Live Audio Streaming: How to Broadcast Audio with a Professional Platform [2022 Update]

By Max Wilbert

15 Min Read

author avatar

Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.


    Live audio streaming is more popular than ever before. Podcasts, internet radio, and other types of audio content are extremely common. There are more than 880,000 podcasts listed on the iTunes store, with many more on other services like Stitcher.

    From 2017 to 2022,  the number of podcast listeners has nearly doubled from about 46.1 million to about 88.9 million. When you consider the global audience, the potential audience size rises astronomically. This is definitely an audience that is worth tapping into.

    This blog will look at how to stream live audio and how to choose a live video solution for streaming live audio. We’ll discuss why a live video streaming solution is ideal for streaming audio and hosting. After that, we’ll compare 10 of the top live audio streaming platforms on the market.

    Table of Contents:

    • The Rise of Podcasting and Online Radio
    • Is a Live Video Streaming Solution Ideal for Audio Broadcasting?
    • Other Features for Broadcasting Live Audio
    • How to Stream Live Audio
    • Top 10 Live Audio Streaming Platforms
    • Conclusion

    The Rise of Podcasting and Online Radio

    audio live streaming
    Audio-only streaming is on the rise.

    Nearly 90% of people from around the world tune into audio-only streams on the regular. Given that massive audience size, it’s no surprise that we’re witnessing a renaissance in broadcasting live audio. 

    All kinds of businesses, organizations, and individuals are broadcasting live audio. Here are a few examples of genres and industries that are taking advantage of this renaissance:

    • Full-fledged radio stations with diverse programming
    • News and media outlets
    • Traditional music-based radio shows
    • Talk shows
    • Comedy
    • Educational podcasts or radio channels
    • Business and entrepreneurial podcasts and recordings
    • Sports broadcasts
    • Religious broadcasts
    • Entertainment and audio drama

    The appeal to audio-only streaming is that it consumes significantly less bandwidth than video streaming. It is also quite convenient for listeners to tune into an audio-only stream. Listeners can play audio while they drive, work out, or do other daily activities without posing too much distraction.

    The growing popularity of audio streaming gives most businesses and organizations the incentive to hop on the trend and reach their audience in a new way.

    How to Stream Live Audio

    how to stream live audio
    Streaming live audio is easier than ever with the right online streaming platform.

    Jumping on the trend and learning how to broadcast a podcast live (or how to host your own radio show online) is simple. Learning how to broadcast a podcast is generally easier than learning how to stream audio and video because you don’t have to worry so much about a quality picture and other visual aspects.

    With that said, let’s take a look at how to livestream audio only.

    1. Make a Plan

    Every good audio stream starts with a solid video streaming strategy. You don’t have to have every moment scripted, but having an outline of the segments you want to cover will come in handy.

    Aside from planning individual episodes, you’ll need a master plan of sorts. Create a document that outlines the purpose of your audio show, who you’re trying to reach, and what you’re trying to achieve. Plot out how you will bring those goals to life. 

    Make specific notes of which features you’ll need to be successful. For example, if you plan on generating revenue from your stream, video monetization tools are a must.

    2. Choose a Live Audio Streaming Platform

    Once you know what features you’re looking for, it is time to choose a live audio streaming platform. Many professional video hosting platforms have audio-only capabilities. The value of hosting your stream on a professional platform like this is that you have access to scalable tools.

    Further on in this post, we will provide an in-depth comparison of 10 of the top live streaming platforms to help you make a smart choice.

    3. Embed Your Audio Player into Your Website

    Another key element is embedding your live stream in the correct location. Most online radio stations embed a player right at the top of their website. You can also embed on the websites of partners/advertisers, individual shows, DJ/host blogs, and so on.

    The process of embedding a live feed using Dacast is easy. To do so, log in to your account. In your list of live channels, click on the radio channel you want to embed. Remember that you can have multiple simultaneous channels, so choose the right one.

    On the next page, click the “Publish Settings” tab. The lower-left section of this publish settings page will provide several different embed codes for you to choose between. There are two main options: iframe and JS (Javascript). We recommend using the JS embed code, especially if you want to use the full-screen option.

    For quick sharing among your network, you also have a “share code” which is a simple URL where your followers can directly access your podcast.

    4. Get Your Podcast Listed

    podcast audio broadcasting
    You can list your podcast on a few different platforms to extend your reach.

