Best Streaming Software: Record And Stream Like A Star

BEST FREE

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Open Broadcaster 

5/5

RUNNER-UP

Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)

Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)

4.5/5

BEST PAID

Telestream Wirecast Software

Telestream Wirecast

4.7/5

Live streaming platforms have taken the world by storm, and they aren’t slowing down at all. 

Whether it is content creators or business owners, streaming to your followers has become a new trendy way to engage with your base. 

Streaming mainly opens an opportunity for more interaction than we have ever seen. 

If you’re looking for a way to strengthen your interaction with customers or subscribers, then you will want to continue reading to find out about the best streaming services available. 

Our Reviews Of The Best Streaming Software

#1

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

BEST FREE

Open Broadcaster Software, more commonly known as OBS, is an open streaming service that is built by the community of streamers themselves. 

This free service is regularly updated with new features for users to customize their streams. This service is available on Mac IOS, Windows, and Linux.

BENEFITS

  • It’s free
  • Reliable (there are very few bugs)
  • Highly Customizable
  • Light CPU Storage

DRAWBACKS

  • No centralized support (community help only)
  • Can be difficult when first getting started
  • No multi-streaming

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Works on IOS, Windows, and Linux

BUYING ADVICE

It’s free, so it is a worthwhile investment for streamers who don’t need any extra features. 

They can save money and give this software a try with the support of an entire community behind them. 

This program is very straightforward, and, if there is a desire to add a little more flair, then there is the option to use plug-ins that add more customization options.

Technical specifications

  • Size: 63.6 MB
  • Cloud: No
  • Requirements: N/A
  • Price: Free
#2

Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)

RUNNER-UP

Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)

Streamlabs OBS, or SLOBS, is a free streaming service that caters heavily to the gaming audience. 

This software has also become more popular with non-gamers. The software has been marketed as user-friendly and easy to learn.

BENEFITS

  • Free
  • User-friendly
  • Includes many features for creators
  • Gamer-friendly
  • Easy on the CPU

DRAWBACKS

  • Still in its beta phase
  • Windows only

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Filters
  • Free overlays
  • Audio filters
  • Video editor

BUYING ADVICE

There are many features in SLOBS that are similar to OBS; however, the major drawbacks with this program are that it is still in its beta phase and that it is only available on Windows products. 

These are the main reasons we see it in the runner up position.

If you do have Windows, this is a very attractive software. 

There is a lot of customization that would allow a streamer to show off his or her personality, and it also is better with encoding broadcasts, ensuring fewer bots and more real interaction.

Technical specifications

  • Size: 245.8 MB
  • Cloud: No
  • Requirements: Windows
  • Price: Free
#3

Nvidia Shadowplay

Nvidia Shadowplay

Nvidia Shadowplay is a service that mainly caters toward gamers. This software leaves a little to be seen in the area of its streaming quality. 

There aren’t many options for streamers to broadcast, and, essentially, all they have the ability to do is show the gameplay stream. 

It does focus on encoding the graphics processing unit (GPU) instead

BENEFITS

  • Shortcuts make it easy to capture gameplay
  • Uses GPU instead of CPU
  • Great tool for local recording

DRAWBACKS

  • Must have Nvidia graphics card (which can be expensive)
  • No overlays
  • No multisource displays
  • No plug-ins or other graphics features
  • Good streaming, but only at very high bitrates

EXTRA FEATURES

  • N/A

BUYING ADVICE

This service is very useful for the gamer streaming crowd. Unfortunately, that is about as far as its reach extends. 

With very limited features to customize the stream and the requirement of having a pricey Nvidia graphics card, this software is not the first choice. 

However, it could still serve as a beneficial streaming service depending on the type of style you’re going for.

Technical specifications

  • Size: 86.9 MB
  • Cloud: No
  • Requirements: Nvidia graphics card
  • Price: Free
#4

Telestream Wirecast

BEST PAID

Telestream Wirecast Software

Telestream Wirecast comes in two options, Studio and Pro. 

Some of the features include the ability to host guests, multistream, animated 3D titles and graphics, and unlimited capturing and recording of video sources.

BENEFITS

  • Provides a lot of advanced functionality
  • Works on Mac and Windows
  • Professional layout and quality support
  • New features and updates added often

DRAWBACKS

  • Resource intensive
  • Expensive

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Pro Version includes extra features
  • High-resolution ISO recording
  • Live Scoreboards/ 3D virtual sets

BUYING ADVICE

Although this service is expensive, there is a lot of bang for your buck with this program. 

