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Which Live Streaming Platform Should We Use?

Updated: May 23

UPDATED MAY 23RD 2024


One of the most important choices you will need to make when planning your live streamed event is which live streaming platform you should use.


This will largely depend on where your main audience is based and what content you are streaming.


There are many available platforms which offer their own restrictions and benefits.


Example of a bespoke event webpage from StreamWorks

A BESPOKE EVENT WEBPAGE - WE DESIGN


PROS:

  • Fully bespoke. Matches your website with colours, logo, font.

  • Can be updated by our team instantly.

  • Video and audio quality are delivered in the highest quality.

  • Broadcast is bonded using multiple broadband connections providing 100% reliability.

  • You can add interactive elements, custom chat options, specialised multimedia content and downloads via PDFs. This content is often also mixed into the broadcast meaning it's all viewable to the audience.

  • No limited viewers with no limitations on bandwidth. Detailed viewer analytics. Their location, viewing time and viewing device etc.


CONS: 

  • Prices from £450.

  • Requires the user to go to a website and not use a platform like zoom or teams.


CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: Yes and we have a PRS licence to cover this.

VIDEO DELAY: Variable down to very low latency.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: 10 hours per stream.

GEO RESTRICTIONS: No.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: Yes and the page can stay live for as long as you like.

You can see examples of these pages here.


The options available from the providers below changes fairly often so do keep an eye on them.


What Live Streaming Platform Should We Use?






FACEBOOK


PROS:

  • Free

  • Reach a wide audience.

  • Has live polling feature.

  • No viewer limits.

CONS: 

  • Cannot stream published music.

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • Can't add page branding or other downloads etc.

  • Viewers can get distracted by other site content.

  • From 10th June 2024, your account must be at least 60 days old and must have at least 100 followers. To go live from a Page, you need to have Facebook access or task access to create content.


CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: No.

VIDEO DELAY: Variable down to low latency.

CAPTIONS: Has auto generated captions.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: 8 hours if you require stream recorded by Facebook, if not unlimited.

GEO RESTRICTIONS: Yes, you can restrict viewers by area.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: No.

Many companies have a healthy following on Facebook so streaming here not only reaches them directly on their news feed, it also allows them to share the broadcast directly with all their followers.

Facebook also benefits from a wide range of interest groups and pages and streams can be crossposting to other pages.


Where should we broadcast our event?









YOUTUBE

PROS:

  • Free.

  • Reach wide audience.

  • Monetisation option if account is enabled.

  • No viewer limits.

  • Very good live subtitles.


CONS: 

  • May not be best platform for your subscribers/followers.

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • Viewers can get distracted.


CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: No.

VIDEO DELAY: Variable down to low latency.

CAPTIONS: Has auto generated captions.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: Approx 12 hours if you require stream recorded by YouTube, if not unlimited.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: yes.

GEO RESTRICTIONS: No.


If you've already built an audience on YouTube then it may well be a good place for you to stream to. Building followers here takes time and you may find Facebook has more networking and sharing opportunities for your stream.


YouTube is part of Google, so you will benefit from their excellent analytics. It is thought that videos streamed to YouTube will also massively benefit your SEO on Google.


Live streaming UK from solo16 Broadcast









X (FORMALLY TWITTER)


PROS:

  • Free using a smartphone.

  • Reach a huge audience.

  • No viewer limits.


CONS: 

  • Paid for service for RTMP broadcast. From £9.60 per month (As of 16/5/24).

  • Cannot stream published music.

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • Viewers can get distracted.

  • Videos are only saved for 24 hours unless you add "#save" in the title.


CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: No.

VIDEO DELAY: Approx 25 seconds.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: Broadcasts scheduled to start later are restricted to a six hour maximum duration but ad hoc lives have no limit.

GEO RESTRICTIONS: Yes, you can restrict viewers by area.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: No, it is not possible to download an entire broadcast in Media Studio. If you’re just looking to choose specific parts of broadcast, you can use LiveCut in order to make clips, which are downloadable. You can download all of your broadcasts on X via your data archive. It’s not possible to download individual broadcasts from your account. We’re in the process of making changes to currently stored broadcasts. 



Instagram Live broadcaster UK







INSTAGRAM


PROS:

  • Free.

  • Reach a huge audience.

  • No viewer limits.


CONS: 

  • You have to ensure you account is 'Pro". Read more here about to stream using pro software. 

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • Viewers can get distracted.

  • Picture quality is limited.


VIDEO RATIO: 9x16 so widescreen turned on its side. This means all your action has to happen in the middle of a normal widescreen image. This also means that we have to stream this as its own broadcast if streaming to multiple platforms in widescreen.

VIDEO DELAY: Approx 10 seconds.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: 1 hour.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: Yes using live producer.

CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: No.



how to stream on LinkedIn








LINKEDIN

PROS:

  • Free.

  • Ideal for B2B marketing, thought leadership, and industry-specific content.

  • No viewer limits.

  • Viewers on LinkedIn are often more focused on professional development and industry trends, leading to high-quality interactions and engagement.

  • LinkedIn Live includes features like real-time comments, reactions, and Q&A sessions, facilitating active audience participation.


CONS: 

  • Relies on existing contacts and followers.

  • The professional nature of LinkedIn might limit more casual, spontaneous interactions that are common on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.

  • LinkedIn Live allows eligible members and pages to broadcast live video content to a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn page, or event.

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • Limited HD quality to 720p up to 3.5mbps so image quality is far from ideal.

