The entertainment industry is entering a fascinating era with multiple streaming platforms bringing exciting events, new voices, and a perspective that captures the diversity of our planet! Sports, events, and other exciting genres have unique ways of reaching more significant audience segments by streaming content on the internet.
One genre that is undergoing the most significant shift is sports. COVID-19 forced sports enthusiasts to replace stadium days with at-home viewing. Simultaneously, the cord-cutting phenomenon worldwide is moving sports viewers away from linear TV broadcasts. Sports live streams are filling the gap, bringing viewers closer than ever before to sports they love and new sporting forms waiting to be discovered.
Statistics show that the live stream viewing rate is 10-20 times higher than on-demand videos and is set to reach $224 billion by 2028.
We take you through the top 22 live-streaming platforms, which are taking advantage of the new opportunity presented by affordable live-streaming technology to bring their stories to a global audience.
But first, the basics.
What is a live streaming platform?
Live streaming platforms enable individuals and organizations to broadcast live events and content like sports matches over the internet to a large audience. You can encode live video and audio content in real time and transmit it across various devices and network conditions. Live streaming requires low latency to provide a real-time viewing experience.
Live streaming is typically done for time-sensitive events like sports matches, concerts, political events and news.
Live streaming platforms also have features that enable audience interaction and engagement, such as live chat, polls, and Q&A sessions. They also provide multiple monetization options and analytics on content performance and viewer engagement.
How to choose a live streaming platform: Key parameters
Live streaming hosting platforms need to be carefully evaluated on multiple parameters before choosing the one that works best for your business and audiences.
- Platforms should have a proven track record of delivering consistent and reliable live streaming services.
- It should scale up from 2 to 2 million concurrent audiences as required without compromising performance. Look for a host that offers high-quality video and audio streaming and robust analytics and reporting tools to help you track your audience engagement.
- Every content owner is looking to reach viewers wherever they are. You’ll want a platform that supports simulcasting to a variety of platforms like your own website, mobile apps, connected TV devices, Smart TVs , and social channels etc.
- And finally, a good live-streaming host should provide excellent customer support to help you with any technical issues or questions especially during your live events.
When selecting a live streaming platform, it is essential to consider security parameters to protect your content, content owners, and viewers from unauthorized access, piracy, or distribution.
Look out for platforms that offer digital rights management (DRM), which uses advanced encryption standards to prevent unauthorized access to content. In addition, once the live streaming commences, watermarking can enable tracking of unauthorized streaming.
Look for a platform that allows you to set up password-protected streams, geo-restrictions, or other authentication methods to control access to your content and share regular security updates with your customers.
Monetization allows content owners and broadcasters to generate revenue from their live-streaming content and hence is essential for selecting a live-streaming platform.
- Diverse monetization models, like AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, PPV, and hybrid monetization, which combine two or more options like PPV+AVOD, are critical to acquiring and retaining all audience segments. A diversified revenue model will boost income while guarding against fluctuations.
- Advertising is a significant revenue stream. The platform should enable the insertion of pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads while allowing banner ads and sponsored content during the live stream.
- The live streaming platform should allow content creators to sell merchandise related to their live stream or brand, such as t-shirts, hats, or other products.
- It should also enable betting during sports matches in geographies where betting is legal.
Diverse monetization models, like AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, PPV, and hybrid monetization, which combine two or more options like PPV+AVOD, are critical to acquiring and retaining all audience segments. This will ensure a diversified revenue model to boost income while guarding against fluctuations.
Though most customers now access content on their smart TVs and mobiles, other devices like desktops, tablets, and gaming consoles are also equally crucial, given their usage. Different devices have different capabilities, so it’s essential to choose a platform that supports a variety of devices and provides a seamless viewing experience across all of them.
- Make sure the live streaming platform supports common web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge and can adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions. It should support both iOS and Android devices and provide a mobile-optimized player.
- Many viewers prefer to watch live streams on their smart TVs or conected TV devices such as Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire Stick. When selecting a live streaming platform, look for one that supports popular streaming protocols, such as HLS or DASH, which are compatible with these devices.
Analytics plays a vital role in measuring the quality of a live stream and helps content creators improve their content and engagement strategies.
- Real-time analytics can provide real-time data on metrics such as viewer count, geographical data like city or country, and demographics like age, gender, and interests.
- Viewer engagement metrics such as comments, reactions, and shares can provide valuable insights into how viewers interact with your content. Look for a platform that allows you to filter the data by time, location, and other variables.
