Live streaming has quickly become one of the most captivating forms of global content translation. People stream their gaming sessions, fitness classes, webinars, etc. Businesses advertise and showcase their new products. Today, virtually any human activity can be live streamed. But what’s more important is that live streaming can be monetized. That’s when the quality of your streams comes into play.
In this article, we talk about the best streaming tools and resources to help you improve your live streams and gain more audiences. The more people are watching, the more money you can potentially make. We’ve made a neat collection of all the top-notch tools used by the most popular streamers. We at Restream care about your success, so without further ado, here are the most useful streaming tools both for beginners and professionals.
Best resources for live streaming
We want this article to be a guide-like cheat sheet for streamers. Therefore, we will include basically every popular and helpful app or resource you might need as a streamer: from graphic tools to organizational solutions.
🌈 Tools for visual elements
First off, let’s talk about what visual elements are. When we talk about visual elements, we mean all those fancy overlays, panels, alerts, deck icons, logos, and banners you see on your favorite streamers’ channels. Simply put, tools for visual elements allow you to customize both your stream and brand as a whole.
Nerd or Die
Free Twitch panel makers, alert makers, stream overlays, YouTube thumbnails, and deck icons — Nerd or Die has it all. Every gamer should at least try out this amazing resource. When it comes to visual effects, Nerd or Die provides both quality and simplicity. However, you can always splurge on some exclusive visuals.
Visuals by Impulse
Nerd or Die’s not-so-little brother, Visuals by Impulse, also offers dozens of free panels, stream deck icons, overlays, notification buttons, and more. Whenever you cannot find something in the Nerd or Die store, just try Visuals by Impulse. New designs are added weekly. And surely, Visuals by Impulse has premium content available when you are ready to fully commit to streaming.
Live streamers often use other visual elements, like thumbnails, banners, posters, etc. Surely, you can create these in Adobe Photoshop. But let’s face it, this task is pretty much impossible for newbies. Canva is your personal Photoshop master and a shortcut to creating your brand’s unique look. With the help of this powerful resource, you can design your own logos, thumbnails, banners, posters, flyers, etc., to promote your stream on social media. Furthermore, it offers a cute meme generator for some spicy content.
There are dozens of other amazing streaming tools for visual elements. So in case you didn’t find the tool for your needs, feel free to consider the following ones:
- Snappa (a fast and simple resource to create social media banners)
- Crello (a 20,000+ banner template library and logo creator)
- Adobe Spark (an elite version of Canva and Crello)
- Placeit (a multifunctional resource to create unique overlays, banners, panels, etc.)
- Strexm (an affordable alternative to Nerd or Die with 200+ free overlays)
🔈 Tools and resources for audio
When it comes to live stream quality, one cannot underestimate the importance of audio. Few people can tolerate poor sound on streams. Here are some incredibly simple and powerful tools to help you find amazing royalty-free background music, spice up your alerts with unique sound effects, and, of course, set up your audio correctly.
When it comes to stream quality, audio plays an incredibly important role. Voicemeeter allows you to set up your audio properly to ensure the maximum quality. This audio device mixer can help you connect all the audio sources together. Moreover, you can edit the sound with the help of a full parametric equalizer.
The next stop is background music for your live streams. We all know how frustrating the copyright system can be. Using music on live streams can be a nightmare. You still can be in trouble even when streaming your Spotify playlist. Pretzel is a wonderful library that offers DMCA-safe music. No more copyright strikes and muted videos.
Another great option for streamers is a record label called NCS Music. The service provides tons of royalty-free music to make your streams unique and entertaining. NCS Music is free for content creators to use on YouTube and Twitch. You just have to credit both the artist and track, as well as NCS Music.
Freesound is a platform where people upload different sound effects. This sound library is absolutely free to use. You can change your default alerts and choose practically any sound you want instead: from a thunderstorm to a passing train.
