The gaming and sports communities are really great at doing this sort of stuff, but don’t think it’s just limited to events like that. Pretty much any type of occasion can be a great fit for live streaming. We’re going to walk you through the top five tools you can use to live stream your event, and list out the pros and cons of each.
The Twitter-owned mobile app is dedicated exclusively to live streams of events. Users can post their videos from their mobiles or tablets. You can also search for streams by location, so it’s easy to see what’s going on around you in real time.
Pros: It’s easy to engage with people. Their comments pop up right on your screen as you live stream, so you can answer questions right then and there. Periscope also features selected streams on its homepage, and you can search for streams by location.
Cons: This works best for mobile, so if you need a big-screen option, this may not be it. It’s also not very customizable. But maybe the biggest downside is that your streams only stick around for a day before getting erased. You can save your videos, but people won’t be able to see them.
Facebook might not have been the first one on the scene when it comes to live video, but they’re definitely fully on board with the trend now. One of the best features of Facebook Live is that your followers or friends will get a notification when you’re live. With such a huge base of users already on Facebook, there is a massive potential audience here.
Pros: The video becomes permanently available on your timeline after you’ve finished it. You can also block certain people from accessing the stream. Also, who doesn’t use Facebook?
Cons: Only people who already follow you can view the stream. If you want an open broadcast, you’ll need something to use something else.
This live streaming option has seen a lot of action lately with the American presidential debates, which have been aired in real time via YouTube (along with all the major television channels, too). If you needed a sign that this is legitimate, there you have it.
Pros: You can stream lengthy, high-quality videos that are available afterwards, too, as part of your regular video stream. And it’s free!
Cons: It can be a bit fiddly to set up a YouTube channel, get it verified and make sure you have the right software to encode the video stream.
With a client list of huge names like NASA, Facebook and Nike, UStream provides a great video streaming service for all different types of needs. It lets you stream from both mobile and laptop devices, too, as well as different web browsers. They say they’re the largest live streaming service out there.
Pros: This is geared towards professionals and offers a really high-quality services. There are different options for different types of broadcast needs, like sharing a video with a small internal team or streaming a huge event to a worldwide audience.
Cons: There had to be a downside, right? This one is the only fully paid option on our list. You can get a free 30-day trial, but after that the plans start from $99 a month.