Live streaming platforms have made it easier for broadcasters and publishers to reach viewers, brands to engage with customers, and communities to connect with each other. With so many platforms available, it’s important to choose one that offers the streaming quality you desire and lets you seamlessly reach your audience.
Live streaming video can be an important part of your company’s goals, whether for marketing, consumer education, or employee training. Understanding how to use live streaming also means choosing the perfect live streaming platform for you.
We’re helping make that decision a little bit easier by comparing the most popular live streaming platforms. You’ll learn:
- What a live streaming platform is
- Why your business needs a live streaming platform
- The benefits of live streaming tools
- 15 of the best live streaming providers
- Live streaming facts and stats
- Future trends
Let’s get started!
What is a live streaming platform?
A live streaming platform is an online service that distributes live videos in as close to real time as possible. Audiences can tune into fitness classes, sporting events, makeup tutorials, and more as they’re happening. These platforms make live streaming easy and affordable for broadcasters and accessible to audiences.
Live streaming platforms work by taking video footage and compressing it so it’s small enough to transmit. Then, these files are converted for output through a process called encoding. Next, the videos are segmented into smaller pieces and sent closer to viewers through content delivery networks (CDNs). CDNs cache and decode footage to make it ready for playback in as close to real time as possible.
Businesses that particularly benefit from live streaming include content creators and publishers, fitness brands and instructors, educational organizations, sports teams, faith organizations and advertisers of all types.
What are the benefits of a live streaming platform?
Live streaming platforms offer a number of benefits. By broadcasting in real time on one of these platforms you can:
- Create content that’s more engaging than videos on demand.
- Go live from anywhere in just a few seconds, and with very little equipment. You don’t need a professional camera. Instead, you can go live with just a smartphone.
- Repurpose live content for marketing and business opportunities. The best live streaming services offer replays almost instantly to extend audience engagement and let you upload the footage as a video on demand to increase its lifespan.
- Live stream for several hours. The top platforms let you stream for up to 12 hours.
- Stream to various platforms, such as web players, iOS, Android, mobile apps, and social media platforms.
- Monetize live streams with ease and circumvent ad blockers.
- Simplify workflows with user-friendly technology.
At the basic level, a live streaming platform transmits your video content in a way users can access. However, modern live streaming platforms often do a lot more than that.
Features that you might find include:
- Live captioning
- The ability to broadcast at higher qualities
- Text-based chat that allows audience communication and participation
- Monetization options such as subscriptions, pay per view, etc
- Automatic recording of live streams so they can then be posted
- The ability to collaborate and combine streams from multiple users and locations
Not all of the services, however, have all of these features and benefits. There are also some other things you need to take into account.
Best Streaming Platforms for Different Purposes
Before choosing a live video streaming solution, you should ask yourself what your goal is, as well as thinking about your budget. Knowing what kind of content you intend to stream, and to whom, can help you navigate the often confusing land of platforms.
Some questions you should ask include:
- Am I streaming to an internal audience (e.g. employee training), external audience, or both?
- Am I going to be directly charging for this content?
- Do I need accessibility features such as live captioning or audio description?
- How important is high resolution video?
- Will I be recording this content for later?
- Do I want an interactive text chat available to audience members, and if so, what features do I need it to have?
- How likely is my material to come up against content moderation, which can be an issue with some of the more public platforms?
- Do I need to simulcast my content to reach a wider audience?
- What resources do I have for learning the ins and outs of the software? Will I have video professionals available, or am I doing this myself?
- Will I need any hardware to record?
- What is my budget?
For example, if you’re posting webinars, you might not need as high a resolution as you need if you’re posting a product demonstration of your video game. If you’re planning on charging for the content, you need a platform that supports subscription and pay-per-view. If the content is entirely for internal audiences, how does the platform control the audience and keep things from leaking?
Some of these questions might change over time. For example, a small business may start off recording using a smartphone but may later upgrade to a studio setup with a mixer. If this ends up being you, will you outgrow your live streaming platform? Or perhaps your budget will increase and you will want to look at more expensive live streaming features as your company grows.
Best Streaming Platforms for Different Purposes
So, what about various scenarios? Which platforms should you use?
