Webinar software: a comparison of the best webinar platforms

Webinars are a low-cost option for talks and seminars, and can be set up independent of time and location. To launch a webinar, all you need is a computer and webinar software. But due to the overwhelming number of providers, finding a suitable webinar platform can take up a lot of time. To make your decision easier, we’ve rounded up six popular webinar software solutions and explain what to look out for before making a decision.

How do I choose the right webinar software?

If you’re just starting out with your search for the perfect webinar software, you’ll find an overwhelming assortment of webinar platforms available online. These typically differ both in price and range of functions. Before you jump at the first one, ask yourself the following questions to determine your basic requirements for a program:

  • Will you be transmitting webinars live?
  • How many participants do you plan on hosting?
  • How long will your webinars be?
  • Which functions are a requirement for you? Common examples include whiteboards, screencasts, chat functionality, or virtual backgrounds.
  • Do you value branding functionalities to individually tailor your webinars?
  • Will you need analysis and feedback tools?
  • Will you be offering your webinars for free or is an integrated payment system a requirement for you?
  • What’s your budget for webinar software?

The term “webinar” is a registered trademark. If you want to offer an online seminar on the Internet yourself using the term as a part of your trademark, you should consider marketing it under a different name. Alternatives would be “web seminar” or “online seminar”, for example. Though using “webinar” as a generic term is no risk.

The most popular webinar platforms

First off, no single webinar software works for all. Every tool has its strengths and weaknesses. Finding the best webinar platform depends on your individual requirements and needs. Below, we introduce six of the most popular webinar providers and compare them.

ClickMeeting: Flexible pricing plans depending on number of participants

ClickMeeting is a browser-based webinar software that doesn’t require installation. Starting from $30 a month, you can get access to a range of functions, like desktop sharing, a whiteboard, survey tools, voting, as well as a real-time chat translator. The actual price is based on the number of webinar participants. This means, you only pay for the plan that you actually use. The option for on-demand webinars is included in the “Automated” plan (starting at $40).

The expansive branding functions will be of interest to companies, allowing them to integrate their logo and corporate identity as part of the webinar background. Google Analytics and other webinar and participant statistics can also be integrated to evaluate and optimize webinars. A disadvantage of ClickMeeting is that it strongly limits the storage space of recorded webinars. This means, you can only save between six and 10 hours of recorded material – depending on your pricing plan.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Flexible plans based on participant numbers ✘ Only payable with credit card
✔ Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux ✘ Max. 10 hours of recording
✔ 30-day free test version  
✔ Up to 1,000 participants possible  
✔ Live and on-demand webinars  
✔ Branding functions  

GoToWebinar: The webinar software for businesses

With the webinar software GoToWebinar, the makers behind GoToMeeting have directed their attention specifically at businesses. With monthly rates starting at $49, this webinar platform also offers a range of interesting functions.

Thanks to its integrated payment system, you can conduct paid webinars without the requirement of additional software. “GoToStage” access lets users watch on-demand webinars at any time and share their live content. Unfortunately, live webinars are not available with GoToWebinar. But the webinar software makes up for this by providing excellent functions to simulate live events – with interactive quick-surveys, user-defined answers to questions, and automatic playbacks.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux ✘ Too complex for individuals
✔ 7-day free test version ✘ Payments only in USD
✔ Up to 1,000 participants possible, and up to 5,000 with the Enterprise plan ✘ No live function
✔ Expansive analysis tools  
✔ Live simulation  
✔ Branding functions  

Demio: All-in-one webinar provider for businesses

Starting at $34 a month, the all-in-one webinar solution from Demio is perfect for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are just starting out with webinars. With features like live webinars, scheduled series events, and hybrids of live-streaming webinars and pre-recorded videos, Demio ticks a lot of boxes. Organizers can host events on autopilot with pre-recorded presentations and improve their lead generation. Beyond this, the browser-based webinar software is easily accessible with just one click and features a minimalist look and an intuitive user experience.

