Google has an impressive resume with extremely impactful and successful products. For example, products like Google Search and Google Docs are used by millions of people around the world every day.
But no business is perfect. Even the most inspired innovation can fail if the market simply doesn’t respond. Because of this, in the past few years, Google has started cutting losses and killing products that never quite hit the mark.
Google Play Music, Google Glass, and now Google Hangouts on Air have all been retired, which may come as a surprise to users who have relied on these products.
Don’t worry – it’s not all bad news! While you may have lost your favorite live streaming service, there are numerous Google Hangouts on Air replacements out there.
What was Google Hangouts on Air?
Google Hangouts on Air was launched in 2012. Google added live streaming and community elements to its already existing Hangouts platform.
It made perfect sense at the time. Effective live streaming services weren’t particularly well designed, leaving Google with a huge window to establish themselves in this space.
Her plan worked for a while. Google managed to get President Obama and Pope Francis to stream live on their platform. Combine that with a list of solid support features and Google Hangouts on Air has been able to attract quite a few users.
However, this usage did not last long as the market was flooded with competitors. Eventually, YouTube Live took off, and live video was a more natural extension of that platform. As time went on, it became clear that Hangouts on Air was meant to be captured by YouTube Live.
The 10 alternatives to Google Hangouts on Air
Here is a list of ten Google Hangouts on Air replacements on the market. Whether you’re streaming a podcast, Q&A, or your cooking channel live, this is where you might find the tools you need.
Be.Live is a simple, reliable streaming tool. If you want to expand and reach your audience, Be.Live lets you stream on sites like Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
You can log in with your Facebook or Google account and quickly set up your stream in one of the two areas.
Additionally, there is a surprisingly deep level of customization in the Be.Live presentation. If you use Be.Live, you can add your logo, custom frames and brand colors to the stream.
If you want to go further, you can add name tags and agendas to the bottom third of the screen during your streams. You can even download your streams in HD once they’re finished and upload them to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Whether you want to stream on Facebook Live or YouTube Live, Be.Live could be a strong replacement for Google Hangouts on Air. You can try their basic plan for free to try it out for yourself.
Discord is often viewed as a game-centric platform. While there are certainly many players who use this service, what makes Discord stand out is the emphasis on two things: community and transparency.
This is a live streaming tool that works best if your community is already on Discord. This doesn’t mean you’re off-limits if your audience isn’t already using it, but it may take some extra work to get people on board.
If your audience and products revolve around games, then you should try Discord. This allows streamers to see the games they are playing and the activities they are participating in. This is a fantastic alternative to Google Hangouts on Air if you’re looking for a way to connect with this demographic.
By this point, you’ve probably heard of Zoom. In fact, “zoom” seems to be the word for video chatting, even when using a different platform! But there’s a good reason everyone is thinking: Zoom is a rugged live streaming product.
One of the most compelling things about replacing Google Hangouts on Air with Zoom Live is that many communities are already familiar with Zoom. Millions of people use Zoom every day, whether it’s for work, school, or meeting old friends.
Getting users to adopt a completely new service or tool can be a challenge, no matter how loyal your community is. Zoom’s brand awareness may make it easier to retain your audience while you switch from Google Hangouts on Air.
Zoom has a variety of features like raising and retrieving virtual hands to keep your community motivated. The fact that you can stream your webinars and meetings across multiple platforms at the same time is just the icing on the cake.
Streamyard is based on a simple idea: create a live streamer experience that is easy to learn and use.
This platform doesn’t ask you to download anything. it runs in your browser. If you already have a following on LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube, Streamyard lets you stream them all live.
Streamyard recognizes that complexity makes it difficult for streamers to connect with their communities. If you are looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement that removes technical barriers and limitations, this tool should be tried out.
With useful features like audience comments displayed on screen and invoking action buttons on your streams, Streamyard simplifies your live streaming process so that you can focus on what matters most: your audience.
When looking for your alternative to Google Hangouts on Air, you will find many products that promise more. Many alternatives promise more functions and integration.
