Live streaming charts the course for where technology is headed in the years to come. Be it live concerts, conferences, product launches, and everything in between, live streaming isn’t just an adjustment to COVID-19 - this was always the future of entertainment and cultural connectivity. But don’t just take our word for it. The proof is in the numbers:
- Live streaming will be a $70 billion dollar industry by 2021
- In 2019, users watched 1.1 billion hours of live video streaming
- 70% of users who live stream typically do so at least once a day
- Between tv-connected devices and general video consumption, American adults watch nearly six hours of video streaming per day
- Brands are expected to spend $103 billion on live streaming by 2023
- 99% of marketers said they would use live streaming 2020 after success in previous years
- 14% of millennials plan to cut out traditional television in favor of tv-connected streaming services
- Americans watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week
- Nearly 50% of Gen-Z views their favorite shows on social media
- 35% of markets use live streaming as a key component to their social media strategy
Best Live Streaming Platforms #1: Instagram Live
So let’s get the obvious out of the way: Instagram Live is a great place to live stream and meet your audience where they are. Most of us are already on IG all day, so streaming on Instagram inherently increases your odds to get more views.
Instagram Live usage jumped 70% this past March when the US quarantine began last spring. Everyone from your favorite celebrities to your loud upstairs neighbors have started live streaming their conversations or their comical attempts at making banana bread (remember when we were all obsessed with banana bread?).
- Instagram Live allows you to save your live streams to repost on your feed. You can also post your saved IG Live to different social platforms.
- It notifies your followers when you are live streaming.
- This is a free service with an Instagram account.
- Other Instagram users can join you on a Live.
- Live videos can be viewed on web.
Best Live Streaming Platforms #2: Youtube Live
Although Youtube wasn’t the first to take its platform to the wide world of live streaming, it’s the only true search engine making moves in this space. That said, Youtube Live is an outlier in the field, and one you should get to know very well if content discovery means anything to you.
Youtube Live gives its users the ability to go live in real-time from their Youtube channel. It also provides some of the best analytics on the market, with insights into your audience and interactive chat features. Best of all, Youtube is one of those platforms that pays dividends to successful creators. You can earn a pretty penny with great content on Youtube Live!
So whether you’re a brand hosting a global event or a creator sharing a new product, Youtube Live makes it easy and offers the critical feedback needed to scale thanks to in-depth analytics.
- Great analytics tools.
- Access to a massive audience.
- Free service with the ability to generate revenue.
- Live chat feature for real-time viewer conversation and feedback.
- Viewers can watch your videos live or get them on-demand at a later time.
- More than 70% of Youtube watch time comes from mobile devices.
Best Live Streaming Platforms #3: Twitch
With more than 3 billion hours watched in the first quarter of 2020, Twitch is certainly vying for the crown of live streaming champ. Twitch boasts over 15 million unique daily visitors with more than 3 million such content creators, making it one of the most discovery-driven live streaming platforms.
More than that, Twitch provides extremely fast live streaming for a premium user experience. On-demand video is available through desktop and console. The latter is important to indicate that gaming plays a large role in Twitch’s success. Gaming is the primary reason Twitch’s increase in hours watched jumped 83% year-over-year since 2018.
- Twitch users watch for 95 minutes per day.
- Over 40,000 creative partners that live stream content – including art, music, talk shows, etc.
- 65% of Twitch userbase is male.
- Women are on the rise on the platform.
- Twitch Turbo is an ad-free paid service for $8.99/monthly where broadcasters can generate revenue.
Best Live Streaming Platforms #4: Periscope
Periscope is an originator in the live streaming world. And they’ve only been around since 2015! But the Twitter-owned app really help set the stage for what live streaming is today, which is probably why they’re still a favored platform.
Integrated into Twitter for easy live streaming when using their platform, Periscope remains an easy to use platform for the intuitive and interactive. Viewers can comment on live streams and even reward you with virtual coins – aka Super Hearts. And yes, Super Hearts can be cashed out for real cash or used to tip other live streamers. Periscope also allows its users to take audio call-ins that quickly turn your live into a makeshift talk show.
- Broadcast videos to a targeted audience on Twitter.
- Live stream from a 360-degree angle.
- Super Hearts allow you to tip (or be tipped) live streamers for their content.
- Add live guests to your streams or take an audio-only call-ins
Best Live Streaming Platforms #5: Livestream
Great for anything from live concerts, benefits, or even high-level business meetings and conferences, Livestream allows input from cameras, smartphones, webcams, and of course, camcorders. It’s one of the most universal live streaming platforms due to its quality streaming and easy uploads to social media platforms.
Livestream allows users to record in high definition for super high-quality content. Moreover, users can cast live streams to Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV. Content can also be created with GoPro Hero cameras for active recordings.
- Preferred platforms for businesses and creative professionals.
- Upload pictures or text during a broadcast.
- Boost engagement via guest chats.
- Premium video content management tools.
- Video monetization capabilities.
- Basic plan $42/monthly.
Best Live Streaming Platforms #6: Facebook Live
Facebook Live began as a platform for exclusive to musicians and artists. Now available to all Facebook users, Live streaming capabilities are open to your followers and FB Groups alike.
Facebook Live videos produce six times more engagement than traditional videos on the platform. Moreover, they also generate ten times more comments. Most live streams are limited to an hour or so. But Facebook Live allows you to live stream upwards to four hours. Now we’re not saying you should use four hours for your stream, but with 2.2 billion million viewers on Facebook Live, use as much time as possible to engage with this potentially huge audience!
- One in three marketers used Facebook Live in 2019.
- In 2018, 91% of businesses use Facebook Live.
- 95% of mobile users use Facebook Live to stream content.
- Nearly 150 top media partners and influencers.
- Integrated “metrics for live” insights.
Best Live Streaming Platforms #7: Linkedin Live
As Linkedin continues to grow as a platform where creatives and small businesses make connections through organic communication, Linkedin Live, which launched last year, has emerged as a viable space for teams to meet and creatives to talk strategy.
Broadcasting live content to your network in real-time is the leverage you need to tap into your audience. Users share content planning, tips to start the day or week, and also to dish on marketing strategy regarding products and services.
- Linkedin users are 20x more likely to share videos.
- 24x more comments on Linkedin Live streams.
- 7x more reactions as opposed to native videos.
- Ability to invite attendees to live events.
- Build your network with original and engaging content.
So there you have it! Seven of the best live streaming apps on the market for any small business owner, brand, marketer, or creator. These platforms aren’t fly by night startups nor is live streaming a fad that’ll be here today and gone tomorrow. Live streaming should be a touchstone to your marketing and social media strategy if it isn’t already.