It’s no secret that the live streaming industry has seen an incredible amount of growth in the last few years. Platforms such as Twitch and YouTube have been leading the charge for live streams, with the viewer numbers rising every month. It should be noted that the majority of the content you can find on these streaming platforms relates to video games. Although you can find other types of content, If you haven’t dipped your toe into the live streaming space or are looking for more fun content, you should definitely be checking out the following streaming platforms.
But first of all, for the uninitiated, what is a live streaming platform?
What is a live streaming platform?
As the name suggests, these live streaming platforms offer video hosting to channels that are able to broadcast live video content to their viewers. The live streaming channels may be from a business promoting a new product, a government body streaming a press conference, or an individual streaming the latest Call of Duty game from their Playstation.
Now let’s have a look at some of the top platforms that exist today.
You’ve probably heard of Twitch before, and if you haven’t, where have you been the past couple of years? Twitch is a primarily gaming-focused live streaming platform where some of the world’s top streamers broadcast live each week.
Plus you can watch live streams directly from your gaming console or your PC. You can easily create a free account and start watching live streams within seconds. If you’re a fan of a particular streamer, you can subscribe to their channel, offer bits or even give them a donation amount of your choosing.
A quick glance at the home page will show you that streamers have been getting very creative with their content and Twitch overlays. With competition becoming more intense on the platform, you’ll see all sorts of crazy and interesting live stream setups attempting to bring more viewers to their channels. Thanks to the availability of free animated stream overlays, it’s never been easier to set up a Twitch channel and start doing some streaming of your own!
The video juggernaut YouTube has also joined the live streaming space and can be a useful accompaniment to Youtubers already creating regular videos on the platform. Thanks to being backed by Google, the level of analytics that creators have access to makes this a valuable tool for streamers. Plus, thanks to the millions of people watching YouTube every day, there are more chances of growing your audience.
If you’re on the other side of the fence and are just a viewer, the chat system and other interactive elements of the stream make watching live streams on YouTube a seriously fun time. Similar to Twitch, viewers can subscribe and leave donations on these live streaming channels.
Facebook Live and Facebook Gaming in particular are where you can find interesting live streams from content creators across the globe. The live functionality on Facebook can be used for all sorts of live streaming purposes, but if you are after gaming content, head over to Facebook Gaming to get your fix. Like YouTube, there’s a huge potential audience on Facebook but bear in mind that there may be less live streams to choose from when compared to YouTube and Twitch.
The Facebook Gaming part of the website is still growing, so if you are a budding streamer yourself, you might want to think about setting up a channel while the competition isn’t so intense.
Another highly popular live streaming option to check out is on Instagram. Many creators use the live functionality on Instagram to react to and engage with their viewers and fans. We’ve seen the power of video over the past few years and using Instagram Live gives you access to a huge global audience.
If you’re looking for a more business focussed live streaming platform, then LinkedIn is a more appropriate choice. Although the live streaming tool on the platform hasn’t exactly taken off, these live videos are still a great opportunity to get more engagement on your content.
This is the perfect place to live-stream some educational content to an audience who are always looking to better themselves and learn more every day. You’ll also benefit from the analytics on LinkedIn, so you can identify ways to improve your content and create more engagement.
It should be noted though, if you’re hoping to make your live streaming efforts a profitable venture, LinkedIn Live does not currently have any monetisation options.
As another social media powerhouse, we probably don’t need to explain to you how Twitter works. The Twitter Live platform has an investment in on-demand and live video partnerships, which showcases their commitment to the live streaming space.
You also have the ability to monetise your live videos on the platform and have the potential to reach a huge number of active viewers.
Making Your Stream Shine
One of the ways that you’ll see many streamers add a level of professionalism to their streams is through overlays and other graphic elements. Even if you can’t develop your own custom graphics, you can simply use a stream overlays template.
Many streamers use a program called OBS to help set up their stream and organise how everything will look before they hit the broadcast button.
Be sure to check out these live streaming platforms if you’re on the hunt for more video content, or if you’re a streamer yourself, have a go at creating your own channel! Best of luck!