This is the first in a series of articles that covers all the free resources a creator like you will need to make that sweet content. In this article, we start with the basics – broadcast software, stream alerts, bots, and music. Each resource has a brief description with their relevant link. Time to dive in.
Streamers are gonna stream, right? There are a lot of great solutions available to get going. The best part: these solutions are free and allow you to quickly go live on popular livestream platforms.
Easily the most popular for broadcasting, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio is a free and open source program for recording and streaming. OBS supports Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, as well as other platforms. Plugin support makes OBS both a powerful and flexible option for any creator. Be sure to check out our guide on The Basics of OBS.
Streamlabs offers a free solution that integrates their widgets in a beginner-friendly program for both recording and streaming. Like OBS, Streamlabs OBS supports Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, as well as other platforms. If you’re a fan of Streamlabs widgets such as their Alert Box and want it in one place – this is a solid choice. Need help getting started with Streamlabs OBS? We’ve got a guide for that, too.
Twitch’s own free solution, Twitch Studio targets newer streamers. Just so we’re clear – yes, it only streams to Twitch. It supports built-in Alerts, Activity Feed, and Twitch chat, making it an easy choice if you’re unfamiliar with broadcasting software. Consider this option which will get you up and running quickly. Note that Twitch Studio is still in Beta. Be in the look out for our upcoming guide on how to get working with Twitch Studio.
Stream Alerts & Widgets
One of the best ways to engage your community is using stream alerts to show who recently interacted with your stream. Stream alerts show a notification when someone follows, subscribes, or cheers (in addition to many other things). Both the listed services also offer a number of overlay widgets that really let you customize the look and feel of your stream. Let’s take a look at a few services that offer these notifications.
StreamElements has a number of tools and widgets for streamers, absolutely free. As part of their suite StreamElements offers stream alerts along with a whole overlay management system. You’ll be up and running in minutes after setting up your StreamElements account. We have our own guide to get you started, with all the information you need.
I know, we just touched on Streamlabs OBS. However, Streamlabs is more well known for their streamer alerts. In addition to the usual follow/subscribe/cheer/host/raid notifications, Streamlabs offers a number of widgets that are useful for a streamer’s overlay.
It’s important to note that both StreamElements and Streamlabs offer their own solutions for bots, which are important to managing chat. Let’s take a closer look at other bot options that are available.
Chat is so important to a streamer. That’s why you need a well configured bot to keep chat working like a well-oiled machine. As mentioned above, StreamElements and Streamlabs both offer their own solutions. Let’s look at a few more.
Moobot is a tried and true bot solution. It has the standard moderation settings (in some cases, even more than) most bots do, and a slick dashboard to configure everything. Moobot has a number of additional widgets, most notably a set of tools focused on the community itself.
Nightbot, like Moobot, has been around for awhile. With Nightbot’s help, a streamer can automate a number of moderation features so you can focus on creating content. In addition to moderation, Nightbot has custom commands, giveaways, and timers. This bot is a fantastic tool that has stood the test of time.
Stream Safe Music
With the concern of “what music can I even play?” when creating content becoming common, let’s take a look at a few free services that offer music.
NoCopyright Sounds (NCS) is a straight forward collection that offers a library of non-copyright music. Their music library is available to creators to use in videos and streams as long you adhere to the NCS Usage Policy.
Pretzel offers curated stream-safe music for creators. Their music is considered DMCA-safe for monetized content. Pretzel is free to use with some basic requirements. They offer a standalone client or can be used in a browser. Pretzel offers a premium version of their service with some extra features as well.
StreamBeats is a music collection that’s safe for streaming and videos for YouTube. This collection offers Lo-Fi, EDM, Synthwave, and Hip Hop playlists which are available through Spotify, Apple, or as downloads.
Want to know more about the kind of music you should play when creating content? Check out our article 5 Myths About the DMCA and Streaming as well as Using Music On Your Stream.
That’s It… For Now
So, you’ve got broadcast software, stream alerts, chat bots, and copyright free music for… free. Looks like you might have some work to do! Keep an eye on this space for a follow up article where we cover more free resources for streamers.