Webinars have evolved to become a must-have communications tool for all business sizes, whether that’s to demo new products, solve customer issues, or help to propel leads down the sales funnel. The best webinar software options give businesses complete control over the end-to-end experience, allowing them to tailor everything from the registrant landing page to the in-meeting engagement.
To help narrow down your options, we researched the top-performing webinar software options on the market today:
- Zoom Video Webinar: Best overall webinar software option for businesses that need a platform that scales to 10,000 participants with breakout rooms and whiteboards
- GoToWebinar: Best platform for businesses looking to prerecord content to be polished for presentation later or to be reused in the future
- Livestorm: Best free webinar tool for businesses wanting a no-frills program
- Zoho Meeting: Best webinar platform for businesses looking for a browser-based solution instead of a downloadable app
- ON24 Webcast Elite: Great webinar software option for businesses with large budgets that want the most comprehensive registrant, in-meeting, and post-webinar features
- Demio: Most budget-friendly webinar platform for businesses that rarely see attendee counts over 500
Zoom Video Webinar: Best Overall Webinar Software Option for Small Businesses
Zoom Video Webinar feels like an extension of the company’s core meeting, video conferencing, and business phone system tools. The user interface is easy to navigate, and most users love the simplicity and minimal menus. Premium plans can scale your webinar program to over 10,000 participants, and you can take that even further by broadening your livestream on YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and other streaming services.
After looking at the competition, we found Zoom Video Webinar and GoToWebinar are the only options on this list to include whiteboarding functionality. Zoom Video Webinar also provides breakout rooms, which aren’t a fundamental feature of most webinar software tools despite their popularity.
However, Zoom’s Webinar platform falls short on its pricing at scale. When you grow your program to beyond 1,000 attendees, the costs begin to soar. Another downside is that all attendees must create a Zoom account and download the desktop or mobile application to view your webinars—there’s no browser-hosted option.
Zoom Video Webinar Features
- Enjoy unlimited webinar sessions on every pricing tier that can be as long as 30 hours each
- Present your best self with HD video and audio livestreaming
- Leverage virtual backgrounds and intelligent noise cancellation features to provide the optimal presenter experience wherever you go
- Create on-brand experiences with fully customizable webinar registration pages, reminder emails, post-webinar landing pages, and live video watermarks
- Engage with your audience with whiteboards, breakout rooms, in-session chat, polling, Q&A, and automatic post-webinar surveys
GoToWebinar: Best Platform for Businesses Looking to Prerecord
GoToWebinar gives users licenses to GoToMeeting and GoToStage Access, meaning you’ll get free access to GoToMeeting’s premium conferencing tool and an on-demand repository for all your webinar recordings. GoToWebinar is another excellent tool at scale, enabling you to host up to 3,000 participants at your virtual events.
In addition to this, GoToWebinar allows you to prerecord a webinar and present it during a live event. LogMeIn, which is GoToWebinar’s parent company, calls this GoToWebinar recorded events. This is particularly useful for those who want to polish up a presentation so that it looks more professional, and it also allows you to repurpose previous presentations for new audiences. This is a very useful tool that’s not available from a provider like Zoom, where the most you can do is share a prerecorded session within a live session through the built-in video player.
Like Zoom, it also provides whiteboard features. However, it doesn’t offer breakout rooms at this time (though the company promises it’s coming soon). When it comes to pricing, GoToWebinar is less than half the price of Zoom, making it a much more affordable option for scaling businesses.
As for customization, you won’t have as many branding opportunities as Zoom and other platforms. Webinar registration pages are bland for the most part, and reminder emails share similar limitations. However, despite these setbacks, GoToWebinar is still one of the leading webinar platforms out there thanks to its organizational tools and GoToMeeting software additions.
