Live streaming on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are useful ways to live stream quickly and cheaply or when you want to go live without any kind of audience restrictions. With live streams, presenters can generate the excitement of broadcasting events in real-time. However, there are drawbacks to using public platforms for every event. Private streaming is an alternative that has benefits such as greater security and privacy settings.
The Growth of Live Streaming
Live streaming has become a mainstay for business, entertainment, educational, and other organizations with a need to share timely information, communicate across distances and devices, and engage with viewers. According to DemandSage, the global live streaming market size is projected to rise from $1.49 billion in 2023 to $184 billion by 2027.
People are now accustomed to watching music, speakers, news stories, and sporting events on various live streaming platforms. A live stream lets you connect and share in real-time. However, for many organizations, using public platforms is not the ideal solution. There are many reasons to consider using a private streaming platform instead.
The Advantages of Private Streaming
While it’s simple to stream on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other public video platform streaming services, there are several reasons you may want to consider private streaming instead.
- Enhanced security: Anyone can access your live streaming video on public platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live or Vimeo. Not only can they view your content but they can potentially share and download it. While you can take measures to confine an event to approved viewers, on public sites there’s always a chance unwanted guests will participate. Trolls or spammers can ruin an event and harm your credibility.
For any company or organization that deals with sensitive information, whether this is personal, financial, or related to proprietary technology or data, public streaming is risky. A private stream greatly enhances the privacy and security of a streaming event.
These private streaming platforms come equipped with powerful security features such as password protection, encryption, and IP restrictions. These ensure that your video content remains accessible only to viewers with permission, making it ideal for sensitive or confidential material.
- Convenient for interacting with small groups: For a business meeting or any group discussion, private live streaming makes it easy to get everyone together at the same time. Private live streams enable real-time interaction, making it easier for team members, clients or participants to communicate and share ideas.
- Remote business meetings: More businesses are hiring remote employees as well as independent contractors. Business meetings with partners, investors, and other stakeholders in different parts of the world are also very common. A private live stream is a convenient way to hold a secure online meeting with people anywhere.
- Social engagement: Live broadcasting is also useful for more casual purposes such as group discussions or creative brainstorming sessions. It can be a way for social media platform groups, college alumni, streamers, and military reunions to connect. Private live streaming lets everyone get together at the same time and clearly see and hear one another.
- Flexible monetization: Private streaming platforms offer a big number of options to generate revenue from video content, something that is very important for business and content creators.
Ad-Free Experience: Private video platforms allow you to provide an ad-free experience, something that many viewers prefer. By getting rid of intrusive ads, you can improve the viewer experience and potentially charge higher subscription fees.
Monetization Models: Private streaming platforms allow for monetization models, including pay-per-view, subscription-based access and one-time purchases. This flexibility makes it possible to monetize content through various business models and revenue streams.
- Provides a way for event monetization: Private streaming platforms provide a strategic way for monetizing virtual events, whether they are free or paid. This flexibility is particularly valuable for content creators, event organizers, and businesses looking to generate revenue from live or pre-recorded videos.
Paid Events: For events where participants are charged a fee, private streaming platforms offer ticketing and access control features. This means whether it’s for a concert, sporting event, conference, or an exclusive workshop, you can limit attendance to those who have purchased tickets only.
Free Events: Even for free live video or pre-recorded video events, such as social gatherings or promotional activities, private streaming platforms allow you to control access and gather valuable insights about your audience, which data can then inform future engagement strategies.
- Customizable branding: Crafting and maintaining a consistent brand identity is a major part of a successful brand. Private streaming solutions give you that power with the customization functionality, allowing you to create a stream that fits perfectly with your brand.
Embed and API Integration: Private streaming platforms often provide easy embed options and APIs, making sure there is a smooth integration of your video content into your website or application. This feature provides you a consistent user experience and enables effortless content delivery across multiple platforms.
- High-quality streams: The quality of your video content can seriously impact viewer engagement. Typically, private streaming platforms offer adaptive streaming capabilities, making sure that eve non-low latency viewers receive the best quality based on the speed of their internet connection, which minimizes buffering issues and maximizes viewer satisfaction.
Content Delivery Network (CDN): To efficiently distribute your content to viewers worldwide regardless of where they are located, private platforms often integrate with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). This global reach is crucial for content creators and businesses who have a global audience.
Who Can Use Private Streaming?
Private streaming is useful for a number of purposes, including the following.
- Concerts, sporting events, festivals, and other entertainment.
- Private events for family or friends such as parties, weddings, or holiday celebrations.
- Company events such as meetings or training sessions.
