Best Streaming Software of 2021 (Both Free and Paid)

Streaming is a great way to build a community and even generate income. That’s why it can be a great pastime or even a wonderful business opportunity.

The question is, what streaming software should you go for?

You want a streaming app that’s very easy to customize, but which also allows you to implement plugin Live Chat systems and the ability to connect with other users is just as important in the case of streaming software.

The same thing can be said about any analytics tool or solutions. Once you create a list with the best streaming software, things will be a lot easier to manage.

Best Streaming Software

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How To Choose The Best Streaming Software?

There are multiple features you need to think about when you choose the right streaming software for you. More often than not, you have to focus on the features listed below:

Here you have a list of things that you should consider when you want to choose the right streaming software!

1

You want to have a Preview Editor, as this will help you study the video clips and you can make last minute edits or even create a new clip.

2

A live chat feature matters because you want to interact with your audience. It doesn’t have to be overly complex, but such a feature needs to be there, as it will surely help you a lot.

3

Having some customizable templates and themes will really make the stream your own. So having this kind of stuff really helps a lot, and it will give you the experience you need in no time.

4

A good Multiview feature helps keep a close eye on your cameras. This can also help you transition from one camera to another without that much of a hassle. It’s totally worth it, and you will be very happy with the results and experience as a whole.

5

A good API and SDK will help you integrate the live stream into digital media, various video applications and so on. It makes a lot of sense to do it, and the potential can be great.

6

Real time analytics will help you study the stream engagement and you will find it easier to see how many people subscribe, how many viewers you have, demographics, geography and other related topics. It helps immensely, especially in the long run.

5 Best Live Streaming Software of 2021

OneStream Streaming Software

overview

OneStream is a very popular streaming software that a lot of people like. You can stream live or prerecorded stuff on social media.

You can even schedule your broadcast 2 months in advance. There’s also multicasting as well as an easy way to choose your streaming destinations. It’s a great concept and a wonderful tool.

key features

Stream to more than 40 platforms without a problem, you can choose the platforms you are streaming to in no time.

It’s possible to schedule a post up to 60 days in advance if you want, depending on your own needs and requirements.

You receive custom RTMP streaming with help from an URL and a stream key, that makes the experience very challenging and something to take into consideration.

There are multiple upload options, like screen shares, a camera, files and so on. This delivers more versatility and value to the entire process.

You don’t even have to install any software, which makes it easier to access the results you want.

pros and cons

Pros

  • It’s very easy to customize.
  • You don’t have to install anything, nor does it need a lot of computer resources
  • Stellar data integrity tools and powerful flow dimension
  • High quality streaming with great support

Cons

  • The interface can be difficult to use for beginners
  • There are too many options, which can make it confusing
  • If you want to use it at its fullest with all the features, it can get expensive.

PRICING & PLANS

OneStream is free if you have a steam of 5 minutes, and it supports a single social account.

Then there are Basic, standard and professional packages that cost $10, $39 or $89 respectively based on what features you need. There are file size restrictions, and real time multicasting is only available at $39 and up.

XSplit Broadcaster Streaming Software

overview

XSplit Broadcaster is a great live steaming tool for recording and live streaming gameplay. It works great with consoles and PCs as well.

You can talk with the chat, study recent events, and you also have a set of tools to interact with the chat.

They also have a great projector mode and the app itself handles everything related to encoding.

key features

The app allows you to record in 4k and up to 60 frames per second.

There’s the option to broadcast to a multitude of streaming devices as well, you can choose the option and features, and the results can be great.

You get complete support for NVENC, which allows you to fully customize the settings for optimal performance and quality.

The editor integrated here is very helpful since you can monitor donations, subscriber goals, tips and everything you want.

Within the app you can also edit video scenes before you go live, which is something you need to take into consideration in a situation like this.

pros and cons

Pros

  • You are able to record at 4k in 60 FPS, which is very impressive
  • Complete support for chat widgets from Facebook, Twitch and YouTube.
  • It’s possible to add custom stinger transitions
  • Stream and whiteboard annotations for live analysis and illustrations
  • The live status display helps you find the subscriber number.

Cons

  • Free version is extremely limited
  • It can have high frame drops if the internet is not great
  • You have to pay for it monthly
  • It might lead to a slowdown in games

PRICING & PLANS

XSplit Broadcaster costs you $2.50 per month, and there’s also a free plan if you want to test things out.

Twitch Studio Beta

overview

Twitch created their own Twitch Beta Studio that you can access without a problem.

It was created from the idea to streamline the setup process, which can be difficult in some situations.

But you can make it work pretty nicely, and it conveys some incredible results all the time.

With that being said, you also have step by step onboarding. They integrate automatic hardware detection. There’s also lots of customizability, which is always great to have for this type of solution.

key features

You are able to fully customize the Twitch Beta Studio experience the way you want. This is a great way to show off your personality, while still delivering great results in no time.

You can connect to your iOS device to mix the content, and you can even share the screen during the live feed. It gives the versatility and quality you want, without any worries.

It seamlessly integrates with Twitch, so you can get alerts, chat info, activity feeds and other great stuff in a single package.

