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9 Platforms For Public Live Streaming

Video live streaming platforms

Social media platforms have become our mass media platform of choice but have now opened up a world for any business and content creator to safely become their own media empire and have full control over their content and messaging. It's miles easier than having to deal with public or private broadcasters. Still, it sure isn't easy in relative terms to build up an audience and get people to listen to you without considerable promotion or leveraging other audiences.

As the internet has become faster and more readily available, as social media platforms improve their tech and become media-rich entertainment platforms. Video has become the focal point and every social media platform has started to support video in some form. While pre-recorded videos still get much of the views, live streams are starting to grow in popularity for a host of reasons.

Companies and individuals tend to opt for live streams to

  • Record gaming sessions in real-time
  • Classes where they can engage with a large audience,
  • Townhalls,
  • Interviews where they can take questions from the audience,
  • Lectures where they can engage with a wider audience

and new uses for live streams are coming up all the time. Video is an incredibly popular form of content and will continue to be prominent on every social network. Live video streaming is the new frontier for social media and businesses will have to get on board or miss out on a new trend.

So which platforms offer live video and which one is right for you? Here are your current options.

1. YouTube

It's always a good idea to start by knocking out the biggest guy in the room, and when it comes to video, their aren't any bigger than YouTube. The video hosting platform has become the second biggest search engine in the world and attracts millions of views daily, hungry for content and looking to be educated and entertained.

The best part of using YouTube Live, the sites live video streaming service is that it is free of charge, to any creator who verifies their account and activates the live streaming feature.

When pushing content to YouTube Live, you can use the following options:

  1. Simple streaming with your webcam, right from your browser
  2. Streaming from your mobile device via the YouTube app
  3. Streaming with an encoder

Which option you'll choose is completely up to you and the type of content you want to create. Encoders offer you the chance to have more control and provide a more polished live stream with better production value while streaming from your mobile device can be incredibly practical when streaming an event your attending or to hop on for an informal AMA.

2. Facebook Live

Facebook wouldn't be the all-powerful social network if it wasn't going to copy every trend and make it their own, they did it with stories, they did it with instant messaging, the did it with video, and of course, they were not going to miss out on live streaming. Facebook live is not as crisp as YouTube live, but it does offer monetisation which can come in handy for some creators.

The real kicker for Facebook live is being able to prep your audience beforehand and also sending out notifications when you do go live to try and attract users browsing their feeds to pay attention to you. Facebook is still one of the biggest platforms, so by sheer numbers, you're bound to catch a few wandering eyes with your Facebook Live video.

3. Instagram Live

Probably the most polarising social media platform until it was dethroned by a more polarising platform in TikTok, which we will get to later. Instagram is where the millennials hang out, share their travel aspirations, doctored avo sandwich shots and ideas on how to spend what disposable income. So, of course, a platform that thrives on various ideals of consumerism is going to do pretty well when it comes to branded and live streams video.

Instagram's niche is that it's a mobile-first platform, so streaming from your device comes with a few nifty add ons that are native to mobile communication such as:

  • Use of Instagram filters for your video
  • The ability to turn comments on and off
  • A notification blast when you start streaming

Instagram is also great for hyping up your audience before you go live by creating image posts or stories that can build anticipation. You can also ask for feedback such as questions followers would like answered and make it an interactive experience from the word go.

4. Tiktok Live

TikTok, the tween dream platform for teenagers to teenyboppers and a dash of Millenials to make up the user base. Those millennials may, however, seem like boomers when you compare them to whats going on in this platform.

TikTok's demographic is extremely young, it's said to range from around 13, and some say stretches to the early 30s, but the vast majority of users probably think "Baby Shark" is the epitome of music right now. The TikTok generation is not about quality, in-depth content it's about entertainment, make them laugh, smile or cringe, and you've got yourself a content plan.

If your product is aimed at kids and teenagers, TikTok live can be a way to leverage that pester power and get kids nagging their parents for whatever is deemed cool online because they saw it on TikTok. Live video should be family-friendly and try to keep it short and simple, TikTok is not about trying to educate the user in one go but engage with them several times to try and drive brand recognition and establish a desire for the product.

Remember, your target market may be the consumer, but they're not the decision-maker pulling out the credit card, so you'll have to play the long game with your content.