- Prerecord your events and show them live for a more polished (and less risky) streaming experience
- Attentive Tracking lets you see what percentage of your attendees keep the GoToWebinar Viewer on top of all their other open applications
- Host meetings with up to 3,000 participants without losing any video or audio quality
- Manage your events from start to finish with flexible scheduling, built-in templates, source tracking, and performance analytics
- Enjoy free access to GoToMeeting and GoToAccess, GoToMeeting’s leading digital tools
Livestorm: Best for Businesses Looking for a Free Entry-level Plan
Livestorm shines compared to competitors thanks to its browser-based webinar streaming and free-forever plan. Small businesses can get hands-on experience with Livestorm’s Free plan, which includes all features and unlimited events. The only limitations are that meetings can’t extend beyond 20 minutes or 10 registrants.
Livestorm and Zoho are the only tools on this list to offer free plans, and they’re also the only platforms (with the addition of Demio) to provide browser-based streaming. Browser-based streaming means your attendees won’t need to download and launch any additional software—they can just click the link to hop into your webinar.
As for the negatives, Livestorm has a 1,000-attendee cap (which is much lower than both Zoom and GoToWebinar). It also doesn’t include advanced features like breakout rooms or whiteboards. Livestorm is an expensive option compared to the other alternatives, especially considering you could get an additional 2,000-attendee limit for an extra $60 with GoToWebinar. However, it’s a great entry-level platform for businesses brand-new to the webinar world that want a free, user-friendly tool.
- Get hands-on experience with a top-level webinar platform without spending a dime with Livestorm’s Free plan
- Make your customers’ lives easier by livestreaming your webinar through the browser rather than an app
- Advanced analytics let you know more about who’s watching your webinars and how they engage with the content
- Sync your data and leads with one-click integrations with over 1,000 apps
- Host professional webinars with ease using Livestorm’s modern, easy-to-use user interface
Zoho Meeting: Best Browser-based Webinar Streaming Solution
Zoho Meeting’s webinar platform is a solid tool for simple, reliable presentations. It doesn’t have breakout rooms and whiteboarding like Zoom Video Webinar, but its free plan and affordability set it apart from the rest.
The best part about Zoho Meeting’s pricing tiers is that you get access to all available features regardless of your attendee plan—meaning you can produce professional webinars on a smaller scale without breaking your budget. Other tools on this list require you to pay for additional attendees to unlock more sophisticated features.
Unfortunately, Zoho Meeting has a 1,000-attendee cap. You’ll also have to pay for additional recording storage space, whereas tools like GoToWebinar provide unlimited cloud storage at no extra cost. Surprisingly, Zoho’s Webinar tool doesn’t integrate with other Zoho products, like Projects, Bookings, Mail, or Connect.
Zoho Meeting Features
- Pay for exactly what you need with Zoho Webinar’s scaled pricing that lets you buy a plan for 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, or 1,000 attendees
- Require one less download from your attendees by hosting your webinars in the browser
- Extensively test the platform and all of its features with Zoho’s Free plan
- Simplified controls make it easy for you (and your participants) to have an engaging webinar experience
- Customize your registration links, reminder emails, and streaming interface with your brand and logo
ON24 Webcast Elite: Best Registration, In-stream & Post-webinar Features
ON24 Webcast Elite provides the most complete feature set of any option on this list, but its pricing is cloaked behind a “Talk to Sales” button. It’s annoying to jump through hoops and watch demos to figure out a price point, but it might be worth it if you’re looking for the most versatile streaming platform on the market.
ON24 and Zoom are the only options on this list to offer breakout rooms, though many of the other providers mention in their public forums that they’re actively working on adding this feature soon. ON24’s platform lets you create on-brand registration pages, streaming templates, confirmation emails, and post-webinar surveys—but it requires a bit of a learning curve. It’s far more complicated than alternatives like Demio and Livestorm.
On the downside, ON24’s lack of public pricing makes it difficult to evaluate your options. Once you do get into the platform, you may run into a few hiccups, and the customer service isn’t the most responsive. Despite these setbacks, ON24 Webcast Elite is an excellent option if you have a large budget and want the most comprehensive feature set.
