The Best Streaming Services For Business

Show the world what your brand is all about.

Whether you’re throwing a multi-million dollar soiree or trying to secure funding for a venture that’s just getting off the ground, there are plenty of reasons for you to give the internet a real-time look at what you do and how you do it.

All around the world, businesses are embracing streaming services and sharing their stories with tremendous success. Live streaming has been around for longer than you might imagine, and like everything else on the internet, it’s come a long way.

In 1993, half of the world’s available bandwidth was taken up by simulcasting a single live musical performance. Flash forward, and it’s estimated that live streaming will account for almost 25 billion gigabytes of web traffic in 2021.

It’s time to claim your stake.

But where do you start? With so many promising options out there, each poised to extend your reach into wildly different audiences, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by possibilities. Which streaming service is right for you and your brand? Are there any wrong platforms for your brand?

Great questions. Good thing we have answers. Here’s a look at each of the main streaming services in use today, what they’re primarily used for, and how they might prove useful as you venture into the digital frontier.

Twitch

Launched in 2011, Twitch has been the internet’s favorite spot for online gaming streams for about as long as “online gaming streams” has been a thing. Remember Tortuga from the Pirates of the Caribbean series? Twitch is like that for gamers. Twitch is where gamers go to dunk the mayor in the well.

Over the last few years, though, Twitch has been expanding its base, opening up its platform to a greater variety of content. In 2015, the company added a “Creative Communities” section to its site, establishing a space dedicated to showing off videos of creative endeavors.

Are you making custom art projects for charity? Have you organized a spectacular music event as a show of employee appreciation? If so, this could be the spot for you to demonstrate your process in real time, not just for your customers, but for prospective customers. Make sure to check out Twitch’s new Video Producer tools while you’re at it.

Twitch accounts are easy to set up, and their services are free to use. If you’d like a more polished, professional feel, consider signing up for Twitch Prime for an ads-free experience.

Bonus: Twitch Prime is included in your Amazon Prime membership.

YouTube

Ah, YouTube. They should’ve sent a poet.

There’s not much to say about YouTube that hasn’t already been said in a YouTube video about YouTube on YouTube. This is the nature of being the second most popular website on the planet.

YouTube is everywhere.

YouTube is everything.

YouTube is YouBiquitous.

I’ll stop now.

Seriously, though. YouTube has been at the forefront of video technology for a while, and the company began dipping its toes into live streaming relatively early in the game. In 2010, it broadcast a real-time Q&A with then President Obama, one year after its experimental live concert footage in 2009 let the world listen to U2 five years before Apple made it mandatory.

As with all things on the internet, YouTube’s venture into live video streaming began with lofty standards. These days, it’s a free-for-all.

Initially, a YouTube user needed 1,000 followers in order to go live. That figure was later reduced to 100. Today, if you want to go live on YouTube, all you need is a YouTube account in good standing. This means you must repress your urge to upload pirated copies of Paddington 2 from the theater. If you can resist this urge and avoid getting “strikes” on your account, you’ll have access to all of YouTube’s live video features, from mobile streaming to 360-degree virtual reality uploads.

Periscope

Periscope is live streaming’s adorable (slightly spazzy) little brother.

Launched in 2015, Periscope is arguably the quickest way to begin live streaming on the modern internet. Download it, link it to your Twitter account, tap the button, and you’re all up in the internet’s business.

With its simple learning curve, Periscope offers users an easy to navigate interface and a direct line to their Twitter followers. Any broadcast uploaded through the app will be available for 24 hours, at which time it will be auto-deleted unless a user disables this setting.

Since Periscope first appeared on the scene, its direct ties to Twitter have made it one of social media’s favorite spots for beaming experiences straight to the eyeballs of friends and followers. Its ability to provide instant feedback from viewers makes it a powerful tool for any business looking to take the temperature of a new product or idea.

Facebook Live

The new kid on the block, Facebook Live could be the live streaming Chosen One foreseen in prophecy from the Time Before. The Ancient Times. Like, maybe back when MySpace was still going or something.

It’s easy to forget that Facebook Live is still a fairly fresh feature, considering how it has taken over our news feeds the last two years. It blends easily into the fabric of an already familiar social media platform, so giving and receiving feedback is simple and intuitive.

Despite looming news feed changes that have marketers uncertain about their futures on the platform, celebrities and brands actively use Facebook Live to reach their fans, engaging them with a glimpse into their diverse worlds. Reaching your target audience is as easy as starting a broadcast and letting Facebook itself notify your subscribers the second you’re live.

Switchboard Cloud

There was this old movie that I loved as a kid called The Court Jester. There’s a scene in it where the main character is challenged to a duel. Presented with an armory, the jester is instructed to choose his weapon.

“I’ll take one of those,” he replies, “and one of those. Ooh, a couple of those. I’d better take them all.”

That’s what Switchboard Cloud does. It gives you ALL the live streaming options you need to make the most of your broadcast.

Switchboard is a rad new platform that offers your business the ability to simulcast content to Facebook Live, Periscope, Twitch, YouTube, and more — all at once. Even better, it uses a cloud service to make sure that doing so won’t explode your bandwidth. It even allows you to watermark, edit, and swap between input feeds on the go, giving your stream a swanky, television-ready look.

They’re offering a free trial right now, so give it a shot! After all, 2021 is right around the corner, and you definitely want to claim your stake in the live video marketing game sooner rather than later.