In case you are a beginner, this is very important, because Twitch Beta Studio can give starter layouts and templates you can use. You don’t have to scour the internet for that, it’s all here and ready to go.

pros and cons

Pros

  • You are able to access multiple stream layouts based on your needs and requirements
  • This app can be used on Windows and Mac as well, not to mention you can add the iOS feature in there as well.
  • In case you have issues, they do have an FAQ with all the info that you may need for diagnosis.
  • Mic adjustments are done very fast and you are able to adapt everything to suit your needs. It’s a tremendous approach and one that you do not want to miss.
  • The activity feed will help you track comments quickly

Cons

  • Twitch Beta Studio is quite generic in nature
  • The design could be improved. It’s not the best out there, and it can get confusing for some people
  • It’s mostly suitable only for Twitch streaming, so it won’t work that well, if at all, for other platforms

PRICING & PLANS

Twitch Beta Studio is offered free of charge. It’s a great tool, and you don’t need to pay a dime for it, which is amazing.

Wirecast Live Video Streaming Software

overview

Wirecast is created by Telestream and it helps you create a very high quality streaming production.

The interface is very intuitive, and you also get a lot of flexibility. You're also able to customize the live feed with ease every time. 

You just have to plug the camera and mic, and then Wirecast will be good to go. You can also customize pretty much any instance or solution you want.

key features

Free iOS camera allows you to capture video content on the go.

It’s possible to stream to more than a single destination, including RTMP destinations. This makes streaming a lot more engaging.

You can embed live captions for your videos as well. This is great if you want to help everyone enjoy the content.

You gain access to more than 500000 media assets via the stock media library.

Multi-viewer support that gives you up to 17 different source grinds.

ISO recording gives you the ability to archive live video inputs without having to modify them at all. The clips are kept separately.

pros and cons

Pros

  • You get a way to mix up to 8 different audio tracks without a problem
  • There are more than 100 different graphics and titles you can use right away
  • You can use QR codes, playlists, chroma keys and a variety of other customizations to keep it all simple , yet professional.
  • Wirecast has features like scoreboards, clocks, timers and replays that work great for sporting events in particular.
  • Multi channel audio ingestion. You also have ASIO, WASAPI and COREAUDIO support.

Cons

  • Some users find the interface very hard to use and manage
  • Setting up Wirecast takes a lot of time, and beginners might have a hard time with it
  • You need a powerful computer to run this software

PRICING & PLANS

Wirecast is a professional tool, it costs $599 for the enhanced live production and streaming.

OBS Studio Live Streaming Software

overview

OBS Studio is maybe the most common streaming software that you can find on the market right now.

It can help you capture customized scenes via multiple sources, like browser windows, capture cards, images, window captures, texts and so on.

With that in mind, it has a great audio mixer to filter stuff like audio gain, noise gain or suppression.

key features

You are able to capture an unlimited number of scenes, while also being able to enjoy using VST plugin support.

The interface is modular, so you can mix and switch the interface in order to personalize it and make it your own. It’s even possible to pop out the dock windows for improved customization.

The studio mode helps you preview sources and scenes in order to make adjustments at the last minute. On top of that, you can also create a new scene before you make live content.

When it comes to hotkeys, you can easily use them for a variety of purposes. That means you can mute the audio sources, switch between scenes, stop the recording and so on. It just makes it easier to do the things you want.

pros and cons

Pros

  • Ability to change the streaming bitrate according to the upload speed
  • Can be used on all three platforms: Linux, Windows and Mac
  • There is a resource section that helps you explore a large number of features according to your own needs. On top of that, you get a really good API that integrates with the scripts and plugins.
  • If you want, you are able to use customizable transitions
  • The API is designed to provide you with integration for many scripts and plugins. You also get plenty of functionality and customization.
  • The multi view approach allows you to monitor up to 8 scenes at once. That alone makes it well worth it.

Cons

  • The program itself comes with a high learning curve, so it can deter beginners from using it
  • Some more control is needed in order to queue the extra sources
  • The installation process and plugin incorporation need improvements

PRICING & PLANS

OBS Studio is free of charge, so you don’t have to pay anything for using it.

Streamlabs Streaming Software

overview

Streamlabs OBS is a dedicated cloud based streaming solution. It works with Twitch, YouTube and also Facebook.

The great thing with Streamlabs OBS is the fact that it provides lots of templates, assets and overlays. That alone can help you customize the stream adequately and ensure you have access to the ultimate set of results.

key features

The app store for this tool has more than 46 apps which automate tasks, provide analytics, stream to many different platforms and so on.

You are also able to embed a variety of elements like alert boxes, goals and many others.

Streamlabs OBS comes with noise suppression and noise gain features. This way you can fully customize the experience and sound the way you want.

Its dashboard is very good if you are looking to customize the experience and make it the best that it can be. On top of that, the attention to detail is astounding, and you will appreciate the ease of use and great quality all the time.

Widget themes can be great if you want to have themed broadcasts

You will be able to include themed visual layouts. These effects and graphics or animations really make the experience more interesting.

pros and cons

Pros

  • You can go live and record very fast, and the app is very easy to adapt as you see fit
  • Monitor the performance live via important performance metrics at your own pace
  • You have multiple monetization tools to help you boost your passive income
  • It’s possible to stream, merge or split with multi-screen if you want
  • The speed adjustment combined with video stabilization make your broadcast a lot better

Cons

  • It comes with a pretty high CPU usage and resource requirements in general
  • Streamlabs OBS can be very overwhelming for a beginner, especially with the app store they have there
  • You will have some missing chat features

PRICING & PLANS

Streamlabs OBS is available for free. There is a premium toolkit for professionals that you can access at $12 a month.

Wrapping Up

These are the best streaming software of 2021 that you can use to broadcast on multiple platforms like social media like Facebook, OTT platforms, and websites simultaneously.

If you want to try free streaming software, I would recommend you to start with OBS Studio.

For more advanced capabilities in your streaming software, you can try OneStream.

Best Streaming Software

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