ON24 Webcast Elite Features
- Provide webinars live, simulive (mix of prerecorded and livestreaming), or on-demand
- Use breakout rooms to segment your audience and boost engagement opportunities
- Make your webinars one of a kind with a fully customizable webinar console
- Leverage over 20 in-stream tools to drive engagement and conversion
- Use ON24 AI Engine to learn what content will best resonate with attendees in post-webinar follow-ups
Demio: Best Platform for Affordability
Demio isn’t the most robust tool on this list, but it doesn’t try to be. Instead, Demio focuses on providing a low-cost, easy-to-use webinar platform for small businesses that don’t need anything too fancy. Plus, you can scale to up to 1,000 attendees on the Demio platform, meaning you don’t need to switch tools as you scale.
Branding is simple and fully customizable with Demio. You can build beautiful registration pages and livestreaming experiences with simple drag-and-drop page builders. When it comes to pricing, Demio and Zoho Meeting are the most affordable options on this list when streaming to 1,000 attendees.
If you need longer session limits, Demio might not be the best choice for you. The Starter plan has a three-hour session limit, and the Business plan has just an eight-hour session limit. On the other hand, all of Zoom Video Webinar’s sessions have a 30-hour maximum. You’ll also need to upgrade to a Business or Premium account if you want to add additional hosts.
- Give your attendees video and microphone permissions when you want live engagement with the audience
- Run polls, share downloadable handouts, and embed links and offers right in the stream for increased interactivity
- Automate your webinar program with email campaign series and prerecorded presentations
- Customize your webinar page and event materials with your branding and logos
- Host your webinar on a custom domain for an additional layer of professionality
How We Evaluated the Best Webinar Software Options
Webinar platforms have been around for years, but some have gone above and beyond while others have fallen behind. You can find tools with mobile and desktop applications or part of a more comprehensive business phone system, and other, more slim-downed solutions that provide a complete browser-based experience. With so many options to consider, it’s hard to come to a decision for your business.
Pricing is always a top concern, but we also looked at free-forever plans, general features, and advanced features to narrow down which webinar software options lead the pack. These tools also need to be user-friendly, feature-rich, and backed by a reliable system with a top-notch customer support team.
After evaluating all the big players, we found Zoom Video Webinar to be the best webinar software option for small businesses. Zoom’s Video Webinar platform feels refreshingly similar to its core product, making getting started and navigating the user interface quick and easy. Plus, the tool provides cost-efficient entry-level plans that are perfect for small businesses.
Zoom provides the highest attendee cap out of all the competitors we evaluated, and they also provide industry-leading features, like breakout rooms and whiteboards. You won’t find a better tool than Zoom Video Webinar when it comes to value for money.
Here’s a breakdown of our evaluations:
30% of Overall Score
We compared the webinar software options to see the flexibility between the pricing plans. We also dove deeper into the numbers to see which was the most cost-efficient on a per-attendee basis.
30% of Overall Score
We looked to see which apps provided essential webinar features, such as polling, surveys, cloud recording, and native landing pages.
20% of Overall Score
We evaluated the platforms to see which provided above-and-beyond features, such as whiteboards, breakout rooms, chat translations, and real-time performance statistics.
20% of Overall Score
We tried the tools for ourselves and looked at what customers from various industries had to say about their hands-on experiences.
There are webinar software options for every industry and use case. If you need an entry-level tool for streaming internal or external presentations to a small group, you’ll be better off with a tool like Demio or Livestorm. However, if you need a robust platform capable of streaming to thousands of attendees, you’ll need a scalable tool like GoToWebinar or ON24 Webcast Elite.
On the other hand, we recommend Zoom Video Webinar for businesses of all sizes. Its easy-to-use interface coupled with extensive scale make it the most versatile webinar streaming tool on the market. Whether you’re hosting your company’s all-hands meeting or streaming a product launch to 10,000 potential customers, you can count on Zoom Video Webinar to get the job done.