StreamYard vs Zoom: Which Online Video Tool is Better?

streamyard vs zoom

Which one is better for broadcasting? Conducting business through the use of an online video tool has become the new normal. While Zoom is the most recognized platform, is it an all-in-one solution? We’re going to break down the differences between  StreamYard vs Zoom and help you determine which is better for your business objectives.

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Read the Full Discussion Below

Sarah: We’re Live. It’s Friday! And speaking of Lives, that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today. Broadcasting, online videos, all that is pretty much the norm these days in how we operate business. We get asked this question all the time, which is what is the best broadcasting platform to use? When we thought about it we’re like it really comes down to what type of broadcast you need. We thought what a valuable topic to unravel today, so today we’re going to talk about two different platforms, we’ve got Zoom and StreamYard, and help you decide which is best based on the type of video you want to make.

Glyna: Good morning again. How are you doing today?

Sarah: I’m great and I’m really happy it’s Friday. This is the kind of the highlight of my week sometimes, I’ll tell ya.

Glyna: Yeah, me too. Me too! Welcome to Marketing Mix! Every week we try to mix it up a little bit. That’s where the mix in Marketing Mix comes into play. We may do Q&A, we may be talking about trends, we may have some guests. But today we’re going to do a comparison of two different platforms that everybody’s talking about, everybody’s using. Let’s go ahead and look at our social media platforms first.

Sarah: You got it. All right. Every single week we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and you can catch the replay on Instagram and LinkedIn, and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast, Marketing and a Mic. We always get so excited because every single week we’ve got new subscribers and it’s so exciting. As always check out Fusion One Marketing YouTube channel, because we are putting out fresh videos every single week. In fact, we just uploaded a bunch of new videos there, so free resources for you, all to help you with digital marketing for your business. Yeah, so here we go. People are using video like crazy. They’re doing livestreams, presentations, you name it. And really, we’re no different. I think what’s kind of funny, we were taking a trip back down memory lane and we thought, okay, last year around this time we were put in that position of, okay, if we want to keep doing business we got to figure out a way to do this online, through video, through virtual events. And so we started first with Zoom. We quickly realized it wasn’t the right platform for us, but it was quite hilarious trying to figure it out. I think we have a video.

Glyna: Oh, are we going to show it?

Sarah: Yeah, I was going to share it if you’re good with that. I pulled it from the vault last night.

Glyna: What’s funny is, for those of you who are watching, people are always like, well you guys have been doing this forever. Really, we haven’t. It’s not even been a year yet but we’ve come a long way. Yeah, I guess go ahead. If you can get that pulled off, you’ll see.

Sarah: Yeah. Let me make sure if you can hear it once I play it. If you can’t, I’ll stop it. Can you see it?

Glyna: Wow. Is it just me or do we even look younger?

Sarah: Yeah. It’s like the stress hasn’t taken its toll yet. Let me know if you can hear it because I’m going to try to pump up that volume. Nope. Hang on one second.

Glyna: We have time. I’ll say good morning to Steve Johnson, Andy Entrekin, Gayle, and Cindy! Cindy understands how hard it is to get this stuff to work. Every Thursday she deals with it.

Sarah: Yeah. Okay, let’s see. There we go!

Sarah on Video: It’s Live on my end.


Here we are just sitting there Live.

Glyna on Video: All right. Are we on?

Sarah on Video: It says so.

Glyna on Video: I think we are.

Sarah on Video: Yeah, we are. I see us. Finally. All right, there you are.

Glyna on Video: All right. Yeah. The outtakes of getting ready for this kind of stuff when it’s not working is so much funnier. So much more fun than what we’re actually doing probably.

Sarah on Video: Yeah. I just turned my volume down a little bit.

Glyna: Oh, boy. Now, we don’t claim to be professional by any means but…

Sarah: We’ve come a long way. I think it was a full 20 seconds. 20 seconds that we were sitting there Live and had no idea. We’re just looking at our phone, and we’re Live!

Glyna: Yeah. That, if I remember correctly, that was the first and only time we tried to interface Zoom with Facebook. It died a quick death for us.

