7 Best Live Streaming Platforms for Businesses in 2020
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A Comparison of 7 Best Live Streaming Platforms for Businesses in 2020

best live streaming platforms brid.tv

It is indisputable that live streaming has been changing the world throughout the last few years. From the OTT services taking over the TV industry to businesses taking their events online, live video streaming has become a part of our everyday lives. However, finding the best live streaming platform for your business can be quite challenging as updates in the industry happen frequently. That is why conducting thorough research before settling for one is essential.

We have decided to make this process easier for you by making this up-to-date list of the best live streaming platforms for professional broadcasters and businesses currently. But before we get to our picks, let’s first look at how live streaming can help your business, why you should settle for a professional streaming platform, and what to look for in one.

The Growth of Live Streaming for Businesses

Live broadcasting is far from a novelty in the professional world, but it did change significantly over the years. 

The development of the live streaming industry started in the world of consumers and independent content creators. The first sign of its growth was the development of social media live streaming services like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or YouTube Live, which quickly exploded in popularity. And once everyone was on board the live streaming train, there was no stopping it!

Many businesses followed suit, adamant about capitalizing on the growing live streaming market, but they faced one problem — the above platforms weren’t suited to their needs. Professionals needed different features and better security than independent creators and consumers, which is where these streaming platforms fell short.

That increasing need for professional live streaming solutions gave birth to new, business-oriented live streaming platforms.

Why Choose a Professional Live Streaming Platform

As we’ve briefly mentioned above, professional-grade streaming platforms offer features that popular, consumer-oriented platforms don’t. These features mostly consist of better security, higher control over your content, and improved privacy. But that is not where the benefits end.

Some of the best live streaming platforms for businesses offer things like monetization, no limitations, custom branding, easy content management and embedding, third-party integrations, and more. Also, most commercial streaming platforms have massive audiences, which often makes their support channels overwhelmed. Not having access to efficient, 24/7 technical support is a dealbreaker for most businesses since even minor downtimes can cause significant revenue losses. Experienced business owners understand the value of all these factors, so they turn to professional broadcasting platforms for help.

But how do you choose the best streaming platform for your business? What are the factors you should take into account when searching? Let’s find out!

What to Look for in a Live Streaming Platform

a girl playing guitar on camera

When looking for a reliable live streaming solution for businesses, there are many features to look for, but here are some of the most useful ones:

Private Video Hosting

Every streaming platform worth its salt includes private video hosting as part of its services. Publishers would be remiss to settle for one that doesn’t!

There are several reasons private video hosting is essential for businesses:

  • It speeds up publishers’ live streams by not having to process and store VODs locally.
  • Publishers need high-end security to keep their confidential data safe.
  • Broadcasters enjoy higher control over who sees their content.

Having this feature at your disposal just saves you from a lot of headaches, so ensure you keep an eye out for it.

Intuitive Video Content Management System (CMS)

Having a video content management system (CMS) at their disposal helps publishers organize, set up, and manage their live streams and VODs. This feature is particularly handy for publishers with large live stream and video libraries, so you should keep it in mind.

High-End Security

We’ve already briefly mentioned the importance of high-end security for professional broadcasters, but it’s well worth repeating it! Having full server-side security is essential to keeping your confidential information safe and controlling who can access your live streams and VODs. That is where features like password protection, HTTPS delivery, and Geographic/IP restrictions come in handy.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming 

Adaptive bitrate streaming support is essential to ensuring optimal user experience with minimal latency. This feature allows broadcasters to deliver HLS live streams to end-users in multiple video renditions, depending on their bandwidth. That means your users will get a smooth and lag-free playback regardless of their internet speed or device.

Pick the Best Video Streaming Protocol: A Guide to Picking the Best Video Streaming Protocol in 2020

Live Stream Monetization Options

High-profile broadcasters will most likely look for a live streaming provider that allows them to monetize their content. If you fall into this category, this is yet another feature you should look for.

There are two most common live stream monetization models you will come across:

  • AVODMonetization model that focuses on selling ad inventory to various advertisers worldwide and profiting off ad revenue.
  • SVODMonetization model that entails users paying a fixed subscription fee to gain access to your live streaming content.

Both of these models have their pros and cons, but both effectively help streamers drive revenue. So your choice will mostly depend on your preferred method and business goals. Just make sure your live streaming platform of choice supports at least one!

Player Customization Options

All professional publishers know the importance of developing your brand, which is why having the option to customize your live stream player is a valuable asset. That is where opting for a white-label video solution is a solid choice. Finding a white-label live streaming platform will offer plenty of opportunities for branding and live stream customization, which will help you cement your presence in the video streaming landscape.

