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✅ The 7 Best Live Streaming SDKs & APIs


💡 Newskategorie: Programmierung
🔗 Quelle: dev.to

Comparing the top live streaming services

Incorporating a real-time communication feature into your app can differentiate your brand and drive user engagement. However, developing these features takes time and resources, deterring you from focusing on core product features. This is where an SDK or API can come into play, as you can use them to accelerate build times and streamline development workflows.

In this article, you'll learn more about live-streaming as a service, what to look for when choosing one, and the top seven providers.

What Is a Live-Streaming Solution?

A live-stream application programming interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) enable developers to incorporate real-time communication into their applications. They come bundled with the libraries and tools required to manage the different facets of live streaming, including transmitting, recording, and encoding audio and video.

Developers can use these tools to design custom live video experience capabilities for their apps. Not only do you get a faster time to market and less maintenance when using APIs, but you can also conserve resources and use them to build other core app features.

How Do You Pick the Right Service?

When evaluating a new solution, look for design features and capabilities that align with your needs. Most come with a range of features, such as:

  • Video encoding and streaming
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming
  • Cloud storage
  • Analytics tools
  • Quality developer documentation
  • Fast and effective customer support
  • Multi-platform support
  • Monetization support

Next, based on the specific requirements of your live-streaming app, analyze each tool's geographical availability, pricing, and supported range of platforms. Also, check if the SDKs are easy to use and if they have detailed documentation of their features.

Top 7 Live-Streaming API and SDK Providers

Although live audio and video features require a lot of work to set up, the real pain is in the scaling and maintenance. To save you time and effort, here are some component options you can leverage to make your work easier.

1. Dacast: Good Monetizable Solution

Dacast is a professional video stream platform that helps developers enhance their apps through video content management and player API.

You can easily integrate real-time interactions with their services for ‌flawless live event streaming with top-tier Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). Dacast gives you access to tools for customization, monetization, analytics, and more to customize your stream configurations.

Dacast's HTML5 video player is also entirely based on THEOplayer's technology. This technology helps you deliver cutting-edge streaming capabilities with low latency. Using Dacast's video solution, you can empower app users to host live events on a secure platform with reliable content delivery.

Key features:

  • Host live streams with unlimited concurrent viewers
  • Ad-free HD stream
  • Recording for on-demand playback
  • Dynamic token security and password protection
  • Video monetization
  • Video quality optimization

Pros:

  • Fast integration and easy implementation
  • Multiple features under one roof
  • Reliable stream performance

Cons:

  • Limited post-event analytics
  • Poor customer support

Pricing: From $39/month billed annually
Integrations: AWeber, Videolinq, RumbleTalk, HexaFair, Altar Live, mimoLive
Security and compliance: DaCast is EU GDPR compliant
Free trials: 14-day free trial available
Supported platforms: Javascript, React Native, iOS, Android, Java

2. Video SDK: Rapid Integration Solution

Video SDK helps you integrate audio and video streaming into your web and mobile apps with just a few lines of code. Their SDK functionalities allow you to build a comprehensive solution with on-demand playback, analytics, screen-sharing capabilities, and unlimited rooms.

Video SDK's dashboard showing project configuration, monthly credits and usage

Video SDK's services are developer-friendly, allowing you to leverage pre-built integrations or even customize your solutions. Video SDK's solution is scalable with 150 ms worldwide latency, 99.9% uptime, and serves over 42 countries.

Key features:

  • Compatible with any custom RTMP outputs.
  • Live streams up to 25 co-streamers
  • Adaptive bitrate for better video experience at scale.
  • Multiple resolution video streams options
  • Live-stream on 20+ concurrent platforms and any browser
  • Responsive UI

Pros:

  • Plug-and-play solution that's highly customizable
  • A lot of open-source examples you can reuse or customize
  • Users report positive experiences with their customer support

Cons:

  • Users can't redesign the prebuilt SDK
  • Some users say the documentation could be improved

Pricing: $0.003/speaker/min and $0.0015/viewer/min
Integrations: Instagram, Vimeo Livestream
Security and compliance: GDPR and HIPAA Complaint
Free trials: Free 10,000 minutes
Supported platforms: JavaScript, React JS, React Native, Android, Flutter, and iOS

3. Stream: Best Low Latency API

Stream provides adaptable video and audio components, empowering you to create high-performance live stream for your application across our expansive global edge network.

Whether users opt for broadcasting from their mobile device or through RTMP, scalability to accommodate millions of participants is ensured. Craft enterprise-grade live streaming solutions tailored to your specific needs, all without the hassle of mastering technical intricacies or enduring lengthy development cycles.

Key Features:

  • Reactions
  • AI-Driven Image Moderation
  • Multi-Tenant
  • Silent Messages
  • Spam & Profanity Protection
  • Unread Messages Counts
  • Media Attachments & Resizing
  • Threaded Conversations
  • User Roles
  • Multi-Region Support
  • Fast Response Times (avg 5ms)
  • RTMP In and Out
  • HLS
  • WebRTC
  • Edge Network
  • Dynascale

Pros: 

  • Ultra-low latency of less than 500ms powered by WebRTC-based live streaming technology
  • Configure your stream in backstage mode and go live when you're ready.
  • Flexible recording templates and support for custom designs
  • Flexible user roles allow you to run a broadcast with a moderator and multiple participants

Cons: 

  • There are not many downsides to Stream's services

Pricing: HLS Live Streaming with normal latency, ~10 secs is $2 per 1,000 participant minutes
Integrations: Integrates with a vast number of complimentary software to enhance user experience, developer maintenance, and moderator functionality.
Security and Compliance: GDPR & CCPA, AICPA SOC, Privacy Shield Framework, DPF, ISO 27001, HIPAA, SOC 2
Free trials: Stream's Build plan is free

Supported platforms: React, React Native, iOS, Android, Flutter, Unity, Javascript

4. Agora: Good for Solutions with a Global Coverage

Agora helps you integrate real-time interactions into your apps with fully customizable services. The platform already powers 50 billion minutes of live voice and video monthly, and they have global coverage of over 200 countries.