    If you’re hosting a podcast using Dacast or another live video streaming solution, it’s easy to get listed on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting services. Before listing, make sure your podcast supports the following specifications:

    • Feed available via the RSS 2.0 specification
    • The feed contains artwork between 1400 x 1400 and 3000 x 3000 pixels, 72dpi, JPEG or PNG format, and RGB colorspace
    • Proper metadata for each episode
    • More best practices here

    Then, you can go ahead and submit your podcast via iTunes podcast connect. The process is similar for listing on Stitcher and YouTube Music.

    5. Create Your Setup

    Now, it is time to get your microphone set up with your streaming software. All you need is a quality microphone that can be connected to a computer. Most broadcasters use USB mics or XLR mics connected via some sort of soundboard. Once this is set up, you can pull that audio feed into a live broadcasting software application.

    Once this is done, you can connect your software to your online video platform. This involves entering the streaming information of your video content (provided by your live streaming solution) and enter your encoder settings.

    Many podcasters and radio show hosts create a sound-proof area with good acoustics to record their live audio streams. Luckily, capturing audio is much simpler than video since you don’t have to worry about lighting or the general aesthetic. 

    You can create your audio setup in a relatively small space since you don’t have to consider the appearance of the background.

    6. Test Your Setup

    One essential step to live audio streaming is testing your streaming setup to identify any snags in the system. This is really important because when you’re streaming live, there is no room to correct mistakes in real-time. 

    We recommend running a couple of tests to make sure you’re good to go.

    7. Start Streaming

    Once you’ve confirmed that your streaming equipment and setup are working properly, it is time to start streaming. Learning how to make a podcast live on most live audio streaming platforms is super simple. It’s often just a matter of clicking “Start Stream.”

    Remember to remain confident while having a little fun with your live audio stream. Even though the audience can’t see you, they will get a sense of your attitude and mood through the sound of your voice.

    Top 10 Live Audio Streaming Platforms

    Now that you know how to broadcast a podcast live, let’s talk about specific platforms to choose from. As mentioned, the best way to live stream a podcast is to choose a reliable audio streaming platform to host your audio-only content.

    Fortunately, many video streaming companies offer robust live audio streaming because many of the features required for a quality video stream are similar to what’s required for online audio streams meaning you get core audio broadcast features plus more. For example, two of many features that’s very advanced among video platforms that support live streaming audio are analytics and security.

    With that said, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best audio live streaming platforms. Most of the platforms on our list offer extensive documentation on how to livestream audio only using their platform.

    Let’s take a close look at the features and pricing of each of the live audio streaming software on our list.

    1. Dacast

    live audio streaming platform
    Dacast is the preferred live audio streaming platform among many professional broadcasters.

    Dacast is a highly capable online video platform that supports audio-only streaming. This platform is so appealing because it is fully loaded with the professional tools that an audio broadcaster needs.

    Dacast is equipped with a white-label video player that can be customized to meet your needs and embedded in just about any website or app. Also, unlike many podcast hosting services, Dacast allows you to broadcast live instead of only posting pre-recorded audios.

    Another appealing aspect of Dacast is that the streaming software is available at a variety of different price points. And even on the cheapest plan, you get access to 50 GB of storage, which to put in context, most podcast hosting services only give you about 1 GB or even as low as 100 MB. So if you’re really serious about posting many podcasts with high-quality sound and the potential to go viral, it’s worth investing in storage from the get-go.

    Key Features:



    • Access to a wide variety of professional streaming features
    • Reliable content delivery
    • Built-in paywall if you want to monetize through subscriptions or pay-per-stream
    • Encoded using AAC codec meaning high-quality audio
    • Pricing plans for every streaming budget
    • Broadcast live shows, not just pre-recorded content
    • Audio analytics, like average listening time, so you can measure and improve.
    • 24/7 audio support
    • 14-day free trial


    • May require a bit of a learning curve.


    Streaming platform pricing plans with Dacast start at $39 per month and includes four levels:

    • Starter plan – $39 per month billed annually. Ideal for newcomers with 1.2 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per year.
    • Scale plan – $188 per month billed annually. Includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage. These Scale pricing plans add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label player, and video API access. Additional bandwidth is available upon request for monthly plans. Read more here about Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans.
    • Event plan$63 per month (or $750/year). Geared towards organizations that would rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event. It offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage. Additional data and storage can be added as needed.
    • Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high-volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.

    2. Cincopa

    multimedia hosting platform
    Cincopa is a dedicated multimedia hosting platform.

    Cincopa is a multimedia hosting platform that is capable of storing video files, audio files, photos, and more. This platform is a bit different than the other platforms that we will compare in this post since it has dedicated audio hosting support.

