Live streaming software is so important nowadays
The video industry is changing. We are transitioning from a static era of video content to an interactive livestream.
Because attention spans are getting shorter, fans prefer engaging content with interactive elements.
The answer is continuous distribution software. These tools enable you to share live videos, communicate with your audience, incorporate interactive content, collect payments, and more.
Knowing how streaming software works is crucial given that, by 2022, livestreaming will account for 79% of all mobile phone usage (and that number is expected to rise).
However, there are a lot of solutions available.
In this ultimate guide, I’ve focused on features like continuous distribution capabilities, video quality, integrations, video montage capabilities, price, support, and more to help you choose the best software.
Let’s get started.
What is the best streaming software in 2023 ?
Here is a list of the top streaming applications for platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and others.
Best streaming software (free – $249 per month).
My first preference for the best streaming software is Restream. To reach the most viewers, distribute your video flow among a number of locations.
The platform offers a variety of features to help you optimize your flow, such as video encoding and live chat management.
Additionally, you may use Restream to schedule previously recorded videos or create live events.
- 9.2 out of 10 ideal General Advancements
- Cost: $0/mo to $41/mo
- Annual reduction: Yes, save 20%.
Restream is a cloud-based streaming service that enables you to simultaneously broadcast videos on more than 30 platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and others. Additionally, it offers native integration with premium streaming programs like XSplit, OBS Studio, Elgato, etc.
It is also one of the few streaming platforms that supports « basculement of platform and channel in real time. » This means that you are able to change and add channels while you are « on air » without having to end your show or restart your encoder.
Additionally, Restream offers a variety of other tools to support you in promoting and analyzing your real-time broadcasts.
For instance, you may use the Restream Events function to plan and publicize your next stream in advance in order to pique interest. However, at the present, this feature is only available for Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
They enable you to gauge the success of your livestream across a variety of platforms from a single dashboard. You may see the most watched segment of your stream, the peak viewing time, the overall number of viewers, the viewing minutes broken down by platforms, and much more.
Additionally, they have an integrated chat feature that you can display as a sidebar throughout your live stream. You even have the option to customize the look of your discussion box using one of more than 20 pre-designed options.
- Create several channels on a single platform.
- A built-in amplifier allows you to stream whenever you want.
- Follow the picture slideshows, the binary option, and the frames per second (FPS).
- Update all flux’s metadata starting from a single point.
- Automatic warnings to alert viewers on Twitter, Facebook, and Discord.
- Add a CTA button to your webcast.
- Allow viewers from different platforms to chat with each other.
- Hide nasty and rude words in the chat box.
Restream comes with five plans (including one free plan and four paid plans).
- Free – No pre-recorded video streaming, no video uploading, no video storage, no stream recording.
- Standard ($16 / month) – No pre-recorded video streaming, no video uploads, no video storage, six hours of maximum recording per stream.
- Professional ($41 / month) – Play pre-recorded videos, upload videos up to 1 hour/2Gb in length, store 10 videos, record up to 10 hours per stream.
- Premium ($83/month) – Stream pre-recorded videos, upload up to 2 hours/5Gb of video, store up to 25 videos, record up to 20 hours per stream.
- Business ($249/month) – Stream pre-recorded videos, upload up to 4 hours/10GB of video, store up to 50 videos, record up to 20 hours per stream.
Best streaming software (free – $89/month)
If you want to share your content on multiple social media platforms at once, look no further than OneStream. This robust streaming and recording tool lets you quickly post your videos to over 40 social networking sites, which is a great use of time and energy.
- Rating: 8.8 / 10
- Ideal Benefits Reach
- Price: $0/mo-$74/mo
- Annual discount: Yes – Save 20
OneStream is the best global streaming software, with the ability to stream and record live or pre-recorded video and publish to over 40 social networking platforms.
With pre-recorded streams, you can record and then schedule your broadcasts on social networking platforms up to 60 days in advance.
With livestreaming, you can pair OneStream with other streaming tools; configure the tool, and start multicasting :
Scheduling pre-recorded videos is also super easy. Just upload your video file, choose a date and time, and select your broadcast destinations like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, etc.
- Broadcast on over 40 platforms and schedule your posts up to 60 days in advance.
- Team management allows you to combine multiple team members into one account.
- No software installation is required.
- Multiple upload options, including files, camera and screen shares.
- Custom RTMP streaming using a server URL and stream key.
OneStream offers four pricing options:
- Free – unlimited streaming, no multi-casting, 5 minutes max per stream, 1 social account, 5 GB max file size.
- Basic ($10/month) – unlimited streaming, pre-recorded multi-casting, 15 minutes max per stream, 5 GB max file size.
- Standard ($39 / month/best value) – unlimited streaming, pre-recorded and live multi-casting, one hour maximum per recorded stream, unlimited file size.
- Professional ($89/month) – unlimited streaming, pre-recorded and live multicast, 8 hours maximum/recorded stream, unlimited file size.
