Webinar Software Roundup Review

What's the best webinar software out there? This seemingly simple question can be frustratingly difficult to answer, as I found out in the course of this review project.

My goal was to field test every major platform in the webinar space to find out how they all stack up against each other and finally find something that serves my own needs for marketing and educational webinars.

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What's in This Review

This is my roundup comparison of all the webinar tools I've tested. In this post, I'll present a brief summary for each tool and my conclusion and recommendations at the end. Note that for each tool listed here, there's also a separate, in-depth review and video available. I won't repeat everything I stated in the separate reviews, but I'll link to them.

Price Comparison

Let's start by looking at a price comparison of the tools I tested. This will help us put things into perspecive, when we look at the different features as well as strengths & weaknesses of each platform.

Comparing the pricing of different webinar software solutions is not a straight-forward endeavor, because each one comes with different pricing tiers and configurations. To create the closest I can to an apples-to-apples comparison, here are 2 different pricing scenarios.

Scenario 1: Low Budget

In this scenario, we're assuming that we want to be able to host live webinars with up to 100 attendees and we want to pay monthly, to keep the up-front cost low.

Price chart for monthly plans

Zoom is by far the cheapest option in the roundup, as long as you don't use the webinar add-on- Beyond that, several solutions cluster around about $50/month (Webinar Ninja, Crowdcast, Zoom Webinars), followed by some solutions around the $80/month mark (EasyWebinar, ClickMeeting, BigMarker). Demio comes in at $99/month, but with a limit of 150 rather than 100 attendees. A pricing plan for 100 attendees is not available. Finally, we have GoToWebinar which costs $109/month for a room with 100 seats.

WebinarJam and EverWebinar are not included because they aren't available at a monthly price.

Scenario 2: Large Crowd

For the second scenario, let's look at what it costs to be able to host webinars to large crowds of up to 500 attendees. In this case, we'll also assume that we're able to pay on an annual basis.

Price chart for 500 attendees, paid annually

In this scenario, WebinarJam is by far the cheapest option. Even if you combine WebinarJam with the EverWebinar add-on, it's still towards the cheaper end of the scale.

In general, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 per year for a room with 500 seats.

ClickMeeting, Crowdcast and Demio cluster closer to $2,000/year in this scenario and GoToWebinar is the only solution to cost significantly more than $2,000/year.

For comparison, I've also included Vimeo in this chart. Vimeo has a live streaming plan which comes in at $900, has no audience size limit and includes some basic webinar-like features. It's not a full webinar solution, but for anyone doing events with very large crowds, it's worth considering.

Now that we have a view of the pricing, let's look at the individual solutions. I'll summarize my findings for each platform, presented in alphabetical order:

Featured Big Marker

BigMarker

BigMarker is the Jack-of-all-trades webinar platform. With this single solution you can do live webinars, webinar series, automated webinars, livestreams, meetings and further variations of live online events. Full review.

​BigMarker Pros:

Despite having a huge array of options, BigMarker's user interface is well designed, intuitive and rarely overwhelming. It comes with a wide array of well designed, useful and fairly customizable landing page templates, it has a feature-packed webinar room with many interaction and engagement features and it has a powerful, intuitive "timeline builder" that gives you great flexibility for creating automated events.

BigMarker Cons:

For marketing/sales webinars, BigMarker has a serious flaw: you can present offers that pop up on screen for your attendees, but the way the offers are presented encourages them to close the offer pop up and focus back on your presentation. Once closed, the offer is gone from view, until you launch a new one or re-launch the same one. It's just not a good way to present offers in a webinar.

Apart from this, I have some smaller complaints about the platform, including the overwhelming amount of different communication channels in the webinar room and the lack of a one-click signup feature unless you use the built-in and poorly implemented emailing feature. It's also worth noting that BigMarker is one of the pricier options, so it's only worth considering if you really need an all-in-one solution.

BigMarker Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

BigMarker is a solid jack-of-all-trades tool. It's not the best tool for any one purpose, but it's the only one that covers pretty much every conceivable type of online event and does them all reasonably well.

Click Meeting

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is a tool that supports different kinds of online events and meetings, ranging from a permanently available online meeting room, through webinar events to fully automated webinars. Full review.

