6 Live Streaming Video Platforms Discussed
Video streaming services are becoming an increasingly important part of most small businesses today. They offer a way of interacting with customers, clients, vendors, and even employees working remotely.
Video streaming is everywhere, from your office PC to your smartphone or tablet, to the conference room. Choosing the right video streaming service is an important decision for any company because so much potentially is depending upon the quality of services it provides.
You don’t want to annoy clients or even lose business because you relied on a free service that didn’t give you the quality or bandwidth your business needed. At the same time, most small businesses can’t afford to pay for the top of the line video streaming services that they might only use once in a while.
The best approach is to find some happy medium: A video streaming service that provides you with the dependability and quality you need but doesn’t break the bank.
Here then are six live streaming video platforms for you to choose from.
There are many free video streaming services — including free platforms such as Google’s Hangouts, Facetime, and Skype.
But while these are fine for video chatting with friends or wasting time during your free time, do you really want to stake the reputation of your business on a free service? Probably not!
DaCast is one of the most affordable video streaming services available today. It’s basic plan starts at just $25 and includes 100 GB of bandwidth, 20 GB of storage, and 300 ad-free viewing hours. It also features a white label embed so you can promote your company’s logo or branding on your video as you conference with others.
For a little more –namely, $165 – DaCast gives you zero ads, unlimited viewer access, unlimited storage, and API access. You still get the free embed, but they also include 24/7 live support and live recording of your video conferencing, which are two huge selling points.
While not as well known, Bambuser actually offers a pretty attractive basic package. For $45, you get a single account with 250 viewing hours. Plus, it broadcasts live on Facebook, which is a nice way to integrate your social media platforms with your business.
But you also can upgrade your Bambuser account. For $329, you can get video streaming services with no ads, unlimited viewer access, unlimited storage, and API access.
Moving up the cost ladder is livestream, which has a basic plan that goes for $99 and includes no log-in required and unlimited event archiving.
Upgrade to their premium service for $399 and you get ad free video streaming, cloud recording services, HD video quality, and unlimited storage.
If your business does a lot of webinars or streaming classroom videos, WizIQ’s virtual classroom offers outstanding services, including six-way video streaming and multi-platform text chat.
There’s also a multilingual whiteboard, breakout rooms, and the ability to conduct online quizzes, polls, and much more. Plus, WizIQ currently is offering a 30-day free trial so you can try it out before you buy!
The Ustream basic plan also starts at $99. For that price, you get 100 ad free viewing hours, unlimited video storage (a nice perk), and Ustream branded video conferencing (not so great: Why would you want to promote their company on your video streaming?!).
The upgraded plan costs $499 and includes HD quality video, mobile compatibility, zero ads, and unlimited storage.
The Bottom Line
First, stay away from the free services. Your clients and customers won’t be impressed and you will probably be disappointed by the quality of the service, as well as its unreliability. Plus, there’s really no support if anything goes wrong.
For our money, DeCast’s starter plan seems to offer the best deal, offering essentially the same services as livestream, Ustream, and Bambuser but at half the price.
Plus DaCast offers all of its professional grade features with its beginner’s plan. You may not need these right away if you aren’t streaming to huge audiences, but they are nice to have – especially when they cost less than what the competitors are offering.
Another remarkable feature of DaCast is that it offers Pay per View, as well as subscriptions. So if you have some event you would like to charge viewers to watch, you can do it using their paywall located right inside the video player.