    Key Features:

    • Tools or businesses with large multimedia storage/hosting needs
    • HTML5 audio player
    • More than 25 HTML5 audio player templates
    • Podcast galleries that allow you to list your episodes in an organized format (for example, by seasons.)
    • Solutions for sales, marketing, education, production, publishing, and more
    • Monetization tools
    • Analytics


    • Dedicated support for audio streaming
    • Plans at every price point
    • Access to specialized features for a variety of use cases
    • Allow listeners to download your podcast from your site
    • 30-day trial


    • A large number of features makes the platform a bit complicated


    Cincopa offers four distinct pricing plans:

    • Startup: $9/month; designed for a team of 1; limited hosting tools
    • Plus: $25/month; includes marketing tools (CTAs, email integrations, etc.)
    • Corporate: $99/month; advanced broadcasting tools
    • Agency/Enterprise: $350/month; advanced broadcasting tools with more flexibility 

    Please check out Cincopa’s pricing page for a further breakdown of storage and capabilities that come with each plan.

    3. Kaltura

    kaltura audio streaming solution
    Kaltura is best suited for streamers that need customization capabilities.

    Kaltura is a highly customizable audio streaming solution that is open source. Users can integrate a wide variety of settings to create the audio broadcasting experience that they are looking for.

    Kaltura’s customizable nature makes it a great option for audio broadcasters that have unique needs or are after a very particular end result. 

    Key Features:

    • A highly customizable audio streaming experience
    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming are included
    • Reliable content delivery via a combined CDN approach 
    • Ability to bring your own CDN)
    • Tech support via a ticket-based system, which is slower than chat or phone
    • Video API access
    • Interactive podcasts with quizzes
    • Security features, including a range of authentication and encryption options
    • Monetization, including all major models (subscription, advertising, PPV streaming)


    • Many audio streaming specific features available
    • Reliable delivery
    • Multiple monetization options
    • Robust security
    • App available for iOS and Android
    • Ability to edit podcasts straight from the app
    • Offline listening available


    • No phone or chat support
    • Highly complex
    • No China video delivery


    Kaltura uses a credit-based pricing system. Broadcasters can purchase credits to spend on bandwidth and access to additional features and integrations.

    4. Muvi

    muvi live audio streaming provider
    Muvi is an OTT-focused live audio streaming solution.

    Muvi helps broadcasters set up OTT streaming platforms for both video and audio content. It is equipped with tools for brand control, customization, monetization, and more. 

    Muvi offers 500+ podcast features, which is great for users who have the time and expertise to learn and understand the platform. However, it can get a bit overwhelming for new audio broadcasters.

    Key Features:

    • Live and on-demand hosting
    • Custom branding
    • HTML5 video player
    • DRM and security features
    • White-label audio player with branding customization
    • Real-time podcast analytics
    • Monetization tools
    • DVR-enabled livestream for listeners to pause and rewind live audio.


    • End-to-end podcast hosting
    • Reliable content delivery through powerful CDN
    • Transcoding support for high-quality streaming
    • Live stream podcasts
    • Online store for you to sell brand merchandise


    • The platform is not user friendly
    • Difficulty with integrations
    • CMS user interface is complex
    • Does not support China delivery


    Muvi has five different pricing plans:

    • Standard: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent listeners, 1TB of bandwidth, 1 TB of storage, and API access.
    • Professional: $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) increases limits and adds premium support.
    • Enterprise: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
    • Ultimate: $8,900/month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
    • Black: this is a custom solution and includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

    5. Livestream

    Livestream Audio Streaming Platform
    Livestream is a premier streaming solution for live audio.

    Livestream is a premium streaming offering from Vimeo that caters to an advanced audience. Livestream requires that every stream uses a video feed, but they present multiple loopholes for users to host an audio-only stream.

    The main appeal to this platform is that it supports unlimited listeners. That means you can have any many people tune into your live audio stream as you’d like without any friction from Livestream.

    Key Features:

    • High-quality audio streaming
    • Large storage capacity
    • Privacy options
    • Upload from anywhere


    • Ad-free streaming
    • Sleek and professional appearance
    • Thoroughly detailed analytics
    • Easy to use platform
    • Monetization option


    • High price point
    • No China video delivery
    • It’s more video oriented and although there’s loopholes for audio only, it’s not their main focus.
    • You may be paying for many features you don’t need if you only use it for audio


    Vimeo Livestream offers three main pricing plans, including:

    Vimeo Premium:

    • Premium pricing: $75/month
    • Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This plan is the best option for professional broadcasting on this platform.

