The dependence on entertainment through online streaming platforms, mainly YouTube and Twitch is growing exponentially since 2020. Obviously, people spend more time on video and audio streaming platforms than ever before in history due to the need to stay home to avoid the Covid-19 contagion.
Many of the people are also monetising their twitch and YouTube accounts to generate income. Not only Twitch is an amazing platform to make money but just like YouTube here you can also engage with your fans and followers through live streams.
Nobody wants slower streams. As a matter of fact, people’s attention spans are also reducing. The human attention span is less than nine seconds in 2021, according to various sources.
Before 2020, the average human attention span was 15 seconds. This means, anyone streaming audio or video has to attract listeners and audiences within the first few seconds of expect to lose persons that could’ve been followers.
Nowadays, audiences also want engaging and interesting content that they can easily share with relatives and friends. This puts an added burden on both, viewers and broadcasters. What does one do in such situations?
Streaming Software Provides the Answer
In such a situation, using the best streaming software is your only option. There are plenty of free streaming softwares available online. Especially for live streaming of videos and audios, video streaming software can ensure there’re no delays due to slower Internet connections or other reasons.
One of the phenomena that you might definitely be experiencing nowadays is slower streaming and slackened Internet speeds. Obviously, with almost everyone going online at the same time to watch movies and shows or listen to music, Internet speeds are bound to slow down.
And with countless people trying to view the same movie or show at any point of time, you would surely encounter difficulties in clear viewing.
All these issues related to streaming have an answer: using any of the nine best streaming software, that’s available for free or at affordable subscriptions.
Understanding Video Streaming Software
If you’re a fresher, you might not clearly understand what’s a streaming software. Actually, it’s a kind of software that allows you to provide live streams and telecasts without buffering, delays and other interruptions. In fact, they allow seamless and hassle-free viewing or listening.
Such software is commonly used by both, live streamers as well as viewers that wish to watch or listen to shows without any disturbances that may arise due to a large number of people trying to watch or listen to something all at the same time.
Nowadays, you can use streaming software to broadcast videos directly from a camera, smartphone, CD or DVD and other video sources as well as live events or gameplays. These broadcasts are mainly accessible on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Best Streaming Software for Twitch & YouTube in 2021
Regardless where you live, using the best streaming software can provide a wonderful viewing or listening experience. Therefore, in this article, I will discuss in detail, the top nine streaming software that you could download for free or use through subscriptions.
Therefore, here’s my curated list of nine best twitch streaming software and YouTube streaming software for 2021 and 2022. Some of these are amazing game streaming software which you can use for live streaming of games on twitch.
If you're looking for Restream is available in two versions, free and a paid one. The paid subscription comes at various prices beginning at $16 per month for the Standard version up to $249 per month for the Business version. One of the advantages of Restream is that it is a cloud based streaming software. You can stream music and videos to Twitch and YouTube as well as Facebook.
Furthermore, you can easily integrate with other streaming software such as XSplit, OBS Studio, Elgato, or others that support Restream.
Restream has the facility of real-time platform and channel toggling that allows you to edit or add more channels to your Twitch and YouTube streams simultaneously, even while you’re on live telecasts.
It provides a slew of resources that allow you to analyze data from such live telecasts and promote them online, where necessary.
Broadcasters will love the feature of scheduling and announcing their future streams through Restream. This ensures you can gain more audiences.
Their dashboard enables you to analyze data such as number of persons that’re viewing the live streams and their locations, peak time, and the time span for which they watch. It allows you to stream up to 50 videos at the same time.
Other features include a chat box that you as well as viewers can use to post comments during any streaming of live telecasts.
Next on my list of best streaming software for Twitch and YouTube ranks OneStream. This streaming software allows you to broadcast or stream live as well as recorded videos. And you could also broadcast them over as many as 40 different social media platforms.
If you’ll be broadcasting pre-recorded videos, it’s possible to schedule your streaming to almost every social media platform, to as much as two months or 60 days in advance. You can also integrate OneStream with other streaming resources for multiple broadcasts where necessary.
OneStream offers ease of scheduling pre-recorded videos for your broadcasts. All you need to do is upload the video recording and select the time, date and audience that will receive the broadcasts. It also enables you to broadcast over Twitch, YouTube and Facebook, among other social media platforms.
Additionally, you can add several team members to handle your account, though the master control would remain with you. OneStream, being cloud based, doesn’t require you to download any software on your computer.
You can use the free version of OneStream that allows you to broadcast a stream for only five minutes over one social media account. However, they also offer various subscription plans, starting from the Basic at $10 per month to Professional at $89 per month.
Wirecast is yet another streaming software that I would recommend. It provides HDTV quality broadcasts and production. Wirecast is also ideal if you’ll be providing on-demand broadcasts over Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Wirecast comes with an interactive user interface (UI). This feature enables you to customize all live feeds by simply plugging in your camera and microphone.
