There is certainly no shortage of live streaming platforms in 2022, so beginners looking to start broadcasting online might feel a bit intimidated by the vast number of choices available. Between major names like Twitch and YouTube Live to lesser known platforms like Kaltura and Wowza, there are endless options.
In the hope of easing your decision of which platform to pick, we’ve devised a comprehensive list of the best live streaming platforms to use in 2022. Please feel free to use the table of contents below if you want to read our thoughts regarding a specific platform.
Table of Contents:
- What is a Live Streaming Platform?
- Top 19 Live Streaming Platforms of 2022
- 1. Lightstream – Best Streaming Tool
- 2. YouTube Live – Largest Content Platform Overall
- 3. Facebook Live – Best Platform with Social Media Integration
- 4. LinkedIn Live – Best Platform for Professionals
- 5. Twitter – Easiest Platform to Use
- 6. Twitch – Best Platform for Gaming
- 7. TikTok Live – Easiest Platform for Monetization
- 8. Instagram Live – Easiest Platform for Fundraisers
- 9. Clubhouse – Best Tool for Audio-Only Broadcasts
- 10. Mixcloud – Best Platform for Podcasts and Radio Shows
- 11. Facebook Gaming – Best Alternative to Twitch
- 12. Vimeo – Best Budget Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
- 13. IBM Cloud Video – Best Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
- 14. Brightcove – Best Alternative Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
- 15. Panopto – Best Platform for Private Content
- 16. Kaltura – Best Platform for Online Education
- 17. DaCast – Best Platform for Website Hosted Streams
- 18. Wowza – Best Platform for Company Events and Announcements
- 19. Restream – Best Alternative Multi-Streaming Tool for Individuals
- Final Thoughts
What is a Live Streaming Platform?
A live streaming platform can be best defined as a video hosting solution that allows users to broadcast video content directly to their audience. Many businesses use live streaming platforms to share content for marketing purposes, generate leads, and build brand awareness.
While you may think of gaming content when the word “live streaming” comes to mind, there are in fact many different forms of content that are streamed on live streaming platforms. Some of these content types include live Q&As, product demonstrations, education, online concerts, entertainment (like gaming), and much more.
- Where Can I Live Stream For Free? – Many streaming platforms are free to use. Platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter are all free, among others.
- But just because you don’t have to pay money for these services to stream doesn’t mean that streaming doesn’t cost money – in fact, streaming can be quite expensive if you want to have a professional-looking stream. Expenses range from equipment (webcam, microphone, PC) to a high-speed internet connection and game capture cards for those looking to stream video games.
Top 19 Live Streaming Platforms of 2022
In today’s post, we’ll be discussing all of the major live streaming platforms, go over some of the positives and negatives of each to figure out which are the best live streaming platforms.
There are tons of live streaming platforms out there, and today we have a long streaming platforms list – 19 in total – so hopefully this list will help you decide which one is the best fit for you. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best live streaming platforms.
1.Lightstream – Best Streaming Tool
Lightstream is one of the greatest toolest for streaming your content live. Whether you’re looking to broadcast gaming, interviews, radio shows, product launches, or anything else, Lightstream is a tool that allows broadcasters to more easily stream their content with zero hassle. The tool is very easy to use and functions directly from a web browser, meaning that no download is necessary.
Lightstream’s biggest feature is its cloud capture which cuts out the need for game capture cards for console gamers. Additionally, the platform features an incredibly easy-to-use, drag and drop function for creating scenes for your stream. Lightstream cuts out the need for programs like OBS or Streamlabs and can be used to broadcast on Twitch or their studio product can stream to YouTube, Facebook, or any custom RMTP source.
- Cloud capture feature allows users to stream console gameplay without the need for a game capture card.
- Capture content through your mobile device, allowing for mobile game streaming.
- Features a versatile and simple drag-and-drop editor.
- Easily go live on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, or any custom RMTP source.
- All functions within a browser, eliminating the need to download any additional software.
- Pricing: Lightstream’s Gamer subscription starts at $ 8/month, while the Creator subscription starts at $ 25/month.
2. YouTube Live – Largest Content Platform Overall
YouTube is considered one of the best streaming platforms out there currently, as it caters to content creators of nearly every genre. Whether you’re a vlogger, gamer, comedian, musician, or ASMRtist, YouTube has a place for you and your content.