- Webinars –Both free and paid webinars are a popular way to share information and sell or pre-sell products and services.
- Conferences – Industry events such as business conferences can reach a wider audience if broadcast live.
- Online classes – Classes that are open to the public or limited to a particular organization can be conducted via live streaming. A popular model used by many businesses is SVOD (subscription video on demand) online courses where subscribers access new courses or lessons on an ongoing basis.
- News broadcasting and sharing information. You can share the latest news that’s relevant to your industry or niche. Live streaming makes it possible to deliver on-location news in real-time.
How to Start a Private Live Stream
As with any type of event, proper planning is essential for success. Here are the steps to follow for a private streaming event.
Create a Plan
Depending on your goals, you’ll have to create either a casual or structured plan. For social events, where you just want to capture the mood of the event, the only planning is knowing where and when to set up. For business and professional type events, you’ll want a more formal structure.
- Set the topic or topics for your private streaming event.
- Schedule – For some events, such as classes or conferences, there will be a set amount of time for each presentation, class, or topic.
- Location – There may be one or more locations. At a larger conference, for example, you may need to broadcast from different rooms or possibly outdoor locations.
Identify Your Audience
Decide who will be attending the event.
- Who will you invite to the live stream? There may be two or more categories of attendees, such as lecturers and audience members.
- How will they access the event? You’ll need to provide instructions on what is needed, such as a link or software.
- Will users need to pay to attend? If so, payment options must be included with the invitation.
Promote the Live Stream
If it’s a small event, you can simply call or email people. If you want to attract a larger audience, you’ll have to do some promoting. Ways to promote may include:
- Social media, which could be group posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, tweets, or paid ads for attracting a larger audience.
- Internal channels such as intra-office email, Slack, or any other chat or communication software you use.
- Website – Aside from posting about the event, you could create a popup to attract more attention.
- Industry or trade publications – For a conference, the event can be mentioned in a specialized online or print magazine or journal.
- Press releases
- Other channels – videos, podcasts, guest blog posts, interviews, or any other channels and platforms on which your organization is active.
Put a Team Together
Depending on the size and scale of the live streaming event, you will need to create an appropriate team to handle various tasks. Assign roles to everyone involved, which might include technical tasks such as cameras, sound, lighting, promotion, or processing payments.
Choosing the Right Private Live Streaming Service
There are many options for private live streaming. Make sure you choose a service that is a good match for your needs and goals. Here are some points to keep in mind when comparing your options.
You have to stay within your budget. Look for a service that’s affordable and that preferably offers several plans or custom pricing that meets your needs. You don’t want to pay for services you aren’t using or find that the plan doesn’t allow for the number of broadcasts you want to schedule.
The service should ideally offer 24/7 support, especially if attendees are from different time zones. If you have a question or experience a problem during a live streaming event, you want to be sure you can contact someone promptly.
Make sure the service you choose is able to provide the features and quality you want for your broadcasts.
- DVR – Digital video recording (DVR) technology allows viewers to record, playback, and pause live streams. Many viewers will want to review the broadcast later or find parts they may have missed.
- Repurposing – Once you create the live stream, you can get even more leverage out of it by repurposing it. That’s why you should use a service that lets you convert a live streaming experience into VOD (video on demand) content. You can then repurpose it as a video or podcast.
- Flexible and Scalable – Whether you are live streaming conferences, online classes, sports or entertainment events, or anything else, you should use a platform that lets you reach viewers in many locations using a variety of devices. You also want a service that lets you scale your production as your audience grows. Some features to look for include:
- The ability to stream 24/7 – Reach audiences across devices including CTV, OTT devices, and the web.
- High-quality video streaming that delivers broadcast quality to help you build a professional reputation.
- Strong analytics tools. Tracking your results lets you learn more about your audience and the kind of content they prefer. Use a service that provides detailed analytics such as viewing time, how your content performs on different devices, and identify points of viewer churn.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: Make sure the platform you choose works well on various devices and operating systems because you want your audience to be able to access your content without problems.
As security is one of the primary advantages of private streaming, make sure you choose a service that takes this issue seriously.
- Password Protection: The first level of security is password protection to ensure that only approved users with a password can access your stream. You set a password and share it with participants upon registration or payment. For optimal security, change the password for each new live streaming event or at least every month.
- Restricting usage by geography or domains: If your event is local, or confined to a certain country, it’s helpful to set restrictions that whitelist IP addresses based on country. Domain restriction lets you limit access to specific domains.
- Payment Security: For live streams that are monetized, you need a way to ensure secure payments. Look for a service that offers strong paywall features such as SSL encryption.