ClickMeeting Pros

ClickMeeting covers a fairly wide range of use cases and presents its many options in a fairly intuitive user interface. Out of all the tools I reviewed, ClickMeeting has my favorite feature set in the meeting/webinar room itself. It provides the presenter with a wide range of useful marketing and engagement features that are easy to use.

ClickMeeting Cons

Unfortunately, my test webinar with ClickMeeting was a disaster, from a technical standpoint. The stream quality was poor, the screen sharing kept glitching out and a large portion of the audience gave up on the webinar because of technical issues.

ClickMeeting Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

ClickMeeting has many promising and even well-implemented features. Unfortunately, the technical issues are a deal breaker.

Note: a representative from ClickMeeting reached out to me after I published my full review. They ensured me that they are taking my criticism of the platform seriously and have been working on improvements.

Crowdcast Logo

CrowdCast

CrowdCast is a webinar platform that seems to be inspired by social networks in various aspects. Each presenter has a public profile, attendees can follow/subscribe to presenters they like and the whole experience is focused around ease and convenience more than around advanced features. Full review.

CrowdCast Pros

It's very quick and easy to schedule and start a live event using CrowdCast. It probably has the easiest user experience of all the tools I tested. Among the webinar room features, I liked how easy it is to create events with multiple hosts (e.g. a group discussion or an interview livestream). CrowdCast also encourages chat and Q&A during the events. Expect high engagement (although the chat can also be a distraction.

It's also worth mentioning that CrowdCast offers very convenient monetization features. You can easily sell access to your webinars, make webinars that are exclusive to your Patreon supporters and even allow for pay-what-you-want donations during an event.

CrowdCast Cons

There's a downside to the ease of use and convenience for CrowdCast: while everything is fast and easy to set up, customization options are minimal to non-existent. Similarly, the webinar features are all skewed towards being simple and familiar, rather than being advanced features for power users. CrowdCast shines when it comes to engagement features, but on the marketing side, all you can do is display a small call-to-action button.

CrowdCast Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

CrowdCast does what it does really well. If what you need is a platform for livestreaming and engaging your audience, it's great. If you're looking for advanced marketing and customization features, you won't like it.

Featured Demio

Demio

Demio is a relatively new webinar platform which bills itself as being made with marketers in mind. Full review.

Demio Pros

The user interface in Demio is simple, well designed and easy to use. During the live event, the stream quality was good throughout and as a host, you can display attention-grabbing calls-to-action and polls during a webinar. Demio also features a well designed webinar automation builder.

Demio Cons

Demio lacks a good feature for managing comments and Q&A, which can become difficult especially when there are many attendees and lots of activity. While the live webinar in Demio is well designed from an engagement and marketing perspective, the auto-generated replay is lacking such elements. In a very strange move, Demio automatically sends your attendees to a page that advertises Demio, instead of giving you good options for creating your own, conversion optimized post-event page.

Demio Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

Demio is a decent webinar tool, but it ultimately doesn't do enough to justify its above-average price. Among the competitors, you can easily get more bang for your buck.

Easy Webinar

EasyWebinar

EasyWebinar is a platform that combines features for live webinars and automated/evergreen webinars. Full review.

EasyWebinar Pros

In the middle price tier, EasyWebinar offers large webinar rooms and a relatively extensive feature set at a favorable price. At that price point, it's also notable for including all the automation/evergreen features, which are often reserved for higher price tiers in other solutions.

EasyWebinar Cons

Both the user interface and the selection of webinar funnel templates look awfully outdated, in EasyWebinar. And regarding the UI, it's not just a problem of dated design: the poor design makes the software more complicated and harder to use than it needs to be.

I also found the marketing and engagement features in the webinar room to be lacking, compared to what competing platforms offer.

EasyWebinar Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

EasyWebinar is just not well implemented. On paper, the features and pricing look good, but in practice, I can't recommend it.

Note: a representative from EasyWebinar reached out to me after I published my full review. They announced that they wanted to improve the software based on my review and they have since already rolled out some improvements to the UI as well as new templates.

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar was one of the first tools available to run live webinars. It's also the tool I've used for well over 100 webinars for my own businesses. Full review.

GoToWebinar Pros

There's really only one major advantage to GoToWebinar: solid stream quality. GoToWebinar is about as reliable as a webinar tool can be. Which is to say: there will still be occasional technical issues and about 1% of attendees will have audio issues or similar, but 99% of the time, for 99% of attendees, your webinars will work reliably.