With Agora's video conferencing tools, you can deliver high-quality live-stream capabilities with low latency and intelligent routing. Similarly, with their auto-scaling feature, you're assured of zero system-wide downtime and hyper-scalability as your apps grow.

Key features:

  • Premium add-ons like sound effects, AR facial masks, and whiteboards (at an additional cost)
  • Largest global real-time network with reach in over 200 countries
  • Automatically subtitles and captions video
  • You can simultaneously stream on multiple platforms.
  • Live-chat addition capabilities

Pros:

  • Good video and audio quality
  • Easy to set up
  • Developer-friendly documentation

Cons:

  • SDK is very low-level
  • Poor Slack support from the Agora team

Pricing: From $0.99 /1,000 minutes for audio
Integrations: ActiveFence, Marsview, MiO, PubNub, ASPIRE Health, Frazer Auto Dealer Software
Security and compliance: SOC 2, GDPR, HIPAA, ISO/IEC 27001, CCPA, and COPPA compliant.
Free trials: Free for the first 10,000 minutes every month
Supported platforms: React Native, Android SDK, Flutter, Electron, and Unity

5. Mux: Good for Real-Time Video Integration

Mux can help developers ship live communication capabilities faster through their SDK and UI components.

A dashboard showing options for creating live streams on Mux

Mux's array of SDKs helps developers build solutions like Twitch, which has low latency, live simulcasting, and real-time stream analytics.

Key features:

  • Has audience and stream health analytics
  • Webhooks configurations
  • Able to normalize audio for the best sound quality
  • Stream to third-party platforms such as YouTube and Twitch
  • Can integrate with headless CMSs
  • Users can capture images and clips from your videos
  • Allows pull-based inputs and direct uploads
  • Separate administration and configuration access for accounts

Pros:

  • The documentation is clear and up-to-date
  • Has a clean and easy-to-use dashboard
  • Offers integrations with serverless deployment solutions

Cons:

  • Lacks WebRTC solutions‌ --- the video streaming SDK uses RTMP
  • Some users report poor experiences with customer support

Pricing: Starts from $0.00096/minute of streaming video delivered
Integrations: New Relic, Flowplayer, Cosmic JS, Sanity.io, HexaFair, Contentful, Dataddo, Strapi, AT Internet, and DatoCMS
Security and compliance: Compliant with HIPAA guidelines
Free trials: Mux Data Startup is free
Supported platforms: Python, Go, Elixir, node.js, Ruby, PHP, iOS, Android

6. 100ms: Best for Interactive Streams 

100ms is the best solution for integrating interactive live stream with latency lower than seven seconds and scalability of up to millions of users. Their video streaming API and SDK are intuitive and easy to integrate with well-built media systems and CDNs.

100ms dashboard showcasing how to build a live app

100ms allows developers to integrate live streams with just a single API call. You can easily customize aspect ratio, layout, and video resolution to deliver high-quality live streams.

Key features:

  • Global network of servers
  • Low latency of less than seven seconds
  • High-quality video and audio streaming
  • Build utilities like live widgets and call-to-action buttons on top of the video.

Pros:

  • Low latency and good audio and video clarity
  • Developer-friendly docs

Cons:

  • Slow issue resolution process
  • Documentation could be better

Pricing: From $0.004/participant/minute
Integrations: YouTube Live
Security and compliance: SOC 2 (Type I & Type II) and HIPAA-compliant
Free trials: Free 10,000 mins/month
Supported platforms: JavaScript, React JS, React Native, Android, Flutter, and iOS

7. api.video: Best Complete Toolkit for Integration

api.video empowers developers to deliver live capabilities on their apps quickly. The platform features over 20 plugins, libraries, and clients to help you build in any environment.

Dashboard showing how to create a live stream on api.video

api.videos' fully customizable API allows streaming at 0.02s playback speed and 99.9% uptime.

Key features:

  • Private stream
  • DVR feature
  • HTML5 adaptive video player
  • Access to m3u8 manifest
  • Video-on-demand and live webhooks

Pros:

  • Easy to implement
  • Good customer service
  • Edge video infrastructure

Cons:

  • Poorly organized documentation

Pricing: From $0.00285/minute of video stored and $0.0017/minute of video delivered
Integrations: Contentful
Security and compliance: Uses TLS 1.2 and 1.3 encryption to protect data in transit, and is EU GDPR compliant
Free trials: Video encoding is free for unlimited minutes
Supported platforms: JavaScript, Python, node.js, PHP, Postman, Kotlin, Golang, React Native, iOS, C#

Accelerate Your App's Build Time With Live-Streaming Components

It's now easier than ever to quickly integrate real-time capabilities with an API or SDK. But to get the most out of these developer tools, ensure you pick the right provider and understand how to maximize their features. By getting to market faster, you can edge out the competition, capture new users, and gain a greater share of voice in your app's respective niche while delivering a world-class video UX.

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