If You Want Maximum Control
If you want the most control over your streams then your best option, hands down, is JWP. JWP is also the best deal if you want to do both live and recorded video. It is a purpose-built solution that is trusted by some of the biggest broadcasters and publishers out there.
With JW Player you can go live from anywhere at a moment’s notice and repurpose the recording in less than a minute. You can control all of the settings and stream the video to anywhere… a mobile app, web player, an OTT app and all social media platforms. It works for 24/7 live channels too. The only downside is that it does have a bit of a learning curve to handle all of those options.
If You Want a Large External Audience
If your goal is to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible, such as for top-of-the-funnel marketing content, then you may want to use a platform that already has a built-in audience.
Three possibilities here are Twitch, YouTube Live, and TikTok LIVE. All three already have a built-in audience, with YouTube having the largest. YouTube Live videos can be automatically recorded and left up forever to continue to grow your audience. TikTok’s audience tends to skew younger, making it a great choice if you’re trying to attract youth, but perhaps not the best if your target demographic is a lot older.
The downside is that with Twitch and YouTube there is significant content moderation. Twitch, in particular, has been known to cut streams for copyright violation…when the material was being broadcast by the copyright holder! YouTube limits the video topics you can use.
Another downside to these platforms is that the free versions are monoliths with very limited features. If you’re just getting started and testing the waters of live streaming, these might be a better solution. If you’re looking for a live streaming platform with any degree of sophistication or support, you’ll need to look into a paid option or subscription service.
If You Have An Extremely Limited Budget
We get it, lots of companies have budget constraints. If you want to stream for free, your best choice is Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio. This is a completely free and open-source video platform. It doesn’t have all of the features you might get from the higher-priced platforms, but it is very easy to use and it supports multiple sources, chroma-key, webcams, etc. While it is also free to stream to certain social media channels, OBS gives you more flexibility and control.
OBS Studio also integrates well with Zoom if you want to broadcast live video into a Zoom room to a controlled audience.
The low price also makes this a great option if you only live stream occasionally and don’t want to shell out for anything specialist. However, again, it’s limited in features and as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
If You Want Text-Based Audience Participation
Integrated text chat is most useful for external audiences, as internal audiences can often use existing collaboration tools. If you want good text chat, Twitch and YouTube both work well. Vimeo has a decent integral chat, but it is somewhat limited in functionality and IBM Video Streaming’s chat function tends to fall down under a large number of comments. However, IBM Video Streaming also offers moderated Q&As, polls, and breakout rooms.
Most of the available platforms offer some kind of live chat, but the quality can vary. Also find out whether the chat will be preserved after the live session.
If You Need To Control Your Audience
If you’re streaming solely to employees or to subscribers or members, then you need to keep control over your audience. JWP is well designed for this. Dacast is also particularly secure, with geographic restrictions and subscriptions. IBM Video Streaming also allows for good internal audience security.
Brightcove has a feature some might be interested in, that is to say end-to-end encryption to prevent secure streams from being intercepted.
If You Want To Monetize
Streaming through YouTube Live, Instagram Live, or Twitch provides you with in-platform monetization options. If you want to monetize through ads and attract a large audience, these may be the best platforms.
Several of these platforms offer a paid subscription model, including Vimeo Livestream and Dacast. The latter is also easy to set up for pay-per-view and similar.
If monetization is your goal, JW Player provides monetization through VOD (video on demand) models after your video has been converted into a recording.
Choosing the best solution can be a challenge. It isn’t always the best for every company. However, if you want full control over your live video streaming and to be able to stream to any audience, at any time, from anywhere, you should consider JWP. It also has a comprehensive offering of other features for video recording and conferencing.
What Businesses Need a Live Streaming Platform?
Broadcasters immediately come to mind when live streaming platform use cases are under discussion. However, they aren’t the only entities who could benefit from live streaming platforms. The following industries have a lot to gain from this video dissemination tactic:
- Media-driven organizations
- Event organizers
- Marketing agencies and ad networks
With more and more people cutting the cord, broadcasters need to offer live streaming functionality to keep up with viewers. By offering live-streaming packages as alternatives to traditional packages, broadcasters can future-proof their businesses and meet viewers everywhere they are.
