When it comes to the best live video streaming for personal use, there are plenty of internet articles out there. Yet there’s a lack of credible information on professional-grade live streaming platforms. For new broadcasters looking to get in the streaming game, it can be challenging to objectively assess the available options. To help you make an informed decision, this article reviews 10 of the best live streaming platforms for professional and business users.
Of course, each user will have individual needs. As such, different platforms are best for different broadcasters. Below, we’ve listed our picks for the 10 best live streaming platforms, including our own OVP. This list is alphabetical, as we’ve refrained from ranking these best live streaming platforms.
After weighing features and costs, we do hope that you’ll consider Dacast’s streaming solutions. Nonetheless, our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Now, let’s jump right into our review of the best live streaming platforms below.
A Review of the Best Live Streaming Platforms
Brightcove / Ooyala
First up in this review, Brightcove is an online video platform that targets large businesses. Brightcove divides its product offerings into several discrete categories. These include Video Player, OTT Flow, Video Marketing Suite, and a number of others. They have recently acquired Ooyala and announced the end of life of the Ooyala platform.
Among other offerings, Brightcove’s streaming and hosting platform is called Video Cloud. This platform includes an all-screen player and supports monetization. Additionally, it offers a functional analytics feature.
Key features (Brightcove Video Cloud)
- Monetization & advertising
- HTML5 all-device video player
- Video analytics
- Social publishing tools
- Token-based REST APIs
- 24/7 customer support
Brightcove doesn’t publish its pricing plans for Video Cloud live streaming services online. For a customized quote, you need to contact them directly to discuss your specific business needs. For more details, you can check out this third-party review of the platform as well. Note that this might change following the absorption of the former Ooyala video platform.
Next up in our best live streaming platforms review, Dacast is an ideal live streaming platform in terms of ease of use. Overall, this platform offers live streaming solutions and OTT video streaming across all devices, including mobile. Recently, Dacast also acquired streaming platform vzaar, for advanced VOD features and China playback accessibility. Additionally, this platform offers recurring and pay-as-you-go pricing.
Dacast Streaming as a Service is an ad-free, white-label platform. With Dacast, users can access the Akamai live streaming CDN to reach viewers around the globe. Among other stand-out features, Dacast offers secure video upload and China video hosting as well. Dacast broadcasters include media companies, TV stations, religious community networks, corporate enterprises, sports leagues, individuals, and non-profits.
- Video delivery via Akamai CDN, with low-latency HLS streaming available
- HTML5 all-device video player, with Integrated Paywall
- Video APIs with complete documentations, including code samples and sandbox
- Analytics dashboard
- Monetization via pay-per-view, subscriptions, and advertising
- 24/7 customer support
For your business needs, you may want the Premium ($125/mo) or Enterprise ($289/mo) plans. Among other features, these plans offer monetization tools, video API access, chapter markers for VODs, and direct m3u8 links for mobile apps. In fact, plan rates are affordable for even small-scale businesses and professionals. The Enterprise video platform plan offers more streaming data (5,000 GB) and storage (500 GB) than the Premium plan (2,000 GB, 200 GB, respectively).
For newer or less experienced broadcasters, you might consider these more basic plans:
- Starter plan ($19 per month), which includes many of the features of the higher-tier plans
- Pay-as-you-go options. For users who only live stream occasionally, Dacast offers unique event pricing. This option allows you to purchase customized streaming services and bandwidth, without worrying about wasting bandwidth or money.
For more details, you can check out this third-party review of several streaming platforms, including Dacast.
IBM Cloud Video (formerly UStream)
Next up in our platform comparison, IBM Cloud Video is the latest evolution of UStream. In 2016, IBM acquired UStream. IBM Cloud Video primarily targets the enterprise streaming market with a variety of cloud video and streaming services (such as storage and GPU computing). Within the IBM Cloud video umbrella, Streaming Manager is its core product. As an online video platform, this option includes uploading, managing, and delivering live and on-demand content.
- Worldwide delivery via CDNs
- Internal video sharing platform for corporate communications
- HTML5 video player for all-screens
- Analytics and insights
- Social playback
- Cloud transcoding
Streaming Manager’s Pro plans start at $99 per month and range up to $999 per month. All monthly pro plans include HD broadcasting, though only up to 720p. However, users must purchase a custom-priced Enterprise plan for full access to professional broadcasting features. These include 1080p broadcasting, OTT-level features, and more. You can check out this third-party review for more details.
JW Player Live
JW Player was originally founded as a video player. However, the platform has since expanded to include video hosting and delivery services. Recently, the company added live streaming to its offerings as well. JW Player is a highly capable player that is based on open-source coding. The live streaming platform includes the player itself, among other useful features.
Key features (JW Player Live)
- Cloud-based content-management platform
- Content-recommendations engine
- Custom video galleries
- Up to 1080p HD streaming
- Support for monetization via advertising
With JW Player, limited live streaming support begins at the Starter plan level. At $12/month (billed annually), this plan targets developers and small businesses. Among other features, it includes storage for up to 1,500 videos and bandwidth for 150,000 plays. For most higher volume streaming/hosting, custom-priced Enterprise plans include ad integration and remove revenue sharing….