Even if one elects to do the Studio version instead of the Pro version, there are still many possibilities from streamers to make unique broadcasts. 

The ability to host guests and multistream on the platform is a major component that this software has over the free programs that are offered. 

The customization and constant updates also justify the high price streamers must pay. 

If you’re looking to get a more sophisticated service and you’re willing to pay, this software is a solid choice.

Technical specifications

  • Size: 550 MB
  • Cloud: No
  • Requirements: N/A
  • Price: Wirecast Studio- $695/ Wirecast Pro- $995
#5

Lightstream

Lightstream Studio Software

Lightstream is the “google docs” of live streaming software. This program is installed in your browser. 

Everything is done in the cloud on this service, and, because of this, less of the central processing unit is used, which means your device will not be hindered in performance and can still compare with other streams. 

This service is free and selects the best encoding strategies on your device automatically.

BENEFITS

  • Browser and cloud-based
  • Simple to use & Quick to set-up
  • Uses less CPU
  • Live chat support

DRAWBACKS

  • Mostly 720p streaming
  • Known sound issues
  • Not many features, basic

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Slick overlays
  • Guest hosting
  • Native support of other streaming tools like Streamlabs
  • Everything is saved on the cloud
  • Allows you to live stream on mobile devices

BUYING ADVICE

This service is free and does allow for streaming on the go, which means it is not a heavy drain on your device. 

The cloud-based design of the software allows for streams to be saved, so you don’t lose your work. 

Lightstream is great to use if you want some of the capabilities of a platform like Telestream but only need a basic version

Technical specifications

  • Size: 0
  • Cloud: Yes
  • Requirements: N/A
  • Price: Free

Streaming Software FAQ

Live Podcast

How to Set Up Your Stream for The First Time?

There are a lot of steps you want to follow when starting your live stream

You have to make sure you have a topic that people will tune in for; you cannot just pick a random topic and do it. Also, it is important that you purchase the right equipment.

Having streaming software is not enough, you also need to make sure you have a microphone that can deliver good audio quality. 

In addition, make sure you have a stable and strong internet connection to prevent unwanted lag. Invest in a quality webcam that can deliver a clear picture during your stream. 

All of this should be present before you attempt your first live stream which will use up data.

Once you purchase all the necessary equipment and test it, make sure everything is set up properly and to your liking, and you can move on recording your very first stream! 

Many streamers do their broadcasts on Twitch, and, if you choose to use Twitch, then you will configure Twitch to work with your streaming software.

Next, choose your software. Since Open Broadcaster Software is the most popular, this tutorial will focus on OBS setup. 

Choose OBS to operate as the stream administrator. From there, you will go to your settings and input a stream key that gives you access to your account for live streams. 

These keys are given out on all streaming sources. After doing this, go back to Twitch, change your dashboard settings to your liking, and confirm them.

Up next, select dashboard on Twitch and click on stream key. There, you can input the stream key you used for OBS. Lastly, just confirm, and you are all set to start a live broadcast.   

How Much Do Streamers Make?

Dollars Flying

Making money from streams is a process and will take some time. There are many different potential streams of income for streamers, and each of them comes with its own challenges.

Ways that streamers can make money:

  • Donations
  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • Sponsors

Accepting donations is one common way streamers make money. 

Some streamers gain donations by encouraging their viewers to donate by offering them exclusive things like access to their private snapchats or merchandise. 

Other streamers just ask their viewers to send in donations if they like what they are seeing in their streams.

On Twitch, streamers can ask their audience to become subscribers for a certain price. 

This is not a way that the top streamers bring in most of their funds, but this is still where a substantial amount of money is made.

Streamers receive about half of the subscription revenue from their viewers while Twitch collects the other half. 

Streamers who reach top tier status are allowed to keep a larger portion of their earnings.

Advertising is another way that some streamers make money. While this is not a very lucrative choice, it still brings in revenue. 

If streamers agree to bring in extra advertisements during their broadcasts, then they can make a little bit more money.

Sponsorships are considered to be the biggest money maker for streamers. 

Sponsors pay the streamers depending on what their streams offer, so a game streamer would be offered money for playing a certain game.