Sarah: Yeah, that was a little tricky for us. One of the things that were really nice for us, we were like Zoom is really probably not going to be, for what we need, the best option. Nothing wrong with Zoom because we’re going to get into that. It’s certainly got its advantages, but it was that delay that was tricky for us. Because there’s that you’re Live, but do you know you’re Live? Anyways, so both Zoom and StreamYard have a lot to them, and a lot of advantages and disadvantages but it really comes down to what type of broadcast you’re looking to do. We’re going to dive right in. The first one we want to talk about is livestreaming.

Glyna: Yeah. This is a huge thing. Everybody wants to know what’s the best way to do it, the quickest way, easiest way. What’s better for livestreaming, and we’re today like I said we’re going to be talking about StreamYard vs Zoom and what we found. This is just our experience. For livestreaming, we say the winner-winner, chicken dinner I guess is StreamYard. The reason why. Audience engagement, you’re able to see peoples’ comments, comment back if you want to, multi-stream which is a huge thing that we’ll get into a little bit more, and customization tools. Oh my gosh. That is huge. We’ll just go right down the list here. Audience engagement. What I love about it is that you can see the comments. Now, one little thing about it is that I can’t see who’s watching us unless they put the comments in there. So, the good thing about is that you can see the comments and interact with the audience, which is fun and I see Andy’s getting a big kick out of us. It’s about like you cutting your hair on Live the other day, Andy.

Sarah: That was a treat for all of us.

Glyna: Yeah, I was going to say the haircut that was seen around the world.

Sarah: I was like, is he really going to do it? Oh, he is.

Glyna: Yeah, so you can definitely interact and it adds a little bit of layer of security. Now, people watching us can’t see it. Well, I guess they can depending on what platform they’re on, but we’ve had a couple of little weirdos come and comment. Rob, who is so funny, Rob’s always in the background, deleting, deleting, deleting. So yeah, it adds a little level of security if you don’t want people to see the comment. You can also add call-to-action banners. If you wanted to slide a banner across there to say, “Like us, share us,” whatever you wanted. It’s just kind of fun that you can interact with your audience.

Sarah: Yeah, I totally agree. Another thing that was such a winner for us is when you’re doing live streams, the whole point is to connect to as many people as you can. What StreamYard does is allows multi-streaming, which is streaming to multiple destinations at once. Essentially, StreamYard works with Facebook, it works with YouTube, it works with LinkedIn. It works with Periscope/Twitter. It’s so nice to be able to set up one broadcast and then have it go out to multiple channels at once. That’s just a really cool thing to me, that we can just set it up and we just have all these different platforms that we’re Live on at the same time.

Glyna: Yeah. It’s so fun too, because if you had other people on with you and they had destinations, what we call destinations, or their own channels, we can also link out Live to those as well. That’s really cool. Anyway, it just opens up a whole new world, and if we ever get permission to get on LinkedIn Live…

Sarah: Yeah. I know, we should put a disclaimer that it’s-

Glyna: If I don’t turn into a skeleton. Once we get LinkedIn Live, we’ll be going there at the same time. But anyway, the multi-streaming, I’ve never heard of that and to me that is awesome. You know what else it can do, Sarah?

Sarah: Tell me.

Glyna: It can switch people. We can switch places real quick.

Sarah: Oh yeah, that’s what you want. I forget. That should be a thing that I know by now, right?

Glyna: We can customize it and just voila! I have this weird thing that she’s good at looking straight on. Again, we don’t claim to be professionals, but if I look a different way, I’d like to at least look like I’m looking at Sarah and not out somewhere into space.

Sarah: Anyway, thanks for a really smooth segue.

Glyna: You can customize it, you guys, just like that. If you’re on the wrong side, you can just move around. Completely customized and branded for you. My gosh, you can put custom overlays. Look at this one that Sarah did for us. This is absolutely beautiful, so you can do these kinds of things. It’s got our logo. We’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary right there. You can have multiple brands. This is really neat and it took us a while to figure this out. We had our Marketing Mix show, we like to meet people in here for Fusion One Marketing and then we’ve had Biz Talk. You can actually have brands located, it’s almost like having folders. We can have our Marketing Mix folder and we can load all of our stuff in there. We can toggle over to Fusion One, load all of our stuff in there, meaning the overlays, all the personal branding, all that kind of stuff. And you just switch back and forth.