    Vimeo Enterprise:

    • Enterprise Pricing: Please contact Vimeo for custom pricing information
    • The Enterprise plan includes white-label service, monetization, and video API access. It also includes branding control and added security features.

    Vimeo OTT:

    • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
    • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month
    • This OTT-specific pricing package comes with the relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT streaming business online.

    6. Brightcove

    live audio broadcast
    Brightcove is a great option for large-scale live audio broadcasting.

    Brightcove is another high-end streaming solution that is highly capable of audio-only streaming. It has many notable features, including video monetization, API access, and more.

    All of Brightcove’s plans are custom-priced. However, past users report plans starting at $500/month. This is definitely a luxury platform designed for more advanced broadcasting.

    Key Features:

    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
    • Global content delivery
    • Tech support
    • Video API access
    • Security features
    • Monetization options


    • Insightful analytics to track performance
    • Ability to create an audio player with or without image
    • Extensive documentation for audio player
    • CRM integration
    • Privacy and security settings
    • Editing tools
    • Permissions configuration
    • Easy-to-use interface


    • Very expensive (not well-suited for beginners)
    • If you’re using for audio-only purposes, you may be paying too much
    • No China video delivery


    Mainly targeting huge clients, Brightcove offers several pricing plan levels but does not provide pricing. These include the following:

    • Starter: includes 50 to 200 audio, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
    • Professional: unlimited audio, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with +10 users
    • Enterprise: unlimited audios, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

    Brightcove also includes custom-priced plans for their Enterprise Video Suite packages. Interested broadcasters can contact their sales department to receive a quote or sign up for a 30-day free trial.

    7. Vidyard

    live audio hosting software
    Vidyard’s audio hosting software has plans for every budget.

    Vidyard is a powerful video and audio streaming platform that offers packages for users with any budget. The most basic plan is free, and the most inclusive plan runs at $1250/month. This makes Vidyard a great option for users who need scalability.

    In addition to the accessible pricing, Vidyard offers support for a wide range of tools and functionality.

    Key Features:

    • Interactive playback experiences
    • Content playlists
    • Tools for advanced organization
    • Custom content sharing pages
    • Privacy and security controls


    • Plans for every budget
    • Ability to manage and host a video podcast
    • Ability to embed a video podcast
    • Powerful analytics and reporting
    • Customer support
    • Wide variety of professional features
    • Active user community
    • Automated transcription for video podcasts


    • The platform can be difficult to use
    • Inconsistent user experience (reviews vary)
    • Does not support China delivery


    There are a few ways to break down Vidyard’s pricing. They have two main umbrellas that their services, and are packaged as follows:

    Packages for Individuals and Teams:

    • Free Forever: Free
    • Pro Package: $15/month; comes with password protection and marketing tools
    • Teams Package: $300/month; access for 3 or more users; video analytics and custom branding
    • Business Package: $1250/month; access for 5 or more users; custom integrations

    Custom Video Solutions:

    8. JW Player

    platform video jwplayer
    JW Player has been important and relevant since online streaming went mainstream.

    JW Player originated as a video player that was leveraged by the YouTube founders back when YouTube was being developed. The company has since evolved to become a full-service streaming solution.

    JW Player is great for audio streaming because it allows users to embed an audio-only MP3 player. This is different from many of the solutions we’ve described. The others are capable of audio-only streaming, but they use the standard video player with a static image.

    In addition to its audio player support, JW Player is equipped with a wide range of useful streaming tools.

    Key Features:

    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
    • Powerful content delivery
    • Tech support
    • Video API access on all plans
    • Basic security features 
    • Monetization (only via advertising)


    • Reliable audio player
    • User-friendly interface
    • Customization capabilities


    • Limited access to live streaming support
    • 6-hour limit on live audio streaming
    • Limitations on tech support
    • Limited to ad-based monetization
    • No China video delivery


    JW Player offers three main pricing plans. These include:

    • 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
    • Starter pricing plan for $10 per month, which includes an HTML5 Video Player and video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month billed annually.
    • Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.  

    9. Panopto

    Panopto Streaming Audio Platform
    Panopto is designed for internal streaming.

    Pantopto is a powerful streaming solution that is primary used for internal streaming for educational purposes. It is used by schools to stream lectures and by businesses to stream training materials.

    Panopto has special podcasting features that make it easy for educators to teach their students or trainees with audio content.

