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Best Free Live Streaming Sites for Podcasters 2014

  • By John Bubb
  • Monday January 13, 2014
Filed Under:
Video Broadcasting

Podcasters are increasingly adding live video while they record their podcast. A good reason they are doing so is to engage and grow their audiences. With live video, a podcast can achieve a higher level of interactivity with their listeners that would not be possible if they didn’t record live. Since most streaming services offer a chat room next to the video, podcasters can easily get feedback and chat with whomever is watching the podcast being recorded.

If you want to add live video to your podcast, you’re probably wondering what sites are out there to help you do so. Below are the top picks of 2014:

 

DailyMotion (dailymotion.com)

You’ve probably heard the name "DailyMotion" before, they’re one of the biggest rivals of YouTube. As one of the leading sites for sharing videos, Dailymotion attracts over 112 million unique monthly visitors and 2.5 billion videos views worldwide. Not only can you upload videos to DailyMotion, but you can also stream live. DailyMotion offers a very high quality services.

Pros:

  • Supports HLS for iOS
  • Supports HD video
  • Revenue sharing on Ads
  • Variable Bitrate Selection

Cons:

  • Setting up a live stream can be difficult for some
  • Limited to “official” accounts

 

Vaughn Live (vaughnlive.tv)

Vaughn Live gained popularity in late 2013 after the shocking demise of Stickam. They have grown tremendously and have really become a worthwhile provider of live video streaming. Vaughn Live is currently free but they do plan on offer special services to VIP members soon.

Pros:

  • Supports HD video
  • Auto archives your stream
  • Dedicated community

Cons:

  • No HLS support for iOS
  • Lack of detailed analytics
  • No searchable directory

 

Ustream (ustream.tv)

Ustream has stood the test of time, offering live streaming services for a number of years now, making them an excellent choice. Ustream debuted in March of 2007, and has grown to over 50 million unique visitors a month.

Pros:

  • Supports HLS for iOS
  • Large community  
  • Premium services
  • Real time analytics

Cons:

  • Mid Roll ads

 

Justin.tv (justin.tv)

Justin.tv is another live video service that has been around for a number of years. Justin.tv was also the first site to offer auto archiving of all live-streamed content. Stability and a large community make JTV a site worth checking out.

Pros:

  • Supports HD video
  • Auto archives your stream

Cons:

  • No HLS support for player (Non Flash)
  • Lack of analytics
  • 4.99 for iOS App

 

Youtube Live (youtube.com)

YouTube Live is still relatively new. Having recently opened up to anyone on YouTube who wants to live stream, they certainly offer a few features that make them an easy choice.

Pros:

  • Supports HD video
  • Supports HLS for iOS
  • Automatic Bitrate Selection
  • Automatically records to YouTube

Cons:

  • Strict Terms of Service
  • Not suitable for a 24/7 network

After reviewing the pros and cons for each service, there is not a clear winner. Making your decision should come down to what works best for you and which features are most important to your podcast.

If you are looking for a service that automatically records everything you stream live, YouTube Live, Justin.tv, and Vaughn Live are going to be your best choices. If you plan to stream 24/7, you definitely should not use YouTube Live. Currently the longest stream allowed is 36 hours. Additionally, if you are looking for a service that supports streaming to anyone using iOS, your choices are limited DailyMotion, Ustream, or YouTube Live. They are currently the only services that support HLS for iOS.

It is  important to remember that these options are not "one size fits all". These are all wonderful services and should be “tried on for size” before you commit to them 100%.  Do your research and try them all. Select the one that works best for you.

What video streaming service do you use? Let us know on following thread on the IAIB Forum

 

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John Bubb is the production engineer for the GFQ Network. His passion for radio and audio began very early on in high school. He joined his high school's student ran FM radio station. After graduation, he continued his passion for radio and audio by working at several different local radio stations.

6 Comments

  • Jeffrey Bradbury

    Jeffrey Bradbury posted 01/13/2014 at 07:10pm UTC

    Great Work John Bubb,  I began putting together a similar list for educational video services, and it’s very hard to tell what is the best CDN to choose. I’m wondering how many people go directly from WireCast to YouTube Live and have found an easy way to do the scheduling and such to get a live audience. 

  • John

    John posted 01/13/2014 at 07:53pm UTC

    I was on stickam for years and didnt know where to go after. Thank for this post

  • Mohamed GadAllah

    Mohamed GadAllah posted 01/13/2014 at 08:39pm UTC

    I am starting my career with 3 things:-
    1) audiobook.
    2) podcasting.
    3) screencast educational video tutorials.
    I will use the Heil PR-40 dynamic microphone but do not know what is the best mixer to use with it? and shall it be a USB one or it is better to get a stand a lone mixer with a USB converter to connect it to computer.
    Thanks
    Mohamed!

  • Jacob

    Jacob posted 07/20/2014 at 06:16pm UTC

    Mohamed

    With the Heil PR-40 I would encourage you to look into purchasing an Axia Radius Console. It is an advanced, highly intuitive Internet Broadcasting/Podcasting console widely used today. If you are looking for something more economical yet doesn’t slack on build quality, I would recommend looking at the Mackie 1402-VLZ4 Mixer. Both are able to connect to a computer.

    Cheers!

  • mark pikus

    mark pikus posted 07/31/2014 at 07:11pm UTC

    Good Primer.  The costs to use some of the “special features” can be a razor and razor blade scenario.  For the solo streamer, Ustream is a bit of a pain.  To buy software to edit video, then pay to remove ads, then pay to have your videos not removed.  Free is pretty limited if you intend to do something personal. That nickel and dime model really bums me out.

  • David Levesque

    David Levesque posted 02/10/2015 at 04:32pm UTC

    I am a media teacher in an elementary school. I am looking for a service to broadcast our Read Across America speakers so the classrooms and so family members can tune in to watch segments over a four hour period. A secondary item is to setup our daily announcements and “Bobcat News” to be streamed. Which would would you recommend? Do any of these have bandwidth issues?

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