- Playback metrics such as playback time, buffering rate, and average view duration can help you understand how viewers consume your content.
- Visual customized reports should also be available, offering easy-to-understand bar charts and graphs that can be exported in required formats.
The cost of a live streaming platform can be a significant factor in determining which platform to choose.
Some platforms offer subscription-based pricing, while others charge on a pay-per-use basis. Consider usage patterns to select a platform that aligns with your needs.
Tiered or custom pricing plans provide different levels of features and functionality at various price points. On the other hand, free plans provide basic functionality and features but require payment for access to more advanced features.
Top 22 live streaming platforms: Choose the one with proven success
Now, let’s dive into the top 22 live streaming platforms, their key features, pricing and more.
Viewlift is a highly scalable, high-quality live streaming platform that provides customizable templates for building a branded video platform. In addition, it offers the ability to distribute live streams to concurrent audiences running into millions.
More importantly, ViewLift is trusted by some of the world’s largest sports content owners and franchises like LIV Golf, RugbyPass, Buzzer, World Supercross Championship, and Monumental Sports Network.
- ViewLift allows binge-watchers to experience 24×7, buffer-free, live streaming with low latency using adaptive bitrate streaming.
- It broadcasts to multiple platforms, such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and many more.
- Advanced features like in-app purchases, content management, and insightful audience analytics are available.
- It offers live DVR that enables viewers to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live streams to improve viewer engagement and retention.
- ViewLift provides a range of monetization options for live streams, including pay-per-view, subscription-based, ad-supported models, and hybrid combinations.
- Sports fans’ engagement features like predictions, chat, live game stat tracker, easy ticketing through provider integrations, and game tickets. Upselling features to SVOD subscribers with merchandise and tickets and an invitation to fans for special private team events.
- It offers betting app integrations in geographies where regulations permit.
Key highlights: ViewLift Live
1. Low latency streaming:
ViewLift Live offers low-latency streaming for smooth and seamless viewing experiences.
2. Hybrid monetization options:
ViewLift offers advanced hybrid monetization strategies for live streaming. Content owners who work with ViewLift can offer diverse pricing models to customers with varying price sensitivities.
3. Scalable cloud-based solutions:
ViewLift Live is built on the cloud, delivering scalability and the ability to handle spikes in traffic and millions of concurrent users. Customers can go live from anywhere and reach a global audience without worrying about infrastructure or bandwidth limitations.
Custom pricing plans available on request, based on every content owners’ unique need and feature requirements.
Brightcove is a platform primarily targeting enterprise-level clients. It has been in the video hosting game for almost two decades.
- It supports low-latency live streaming to hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers and is optimized for delivery to any device.
- Brightcove offers instant replay with Cloud DVR.
- It allows content owners to turn live content into an on-demand video quickly.
- Direct-to-social streaming delivers video right where your audience is.
- Direct-to-social streaming delivers video right where your audience is.
- DRM-encrypted live streaming protects content and revenue.
Starter packages are available with up to 5 users.
Professional and enterprise packages for more employees.
Pricing on request.
Dacast is a video hosting platform for live and on-demand content. It primarily targets business professionals and enterprises and is among the few with a license to stream in China.
- Live stream unlimited channels of video content on your own web page.
- HTML5 video player ensures compatibility with modern devices and browsers without any configuration.
- Customizable video player with your logo and colors to put your brand upfront.
- Quality video with multi-bitrate technology in full HD 1080p resolution to ensure optimal viewing experience.
- Use embed codes to share a video or live stream on any web page.
- Low latency live-streaming to any device, irrespective of the size of the audience.
- Allows live-streaming on Facebook to reach a larger audience.
- Multiple Monetization methods: subscriptions, pay-per-view, and advertising through paywalls and cards.
- Analytics allow content owners to see where viewers are located and how many people are viewing concurrently.
Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
4.IBM Video Streaming
IBM Video Streaming is a scalable, cloud-based online video platform for live or on-demand content. It is typically used for employee communications, commercial promotions or other virtual services or events, such as recreational classes, weddings, and religious services.
- HD live broadcasting with no caps on bitrate or resolution.
- Live videos available and viewable on virtually all devices with any screen size or bandwidth.
- Broadcasts are recorded as a private video and can be shared with the audience.
- Real-time chat and Q&A modules available, with built-in user management, moderation and user upvoting.
- Access to CDN for reach and scalability.
- Scheduled videos fpr playback at specific times or trigger automatic looped playback of live broadcasts.