Sarah: It’s so cool. If you think about it, well, what if you’re doing multiple livestreams during the week. You’ve got different programs, you can customize your brand, so it just stays in your little folder like you said, pop it all in, and bam, your brand is right there. I love it because it’s all drag and drop too, which is super easy.

Glyna: So fun and easy.

Sarah: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Okay, so we’re going to talk about the next piece, which would be if you want to do a large meeting. If you want to do a large meeting and that’s something you do on a regular basis, what’s the best for you? For us, the winner for this is definitely Zoom. One of the caveats too, and we should’ve said this at the top but one of the main factors is how many participants you need. If you’re looking at circulating 10 or under, StreamYard is for sure the better option. But if you need on a consistent basis larger than 10, you might want to consider Zoom. The three main factors of why Zoom is better, in addition to additional participants, is that the breakout rooms, the member control, and the comment tools. The breakout rooms are really cool because they help you put together these smaller, more focused groups and that’s great for networking. You can keep it random or you could just randomly select people or you can manually piece it together and you could set up a time limit, but essentially it’s just breakout rooms. It’s like having a meeting and then everybody goes into their own little focus groups, and that’s fantastic. It’s really creating that in-person meeting atmosphere, but doing it virtually.

Glyna: Yes, you’re exactly right. I’m in a group called BNI, it’s a business networking group. We’ve really struggled, and a lot of people have struggled with not meeting in person when you’re networking. It’s the hardest thing ever. Our president Cindy, who’s on here, they came up with, as you said, you can go into different breakout rooms. That to me has made all the difference because you don’t feel like there are 25 people trying to talk at the same time. It gives you a little bit more feeling of face-to-face. Yeah, breakout rooms are awesome. Then also the meeting controls. You do have a lot more controls at your fingertips for Zoom for large groups. Again, as you mentioned, large groups are best on Zoom. You can designate panelists. You can have co-hosts that can help you do all kinds of things during, I call it a broadcast or a presentation. People can leave, they can answer questions live, they can also type in questions. You can even set up polls ahead of time in Zoom so that people can answer questions and then the presenters know what people are interested in hearing about. There’s a lot of really cool behind the scenes features. Now, I will say when we were talking about passing co-hosts and hosts and all of that kind of thing, there is one little thing that we figured out. There may be a way around this. Again, like I said we’re not exactly number one professionals about this. But if you are a host, the host, make sure that you don’t leave while it’s still going on, because if you’re the host then everybody gets canceled out. Everybody’s going to be leaving whether you want to or not.

Sarah: Yeah, you got to pass the torch before you decide to leave.

Glyna: Exactly.

Sarah: Another thing that made Zoom really great for meetings is the comment tools. I will say with StreamYard, there is a section where you can do private comments, but it doesn’t have any feature where you can have individual conversations or individual chats, which I think is really nice. They also have a little raise your hand or hand raising, in Zoom, which helps to help control the people that want to make comments. It helps keep it in that. It’s like having a classroom. If everybody’s raising their hand and wanting to speak, it could get a little chaotic. I think that’s really nice so that the host can say, “Okay, I’m going to go to you next. You raised your hand first.” And again, I think the comments piece of it is so nice, especially in a group. Because it allows also with that networking element of you can have group chats, you can have an individual sidebar chat. Another really great feature of Zoom.

Glyna: Yeah, it is really cool. You can raise your hand and they just added a few, like there’s a heart on there. There’s clapping hands. I’m thinking there’s a thumbs up. I can’t remember. But yeah, they’ve added quite a few little things to make it a little bit more personable. It’s hard to do that when it’s in a big group.

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.

Glyna: All right, so that was number two. Number three, which is better for recorded video? Our pick is StreamYard. I will say, to me it was easy. That’s what I go by, what’s the easiest, and StreamYard definitely is. Why is it better for recorded video? You can test, you can prerecord. It has multiple layouts. Again, you can customize it and it’s very, very easy to download. All right, let’s talk about the testing or prerecording. As we know, livestreaming can be a little unpredictable at times. You’re like, is the internet going to work? Am I prepared? Does the presentation look correct? And if you’re Live, you’re there. Unless you change it like we do when you are Live. So, it allows you to test, which is basically what we’re saying. If you’re going to do prerecorded things, you can test and you can record over it as many times as you like, play it back instantly, which is really cool just to see what you want to change. I do love that feature.

