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Top 5 Free Tools to Live Stream Your Event Online

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UPDATE 11/8/2016: This article has been updated from its original content to reflect feedback and software updates from existing options in the article.

There are times where potential attendees for your event are just dying to come, yet for whatever reason (cost, distance, lodging, etc.) they can’t seem to make the trip.

free live stream tools

Lucky for us, different types of event software enabled event planners to broadcast their events from afar so no matter where they may be, your attendees can still experience an event and not miss out on all its crucial information. On top of that, many of these tools are available for FREE online as alternatives to paid options such as Livestream.

Here are some of those free tools for hosting and live streaming your event online!

Google Hangouts on Air

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Although this list is not ranked by order, it seems only fitting that the biggest name on the internet have the top spot on our list. Google Hangouts on Air is a free tool offered to all Google+ users which allows up to ten simultaneous broadcasters to participate at once through your Google+/YouTube channel and, once you go live, anyone with the web address can view your live stream.

Other features include viewing invitations, chatroom abilities to answer questions live, and event scheduling. If you need help setting up your broadcast, Social Media Examiner has written an excellent and detailed guide on how to set up your next Google Hangouts on Air.

Have you used Google Hangouts? Be sure to leave a review!

XSplit Free

Xsplit

Marketed as a broadcasting software for both live streaming video and videogame streaming, XSplit is a solid choice for broadcasting your next event.

Although XSplit offers several paid options, with enhanced features such as professional broadcasting tools and custom script plugins, the free option for XSplit offers everything you need to set up a live HD broadcast in a pinch.

Just in case you decide to upgrade to a paid setup, the Personal package is $4.95 a month, while the Premium package is $8.95 a month.

Have you used XSplit? Be sure to leave a review!

YouNow

YouNow

Marketed towards a much younger and indie crowd, YouNow is versatile and free app for your computer, Android, iPhone, iPad, and even your iPod (if you still have one).

Going live on YouNow gives your event exposure to a much younger crowd and also allows you to give your event a much more personal touch with handheld broadcasting abilities on your smartphone or tablet. Creating and hosting your event broadcast is as simple as creating a searchable hashtag, taking a snapshot, clicking to share your broadcast, and hitting the “Go Live” button. Think of it as a video Twitter, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice!

Have you used YouNow? Be sure to leave a review!

Bambuser

Bambuser

Like YouNow, Bambuser uses a system of hashtags and simple apps to bring your broadcast to the masses. The free version of Bambuser has limited production and editing functionality, like YouNow, but also offers paid options starting at $45 a month for those looking for a more in-depth live streaming experience.

Bambuser also has a mobile broadcasting app which works on iPhone, Android, and even Windows phones.

Have you used Bambuser? Be sure to leave a review!

Open Broadcaster Software

Open_Broadcaster_Software

The name gives it away. Open Broadcaster Software is a free and open source option for live video streaming and recording, if open source is your forte. Just like XSplit, OBS markets itself not only to gamecasters, but to online webcam broadcasters.

The one downside to using OBS is the lack of formal tech support; being an open source software option tech support comes in the form of asking for help on the community forums, therefore the use of OBS is for the more tech savvy crowd.

OBS is available on Windows 7, 8, and 10 as well as Mac OSX 10.8 and above. It is also available for the rare Linux user. (Didn’t know you all still existed.)

Have you used Open Broadcaster Software? Be sure to leave a review!

Facebook Livestream 

If there is one thing Facebook knows how to do, it’s finding new ways to keep us all connected at all hours of the day. Now you can even share what is happening the moment it happens with Facebook livestream. This feature on the social media behemoth allows not only pages, but attendees, and other fans to go live at your event and broadcast their experiences straight from their mobile phones. With this tool you can choose your audience, receive live feedback in the comment section about your event, and measure how many viewers your livestream brought in.

Have you used Facebook Livestream? Be sure to leave a review!

Conclusion

Have you used any of the free options we provided for your events? Are there any free live stream tools that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a Content Writer for Capterra, a free resource that matches buyers and sellers of business software. He has a background in politics, economics, and journalism, which he dedicates his off-time to contributing his thoughts to other political sites. In his free-time he enjoys reading, drawing, photography, playing guitar, writing, and cooking.

Comments

Just for your information Nick Morpus, regarding your “Didn’t know you all still existed” comment about Linux. About 80-90% of the internet is run on Linux, this website you are writing on is run on Linux. There are more Linux users today than ever. The future is Linux. Catch up.

Hey B H. Thanks for reading and for the feedback.

Obviously, Linux still plays a huge role in the way we work and communicate, and I didn’t mean to bash on it. There’s definitely a kernel of truth in what you’re saying, but I think the Linux-as-desktop-environment is still just a small slice of the overall pie.

While the details were gnu to me, a quick glance online suggested <5% for the average user and around 25% for developers regarding user base.

We love open source and the broader developer community here at Capterra. I hope you can look past the Linux shade and still enjoy the piece.

Adding to the blog’s turmoil around Linux, please be aware that most smartphones run on Linux (Android is a Linux distro), most of the rest run on a variant of its cousin OpenBSD (the primal ancestor of ios). The relevance of Linux to OBS users is probably far beyond the stats you brought after “a quick glance”, considering that many other open source video tools such as Blender et al. are available only on Linux.

Thanks, great overview! Blender is available on Windows and Mac. Going to try OBS here and see how it goes!

Broadcastmyelf apps can be used with SAM4 for PC and laptop…….its free version is enough for me to use it on the online radio station which I’m involve with.

Although I have not done any real live event broadcasting, I have been experimenting with OBS. I am not a pro broadcaster by any means, but OBS is very impressive software and is worth the time to learn. It handles multiple cameras both locally and remotely. I even got my Nokia Windows phone to broadcast remotely! It took some work but it did work!
I also was able to use my PC webphone as well as an Android Tablet as broadcasting cameras.

I highly recommend you try it out. Download at https://obsproject.com/

We started using OBS to broadcast our school events on YouTube recently. It works well for our simple need. So far, we only have used it for 2 events. The set up was relatively not hard but not worry free either.

We use a Dell i5 laptop to run OBS, connecting to 2 Sony HandyCam cameras via HDMI cables and HDMI to USB converters. The laptop then wirelessly connects to YouTbue through our school network.

We run into some problems during set up. The program, sometimes, cannot detect one of the two cameras. We would have to restart it and reconnect the camera. Once it sees both cameras, sometimes, we have very low frame rate. For this, we would have to restart OBS again. We don’t really know for sure what the real problem is. It might not even be the OBS problems. We would love to be able to know and fix the them but we don’t have enough time and knowledge to figure out the real source of the problems.

One other thing that we would like to be able to do is to wirelessly connect our cameras but that is a different task.

You can also try on premise R-HUB live streaming servers. It provides secure live streaming for internal all-hands meetings and enhances message effectiveness by displaying entire desktops and HD video.

Anyone else noticed the “Top 5 Free Tools to Live Stream Your Event Online”, has 6 tools listed? Not busting chops, just something I noticed. Thanks for the info, Nick.

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