Best Streaming Software for 2021 (Twitch & Youtube)
Over the previous year, live video streaming has grown in popularity. People have had to find methods to occupy their time with more people than ever before locked at home due to the consequences of COVID19 and its associated lockdowns. Gaming is definitely the most popular sort of video streaming, with Twitch becoming more popular than ever. Streamers broadcasted 22,089,295 hours on Twitch in January 2021, and viewers watched Twitch for a total of 2,173,794,168 hours. By 2027, the total live streaming market is anticipated to be worth $184.3 billion.
However, you cannot simply turn on your computer (or gaming device) and begin streaming. The software isn’t included with any operating system, including Windows, Mac, or Linux. If you’re serious about streaming, you’ll need to get some streaming software first. This article examines what we believe to be the best streaming software available in 2021, including both free and premium versions with additional features and ease-of-use.
Best Streaming Software for 2021 (Twitch and Youtube):
- 1. OWN3D Pro
- 2. OBS Studio
- 3. Streamlabs OBS
- 4. LightStream
- 5. vMix
- 6. XSplit Broadcaster
- 7. Gamecaster
- 8. Nvidia ShadowPlay
- 9. Wirecast
1. OWN3D Pro
OWN3D Pro is a plugin for OBS Studio, which is open-source. OWN3D Pro makes it simple to change the look of your stream. It includes over 575 high-quality overlays and alarms, as well as a huge number of Twitch panels and other features including the option to create a Twitch countdown and donation page, as well as the ability to integrate a chatbox widget and a Twitch chatbot. You can also connect to OWN3D Music to add music to your stream without fear of copyright infringement.
OWN3D Pro is available in both free and premium editions. Five free overlays, panels and alarms, stream labels, and a countdown widget are included in the free edition. You can subscribe for one month, three months, or a year to get the complete set of features in the paid version.
OWN3D Pro is used in conjunction with OBS Studio, which is discussed separately further below. Before you can set up OWN3D Pro, you must first install OBS Studio on your Windows laptop.
Although some aspects of OWN3D Pro work on any streaming site that uses OBS Studio, it is developed for Twitch, and some capabilities are Twitch-specific. It also makes extensive use of Twitch lingo.
Not only can you use OWN3D Pro to add overlays to your streaming to vary the aesthetic, but you can also edit them to fit your personal taste.
2. OBS Studio
OBS Studio is an open-source video recording and live-streaming application. It is available for download for free, although it lacks some of the more advanced capabilities found in paid streaming software. As we’ve seen, some software businesses, such as OWN3D, create extensions that can be used to enhance OBS Studio’s fundamental features.
If you’re a “techie,” you’ll like OBS Studio’s flexibility. Those who prefer tinkering with computers will discover more features than others, but because OBS Source is open-source, it lacks the user support seen in most of the commercial competition. Although there is a high learning curve, if you’re prepared to spend time on YouTube or elsewhere online, you should be able to get a lot of support from other users.
OBS Studio has greater power than most other free software if you are willing to put in the time to learn how to use it (although the free version of OWN3D Pro still has more, as it sits on top of OBS Studio). Other plugins that have been developed to enhance OBS Studio’s core functionality can also be found.
OBS Studio has a number of advantages over the other streaming software reviewed here, including its adaptability. It works on PCs running Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It can also be used on other live streaming services besides Twitch.
Streamlabs began as a live streaming tool for broadcasters to utilize in conjunction with other live streaming software. Streamlabs OBS now combines the Streamlabs utility with OBS Studio, resulting in a more powerful streaming application with a more user-friendly interface than the open-source tool. It also provides better customer service. Streamlabs OBS is free, much like OBS Studio.
Streamlabs OBS allows you to access a variety of gaming overlays. By purchasing for Streamlabs Prime, you can access more overlays, visuals, and streams, multistream to many platforms at once, and receive access to other capabilities.
You can live stream on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook using Streamlabs OBS. Although console users can still use Streamlabs to generate money from their viewers, the live streaming software is only available for Windows PCs.
LightStream Studio allows you to stream to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and custom RTMP servers. It offers cloud-based broadcasting that can be viewed via a web browser. Without a capture card, you can also record Xbox and PlayStation gaming for Twitch streaming.