GoToWebinar Cons

The major flaw with GoToWebinar is that it just utterly lacks conversion and marketing focused features. The registration page is awfully basic and can't really be customized, you can show offers or countdown timers during an event, the user interface is corporat-y and not very user friendly etc., etc.

Basically, there aren't many things that are good about GTW, apart from aforementioned reliability. In addition, it's also the most expensive solution in this roundup.

GoToWebinar Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

GoToWebinar would be worth a recommendation if it was especially cheap. Unfortunately, it's especially expensive.

Webinar Jam Review featured image

WebinarJam & EverWebinar

WebinarJam is a platform that's mainly focused around doing live webinars for the purpose of sales & marketing. EverWebinar can be used as an add-on or as a standalone tool to create automated webinars that look and feel like a live webinar. Full review.

WebinarJam Pros

WebinarJam has hands down the best marketing and sales features of any of the tools I've tested. This starts with great options for displaying offers during your webinars. Not only can you show an unmissable, strong call to action during an event, you can even add scarcity factors like a countdown timer or a limited quantity of items available, with live updating whenever a new purchase is made.

Another strong marketing feature is the email integration in WebinarJam. You can integrate it with advanced email marketing tools such as ActiveCampaign and pass on tags based on whether someone left early in a webinar or watched all the way through, whether they purchased an offer or not etc. It's a dream for anyone who wants to do sophisticated segmentation and follow-up marketing.

In my testing, I also found the basics to be solid: stream quality was good throughout, the webinar room is user friendly and my attendees reported having a good experience on the call. On top of all that, the pricing for WebinarJam is the best of the bunch, so long as you don't mind paying a full year in advance. Even combined with EverWebinar (which costs extra), the pricing is still more than fair.

WebinarJam Cons

Setting up a webinar event in WebinarJam is a bit of a pain. The user interface guides you through a long series of steps in an interface that can feel overcrowded. I welcome the breadth of options available in the tool, but I can't help but think there must be a better way to present them.

A fairly serious drawback is that in my testing, I found that all of the notification emails sent through WebinarJam went into my spam folder. I had to integrate with a 3rd-party email delivery service such as PostMark in order to solve this issue.

WebinarJam Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

For marketing and sales webinars, this is clearly the best solution. It's not perfect, but considering the price and the fact that the marketing features are money-makers, it's easy to recommend WebinarJam.

Webinar Ninja Review

Webinar Ninja

Webinar Ninja is a webinar tool that aims to provide a rich set of features along with a modern, intuitive user experience. Full review.

Webinar Ninja Pros

There's a lot to like about Webinar Ninja, starting with a refreshingly simple and intuitive user interface. It's easy to set up and schedule live webinars, automated webinars and so called "hybrid webinars" (automated webinar with a host attending to interact in chat).

Webinar Ninja also comes with webinar funnel page templates that are well designed and customizable enough that you won't necessarily need a 3rd party solution for your landing pages.

In the webinar room, I particularly liked how easy it is to switch between different views. You can switch from full screen live video to screen sharing to picture-in-picture video with ease.

Webinar Ninja Cons

The biggest issue I encountered was a really poor stream quality. Even though I was streaming from a very fast connection, the quality of the stream that attendees saw was deteriorated almost beyond recognition.

I was also disappointed by the polls and call to action features. It's nice to see that such features are present, but they're too poorly implemented to be truly useful.

Webinar Ninja Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

Webinar Ninja is a promising solution, but in several aspects, it's let down by poor implementation.

Note: a representative from Webinar Ninja got in touch with me after I published the full review. They were open to my criticism of the platform and have already implemented improvements that should improve stream quality. They are also working on further improvements to the platform.

Featured Zoom

Zoom Meetings & Zoom Webinars

Zoom is a platform for online meetings, which can also be used for webinars. Full review.

Zoom Pros

The basic plan for Zoom costs only about $15/month. With that, you can host and record group meetings with good stream quality and you can also record these meetings and download them as videos.

You can buy a "webinar" add-on which adds some features like polls and Q&A, but this add-on is not worth getting, for the price.

Zoom Cons

Zoom is not really a webinar solution and compared to other tools in the roundup, it shows. It's not very user friendly, it doesn't have any marketing or engagement features to speak of and the funnel pages it auto-generates are awful. Ultimately, it's only a contender because of the low entry price and its high reliability, which is only matched by GoToWebinar.

