People are tired of the unnaturalness and insincerity of social networks – they want to know how their idols behave and look in real life. That’s why live streaming became so popular. It is a social platform feature that allows account owners real-time interaction with their audience through video and instant messaging chats. However, the specifics of each platform are unique, so what is well accepted by the audience on one of them may be uninteresting in other broadcasting solutions. That’s why without considering these specifics, you may lose great opportunities to monetize your account and form a strong community. Let's try to understand all these live-streaming features below.
Factors to Consider when Choosing A Live Streaming Platform
If you're still new to social media, you'll need to determine your live-streaming goals and whether your content's intended format will suit your chosen platform. You will also need to analyze the following aspects of live streaming services you consider:
- The size and demographics of your target audience.
- The level of interactivity and audience engagement you want to achieve.
- Customization features and a user-friendly interface.
- The monetization options and income models you prefer.
- Specifications for streaming technology and their compliance with the equipment you are going to use.
Comparison of Popular Live Streaming Platforms
Let’s briefly overview some of the most popular live-streaming platforms. For this, we prepared a live-streaming comparison table you can see below.
|Platform||Preferred content type||Countries with the largest number of users||Availability of monetization||Specifications for online broadcasts|
|YouTube||Entertainment, personal (lifestyle), tutorial, and educational||India, The US, Brazil||You can monetize your streams through pre-roll, mid-roll, display, and overlay ads. For this, you have to be a YPP member||You must have 1,000 subscribers to use Live Stream. As for bitrate requirements, they are the following:|
4K at 60fps: 20,000 - 51,000 Kbps
4K at 30fps: 13,000 - 34,000 Kbps
1440p at 60fps: 9,000 - 18,000 Kbps
1440p at 30fps: 6,000 - 13,000 Kbps
1080p at 60fps: 4,500 - 9,000 Kbps
1080p at 30fps: 3,000 - 6,000 Kbps
720 at 60fps: 2,250 - 6,000 Kbps
720p: 1,500 - 4,000 Kbps
480p: 500 - 2,000 Kbps
360p: 400 - 1,000 Kbps
240p: 300 - 700 Kbps
|Twitch||Gaming||The US, Germany, and South Korea||You can earn money from sponsorships, affiliate links, advertising, or donates (bits) from your live-streaming audience||Required minimum video transcodes: |
Width: 1920, Height: 1080, Type: video/mp4, Bitrate: 5,500 kbps.
Width: 1280, Height: 720, Type: video/mp4, Bitrate: 3,100 kbps.
Width: 854, Height: 480, Type: video/mp4, Bitrate: 1,200 kbps.
|Professional||The US, India, and Brazil||You can monetize your live content through partnering with brands for paid partnerships||Ratio – 16:9|
Resolution – 720p (recommended) and 1080p (maximum)
Frame rate – 30 fps
Key frame – every 2 seconds
Video Bitrate – 3.5 Mbps (recommended) and 6 Mbps (maximum)
|Entertainment and personal (lifestyle)||India, the US, and Indonesia||In addition to monetization through ad integrations, you can sell badges during your Live in $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99 increments; however, this feature is only available for business and creator accounts||1080 x 608 pixels (minimum) and 1080 x 1920 pixels (maximum)|
|TikTok||Entertainment, personal (lifestyle), and educational||The US, Indonesia, and Brazil||In addition to ads, you can use TikTok's LIVE Gifts feature for earning diamonds, part of the platform's virtual currency that can be exchanged for IRL cash||1080 x 1920 with an aspect ratio of 9:16 (however, 1:1 is also supported)|
|Entertainment and personal (lifestyle)||India, the US, and Indonesia||Before going live, you can choose to show ads before or during your broadcast||Keyframe — 2 seconds (recommended) to 4 seconds (do not exceed). Resolution and bitrate recommendations are the following:|
1080p at 60fps
1080p at 30fps
720p at 60fps
720p at 30fps
480p at 30fps
Please, note that before choosing one or another live video streaming platform for monetization, you will need to clarify whether the monetization options you prefer are available in your country.
To sum up the above, we propose you check the following standard recommendations for choosing the best platform for live broadcasts:
- Before choosing a specific platform for promotion through live broadcasts, do a little research and testing to understand which of them will have the highest level of engagement of your audience – for this, you can use special analytical and video tools like Gyre.pro (they will maximize the length of your live broadcasts and allow you to use the content you already have).
- Along with following your unique style, you must understand that you must still adhere to trends and be flexible to attract and retain new audiences.
- Come up with an introductory scenario for your broadcast so you don't feel insecure (at least at the beginning of your live activity).
We hope these analytics and insights will help you get the most out of live streaming, and you will start making money from your first streams!