An end-to-end live streaming platform is the perfect way to scale video from ingest to delivery.
Publishers, including media companies, content creators, and influencers, can greatly benefit from live streaming. Live streaming engages audiences and gives publishers a number of ways to monetize their influence.
Social media algorithms favor videos, especially live streams. TikTok pays creators for producing popular live streams.
Live streaming platforms, like Twitch, also help creators get rewarded for attracting audiences. In fact, 70% of people donate to Twitch streamers whose content they enjoy.
Enterprises and companies can greatly benefit from utilizing live streaming (and not just Zoom). Live streaming is ideal for broadcasting in-person events, like town halls, workshops, and company-wide announcements, to employees who are unable to attend the event. Remote attendance options increase employee engagement and your event’s impact.
About 55% of companies already use live streaming to share internal information, according to a survey by Haivision.
Live streaming is ideal for sharing live events like conferences, music festivals, and sports games. Live streaming makes your event more accessible by making it available to people who aren’t physically present. With live streaming, you can share what’s going on in real time to engage viewers. This cutting-edge technology gives those tuning in at home an equitable experience to in-person attendees.
Selling access to event live streams is also a notable revenue stream. According to a survey by Livestream and New York Magazine, 45% of people would pay to watch a live stream of an entertainer or sports team they enjoy.
For retailers looking to engage audiences and sell things online, live streaming is a smart solution. Take inspiration from Amazon, who partners with influencers on QVC-style live streams in which they show off their favorite products.
For marketing agencies and ad networks, live streaming videos are a new tactic to use to get your clients’ brands out there. It’s proven that live streaming is a more engaging and effective way to market than long standing strategies.
Research shows that four in five people would rather watch a live video from a brand than read the brand’s blog, while 82% of people would rather watch a live video from a brand than see a social media post from it.
Gyms and fitness studios can live stream classes and workshops to give existing members a new way to join in and attract new customers. With live streaming, fitness brands can expand their reach without having to spend more on studio space.
And, live streaming gives fitness enthusiasts a way to participate in classes all over the world, without leaving the comfort of home.
Schools, universities, and education-focused companies can fulfill their missions while keeping students engaged by live streaming classes. Live streaming platforms transmit videos in real time to send the classroom experience anywhere.
Educational institutions can even integrate live streams into iOS and Android apps to support mobile learning and increase student access.
A hybrid model isn’t just for work. Congregations can offer both in-person and live streamed services to deepen community connections and accessibility. You can configure live streams to make them easy for community members of all ages to use. And, built-in analytics help you understand which part of services viewers found most engaging.
The 15 Best Live Streaming Platforms
We’ve rounded up the best live streaming platforms and are giving you the scoop on what they’re known for, their best features, and how they can be improved.
JWP‘s award-winning video platform provides live streaming solutions as part of its comprehensive offerings. From our central dashboard, admins can go live from anywhere in less than 30 seconds and repurpose replays in less than a minute.
What’s more, JWP gives you complete control of video player setting, low latency streaming, password-protected streams, ad-supported monetization methods, and lets you stream videos to a web player, mobile app, OTT app, and social media platforms. Broadcasters can even use the platform to host 24/7 live channels.
Deliver best video quality in up to 4K resolution to global audiences across the web, OTT devices and CTV. Additionally, engage and monetize effectively with content protection, flexible business models, and various engaging features like Live+VOD stitching and social media sharing.
- Monetization options, including pay per view, subscriptions, identity management, AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD
- Delivers 24/7 Linear Channels, event-based live streaming and VOD streaming
- Convert live streams instantly into on-demand video content
- Integrate live streams into practically any app or digital location
- Supports two formats of adaptive streaming: Apple HTTP Live Streaming and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP or MPEG-DASH
- The only platform purpose built as an end-to-end solution for any team looking to scale their video content engine
- The backend requires a bit of a learning curve
- No podcasting solutions yet
Amazon-owned Twitch is one of the best-known live streaming platforms out there. While this pioneer began as a platform for streaming video game playing, it’s becoming popular for all kinds of content.