But Talky.io doesn’t take this approach. Instead, Talky addresses a smaller niche and focuses on providing a simple video chat tool for groups of up to 6 people.
What Talky lacks in features it makes up for in simplicity and ease of use. Using Talky is as easy as starting a chat and sending your room link to the people you need to chat with.
In a sea of tools with many functions, Talky doesn’t seem particularly convincing at first. However, if you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement that anyone can use, this might be a fantastic option.
6. OBS Studio
For many streamers, this is the gold standard for live streaming tools. What makes OBS Studio so remarkable? Simple: customization.
Aside from being free, open source software that you can download and use right away, it is sponsored by some of the biggest names in live streaming. Facebook, YouTube and Twitch have all supported OBS Studio. It’s safe to say, if you have a favorite streamer, you’re probably using this one.
Who is OBS Studio for? Well, it’s technical for anyone looking to get started with live streaming. That depth makes it such a powerful tool, but it can also pose some problems.
Think of it this way: OBS Studio is similar to Photoshop, with most of the other alternatives being more similar to Canva. OBS Studio is often a great tool for veterans of the live streaming world and those who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
When we talk of remarkable live streaming tools, we can’t ignore the current king of the live streaming world: Twitch.
The company that put Mixer out of business is hands down one of the most popular live streaming tools out there. And while many think Twitch is a platform primarily concerned with gaming, it is not.
Companies regularly advertise their products on Twitch with marathons of shows. Art and philosophy streams are also moving into the spotlight, with an emphasis on community engagement.
While building a presence on the website can be difficult, success on Twitch can mean a massive increase in your community size and quality. Well worth a look if you’re looking for a replacement for Google Hangouts on Air.
Spreaker does one thing, and they do it exceptionally well: it supports podcasts.
Whether you want to host, create, distribute, or even monetize your podcast, Spreaker has something for you.
The reason Spreaker created the Google Hangouts on Air alternate list is simple: there aren’t enough tools for podcast live streamers. What really sets Spreaker apart is that they go way beyond that for podcasters.
With Spreaker, you can publish your podcast quickly and easily using the content management system. From there you can distribute your podcast to the main podcast platforms.
Spreaker also takes care of monetization, so streamers can automatically insert ads at any point on their podcasts.
If you are serious about podcasting, Spreaker is a tool to consider.
9. YouTube Live
If you’re wondering which of these tools should Google use, it’s probably YouTube Live. Initially, Google tried to merge Google Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live, but the transition didn’t go particularly well.
Even so, there is an appeal to use YouTube Live. Aside from the extensive infrastructure that YouTube and Google offer – numerous functions and a robust support system – there is one thing that simplifies live streaming on YouTube: the platform understands user expectations.
When users are on YouTube, they already expect to consume content. That means if you are creating live content for them to engage in, it will likely be an easy transition for them.
If you love the Google Hangouts on Air ecosystem, you’ll likely feel right at home in the relatively similar YouTube Live ecosystem.
10. Facebook Live
In terms of innovation, Facebook Live doesn’t offer much that YouTube Live and Twitch don’t. However, Facebook Live has an ace up its sleeve: when you stream on this platform, you have access to billions of people.
We can argue about how effective social media sites like Facebook have been in popular culture, but one thing is certain: everyone and their grandmother are on Facebook. So, if you want to have access to a large audience, being on Facebook might be a good idea.
Their live streaming tools aren’t as robust as others on this list, and the tools aren’t tailored for any particular industry or genre. But Facebook has a reach that is second to none.
Watching your favorite live streaming platform go away is frustrating. However, there is no reason to worry about the future of your content. As long as you are willing to research and adapt, you are sure to find the right tool for your brand.
Gaming, cooking, and art streams have great community tools like Twitch, Discord, and Talky.
Streamers who want a large audience and reach can use Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Whatever you’re looking for, you might find the right Google Hangouts on Air replacement here.
Which Google Hangouts on Air alternative is your favorite?