🤑 Tools to monetize your streams
No martini — no party. The same applies to making money from viewer donations in your live streaming career. Here are some of the most popular streamer tools to help you monetize your live streams.
One of the most popular donation tools, DonationAlerts, is a simple yet engaging tool, which allows you to earn money from your live streams. When you receive a donation from your viewer, it is displayed on your stream. This alert can be customized to increase the quality and interactivity of your live content. Nowadays, there are many similar resources you can use to set up your donations on streams, including Rechaaarge, Muxy, TipeeeStream, etc.
One of the most common forms of income for starters, however, remains PayPal. The streamer gets 92% of every donation. And the best thing about this method is that the funds are immediately available to the streamer. On the other hand, if you are, for instance, a Twitch affiliate, you can receive their currency called “bits.” However, it is a bit more expensive for your viewers, since Twitch technically takes around 28.5% of each donation. Your viewers pay the fee. Moreover, Twitch earnings aren’t available immediately.
This simple yet powerful tool, Amazon Blacksmith, allows you to get money for advertising all sorts of things. For instance, you can place ads for your keyboard, headphones, or even other gear on Amazon. You will receive commission from the sale for each viewer who follows the advertisement and successfully purchases the item. Unfortunately, you have to be a Twitch affiliate to be able to use this tool.
Lots of streamers use Patreon to receive donations from their fans. This is literally the easiest way to make money for live streamers. However, keep in mind that only around 2% of creators manage to earn more than $1,000 a month. How does Patreon work? Well, all you have to do is register and set up your Patreon page. And that’s that. Now just make sure your viewers can see the link to your Patreon page. Your income is based on how many paid subscriptions you get.
📈 Statistics tools
Your viewer count is just one of many other stream metrics you can use to analyze your performance. For example, some statistics tools allow you to monitor the most popular games and streamers, whereas others can get helpful insights on your streams.
Surely, some streamers don’t bother paying attention to statistics. However, we believe streaming data can open new opportunities. SullyGnome (for Twitch) allow you to dive into the world of streaming trends. With the help of these services, you can learn who the top streamers are, as well as what games are on the rise. Analyze the competition and choose your pathway to streaming success!
The name Twitch Tracker speaks for itself. It has everything SullyGnome has and more. The smooth, user-friendly interface allows you to research with pleasure. Moreover, one great feature that makes Twitch Tracker stand out is the ability to compare different streamers. Just visit the website and search for the data you are interested in. Simple as that!
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose any of the tools above. Simply multistream your live content on all popular streaming platforms all at once. Then, you can analyze your performance on each of the platforms on one screen. Restream Analytics provides you with a set of the most useful stream metrics: from average duration and streamed time to average viewers and watched minutes. Moreover, Restream Analytics allows you to learn what drives your viewers by analyzing peak time and chat trends.
🦑 Tools to go live
Streaming software allows you to transfer your live video to streaming platforms, like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. Also, such live streaming apps allow you to have more control over your stream quality.
The first and most popular streaming software, OBS Studio, has already become kind of iconic. Most streamers have used it at least once and many are still using it for a good reason. OBS Studio is a free-to-use and fairly simple app, which allows you to go live on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. FYI, Restream is fully integrated in OBS Studio, which means you can easily multistream to several platforms all at once.
OBS.Live by StreamElements
On the one hand we have good-old OBS Studio, and on the other hand we have the super-optimized add-on by StreamElements, specifically designed for gaming and IRL streaming. It integrates your Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook chats into OBS. This streaming tool provides you with quick access to StreamElements chatbots, overlays, and tipping alerts. With OBS.Live you can control your alerts directly from OBS and give your chatbot a unique name to suit your stream better.
🤩 Restream Studio
Let’s say you are tired from gaming and want to have a quick IRL live session with your viewers. Restream Studio would be the quickest solution for this matter. You can stream directly from your browser or mobile phone. Also, you can use your overlays, logos, and background images. Furthermore, you can invite guests to the stream and share your screen with the audience.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information, please read our guide.
