The 6 Best Live Streaming Platforms for Video Broadcasting

June 14, 2022 by
Live streaming video platforms graphic

You’ve likely seen countless influencers hop on Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and Tiktok Live to live stream to their audiences. It looks easy, right? All you need is a camera, and platform, and someone to watch.  

It’s not always so simple for companies, though. None of the above social live video platforms offer much functionality for what your business wants to achieve: they’re limiting and don’t let you do much else besides stream content from your camera to your audience’s screens.   

As an organization, you want and deserve much more. From the ability to insert ads and generating leads to gating paid content and facilitating internal streaming, you need a live streaming platform that enables you to leverage video however you can imagine. The best options will also scale as your needs and initiatives develop — for a reasonable price.  

We’ve compiled list of the best streaming platforms around that allow you to upload and broadcast video to your audience. It’s not exhaustive, but continue reading to learn about the top streaming platforms and consider and why they might work for you.  

*Note: The information included in this list is as of June 14th, 2022. We’ve also ranked some of each platforms’ features on a Low/Average/Excellent scale, indicating that feature’s quality or compatibility compared to other video solutions.

   
Wowza Video live streaming at work on a desktop computer and two smartphone screens
 

Wowza

Wowza is a frontrunner in the streaming industry and offers two core products: Wowza Video and Wowza Streaming Engine.  

Wowza Video is a reliable and scalable cloud-based video platform for all kinds of business-critical applications. If your organization hopes to unlock the power of video but lacks streaming expertise, Wowza Video’s integrated, builder-focused, and versatile solution can help you leverage live streaming and VOD with all the support you need.  

It’s other core product, Wowza Streaming Engine, is software-based streaming platform that boasts a wide range of features and protocol compatibilities. Whether you prefer Apple HLS, SRT, WebRTC, or something else, Wowza has a way to help you deliver your stream from camera to screen with unparalleled speed and quality.  

The online video space is bogged down by overly complicated, multi-vendor workflows that force businesses to use multiple platforms that integrate with each other. Wowza, however, is a single-provider solution that allows organizations to scale while having access to a robust suite of features, including:  

  • Live and VOD streaming with optimized playback 
  • An innovative CMS for managing video assets and improving searchability 
  • An included HTML5 player
  • Top-notch customer support whenever you need assistance
  • Real-time analytics for insight into stream health and viewer demographics 
  • A built-in CDN for smooth delivery worldwide 
  • Builder-focused API coverage across encoding, transcoding, CMS and playback 
  • Enhanced UX for simple navigation  

Wowza is also SOC-2 Type II certified, meaning an independent third-party reviews internal controls to ensure optimal implementation and operation. From a customer’s point of view, Wowza’s SOC-2 certification promises powerful security that protects data from potential breaches like malware, phishing attempts, and DDoS attacks.  

Additionally, Wowza powers several other providers included in this list, and is one of the few platforms that offers support for every facet of its API. It should be noted that Wowza Streaming Engine is a highly configurable software and requires technical resources and knowledge to implement, but Wowza Video is designed for ease of use and integration with an intuitive UI and simple REST APIs.

Feature Rankings 

Target: Builder/Enterprise/Developers 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: Yes 

CMS: Yes 

API Support: Yes 

Player Features: Excellent

Low Latency Solutions: Excellent

Input Support (Codecs): Excellent 

Output Support (Protocols): Excellent

Pricing  

Wowza’s pricing depends on which product you’re opting for.  

Wowza Video:  

  • $25 monthly to pay as you go when you’re just getting started 
  • $130 monthly for 300 streaming hours, 10,000 viewing hours, and 150 GB of storage 
  • Custom pricing for enterprise plans 
  • $149 for a month-long one-time purchase of 15 streaming and 500 viewing hours 

Wowza Streaming Engine:  

  • From $175 monthly for the Basic plan 
  • Custom pricing for an Enterprise plan 
  • It’s also possible to buy only one month of streaming without a longer commitment for $295.  
 