Best professional livestream software (from $599).
Want to have a professional looking live show or broadcast? With the ability to create on-demand broadcasts and live productions, you can share your message with the world! Wirecast allows you to capture video from multiple cameras, share your screen and add graphics and titles.
- Rating: 8.4 / 10
- Ideal Professional Benefits
- Price: $599-$799
- Annual discount: No
Wirecast is a live video streaming production platform developed by Telestream. It helps you create TV-like livestreaming productions and on-demand broadcasts for the web.
You can take advantage of its flexible and intuitive user interface to easily customize your live stream. All you have to do is plug in your microphone and camera. The system automatically takes care of the encoding to broadcast your live stream on a large scale, regardless of the geographical location.
It covers all types of live events, including live sports, church services, TV, radio and news broadcasts, etc.
To help you capture your video content on the go, Wirecast also offers a free iOS camera app. You can stream your videos to multiple destinations, including ALL RTMP destinations. It also allows you to embed live captions to make your videos more accessible to those with limited mobility.
- ISO recording – It archives all live video inputs without any changes. These video clips are separated from your composite program recording.
- Multiviewer – Send single sources to up to 17 source grids for easy monitoring and quick preview of each source.
- Stock Media Library – Provides free access to over 500,000 media assets, including video, music, backgrounds, lower thirds, and more.
It offers multi-channel audio ingestion and supports WASAPI, ASIO and CoreAudio compatible devices.
Use features such as replay, clocks, scoreboards and timers for your live sporting events.
Access over 100 built-in titles and graphics.
Use QR codes, color key and playlists to professionally present your live stream.
Easily record video to MP4 or MOV files.
Effectively mix up to 8 audio tracks. You can also add effects and processing.
Wirecast offers 2 versions:
- Wirecast Studio: $599 for enhanced production and livestreaming
- Wirecast Pro: $799 for advanced production and livestream
- This is a more expensive tool, but it is the best professional livestream software out there.
Best video monetization platform ($39.99/month; 30-day free trial).
If you want to make money with your videos, or if you need a reliable and professional streaming solution for your business, then Dacast is the platform I recommend. With their easy-to-use tools and features, you can quickly get your videos online and start generating revenue. Their security and state-of-the-art streaming infrastructure ensures that your broadcasts are always available and of the highest quality.
- Rating: 8.2 / 10
- Best Monetization Benefits
- Price: $39/mo-$188/mo
- Annual discount: Yes – Save 25%.
Dacast is a video monetization and VOD streaming platform designed for hosting, livestreaming and managing professional broadcasts.
First of all, they offer powerful and secure video hosting with a content management system to store all your recorded and live video content.
Dacast is best known as an OTT platform with excellent video monetization features. It automatically converts the currency behind paywalls to reflect the cost of streaming to the viewer, including subscription, pay-per-view and advertising models.
- API-based video platform: For customization, it is an API-based online video platform, where you can build your own mobile apps and OTT platforms from scratch with APIs and SDKs.
- Advanced analytics: You can track the performance of your videos with their custom dashboards and reports.
- HTML 5 video player: Deliver your videos to any device, anywhere, with the highly compatible HTML 5 format that includes mobile delivery.
- 24/7 technical support: Plus a fairly extensive knowledge base and a large online community.
Dacast offers 4 main pricing plans, including the following :
- Starter: $39 / month
- Event: $63 / month
- Scale: $188 / month
- Custom: Enterprise options for big brands
To test their livestreaming and video monetization features, you can try Dacast for free with a 30-day trial.
5. XSplit Broadcaster
The best for livestreaming and recording the gameplay of the console ($2.50 / month).
For gamers and game broadcasters, XSplit Broadcaster is one of the most popular streaming apps. It is known for its ease of use and wide range of features, which, in my opinion, makes it the best livestreaming software for those who want to get into live game streaming.
- Rating: 7.8 / 10
- Ideal Benefits Gamers
- Price: $30/mo – $70/mo
- Annual discount: Yes – Save 70%.
XSplit Broadcaster is a livestreaming application used to capture gameplay for livestreaming or recording.
It helps you start your livestreaming or recording in seconds.
You also have an in-game stream control HUD that helps you:
- Interact with the chat
- Stop and start the broadcast
- Keep track of recent events
- Monitor statistics to increase engagement
- There is also a projector mode that allows you to display multiple scenes on devices connected to your computer’s GPU.
XSplit also supports all necessary encoding settings.
Moreover, it guides you to make the right configuration and stream in the best possible quality, up to 4k60fps. And the best part is that you can manage all the controls of the stream from a single screen.
It also offers a premium by-product called XSplit Gamecaster for free and easy streaming for gamers.
- Scene Preview Editor – Edit video scenes before streaming them live.
- NVIDIA NVENC – Use NVENC options to customize your settings for optimal quality and performance.
- Intuitive Editor – Easily add subscriber goals, donation trains, event listings, follower alerts, tip cups, and more to make your live stream stand out.