- Built-in audience of more than 45 million active users
- Customization opportunities through API
- Reviewers applaud Twitch’s chat features and emotes as a good engagement tactic
- Strong sense of community on the platform
- Association with younger demographic and video game live streams can be limiting
- Moderation rules can get you banned for accidentally breaking terms and conditions
- Reviews cite a lack of promotional opportunities for streamers with small audiences as problematic
- Reviewers complain about dropped streams
3. Facebook Live
Facebook Live is the popular social network’s live streaming platform. Broadcasters have the option to co-stream with fellow Facebook users and make their videos available to the public or only to Facebook users. They can go live from the Facebook app, a computer, or streaming software.
- Free live video streaming platform
- Can collaborate on streams with other Facebook users
- Privacy options give you some control over your audience
- Limited capabilities to record live videos
- High-quality streaming is reserved for gamers
- Reviewers with slow internet connections complain about poor streaming quality
4. YouTube Live
With almost 3 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the most popular video platform in the world, which makes YouTube Live the biggest live streaming platform in the world. You’ll find all kinds of content being live streamed on YouTube, from live broadcasts from major media networks to videos from influencers who have made a living from their YouTube channels.
- Easy streaming with webcams or mobile devices
- Professional live streamers can connect an encoder and multiple cameras and microphones
- Brand recognition with built-in audience
- Opportunities for monetization
- Reviewers note there are limited customization options on live streams
- G2 users say there is a lack of customer support
- Reviewers complain about limitations on video topics
5. Vimeo Livestream
Vimeo’s live streaming platform makes it easy to stream to a remote team, manage subscription-based livestreams, and virtual events. With users like LinkedIn, Deloitte, and Nikon, you’re in good company.
- Multistreaming lets you broadcast to other live streaming platforms, like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, LinkedIn, and others
- Various opportunities to make money, including paid subscribers
- Dedicated phone support for live streams
- White label video player and branded apps
- Reviewers say they want more chat functionalities
- G2 users complain about a limit of three simultaneous live streams
- Reviews note customer service could be improved
Dacast boasts 15,000 clients including Kellogg’s, the Weather Channel, and Lenovo. This live streaming software comes with an encoder built in, but also gives you the option to use your own encoder.
- Secure video hosting capabilities, geographic restrictions, and video management features
- White labeled HTML5 video player that you can embed anywhere and access on all kinds of devices
- 24/7 customer support
- Live countdown to generate excitement for and interest in your streams
- Need to pay more for advanced streaming features, like pre, mid, and post-roll advertising monetization and phone support
- Reviewers say customer service is hit or miss
- G2 reviews say the user interface isn’t user friendly
7. Brightcove Live
Brightcove’s live streaming platform boasts 99.99% uptime thanks to 16 secure data centers around the world. With more than 500 million videos streamed on the platform each week, reliability is the name of Brightcove’s game.
- Monetization opportunities that include ad-blocker-proof technology
- Live analytics let you see total views, unique viewers, average view time, total viewed time, and number of ads started.
- Cloud-based DVR allows for instant replay and on-demand video capture
- End-to-end encryption for secure live streaming
- Can live stream directly to social media platforms to meet your audience where they spend the most time
- Live redundancy for a seamless streaming experience
- Not transparent about pricing
- Reviewers gripe about an outdated user interface
- G2 user says public streams are simple to execute but intranet streams are more challenging to set up
8. IBM Video Streaming
IBM’s live streaming platform is powered by Watson, IBM’s AI innovation and business solution. With clients like Airbnb, Sony, Mazda, and BBC America, IBM Video Streaming is a popular option for all kinds of industries.
- Options to stream to both external and internal audiences
- Multi-CDN streaming makes live streaming to large global audiences possible
- Multiple video conferencing features, such as moderated Q&As, polls, breakout rooms, calls to action, and chat rooms
- Customizable channel paged with live playlists and looping
- Live analytics give you insights into what your viewers like in real time
- Reviews note you can’t embed your live stream for users who aren’t logged in
- G2 user says the chat function is difficult to access and doesn’t work well when there’s a large volume of comments
- Reviewers complain about slow buffering and crashing streams
9. TikTok LIVE
Mobile social media platform TikTok is known for viral, short form videos based on dances and trending music. Beyond posting videos, content creators can live stream to engage with audiences in new ways. Like with regular TikTok videos, creators can access all of TikTok’s fun filters and effects. Creators need to be at least 18 years old to go live.
