Live streaming is incredibly popular right now. Whether you're playing, playing music, or just chatting with people, Twitch and YouTube live streams are great ways to build an audience or have fun.
To start streaming, you need software that will record your activity and put it online. If you have a Mac, it can be difficult to decide which software is best for you and your streaming needs.
Below are our preferred streaming software options for Mac. Check out each one and find the best one for your setup and budget so you can start streaming asap!
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio is an excellent choice for streaming software, the quality of which will never let you down and which costs nothing to buy and use.
OBS Studio can receive inputs from multiple cameras and microphones at the same time, as well as record screen recordings and gameplay. You can also arrange these various inputs in the program so that users can see what you want them to see during your stream.
You can also insert animations to transition to new recordings while the stream is in progress, and set up new layouts in advance to make viewing easier. If you don't want to stream, all of these options and effects also allow you to record videos straight to your Mac without streaming.
OBS Studio is incredibly customizable. Essentially, you can make them your ideal streaming software with add-ons and widgets available all over the internet. You just have to be ready to find what you want and import it into the program.
However, if it's your first time streaming, it can be a little tricky to learn OBS. Especially with all customization options. You may not know what to get or even where to start the program when you open it.
We have a guide on how to record your screen and stream with OBS Studio to help you get started as a newbie. However, if that doesn't help, consider streaming using another program on this list.
Download: OBS Studio for Mac | Windows | Linux (free)
Maybe you watch a lot of live streams and want to stream yourself, but you hesitate because you want your own streams to look as professional and cool as the ones you watch.
Streamlabs OBS can help you get that look right away. With lots of free overlays and more available through a Streamlabs Prime membership, you can customize your layout and alerts so that your streams are beautiful to look at right from the start.
You can also customize your tip page with Prime membership, as well as access apps that offer, for example, the automation of certain actions while streaming and better analysis of the people you are watching.
Prime also lets you live stream multiple platforms at the same time. You're recording, but it is multistreaming to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook to maximize your audience.
While Streamlabs OBS is free to download and use, to get the most out of it, you should really be taking advantage of Prime. Streamlabs Prime costs $ 19 per month or $ 149 per year.
Prime could potentially pay for itself in time. With Prime, Streamlabs can help you design, create, and find sponsorship opportunities. However, there is no guarantee that you will generate an audience large enough to make lots of money.
If you want to be a pro streamer, Streamlabs OBS gives you a variety of tools to get you started along the way. If you'd rather stream for fun, or just want to try streaming, this may not be the best software for you.
Download: Streamlabs OBS for Mac | Windows (free, subscription available)
There are a number of streaming apps available only for Windows. But there is one that is made for Mac and Mac only, and this is mimoLive.
With mimoLive you can easily switch between camera inputs, including iPhone and iPad. In fact, there are tons of iOS integrations out there. Having these devices means you can amplify your streams without any additional equipment.
With entertaining built-in effects, easy camera switching, and intuitive green screen and graphics functions, mimoLive can help make your streams fun with no learning curve. You can turn on mimoLive and learn how to use it pretty quickly.
mimoLive also offers multistreaming for different platforms at the same time. Just like with Streamlabs OBS, you can easily maximize your audience here.
The prices for mimoLive are pretty reasonable depending on how you want to stream. For the non-profit use of mimoLive this means that you cannot earn any money with the streams created with the program. That's $ 20 a month. Commercial streams are $ 70 per month.
For broadcast media use, mimoLive costs $ 200 per month to use, but for mass media output it costs $ 200 per month. You don't need this license to be a home streamer – you need it to be a cable news broadcast or something similar.
You can easily start with the nonprofit subscription and upgrade to a commercial subscription if you have a consistent audience and are thinking about making some cash. But if you want to make money right away, even if it's not a lot, $ 70 a month is a bit expensive.
However, if you're a bit tech averse and can't decide which live streaming platform is right for you, mimoLive still gives you a solid foundation for streaming. You know for sure that at least it works fine with your Mac!
Download: mimoLive for Mac (subscription required)
Almost every software on this list has widgets or add-ons that you can use to see your audience size, live comments, and reactions while streaming. The Mac-native app Ecamm Live is characterized by the fact that this functionality is integrated directly into the software.
Ecamm Live has your back in other ways too. All recordings you make in the program, including live streams, are automatically backed up on your computer. The scheduling tool sends social media posts the next time you're live so you don't have to.
