Price is an important factor in live video streaming. Price plays a role when it comes to equipment, cameras, staff, and platforms. This article will focus on a pricing comparison between multiple video live streaming platform comparisons.
A modern live streaming platform is like a Swiss Army Knife for video. These solution providers offer a range of features and services. At a minimum, they host and deliver video content to viewers. They may also offer tools to monetize video, security functionality, and more. Different features impact price, but pricing varies widely from platform to platform, and some charge a lot more for access to basic features.
Table of Contents:
- Live Streaming Platform Pricing Comparison
- Content Delivery and Storage Costs
- Video Monetization Fees
- Security Features
- Customer Support Add-on Costs
- API Access
- Bandwidth Pricing
- Why Dacast?
Live Streaming Platform Pricing Comparison
Our pricing comparison is divided into several categories with the goal of making your decisions easier. With that in mind, let’s jump right in and see what is the platform with the best pricing according to specific features for professional live broadcasting.
1. Content Delivery and Storage Costs
Let’s get started with our live streaming platform comparison by looking at delivery with various services. Content delivery is critical to consider. Video streams are bandwidth-heavy. Therefore, having a robust network – ideally, a video streaming CDN or Content Distribution Network – to help deliver streams is essential.
Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Storage with Dacast starts at 20 GB for $21/month, and paying $188/month gets you 1,000 GB of storage. Custom high volume plans are also available. Dacast partners with the largest global platform top-tier CDNs to deliver your content worldwide.
Livestream ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The Livestream platform plans start at $75/month, but unlimited storage is only available on the Enterprise plans and for simulcasting. Content delivery is via an internal CDN system.
IBM Cloud Video ⭐⭐⭐ – $99/month gets you 1 TB of storage, $499/month provides 2 TB storage, and $999/month includes 5 TB storage. Delivery is via an IBM server network.
Wowza ⭐⭐⭐ – At Wowza, storage is charged based on your peak storage on any given month at $0.08 per GB. Wowza monthly pricing plans start at $99/month, which includes 250 GB of storage charged based on your peak storage on any given month. CDN content delivery is via Akamai and includes 20 live streaming hours, with $9 per live streaming hour beyond the plan limit.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – At Brightcove, storage is restricted based on the number of videos and plays. Their pricing plans are not listed on the site, but start at $199/month includes storage for 50 videos, and the $499/month plan includes 200 videos. Both options include 100,000 plays with no overages. Brightcove uses an internal CDN, or you can use your own.
Streamshark ⭐⭐ – Plans at Streamshark start at $199/month and include 500 GB of VOD storage an additional overage of $0.10 per GB for the Standard plan. The Team plan is $499/month, includes 2,000 GB of storage, and lowers per GB overage prices to $0.09. The Business plan is $999/month, includes 5,000 GB of storage, and reduces the overage to $0.08 per GB.
2. Video Monetization Fees
Online video is a highly lucrative (and booming) business. Many broadcasters want to make money from their online video. This requires one of three methods: advertising, pay-per-view, or subscriptions. Each can be effective in the right circumstances. This section of our live streaming platform comparison looks at monetization tools.
Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Video monetization through pre, mid & post-roll advertising is supported on the Event and Scale plans, and as an add-on for the Starter plan. Subscriptions and pay-per-view are included and supported on both the Event and Scale plans at the inclusive costs of $63/month and $188/month respectively. In order to use Dacast’s monetization features, you will have to use the paywall to generate revenue. Dacast’s paywall commissions for pay-per-view and subscription transactions are 9.9% for each transfer, plus $0.40 on each viewer purchase.
Livestream ⭐⭐ – Supports subscriptions (SVOD), advertising (AVOD), and pay-per-view transactions (TVOD) but only on the Vimeo OTT product which has 2 posted options: Starter at $1/subscriber or Growth which starts at $500/month billed annually.
IBM Cloud Video – No built-in monetization support.
Wowza – No built-in monetization support.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – Includes monetization support via advertising, but only with custom “monetization” plans on custom OTT solutions.
Streamshark ⭐⭐ – Supports monetization only via advertising integrations, and is supported at all plan levels with VOD storage starting at $199/month.
3. Security Features
Your video is too valuable to be illegally copied, shared, or distributed. Professional users need to secure their content. Various live streaming platforms include tools to help you do this. Here’s our live streaming platform comparison on the topic of video security.
Livestream ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Includes password protection, embed restrictions, privacy control, and content access controls, on all plans starting at $75/month and up.
IBM Cloud Video – Offers embed controls and password protection. Does not publish specific pricing information about their security features.
Wowza ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Includes rights access management, geoblocking, and CDN token authorization on all plans.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – Offers domain restrictions on the Starter plan, but secure HTTPS video playback and secure live streaming are only included in the Enterprise plans starting at $499/month. Custom plans also offer encryption/DRM.
Streamshark ⭐⭐ – Includes embed restrictions and password protection on all plans starting at $199/month, but only the $999/month plan includes privacy profiles.