The 10 Best Private Streaming Platforms
Since privacy, security, and exclusive access have taken center stage, the demand for platforms offering a more intimate streaming experience has been on the rise. The search for the best private streaming software is of the utmost importance for businesses seeking to protect their content and tailor their streaming experiences to a select audience. Let’s take a closer look at the top ten private streaming platforms that are redefining the way we share videos and consume content.
1. JW Player
JW Player is a complete video platform with all the built-in features you need to upload, host, organize, deliver, and monetize your video content. We use a multi-CDN approach with POPs in 130+ countries to ensure top-notch performance and buffer-free streaming regardless of where your audience consumes your content.
With JW Player, you can securely deliver and monetize premium content with security options such as studio-approved DRM, which you can deploy along with the JWP Platform or as a standalone DRM offering for Broadcasters, geo-blocking, URL token signing and more. With encoding and transcoding, we’ll make your uploads optimal for playback across devices, locations, and bandwidths—and you can even RTMP simulcast to multiple social media networks.
Studio DRM is integrated with JWP web, iOS, Android, and CTV SDKs or can be easily used with other 3rd party players and Connected STBs. Additionally, JWP’s in-house NOC team monitors the Studio DRM platform to ensure stable, consistent and high quality streaming 24/7. Studio DRM uses Kubernetes’ container orchestration system on AWS in a multi-region setup, providing increased monitoring, scalability, high availability and fault tolerance of all your premium content.
Our comprehensive live streaming solution enables you to monetize audiences across devices and platforms with comprehensive content protection and flexible monetization models like SVOD, TVOD and AVOD. You can customize the player to create a branded and cohesive viewing experience across web players, mobile devices (Android and iOS), OTT apps, social media platforms, and smart TV applications.
- Monetize through AVOD, SVOD, or TVOD
- Affordable solution for startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses
- Multi DRM integration and flexible deployment
- Robust APIs and SDKs
- Flexible customization options
- Setup takes a bit of a learning curve
- No audio-only or podcasting solutions
Wistia is another marketing-focused live video streaming service, but it emphasizes customization and player branding more. You can personalize practically every player element to give it an on-brand experience wherever you deliver your premium content, whether on a mobile application or a webpage.
The platform provides top-notch analytics and audience data, empowering you to better target your users and create better-performing content, thumbnails, and calls to action (CTAs). Wistia even provides A/B testing features to optimize your videos for improved engagement.
The video hosting platform also includes podcast hosting, allowing you to publish audio-only content on your platform. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for video and podcast streaming, Wistia is one of your best options.
- Provides podcast hosting
- Advanced customization features
- A/B testing functionality
- Some users on G2 complained about Wistia’s high pricing
- Users want Wistia to add more integrations with third-party applications
Brightcove is an enterprise-quality platform that specializes in advertising and marketing content. It provides encoding, live streaming, video on demand, and integrations for delivering your content on websites and applications. It has an excellent reputation for being user-friendly and easy to set up, and most users love its organizational tools.
Brightcove is one of the oldest on-demand video platforms, giving it plenty of time to polish its features and offerings. The platform provides robust advertising tools and excellent user engagement analytics. It also empowers you to engage your audience with interactive experiences like in-video quizzes, shopping, and adventure paths.
- Strong user engagement analytics
- Reliable performance and security
- Easy to use
- May be overkill for smaller projects
- Premium pricing
- Users on G2 complained about the dated user interface
- Some users on G2 complained about Brightcove’s processing time
Kaltura is an open-source private live streaming platform that specializes in hosting and delivering educational content. Users get access to learning features like lecture capture, campus portal, virtual classrooms, and webinar sessions. It integrates with your CMS to simplify organizing your classes and seminars into easy-to-navigate courses and playlists.
Businesses can customize their video player’s branding, colors, and on-screen features for a truly tailor-made experience. A strong developer community has also loaded the platform with custom integrations and add-on features, letting you build a video solution to satisfy your audience’s needs.
However, all this flexibility and open-source roots come with a price. Kaltura can be difficult to set up, and you’ll likely need extensive developer resources to build the exact experience you want.
- Educational engagement tools and features
- Open-sourced solution
- Engaged developer community
- Rich personalization options
- Requires technical expertise for setup and maintenance
- Can be resource-intensive
- Many users on G2 complained about Kaltura’s complexities and learning curve
- Some users on G2 found that Kaltura doesn’t perform well on tablets
Vimeo is a well-rounded platform for hosting a variety of content. You can use it for repurposing webinars or video hosting marketing content, or you can lock your content behind a subscription model to monetize entertainment or educational videos. Vimeo has a relatively simple and easy-to-use CMS that works great for small creators, but it doesn’t provide all the advanced features and functionality that larger businesses and video companies need.