The Gamer plan costs $8, $12, or $16 per month, while the Creator plan costs $25, $28, or $50 per month. The various rates displayed for each plan signify the various maximum resolutions at which you can stream. If you pay for a year in advance, you will receive a discount.
Both options include streaming text, photos, webcams, and video clips, as well as 3rd-party alerts and dynamic content integrations and limitless streaming hours. RTMP sources, unique RTMP destinations, and PC screen sharing are all included in the Creator plan, as well as the option to invite up to seven distant guests to your streams.
vMix is a PC-based high-end live production and streaming software. It works with nearly every streaming service, including Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube. It comes in five different versions, ranging from a free Basic pack (with four inputs, one overlay channel, and a maximum resolution of 768 x 576 pixels) to a $1200 Pro pack (allowing 1000 inputs, four overlay channels, a maximum resolution of 4096×2160, 4-camera instant replays, and many more features). vMix recommends that you first download and test their free 60-day trial, then ask yourself questions about the specific features you use in practice. You can now choose which plan best meets your requirements.
The major goal of vMix’s software is to serve as a Software Video Mixer and Switcher that takes advantage of the newest improvements in computer hardware to deliver live HD video mixing, a task that was previously only achievable with expensive dedicated hardware mixers. It also works as live streaming software, allowing you to broadcast your live performances over the Internet. vMix can live mix, switch, record, and live stream SD, full HD, and 4K video sources, including cameras, video files, DVDs, pictures, PowerPoint, and more, depending on the version you choose.
XSplit Broadcaster is a Windows-based live broadcasting and recording application. In 4K 60fps, you can stream and record. XSplit Broadcaster allows you to stream to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. You can even broadcast to various streaming platforms at the same time.
Stream management tools are included in the streaming software. It comes with a number of transition types pre-installed, and you may even add custom stinger transitions. With the Scene Preview Editor, you may edit scenes before they go live. XSplit supports custom scripts and allows you to write nearly any action or sequence of steps.
Gamecaster began as an XSplit brand of software but has since evolved into its own thing. Its name implies that it is mostly concerned with gaming. You may use it to stream 1080p video to Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube. It uses the newest NVIDIA and AMD technology to broadcast without lag.
Hundreds of free overlays, such as notifications, trains, goals, and widgets, are included. Professionally animated overlays are among them. The Scene Editor in Gamecaster makes building complex alerts and widgets a breeze.
Elgato, Spotify, Streamlabs, and ReStream are among the many connectors available in Gamecaster.
Nvidia ShadowPlay is a gamer’s program that comes pre-installed on many Nvidia GeForce graphics cards. You may record and share high-quality gaming videos, pictures, and live streams using it. It can be used to broadcast live on Facebook, Twitch, or YouTube.
It lacks some of the functionality found in more specialized streaming software and is likely to be utilized by gamers who wish to share their best moments on social media. It does, however, support camera and custom graphic overlays to make your livestream more personalized.
The DVR-style Instant Replay function in ShadowPlay allows you to store the past 30 seconds of gaming to your hard drive or share it on YouTube or Facebook by pressing a hotkey. You can record gameplay footage for as long as you wish by manually recording them. Because ShadowPlay is hardware accelerated, it can run in the background. You can also use your favorite ShadowPlay video to make a 15-second GIF, add text, and share it on Google, Facebook, or Weibo.
Wirecast Studio and Wirecast Pro are two commercial versions of live streaming software offered by Wirecast. Wirecast certainly caters to more professional broadcasters than free software users. “Stream like a pro,” says Wirecast’s tagline.
You can broadcast from as many sources as you want, including cameras, microphones, webcams, IP cameras, and more. You can also capture anything on your computer screen or on other machines, as well as a number of IP sources. Live websites can be viewed using the built-in web browser. It can mix up to 8 independent audio tracks and add FX and processing, and it supports numerous professional audio sources.
It has over 100 graphics and titles pre-installed. Wirecast provides direct access to over 500,000 distinct media assets, including films, music, lower thirds, backdrops, and more. Wirecast features replay, scoreboards, clocks, and timers if you’re into sports broadcasting.
You can utilize Wirecast to stream to Facebook Live, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo Live, or any other RTMP destination, and you can do it several times.
Wirecast Pro adds extended inputs and audio capabilities, as well as 7 simultaneous Wirecast Rendezvous guests, 3D virtual sets, PTZ camera control, and more to Wirecast Studio.