The UI has a feature to automate encoding and will broadcast your live streams on any social media platform, Twitch and YouTube to the audience. You can also broadcast across the world and to a very large audience using the Wirecast features.
Generally, broadcasters use Wirecast to broadcast TV shows and movies, news, sports tournaments, religious services as well as radio programs.
To help you capture your video content on the go, Wirecast also offers a free iOS camera app. You can stream to more than one destination, including ANY RTMP destination. It also lets you embed live captions to make your videos more accessible for differently-abled viewers.
Other salient features of Wirecast video streaming software is it includes ISO quality recording for all your live video streams. These recordings are different from what you’re streaming.
It’s multiple viewer facility allows you to send a single stream to 17 different grids for monitoring. Additionally, Wirecast provides you a stock media library with assets such as videos and graphics, backgrounds and pictures.
Wirecast is pricey compared over other streaming software. The Wirecast Studio version csots $599 per month and offers high quality live production and streaming facilities while the Wirecast Pro version gives advanced features.
4. XSplit Broadcaster
If you’re into making and streaming gameplays for Twitch and YouTube, the best software for you is the XSplit Broadcaster. It enables you to record or telecast live, any gameplays. You can start live streaming or even play recordings within a few seconds. XSplit Broadcaster was designed with gamers in mind.
It has a Heads Up Display that enables you to interact with your audiences or viewers. This HUD is incorporated in the game. Therefore, you can chat with viewers, pause your broadcasts where necessary, track occurrences while streaming live or recordings. XSplit Broadcaster also has a panel that allows you to track number of viewers at any point of time.
XSplit Broadcaster comes with the Projector Mode. The Projector Mode lets you show multiple scenes to devices connected to a computer during streaming. Additionally, it is capable of encoding your settings. Moreover, it’s features help you select the best video quality of up to 4k60 Frames Per Second, merely through its dashboard.
During live streaming or recording videos, it’s possible to use the whiteboard and stream annotations for illustrations and live analysis of any games. There’s also a feature to check the number of viewers and find out how many are already subscribers, newcomers while tracking chats.
You can use XSplit Broadcaster for free, but with limited features. The Pro version comes affordably at $2.50 only per month.
5. Streamlabs OBS
Cloud-based Streamlabs is also a superb streaming software that supports live and recorded streams for Twitch and YouTube as well as Facebook Live. It has a built-in apps store with as many as 46 different apps that you’ll find useful for automating your streams, data analysis, interacting with audiences as well as multiple-platform streaming.
While live streaming, you an also use the “BRB” (Be Right Back) screen to take a pause or the “Starting Soon,” screen to inform your viewers that your streaming is about to begin.
Major key features of Streamlabs OBS includes a widget, which allows you select one or more themes for a broadcast, visual layouts for various games and genres of broadcasts, facility to go live and record live telecasts, multi-screen monitoring and a superb dashboard.
You can access all these without using the Internet browser on your computer, since Streamlabs OBS is cloud-based.
The best part of Streamlabs OBS is that it comes free of costs. However, you can also opt for the premium features at a subscription of $12 per month. This amount gets billed annually, which means you need to take a 12-month subscription. Premium features on Streamlabs OBS includes more apps, professional themes and widgets, mobile streaming and a special domain.
6. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio
If you’re looking for an open-source streaming software, OBS Studio could meet your needs. OBS Studio provides cross-platform streaming and recording platforms. Meaning, you can also get the facility of superior quality video and audio editing, recording and mixing, all in real time.
OBS Studio makes it possible for you to capture various windows of your computer, customize scenes, add images, connect with webcams and data cards, add text and more.
Since OBS Studio is an open-source software, you can change the scenes frequently during a single broadcast. It’s also possible to use transitions during both live and recorded telecasts. Additionally, it comes with a wonderful mixer that allows you to mix sounds, suppress noise and more. In fact, you remain fully in control of the audio and can alter it during a broadcast, even if it’s recordings.
The modular dock UI allows you to arrange the layouts to display your branding. For superior customization, it’s possible to display all individual dock windows at the same time. The Studio mode enables you to make last minute alterations and adjustments to live or recorded streams while the hotkeys function provides you the facility to switch, start or stop a broadcast, mute a scene or audio source.
OBS Studio has the multiple view facility which enables you to watch and monitor eight different scenes at the same time. It comes with customizable transitions to switch between various scenes.
This streaming software is free of cost and works well with Windows, Mac and Linux.
7. Twitch Studio
Twitch Studio is specially for gamers that wish to broadcast on Twitch. It is a free streaming software and hence, very popular among gamers. It was specially developed by Twitch itself. Twitch Studio is a free streaming app. You can live stream directly on Twitch using this company-developed and owned app.
Twitch Studio provides a superb panel to enable you broadcast live streams. Additionally, the software guides you about how to set it up for optimal use and clear broadcasts. You can use its features such as automatic hardware detection. Using their recommended settings enables you to personalize your content, making it appear very professional.