Sarah: Yeah. We’ve done a couple of prerecorded Marketing Mixes and you wouldn’t know. We did, I think it was two of them for the Google My Business. We had structured it in a way because we had to pre-record it, but what’s so nice is we didn’t miss a beat on it. Anyways, the multiple layouts is another thing that’s so cool, because StreamYard really has, I think, perfected this whole thing with the layout. However many people that you have on, and even if you’re giving a presentation or if you’re wanting it to be more tutorial, you can share your screen, you can pull it up and then you can position where you are on the screen. We always talk about different layouts, and I don’t know if we can see how we can do all these different fun little things. We don’t like this one because it’s too close. But I could also do a solo layout, which is really cool so I’ll just do this where Glyna is still on, but it’s just me that you see. I think that’s really neat. When it comes to recording a presentation, you can still have those elements of the smooth layouts and be able to pull up the share screen, which I think is so huge. Sharing a screen is so easy, and what’s really cool is if you have another person on, they also have the capabilities to share your screen. It’s not exclusive just to the host. If you’ve got something that you want to share and we’re doing a recorded presentation, we both have that ability to share what we need to.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. You can have people waiting in the wings, and we may be talking about that. I forget if we have that on down in our notes, but you can have people waiting in the wings. You can also download these, Sarah. It’s very easy. When I say something’s easy, that means even I can do it. So, you can download it straight from StreamYard, but another really cool thing is that if you want to record it Live and only go to your YouTube channel, guess what? Boom, it’s there and most likely nobody’s going to be popping on your YouTube channel while you’re doing it, so it’s kind of like you’re recording. But it goes directly there and you don’t even have to download it, so that feature to me is so cool. What you’ve done in a lot of cases, we’ll come in here and record and Sarah does all of our graphics and they’re always so beautiful. She actually takes the recorded version and can add all kinds of cool graphics to that. It’s just unlimited.

Sarah: It really is. We’re going to hit on the number four type of broadcasts and that would be when you need to do a webinar. A webinar is a very large group. We obviously have to set it up in advance. For us, the clear winner on that is Zoom. Now, the main hot point on this is that you can have a larger audience. I’m forgetting what the number is, but I think it up until recently was 10,000.

Glyna: Oh my gosh.

Sarah: It’s massive. The sign up for it is really easy because if you’re going to have that volume of participants, you need to make sure that the signup and registration is really easy. Then the host control features, this is really huge too, because if you are doing something of that magnitude, like a big virtual event or a webinar, a huge workshop, you need to have that host control.

Glyna: Yeah. I guess I kind of alluded to it a moment ago, but we did that for somebody, we were talking about having people in the wings. It was crazy! We did a show for another company. I say we, Sarah did the show for another company. She was able to be in the wings, and we can’t show it. There’s no way of showing it here, but she can actually see people. If you’re inside StreamYard you can see people lined up, they’re kind of grayed out and you can pop people in and out. It was amazing. It’s ideal for that kind of thing, and you’re able to practice it and reduce the number of roadblocks and headaches when you become Live. It was quite impressive. I think you had to deal with 15-20 people popping in and out, I don’t know. It was nuts. But the point being, you can do an event for somebody else and be in the wings and they can’t see even see you.

Sarah: Yeah, but that was for StreamYard that we were using. That was beautiful for that, and I think we’re going to touch on that.

Glyna: Oh, I’m on the wrong one.

Sarah: I’m like…

Glyna: That’s for StreamYard. You’re like, what? Okay, we’re back to Zoom.

Sarah: No, but that’s a good point and we’re going to talk about that here in just a minute. Yeah, with a webinar, you really don’t want to have that. You want to have that host control because when you have a zillion people it can get super chaotic.

Glyna: That’s true.