Screenshot of Kaltura's features
Source: Kaltura
 

Kaltura  

Kaltura is a well-known streaming platform, particularly for its live events features — especially when it comes to real-time streaming for meetings and other kinds of inter-organizational communication. If your team is getting together for an important discussion and needs more functionality than Zoom, if you’re hosting a class at an educational institution, or if you’re bringing people online for a town hall, Kaltura is worth looking into.  

Kaltura is one of the only open-source streaming platforms around, meaning it’s feature-rich and constantly growing because developers consistently make improvements. It’s a full live video platform that doesn’t require integrations with other tools and offers industry-specific solutions. With Kaltura, you can take advantage of products like:  

  • Video messaging, the next step above voice messaging for capturing recipients’ attention 
  • A video portal to make all of your videos accessible 
  • Town hall webcasts for anything from small meetings to international conferences 
  • A cloud TV platform for media organizations, service providers, and other broadcasters 

As such, Kaltura offers excellent monetization options. Because it’s open source, Kaltura does require more technical knowledge to customize, and the company’s support team is ticket-based instead of via phone or chat.  

Feature Rankings

Target: Enterprises and developers 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: No 

CMS: Yes 

API Support: Yes 

Player: Excellent

Low Latency Solutions: Average

Input Support (Codecs): Excellent 

Output Support (Protocols): Excellent 

Pricing 

Kaltura doesn’t list its prices publicly, so you’ll have to contact its sales team for a quote on most of its products besides the Webinars plan (which is $99 monthly for a Standard plan and $124 for Premium). 

 
Large screen, tablet, and smart phone with Vimeo-powered video on their screens
Source: Vimeo
 

Vimeo

You’ve likely heard of Vimeo, which launched in 2004 as a means for video creators to display their work. Its latest product is Vimeo Enterprise, offering medium to large businesses an additional array of features and functionality for live streaming. Known for its sleek and brandable player, Vimeo’s live streaming platform includes a variety of perks, including:  

  • Detailed analytics 
  • Live production services,  
  • Geoblocking and IP restriction 
  • SLAs and uptime guarantees 
  • Unlimited events and audience size 
  • Pay-per-view options 

Vimeo is one of the only other SOC-2 certified platforms in this list, making it another option if enhanced security is important to you.  

Feature Rankings 

Target: Enterprises 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: Yes 

CMS: Yes 

API Support: Yes 

Player: Excellent

Low Latency Solutions: Low

Input Support Level (Codecs): Excellent 

Output Support Level (Protocols): Average 

Pricing 

Unfortunately, Vimeo’s live streaming features are only available on its Premium and Enterprise plans.  

Premium: $75 monthly for 7TB of storage, unlimited live webinars, browser-based production tools, live audience chat, and more.  

Enterprise: Everything included in Premium plus extra perks like dedicated account management and customized embedding. You’ll need to contact Vimeo’s sales department for a quote.  

 
Screenshot depicting Mux's code at work
Source: Mux
 

Mux

Mux is a video solution that enables both VOD and live streaming. It’s intended for developers seeking to build video functionality into a web or mobile application so their users can stream or upload video. Mux offers features like:  

  • Just-in-time encoding 
  • GIFs, thumbnails, and storyboards, and signed URLS when streaming out 
  • Engagement metrics and video analytics 
  • Live simulcasting 
  • Direct uploading without needing to store video files elsewhere first 

Mux does not include a CMS or native player, so you’ll need to integrate it with other tools to make the most of its API. That said, it’s API is reliable and scales well (plus, it offers helpful audience analytics), so it’s worth considering if you want to implement video features into your own software.  

