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Where to Live Stream

Choosing which live streaming platform to use can be confusing, especially if you have a social media presence on more than one. It’s important for your brand to provide the best experience for viewers but how does that translate into whether you should use YouTube or facebook, Vimeo or a bespoke solution? Does it really matter which platform you use?

In our review below, we’ll draw out some features that might lead you to choose one platform over another and highlight some of the minor differences that could catch you out; for instance, did you know that you can’t embed a YouTube live stream on your website or that you can’t turn off reactions on facebook?

You might also be weighing up whether to use a paid-for streaming service and want to see whether the benefits are worth the cost so we’ve also included some information about how a bespoke live streaming package would compare.

YouTube Live

YouTube has built a strong video community of video creators and in some spheres is the place for online video. Historically a place for posting pre-recorded and post-produced video it launched live streaming in 2013. YouTube is ‘only about video’.

Good if you

  1. already have an established following from regularly posting videos or you’re going to start a channel and post regularly.

  2. have a limited budget as YouTube is ‘free’ to use

You can

  1. create a private live stream that’s only accessible to people with a link

  2. Record the stream and make it ‘immediately’ available to watch

  3. Disable comments and live chat

  4. Auto-record for up to 12 hours

Things to bear in mind

  1. You can’t embed YouTube live streams on your website

  2. It has simplified but limited stream monitoring (Good, OK, Bad) that doesn’t necessarily make clear how the viewing experience will be affected and can be fussy

  3. It takes 24 hours to go live if you’ve set up a brand new account or if you haven’t requested to use Live before

Facebook Live

The social giant added live streaming in 2016 and undoubtedly one of the main advantages to using facebook is the social environment in which any live stream will exist.

Good if you

  1. have an established page, group or community that will comment and share your video

  2. have a limited budget as YouTube is ‘free’ to use

You can

  1. Embed a live stream on your website

Things to bear in mind

  1. It is not possible to disable comments or reactions on live videos

  2. Live streams are limited to 4 hours


Periscope is a late arrival to the live streaming scene. Born in 2015 through the idea of what it would be like to “discover[…] the world through someone else’s eyes” it is designed for going live quickly from a phone and is becoming a standard platform for live streaming news-worthy events.

Good for

  1. going live quickly ‘in the moment’

You can

  1. Embed on a web page by sub-embedding in a Tweet

  2. Build a following

  3. Download the stream to your phone once completed

  4. Things to bear in mind:

  5. Periscope’s videos last 24 hours by default but can be kept indefinitely

  6. It’s designed for use in the app and web controls are limited

Things to bear in mind

  1. Doesn’t have a rewind feature


Vimeo recently acquired LiveStream, one of the market leaders in live streaming, and are in the process of integrating LiveStream’s features into Vimeo.

Good if you

  1. Need a customisable player

  2. Want to live stream multiple events throughout the year

You can

  1. Embed live streams on your website

  2. Set permissions on live streams

  3. Publish natively to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn & Twitter from Vimeo

Things to bear in mind

  1. Live Streaming is only available on the Premium plan which requires a 12-month subscription

  2. At the time of writing, some features from LiveStream haven’t been integrated into Vimeo Premium

  3. Doesn’t currently have a rewind feature


Twitch is best known as a platform for streaming online gaming but also has a reputation for creative media.

Good for

  1. Low latency streaming allowing streamlined interaction with viewers

  2. Creating highlights

  3. Reaching a specific online community

You can

  1. Allow other users to stream to your channel

  2. Create a series of events / programmes

  3. Enable monetization through the Affiliate and Partner programmes

Things to bear in mind

  1. Disconnect Protection gives you 90 seconds to sort out any network issues before the live stream is ended

  2. Does not support a backup stream

  3. VOD Storage is limited (up to 60 days) depending on the type of your account

  4. Affiliate and Partnership memberships are based on channel performance

Host a bespoke player on your website

There are multiple platforms for creating a branded player for your website and we won’t go into all the options here, however, there are distinct differences to using or embedding a social platform based player.

Good for

  1. Taking control of your content and how it is displayed

You can

  1. Brand your player

  2. Direct traffic to your website

  3. Drive traffic to your website

  4. Showcase features and products like your webshop or blog

  5. Implement Pay-Per-View and virtual ticketing

  6. record your stream and make it available afterwards on one of the social platforms, on your website, or via Pay-Per-View

Things to bear in mind

  1. The costs of hosting live video, creating and embedding a bespoke video player that can handle large amounts of video traffic are increasingly competitive. Contact us today to find a solution to fit your budget and the size of your event.

  2. You’ll need to take responsibility for music licensing (something Ofilms can help you navigate)

Multiple streams

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that some platforms can publish your live stream to multiple platforms simultaneously and all live streams by Ofilms come with this option.

You can

  1. Leverage audiences and followings on multiple platforms

Things to bear in mind

  1. Depending on the platforms it may be more difficult to protect your content with PPV


The choice of platform is a vital ingredient in the delivery of a successful live stream. OFilms’ streaming engineers, trusted by event organisers and production teams alike, are experts in all aspects of live streaming.

Contact us on 020 30 512 125 or send us a message and we’ll get in touch if you would like further help and impartial advice.

Which live streaming platform should I use? Where should I go live? What are the differences between the live streaming platforms? What’s the difference between YouTube Live and Facebook Live? Which social video platform should I use? Where’s the best place to live stream to?

Should I live stream on Twitch or Youtube?

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