Sarah: So, you want to have it in that view-only format. That was what was really great. The signup, that’s really neat. Now, that’s something that StreamYard doesn’t have. StreamYard, it’s got its advantages which are that you don’t have to download anything and it’s just a link. It’s a link that you share with your guests, but when you have so many and they need to register for it, StreamYard doesn’t have that capability. It’s just not built that way. That’s what’s nice. People can register for the event in advance with Zoom. You can also do a bit of data collecting so you can get their name, their email, and capture all that stuff in advance. And once it’s scheduled you can manage the people that have registered. You can resend confirmations, you can resend reminders. It’s really powerful for people that are attending and integrates with Google Calendar to help keep track of upcoming meetings. If you’ve got a lot of virtual events or large events coming up, it’s really nice that it captures that and you can have those little reminders for your participants so that it automates it and you don’t have to sit there and be like, “Don’t forget about our thing coming up.” So really easy in that way.

Glyna: Yeah, sorry about that. You can always tell that I’m StreamYard heavy. I get caught up in that. Zoom’s really cool for the host control too.

Sarah: No, but we’re getting into what you were going to talk about next.

Glyna: Get me back into StreamYard. All right, we’re ready for number five here.

Sarah: Here we go. What would we think about what you were talking about, like a show type format or interviews?

Glyna: Yes. Shows and interviews. I talk to customers all the time about these ideas. I think it’s so perfect for this. Why? Easy interface, we’ve already kind of talked about that, and what we mean by the interface is it can go out to multiple channels at once, seamless transitions, and you can repurpose content. Oh my gosh, because it’s so great for podcasts and we’ll get into talking about that here in just a second. Let’s talk about the easy interface for StreamYard. It really is one of the easiest platforms, I think, for livestreams. To get started with StreamYard, it’s not all that difficult. In fact, when we found it I just went and watched all the YouTube videos about StreamYard, and we were up and going in no time. We added all this fun and pretty stuff later. Yeah, as Sarah said, you don’t have to download it. The only system requirement, you basically have to have a laptop or whatever you want to use. You can even use your phone or desktop. You have to have a camera and a microphone, but a webcam works just fine. I think that’s our favorite way of doing it. But we have had some people on with all the other things. Make sure you have a strong internet connection. It’s even recommended that if you can plug directly into your outlet where your internet is, that’s the best way to do it if possible. Then the side dashboard is so easy to load, as you’ve seen us drop stuff in and out and move things around. The interface is just very cool.

Sarah: Yeah. I think the takeaway with StreamYard is you need to think about it as it’s really great for livestreaming. It’s really great for that show type format. In fact, there’s a lot of television shows that are now using StreamYard because the transitions are easy. As you were saying earlier, I can pop guests on, I can pop guests off. I can have people waiting in the wings. It really essentially works like, say, Jimmy Fallon or something like that where he can have people coming on and off, he can make transitions. As we showed before you can change out the layout of how people view what’s happening. We did this for another company. They had a conference type atmosphere going on, but they wanted it as a show. We had this ability to make it look like a Live show like you would see it on TV and it was really cool. That’s what I think StreamYard has really perfected is having that Live show atmosphere. It’s great for having guests on or a few guests. I think it’s so cool with that.

Glyna: Yes, it is and you did a fantastic job. It was amazing to see.

Sarah: Thanks.

Glyna: It really was.

Sarah: It was a team effort though. I don’t take all the credit, that’s for sure.

Glyna: Well, it was just really neat, so that’s available. How about that? If you guys ever want to do that, you can be in the wings and help somebody out. Now, I’ll tell you what. There’s a lot that goes into it. I know we act silly and we just have fun on these shows, but that’s just what we like to do in our job and life, period. I know we act silly, but a lot goes into these shows. Preparation, graphics, practicing, all that kind of stuff. I know you may not realize that, the way we act sometimes. But if you do all of that work, you want to make sure that you can repurpose this content. That’s another good thing that you can do at any time with the prerecorded video, which once our Live is over, it turns into a recorded format so you can use it for different things. We take it and we use it. We can make blog posts on it. We can actually turn the audio into an audio podcast. I guess this would be considered a video podcast, but we can turn it into audio podcasts and blast it out to all the podcasts, the most popular podcasts destinations. We do that through Buzzsprout. Kelsi does that for us. But anyway, we are big on repurposing all this content. Don’t go to all this work and just use it for your Live. Use it for some other things as well. It’s also huge for branding and hosting shows. The event that Sarah put on, she was able to do what they call lower thirds, which would be the very bottom where they would have the person’s name, you could tell what they do, what company they’re with, put their logo on it. It makes it look really professional and takes the quality of the show to a higher level. There’s just so many things you can do.

