Which Livestream Platform is Right for You?
Comparing the Blab Replacements
The video above contains a comparison of three quality platforms for former Blab hosts and viewers looking for a new home. Thanks to Jonathan Tripp, Zef Zan and Rachel Moore for contributing to the discussion.
Below is a brief look at the rise and fall of Blab and a summary of the key features differentiating the Blab replacements from one another.
The Rise of Blab
Blab had a good run for a while with a passionate community, good discoverability and excellent chat and social integration. This combination of factors spurred viewer attendance and interaction.
With the ability to have multiple people on camera, Blab became the go-to platform for livestream broadcasters looking for an easy solution for hosting talk-shows and conducting interviews.
Team Blab also recruited podcasters to the platform as they could record their shows live with an audience and then convert the audio into their podcast.
For a time, Blab was being mentioned in the same breath with Twitter-owned Periscope.
On top of it all, Blab was FREE!
And it was all too good to be true.
As more users joined the platform and attended shows, Blab was unable or unwilling to address the technical issues plaguing broadcasts.
Blab failed to keep the trolls at bay and didn’t curate quality content on its home page to give the site a professional appearance and new users something to aspire to.
As the audio and video performance became increasingly unreliable and features either didn’t work or were constantly changing, Blab’s leadership disappeared.
There was a major failure to communicate.
Blab had built a wonderful community around its platform and now seemed to resent that community.
Perhaps because there was no plan to monetize Blab, the expenses of running the platform and the inability to solve problems meant that Team Blab had no answers.
Eventually, Blab’s CEO let it be know that Blab was pivoting away from shows toward becoming a place to hangout an chill with friends.
A new app, Bebo, was announced and then after another period of neglect, Blab abruptly went offline.
Bottom line: Blab didn’t provide a stable platform for enterpreneurs, marketers and broadcasters wanting a professional platform to host their shows.
All three also have monetization strategies and are more responsive to the needs of their users.
Their audio and video quality is also far more reliable. Although none of the platforms are free of the limitations inherit with WebRTC streaming.
At this point, they lack the discoverability and community that Blab had during its best days, but perhaps that will come as new users continue to sign up and follow each other.
While the video above covers a wide range of features, here is what stands out about each platform:
You get a channel that is always on. Whenever you aren’t live, you have the option to have YouTube videos playing on your channel.
This is a great way to promote upcoming shows, let new users see a highlight reel of your best work or share replays of past shows.
Firetalk has the best quality of video of any WebRTC platform I’ve seen.
The layout for running shows is very user friendly and attractively designed, while the home page showcases upcoming events and featured channels.
Firetalk is free. The site makes money by letting users host paid events, taking a percentage of the ticket sales.
Going from Blab to Crowdcast feels like going from a budget car to a luxury automobile. Simply put, the platform is beautifully designed and feature rich.
Marketers will love the real-time analytics, call-to-action button and email data.
You can timestamp broadcasts so viewers can go to that part of the replay of most interest.
Video quality is purposely kept lower than competitors to prevent technical issues.
The lack of discovery keeps trolls at bay, but also makes it harder for new users to find your broadcasts. You can follow other broadcasters and then get notified about their broadcast via email.
Plans start at $29 per month. $49 per month unlocks more features.
After starting out marketing to musicians, Huzza is focused on bringing in broadcasters.
Huzza is the first platform I know that enables hosts to stream their shows to Facebook Live without needing an encoder.
It’s a beta feature that any user can request. With one press of a button, your show is now being seen not only on Huzza, but on Facebook.
Talk about opening a whole new world of discoverability!
Much like Crowdcast, discoverability on Huzza itself is limited. When you subscribe to a host’s show, you will then be notified about their broadcasts by email.
Another cool factor with Huzza is you can monetize your broadcast through tips from viewers and by opening a store on the platform.
There is also Patreon integration for those seeking to raise funds in support of their work.
I find the hosting and viewer interfaces less intuitive than the other two platforms.
Raising the Game
We are already seeing hosts and content creators who have improved as broadcasters on their new platforms.
I believe in the long run the increased professionalism of, and added features on, Firetalk, Crowdcast and Huzza will result in better shows, more interesting topics, more substantive interviews and more engaging conversations.
Meanwhile, those who remain connected to the community they joined on Blab will find the bonds become stronger when relationships are focused on the people rather than a platform.