Platform and Player APIs

Another excellent addition to any live broadcasting solution is access to the platform’s and player’s APIs. These offer plenty of flexibility for publishers, as they enable them to implement custom automation and third-party integrations with their live streams. So if you wish to get the most of a streaming platform and optimize your workflow, looking for a streaming provider that offers full API access is a must.

Mobile Streaming Support

Since more and more online video content is watched and streamed on mobile devices, businesses must consider their mobile viewers. That is why mobile streaming is essential for any successful broadcaster. 

Did you know that 80% of consumers watch videos and live streams on their phones nowadays? If your live streaming platform isn’t mobile-compatible, you’ll be at a significant loss. 

Real-Time Analytics

Tracking your live stream’s success and audience metrics is essential to learning more about your viewers, their likes and dislikes, and how well you are performing in general. That is why having access to detailed streaming and video analytics is vital. 

This feature is a must-have for all professional broadcasters, so most streaming platforms should provide it. If one doesn’t, you probably shouldn’t even consider it.

Encoding

Ensuring efficient video delivery is core to every successful live stream. That is where encoding comes into play! This process helps compress RAW video files into ones more suitable for streaming. That is where you will need the help of encoders. In that regard, you will have two options:

  • Software Encoder — These encoders are cheaper and will take care of all your encoding needs while offering plenty of features to boost the quality of your live streams
  • Hardware Encoder — These encoders are much pricier but are the optimal choice for professional broadcasters who wish to take the quality of their lives streams to the next level.

Depending on the live stream encoder you have, you will have to ensure your streaming platform of choice is compatible with it.

Price

Naturally, the costs of live streaming are also vital, particularly the pricing of your streaming platform. Most of these premium streaming providers offer a variety of subscription plans, which can vary greatly. Depending on the scope of your live streaming needs, you will have to take into account the prices and features of the plans your platform of choice offers and choose accordingly. 

If a particular platform doesn’t offer a suitable plan for your needs, you will have to look elsewhere.

7 Best Live Streaming Platforms of 2020

Let’s take an in-depth look at the seven best live streaming platforms of 2020, their features, and pricing in no particular order:

1. Vimeo Live

vimeo livestream logo

An OVP industry giant, Vimeo, bought the live streaming platform Livestream in 2017 and expanded its services into the live streaming world. Vimeo shouldn’t require a long introduction as it’s one of the most well-established names in the online video industry, with more than ten million events happening yearly under their wing. 

Most Notable Features
Streaming and Video Hosting
Video Analytics
Video CMS & Video Management Service
HQ Streaming
Variety of Privacy Options
Large Storage Capacity

Pros:

  • Unlimited number of viewers
  • Sleek design
  • Supports pay-per-view option
  • Detailed stream analytics

Cons:

  • No AVOD Monetization
  • Doesn’t Have as Much Traffic as Some Other Sites

Pricing:

Vimeo Live has three streaming pricing plans, Vimeo Premium, Vimeo Enterprise, and Vimeo OTT. Vimeo Premium starts at $75/mo, but the company hasn’t disclosed the pricing for its other two plans. If you wish to learn more about these, you will have to contact Vimeo representatives.

2. IBM Cloud Video (Former UStream)

ibm cloud video logo

IBM purchased UStream in 2016 and merged with it into one of the best live streaming platforms on the market. Although this company also hosts VODs, its primary focus is on live broadcasting, where it sports some of the industry’s most sought-after features.

Most Notable Features
Enterprise-Level Platform
Video Distribution
OTT Video Management
Video Monetization
Custom Branding
Video Analytics
Multiple Live Channels
Content Syndication

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Excellent scalability for enterprise-level publishers
  • Responsive customer support

Cons:

  • Extra fees for HD streaming
  • Unreliable closed captioning support
  • Harsh limits
  • Expensive

Pricing:

IBM Cloud Video has three pro pricing plans, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and one custom enterprise plan

The Silver plan starts at $99/mo, the Gold at $499/mo, and the Platinum plan at $999/mo, making this platform one of the more expensive ones on our list. IBM Cloud Video’s enterprise plan is fully customizable to publishers’ needs, but it is also more expensive. For a full list of limits, costs, and features of IBM Cloud Video’s plans, check out their pricing page below.

3. Brid.TV

brid.tv logo

Brid.TV is a video and live streaming platform and monetization solution founded in 2016. Although still young on the market, Brid.TV has been climbing its way toward the summit of the online video and advertising industry. Live streaming and live stream monetization are just some of the features this platform has to offer.