The backups may take up disk space and you may not care if you advertise your live streams. However, if you want to connect to an audience and easily get the analytics that let you know who your audience is, Ecamm Live could be the software you need.
The standard version of Ecamm Live costs $ 16 per month. There's a Pro version for $ 32 a month that lets you stream in 4K and access Interview Mode. Up to four guests can simply click a link and join your stream.
You can still stream guests over Skype in Standard, and you can stream in 1080p, so Standard is plentiful and not too expensive for most people. However, Pro allows you to view your bandwidth stats if that's what you want to keep track of. Depending on your love for numbers, this might be the streaming software of your dreams.
Download: Ecamm Live for Mac (subscription required)
All of the other software on this list must be downloaded onto your Mac in order to use them. Not so with Lightstream!
Lightstream is browser-based streaming software that allows you to stream from many different devices in many different locations. Lightstream operates on a cloud system and greatly simplifies some common streaming obstacles.
Something that most gaming streamers will need if they like console games is a capture card. With this device, the gameplay can be viewed on a computer and therefore shared in a live stream.
Lightstream does not require capture cards for Xbox or Playstation consoles. Instead, these devices can be integrated into a stream via the cloud.
Depending on your internet connection, this can introduce some delays between your reaction on the stream and your gameplay on the stream. But if this works it can save you a few hundred dollars as high quality capture cards can be expensive.
With drag and drop editing of your screen layout (a feature it shares with OBS Studio) and in-app interviews, Lightstream is easy to use and very beginner-friendly.
However, the pricing system may favor gamers over other types of streamers. Lightstream offers two types of packages: Gamer and Creator. There are three price points in each package that offer different maximum stream resolutions and frame rates.
Players start at $ 7 per month for 720p at 30 frames per second (FPS). At $ 11 a month, you get 60 FPS but still 720p resolution. For 1080p at 30 FPS, you have to pay $ 14 per month.
With Gamer, you get pre-made overlays and console streaming. However, for remote guests, RTMP sources and destinations, and screen sharing, you will need the Creator Pack.
With Creator, you can get a maximum resolution of 720p 30FPS for $ 20 per month. For 720p and 60FPS, you pay $ 25 per month. For 1080p 30FPS, it's $ 40 a month.
For a high quality stream with a variety of options for what you stream, you might pay quite a bit for Lightstream. However, if you just want to stream while you play and don't care about the highest quality, Lightstream might be the perfect solution.
Visit: Lightstream Studio (subscription required)
An ambitious streamer looking to connect many high-resolution cameras and sensitive microphones to their Mac at the same time needs powerful software that can keep up with them. Wirecast could easily be that software.
With its incredibly intuitive set-up and functionality, Wirecast is easy to use and basically a television studio on your computer. There are tons of personalized customization options that you can include, just like OBS Studio, but it's much, much easier to work with.
With so much power, Wirecast isn't just used for live streaming on Twitch or multistreaming on multiple platforms (which it offers a lot). It goes beyond using streaming software like this to stream games from your computer to your TV as well.
Like mimoLive, it is used for television broadcasts and other live media. With its power and capability, Wirecast does this easily, making your live streams at home a breeze.
But that power comes at a serious price. Wirecast Studio can be purchased for $ 599 and Wirecast Pro is $ 799. There are no subscriptions as it is a one-time purchase. However, this isn't a price tag for the average user.
There is a free version of Wirecast that you can download on your Mac. It just contains an audio and video watermark that you cannot remove without purchasing the software.
For a venue or event company that wants to watch live streams, Wirecast is a sensible choice. You pay a lot up front, but you get great software that you can keep using and stream quickly and easily.
We do not recommend this software for people streaming at home. With the other options on this list, you can get a great deal of similar software for a lot less. But if you really want this quality and can afford it, this is certainly an option for you.
Download: Wirecast for Mac | Windows (Free Premium Version Available)
Which software is best for you?
You should get the streaming software that best suits your needs. When you start streaming, you can't beat the price and adaptability of OBS Studio. So it's worth taking the time to study.
If you really need pre-built and intuitive things, get all of the other software products mentioned here as well as customer support. Wirecast is probably best suited for professional settings.
Here, you can trust your instincts and choose a program that best suits your streaming needs. All of the software will run flawlessly on any Mac with any streaming platform, and we believe you are not sorry you received any of these.
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About the author
(6 articles published)
Jessica has been writing technical articles since 2018 and loves to knit, crochet and embroider little things in her free time.
Posted by Jessica Lanman
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