- Built-in distribution opportunities bolstered by the potential to go viral
- Monetization opportunities through Diamonds, TikTok’s currency
- Can add up to 20 moderators to a TikTok LIVE stream
- Can connect to an encoder for better quality video files
- Restrictions on who can go live
- Reach limited to TikTok’s audience, which skews younger
10. OBS Studio
OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio is a free open-source live streaming platform. What it lacks in features it makes up for in ease of use and pricing. Users can broadcast using OBS Studio with support for multi-camera and audio sources, overlays, chroma-key (green screens), webcams, and capture cards.
- Easy to use
- Open-source community of plugins and support
- Supports Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems
- Some users on TrustRadius complain about the limited interface customization
- Some users on TrustRadius mention a glitchy backend and occasional software crashes
11. LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn is the go-to social media platform for professional networking. LinkedIn Live lets its users live stream to other platform members. Publishers can use LinkedIn Live’s preset live capabilities or use a third-party broadcast service to manage their streams. All live streams are available to the public and are recorded.
- Opportunity to use turn key solution or connect an encoder service
- Can schedule live streams and promote them
- Videos available for playback after the live event has ended
- Need to be evaluated for LinkedIn Live access before you can take advantage of the platform. In order to be evaluated, you must have at least 150 connections or followers, follow LinkedIn’s policies, and be located outside of China.
Restream is a versatile, browser-based multistreaming platform that enables users to create captivating live videos and stream them to any platform accepting RTMP streaming. Its impressive features include a multi-platform live chat, analytics, live shopping integrations, social media sharing, customization options and plenty more.
- Supports over 30 platforms
- Free plan available
- Reviewers have noticed connectivity issues
StreamShark is a live streaming platform catering to both consumers and enterprises. With a focus on global video stream delivery, they ensure a seamless viewing experience for large-scale events. Their live event platform excels in efficiently managing all aspects of live streams, offering a multi-vendor approach and HLS ingests for maximum reach.
- Responsive customer support team
- Okta SSO integration
- Great live support model
- Reviewers on TrustRadius would like to see variable bit rate encoding
- Users may find StreamShark more focused on live events
Advertised as an affordable solution, Resi offers an array of live streaming software and hardware options. Live stream hosting, simulcasting, and encoding technology are just some of their notable features.
- Reliable product and service
- Wide selection of advanced features
- Regular updates of the UI
- Most G2 users complained about the high price point
15. Instagram Live
Instagram is a platform where consumers and businesses can share short, shareable clips with their platforms. For businesses, Instagram Live is particularly useful for previewing online video on their websites or apps and using CTAs to direct users to products. It’s especially popular among eCommerce businesses due to its integration of shoppable and product links in stories, reels, and live broadcasts.
- Free to download and use
- Option to save your live video after the stream ends
- Live shopping feature
- Live videos show up first in the Stories section for maximum boost
- Limited streaming time
Tips for Live Internet Broadcasting
Whether you’re a content creator, business professional, educator, or just passionate about reaching a wider audience, mastering the art of live streaming can open up a world of possibilities. We have compiled a set of essential tips that will elevate your streaming game and leave a lasting impact.
- Prepare and plan ahead: Invest time in planning your broadcast before going live. Outline your content, set clear objectives, and create a well-structured script. Anticipate potential challenges and have backup plans in place to ensure a smooth streaming experience.
- Invest in quality equipment: The quality of your live stream heavily depends on the equipment you use. Invest in a reliable camera, microphone, and lighting setup to enhance the production value. A crisp presentation will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
- Test your Internet connection: A stable Internet connection is crucial for uninterrupted live streaming. Perform a test run before going live to gauge your bandwidth. Consider using an ethernet cable for a more stable connection, especially if you’re streaming from a location with a weak Wi-Fi signal.
- Engage with your audience: Interact with your viewers throughout the live broadcast to create a sense of community. Acknowledge comments, answer questions, and encourage viewers to participate.
