Streaming Platforms Guide

When it comes to live video streaming for professional use, there is so much to know. However, since a top professional-grade live streaming platform is a very powerful broadcasting tool that solution providers update regularly, it is difficult to find reviews and comparisons that include all the information you need.

For new broadcasters looking to get in the streaming game, it can be challenging to objectively assess the best platform for live streaming. We’ve put together a review of 5 of the best live streaming platforms for professional broadcasters. The purpose of this comparison is to help you make a well-informed decision on the top streaming platform to use for your broadcasting needs.

We will discuss what exactly a live streaming platform is, the top features to consider when comparing for business and professional organizations, as well as review the best streaming platforms and pricing for 2022 and beyond: 

Let’s get started!


What is a Live Streaming Platform?

Live streaming platforms are video hosting solutions that allow users to broadcast live and recorded video content to their audience. 

Businesses use online video platforms to share videos for the purpose of lead generation, building brand awareness, advertising, and providing paid access to video streaming. When deciding on what platform to stream on, you’ll find some are better than others, depending on your brand’s goals.

For example, one of the most popular live streaming sites that most people are familiar with is Facebook Live. Still, despite being very popular, it has many limitations for businesses wanting more control over their live stream experience.


Live Streaming Statistics 

Many businesses are using live streaming platforms to reach their audience in a way that is both engaging and entertaining.

Let’s review a few live streaming statistics that truly demonstrate the growing value of the online video streaming industry:

  • Experts predict that the live streaming industry will be worth $187.4 billion by the year 2027.
  • Multistreaming will be big in 2022, with many multistreaming platforms already available to stream to multiple sources.
  • Using video for marketing can help businesses increase revenue by 49%
  • Landing pages that use video content tend to drive at least 80% more conversions.
  • Live streaming content hold viewers’ attention for 10-20x longer than video-on-demand (VOD) content.
  • Online video is currently used by 86% of businesses for marketing purposes.


Features to Consider When Comparing Streaming Platforms 

When deciding on what the best video streaming service is for you, there’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. That means that features that are valuable to you may not be valuable to another broadcaster, and vice versa.

Here are a few key features to look for when selecting a streaming platform:

  • Professional video hosting services. 
  • Secure video streaming solutions.
  • A top-tier content delivery network (CDN) for professional live streaming quality.
  • RTMP (Real-tme messaging protocol) ingest, playback, and streaming support.
  • A video player with monatization capabilities.
  • Product API's for enhanced content management.
  • Mobile streaming applications support and an SDK for integration on iOS and Android.
  • Video editing and embedding tools. 
  • Cloud video encoding and transcoding for live or VOD content. 
  • Encoding software for live video delivery.
  • Pricing plans: does the live streaming service provider have a plan for your broadcasting needs?

In order to determine which features are the most valuable in a live streaming video service, you should identify the goals you’d like to reach with online video broadcasting. Once you’ve got your list of goals, determine which features you need to bring those goals to fruition, and choose your live platform for video streaming based on those tools.


Live Streaming Technology Compatibility

As you compare the best live streaming platforms for you, it is important to consider compatibility with other live streaming technology. For example, encoders play a big role in the live streaming process, and if you’re going to want to use affordable RTMP encoders, you need to see if your platform supports RTMP ingest.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are several new streaming protocols that are on the horizon, including SRT and WebRTC. These protocols have different functions, but the commonality is that they support higher-quality live streaming. Since they are still developing, they are not widely supported yet.

For example, WebRTC is specifically designed for real-time video streaming and web conferencing. If this is a functionality that is important to you, you’re going to want to find a live stream service that offers that support or integration that offers the functionality.


The Rise of Live Video Streaming for Business

Broadcasting in the professional world is not new, but it has evolved in the past few years. 

Live streaming services for businesses specifically used to be less common. It was normal for online streaming businesses to use live streaming websites designed for consumers and independent content creators, such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live, since they were popular video streaming services.

Consumer-grade broadcast platforms are very valuable for amateur broadcasters and independent streamers. However, these free web streaming services simply do not have the tools professional broadcasters or streaming businesses need to succeed.

One of the first roadblocks that come with consumer-grade video streaming platforms that pushed businesses to seek professional corporate live streaming software is the fact that many schools and organizations block YouTube and Facebook because they are social media platforms.

A business using social media live streaming software would miss out on large audiences due to being blocked. The frustration that these free web streaming services caused for businesses forced professional streaming solutions to come into play.


The Purpose of Professional Live Streaming Platforms

Professional grade cloud-based streaming platforms are designed for businesses’ needs that surpass the features of free online video platforms.

The main purpose of professional live streaming platforms is to host live broadcasts for businesses and other professional organizations. 

Some perks of hosting on a professional live streaming platform include monetization, customization, access to better security features, and fewer limitations. Many include integrated video paywalls and tools to ease integration with existing workflows.

With the help of both video and player APIs, you have more control over your live streaming experience on both the ends of broadcasters and viewers.

