It’s no secret that the covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we all interact—on a personal level as well as in business. One of the many ways we’ve seen meetings and hangouts change is through live streaming.
Whether you are looking for a way to host professional live stream events or you just want to find the best way to spend time with your friends and family online, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our recommendations for the four best platforms that are currently answering the call for live streaming services online.
Google Meet combines the best of both worlds for personal and business use. The free version of Google Meet allows one-on-one meetings that can last for up to 24 hours. It also offers one-hour meeting lengths for 3 to 100 participants, although the service plans to expand this time frame later on in the year. Google Meet can be accessed from a browser or from software when using the free version.
Paid versions of Google Meet make it easier to manage business meetings. They include longer meeting times and larger numbers of participants. These meetings also allow screen sharing, dial-in joining options, breakout rooms, and live streaming functionality. The mid-range Workspace Essentials plan allows live streaming only for participants in the meeting, while the high-end Workspace Enterprise plan allows live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers outside of those who are participating in the event.
Google Meet is a great solution for a variety of purposes. However, it does have its limitations and doesn’t offer many functions that cater specifically to small businesses and other mid-range users. It tends to lean more toward its free or high-end paid versions instead.
Microsoft Teams is designed to work much like Skype once did, with a business slant. It is most commonly used by schools and nonprofit organizations, but it can be utilized by businesses and individuals looking for personal meetings too. The standard, free version of Microsoft Teams is ideal for personal use and includes screens sharing functionality.
Paid subscriptions to Microsoft Teams include Enterprise and Business plans, both of which incorporate other features along with the basic Teams structure. Both of these plans also allow users to set up webinars and live stream events, although the number of attendees and length of time available varies depending on the paid plan you choose.
Vast Conference is an option that works well for businesses both large and small. Although not designed for use by individuals for personal purposes, it is a popular choice among professionals and in education settings as well. Vast Conference is an add-on service that can be used with or without traditional Vast.
With Vast Conference, it is possible to host a webcast or a webinar. Webcasts can be shared through live streaming, which makes it possible to live stream to a larger audience than with some of the other services listed here. Vast Conference also provides video conferencing services and can be accessed by international callers with no trouble.
The Essentials plan allows up to 10 participants in a meeting, while the standard plan increases this number to 100 participants. The Professional plan allows 250 participants, and the Enterprise plan includes the option for unlimited participants at a custom price point.
BlueJeans does not require users to download any software, and it can be used directly in-browser. There are more limitations on the browser version of the service, however, but it works well for simplified needs. The service is designed to function on a casual level without the requirement for complicated steps along the way.
Since BlueJeans is built more for business use than for personal needs, it does come with a fee. However, it is possible to try the service during a free trial period to see whether or not it will work for your needs. You can then choose between the Enterprise, Pro, or Standard plans depending on the number of people and meetings you need to work with during a month.
To live stream, you will need to upgrade to BlueJeans Events, which is not included in the base price of any of the package plans.
Finding the right live streaming service for your business or personal needs can take some time, and it’s important to test a few before you find the right fit. Some are stronger with certain elements than others, so keep an open mind as you sample them all.
Remember that, if you are looking for a business option specifically, many live streaming services offer special business prices and features. Do some digging on the service’s web site or give their customer service line a call for more information about this.