How to Make Money With Sponsorships

Youtube Plus Twitch

The amount of money you make from sponsorships really depends on what you stream and how popular your stream is. 

You can earn 1 cent per viewer per hour. 

To put that amount in perspective, if you have 10,000 subscribers, you can earn about $100 – $200 per hour depending on how many people watch the stream. 

It takes time to get to this level and get sponsors to notice you, so you have to put in work to get to this point.

Even if you aren’t at the top, you can still generate good income by having sponsorship ties where they pay you for your services.

In order to turn a meaningful profit, you need to be putting in a great deal of your time streaming. 

You most likely won’t be making a ton of money if you only stream for brief periods of time every few days. 

You have to stream more constantly to gain followers and then plan your streams around the times your followers tune in.

In the beginning, it is recommended that you stream at least 500 minutes every 30 days, stream at least seven days every 30 days, and grow your following.

Putting all these factors together, it is quite possible that a person could make a substantial amount of money each month from their subscribers and also may be able to make additional income from sponsors and advertisements.

Earning money with a different streaming service outside of Twitch, like YouTube, is a very similar process. 

All the same opportunities are available for YouTube streamers. The biggest and most difficult part of streaming is building your following. 

Once you build an audience, the money will start coming in, and you will be able to turn a profit off of your hard work.

What Is the Best Streaming Software for Twitch?

When it comes to which software is the best for streaming on Twitch there are many factors to consider, and you can use multiple software programs to get the job done.

Streaming Software Options:

  • Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
  • Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS)
  • Nvidia Shadowplay
  • Telestream Wirecast

Open Broadcaster Software is the best streaming software for many reasons. 

OBS allows you to directly stream from your webcam and use the audio from your microphone while also allowing you to display video from the game you’re streaming.

The software is easy to learn, and there is constant support of the community members that help make changes to the software. 

If you are just getting into streaming, this software is best because it is simple and laid out plainly, so you won’t get confused. 

If you get bored with the simple style that they provide, then you can switch to more complex software. However, this one won’t fail you and does more than enough for most streamers.

A second option very similar to our list above is Streamlabs OBS. Since its creation, this platform has slowly begun to pull people from the regular OBS software. 

This software has proven to be easier for new users.

Also, people who like the style of OBS can keep that same comfort in Streamlabs since much of the layout and many of the main features highlighted in OBS are the same ones highlighted in Streamlabs. It is also free. 

The main reason that this program has struggled to gain popularity is that it is only available for Windows, and it is still in its beta phase. 

Once the product is fully developed and operational on different platforms, there could be a rise in popularity between the two streaming services.

Shadowplay comes in third place for the best software to use. 

While this platform is used more often to record gameplay rather than share it, there is still a capability for streaming with this platform. 

It is not as complex as the other software available, which is why it isn’t really used as much for streaming, but it does have some value in the streaming community. 

The most appealing aspect of this program would have to be its recording capabilities.

If you’re interested in going back and sharing moments from your stream, you can use this program to share recorded videos to your Twitch channel, and people can watch it repeatedly. 

Anything you could want to do can be done without leaving your stream, which is an added benefit as well. 

The reason this doesn’t rank any higher is that to use Shadowplay you have to have an Nvidia graphics card (which can be a bit expensive).

If you’re looking for another option, then one to consider is also Bebo. Bebo is still a new software, and it borrows a lot from the OBS program. 

However, where OBS can feel a bit complicated, Bebo simplifies and provides a user-friendly workspace.

Bebo is also free, so you have the freedom to try it out with no obligations. Novice users may like this service because you have the luxury of having 24/7 help from a customer service team.

If you want to be a little more sophisticated with your streams, you can use Telestream Wirecast. 

The capabilities of this service seem almost endless as streamers can conduct their streams in a completely unique way. Multistreaming is a plus with this service, and you can share your screen in more than one way with this service.

Streamers can team up and combine their audiences, creating entirely new interactions. While this software is very impressive, the price is a bit high, but for a good reason. 

Wirecast offers a lot of options that justify the higher price.

Conclusion

There are a lot of software options for you to use. 

The most important thing is to find a streaming service that fits you and get to streaming. Often, people are most comfortable with OBS. 

Also, many other streaming services take from this program, so it’s clear that OBS is doing something right.

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