (examples include Instagram live, LinkedIn live, Facebook Live, and others).
However, please do note that the “live” features on social platforms will end up being “destinations” for several of the livestream apps listed below:
Another note: There are live streaming apps for gaming, live streaming apps for developers, and several other Live streaming SDK available which we won’t cover as well. Also, there’s Amazon Live (not covered) and there’s KickStarter Live (also not covered).
We’ll cover only third-party live streaming apps that you can use for your business (not as a developer, not as a gamer, etc.).
Here’s the list, if you want to jump:
So, here we go:
You know Vimeo. I know Vimeo (Vimeo just went public as well, but that’s for another day). Did you know that Vimeo has live streaming as a feature now?
Vimeo is already a great tool for video prospecting, OTT (a great use case for Vimeo), screen recording, regular video hosting, and even Vimeo Create (one of tools for creating social media worthy videos or video ads).
Now, you can do live streaming with Vimeo as well (available only for its premium and enterprise plans). The Vimeo premium plan starts at $50 per month (paid annually).
Vimeo is a video-sharing platform that has had plenty of time to perfect its service, and with live streaming built into it now, you’ll have no trouble finding an audience for your broadcast on Vimeo Live (it even offers unique features like chat moderation, live stream graphics (such as lower-thirds and overlays), and more.
Vimeo also provides in-video lead generation forms (connected to a few email service providers such as MailChimp, for instance), ability to launch polls, live chat, and more.
Restream is a popular live streaming app that can be used to broadcast from any device.
Restream also offers the ability to schedule streams in advance, do multi-streaming or simulcasting (broadcast live streams to multiple platforms such as Facebook Live, LinkedIn live, YouTube Live, and more), and you can even use it for remote broadcasting (it supports anything that has a browser).
The Restream service is available on the cloud (no downloads). So, no matter what kind of device you’re using, you’ll have an app that will work to help broadcast your live stream to the world waiting to knock on your doors.
LightStream is rather new, just showcased itself on ProductHunt, and is as promising as it gets.
It’s a lightweight live streaming app and it doesn’t require you to do any downloads (I don’t think any of the other tools require any sort of downloads).
LightStream is so easy, it’s stupid. It doesn’t require anything more than opening the app and hitting start: I’m serious when I say that you can literally just open it up from your phone and create a broadcast in less than five seconds.
There really isn’t any barrier to entry at all (which is something that some of the other tools might have, including the sky-high costs of some of the live streaming apps here on this list).
You can customize live streaming graphics such as overlays, text, and logo.
Catapult is a live video streaming app that’s designed specifically for your business. Catapult focuses on four main parts to help grow your business with live streaming: Capture, LiveStream, Video On-Demand (VOD), and Convert.
With Catapult, you can broadcast and syndicate your live event to a global audience for live and video on-demand streaming platform.
With no geographic limits, broadcast your streams in live 4K video to any device, anywhere in the world.
Post each livestream, convert or repurpose your livestreams into Video On-Demand and make them available as lead magnets, sell, resell as packages or new digital products.
Castr is a new kid of the block, joining the ranks of all-in-one live streaming and video streaming solutions. With an impressive count of 200,000+ users at the time of this writing, Castr live streaming has some pretty smart tricks up its sleeve.
Castr comes with live streaming, video hosting, simulcasting (broadcasting live streaming to multiple destinations), Video On-Demand (VOD), and also IP camera streaming.
There’s also a handy feature called “Live to VOD” where your live streams are stored as Video on Demand (on the cloud) and you can even choose to monetize these videos, if you wish to.
DaCast is an all-in-one live streaming app helping you launch high-quality livestreaming backed by top tier CDN (Content Delivery Networks).
With DaCast, you can launch and manage your live streams, take advantage of the online video platform (OVP), DaCast’s OTT, and Video on Demand (VOD).
With DaCast, you also get 24 x7 support along with video hosting, an all-device HTML-5 player, integrate livestreaming with their VOD services, and also be able to monetize your videos.
Last time I heard, there are no viewer limits. DaCast also provides multi-bitrate viewing experiences, provides mobile support, and gives you access to quality live streaming.
Stream Now by StreamHash allows you to launch seamless live streaming along with features such as polls, live chat, allow users to follow each other (create a community, maybe?).
Further, it also provides you with a built-in “user subscribe” feature which makes it possible to grow your audience (just like that).
You also get to put up a paywall (with a pay per view feature), accept payments using PayPal, tweak your settings using a Dynamic Admin panel, and you also get handy Android and iOS apps.
IBM Cloud Video
IBM Cloud Video is a comprehensive, heavy-hitting Video hosting, transcoding, live streaming, automated speech to text and analytics, all rolled into in a comprehensive cloud video platform.
Equipped with Watson enabled machine learning, you can livestream globally (anywhere, anytime, on any device).
Of particular interest to us small and medium-sized businesses is video marketing solutions and services (of which IBM cloud video and livestreaming is a part of).
As a part of live streaming, you also get to engage target audiences with interactive chat rooms, moderated Q&A, clickable video ad overlays, and live polls that are timed at strategic moments during the event.
Further, generate leads by requiring registration on live and on-demand video content.
Additionally, you also get to place the form inside the video player and by tracking what video content is viewed.
You also get real-time analytics during a live event, view poll results in an instant, and more.
I know that there are several more livestreaming apps out there. Any of those that you know of?
Please do let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to include them.