[UPDATED] 9 Best YouTube Live Streaming Software (FREE/Paid)
We recently covered a step by step tutorial on how to live stream on YouTube. Here in this article, we have handpicked the best YouTube live streaming software.
Whether you want to interact with your audience, give a live music performance, deliver some exciting news, or play a game live, YouTube makes it possible for you. You need to enable your YouTube channel for live streaming, and once activated, your stream can go live instantly.
To stream live on YouTube, you need an encoding software that can send your video from your webcam or screen recording to YouTube, and then YouTube will broadcast that video live to your subscribers.
Best Free & Paid YouTube Live Streaming Software
There are a lot of free and paid YouTube live streaming software available on the web. Here we have shortlisted these live streaming software based on these following crucial factors:
a) Price: Free/Paid subscription
b) Ease of Use: Easy/Moderate/Advanced
c) Features and Performance
Let’s begin with the list of best free and paid YouTube live streaming software.
FREE YouTube Live Streaming Software
Ahead is the list of free live streaming software for YouTube.
1. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
- Price-: Free
- Ease of Use: Moderate
OBS is a free and open-source audio/video streaming and screen recording software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
OBS made it to the top of our list because it is free, available on multiple platforms, and it offers advanced customization options for both audio and video streaming.
- OBS allows you to stream live on YouTube, record to a file on your hard disk, or do both at the same time.
- In your live stream, you can use multiple sources simultaneously, like recording your game screen and talking on webcam.
- You can add text and cool looking images and graphics on your stream to enhance your video quality.
- You can create multiple scenes and switch between them in one go. For example- If you wanted to go to the washroom or any technical error occur, you can change the screen to an image that says, “Will be right back.”
- It has advanced features that allow you to filter audio, add chroma key to your video, and add settings that will enhance your live stream.
- You can also add third-party plugins that will allow you to monitor donations, comments, chat messages, and subscribers on your channel in your stream.
OBS is our personal best live streaming software for beginners and professionals because it is FREE, and with a few video tutorials, you can use it with ease. It has all the features that you would require to make your video streams professional and entertaining.
2. YouTube App
- Price: Free
- Ease of Use: Easy
You can also use your YouTube mobile application to stream live, and your live stream notification will be sent to your subscribers.
- Go live in an instant on your mobile device
- After your broadcast ends, your stream will be saved alongside your regular videos
- You can chat with your viewers simultaneously
YouTube is the easiest and common app used by vloggers. If you are a beginner and want to go live stream on YouTube, the app itself would be the best choice. It’s faster and easier. It doesn’t need any expertise. Anyone can live stream on youtube right from the smartphone app.
Also Read: Top YouTube Live Streaming Apps For Mobile
3. Nvidia ShadowPlay
- Price: Free (If you own an Nvidia Graphics Card)
- Ease of Use: Easy
With built-in GeForce Experience software installed on your computer, you can use ShadowPlay to live stream high-quality gameplay videos.
- You can stream your game live or save it as a file on your hard drive.
- It supports overlays and other necessary tools for enhancing your stream.
- You can capture a 15 second GIF and 4K screenshots with a simple click without leaving your game.
If you live-stream a gaming console often, Nvidia ShadowPlay is perfect for you. You can check the system requirements and supported games on the website and start live streaming from your PC.
Best Paid YouTube Live Streaming Software
If you want to try the paid live streaming software for YouTube, you can check out the options below.
- Price: FREE, Prime version for professional content creators, is for $12/mo billed annually.
- Ease Of Use: Easy
Streamlabs is the best YouTube live streaming software for beginners. The tool is still in beta version, however, has fully-featured options for live streaming.
- Streamlabs is easy to set up for live streaming. Beginners can use the software without worrying about the complicated setup.
- The tool saves 25% of CPU and RAM usage by its feature to combine multiple windows into one.
- Streamlabs, even though it’s still in beta version, has great real-time troubleshooting options and optimized video encoding.
- One of the coolest features is it has a face mask option. You can use 3D animation on your face to different record reactions.
- The tool offers additional widgets for chatbox during live streaming, Media share, Donation Ticker, and much more.
If you have any other OS than Windows (such as Linux distributions), you can download the open-source version from Github. The free version offers enough features to go live on YouTube and perform some activities successfully. Some advanced features such as custom websites, themes, unlimited access to mobile apps, and chatbot are available under prime version for $12/mo.
- Price: Free for most of the features. Flexible pricing based on your needs. For live video streaming- $2.50/1000 minutes for 720p and below. $3.25/1000minutes for above 720p streaming.
- Ease Of Use: Moderate.
Agora is one of the best platforms to create interactive live streaming from desktop, laptops, and mobile phones via SDK.
The SDK involves all the tools and infrastructure needed for agora, for all device types. Agora also provides APIs to integrate with any platforms you want to host live streaming with. It produces high-quality video.
- Agora’s interactive broadcasting is best for increasing engagements with your user base and increases your users.
- You can easily embed interactive broadcasting to your mobile phones, desktops, or laptops.
- You can create live audio/video streaming, Real-time messaging, Voice/video calling, and more via agora.
- The tool also supports third-party add-ons for filters, emojis, stickers, and more.
The free version of the tool serves the purpose in the majority of cases. You can go for custom pricing plans based on your needs. The integration of SDK directly to your social apps is easy. However, the tool is not best for beginners.