Most Notable Features
High-Quality Streaming
Adaptive Bitrate Streaming
DVR Support
Server-Side Security and Password Protection
Content Syndication
Video and Live Stream Hosting
Encoding and Transcoding
Real-Time Analytics
Live Stream Monetization (AVOD)
Intuitive Video CMS
White-Label Video Player
Full Platform API

Pros:

  • High-quality and adaptive bitrate streaming
  • Supports the latest AVOD monetization technology
  • High-end security and privacy
  • In-depth real-time analytics
  • 24/7 technical support

Cons:

  • No SVOD
  • Only premium plan offers live streaming
  • Overage fees can be relatively high if you go over your plan’s limits

Pricing:

Only Brid.TV’s Premium plan offers live streaming, but the plan’s pricing is customizable to your business needs. That means you will have to contact our representatives to get an accurate price estimate. For more info on Brid.TV’s features and pricing, check out our pricing page below.

4. Muvi

Muvi logo

Muvi is a live streaming platform focusing on OTT media. This all-inclusive streaming platform supports everything from fully-featured websites to mobile and TV apps. Likely the best part about Muvi is that it allows users access to multi-device streaming.

Most Notable Features
Multi-Device Streaming
Dedicated Server on Higher Plans
VOD Support
Video CMS
Dedicated Video Management Team
White-Label
Live Stream Monetization
Video Analytics
DRM and High-End Security

Pros:

  • Includes hosting
  • CDN
  • Encoding & transcoding
  • Mobile & TV support

Cons:

  • Beginners may have a hard time finding their bearings
  • Poor integration capabilities
  • Complicated CMS interface

Pricing:

Muvi has five different pricing plans, Standard, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Black.

The Standard plan starts at $399/mo, the Professional at $1499/mo, Enterprise at $3900/mo, and Enterprise at $8900/mo. Muvi’s Black plan is a fully customizable enterprise-level plan. You will have to contact the brand’s sales team to receive more info on it. Consult Muvi’s pricing page below for in-depth information on all of their plans’ limits and features.

5. JW Player

JW player logo

Despite JW Player starting as a small open-source project, it has become one of the pioneers in the online video industry, even once serving as a model for YouTube’s video player. Although it started as an HTML5 player, JW Player also expanded onto the live streaming market in recent years.

Most Notable Features
HLS Adaptive Streaming
Multi-Bitrate Transcoding
Real-Time Analytics
Global Content Delivery
Access to Platform API
Live Stream Monetization (AVOD)

Pros:

  • High-quality, low-latency streaming
  • Platform API
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Decent advertising tools

Cons:

  • No SVOD monetization model
  • Lacks security on lower-tier plans
  • No free dedicated support
  • Limited live stream duration on lower-tier plans

Pricing:

Live streaming is only available to users of JW Player’s Enterprise plan, which features custom pricing based on your needs. Publishers will have to contact JW Player’s representatives to learn more. Consult JW Player’s pricing page below for more info on their offer, features, and ways to contact them.

6. Wowza

wowza logo

Wowza is a start-up company founded in 2005 that focuses on bringing live streaming to phones, consoles, and tables while optimizing cost-effectiveness and platform flexibility. This online streaming platform offers both live streaming services with and without an entire infrastructure.

Most Notable Features
Wowza Streaming Engine (For Self-Hosted Streaming
Up to 4K Streaming
Third-Party Integrations
Platform API
Closed Captioning
High-End Security Options

Pros:

  • Supports a variety of features (e.g., video looping)
  • Mobile support
  • Excellent security

Cons:

  • No multiple camera feeds
  • Lack of audience analytics
  • No monetization
  • No multistreaming

Pricing:

Wowza’s pricing will depend on whether you settle for its Wowza Streaming Cloud or Wowza Streaming Engine. Both of these have multiple pricing plans going from $99 and up, so we advise you to consult Wowza’s pricing page below for an in-depth look into the features and costs of each.

7. Kaltura

kaltura logo

Kaltura is a streaming platform founded on open-source software with quite a history in the online streaming market. This live streaming platform is most famous for its work with educational institutions. 

Most Notable Features
Cloud-Based Video and Live Stream Hosting
Open-Source
API Access
Wide Variety of Live Streaming Features
Excellent Monetization Options (AVOD, SVOD, Pay-Per-View)
Advanced Security Features

Pros:

  • Has a wide variety of community add-ons due to its open-source nature
  • Top-end security
  • Flexible with monetization options

Cons:

  • Can be confusing to use
  • Requires an existing infrastructure for hosting and distribution
  • No dedicated real-time support

Pricing:

Kaltura has a Free Trial option and an Enterprise plan, but it doesn’t disclose its fees. That means you will have to contact a Kaltura representative to learn more about their pricing scheme. For more info on Kaltura’s features and a quick way to contact them, check out their pricing page below.

Are You Ready to Set Up a Live Stream on Your Website?

Did you find the best live streaming platform for your business on our list? Are you ready to get started? All that’s left to do is start your live stream and embed it on your website! We’re going to wrap up by leaving you with this handy guide on how to embed live streaming videos on websites. No need to thank us!

Don’t forget to try out our live streaming platform if you like what we have to offer! Send us an email and get yourself a free premium trial! Best of luck to you!

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