Event Content, Community and Collaborations

With conferences, events, and meetings forced to go digital, online streaming and meeting platforms are all the rage. (Big shout out to Zoom, obviously 👋 )

But there are so many alternatives for video conferencing and live streaming! We know that each conference and live stream event is unique and that you want it to run as smoothly as possible, so we have created a list of 21 of the best video conferencing and live streaming software options available at the moment (including Zoom 👋, for comparison ).

If you've been asked to 'try something different', you've come to the right place.


1. Video Conferencing Platforms

Video conferencing is best for internal meetings and presentations when you need an actual dialogue between all participants. Overall, the quality of the call depends on your internet, so keep that in mind with all of these video conferencing tools.

Below are the 7 top conferencing platforms (the order is not a ranking):

  1. Skype
  2. Google Meet
  3. Zoom
  4. HouseParty
  5. Webex
  6. GoToMeeting
  7. Jitsi

Skype

Google Play Star Rating: 4.3

Pros: It is easy to install on all devices, user friendly, and it has some of the best audio quality and stability. It also allows you to make phone calls, which many other services don’t provide (free for toll-free numbers, but at an additional cost for other calls).

Cons: It has a high RAM requirement (memory) so sometimes it doesn’t run well on mobile devices.

Capacity: 50 participants

Google Meet

Google Play Star Rating: 3.7

Pros: This upgraded version of Google Hangouts is suitable for businesses. It allows users to dial in phone numbers to access meetings, thus enabling users with slow internet connection to call-in. You can also record the meetings for replay.

Cons: It doesn’t include some features that other services offer such as: whiteboard tools, hand raising, you can’t mute everyone at once, there’s no lock screen and if you accidentally click the back button you will leave the meeting. You need a Google account.

Capacity: 250 participants

Zoom

Google Play Star Rating: 3.9

Pros: It is a cloud-based platform that has a chat option and is available across mobile devices, desktops and room systems. You can also record the meetings for replay. There is unlimited time for 1-to 1 meetings.

Cons: They have had some issues with security lately, which they claim they are solving, but make sure you double-check before downloading. There is a 40-minute time limit with the free version. On the mobile app, you can only see 4 people at a time.

Capacity: 100 participants on the free plan and up to 1,000 depending on the paid plan.

Houseparty

Google Play Star Rating: 3.6

Pros: It alerts you when your friends are online so you can jump into conversation right away and you are able to lock a room so nobody can come in.

Cons: Although it is a video chat tool and can be used for business, it is designed as a more informal tool marketed for the younger generations

Capacity: 8 participants

Webex

Google Play Star Rating: 4.3

Pros: It’s a feature-rich tool with polls, chats, note taking, hosts having complete control of the meeting. It’s easy to change between presenters.

Cons: The default browser is Internet Explorer, so if you want to use another browser you have to change the settings before clicking the shared link.

Capacity: Up to 25 participants depending on the plan.

GoToMeeting

Google Play Star Rating: 4.3

Pros: It allows users to dial in phone numbers to access meetings, thus enabling users with slow internet connection to call-in.

Cons: They automatically delete any saved cloud recordings after 1 year.

Capacity: Up to 250 participants depending on the plan.

Jitsi

Google Play Star Rating: 3.3

Pros: It’s an open source platform and there is no log-in or registration required. When creating a meeting room you can use the same link every time.

Cons: Anyone who has the link to your room can get into the meeting. It’s not possible to resize the webcam incrustation when sharing the screen.

Capacity: Unlimited


Next Up: Live Streaming Platforms

These services are best for broadcasting in real time to any size of audience where you aren’t looking for a 2-way dialogue. Many of these platforms do have the ability for participants to write comments or answer polls during the livestream, but not a way to speak or video chat. Overall, the quality of the call depends on your internet, so keep that in mind with all of these live streaming tools.

YouTube Live (Free)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

YouTube Homepage
Photo by Kon Karampelas / Unsplash

Pros: You can add automatic live captions (in English) to event broadcasts and you can save them to your channel afterwards. A good range of analytics are available afterwards.

Cons: You need at least 1,000 subscribers to go live from a mobile phone. They have effective copyright detection so if you use music or material without permission, your steam may be stopped.