5. Periscope (owned by Twitter)

Twitter has never been one to try and clutter its experience and has often opted for the external approach which we saw with Vine, which some would say was the app that laid the foundation for short video content. Twitter then absorbed video into its feeds but never did it with Livestream; instead, it went with another separate platform in Periscope.

Periscope comes with its own stand-alone website and app. It has recently started seeing more integration with Twitter, to launch Twitter Live Stream but its still very much Periscope at heart.

Periscope being a medium focused solely on streaming is another kettle of fish for any user, you can stream video or audio-only, so if you're keen on the live podcast stream, this could be the platform for you. You can also invite guests into a live stream or pull your audience in for commentary during a broadcast.

When using Periscope, remember to:

  • Enable auto-save to camera-roll, so that you can post the video to other sites later
  • Using hashtags in video descriptions to improve searchability
  • Following the best practices for posting content on Twitter

If you're big on Twitter as your primary source of social media engagement, then Periscope makes a lot of sense for your marketing mix.

6. LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn has been late to most of the social media party, but it's had a quite rigid audience, however, video has started to make it less formal. LinkedIn feeds used to be filled with slides, stats, graphs, inspiration, questions and now video.

LinkedIn streaming is still in its infancy and has been taken over by inspirational content and those who "quickly want to jump on" and talk about something they could have written down in a post but because the algorithm gives them a boost for more engagement they opt for video instead.

Why opt for LinkedIn streaming?

  • Your main audiences are professionals or business owners.
  • You plan to stream from industry events.
  • You are interested in B2B marketing.

If you have a SAAS company or focus on B2B marketing, I think LinkedIn streaming should be where you focus your AMA's and Interviews, yes you can always leverage YouTube too, but LinkedIn offers a far more personal approach to networking that YouTube cannot.

7. Twitch

Twitch came from humble beginnings and was previously known as Justin.tv a streaming site but quickly spun off into an exclusive gaming community and probably the real birthplace of lets plays which alter infiltrated youtube. Once Twitch was acquired by Amazon, it decided to open up to other communities such as art and general chat. Twitch offers an insanely robust streaming service with a high-quality video display, but it is by no means a general-purpose site.

If you're an individual creator wanting to get into streaming, Twitch is a great place to start. If you're a brand, it better be something focusing on geek, and nerd culture gaming, comic books, art and anime is what's going to thrive and resonate with the community Twitch has built over the years.

8. Vimm.TV

Vimm.TV is a video streaming service built on the HIVE blockchain which allows you to not only earn cryptocurrency via the inflation created by the HIVE blockchain but through tips. Vimm.TV is still in its formative stages, and the vast majority of streams focus on gaming and cryptocurrency.

The service also has a native token called GEMs which you can earn for streaming on the site. Vimm taps into the audience from other sites using the HIVE blockchain and is a great platform if you're looking for more control over your content or looking to earn crypto.

As for brands if you're in the gaming of fintech space, Vimm could be a dual option to stream to while you focus on YouTube or Facebook.

9. DLive

DLive has been around for a couple of years now, and in that short time it's been through several iterations from starting out on the STEEM blockchain, then pivoting to its own LINO blockchain and now it's moved to the TRON blockchain and using BitTorrent as a storage service for its live streams.

DLive is heavily gaming orientated and is very close to being a blockchain clone of Twitch. As with any blockchain site you can earn while streaming on the site as well as tipping users in cryptocurrency.

Again, streaming on DLive may not get you high numbers, but it's a dedicated audience that you may want to focus on if you're in gaming or crypto and want to stream to several platforms.

Streaming across platforms

If you're lucky enough to be a brand that has generational appeal across several interest sets, then you may want to consider streaming across several sites to get more bang for your buck. If you're a smaller player or focus on a niche, then I would suggest looking at which platforms have been most responsive to your brand messaging in the past and focus on those. You can gauge these through the various sites in-app analytics and make your decision from there. There's no point in stretching yourself too thin if you have limited resources.

Remember every live video streaming site can only go so far in helping you broadcast your event and all come with their set of pros and cons. So once you get into the streaming game don't be afraid to change platforms or cut platforms, measure your success and then double down where you get the highest engagement and views.

Have you been live streaming lately? How has it worked out for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Protip! If you're keen on doing private consultations via live stream then perhaps these platforms are more your speed.

Have a hot tip?

If you know of any video streaming tools to use to reach more people, then please feel free to drop us a comment with the details in our comment section down below. We'd be happy to review them and if it all checks out, we'll add it to our list.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on working remotely.

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