- Price: Free plan has limited features. Standard+ Plan is for $29.99/mo billed monthly or $24.99/mo billed annually. They also have a pro plan coming soon with advanced features.
- Ease Of Use: Easy
Be.Live is easy and interactive software for live streaming on YouTube. The tool is best for beginners as well as professionals.
Live streaming on YouTube or Facebook is more comfortable with this tool. Currently, thousands of YouTubers are using this tool for creating interactive videos online.
- Based on your plan, you can choose options from themes. Choosing a theme, you can decide how you want your live streaming should look like.
- You can add a brand logo, multiple people on the screen, guest screen share, and much more.
- The tool is also available on Android and IOS to make your live streaming possible outdoors as well.
- Additional features such as live shopping, live chats, on-screen agenda, and more such features are available in paid plans.
The tool is best for all online content creators. The free plan has minimal features, which are not sufficient for more interactive broadcast. Some more features are coming soon with paid plans.
- Price: Free and paid versions start from $4.17/month(based on plan) or $199for lifetime
- Ease of Use: Easy
XSplit is yet another live streaming software available for Windows, and it comes in 2 versions XSplit Broadcaster and XSplitGamecaster, which have essential features required only for streaming games.
The free version comes with certain limitations like your video would be in max 720p resolution, and it will contain a watermark of XSplit.
- With XSplit, you can share more than one screen, you can use overlay text and images to enhance your video, and you can use multiple sources like webcam, game recording saved the video on the hard disk, etc. on your live stream.
- XSplit Broadcaster features a wealth of customizations thanks to their plugin store, letting you further personalize your broadcast with donation alerts, music requests, and more.
- It has more advanced features like adding your friends and guests from Skype calls into your live stream.
- It makes interaction easier with your audience by providing integrated chat, monitor comments, and follower notifications.
XSplit offers technical support for its customers so that they can utilize all the features without having any trouble.
With advanced customization and plugin support, XSplit is the best option for those who prefer a versatile software with technical assistance and ease of use at an affordable price.
5. Wirecast By Telestream
Cost: Free, $599 for Studio version and $799 for Pro version
- Ease of Use: Easy
If you are looking for more advanced software without compromising the price, then Telestream’sWirecast is the best option for you. Though it also has a free version, there are lots of features missing, and it is limited to YouTube only.
Wirecast is rich with training resources for its customers. You can watch demos, tutorials, and attend webinars to master this software.
Moreover, with an additional $299/year, you can get Wirecast premium support, which offers services like a phonetic conversation with their support team.
Features: With all the essential elements of the other software applications mentioned here, Wirecast has a lot more to offer you:
- It has built-in presets so that you can go live in an instant, which means you don’t need to configure the bitrate, encoding of your stream, and other necessary settings manually every time you go live.
- The most advanced feature is the ability to go live on multiple platforms simultaneously, i.e., you can stream live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, etc. at the same time.
- You will have full control over your live stream with options like adding timed events for looping an audio/video after every 5 minutes and more features, which make it easier for you to script and organize your live stream.
- It supports virtual 3D sets and virtual webcam support. This feature allows you to use the live stream from Wirecast as a webcam on Skype and many other supported videos calling software applications. This gives you more control over Skype because you can add overlay texts and images on your video calls.
With more advanced features and easy to use, Wirecast in itself is a powerhouse for streaming live on YouTube and other platforms. The only reason it didn’t make it to the top of the list is because of its price. Wirecast is available for Windows and Mac.
- Price: Free and paid versions start from USD 60 to USD 1200
- Ease of Use: Advanced. You can watch training videos to learn how to use vMix.
vMix is a whole package of HD live streaming, video mixing, and video editing on your PC. You can live stream directly on YouTube, Facebook, twitch, and many more platforms.
You can start with a free trial. The tool allows you to record a video, create a 4K resolution video, and a lot more in one place. If you work at a video production industry, vMix is a tool for you.
- vMixat supports 4K streaming and recording.
- Supports virtual sets, and you can also host guests from other video streams.
- Assist scripting, which allows you to write a VB.NET script, which means you can write a script instead of using your keyboard shortcuts to add events, overlays, and other things in your stream.
- vMix supports multiple Hardware for video production such as webcams, HDMI inputs, and more.
- You can stream, record, and output the video simultaneously.
- vMix has great video effect options and animated graphic options.
- You can add guests to your live show via vMix calls.
- It comes with a built-in audio mixer and video mixer.
- The tool can produce professional-quality videos for digital shows with live video effects.
With vMix, you can have a whole video editing setup in your windows or mac PC. Apart from the live streaming tool, vMix offers more products such as social media integration. The software is more suitable for experts. Newbies might find it a little complex to use. However, once you explore it thoroughly, it wouldn’t take long to learn. You will find tutorial videos and documentation on the vMix website.
Based on your requirement, there are a lot of software applications available in the market that can help you in streaming live on YouTube and other platforms. As a beginner, we would suggest you go with OBS. Its a free, open-source, and you will find all the advanced features that you require as a beginner in it.
Once you become familiar with doing live streaming with your audience, you can try PRO software like XSplit and Wirecast that will make your stream professional.
We hope you enjoy reading the post and find the above YouTube live streaming software useful. Do let us know which YouTube live streaming software you use? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
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