As a streamer, you want to connect with the largest audience possible. Sometimes, this involves streaming to more than one gaming platform. And setting up a multistream of your gameplay can help you simultaneously reach more viewers.
Today, I’ll go over several of the best free and paid systems I could find. Some of these, I plan on using myself.
What is a Multistream (Multicast)?
A multistream, or multicast, is when the user broadcasts video content to more than one platform. For example, you can multistream video to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live at the same time.
The idea is to get as many viewers as possible by connecting with them on the platform of their choice.
This means you can connect with an audience who may prefer YouTube gaming to Twitch, or even those who want to watch on Facebook – all from a single broadcast.
In theory, you could quickly boost subscribers, followers, and fans from a variety of social platforms all at the same time.
7 Great Platforms to Multistream Your Video
This list is comprised of both paid systems and free software you can use right now. And while some software is exceptionally expensive, make sure you consider what you get in return.
For example, how much would you pay to triple your viewership from just multistreaming a single video?
NOTE: I would mention Wirecast, but their site is “unsecure” at the time of this post. Which means the brand doesn’t care enough to buy an SSL. And if you want me to fork over almost $500 for the software, having a secure domain goes a long way to boost trust.
Restream actually has several platforms under its belt. In this article, I’m looking at the Multistreaming aspect.
Although Restream allows you to multistream for free, you need to be comfortable with the brand’s watermark. This is a graphic that will appear during your broadcasts, which is a common practice for using free applications.
The trade-off is being able to broadcast video to more than 30 social platforms all at once.
Some of the benefits of the free version include setting up the meta data for your video content and keeping track of interactions on a single platform.
As an added bonus, you can download the multi-chat app for Windows or use your browser to integrate your audience. This way, you don’t have to switch back and forth to respond to viewers.
2. Streamlabs Prime
And yes, this does include chat integration. This means you can see who is sending messages from the various platforms you’re using.
By paying for the service, you can stream to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and two RTMP destinations. Setting up multistream is quite simple in Streamlabs. Simply use the toggle switches and access your accounts.
When it comes to cost, Streamlabs Prime is a bit lower than the price of Restream for the paid account. Plus, you get a lot more than just multistream capabilities.
If you’re looking to spend money, you’d probably get the better deal from Streamlabs OBS and Prime. Especially when you consider the amount of stuff you get from Streamlabs.
3. Switchboard Cloud
Probably one of the more expensive on this list, Switchboard is capable of multistreaming to a wide variety of social platforms. However, I’m not fully sold on Switchboard’s pricing or their list of features.
For instance, you’d have to pay $99 per month to stream at 1080p. However, you are capable of adding customized options. So, you can pay for the “indie” version at $35 per month and then add 1080p multistreaming for an extra $25.
When you consider there are many other platforms out there that are cheaper to use, I’m not seeing the benefit.
However, you can set up a 7-day free trial of the Indie and Pro versions of Switchboard Cloud. This way, you can try it yourself to see if it’s something worthwhile for your needs.
4. XSplit Broadcaster
A one of my favorites, XSplit Broadcaster is one of the first streaming apps I’ve ever used. For $25 every three months, you have access to a slew of tools for streaming, including multistream.
You can also pay $199 for a lifetime license, which I am seriously considering.
From within XSplit Broadcaster, you add each platform where you want to stream. Then, you go live with each one individually.
And if the platform you want isn’t listed, XSplit Broadcaster supports RTMP. This means you can add your own as often as you’d like.
Unfortunately, multistreaming with XSplit Broadcaster requires a premium license.
If you’re looking for an affordable solution for multistream, Castr is probably among the better choices. Its prices are much lower than many on this list and you’re still capable of streaming to more than 30 social platforms.
Like Streamlabs above, Castr lets you toggle streaming sites on the fly with a simple switch.
The lowest tiered pay plan lets you stream to a single Facebook Page or group. But, you can pay more if you want to really expand into different areas of Facebook.
The upside is that you have a 7-day free trial of Castr to see if it’s something you might want to use. This may be a better solution if you don’t want to pay for some of the stand-alone platforms in this list, such as XSplit or Streamlabs.
If you need streaming software, StreamYard lets you broadcast content to major social sites.
Essentially, StreamYard is web-based streaming software. This means you don’t need to install programs onto your computer. And, it gives you several tools and functions to get more out of the broadcast.
But, more is unlocked when you pay for the service.
The free version will add branding to your video. However, you can pay for the basic service at $25 per month for multistreaming to three destinations.
Though, this means you have access to fewer social sites. But in reality, what more are you going to stream to besides Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook?
As one of the most expensive on this list, you’d think StreamShark would have some amazing features. For a whopping, $199 per month, you get instant video archives, DVR and Live rewinding, chat, and multistream capabilities.
StreamShark also provides cloud Video-On-Demand and real-time statistics of the broadcast. However, it only allows up to 2 multistream destinations at the same time.
So if you wanted to reach Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube in one broadcast, you’d have to upgrade to StreamShark’s Team plan…at $499 per month!
In reality, StreamShark might be beneficial for medium to large companies looking to create a video marketing platform. But for the average Joe like myself, that is way beyond my budget.
But if you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can get the free trial and determine if it’s something you’d want to fork over a lot of money for each month.
Why Should You Multistream?
If you want to succeed as a video creator, you need to reach as many people as possible. The more people who see your work, the more likely you’ll generate an audience.
Instead of merely focusing on one video platform, such as Twitch, you could expand your reach by also streaming to other social hubs. But, doing a new video broadcast for each one can be exceptionally time-consuming.
Especially if you want to build a following on YouTube, Facebook, or even Twitter.
But if you multicast your video to several social sites at the same time, you can then reach a wider audience from a single broadcast.
After all, people who prefer YouTube may not even know your Facebook or Twitch profile exists for live content.
What About Chatting with the Audience?
Some of the apps above integrate chats from across multiple broadcasting outlets. This lets you interact with viewers regardless of what platform they use to watch.
However, some require that you open new tabs in your browser if you want to interact with viewers.
For instance, Streamlabs OBS and Prime will bring chats from Twitch and Facebook into a single window when you multistream. XSplit Broadcaster will only let you stream the video.
Depending on the platform, you might have to get a bit creative if you want to keep up with your viewers.
For instance, I have two monitors when live streaming. I play the game on one while watching the chat in the other. Since I can pop-out chat from Twitch, I can overlay it with YouTube and see who is chatting from where on the second monitor.
But if you have one screen, it’s going to be far more difficult unless you play everything in windowed mode.
Multistreaming Takes Bandwidth and Processor Power
One thing to keep in mind before you jump into a multistream is how much is needed to broadcast to multiple sources. This is one of the reasons why many people prefer cloud-based multistream apps.
Each location you add to software is going to take that much more bandwidth. So if you have a poor Internet connection, you might not produce the best and most clear video.
What about computer processing power? Is your home network connection good enough to send the same data to multiple destinations?
There is actually quite a bit that goes into multistreaming directly from your home computer. Make sure you have enough power and upload speed to deliver a good experience to viewers.
Expand Your Audience with a Multistream
There’s no doubt that a multistream to YouTube, Twitch, and various other platforms can help you grow an audience. Just remember that you’ll have to deliver something people want to watch.
If you can have fun with it, interact with viewers, and multistream, you could grow an audience much faster than just using one platform alone.
Besides, it’ll help you get an idea of where your viewers prefer to watch from for future reference and marketing ideas.
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