Length: Technically unlimited, but practically under 12 hours (as all videos under this time are automatically archived.)

Instagram Live (Free)

Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: You can select between public and private audiences. You can go live with another user.

Cons: Allows users to go live on the mobile version only and all videos have to be recorded on smartphones; they can’t be imported from other devices. The content is only saved for 24 hours unless you save it to another platform.

Length: 1 hour time limit.

Facebook Live (Free)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: Most people already have a Facebook account so they just have to click a button to join. There are billions of users on Facebook every day so you have the potential to reach a large audience.

Cons: The videos can be taken down if a reviewer deems a live stream is in conflict with their community standards. Facebook is sometimes considered a more personal platform, not for businesses and companies.

Length: 8 hours from desktop, up to 4 hours from mobile device.

Periscope (Free)

Google Play Star Rating: 3.4

Pros: This app is owned by Twitter, making it easy to share and it also broadcasts to their Periscope TV website.

Cons: By default, all live streams are public and to create a private broadcast for a select audience, you and the viewer need to be following each other on Twitter. It’s designed for mobile use only.

Length: Unlimited.

Twitch (Free)

Google Play Star Rating: 4.6

Twitch iOS App on iPhoneX.
Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin / Unsplash

Pros: A subsidiary of Amazon, it can be streamed via desktop and mobile devices and it automatically mutes copyrighted music rather than stopping the stream. It also provides detailed channel and video analytics.

Cons: It’s targeted and designed for the video gaming community and can be a popular place for trolls.

Length: Unlimited.

YouNow (Free)

Google Play Star Rating: 4.1

Pros: Broadcast from many vantage points with the multiple guest broadcasters feature. You can share your screen when using the downloaded desktop version of the tool.

Cons: All live streams are public by default and the live streams are only saved to the profile for 3 days. Analytical insights are less detailed than many other platforms. It is aimed at a younger audience and not necessarily businesses.

Length: Unlimited.

Vimeo (acquired Livestream, Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: 4.3

Pros: You can integrate your live streams onto other social media platforms. You can broadcast your events in full HD and there is a watermark feature to keep your content branded.

Cons: There is a bufferting time for videos at times and the share your screen feature only works on Google Chrome browser. There is very limited storage and options for the free basic plan.

Length: 12 hours.

IBM Video (acquired Ustream, Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: 4.2

Pros: It’s aimed specifically for businesses and has automatic video captions.

Cons: The free trial version is extremely limited and there can be additional fees if your event goes longer than expected or you exceed your ¨viewer hours.¨

Length: 8 hours

Dacast (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: A B2B platform that aims at businesses and allows you to offer free or paid programming. You can stream live video on your own website and maintain complete control and rights to your content and also stream on social media platforms.

Cons: There is no free service and the analytics could be better.

Length: 8 hours.

Broadcast Me (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: 3.1

Pros: You can integrate your live stream with almost all other social media platforms.

Cons: You can only broadcast from a phone or tablet.

Length: Unlimited streaming services come with a low 1-time fee.

Zype (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: It’s an all-in-one digital video distribution and management hub specifically designed for companies who want to invest in live streaming or videography. There are options for distribution including Apple TV, Roku, WordPress and more.

Cons: The price of this platform is not listed on their website but people have reported it’s quite high. Video, not live streaming are their focus so some features might be missing.

Length: 12 hours.

Streamshark (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: They offer a 360-degree video player and a multi-camera option.They integrate Google Analytics and offer live support for your streaming.

Cons: There’s no free version and the pricing can be difficult to understand.

Length: Depends on paid plan.

Wowza (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: 3.5

Pros: This platform includes advanced tools for advanced needs including VR and 360-degree streaming options with HD quality.

Cons: There is no free service and it can be quite complicated to set-up if you’re not tech-savvy.

Length: Depends on paid plan.

JW Live (Paid)

Google Play Star Rating: N/A

Pros: It’s part of the JWPlayer platform and allows streaming on multiple platforms and allows you to import a live stream from another app.

Cons: You can only live stream as part of the paid plans.

Length: 6 hours

Did we miss someone or know a platform that needs recognition here? Please shoot us an email and we'll add it to the list!

Happy streaming, event professionals.

You've successfully subscribed to Akommo+
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Great! You've successfully signed up.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.