Sarah: Yeah, I agree. That was really neat that we had this client that was, they had this conference, they needed to focus on the conference. They didn’t want to be sitting there fiddling with controls, who’s coming in, who’s coming out. It was really wonderful that we were able to come in and help them do a seamless program and just work behind the scenes. Now, let’s hit on our final, Which is Better for Business Needs. We talk about, when we talked at the top of the show about livestreams and videos and chat and all this kind of stuff, and as a business, we’re doing things virtually, what’s better for just those types of everyday one-off things? We look at it as it’s divided. StreamYard is really great for those one-on-ones, so if you have to do, say, a one-on-one review with somebody or you have to do a one-on-one just whatever it is, check-in with a client, all that kind of stuff. It’s so great for that because it’s so easy for not only you but anybody, a guest coming in. You just send them a link, and boom, they’re on. No download. Small meetings, 10 or less. My gosh, how often do we use StreamYard for small meetings? All the time. Weekly.

Glyna: Yeah. I’m on it all day sometimes.

Sarah: Yeah, really. Video sales calls, another great thing too because we talked about that, and the recorded presentation. So if you are giving a sales call and you need to also provide information during the call, StreamYard makes it so easy to do that. Then how do you feel about what Zoom would be best for?

Glyna: Well, we kind of mentioned it before, but just to do the overview again. For large presentations, the meetings where you have over 10 people, virtual events. It’s huge in workshops. Oh my gosh, it’s awesome for workshops. Especially for those different workgroups that you can put everybody in. It has its place. They both have their place. For our circumstances, StreamYard is what we would choose. But if you have a large audience of people, then I can see why Zoom would be a lot better option. I’m not sure about going Live. Those interfaces are a little bit quirky, as you saw. Of course, maybe if we would have practiced it more. We kind of abandoned the ship before we tried it.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s what’s cool about StreamYard. When we go Live, there’s a big red button. You can’t see it but when you click it, it says “You’re Live” and we are Live right at that moment. There’s no delay. You just feel for the people that are on, as we did, and they’re on there and they’re picking their nose or they don’t know what’s happening.

Glyna: It could have been worse.

Sarah: Yeah. They’re squinting in or trying to fix their hair and then they’re like, “Oh, everybody saw that ’cause I was Live. I had no idea.”

Glyna: Rob wants to know, but do they have cat filters? No, they do not have cat filters on StreamYard. Sarah is the only one that doesn’t have cats. We have cats. Kelsi has cats. They’re usually in the broadcast somewhere. I also want to say good morning to Pari. Hey, Pari! How are you? Andy Entrekin says this is great info. I need to be using StreamYard. Now that he’s figured it out, yes. You definitely need to be using StreamYard. Were you using StreamYard the other day? I think he was just doing Facebook Live, but anyway. Yes. Andy broke the internet almost when he was on our Biz Talk show. It would be perfect for him. So anyway, we love-

Sarah: Yeah, and you think about that sales stuff, like the sales element. It’s huge. If you’re out there and you’re trying to meet with clients and you want to do that kind of virtual face-to-face, StreamYard could not be a better platform. It’s so easy. And it’s so easy again for the guests because they can just get a link, pop on. That’s it.

Glyna: Yep. It’s endless. Cindy said this has been great info. Thank you! We love talking about it so much and we would love to brainstorm with you any time. Especially on StreamYard.

Sarah: We need an I Heart StreamYard t-shirt.

Glyna: Yes! Sarah, you put together a lot of great info here for everybody. Do you have any last comments before we take off?

Sarah: No, I don’t. I hope that this helps everybody navigate what’s a good, easy platform based on what they want to do, and that was our whole point.

Glyna: Yeah, I hope it does too. As always, we have free consultations. Love to sit down with you, brainstorm how maybe you could use StreamYard or Zoom. Just message us. We’re always there for you. Thanks for tuning in. We will be back next Friday at 8:00, so be sure to join us then. Have a great week. See ya.