- You can broadcast and record in 4k at 60 frames per second.
- Broadcast simultaneously to multiple streaming devices.
- XSplit supports Twitch chat, Facebook chat and YouTube chat widgets.
- Add custom stinger transitions or use multiple pre-loaded transition styles.
- Use the whiteboard and stream annotations for live illustrations and analysis.Use the live status display to gauge the number of subscribers, new
- followers, bits, super chats, cheers, etc.
The pro version starts at $2.50 / month. There is also a free plan for limited functionality.
6. Streamlabs OBS.
Ideal for live broadcasters and companies looking for an open-source solution (free).
Streamlabs OBS is a cloud-based streaming platform for Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.
It offers hundreds of stream overlays, templates and resources to customize your live streams in a professional way.
For example, you can use « Be Right Back » and « Starting Soon » screens for your livestreaming event.
It also has an app store that offers 46 apps to help you:
- Increase automation
- Powerful, in-depth analytics
- Multiple modes of viewer interaction
- Simultaneous delivery on multiple platforms
- And much more
You can also easily integrate several elements, including your objectives, an alert box and other elements directly from the Streamlabs website. It also offers gain and noise cancellation features to easily remove unwanted background noise from the live stream.
- Streamlabs Dashboard – You can use the dashboard to make adjustments with a few clicks on the alert box. You can manage all items without having to open the browser.
- Widget Themes – Choose specific widgets for different broadcasts. Plus, each theme’s settings are saved separately so you can easily switch between themes.
- Themed visual layouts – It provides themes for specific games and genres. Themes also help you deliver a more immersive experience with effects, animations and graphics.
- Available for free.
- Instant live streaming or recording with « Go Live » and « Record » buttons.
- Easily split, merge or broadcast to multiple screens.
- It provides powerful monetization tools to help you earn passive income.
- You can use speed control and video stabilization to control the quality of your broadcast.
- Monitor the performance of your live broadcasts with key performance metrics such as viewers and new subscribers.
Streamlabs OBS is a free and open-source streaming solution. However, it offers a premium toolkit for professionals for $12 / month (annual billing).
Premium features include free apps, professionally designed themes and widgets, mobile streams, custom domain, etc.
7. OBS Studio
Best free and open source option (Free).
(Open Broadcaster Software) OBS Studio is another open source cross-platform streaming and recording platform.
It helps you make high-quality video or audio edits, capture and mix in real time.
You can create highly customized scenes from multiple sources including text, window captures, images, webcams, capture cards and browser windows.
The open-source software also allows you to switch between an unlimited number of scenes during the broadcast, while using custom transitions. In addition, you can use its powerful audio mixer, featuring pre-source filters such as noise cancellation, noise gate and gain. It also supports VST plugins to give you full control over your audio.
Modular « Dock » user interface – Easily rearrange the layout to align with your brand requirements. You can even make all the individual windows in the Dock appear for greater customization.
Hotkeys – Set up hotkeys for almost any action, such as starting/stopping streams or recordings, switching scenes, muting audio sources, and more.
Studio Mode – Instantly preview your scenes and sources for last-minute adjustments. You can even create a new scene right before you upload your content.
- Use the « Multiview » feature to monitor 8 different scenes simultaneously. You can even transition or cue them with a single or double click.
- It offers a powerful API for integrating many plugins and scripts. It also provides high customization and functionality.
- Use customizable transitions to quickly move from one scene to another. You can also embed your video stinger.
- It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.
- You have a resource section to explore unlimited additional features.
- Automatically changes the bitrate of the streaming video according to your download speed.
OBS Studio is a free streaming platform.
8. Twitch Studio
The best free software for streaming to players who want to live stream on Twitch (free).
Twitch Studio is a free streaming application that allows you to stream live directly to Twitch.
Twitch developed it to help its fans stream live video games from the same platform. Here is my step-by-step guide on how to stream on Twitch.
It offers a simplified setup to help you stream live, even if you’re using complex configurations. Plus, you get access to step-by-step training, automatic hardware detection, and recommended settings to make your streams look professional with minimal effort.
You can also customize your streams to meet your branding requirements.
Twitch Studio allows you to customize anything you want, including:
- Startup layouts
- Support for multiple audio sources
- And more
Plus, you can use the built-in « desktop audio capture » feature to share your computer’s audio with the stream.
- Extensive customization – You can personalize your video stream in every aspect to reflect your business or personality.
- Content Shuffling – Easily connect your iPhone or iPad to shuffle your content and share the screen instantly on your live stream.
- Deep integration – Twitch provides built-in activity streams, chat, alerts, and more. This saves you from having to install an additional plugin.
- It offers multiple stream layouts.
- Dedicated activity streams and chat widgets to gauge feedback and respond to comments on your live stream.
- You can adjust the sound of your microphone.
- It provides a large list of FAQs to help you solve any problem by yourself.
- It is compatible with Mac and Windows.
Twitch Studio is a free streaming software from Twitch.