Many of these professional business video streaming platforms, including Dacast, also offer around-the-clock 24/7 technical support. Most consumer-grade live streaming options don’t offer this kind of support.

Another benefit of live streaming with a professional video delivery platform is that it typically does not put time restrictions on your streams. Many also offer white-label video players meaning you can have a professional live stream video embedded directly on your website with no trace of third-party ads or branding.


Live Streaming Platform and Pricing Comparison for 2022

In order to help make your search for the best professional live streaming platform a bit easier, we’ve collected up-to-date information on the best streaming platforms’ pricing, pros, cons, features, and more.

Please note that the data in this comparison post for the best live streaming video platform comes from a lot of unique research, and a number of sources. For example, these sources include platform websites, user reviews, and free trial accounts.

We regularly update this comparison of the best live streaming platform with every detail, as streaming platforms change services, plans, and features. 

Let’s take a look at the provider overview, basic functionality, key and detailed features, pros, cons, and pricing for the "5 Best Live Streaming Platforms".


1. Vimeo

Vimeo’s offers live broadcasting and video hosting solutions for businesses of all sizes. Source:

Overview and Company History:

The Vimeo platform powers over 10 million events per year and focuses on an integrated system of hardware, software, and cloud services.

Basic Functionality:

Vimeo offers both streaming and video hosting services. This basic functionality includes analytics, a video management platform, privacy controls, and more. To access basic live streaming functionality, users must purchase a Premium plan.

Vimeo provides tech support via email for video hosting plans. For live support, users must purchase a Premium or Vimeo OTT custom plan.

Key Features:

What sets Vimeo apart is its offering of a range of proprietary hardware and software for live streaming. These offerings integrate smoothly with their platform, minimizing the fuss of implementing a live streaming program from the hardware on up. 

Detailed Features:

  • Video management service
  • High-quality videos and streams
  • Large storage capacity
  • Privacy options
  • Upload from anywhere



  • Unlimited events and viewers
  • No ads
  • Sleek and professional appearance 
  • Thoroughly detailed analytics
  • Easy to use
  • Pay-per-view option



  • Does not generate as much traffic as other sites
  • No China video delivery


Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Recommended dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 3GB
  • Max video length: Information not available
  • Total file storage: Information not available
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)



Vimeo offers three main pricing plans, including:


Vimeo Premium:

  • Premium pricing: $75/month
  • Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This plan is the best option for professional broadcasting on this platform.


Vimeo Enterprise:

  • Enterprise Pricing: Please contact Vimeo for custom pricing information
  • The Enterprise plan includes white-label service, monetization, and video API access. It also includes branding control and added security features.


Vimeo OTT:

  • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
  • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month
  • This OTT-specific pricing package comes with the relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.

For more details, check out our comprehensive guide to Vimeo pricing


2. Brightcove

Brightcove’s Video Cloud uses an innovative HTML5 video player with the latest ingest and transcoding technology. Source: Brightcove

Overview and Company History:

Founded in 2004, Boston-based Brightcove is one of the oldest online video platforms in-game. Its product offerings focus on cloud encoding, live streaming, and VOD (video on demand) hosting.

In 2019, Brightcove acquired streaming platform Ooyala, known for its cloud video technology. Since the acquisition, Brightcove has announced end-of-life plans for the Ooyala OVP.

Basic Functionality:

Brightcove offers a number of modular products. These include: Video Cloud hosting, the Lift video player, Once for server-side ad insertion, Live for streaming video, OTT flow for internet TV, Zencoder for cloud video transcoding, and tools for monetization.

Key Features:

Brightcove’s features shine in the arena of analytics. Its detailed analytics and video marketing tools are quite valuable for businesses that aim to capture leads and understand their audience.

Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Global content delivery
  • Tech support, but only at a basic level with slow ticket-based responses (unless you upgrade to a paid support plan)
  • Video API access, but only on custom-priced plans
  • Security features, but with high-end features only available on custom plans
  • Monetization options, but only on custom-priced plans



  • Good analytics
  • Includes custom video portals
  • CRM integration



  • High price point
  • No live streaming with packages under  $499/month
  • Monetization is limited to custom-priced plans
  • No China video delivery


Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Determined by user
  • Maximum dimension: Determined by user
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (since Brightcove uses a responsive player)
  • Max file size: No limits on files size
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: Varies by plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP



Mainly targeting huge clients, Brightcove offers several pricing plan levels but does not provide pricing. These include the following:

  • Starter: includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
  • Professional: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with +10 users
  • Enterprise: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users


Brightcove also includes custom-priced plans for their Enterprise Video Suite packages. Interested broadcasters can contact their sales department to receive a quote or sign up for a 14-day free trial.


3. Dacast

Dacast’s live streaming platform is the leading professional online video and hosting solution.