  • Audience Expectations: The audience on LinkedIn expects high-quality, valuable content, which can place additional pressure on content creators to deliver polished presentations.

  • LinkedIn’s algorithm may not promote live streams as aggressively as other platforms, potentially limiting the organic reach of your broadcast.


VIDEO DELAY: Approx 7 seconds.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: 4 hours.

DOWNLOAD BROADCAST AFTERWARDS: Yes.


Read our dedicated article on live streaming to LinkedIn here. 


Can I live stream to TikTok from solo16 Broadcast












TikTok


PROS:

  • Free.

  • Reach wide audience. The platform's users are highly engaged, with features like comments, likes, shares, and reactions encouraging real-time interaction.

  • No viewer limits.

  • TikTok offers interactive features such as live comments, gifts, and Q&A sessions, which help build a connection with the audience.

  • Viewers can send virtual gifts to creators during live streams, which can be converted into real money.

  • TikTok's algorithm helps surface live streams to a broader audience, increasing the chances of gaining new viewers.


CONS: 

  • TikTok RTMP broadcast option is only available for those, who have 1000 plus active followers.

  • TikTok does not automatically approve your request, once you reach 1000 active users. Your account will go under review and monitored by the team members then they will allow you to have these options.

  • Does not allow for you to control the real estate area around the video window where the viewer is watching.

  • TikTok takes a percentage of earnings from virtual gifts, which can reduce the overall income for creators.

  • Live streaming on TikTok is primarily designed for mobile devices, which can limit the production quality compared to desktop-based streaming platforms.

  • TikTok users are accustomed to short-form content, so retaining viewers' attention during longer live streams can be challenging.


VIDEO RATIO: 9x16 so widescreen turned on it's side. This means all your action has to happen in the middle of a normal widescreen image. This also means that we have to stream this as its own broadcast if streaming to multiple platforms in widescreen.


Read more on this on our dedicated article here. 


zoom webinar streaming company solo16







ZOOM


PROS:

  • Streams can be monetised.

  • Others can join with their webcam.

  • Good audience polls and Q&A.

  • Known for its intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making it accessible for users with varying levels of technical expertise.


CONS:

  • Cannot stream published music.

  • Picture quality can be limited.

  • Full webinar functionality can be very expensive.

  • On-demand event version is not great quality.


VIDEO DELAY: Zero.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

It offers excellent quality for pro video and zero delay. As a platform it can be over complicated for users and us techies.


Read more here.


london live streaming on teams






MICROSOFT TEAMS


PROS:

  • Private and direct to your business colleagues.

  • RTMP option.

  • Teams integrates well with other Microsoft 365 applications such as Outlook, SharePoint, and OneDrive, facilitating smooth workflows and document sharing.

  • Teams offer robust security features, including data encryption and compliance with various regulatory standards, making it a secure choice for businesses.

  • Easily manage access and permissions, ensuring that only authorised individuals can join the live stream.


CONS:

  • Paid for service with limited audience reach.

  • Access to Teams' live streaming features typically requires a Microsoft 365 subscription, which can be costly for small businesses or individual users.

  • Teams’ video and audio performance can be affected by the hardware specifications of users' devices, potentially limiting the experience for those with older equipment.

  • Limited customisation options for branding and layout during live streams are somewhat limited compared to other platforms like Vimeo or YouTube.

  • Cannot stream published music.


VIDEO DELAY: Zero.


london webinar company







VIMEO


PROS:

  • Allows us to lock the stream to your website ensuring no one else can view.

  • Allows to password protect a stream although this is the same password for all.

  • Allows us to re-stream to other destinations for you.

  • Can stream all music.

  • Provides very high quality image and audio quality.

  • Has live chat and polling options.

  • The Vimeo player is highly customisable, allowing you to brand your content effectively. 

  • Vimeo provides robust privacy settings, enabling you to control who can view your streams. This is particularly useful for corporate events, internal meetings, or paid content.

  • Vimeo offers comprehensive analytics to help you understand viewer behaviour and engagement.


CONS: 

  • Has little opportunity to build subscribers/followers.

  • You need a paid for account for streaming if you don't use our account.

  • Compared to platforms like YouTube or Twitch, Vimeo has a smaller built-in audience, which may limit your organic reach.


CAN WE PLAY PUBLISHED MUSIC?: Yes.

VIDEO RATIO: 16:9 widescreen.

BROADCAST DURATION LIMIT: 10 hours.


We love Vimeo and use it for most of our streams.


live streaming company solo16 Broadcast









TWITCH

Twitch is very much still a gaming streaming platform but due to its specific audience has also seen music, and talk show streams in recent years. It's not a platform we are very familiar with as many of our clients choose to stream in other places.


PROS:

  • Streamers can earn money through subscriptions, Bits (a virtual good viewers can buy and cheer with), and donations.


CONS:

  • Twitch is highly competitive, making it difficult for new streamers to stand out and gain an audience.

  • Streamers may face technical difficulties such as connectivity issues, software bugs, or hardware malfunctions.

  • Twitch takes a cut of revenue from subscriptions, Bits, and advertisements, which can impact earnings. Streamers must adhere to Twitch’s terms of service and community guidelines, which can sometimes be restrictive.



CONCLUSION

We can stream to any platform that accepts an RTMP or webcam input. You can always speak to us about the best platform for your event.


Do we need a PRS music licence to broadcast to these platforms? Read our article here. 


The latest version of this article was written on 16/5/24 but please check each suppliers offerings yourself before using them.




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