Vimeo’s platform has a massive user base, which can help new users discover your brand. It also gives you more control over your player’s branding than other platforms like YouTube.
- Free tier
- Access to a larger audience
- Customization of the video player’s branding
- SVOD and TVOD monetization options
- A few users on G2 complained about the outdated live-streaming features
- Some users found Vimeo’s tools to be unintuitive
Uscreen is an end-to-end platform with all the built-in features you need to upload, deliver, and monetize your content. The APIs let you customize the player to your branding, and community engagement features let your users build avatars and profiles for live chat and commenting capabilities.
While Uscreen focuses on the learning community, its solution also works perfectly for the fitness, faith, and entertainment industries. The CMS works perfectly to update videos across applications and webpages, and comprehensive analytics give you detailed insights into user engagement.
Uscreen provides plenty of monetization opportunities. You can use subscriptions, lifetime access, rentals, and pay-per-view pricing options to monetize your video content.
- End-to-end VOD platform
- Extensive APIs and customization options
- Rich monetization options
- Some features may require additional costs
- Some users on G2 wish the platform was more user-friendly
- A few users on G2 commented that they want to see more third-party integrations
Muvi’s customizable private streaming platform provides a comprehensive white-label experience for your videos, giving you a domain name and personalized player branding. Muvi also provides an audio-only streaming option, making it a great platform for building a podcast or offering music streaming options.
Muvi’s primary competitive offering is ease of use. It’s a turnkey solution that’s quick and simple to get up and running, especially for businesses brand-new to video platforms or those that lack developer resources.
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t require technical know-how
- Comprehensive white-label product
- Fast deployment
- Pricing structure may not suit all budgets
- A few users on G2 wish Muvi provided more pre-built templates
- Some users on G2 complained that the free trial doesn’t offer enough features to test the platform
IBM Cloud Video provides a live streaming and video on demand content platform. It’s an enterprise solution built for live streaming video campaigns to generate sales and leads. It has built-in features for various monetization models, including advertisements.
IBM Cloud Video uses artificial intelligence to generate real-time transcriptions immediately available for indexing. The company has strong technical support for helping businesses set up their platform for long-term success and day-to-day troubleshooting issues.
- AI-generated transcriptions
- Strong technical customer support
- Robust live-streaming features
- Some users on G2 complained about the expensive pricing
- A few users on G2 complained about slow download speed
Dacast provides live and on-demand private streaming solutions for various industries. It provides professional-level broadcasting with top-notch delivery and performance. Dacast uses a robust CDN network to reliably deliver content around the globe, ensuring smooth playback regardless of where your audience lives.
Dacast also provides live-streaming functionality, adaptive bitrate streaming, and comprehensive analytics. You can monetize your content with AVOD, SVOD, or TVOD models and use the platform’s APIs to build video content into practically any application or webpage. The platform has an excellent reputation for providing 24/7 technical support.
- Extensive CDN network
- 24/7 technical support
- AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD monetization
- Limited marketing features
- Some users on G2 had an issue with Dacast’s APIs
- A few users on G2 complained about bandwidth and streaming problems
Vplayed offers private streaming solutions with a focus on security, scalability, monetization models, and customization options. Businesses can personalize just about every aspect of the video player, and the platform provides audio-only and video content solutions. VPlayed’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) player uses multi-bitrate technology to boost video performance and quality.
The platform provides top-notch security with leading DRM practices and AES encryption. VPlayed’s CMS allows you to upload unlimited videos at any time with encoding to provide excellent playback regardless of your audience’s bandwidth. VPlayed boasts six different video monetization offerings and has several third-party integrations for connecting with your analytics and CRM tools.
- High-end security features
- Customizable player
- High-performance HLS player
- Six different monetization offerings
- Not as user-friendly for non-technical users
- Users on SaaSworthy complained about minor glitches
- Users on SaaSworthy want the pricing to be more transparent
JW Player: The Perfect Private Live Streaming Tool for a Connected World
In a world that is increasingly dominated by digital technology, private live streaming offers a convenient and secure way to connect and share information. In order to get the most out of this technology, it’s necessary to choose a streaming service that meets your needs and budget.
JW Player with its robust security, privacy and monetization features is the perfect tool for private live streams. Ideal for safeguarding premium content with its flexible deployment, our full and scalable solution delivers your content just the way you want it to when that webcam turns on.
If you want to know how JW Player can help your business, book a meeting with our sales team and ask our video experts all your questions.