- Promote your broadcast: Building anticipation for your live internet broadcast is essential for maximizing viewership. Promote your upcoming stream across social media platforms, websites, and mailing lists. Leverage influencers or collaborate with other content creators to expand your reach.
- Test run before the live broadcast: Run a test stream before the actual broadcast to fine-tune your setup and familiarize yourself with the broadcasting tools. This rehearsal will help you identify technical issues in advance and ensure a polished performance when you go live.
- Create compelling titles and thumbnails: Your broadcast’s title and thumbnail are the first things viewers will see, so make them attention-grabbing. Clearly convey the essence of your content and use eye-catching visuals to entice your audience.
- Monitor analytics and feedback: After each live stream, review analytics and gather feedback to gain insights into viewer engagement and preferences. Learn from each broadcast to continuously improve your content and delivery.
- Maintain a consistent schedule: Consistency is key to building an audience. Set a regular streaming schedule that your viewers can anticipate and rely on.
Fascinating Live Streaming Facts and Statistics
In today’s digital age, live streaming has become a dominant force, reshaping how we consume content, connect with others, and experience live events. To shed light on the profound impact of live streaming, we present a collection of live streaming facts and stats.
1. Smart TVs were the dominant device for streaming content globally in 2022.
According to data from the second quarter of 2022, smart TVs emerged as the go-to device for streaming content, accounting for 35% of the total viewing time.
Notably, in LATAM, this trend was even more pronounced, with a substantial 43.3% of viewing time dedicated to smart TVs.
Connected TV devices take the second place as the preferred streaming method, with 34.6% of the total viewing time. The least favorite devices for streaming live content were gaming consoles with 6.8% of the total viewing time globally and tablets with 4.8%.
2. 28.5% of global internet users watched live streaming content weekly in Q4 2022.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, live streaming gathered an audience reach of almost 29% among internet users worldwide. This represents a slight decline of 1.2% since the last quarter.
Despite the small decrease in reach, live TV remains one of the most widely consumed types of online content for both entertainment and practical purposes in recent years.
3. YouTube Live was the most popular live stream platform among U.S. viewers aged 18-34.
In October 2022, a survey revealed that among U.S. live stream viewers aged 18-34, 37% opted for YouTube Live as their primary platform for watching live stream video content.
Facebook Live comes close as the second-most favored platform for streaming videos, chosen by 28% of viewers in the same demographic group.
4. 47% of gamers in the U.S. preferred to watch live streams on Twitch.
As of February 2021, Twitch was the favorite live streaming platform among U.S. gamers. However, YouTube and Facebook Gaming were also popular choices, with 40% and 16% of gamers choosing them, respectively.
5. 29% of U.S. viewers watched live streams of sports games as of April 2021.
Per a 2021 survey, 37% of monthly live stream viewers in the United States tuned in to watch streams of breaking news, making it the most popular category. Following behind, comedy live streams secured the second spot with a 31% watch rate among U.S. audiences.
6. The ad-free version of Netflix was the top video streaming platform in the U.S. in 2022.
Based on a 2022 survey, 47% of all adult respondents used Netflix’s ad-free version in the month before the survey.
Among Gen Z adults, around three in four consumers favored Netflix’s SVOD plan for watching TV shows or other content. While Hulu with ads ranked second among this generation (52%), Amazon Prime Video took the second spot among all adults surveyed (47%).
Here’s the share of adults who favored some of the other best streaming services:
- Disney+ ad-free – 31% of adults
- Peacock (free with ads) – 34% of adults
- Paramount+ ad-free – 25% of adults
- Apple TV+ – 20% of adults
The Future of Live Broadcasting
From the early days of Netflix paving the way for on-demand content, to the rise of other giants like HBO Max, Hulu, or Disney+, the streaming industry has disrupted traditional television and cinema.
As we gaze into the future, it becomes evident that the evolution of video streaming services and apps will continue to shape the entertainment landscape.
Ubiquitous Content Accessibility
In the future, video streaming services and apps will become even more accessible and omnipresent. With the growing penetration of high-speed internet and smart devices, users will enjoy seamless access to streaming content on multiple screens.
