Live streaming allows watching and sharing videos in real-time with the help of a smartphone or tablet and a streaming platform. In the US alone, 232 people watched live streams in 2020, and the number continues to grow.
Such popularity is easy to explain: users feel closer to each other and get a feeling of community even if broadcasters are from another continent.
According to streaming stats, this market is expected to reach $70 billion by the end of 2021. It means that not only individuals but businesses should consider live streams as an instrument for reaching the audience.
In this article, we are going to tell you about the best software for creating live interviews, tutorials, product launches, broadcasts, and more.
Open Broadcaster Software Studio or OBS is a great open-source software for live streaming. It has all the basic features of more advanced instruments, so it can be a great option for beginners or those who don’t want to spend anything.
OBS offers a bunch of plugins and customization features for a better experience and personalization.
On the other hand, its decentralized nature means the absence of customer support, so if you face any difficulties, be ready to handle them on your own.
Fortunately, there are lots of tutorials that can help. If you are going to multi-stream or need other advanced features, OBS is not the right software.
Price: Wirecast Studio – $599 and Wirecast Pro – $799, both have a free trial
If you want to stream concerts, popular games, or any other real-time content, pay attention to Wirecast. It is a broadcasting software by Telestream which can boast a huge number of features and options, including:
- Recording local streams
- Compatibility with all types of cards and devices
- Playing videos previously made on a screen recorder
- Live switching
- GPU encoding
- Green screen
The platform is very user-friendly and convenient. Keep in mind that it occupies lots of memory space and is quite pricey.
FFmpeg is another free, open-source software on our list. It offers a huge database of programs for producing and managing multimedia in real-time.
Considering the open-source nature and absence of paid packages, you shouldn’t expect any advanced features here. For example, a screen recorder for Mac or multi-streaming.
Its advantages include a convenient interface, lots of encoding options, and compatibility with most operating systems. Unfortunately, FFmpeg has a limited set of tutorials and manuals, so it might be complex for beginners.
Price: 4 subscriptions – from Basic (free) to Pro ($1,200)
vMix is one of the best encoders on the modern market. First of all, it supports lots of inputs, including video and audio files, browsers, network device interfaces, and web cameras.
You can send a screen capture or a video over the ethernet networks quickly and securely. vMix also supports multi-bitrate streaming – an irreplaceable instrument for advanced broadcasters.
This software has a 60-day trial period, subscriptions for any budget, and lots of supported formats. The only significant disadvantage is that it’s available only for Windows. But with a bit of magic, it can run on Mac as well.
Price: Basic – free and Premium – $4 per month or $199 one-time purchase
xSplit is a convenient and clear live streaming software for Windows. It has great support, lots of features, and unique plugins. xSplit comes in two variations: Broadcaster and Gamecaster. As you understand from the name, their major difference is the type of content you are going to stream.
When using the xSplit basic package, be ready for watermarks when streaming with a 720p+ resolution or using the VCam feature. You should also keep in mind that this software doesn’t have presets for the best live streaming platforms like Twitch or Mixer.
Streaming tips for beginners
If you have never streamed before, it may be difficult to start. That is why our experts have made a list of tips for novice streamers. They include:
- Set clear goals. First of all, you should decide why you want to go live. For example, to reach the audience or grow the number of followers. Many beginners fail because they don’t have a clear goal.
- Explore the competitors. Research the niche, make a list of streamers, and analyze them. Highlight their strong and weak sides, and try to understand why people like or dislike them. This will help to avoid lots of mistakes in the future.
- Choose the streaming type. Do not try to embrace immensity. Instead, have a clear understanding of what content you want to stream: interviews, guidelines, reviews, behind the scenes, concerts, video games, webinars, and so on.
- Purchase the necessary equipment. For a start, a good smartphone will be enough. If you want to stream from a computer, consider purchasing a microphone as well. Further, you might need to invest in lights, cables, and professional cameras.
- Select a platform. The choice depends on your target audience. Travel bloggers prefer Instagram Live, while Twitch and Mixer are good for game streams. If you have the time, post on several platforms.
- Record streaming video. With the help of Movavi and similar programs, you can save videos for the future. Thus, you can learn from past mistakes or simply enjoy pleasant memories even when the event or trip has ended.
- Run a webcam test. Apart from recorders like Panopto, you should research software for webcam testing. There’s nothing more annoying than finding out amidst the stream that the picture is bad or absent.
Live streaming has become one of the most engaging technologies, so if you want to improve your digital presence or simply share an event in real-time with your friends and relatives, try the instruments mentioned above. You can also download a ClipChamp recorder or similar products to save the file and watch the video any time you want.