What makes Demio stand out is not only its high-definition live-streaming quality, but also its in-depth analytics, to check at which stage attendees joined or left a webinar – a flexible option designed to improve marketing efforts.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Browser-based and attendance in just one click ✘ Branding function available only in more expensive package
✔ 14-day free trial for up to 20 attendees ✘ Starter plan does not include automated events and custom form fields
✔ Interactive polls with stats  
✔ Easy download and sharing of recordings  
✔ Integrated marketing apps  
✔ Analytics to further improve webinars  

Webinaris: Automated webinar software

The webinar provider Webinaris specializes in automated webinars. While live webinars aren’t possible, its range of extensive functions are able to simulate a broadcast in real-time, like its automated chat and fictitious percipients list. This automatization means that you can offer recorded webinars on any number of dates and scale revenues.

With its “Rent my Webinar” feature, you can make your webinars available to other providers, either at a cost or for free. You also have the option to publish successful webinars on your account. The only package available, however, is the Professional package, which will set you back $99 each month. In return, you’ll have access to unlimited automated webinars and all functions included.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ No installation necessary ✘ No live streaming
✔ Extensive automation functions ✘ Comparably lower participant number per appointment
✔ Live simulation  
✔ Many functions designed for sales, branding, and marketing  
✔ Rent my Webinar: license model  

Zoom: Up to 10,000 passive webinar participants

Zoom has established itself as one of the most popular tools for online conferences. The clear and versatile meeting solution also offers a special add-on for webinars.

The free version of this webinar tool limits webinars to a maximum duration of 40 minutes and a maximum of 100 participants. For an unlimited webinar duration you need the Pro package for $14.99 per month. In addition, the add-on for webinars can be individually adapted starting at $40 per month. The price depends on the selected number of possible participants and moderators.

Zoom is especially convincing because, in theory, it allows for a very large number of viewers. The corresponding add-on costs $40 per month and lets you add up to 10.000 participants. However, even the most expensive package is limited to 100 interactive participants.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Individualized pricing based on number of participants and moderators ✘ No end-to-end encryption, recurring data security issues
✔ Branding functions ✘ Maximum 100 interactive participants
✔ Live webinars and broadcasting on Facebook or YouTube  
✔ Up to 10,000 participants  
✔ Integrated analysis tools  
✔ Monetization via PayPal or credit card  
✔ Free version available  

WebinarJam: Create custom and interactive webinars

With the webinar software WebinarJam, you can create individualized and branded invitations and webinars thanks to an integrated page builder. Countless templates make building professional and mobile-friendly pages easy.

This webinar provider is the right choice for you if you want to involve many participants in an interactive way. Up to 5,000 active participants can be added – five times as many as with similar webinar software tools. To keep this many participants engaged, the software lets you add up to six moderators. Depending on which plan you select, every webinar is limited to either two to four hours.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Integrated page builder ✘ Time restrictions
✔ Up to 6 moderators and 5,000 interactive participants  
✔ Analysis tools  
✔ Email automatization  

Do you use webinar software to collaborate with colleagues or for internal staff training sessions? In that case, choosing a Microsoft 365 solution from IONOS makes an excellent alternative to common webinar solutions. In this way, you can optimize communication and collaborate on documents at the same time, no matter where you’re based.

All webinar software in comparison

To make your decision a little easier, we’ve prepared the table below to provide an overview of the top six webinar providers.

  App available Price per month Number of participants Live function Payment system possible Special features
ClickMeeting Yes $30-309 10-1,000 Yes Yes Flexible plan, depending on number of participants
GoToWebinar Yes $49-399 100-1,000 No Yes Made for businesses
Demio Yes $34-163 50-500 Yes Yes Made for small businesses and entrepreneurs
Webinaris No $99 250 No Yes Rent my Webinar: rent your webinars for marketing purposes
Zoom Yes $40-6,490 100-10,000 Yes Yes Many passive participants possible
WebinarJam Yes $42-83 500-5,000 Yes Yes Many active participants possible
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