- Brand customizations and past broadcast, upcoming show highlights.
30 days free trial
Silver: Starting $99 per month
Gold: Starting $499 per month
Platinum: Starting $999 per month
Custom pricing available on request
Kaltura offers a unique ecosystem of services aimed at large institutions like universities and is helpful for online and in-person training.
- Live events, webinars, and virtual trainings hosted with simple registration, inherent engagement, and personalized agendas.
- Branding with a customizable landing page, interactive room, and VOD gated site.
- Interactive tools like chat, polls, and confetti increase engagement.
- Analytics to track attendance and attendee focus rates.
- Moderator control features like chat question inserts and pin messages.
- Integrations with Marketo and Hubspot.
- Automated webinar recording with upload to a microsite.
Webinars: Starter pack @ $150/ month billed annually.
Classroom: Standard pack @ $19/ month for up to 10 participants.
Pro pack @ $ 45/ month for up to 100 participants.
Customized packages, including pay-as-you-go, are available for events like town halls and meetings.
Vimeo has long offered a VOD service focused on the creative market. In 2017 the company acquired Livestream and launched its own live-streaming solution, Vimeo Live.
- Ad-free, full HD, adaptive streaming.
- Stream is customizable with own logo and on-screen graphics.
- Reliable and scalable delivery with a real-time feedback system.
- Simulcasting live streaming using RTMP, custom apps, or social platforms like Facebook Live, LinkedIn, Twitch, and YouTube.
- Viewer engagement throughout live stream with moderated Q&A, polls, and audience chat.
- Low latency setting for events that require real-time interaction to optimize audience engagement.
- Monetization models based on subscriptions, transactions, advertising, registration, live-PPV advertising, and registration.
Advanced virtual events plan @ $65 per seat/mo.
Customized plans are available for enterprises and other users.
Cincopa provides live streaming and webinar solutions for various industries, including government organizations, learning institutions, and media companies.
- Integrates vendor software like OBS, Wirecast, and Zoom studios for the video feed.
- Features like autosave of live-stream, on-video annotations, multilingual auto-generated subtitles, ads, subscription, trimming, and CTAs.
- Optional platform-level feed optimization for a better user experience using transcoded video streams.
- Marketing features like viewing data sync with marketing automation, new contact identification, and lead scoring of viewers.
Plus plan: $25/month.
Corporate plan: $99/month.
Enterprise/ Agency plan: $350/month.
Custom Enterprise plans
Muvi is a streaming services provider that supports both live and on-demand content. In addition, their service allows businesses to launch white-label multi-device streaming services for audio and video.
- Muvi Live allows you to stream live videos directly from your handheld, mobile, or laptop camera through the App.
- With optional adaptive multi-bitrate streaming, users can have a lag-free streaming experience that is auto-scalable for a million-strong audience during peak periods.
- Convert and enhance a third-party live feed into a secure buffer-free live feed with DRM protection and built-in CDN.
- Muvi Live’s chat feature offers interaction via Messages and Emoticons, Chat Moderation, Audience Stats & Details.
- Muvi Live’s interactive analytics dashboard captures average watch time, user geography, audience growth and retention, revenue generated, top live streams, concurrent viewers, chat rate, and playbacks.
Muvi Live Standard: $79/ mo (upto two concurrent streams and free 50GB bandwidth/mo )
Muvi Live Professional: $299/ mo (upto ten concurrent streams and free 250GB bandwidth/ mo)
Muvi Live Enterprise: $799/ mo (unlimited concurrent streams and free 500GB bandwidth/ mo)
Note:Infrastructure costs are charged on top of the published prices of the above plans.
Panopto is a live streamer targeting educational and corporate live streaming needs. It is easy to use and has an auto-recording facility.
- Panopto security features include single sign-on ID management solutions and LMS authentication systems for desktop and mobile users.
- You can share videos from multiple cameras and computer screens, including supporting slides from PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides.
- It has inbuilt indexing for search, transcoding for optimal playback on any device, and instantly transfers the stream to a video library.
- Live stream analytics give unique insights like the point where audiences get off, besides the standard analytics on live streaming performance.
- With the new Panopto 5.4 version, concurrent viewership has increased above a thousand, and RTMP ingests have been introduced along with Youtube integration.
- Customizable templates for building a branded video platform are not available.
Enterprise: custom pricing
Resi is a streaming company for web and multi-sites that provides solutions for live streaming. With its patented streaming protocol, it can live stream to remote locations with poor internet, however, with a time lag.