And while YouTube has traditionally been a platform for pre-recorded videos, YouTube Live has really stepped up its game in recent years and added a heap of new features that has made streamers flock over from competing platforms. Even though Twitch is the largest streaming platform, YouTube still remains the most popular content platform overall and is the best pick for those who wish to make content outside of live streaming.
- Largest platform for content creators, period.
- Great for streamers looking to create content outside of live broadcasting.
- Has a very good discoverability algorithm, which means small streamers have a fairly good chance of getting noticed.
- Pricing: Users can go live on YouTube Live for no cost – it is entirely free.
3. Facebook Live – Best Platform with Social Media Integration
Few live streaming platforms are simpler to understand and use than Facebook Live. Facebook, one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms of all time, has a live feature that allows users to broadcast themselves with nothing more than their own phone.
Whether you’re live streaming a performance, community event, or promoting a business, Facebook Live is an extremely easy and versatile platform that can be used for a range of different purposes and made available to everyone in your Facebook feed.
What makes Facebook Live so attractive to many is the fact that barely any setup is required – no need to set up a gaming computer, expensive microphone, and video camera, all that you need is a cell phone with an internet connection.
- Extremely easy to set up and use.
- Stream directly from your phone, without the need for any additional equipment.
- Live streams are viewable to everyone on your Facebook feed.
- Recordings of live streams are automatically saved afterward and can be kept forever.
- Pricing: Facebook Live is entirely free to use. All you need is a phone, internet connection, and a standard Facebook account.
4. LinkedIn Live – Best Platform for Professionals
Looking to live stream within a more professional environment? Well, then look no further than LinkedIn Live. While LinkedIn is primarily a platform for networking with others, finding work, and growing your brand, LinkedIn Live is somewhat of an extension to the platform where users broadcast themselves.
This live streaming platform is very useful for organizations and individuals looking to share announcements with their connections and followers, interact with other professionals, and more. There are some barriers of entry for streaming on LinkedIn Live, however; only LinkedIn users that have at least 150 followers or connections, actively create content, and abide by LinkedIn’s policies are eligible to apply to use the service.
But even with that said, the service isn’t difficult to qualify for, is quite easy to use, and is free (albeit there is also a premium version).
- Great service for professionals and organizations looking to better connect with others.
- Very easy to set up, learn, and use.
- Pricing: LinkedIn Live is a free service, though there is also a premium version that removes the watermark present in the free version. The premium version costs $ 25/month.
5. Twitter – Easiest Platform to Use
Just like the rest of Twitter, Twitter’s live streaming functionality is extremely simple and easy to use. Going live on the platform is as easy as pressing a few buttons, and boom, you’ll be live in no time.
One aspect of Twitter’s live broadcasting feature that stands out above others is its simplicity and ease of use; unlike other platforms discussed in this post, going live on Twitter doesn’t cost you a dime, has no barrier of entry, and can all be done through your phone without any additional hardware or software needed.
But while Twitter is an easy service, it also has the downside of lacking any additional features such as monetization. Though for those simply looking for a platform to live stream, Twitter has everything that you would hope for with a live streaming service.
- Incredibly simple and easy to use and set up.
- All live streams appear as Tweets on your profile and can be saved as videos.
- Built straight into Twitter’s mobile app, which allows for streaming without any additional hardware or software.
- Pricing: Twitter’s live streaming feature is completely free to use.
6. Twitch – Best Platform for Gaming
Whenever the topic of streaming comes up, Twitch is usually the first platform that is mentioned. This is because, well, Twitch is the most popular streaming platform. Since its start in 2013, the platform has grown significantly in viewing and streaming hours, with the platform recording a whopping 13.1 billion hours watched in 2020 alone.
But with that said, Twitch isn’t perfect by any means. Being as big as it currently is, Twitch isn’t the best platform for discoverability – with so many other content creators live at once, it can be hard for newbies to gain an audience right away. Competing platforms like YouTube and Facebook have far fewer streamers, and also feature content outside of live broadcasts. So if you plan on other content, then you may want to look at other options.
