How to Set Up Live Streaming for Musicians and Singers – Complete Guide
Here’s a complete technical guide to set up your desktop or laptop to live stream as a musician or singer. The entire…Read More
Here’s a comprehensive comparison of 6 free platforms to do live streaming. We take into account namely YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and YouNow. We analyzed the differences in their most useful features online broadcasters would need such as the need for a user account to view live streams, option of using live streaming software like OBS Studio and the ability to set your live video as private or unlisted. Streaming directly from your mobile phone and scheduling are important features we also considered plus allowing viewers to views your past live stream videos.
YouTube enables you to view live videos directly without any user account or logging in. For live streamers, you have the option to stream directly using your webcam and built-in microphone or use a third party broadcasting software like OBS Studio. You can set your online stream to be private (by email invitation) or unlisted (anyone with the link can view). The negative side of YouTube is that it only allows you to stream from their app with you own a minimum of 1,000 subscribers to your channel. This criterion is not required for other streaming tools.
There is an option to schedule a live stream so that your subscribers get a notification when you are about to stream, or they can simply watch the replay as and when they want. The content on live streams must adhere to the community guidelines and terms of service. If your stream violates these rules, you will be prevented from streaming for a period of up to 3 months.
All live videos on Twitch can be viewed without a hitch – no account necessary. The only way to broadcast live is by retrieving a stream key from the site and enter it on broadcasting software like Twitch Studio or OBS Studio. There’s no simpler quick start option.
Apparently, Twitch does not support private live streams but there’s some way to get around it. But with Twitch, it is possible to stream from their app and schedule your broadcast to a later date and time. All live videos can be enabled with replays.
Facebook is trying hard to imitate YouTube, thus, now you can just type facebook.com/livemap on your browser to know who is streaming and directly watch their streams. You could use OBS Studio software on your desktop to go live or use their quick web interface.
The catch is a live stream cannot be made private or unlisted, unlike YouTube. If you’re streaming from your profile page, you could only stream to your Facebook friends. There’s no option to share the stream link to others outside your friends’ list if you stream from your profile. A Facebook page is necessary for that but generating and sharing the URL of your live stream on your Facebook page is still a bit tricky. For instance, you can only view the URL after going live. On mobile, Facebook app only allows us to go live instantly therefore you cannot schedule your online gig to a future date. Scheduling is only available from their website. Replays are always possible for all past live videos.
Unlike all the above-mentioned online broadcasting platforms, you have to log in to your Instagram account to view live streams. To start streaming directly from the app, open your Instagram account, click on the “Go Live” button and you are live! However, a professional setup using OBS Studio is not possible. Also, a live stream can’t be made private or unlisted, but you can decide on who can watch your live stream, similar to Instagram stories. The beauty of Instagram is in doing instantaneous live streams with real-time engagement with the audience. Remember to read their live comments and questions they ask and try to reply soonest you can. A live stream cannot be scheduled so you can only stream it at a particular time but there is an option for replays like other live streaming sites.
To view the live streams on Periscope, just visit the website and there is a wide range of videos on the homepage. Streaming is done from the app, so you only need to run the app and go to settings, then tap on advanced sources, click on start streaming using OBS studio and you are live. To make a stream private, click on the lock icon on the app and then you will get an invite link to share it with your friends. A live stream cannot be scheduled on Periscope, thus the streamer must go live when he wants to stream but a video can be replayed multiple times.
You may or may not heard of YouNow but they launched in 2011 as a platform dedicated to live streaming. On the website, you can find many streams to watch (assuming you already logged in) and there is an option to directly stream from the app. It supports live broadcasting with or without OBS Studio and you can schedule a stream so that your friends and subscribers know when you are going live. Replays are only available to paying fans who subscribed to your channel and each replay only stays on YouNow for 30 days if you’re a streaming partner. Otherwise, your replays will be deleted in 3 days.