This article assess the pros and cons of the different streaming providers available for your virtual event to help you find the best solution for your needs.

Whichever provider you use, when someone buys for a virtual event via Thepointofsale.com, a unique link is sent to them as a pass. This link, once clicked, brings them to your event's waiting page on Thepointosale.com with a countdown marking the time remaining before your event starts. This feature allows you to put your event on sale without already having your provider's link for your event. Once you start broadcasting on your side, the pass holders will automatically be redirected to your event.

IMPORTANT! Don't forget to add your provider's unique link in the Information tab of your event. Without this essential link, your customers can never be redirected to your live video!


Vimeo

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Vimeo has multiple security mesures in place that, for example, will stop others from broadcasting your event in another website;
  • It is know for giving one of the best quality available;
  • Audio tracks sound better on Vimeo because it supports 320 Kbps.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • Vimeo Premium is the only type of account that lets you do live videos. This is a paid type of account that can be quite expensive. It becomes a better option if you intend on creating multiple virtual events or have thousands of viewers since Vimeo Premium is a fixed price solution, not a pay per viewer one.

Facebook

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Free;
  • Ability to stream live for hours (8 hours on computer or using the API and 4 hours on mobile);
  • Integrated chat;
  • Direct access to your fans who are already following you on this media;
  • Integrated screen sharing tool;
  • Integrated survey tool;
  • Button to receive donations if you are a charity (This process can take time, make sure you have been authorized with Facebook before the start of your event);
  • If you are a techie, Facebook Live now offers an API.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • Facebook cannot guarantee the confidentiality of your video. Three choices of public will be available to you: public to all, to your "friends" only, or by list.
  • You should also understand that you risk attracting dissatisfaction from your buyers if they pay for content free on your page;
  • Technological problems: several users have reported an offset or blurred image and poor sound quality;
  • No monetization: no possibility of donation if you're not a charity or merchandise sales;
  • Limited statistics after your event. (With a company page, you will be able to see the number of unique spectators, total number of spectators and the average duration of their viewing. If you have a personal page, you will only see the total number of spectators).

Google Meet

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Temporary free (until September 30, 2020) without any time limit;
  • Works well for groups and conferences;
  • Safe: even by putting your broadcast link, the host must accept each of the participants in a conference;
  • Integrated chat;
  • Option of participants or view-only (reduced access);
  • Integrated screen sharing.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • Usually paid service according to your Gsuite plan with a time limit of 60 minutes;
  • No monetization: no possibility of donation or sales of merchandise products;
  • No security against sharing links, so people who did not pay for your event could still attend if they have the link;
  • Limit of participants determined according to your Gsuite package (from 100 to 250), the spectator limit (view-only) is 100,000;
  • The host must have a Gsuite account;
  • If you choose the view-only option (without participation), spectators do not have access to live chat;
  • No reports or statistics on participants after your event.

Other

For the live stream to work on Google Meet, you must first authorize it on your account. If you do not want to see your participants, you will have to create a view-only event. The link created will be the one you need to add to the event manager. To learn more, visit the Google Meet Help Center.


Skype

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Easy to create the sharing link;
  • Free;
  • No time limit;
  • Possibility to record the streaming video to watch later;
  • Possibility to have guests using their audio only;
  • Chat available for participants;
  • Integrated screen sharing;
  • Integrated survey tool.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • No security against shared links, so people who did not pay for your event could still attend;
  • Limit of 50 participants;
  • Poor sound and image quality, Skype is unfortunately recognized for its unpredictable technical problems;
  • No monetization: no possibility of donation or merchandise sales;
  • If your participants use their phone or tablet to watch and participate in your event, they will need to create a Skype account;
  • Skype prefers that participants create an account, even by agreeing to participate in your event as a guest, they will have to avoid several acquisition tactics encouraging them to create an account.

Twitch

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Free;
  • Platform created specifically for live content/streaming;
  • Several monetization options;
  • Chat with monetization options;
  • Time limit of ... 48 hours !;
  • No viewers limit;
  • An Analytics section for statistics;
  • Integrated survey tool.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • Twitch does not create paid or private content, so you risk attracting your buyers' dissatisfaction if they pay for content distributed for free on the platform;
  • Twitch's audience is young, video games and technology oriented. If it's not your audience, it's probably not your platform;
  • If you become a Twitch Partner, you will only be able to stream video games on this platform;
  • To have access to the live chat, your spectators must create a Twitch account.

Youtube

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Free;
  • Integrated chat and with monetization options;
  • 12 hour time limit;
  • No viewers limit;
  • An Analytics section for statistics;
  • Integrated survey tool.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • No security against the sharing of links if the video is not integrated into our viewing page,
  • For your event not to appear in the search engine (linked directly to Google), you must either change its status to unlisted or private where you will have to invite your participants individually through their email (must be a gmail);
  • Few monetization options available. Several content creators have decided to move away from the platform for this reason;
  • Problem with reporting of false inappropriate content;
  • Faulty copyright reporting difficult to resolve;
  • To stream from a mobile device and the YouTube app, you will need 1000 subscribers.

Other

Make sure you have enable livestreaming on your account before your event. Authorization can take up to 24 hours.


Zoom

๐Ÿ‘Pros

  • Works well for groups and conferences;
  • Integrated live chat;
  • Integrated screen sharing.
  • Integrated survey tool.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons

  • If you have more than 100 participants, you will have to pay for a subscription. The business package (the most expensive) allows a maximum of 1000 participants;
  • If you exceed 40 minutes, you will have to pay for a subscription;
  • No monetization: no possibility of donation or merchandise sales;
  • No security against the sharing of links, so people who did not pay for your event could still attend;
  • Zoom was the subject of media attention in March / April 2020 due to their security concerns (people joining private conversations). Look for zoombombing to learn more or to laugh a little.

Thepointofsale.com

No good option above? Do not forget that Thepointofsale.com also offers to stream your event:

  • Protection against link sharing: only one device can use the purchased link for your event at the same time;
  • Integrated chat with pre-filled information using purchasing data;
  • (Coming soon) Live chat moderator;
  • Page dedicated to your event whcih also serves as a waiting room before the event begins where ticket holders can chat while waiting;
  • No limit of spectators;
  • No time limit;
  • Monetization: make your event paid for thanks to the ticketing services which made Thepointofsale.com known to the general public;
  • (Coming soon) Detailed reports of your virtual event and your live chat;
  • (Coming soon) Additional monetization options;
  • Easy screen sharing through the use of OBS Studio software;
  • Competitive pricing

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