Comparison of Live Streaming Services

Live streaming services for creators have skyrocketed recently. Lets deep dive on how top services compare.

In year 2020, video conferencing, online events, live streaming, and other video services consumption skyrocketed and provided us entertainment and meaningful way to connect with each other.

In particular, artists, creators, musician, and performers sought out live streaming services like never before to make money, better connect with fans and continue performing their art.

Artist performing online live event
Artists discussing
Comparison Approach / Key Criteria

Here are the key criteria to consider when creators need to choose a live streaming services -

  1. Ease of creating online events — allowing creator to have full control on options such as date & time of event, ticket price, number of tickets, etc
  2. Ease of selling tickets — can creators sell tickets to their events and how easily can they do so without worrying about payments
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — creators are not tech savvy and don’t want to deal with technical details such as software configuration, server url, stream key, video bitrate, etc. Creators also need the option to live stream pre-recorded videos.
  4. Live stream quality — This is very important for artists to make sure their performance is streamed at the highest possible quality
  5. Fan Experience — Needless to say, fans need to have a great experience from buying tickets to viewing the event so they enjoy to the fullest. Including chatting and interacting with artists, sending emojis and reactions.
  6. Creator Payout — how quickly do creators get paid for their events and more importantly, how much of the ticket sales?
Live Streaming Services to Compare

In this article, we will compare the following live streaming services that makes sense for today’s creators economy industry -

  1. YouTube
  2. Twitch
  3. Patreon
  4. Facebook
  5. Catch
YouTube

YouTube is the de facto video service that we have come to love and enjoy. Besides regular uploaded video content such as movies, music, art, food, travel, news, reviews and much more, YouTube also provide live streaming services. YouTube needs to review and approve your account for live streaming.

  1. Ease of creating online events — Not available
  2. Ease of selling tickets — can creators sell tickets to their events and how easily can they do so without worrying about payments
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — There are restrictions on how users can broadcast live depending on they channel stats. For regular users, OBS is the only option which is quite technically challenging and difficult.
  4. Live stream quality — 4K and below
  5. Fan Experience — Chat is decent. Expect ads and distraction that may cause fans to be less engaged and move away. Poor discoverability of upcoming events.
  6. Creator Payout — Creators earn only ads revenue share. Typically, $1,000-$3,000 per million views. Perhaps good for celebrity artists but extremely poor for rest.
Twitch

Twitch is the go to live streaming service for gamers.

  1. Ease of creating online events — No concept of events. Just go live when you like.
  2. Ease of selling tickets — Not available
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — OBS is the only option which is quite technically challenging and difficult.
  4. Live stream quality — 1080p and below
  5. Fan Experience — Chat is great. Poor discoverability of upcoming events.
  6. Creator Payout — Creators earn money on through crowdfunded subscriptions and viewer donations.
Patreon

Patreon are subscription based services that allow fans to follow and pay their favorite artists a monthly membership fee. In return fans get access to exclusive updates and contents. Great for hard code fans.

  1. Ease of creating online events — Creators can only choose date and time they wish to go live.
  2. Ease of selling tickets — Not available
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — OBS is the only option which is quite technically challenging and difficult.
  4. Live stream quality — 1080p and below
  5. Fan Experience — Enjoy the exclusive show
  6. Creator Payout — Creators earn money through monthly subscription fees.
Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media service that love and hate :) Facebook live streaming service was introduced in 2017 but added paid tickets recently.

  1. Ease of creating online events — Creators can only choose date and time of the event and set ticket price! But cannot choose number of tickets available.
  2. Ease of selling tickets — Share the unique event link with fans
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — Use Facebook app for easy go live. Option to use OBS as well for advanced users.
  4. Live stream quality — 720p and below
  5. Fan Experience — Chat is great. Expect ads and distraction that may cause fans to be less engaged and move away.
  6. Creator Payout — Creators earn only 70% of the ticket sales revenue.
Catch

Catch.live was built specifically for creators and artists looking to create online event, sell tickets and connect with fans.

  1. Ease of creating online events — Choose date, time, ticket prices, number of tickets available (for more intimate events)
  2. Ease of selling tickets — Share the unique event link with fans on social media. Fans buy tickets in seconds without annoying sign ups.
  3. Ease of Live broadcasting — Use Catch app (iOS and Android) for easy go live. Option to use OBS as well for advanced users. Also option to upload pre-recorded video for Catch to stream it live.
  4. Live stream quality — 4K and below
  5. Fan Experience — Chat is fantastic. No ads/distractions. Fans can chat with artists and other fans, send emoji, reactions.
  6. Creator Payout — Creators keep 100% of the ticket sales revenue. Which is freaking awesome!

So many services to choose from and each has it pros & cons. Artists, creators, musicians and artists must choose whats best for them and their fans.