4. Customer Support Add-on Costs
When problems arise, you need a video platform that offers 24/7 customer support and fast responses. You can’t wait for solutions during a live event. You need help right away. Here’s our tech-support live streaming platform comparison.
Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Offers 24/7 support including live chat and email, including 24/7 phone support with the $188/month Scale plan and above.
Livestream ⭐⭐⭐ – Includes basic email customer support at $75/month, and priority support kicks in on the Enterprise plans whose prices are not listed. That said, the Vimeo OTT plans include dedicated support at the $500/month and up levels, billed annually.
IBM Cloud Video ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Includes phone support on all pricing plans, including the Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels, but the response times may be limited.
Wowza ⭐⭐ – Basic 48-hour response time with a $99/month plan. Wowza has add-on premium support plans for additional monthly costs which are billed annually. Response time drops to 8 hours with the $100/month Silver plan, 2 hours with the $500/month Gold plan, and 30 minutes with the Platinum plan. However, Platinum support pricing is not posted online, so you would have to contact their sales team.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – Brightcove offers 3 levels of Support similar to Wowza. but the pricing is not posted on their website. They offer Silver support on the Starter plans, Gold on the Enterprise plans, and both include Platinum support as an add-on. Response times vary, but from research, the Platinum support plan which offers a 15-minute response time.
Streamshark ⭐ – Their Standard and Team plans include email only support, and the Business plan adds an account manager. No other information is published on their customer support plans on the website.
5. API Access
Video API access is a must for professional users. An API, or Application Programming Interface, allows you to quickly and easily create custom applications, web portals, and integrated workflows. This is an essential tool for OTT businesses, 24/7 live streamers, app developers, and other demanding use cases.
Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Included in plans starting at $188/month and up.
Livestream ⭐ – API access is only included on Enterprise plans for both live streaming and Vimeo OTT, and no pricing information is published for those plans.
IBM Cloud Video ⭐ – API access is available only on custom plans, and no pricing information is published for those plans either.
Wowza ⭐⭐⭐ – Available via a special API-based pricing program, and no pricing information is published for those programs.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – Available with Enterprise and custom plans, and no pricing information is published for those plans.
Streamshark ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Includes an API for all plans (plans start at $199/month).
6. Bandwidth Pricing
We’ve already covered storage, but what about the cost of live streaming an event? The amount of live streaming you do and the number of viewers your event attracts will determine your bandwidth usage. This is a critical element in high-quality live streaming. Therefore, any live streaming platform comparison needs to look at the bandwidth.
Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 100 GB of monthly bandwidth on the $21/month Starter plan. With the Event plan, you get 6,000 GB of monthly bandwidth upfront for $63/month. For professional continuous broadcasting, 2,000 TB of monthly bandwidth is available on the Scale plan. All bandwidth is included in the monthly pricing billed annually and is not an add-on.
Livestream ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – For Livestream, bandwidth limits are not published, and seem to only be only available on the Enterprise plans and for simulcasting.
IBM Cloud Video ⭐⭐– Instead of bandwidth, IBM Cloud Video bills based on “viewer-hours.” At $99/month, you get 100 viewer hours. At $499/month, you get 2,000 viewer hours. At $999/month, you get 5,000 viewer hours, and pricing per additional viewer hour is currently not published.
Wowza ⭐⭐⭐⭐– Similar to IBM, Wowza calculates bandwidth as viewing hours per month. For the Basic plan, you get 1,000 viewing hours at $99/month; 7,000 viewing hours at $4199/month. They also have a one-time monthly plan option and viewing hours where you get 1,000 viewing hours at $149/one-time purchase.
Brightcove ⭐⭐ – Rather than using bandwidth, Brightcove allows a certain number of “plays.” $199/month includes up to 100,000 plays, and the $499/month plan includes 100,000+ plays with no overages. More expensive custom plans include unlimited plays.
Streamshark ⭐⭐⭐ – Similar to IBM and Wowza, plans at Streamshark use viewer hours. The standard plan includes 1,500 viewer hours and 4 simultaneous live streams at $199/month. The Team plan includes 6,500 viewer hours and 7 simultaneous live streams at $499/month, and the Business plan includes 13,500 viewer hours and 12 simultaneous live streams at $999/month.
As you can see from this live streaming platform comparison, there is a lot of variation in the marketplace. Different platforms offer different levels of service for wildly varying prices. However, the most expensive isn’t the best. In many cases, Dacast provides top-level service at some of the most affordable prices on the market.
We think Dacast is the right video platform for professional streamers. And we’re willing to back that up. We offer a 30-day free trial that offers full access to our platform to allow you to test it thoroughly. There is no commitment and no credit card required. Just click the button below to start streaming live in a matter of minutes.
Hopefully, this article has educated you about the live streaming platforms available on the market today. This will empower you to make informed business decisions.
Do you have further questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below, and we will get back to you. For regular live streaming tips and exclusive offers, you can also join the Dacast LinkedIn group. We’d love to connect there as well!
Thanks for reading, and good luck choosing the right video streaming solution for you!