However, Twitch is a fantastic platform for live streaming. Video game streaming in particular is great on Twitch, with the platform offering plenty of options for audience interaction like channel points, a great tipping and payment structure, and lots of great communities of streamers.
Are you ready to host your own live game streaming session on Twitch? Here’s your chance to do Twitch Game streaming at no cost, with a free gamer trial session on us!
- Great potential for growth.
- The largest live streaming platform on the internet.
- Great communities of streamers and viewers, with tons of variety in content.
- Many opportunities for making money on the platform, including bits, donations, Subs, advertisements, and more.
- Pricing: Like the other platforms mentioned above, Twitch is free to use. There are no payments required if you plan on streaming. Other features–such as tipping and subscribing to fellow streamers– do cost money, however.
7. TikTok Live – Easiest Platform for Monetization
Similar to Facebook Live and Twitter, TikTok Live is another broadcasting platform that allows users to live stream themselves directly from their phones, without any additional equipment.
This type of live streaming platform is perfect for users who are looking for convenience above all else, don’t own expensive recording equipment, or simply don’t wish to set up additional hardware. This streaming platform benefits from being tied directly to TikTok, one of the newest and most popular social media platforms.
TikTok users who already have a large following will be able to stream to all of their viewers, and also benefit from TikTok’s great discoverability algorithm. If you’re already a regular TikTok user, then TikTok Live might be a great option for you.
- Extremely convenient – only requires a phone and internet connection.
- Tied directly to TikTok, one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.
- Broadcasters can receive in-app gifts from viewers that can be directly exchanged for real money via Paypal – an exclusive feature that most other live streaming platforms don’t have.
- Very good discoverability opportunities for newcomers.
- Easy to use and learn, and only takes minutes to set up.
- Pricing: TikTok Live does not cost any money, however, your account must have at least 1000 followers in order to go live.
8. Instagram Live – Easiest Platform for Fundraisers
For those who don’t regularly use TikTok, Instagram Live is a great alternative service. Much like both TikTok Live and Facebook Live, Instagram Live functions directly through the mobile application without requiring any additional hardware.
Instagram Live also features several benefits that other similar platforms lack: to name just a few, multiple Instagram users can go live together in joint streams, are able to host Q&A live streams, and can hold fundraising events while live.
Additionally, there is no follower count minimum for broadcasters, unlike TikTok – regardless of whether your follower count is 30 or 30,000, you can go live. With that said, TikTok’s tipping feature is not present here – users looking to monetize streams will have to do so with the use of an outside tool.
- Easy to setup and use, with no additional hardware required.
- Anyone can go live! No follow count minimum, unlike similar platforms.
- Multiple users can go live together in joint live streams.
- Includes a Q&A option, which is perfect for entertainers looking to chat with their fans.
- Hold fundraising events directly through the platform for a non-profit organization.
Pricing: Instagram Live is completely free and costs nothing to use.
9. Clubhouse – Best Tool for Audio-Only Broadcasts
Clubhouse is perhaps the most unique and most peculiar social media platform out there. New users are only allowed to join through means of an invitation from current members, or must otherwise sign up to join its waiting list.
Users communicate with one another within the app solely through voice chat, instead of using photos, videos, and text like most other apps. Users can host, listen to, and join rooms that are all audio-based. Users can join Clubhouse’s rooms based on their interests, with dozens of different conversations happening at all times.
But Clubhouse is often used as a tool for live streaming as well – Twitch and YouTube streamers often make use of Clubhouse for streams, as the platform is great for those looking to broadcast audio-only, or to simply offer a different type of stream for viewers.
- Audio-based communication app, that features a unique premise and interface.
- Users can host, listen to, and join rooms based on their own interests.
- Communicate with others, and meet new friends through this audio-only application.
- Pricing: Clubhouse is completely free to use, but it is invite-only which makes it fairly exclusive and more difficult to join.
10. Mixcloud – Best Platform for Podcasts and Radio Shows
Mixcloud is a great choice for musicians looking to broadcast their music online to their fans. Whether you’re a DJ, podcaster, or solo artist, Mixcloud is excellent for sharing your content with existing fans, as well as for finding new ones.
While competing platforms cater to a much wider audience, this platform is great for those who wish to live stream music and podcast-related content!
- A great platform for those looking to stream podcasts, radio shows, and music.