Traditional cable subscriptions will likely decline further, as consumer increasingly opt for a combination of on-demand streaming services and tv channels tailored to their preferences.
Moreover, emerging markets will witness a surge in streaming adoption, as affordable smartphones and expanding internet connectivity bridge the digital divide. Original content from various cultures and regions will gain prominence, leading to a more diverse and inclusive entertainment landscape.
Hyper-Personalization and AI-Driven Recommendations
As streaming platforms gather vast amount of user data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms will play a pivotal role in delivering custom content recommendations. These systems will analyze viewing habits, preferences, and behavior to curate hyper-personalized content playlists, fostering a more engaging and satisfying user experience.
Beyond personalized recommendations, AI will enable real-time content adaptations, allowing viewers to customize storylines or character arcs based on their choices. Interactive storytelling experiences, where users influence the direction of a narrative, will become more prevalent, blurring the lines between traditional entertainment and gaming.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Integration
The future of video streaming services will be marked by the integration of AR and VR technologies. AR-enhanced streaming apps will enable users to overlay interactive elements onto their real-world environment, enriching the viewing experience.
Furthermore, VR integration will take immersion to new heights, allowing users to step into virtual environments and participate in events as if they were physically present. This technology will have significant implications for live concerts, sporting events, and other forms of interactive entertainment. Just imagine being able to step into your favorite Marvel movie or even an NFL match!
Original Content Wars and Fragmentation
The competition for original content will intensify in the future, leading to what some experts call the “streaming wars”. Industry giants like CBS, Discovery, ESPN or Fox, and even individual creators will invest heavily in producing high-quality content to attract and retain viewers. This intense competition may lead to some degree of fragmentation, where users will need multiple subscriptions to access their favorite TV shows and movies.
However, as fragmentation increases, so will demand for aggregation services that bundle multiple streaming platforms into a single interface. Companies offering these services will become essential players in the streaming ecosystem, ensuring convenience and cost-effectiveness for consumers.
Increased Popularity of FAST Channels
The television landscape has witnessed a remarkable shift as more viewers embrace streaming platforms, leading to the rise of Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) channels.
FAST channels are internet-based TV channels that offer a wide range of content without subscription fees, relying instead on advertising to generate revenue. These channels seamlessly integrate short 15-30 second ads into their programming, making them an attractive option for viewers seeking a cost-effective alternative to traditional cable or satellite TV services.
With the cord-cutting trend gaining momentum, viewers find FAST channels to be an enticing blend of free streaming benefits and the familiarity of linear TV. Moreover, their diverse content offerings, spanning live TV, news, sports, movies, and TV shows, serve to various tastes and preferences. Some well-known FAST streaming channels include Pluto TV, Tubi, Xumo, IMDb TV, and Crackle, accessible through popular streaming websites such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and other add-ons and apps.
Advertising in FAST channels follows a structure similar to traditional linear television, with strategically placed ad breaks containing multiple ads. The perks lie in targeted advertising, where streaming platforms leverage user data to deliver ads that resonate better with individual viewers, increasing engagement and potential conversions for advertisers. FAST channels often employ programmatic advertising, streamlining the ad buying and selling process in real time auctions, ensuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, advertisers may collaborate with FAST channels to make sponsored content, integrating brand messages into the viewing experience. With digital analytics and tracking tools, advertisers can accurately measure ad performance, assessing metrics like impressions, viewability, and click-through rates, enabling data-driven decisions for future ad placements.
JWP’s partnership with Bitcentral enables you to effortlessly generate and distribute FAST channels across multiple distribution platforms or seamlessly integrate them into your applications. These channels can consist of VOD assets skillfully stitched together, providing a simulated live stream experience, pre-scheduled live programming, or real-time coverage of breaking events.
Wrapping up: Best live streaming platforms for 2023
As you can see, you have lots of options when it comes to platforms for live streaming. If you want to engage audiences in new ways, share experiences in real time, and monetize your content, live streaming can help you achieve those goals. We hope our guide to live streaming platforms will help you find the best fit for your needs.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one video platform that comes with top-of-the-line live streaming capabilities, JW Player may be the solution for you. Learn more today.