- Resi can simulcast events to online viewers and physical locations. It enriches the feed before sending. Hence there is no buffering. However, there is a slight time lag.
- It has a unique feature to schedule weekly live streaming for recurring events. Churches with fixed-time services are important clients due to this feature.
- Target markets are churches, high school sports streaming, college sports streaming, and events where a short time lag does not matter.
- Automatically converts your video stream into multiple bitrates, giving viewers multiple quality levels depending on their Internet speed and processing power.
- Stream to YouTube, Facebook, your website, and mobile or TV apps simultaneously using the cloud.
- Real-time analytics on live stream performance, social analytics to see content performance on social media, heat maps to see viewer concentrations, and viewership data analytics.
Available on request.
JWPlayer was once a video player that shared some of its code with the original Youtube video player, hence the tag “Player”. It is known to be affordable. However, its features are limited.
- JWPlayer is a 24×7 live streaming platform with low latency broadcast-grade streaming in HLS and Dash to large concurrent audiences globally.
- Highly scalable, cloud-hosted solution for high availability and peak demand.
- Access across devices on the web and through OTT devices and CTV.
- Monetization with SSAI, SVOD & TVOD.
- Optimized for Advertising with Best-in-class ad integrations, broad standards support, and innovative products with SSAI & CSAI.
- Outstream and instream monetization through ads. SVOD and TVOD payment models are available.
Custom, available on request.
Contus VPlayed is a self-hosted live streaming solution. It streams live & on-demand video/audio content across the web, mobile and smart TV.
- Buffer-free streaming to a live audience with low latency, and multiply viewership by streaming directly to subscribers over social media.
- Customized live streaming website, choosing your player features and monetization models.
- Video content revenue generation with models Like SVOD, AVOD, TVOD, SSAI, Catchup TV, Coupons and Promotions.
- Monetize with pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads. Combine your platform with third-party ad vendors.
- Keep track of viewing trends and generate customized graphical reports for any metric over time.
- Engage with the audience through polls, chats, and Q&A.
- Live stream on multiple platforms with simulcasting.
Custom, available on request.
Wowza is a video streaming hosting service with live and on-demand streaming capabilities. In addition, Wowza is used in the industry for self-hosted streaming.
- Adaptive bitrate streaming ensures the best quality for viewers on mobile devices, set-top boxes, and everything in between.
- Embed IP camera streams into websites and mobile apps to broadcast video without a separate encoder.
- Reach cord-cutting audiences on every device while easily syndicating streams to multiple destinations.
- Send your live streams to CDNs, video-sharing websites, and more for built-in scaling.
- Advanced analytics enable leveraging near-real-time visibility into usage and viewership to optimize the end-user experience.
- Seamless integration between Wowza technology and VR/360° devices and players allows anyone to stream high-quality (up to 4K), immersive video experiences to local or global audiences.
Enterprise: Custom pricing
Uscreen is a robust live streaming platform helping individuals, as well as organizations around the globe, monetize and distribute videos online.
- Multi-bitrate adaptive streaming ensures the best experience and consistent quality, regardless of the bandwidth or location.
- Broadcast your live streams to any device.
- Monetize your live streams via a pay-per-view paywall and subscription.
- Engage live stream viewers with live chat.
- Go-live notifications/emails nudge audiences to ensure they don’t miss your live-stream event. Built-in analytics for a detailed insight into users’ behavior, watch time per device and identifying best-performing videos.
Basic : $ 70/mo + $ 0.5/ mo per subscriber
Growth : $159/mo + $ 0.5/ mo per subscriber
Uscreen Plus: custom pricing + $ 0.5/ mo per subscriber
Streann is a browser streaming platform that helps you create and share engaging live and pre-recorded videos online.
- Free content tools to create live content and for remote production.
- Build your white-label video portal web, mobile apps, and more, with streaming to multiple Social Media.
- Immersive META experience with AR/VR.
- Create chats and polls, and gamify the content experience by creating your own trivia game on your App
- Instream, out-stream, SVOD, TVOD, PPV, and non-intrusive AVOD.
- White label digital marketplace where the brand/client can request their advertisements through a web page.
- Real-time analytics about your content and for understanding your audience content behavior and your marketing ad campaign data.
Plans start at $2995/mo.
Zype live streaming is an all-in-one service provider having own broadcast, management, distribution, and monetization infrastructure.