    Key Features:

    • Lecture-capture and video-search software
    • Analytics access
    • Privacy and security features
    • White-label streaming
    • API access for customization


    • Audio streaming support
    • Document Indexing and full-text search
    • Asset categorization for advanced organization
    • Customizable branding
    • China video hosting


    • No customizable templates
    • Internal streaming only


    Panopto recently simplified its pricing packages and includes the following three options:

    • Basic: Free
    • Pro: $14.99/month
    • Enterprise: Please contact Panopto for custom pricing.

    After establishing a contract, you have access to unlimited streaming and storage. 

    10. Wowza

    Wowza audio hosting platform
    Wowza offers a couple of different streaming solutions.

    Last but not least, Wowza is another great platform for hosting your audio streams. This solution includes API access, powerful security, cloud management, and more.

    Wowza treats the files to broadcast audio-only similar to the files of an audio video broadcast. As mentioned, video and audio-only have many similarities when it comes to how they work. Another cool feature of Wowza is live audio stream recording. That means that you can capture your live audio stream so that your audience can play it back on-demand after the show has ended.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud management portal
    • Wide range of security options
    • API access for customization
    • Live audio stream recording


    • Reliable security
    • Mobile streaming support
    • Video streaming for video podcasts
    • Video looping
    • China video delivery


    • No video monetization tools
    • Single-camera feed only
    • No video analytics
    • No event scheduling


    Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services. Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

    • Basic: $85/month; includes 180 hours of live streaming and 6,000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
    • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase; includes 15 hours of live streaming and 500 viewing hours also at 720p
    • Pay as you go: $25/month; all usage billed separately

    All of these Live Event plans include full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

    The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

    • Basic: $175/month + $195/month for each additional instance
    • One Month Event: $295/month + $295/month for each additional instance
    • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

    Is a Live Video Streaming Solution Ideal for Audio Broadcasting?

    broadcast live audio
    Many online video platforms are suitable for broadcasting live audio.

    When you’re looking for a podcast or radio station hosting service, it’s easy to think that an audio-specific solution is best. However, there are multiple reasons that may not be true.

    A live video streaming solution is usually capable of audio-only streaming, and many organizations find that broadcasting live audio via a streaming solution is actually more suited to their needs.

    Let’s look at a few reasons why this may be the case.

    1. Live Broadcasting

    Most podcast hosting services are made for hosting and delivering pre-recorded content that isn’t time-sensitive. This means that they aren’t well suited for live broadcasts that are scheduled or meant to be running 24/7.

    In contrast, a live video streaming platform provides the functionality and power for live streaming, whether it is a scheduled event or a broadcast meant to run continuously around the clock. That includes distribution via a powerful live-streaming Content Delivery Network (CDN) for scaling to reach large, globally distributed audiences without buffering or lag problems.

    Not every solution has this functionality, however, so make sure to do your research.

    2. Audio File Storage and Hosting

    Storage space is another of the largest differences. More storage allows you to store more podcasts and reuse them forever. One popular podcast hosting service costs $75 per month for 1.5 GB of monthly storage.

    In comparison, Dacast offers 50 GB of storage for just $39 per month with an annual Starter plan. If you need more storage, you can upgrade to 1 TB for $188 per month.

    Storage is important if you plan to publish a lot of podcasts or host many live audio streams. It’s also an important factor to consider if you want your podcast to go viral.

    To give more context, 15 hours of audio amounts to about 1 GB of storage.

    3. Monetization

    Another major feature is monetization support. A live video streaming solution like Dacast provides an easy-to-use video paywall that is integrated into a white-label streaming player, offering pay-per-stream and subscriptions.

    Streaming audio makes up an increasing proportion of music industry revenue. This is a substantial revenue stream that you can tap into via monetization tools. Some platforms even allow you to have your own store to sell merchandise.

    Video hosting plans may also include some perks that podcast hosting services don’t include. These features include features like analytics, API access, security and access control features, M3u8 playlist support, and more.


    Over a third of Americans listen to podcasts regularly. That’s about 104 million Americans. Many others listen to online radio stations.  With the growing popularity of audio-only streaming, getting involved should be a no-brainer. All you need to get started is a solid setup and the support of a live audio streaming platform. 

    Not sure where to start with choosing a live streaming platform? Why not try Dacast? We offer a 14-day risk-free trial, which means that you can test out all of our great features before committing multiple reasons may, and we can answer any questions you may have during the process.


    Do have questions or comments about our service for broadcasting live audio before giving Dacast a try? Let us know in the comment section below, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as we can. For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, we also invite you to join our LinkedIn group.

    Thanks for reading, and good luck choosing the right streaming service for your radio broadcasts!

    author avatar

    Max Wilbert

    Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.

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