Selecting the best live streaming platform to broadcast from can be a daunting decision. From Facebook Live to Instagram Live and many in between, each platform offers something a little different from the rest and attracts a wide variety of audiences. Deciding on the features that fit your livestream the most will help you choose the most appropriate platform. You can also choose to multistream and broadcast to several platforms at once, but that’s for another blog.
Features To Consider When Selecting A Platform
One size does not fit all when it comes to selecting the most suitable live streaming platform. Here are some features to consider when making this important decision.
- The reach of the platform
- How does the platform help you get from 0 viewers to your first 100
- The level of customization available to put the brand in the best light.
- Commerce on the platform, specifically, what is allowed and not allowed for you as a creator to make money. How can you grow and monetize your stream?
- Community guidelines and terms of service
- Access to real-time viewership analytics on your stream
- Where creators in your genre or in your niche stream today
The Best Live Streaming Platforms
Today's live streamers frequent a handful of popular social media platforms such as YouTube Live, Twitter, Twitch, Instagram Live, and Facebook Live. These platforms are accessed on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. The following details some differences between these popular platforms.
- Twitch is recognized primarily as a streaming platform for gamers. However, other genres are finding their way onto the site. Despite hosting other interests, Twitch's audience generally is concentrated in video gaming and tech.
- Twitch has a massive viewer audience, strong interface with quick and easy setup, as well as a monetization system that allows streamers to receive revenue from subscriptions, emotes and ads.
- There is a tremendous creator population which may cause your stream to get lost in the shuffle. There are also issues with moderation. Since anyone can jump onto a Twitch livestream, streams often are victimized by viewers with negative and possibly off-color commentary.
- YouTube has a vast community of creators and viewers who host streams on just about every topic.
- Since Google owns YouTube, streams are easily located outside the platform since it is favored by Google search.
- YouTube Live also offers streamers monetization through their partnered program.
- YouTube has live chat moderation tools to help enhance the viewing experience for audiences.
- Real-time analytics are available to check on the performance of the livestream.
- Instagram Live is best suited for streamers who already have a social media following.
- Streams can be quickly uploaded to Facebook when completed for others to view.
- Instagram Live is less geared to content streaming and more suitable for personal use.
- Once you have an established following base, Instagram Live can keep your audiences engaged and on a more personal level.
- Since Facebook is a popular social media site, it is easy to stream directly from the business' community page or your personal page. Your friends will notice!
- Friends and family can easily share the stream on Facebook with each other.
- While Facebook Live is open to every genre, it is harder for viewers to find live streams unless they are already following the business on their page. As a result, it is not an effective platform to use if the streamer doesn't already have an established following.
- Facebook Live is easy to use for engaging audiences with interactive chat.
- After the live stream has ended, it can be saved and posted so others who missed the live version can view it. You can also download the video for safekeeping.
- Metrics are available to view such as how many viewers were reached and how many participated.
- While not as popular to live stream on as the other platforms, Twitter can be used to help establish new leads.
- The entire stream on Twitter can be recorded and saved once finished.
- Similar to Facebook or Instagram, if you already have a following there and you chose to stream you may get the initial bump in viewers that you are looking for.
- Twitter makes it easier to invite followers by sending out a public tweet to promote the stream.
Live streaming continues to enjoy massive popularity as the go-to strategy for broadcasting information about a product or service to many followers. Using the above guide for selecting the right platform for your live stream will improve your chances of attracting and retaining viewers.
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