Apple’s suite of Macs is the go-to for many serious video producers. The sleek, cutting-edge displays and flawless integration with powerful editing tools make Macs incredibly powerful instruments in video production. But video standards and trends are changing, with live streaming well on its way to dominating the market.
So, what do you need to start streaming and creating masterful, high-production-value video content on your Mac? First and foremost, you need a steady and fast internet connection. Then, you need to choose your streaming software for Mac.
👀 How to choose the best live streaming software for Mac
When you first dive into the world of streaming software, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. How do you decide what’s best? Our advice is to make your decision based on three factors.
Prices for Mac streaming software really run the gamut. A top-of-the-line setup can easily cost you a few thousand dollars. But the truth is, most streamers don’t need top of the line. There are plenty of options, like OBS Studio, that are free to use. Assess your budget and start ruling out software that’s too expensive.
2. Your specific needs
Next, narrow down your options based on the features you’ll need. What types of video sources will you need your software to support? Do you need support for things like images, screen captures or audio files? If you'll be using a green screen, adding video effects and filters, or using special effects like slow motion or picture-in-picture, eliminate options that don’t include those features.
Finally, you’ll need to make sure your streaming software is compatible with all your equipment. Obviously you’ll want something compatible with your Mac, but don’t forget to make sure it works with your camera, audio mixer and any other hardware you use.
🔥 The best streaming software for Mac
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room — not all software is compatible with macOS. There’s nothing worse than discovering some neat streaming software while surfing the web, only to realize there’s no macOS version. Fear not, we’ve listed the best Mac streaming software below.
1. Restream Studio
When it comes to professionalism and simplicity, nothing beats Restream Studio. The streaming software allows you to go live on multiple platforms at the same time in just two clicks. Once you choose your streaming destinations, you can start the live stream directly from your browser — no additional third-party apps needed. If you really value your time, try out Restream Studio. Let’s go through the features you may find most useful:
- Stream directly from a browser
- Choose from 30+ social channels to stream to at once
- Add guests to live streams via invitation links
- Enjoy a wide range of visual customization and branding tools
- Chat across platforms with ease and use built-in moderation tools
- Add copyright-free background music
- Stream in Full HD
- Get 24/7 full support
Restream Studio allows you to take full advantage of live streaming in a simple and straightforward way. With this streaming software, you can grab your Mac and easily create professional live interviews, Q&As, AMAs, product releases or whatever live event you want, really.
2. OBS Studio
OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio is probably the most famous open source tool for live streaming and screen recording. Does OBS work on Mac? The answer is yes! OBS Studio supports Windows and macOS, as well as Linux. It offers lots of cool features and options aimed at making your streams look professional.
The downside is that OBS Studio can be quite overwhelming and may require a lot of effort to set up. However, once you get comfortable with it, live streaming is a breeze.
- Open source code
- Low CPU usage
- First to offer updates
- Supports every streaming platform
- Few customization and plug-in options
- Inability to link audio files as sources
- Can be challenging to learn
3. Streamlabs Desktop
Streamlabs Desktop is pretty much an improved and refined version of OBS Studio. Streamlabs has everything OBS has to offer, and then some!
- Easy setup
- User-friendly interface
- Free customization options
- “Test before live” button
- No sound commands
- Higher CPU load
4. Ecamm Live
Ecamm Live is among the best on the market for specialized streaming software for macOS. It’s tailored for Apple products and offers Mac users dozens of amazing features for live streaming. Ecamm Live allows you to make the most of Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitter and Twitch video streaming.
- Specialized for macOS
- Seamless integration with four top streaming platforms
- Lots of useful features, from inviting guests to adding overlays and animations on stream
- Integration with Restream allows you to broadcast to multiple platforms at once
- Free trial period only lasts for 14 days
- Doesn’t support multistreaming directly
🎥 How to live stream pre-recorded videos on Mac
While most Mac video creators understand that live video is a valuable content stream that continues to grow, many struggle to balance the high standards of production with the practicalities of live streaming.
Although production quality is definitely important, it’s not the key to a viewer’s heart. Top marketers, including Neil Patel, suggest that audiences are incredibly forgiving when it comes to live streaming. Therefore, it might be a better idea to focus your energy and direct your resources toward other factors, like making your content more engaging or working on your appearance and confidence.
Nonetheless, you don’t really need to compromise the production value of your videos to stream live if you don’t want to. With Upload and Stream, you can schedule polished, edited content to publish just like a regular live stream.
Live stream perfectly edited videos with Upload and Stream
Upload and Stream is an elegantly simple feature that lets you stream pre-recorded videos as if they’re live. Just upload your pre-recorded videos to Restream, set the date and time to go live, and select the platform(s) where you want to stream. That’s it. Restream’s technology ensures your beautiful video content streams live exactly when and where you want.
Upload and Stream combines Restream’s powerful multistreaming technology with intuitive and useful planning options:
- Schedule your polished videos to stream live at any time
- Create and schedule live events to easily promote them on social media
- Choose from 30+ social channels to stream to at once
- Simplify your process — no broadcasting software or pricey data plans required
- Ensure the highest-quality streams with complete editing before you go live
- Save time and energy for engaging with your viewers in real time
Can you live stream on a Mac?
Yes, you can definitely live stream on your Mac! These days, there are several great software options that will let you produce a beautiful, professional live stream.
Are there any streaming apps for Mac?
Once upon a time, streaming software for Mac was pretty limited. But today you can take your pick of several options, including OBS Studio, Streamlabs Desktop, Ecamm Live and, of course, Restream Studio.
What are OBS alternatives for Mac?
OBS is a powerful tool, and it’s free to use. But it comes with a steep learning curve. Streamlabs is another free tool that gives OBS a run for its money while being much easier to learn. Restream Studio is another option to consider — it’s incredibly simple, packed with awesome features and doesn’t require you to download a thing.
How much does Mac streaming software cost?
Streaming software doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are free options out there, like OBS Studio or Streamlabs. Restream also offers a free option, as well as a range of paid plans, depending on what features you need.
Nowadays, live streaming on macOS doesn’t really differ from doing it on Windows. You have a load of streaming apps to choose from and you can broadcast to the same platforms you would on Windows. Choosing your Mac streaming software isn’t so hard, either, once you figure out your needs.
While OBS and Streamlabs are very much alike, Restream Studio is a different kind of beast. It allows you to simultaneously go live on as many platforms as you like. And unlike OBS and Streamlabs, you don’t need to download and install Restream Studio — you can live stream directly from your browser. Learn more in our full guide on Restream Studio.