Producing a live event? Do you need a webcasting system like On24, a live streaming service provider like Livestream, or a conferencing solution like GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts? Not sure?
So you want to produce a webcast, perhaps for training, marketing, or sales. You envision a presentation involving a talking head video and PowerPoint, and maybe some extras such as chat and Q&A. Price is definitely a consideration, but you also want to know the trade-offs involved with choosing a lower-cost solution and when a higher-cost solution makes the most sense.
At a high level, you have three types of platforms to choose from. The most obvious choices are webcast platforms such as those provided by On24, MediaPlatform, and OnStream Media, but these are usually the most costly. The least-expensive option will usually be a live streaming service provider (LSSP) such as Livestream, Ustream, or YouTube Live. Yet another option is conferencing solutions such as Google Hangouts on Air, Adobe Connect, and GoToMeeting.com, which started as purely collaborative tools but have evolved their toolsets to incorporate learning and webcast modules.
In this article, I’ll review the factors to consider when choosing between these three categories. Since each category contains many products and services, there will be few absolutes in the analysis, but you’ll learn the major strengths and weaknesses of each class of platform so you can make a more informed selection.
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