- Compatibility with the video production system of your choice. Zype leverages RTMP for maximum compatibility.
- Go live in minutes with your own single-tenancy cloud live streaming infrastructure.
- Create multi-bitrate adaptive streams from a single input source for low-latency streaming.
- Supports 24/7 always-on feeds. All live streams can enable DVR and automatically archive to VOD.
- CDN delivers live streams with multiple quality settings.
- Live events can allow multiple purchase options, including a free preview period, allowing consumers to subscribe or purchase individual events.
- Deliver the same live stream, at the same time, to every screen using Zype Live. No external service or tool is required.
Network, Premium, and Enterprise plan with pricing available on request
Quick Player is a live streaming service focusing on niche local and regional markets. Regional and local sports league networks use it.
- Supports high-concurrency live events and provides features like blackouts, dynamic ads, and DVR.
- Video CMS enhances viewers’ discovery of content with relevant and personalized experiences. It provides editorial tools and actionable data insights to cultivate engagement and drive monetization.
- Interactive video player with synchronized multi-camera feeds, interactive graphics, and real-time metadata.
- Multi-screen development framework with ready-to-deploy apps for all major platforms, including mobile, web, connected TV, SmartTVs, and game consoles.
- Analytics to decode consumption patterns and engagement via content performance evaluation and insights into subscriber behavior.
- Monetization via subscription and pay-per-view models, syndication, support of targeted advertising, sponsorships, and the growing market for sports betting.
Available on request.
Brid TV offers versatile solutions for live streaming from any device.
- Ensure fast delivery with high-quality broadcasts using adaptive HLS streaming.
- Audience engagement by letting viewers pause, play, and rewind live stream.
- Adaptive bitrate streaming based on viewers’ internet bandwidth
- Facebook and YouTube streaming options available.
- Live streaming options smartphones and tablets, smooth and reliable live streams from both Android and iOS devices.
- Brid.TV’s Android and iOS SDKs support different ad formats, VAST and VPAID ads, playlists, and Google IMA SDK.
Custom pricing for live streaming premium plan.
OTTera is a white-label streaming service provider that helps companies to launch highly customized, affordable streaming services quickly.
- Consultation for complete business plans.
- White-label OTT services to quickly launch customized OTT services.
- Managed service or technology to supercharge your new or existing OTT advertising.
- Manage content, users, monetization, and view analytics and reports in one place.
- SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD monetization options.
- Fully Customizable Content Management Transcoding and CDNsVOD.
- Linear and Live 4K, Interactive Adaptive Bitrate streaming with DRM.
- Captions and subtitles in multiple languages.
- Robust analytics and reporting.
Available on request.
Setplex provides highly-scalable, end-to-end, low-latency IPTV/OTT solutions for video.
- Extensive global CDN network to eliminate latency and interruptions for a superior viewing experience at scale.
- Ability to stream high-quality content across all operating systems and devices worldwide.
- Ingest code from any source and transcode in HLS or DASH.
- DRM with multiple levels of content protection and authentication.
- Real-time analytics to understand viewing habits, revenue, subscription details, and more.
- Supports SVOD and AVOD monetization. Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and live TV ad detection and replacement enabled.
Available on request.
Endavo’s integrated live streaming solution allows users to seamlessly share live content across multiple channels including websites, OTT platforms, mobile devices, and social media platforms.
- Monetization includes SVOD, donations and PPV. Interactive live-streaming capability with audience-friendly chat boxes, social walls, polls, trivia, donations, e-commerce with Shopify integration..
- Scalable solution to meet the needs of individual creators and large festivals.
- Preset broadcast dates and times, pre-recording and DVR features for post-event users, and access to metadata and graphics.
Custom, available on request.
Lightcast is a multi-platform OVP & OTT provider with end-to-end services for live-streams and& on-demand media.
- Multi-device streaming with Facebook and YouTube integration.
- Multi-bitrate delivery via global CDNs for 4K & TV-quality live streaming.
- Live streaming analytics available
- Custom branding for Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Mobile, and other apps
- Monetization options include subscriptions, pay per view events, ads, among others.
Available on request.
Ready to create your live streaming platform?
Talk to a player like ViewLift, which serves globally in this thriving live-streaming market. With major sports leagues like LIV Golf, MotoAmerica, Lega Nazionale Pallacanestro and RugbyPass as customers, ViewLift knows what it takes to set up a successful live-streaming revenue stream.
Get started now! Talk to ViewLift solutions experts to learn more about ViewLift Live Streaming solutions.