Streaming is becoming more popular by the month, with millions of viewers worldwide enjoying content from a huge number of creators, catering to audiences ranging from a few dozen to tens of thousands at a time.
If you want to launch your own streaming career, you will need the right software to broadcast your efforts to your adoring public. There are a lot of competing solutions out there, so to narrow it down a bit, here are just some of the best services to choose this year.
Open Broadcaster Software
One of the most popular platforms for live streaming around, OBS is partly so successful because it is free to use and entirely open-source in nature, meaning it is worked on and tweaked by a large community of programmers, rather than being controlled by a private company.
OSB Studio is the software to use if you want to stream everything from fast-paced FPS games, tactical strategy titles, casino games from sites like Casumo, your next major product launch or simply the chats you have with friends and fans in real time.
The main selling point is its broad compatibility, meaning it will run on everything from a high-end Windows PC to a Mac laptop and even a simple Linux box. It is also comparatively straightforward to get to grips with, and there is no steep learning curve to overcome; with just a few simple settings and an intuitive interface, you should be up and running in no time.
There is no doubt that OBS is not as fully featured as premium counterparts, but if you are a beginner then you should definitely dip your toe into live streaming with this software.
With OBS you will need to install the client locally on the device you want to run your stream from, which may not be ideal if you have limited disk space or a lack of processing grunt to keep the software active while doing other things as well.
This is where the browser-based excellence of Streamyard comes into the equation. It can operate from within popular web browsers like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, and it offers integration with various live streaming platforms, including YouTube.
The basic package is free and you can upgrade if you want higher quality video and more features, but if streaming to social media is your main aim then it could be a way to get your foot in the door without having to buy a completely new PC for the purposes.
If you are looking for something a little more professional and appropriately pricey, then Wirecast could be a good streaming software option to go along with your lofty ambitions.
Whether you want to bling out your stream with impressive effects and graphics, or you want to more easily host other participants, Wirecast has the answer.
Another perk is that it can accommodate a number of capture sources, as well as letting you output your stream on more than one platform at the same time, getting you in front of the largest possible audience. So long as you can stomach the higher asking price for these privileges, it should be a worthwhile investment.
Straddling the line between the accessibility of OBS Studio and the high level functionality of Wirecast, vMix is an enterprise-grade live streaming software solution that targets business users more than those looking to hook gaming audiences.
Audio and video quality are excellent, so long as the source is solid, and it is also well equipped for handling more complex processes like video conferencing and podcast recording.
If in doubt, try out the free versions of all of these streaming solutions to see which works best for you before you buy.