- Features great discoverability, making it easy to grow and find new fans.
- Monetize live streams with Mixcloud’s built-in currency.
- Pricing: In order to stream, users must subscribe to Mixcloud Pro which costs $15/month. Mixcloud offers 30-day free trials for those who would like to try out the service before they buy.
11. Facebook Gaming – Best Alternative to Twitch
Since its start in 2018, Facebook Gaming has been steadily rising in popularity and is now neck-and-neck with YouTube as the second most popular live streaming platform for video games.
And even though Twitch still remains ahead by a large margin, its popularity is both a blessing and a curse. Facebook Gaming is very comparable to Twitch, but with a smaller community – which may be considered good or bad, depending on what you want.
The service itself functions very similarly to Twitch and YouTube, with an emphasis on longer streams via desktop setups. Streamers can also receive real-world money from viewers in the form of Subscriptions, donations, and stars, Facebook Gaming’s currency.
- A great live streaming platform for playing video games and interacting with viewers in real-time.
- Very popular platform for gaming.
- Receive tips and donations from viewers, and make real world money while live streaming your favorite video games.
- Pricing: Facebook Gaming is free to use, like most other platforms.
12. Vimeo – Best Budget Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
Vimeo is an excellent live streaming tool for businesses and organizations looking to broadcast events and webinars. The platform is best suited for businesses and enterprises who wish to stream professional-level streams, for content including performances and events, product launches, company announcements, virtual conferences, and panels.
Another great feature that Vimeo has over other streaming platforms is the ability to broadcast across various different platforms at once – stream across Facebook Live, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitch, and more at the same time. Additionally, Vimeo has the perk of being cheaper than its competitors, IBM and Brightcove, which is great for large organizations looking to spend a bit less.
- Excellent service for broadcasting professional events and webinars.
- Simultaneous streaming onto various different platforms at once, including YouTube, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook Live, and more.
- Very easy to use, offering a high level of security and password protection.
- Pricing: Vimeo’s live streaming features are only available to Vimeo subscribers who have Vimeo’s Premium plan or above, which starts at $ 75/month.
13. IBM Cloud Video – Best Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
IBM Cloud Video, formally known as USTREAM, is another great tool for businesses looking to stream events, performances, conferences, and webinars. The service, similar to Vimeo, allows broadcasters to live stream across several platforms at the same time. The service is perfect for businesses, both large and small, with various price ranges available.
- Stream across multiple streaming platforms, like Facebook Live, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitch.
- Live stream events like webinars, conferences, performances, and more.
- Pricing: IBM Cloud’s Silver option is $99/month and allows for 5 platform channels at once; the Gold option is $499/month and allows for streaming across 10 platforms; finally, the Platinum option allows streaming on to 20 platforms at once, and costs $999/month.
14. Brightcove – Best Alternative Multi-Streaming Tool for Large Businesses
Brightcove is one of the largest live streaming video providers, and is typically used by businesses and media companies worldwide. This company provides both video hosting and live streaming services for organizations, similar to IBM and Vimeo.
- Great live streaming service for large organizations looking to host video on demand or stream across multiple platforms at once.
- Video content management, which is great for large libraries of videos.
Analytics, including engagement, geolocation, and APIs which can integrate with third party services.
- Offers adaptive bitrate switching, which allows video streams to adapt to internet streams in order to avoid buffering or freezing while streaming.
- Supports ad integration for businesses, including mid-roll, overlay banner, interactive, and pre-roll ad formats.
- Pricing: Starts at $199/month, with 30-day trials offered.
15. Panopto – Best Platform for Private Content
Panopto sells itself as secure one-click webcasting that is both easier to use and has a higher level of security than its competitors. This service is geared towards organizations looking for a secure way to stream private content, Panopto is a great solution.
The service has plenty of great features, like allowing users to share video from multiple cameras, multiple computer screens, different computers, and include slides from PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides. The service is of course more geared towards businesses, so if you’re looking to stream video games to the public, then this service clearly isn’t meant for you.
- Stream content from your desktop, with the single click of a button.
- Offers many different options for streaming including the use of multiple cameras, multiple computer screens, more than one computer from multiple locations, and automatically syncs all content.