Other great tools to go live include:
😎 Tools and resources to improve your stream
Lastly, we would like to add more helpful streaming tools that can help boost your stream and attract more viewers. Whether you are a beginner or a professional streamer, you can use these tools to increase your performance.
Back in the day, gamers used to communicate via TeamSpeak and other simple tools. However, Discord has become the top choice. It has an amazing, user-friendly interface, as well as strong security features. You can create or join servers, share your screen while talking to your friends, and enable some cool in-game integrations. We at Restream have a Discord channel where you can join our community and learn some new helpful tricks or share your experience.
Stream Deck mobile
Stream Deck mobile transforms your smartphone into a mini-workstation. With Stream Deck mobile you can easily integrate your favorite streaming tools and platforms, like OBS, Twitch, and YouTube in your phone. When live streaming, you can instantly trigger any command without switching tabs or using extra monitors. You can customize and add up to 15 buttons.
After you’ve edited your stream highlights video, you have two options: simply post it on social media or broadcast on streaming platforms. Restream Events allows you to live stream your pre-recorded videos at a scheduled time. This can be especially helpful when targeting audiences from different time zones. For instance, viewers in Europe may not be able to see you live streaming from California due to the huge time difference. You can stream such content on multiple platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, etc., all at once! For more information, check our guide on Restream Events.
A fun and simple widget, Pulsoid, allows you to display your heart rate to entertain your viewers, for instance, when playing horror games. Also, you can monitor your heart pulse when live streaming sports events or fitness classes. Or perhaps you are prone to raging and your BPM skyrockets after some random card crushes your master plan in Hearthstone. There are many other fun things to do on a stream, all for the sake of your viewers’ entertainment.
Starting a successful streaming career requires you to perceive it as a project. For example, you need to have a content plan and schedule for your live streams to achieve high performance. That’s when Trello might come in handy. Trello is a wonderful organizational tool for that matter. It allows you to organize your goals and manage your tasks. Successful streamers often have a lot of people involved in the process. With Trello, you can assign the tasks to any member and keep everything under control.
Having troubles keeping track of your notes and tasks? Notion does everything Trello does and more! It is an all-in-one workspace where you can add notes, collaborate with others, manage your projects, plan ideas, and control their implementations. Also, you can create your own wiki with hundreds of content layers.
Google Drive and Dropbox
Cloud storages, like Google Drive and Dropbox, have become irreplaceable. With their help, you can back up your videos, highlights, or memes and quickly retrieve them whenever you want. Streamers can upload recorded live sessions to reuse later. Such cloud storages are especially important for transferring files between your team members. Let’s say you want to create a short highlight of your stream. The quickest way is to upload and share the recorded stream with your video editor via Google Drive or Dropbox.
Let’s wrap up everything 🙌
Professional live streaming requires lots of additional tools and resources. Hopefully, many of them are free and easy-to-use. Let’s quickly go through our list of the most helpful streaming tools:
- Check out Nerd or Die, Visuals by Impulse, Canva, and Placeit for visual elements, like overlays, thumbnails, banners, etc.
- Pretzel, NCS Music, and Freesound offer royalty-free music and sound effects, whereas Voicemeeter allows you to set up your audio properly.
- Donation Alerts, Patreon, and Amazon Blacksmith are amazing and simple resources to help streamers make money. Don’t forget about good old PayPal.
- Try using Twitch Tracker, SullyGnome, and Restream Analytics for statistics research.
- OBS Studio, OBS.Live by StreamElements, and Restream Studio are highly functional solutions for live streaming.
- Other helpful tools that can increase your performance include Discord, Trello, Notion, Google Drive, Dropbox, Pulsoid, Stream Deck mobile, and Restream Events.
Hopefully, you’ve found this article both interesting and useful. You can check out our other articles on live streaming or contact our support team via Live Chat in case of any questions.