Live streaming is a fantastic way for sales, marketing and CEOs to reach a wide audience in a snap, without breaking the bank. Quality streaming video is easy now, thanks to a sensational surge in readily-available, platform-agnostic tools rising to facilitate today’s number one cog in the communications machine. All you need is already in place — your mobile devices and a good connection.

You can live stream right now, publicly and on-the-fly, or you can set up something more formal, scheduled and by-invitation. You can live stream solo from your desk, even share your screen to show off an updated software feature, or from your packed conference room to announce a new product launch. You can do a lightning-fast stand-up from the trade show floor before the doors open to boost attendee excitement level, post a quick informative video blog on social media or host a Q&A session.

Released a year ago, Facebook Live is the free app that lets Facebook users broadcast instantly from any iOS or Android device. Choose an audience for your video, add a short description saying what you’re talking about today. Tap “Go Live” and instantly start streaming live for up to 30 minutes. Interact with viewers through questions and Facebook Reaction Buttons.

BEST FEATURES: You can make your broadcast public or selected if your Facebook contacts are categorized into Customers, Partners, Employees and so forth.

PRICING: Product is free.

 

Periscope is the Twitterverse live streaming solution. Give your Twitter presence more dynamics when you mix up Tweets with live broadcasting, either to specific people (with the lock icon) or publicly. You can keep track of viewer sentiment by how many hearts your video gets.
BEST FEATURES: Available for replay so viewers that missed your live stream can watch for up to 24 hours. A built-in global map pinpoints your location for location-specific interaction.
PRICING: Product is free.

 

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free, open source platform for live streaming and video recording. Preview your scenes and sources before pushing them live. Choose from a number of different and customizable transitions for when you switch between your scenes.
BEST FEATURES: Powerful API enables plugin development for further customization and functionality specific to your needs.
PRICING: Product is free.

 

XSplit includes functionality for live streaming as well as glitch-free, split-screen streaming. Developed primarily for the video game world,. XSplit includes everything you need to set up a live HD broadcast of any kind, quickly, without spending a lot of money. Activate Chroma Key and make your broadcast even more immersive using a green screen transparency effect.
BEST FEATURES: Enhanced audio features for higher fidelity sound. Scene preview editor so you can preview and edit new shots before going live.
PRICING: Free edition and several paid options.

 

YouNow combines a social network with live video streaming from any device. YouNow is geared towards a younger demographic, featuring channels for entertainment, sports and fashion. Through trending hashtag-enabled topics that can be voted up by fans, a leaderboard for Editor’s Choice and Top Channels, YouNow aims for maximum viewer interaction.
BEST FEATURES:  One-click sign-on through social network accounts including Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Instagram.
PRICING: Product is free.

 

Iris Reporter by Bambuser is a mobile app designed for citizen journalists, but it’s so easy-to-use that it’s been adopted by employees at brands and news desks. Iris Reporter lets you stream live video, or shoot and upload photos and videos for instant delivery into an existing video playing platform.
BEST FEATURES: When used along with a control center or a news room, on-site reporters can communicate right from within the app via text chat or two-way audio communication (IFB), making it easy for remote staff to access, monitor, manage and publish content to any screen.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Wowza Streaming Cloud is professional-grade live streaming to audiences of any size on any device directly from a camera or encoder. Reach global audiences with high-quality, custom-branded videos with no additional infrastructure required.
BEST FEATURES: Easy broadcasting of professional-grade live streams without Wowza branding.
PRICING: Packages start at $15 monthly.

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