Overview and Company History:

With offices in London and San Francisco, Dacast is considered a competitive offering in a crowded marketplace. Dacast is a full-featured, self-service solution for both live streaming and VOD hosting

Dacast is a unified streaming solution that makes the annual list of the most important, most innovative, and most interesting companies for 2021 Streaming Media Magazine’s Top 50 List. This powerful platform helps companies around the world scale and monetize their online video content.

Basic Functionality:

Dacast provides comprehensive live streaming and secure video hosting services. Users can embed videos on their own websites while maintaining 100% control of their content. Among other features, Dacast offers an integrated paywall, password protection, referrer restriction, and an analytics dashboard.

Key Features:

Dacast distinguishes itself by offering high-end features with competitive pricing plans. These include ad-free broadcasting, white-label service on all plans, and top-tier CDN delivery. 24/7 phone support is also available for premium and enterprise-grade plans.

Additionally, the Dacast platform stands out from other OVPs with its ease of use and accessibility. Even new broadcasters can create a new live channel and start a new live stream in just a few minutes.

Detailed Features:





  • Requires a bit of a learning curve


Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
  • Max file size: None
  • Max video length: None
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS



Streaming platform pricing plans with Dacast start at $39 per month and includes four levels:

  • Starter plan: $39/month (billed annually); ideal for newcomers with 1.2 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per year
  • Event plan: $63/month (or $750/year); for organizations that would rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event, offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage; additional data and storage can be added as needed
  • Scale plan: $188/month (billed annually); includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage; add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label video player, and video API access; additional bandwidth is available upon request for monthly plans
  • Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high-volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.

Read more here about Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans.



 4. JW Player

JW Player’s live streaming platform is a sophisticated set of tools with a video player that is open source. Source:

Overview and Company History:

First conceptualized in 2005 as part of a student project, JW Player began as a small piece of open-source code to play audio and video files. This code then became the basic video player for the fledgling YouTube, which continued to use the JW Player until Google acquired the platform.

Originally, JW Player was best known for its HTML5 video player for VOD content. In recent years, JW has expanded its video offerings beyond on-demand content to include live streaming.

Basic Functionality:

JW Player is perhaps best known for its HTML5 JW video player for VOD content.  This player supports MPEG-DASH playback, CSS skinning, DRM, and other advanced features. The company also now offers JW Live, a full-service live streaming provider.

Key Features:

In terms of JW Live, the platform supports HLS adaptive live streaming, multi-bitrate transcoding, simulcast to FB Live, and real-time analytics. The service advertises itself as simple-to-use with a four-step process for beginning a live stream. Overall, JW Live is designed for users with a large budget and/or a large business enterprise.

Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Global content delivery, but China’s delivery is blocked by the Great Firewall
  • Tech support, but only in the form of email support through the $100/month plan level
  • Video API access on all plans
  • Security features are basic but functional. Only custom-priced Enterprise plans offer DRM
  • Monetization (only via advertising)



  • Great video player
  • Simple, easy-to-use platform
  • Good advertising tools



  • Live streaming is limited to custom-priced plans with a 6-hour duration
  • Only ad-based monetization
  • No China video delivery


Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
  • Max file size: 25GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV



JW Player offers essentially 3 pricing plans. These include:

  • 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
  • Starter pricing plan for $10 per month, which includes an HTML5 Video Player and video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month billed annually.
  • Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.  



5. Kaltura

Kaltura provides the widest range of live streaming video solutions for any company through engaging video tools. Source:

Overview and Company History:

With a video management foundation in its open-source software, Kaltura offers a unique focus on the live streaming market. Historically, this company has worked most extensively with educational institutions.

Basic Functionality:

While the Kaltura software is free, it requires an infrastructure of servers for hosting and distribution. This platform represents an alternative to the self-hosted model (e.g., Dacast). That said, Kaltura offers cloud-based video hosting and distribution services for both VOD and live streams.

Key Features:

Kaltura shines when it comes to extensibility. The open-source nature of their software means that a community of users creates and shares countless add-ons and integrations.

The downside of Kaltura’s extensibility, however, is that the platform can be confusing to use. With so many different features, it can be overwhelming for beginner users.


Detailed Features:

  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming are included
  • Global content delivery via a combined CDN approach (with the option to bring your own CDN)
  • Tech support via a ticket-based system, which is slower than chat or phone
  • Video API access
  • Security features, including a range of authentication and encryption options
  • Monetization, including all major models (subscription, advertising, PPV streaming)


  • Many available features
  • Good monetization options
  • Robust security



  • No phone or chat support
  • Highly complex
  • No China video delivery


Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4



Kaltura doesn’t publish pricing information on its website. However, some users have said that plans start at about $1000 per month and go up from there. For more details, you can read about this platform’s pay-for-what-you-use pricing model.


So, What is the Top Streaming Service?

As discussed, there are a lot of business video streaming services on the market. As a result, it can be challenging to choose which is the best streaming platform. What can hep select the proper platform is defining the goals of your specific business, and comparing the pro's and con's of each platform, to see which one fits best you needs. 

Ideally, you willl want to narrow this list down to a top 3 and evaluate them based on your specific broadcasting goals.