- Offers a high level of security – restrict access to your content easily, with support for a number of different authentication systems.
- Pricing: Panopto Basic is free to use, while Panopto Pro is $15/month for individuals.
16. Kaltura – Best Platform for Online Education
Kaltura is a video cloud platform built for real-time, live, and video-on-demand experiences for virtual learning and education. Kaltura includes virtual classrooms, lecture capture, webinars, and live events. This service is designed to create a more engaging learning experience for classrooms, that is both more accessible and personalized for online learning.
- Service designed specifically for teaching students online, via live streamed lectures and virtual classroom spaces.
- A more engaging way of teaching online, with many different options for teachers to provide interactive video paths, quizzes, chapters, and more.
- Offers advanced video and stream analytics for educators, showing viewership and engagement numbers that are easy to read and understand.
- Extremely accessible, flexible, and customizable for students and educators alike.
- Pricing: Kaltura starts at $19/month, though users can start a free trial before purchasing.
17. DaCast – Best Platform for Website Hosted Streams
DaCast is a streaming solution that allows users to stream video from their own website, with the ability to personalize videos, brand your video player, and even add watermarks in order to offer consistent branding and protect content.
The solution also allows businesses and organizations to monetize their content that is streamed and viewed on their own websites, build custom workflows, and view video analytics easily and efficiently.
- All-in-one platform for HD live streaming and monetization for businesses.
- Stream video directly from your own website, with the ability to personalize the livestream and video player with watermarks.
- Monetize your video content, albeit with a 9% commission fee taken by DaCast.
- Pricing: DaCast starts at $ 19/month and goes all the way up to $ 289/month for Enterprise users. A 30-day free trial is also offered.
18. Wowza – Best Platform for Company Events and Announcements
Wowza offers a diverse range of live streaming solutions, including public events, enterprise streaming, streaming for auctions, live video monitoring, video on demand, and more. This is a great option for businesses looking for a tool that allows for private streaming for their organization, stream content like live shows or press events across multiple social platforms, or offer reliable video on demand. The diversity in Wowza’s tools is one of its strongest features, as it can be utilized in so many different ways.
- Platform for streaming across many platforms, across all devices.
- Allows businesses to conduct live streams that are interactive, which boosts audience engagement.
- Can also be utilized for live video monitoring and surveillance systems.
- Features low latency, which results in high-speed reliable video streaming.
- Live stream events, auctions, company announcements, and much more.
- Pricing: Wowza Streaming Cloud starts at $ 25/month, while Wowza Streaming Engine starts at $ 175/month. New users can also try the service for free before buying.
19. Restream – Best Alternative Multi-Streaming Tool for Individuals
Are you a new streamer, but just can’t decide on a single platform? Well, then Restream may just be the right tool for you. Restream is a tool that allows users to multi-stream, which is essentially streaming onto several different platforms at once. All in all, Restream supports streaming across 30+ different platforms.
Streamers can broadcast themselves across Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and more all at the same time, which can greatly increase discoverability and viewership. This service is great for those looking to start streaming but can’t decide on which platform best suits them, and allow them to narrow down options. Best of all, Restream is free for those looking to only stream on two platforms at once and as affordable options for streaming on three or more channels.
- Stream across multiple platforms at once including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, LinkedIn, Twitter, Dailymotion, and more.
- Over 30 channels are supported to stream across.
- Simple and fast application that makes streaming on more than one platform easier than ever.
- Pricing: Users looking to stream on two different platforms at once can do so for free. Restream’s Standard plan, which allows for streaming on up to 5 platforms simultaneously, is $16/month. The Professional plan is $41/month, and allows for streaming across 7 platforms at once along with additional benefits.
Final Thoughts: What is the Best Live Streaming Platform?
Overall, there are many different live streaming platforms to choose from, with each one providing a range of different options. It’s hard to state which platform is ultimately the best choice, as each one offers its own unique features and options.
For individuals looking to mostly stream content to a large and diverse audience, the three best platforms are probably Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. And if you happen to be streaming gaming content, Lightstream is likely your best option for streaming content with many added conveniences.
At the end of the day, every live streaming platform offers many great benefits so you should choose the service that best suits your own interests and needs. We hope that this guide has been helpful, and wish you the best of luck with your streaming endeavors.