This makes it possible for personal branding of your streams and recordings. You can personalize anything from scenes to audio mixing. Twitch Studio comes with an in-built desktop capture facility which enables you to share videos directly from your computer on Twitch, without the need for recordings or pre-production arrangements.
Twitch Studio makes it possible for you to give branding for your video streams, either for creating a personal brand or for your business. It connects easily with iPhones and iPads. This feature enables you to mix your scenes and broadcast them immediately through live telecasts.
Moreover, Twitch Studio has in-built activity feeds. You can also monitor chats and alerts from the audience.
Some of the salient features of Twitch Studio are its multiple stream layouts, activity feeds and chat-widgets for live comments and reactions you’ll receive from audiences during a telecast. Twitch Studio is available free of cost and supports both, Windows and Apple OS.
Actually, vMix is a video mixing software, which also helps you to live stream videos directly from your camera, mobile phone and computer. It provides superior quality HDTV type streams to your audience. vMix also makes it possible for you to play recordings, switch videos or live stream them in 4K formats where necessary.
It accepts videos from multiple formats including computers and camera, images, CDs and DVDs, PowerPoint presentations, video files on memory cards and more.
Some of the salient features of vMix are that it can support a wide range of formats of videos including but not limited to AVI, MP4, H264, MPEG-2, WMV, MOV and MXF. It is also possible to stream multiple recordings and live telecasts at the same time.
Furthermore, vMix comes with a library of 13 transition effects. These include the regular cut, fade, zoom, wipe, slide, fly, fly-rotate, cube, cube-zoom and more. You can get 3D acceleration and zoom effects for 3D with vMix. Basically, vMix helps you to create and stream HDTV like videos from a computer with superb ease.
Its in-built library consists of over 100 animated titles, stickers, pictures, designs, clipart and other graphics that you could also use for transitioning. You can invite a maximum of eight speakers for a show, using their remote user facility. In such cases, these remote speakers don’t need to download vMix. Instead, they can simply connect over Zoom or any other compatible software to the vMix dashboard you have.
With the necessary cameras, you can also produce a live concert or telecast a sporting event. Some of its top features include fast and simple integration with Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. The live chat feature allows you to respond to comments and reactions instantly.
The replay mode on vMix is also worth noting. If you’re telecasting a sports event, you can replay something important during the match from two different angles. And you can broadcast highlights of the event during an interval, through edited recordings.
vMix comes in six different versions. There’s a starter version available free. The basic one costs $60 per year, billed annually while the top of the range Pro version comes for whopping $1,200 per year. It’s possible to get a 30-day trial to enable you to test various features of this software and check whether it’s compatible with your systems while meeting your needs.
At $99 per month, Lightstream isn’t a cheap streaming software by any yardstick. However, it is a cloud-based software that allows you to broadcast HDTV type videos and crystal-clear audios.
Basically, Lightstream is a cloud based live streaming software. You can create professional HDTV type videos and create superb live streams instantly or play recorded videos.
Lightstream has a drag-and-drop editor. This facility ensures you’ve quick access to all your video files. It also accepts inputs from cameras, memory cards and videos stored on a computer. This streaming software has several creative controls as well as scenes. And you can integrate third party movies, onstream alerts and chats for higher engagement.
They have several controls, projects and scenes that not only help you in video production but also in live streaming. Lightstream provides third party motion graphics, on-stream alerts, and social media chats and comments monitoring to increase engagement with the audience.
With Lightscreen, you can invite guest speakers to an event. And these guest speakers can also share the screen with their own followers and audiences, which translates directly as increased viewership. This makes Lightscreen ideal for debates, panel discussions, live interviews and Q&A sessions, funerals with several speakers attending, podcasts and conferences, among other events.
Being cloud-based you don’t have to install any software on your computer. You can directly access the Lightscreen dashboard from your browser. And you can remote-control it too from an Android-based smartphone or iPhone and iPad.
Lightstream comes in three variants. The first is Lightstream Studio which allows live streaming and playing recordings directly on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook among other social media platforms. The second is Lightstream Arsenal which comes with all the above features but also includes a panel for data analysis of your viewership. The third version, Livestrem Cloud has a live streaming production API.
To features of Lightstream includes support of all types of video formats including 720p30, 720p60, and 1080p30. Plus, there’re no limits on the number of hours you can stream. It offers quick and reliable integration with Twitch, YouTube and Facebook, among other platforms.
Additionally, Lightstream has the “Green Room” facility where you can have private chat with guest speakers during live streaming.
Lightstream comes in two versions. The free version offers maximum three hours of streaming with highest resolution format of 720p 30fps. The premium plan costs $99 per month and offers 12 hours of non-stop streaming with quality of 720p 60fps.
If you’re into event management, gaming or even streaming live or recorded videos over YouTube and Twitch, these above nine best streaming software would prove very handy. In fact, some of them don’t even require downloads on your computers. Try any of the topmost software, the next time you think about streaming.