Feature Rankings

Target: Developers 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: No 

CMS: No CMS

API Support: Yes 

Player: No player

Low Latency Solutions: Low

Input Support (Codecs): Average

Output Support (Protocols): Low

Pricing 

Mux’s pricing structure is unique. Instead of paying for a plan or tier, your monthly costs will be unique unto your business based on what you use the platform for. For on demand and live video, Mux charges:  

$0.04 per minute of input video duration for encoding 

$0.003 per minute of video duration stored per month 

$0.0012 per minute of streaming video delivered 

$0.004 per minute per individual participants for real-time streaming 

 
Screenshot of Dacast's features
Source: Dacast
 

Dacast  

Dacast is a self-service platform for live streaming and VOD. Launched in 2010, Dacast is known for its customer support and easy-to-use UI that’s navigable even for streaming beginners. It also offers:  

  • An integrated paywall for gating your content and monetizing streams 
  • An expo-style video gallery so you can easily view all of your past content 
  • Ad-free streaming, so your streams won’t be interrupted 
  • Insightful analytics 
  • Player API access if you want to integrate a third-party player, and Video API access on advanced plans  

Dacast’s streaming video platform includes high-quality security (including AES video encryption), though it’s not SOC-2 audit certified.

Feature Rankings

Target: Developers 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: No 

CMS: Yes 

API Support: Yes 

Player: Excellent

Low Latency Solutions: Low

Input Support (Codecs): Low

Output Support (Protocols): Low

Pricing  

Dacast’s customers herald its affordability as one of its best qualities. You get a lot of bang for your buck, so check out the following plans they offer, which all include live stream recording, unlimited viewership, and ad-free streaming:  

Starter Plan: $39 monthly for 1.2 TB (yearly) and 50 GB of storage 

Event Plan: $63 monthly for 6 TB (upfront) and 50 GB of storage 

Scale Plan: $188 monthly for 24 TB (yearly) and 1000 GB of storage 

Custom plan for additional features, support, and customization  

 
Image of two large tablets and a smartphone with high quality video
Source: Brightcove
 

Brightcove

Brightcove is the oldest video solution on this list. After acquiring Ooyala in 2019, Brightcove expanded its product offering and began offering cloud-based services as well. Since then, the company has made a name for itself as a high-quality player that caters to enterprise-level organizations, helping them implement video in places they haven’t before.  

One of Brightcove’s strengths is its emphasis on ecommerce. You can create product demos, testimonial videos, and product announcements, and then display them online in a way that resembles streaming platforms consumers are familiar with. Brightcove integrates with several other sales tools including Salesforce, Marketo, and Hubspot, so it’s an understandable choice for companies hoping to leverage a VOD and streaming platform in their marketing.  

With Brightcove, you can anticipate:  

  • Server-side ad insertion, so you can incorporate ads from your sponsors instead of ads from third parties 
  • Exceptional analytics that provide you with deep insight into your viewer’s demographics and behaviors  
  • Convenient CRM integrations  
  • The ability geo-restrict content and bypass ad blockers 
  • Options to add streams to social media, email, partner programs, web pages, and more 

If you’re considering Brightcove, it’s important to note that its customer service is ticket-based, like Kaltura’s. Because it usually serves larger clients, many of Brightcove’s features are only available on advanced or custom plans, like video API access, high-end security, and monetization options.  

Feature Rankings

Target: Enterprises 

SOC-2 Audit Certified: No 

CMS: Yes 

API Support: Yes 

Player: Low

Low Latency Solutions: Average

Input Support (Codecs): Average

Output Support (Protocols): Low

Pricing 

Brightcove doesn’t disclose its pricing on its website, but it divides its products by Brightcove for Marketing versus for Enterprise. Only the Enterprise level for the latter includes unlimited live streaming (the Standard plan limits you to eight hours per year).  

Conclusion

There are many more live streaming platforms out there, but the ones outlined above should give you a starting point for your journey. Remember, when deciding on the best online video solution for you, be sure to prioritize factors like functionality, whether it supports your favorite codecs and protocols, ease of use, customer support, security, and its overall ability to help you realize your vision for video’s role in your business’s growth.

 

 

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About Jacob Yoss

Jacob is Wowza’s resident content writer, creating blog posts, case studies, and more that educate Wowza’s audience. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Jacob currently travels the world as a digital nomad and is also passionate about social justice, art,… View more