Zoom Review Summary

Usability:

Marketing Features:

Stream Quality:

Engagement Features:

Overall Score & Conclusion:

Zoom (without the webinar add-on) is a good enough solution for group meetings and webinar-like events if your main concern is to keep costs at a minimum.

Conclusion: What's the Best Webinar Software?

As you can probably tell from this roundup and especially from the individual reviews, there is no such thing as the perfect software for hosting webinars. To make your choice as easy as possible, let me categorize my conclusion as follows:

Not Recommended

The following tools are clearly not recommended, based on my testing:

  • ClickMeeting because of the severe technical issues I experienced in the test webinar.
  • Demio because it doesn't do enough to justify its above average price.
  • EasyWebinar because of the outdated UI & templates and the lackluster marketing & engagement features.
  • GoToWebinar because it just costs way too much for what it offers.
  • Webinar Ninja because of poorly implemented features and poor stream quality.

Conditionally Recommended

The following tools I can recommend under specific circumstances, depending on your needs:

  • BigMarker if your main priority is to have one platform for every kind of webinar, online meeting and livestream imaginable.
  • Crowdcast if you want to sell webinars or you want to host Patreon-supporter-exclusive webinars.
  • Zoom Meetings (without the webinar add-on) if you want to keep costs as low as possible and don't mind sacrificing features & functionality for it.

Top Recommendation

Finally, my top recommendation goes to WebinarJam, which offers the best marketing features and comes at the lowest price (especially if you only need live webinars OR automated webinars, but not both).

Quiz

To make it even easier for you, I've put together a quiz. Through a short series of questions, the quiz will determine exactly which webinar software is ideal for your needs:

This concludes my massive webinar roundup review. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, by leaving a comment below!

About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Matt says:

    Great round up Shane!

  • Randy Cavanaugh says:

    Great review Shane. Thanks for your time and diligence!

  • henscu says:

    Great overview. How would your rankings look when ordered by Streaming & Audio Quality?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s a good question!
      I think Zoom takes the top spot for this one, followed by GTW, WebinarJam, Crowdcast and Demio. And the losers in this would obviously be ClickMeeting and Webinar Ninja.

  • Nadiya Day says:

    Thanks Shane, that’s all so fantastically helpful and much appreciated.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you found this useful.

  • Don Sturgill says:

    Thank you, Shane. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this.

  • paxpa says:

    Thanks a lot for this whole project. Very valuable!

  • Jim Markley says:

    Thanks Shane!

  • Thanks for all your work! So next up one to rule them all, Thrive Webinar? ;)

    • I’d really rather not…
      I want someone else to make the perfect webinar solution, so we don’t have to.

  • Henning says:

    Hello Shane, thank you for all the work you put into your reviews. I wonder if you know livewebinar which seems to me a very solid solution.

    • Thank you, Henning! I’ve signed up for Livewebinar and will give them a try soon.

  • Kerry says:

    Wow Shane, That’s a brilliant and comprehensive study that obviously took a huge effort. Many thanks! Can we look forward to WebinarJam integration with Thrive Architect now? :-)

    • Thank you for your comment, Kerry!

      We already have an integration. :)
      You can go to Thrive Dashboard -> API Connections and add a connection to WebinarJam there.

  • Ivan Bayross says:

    Hi Shane, your webinar tool comparison video is the most balanced, mature, educative video I’ve listened to in a long time.

    You have a beautifully, concise way of explaining the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of each webinar tool showcased.

    I respect the time, openminded / even handed, way you’ve approached this multiple webinar tool review.

    This is why I usually watch your videos and read your Blog posts.

    I’ve been a Zoom room enthusiast for several years now. For me it’s affordable, and delivers all the functionality I need.

    I use a Zoom room for teaching people skills. The video and audio quality has been consistently good. My attendees have been happy so far.

    I’ve used WebinarJam earlier on. It’s another really good Webinar tool. I shifted to Zoom purely because of it’s monthly pricing.

    Thank you for this body of work. It’s really the best I’ve watched and listened to in a long time.

    Warmly,

    Ivan Bayross

    • Thank you very much! It’s really rewarding to get feedback like this after sinking so many hours of work into the project. And I’m glad to see that your own experience with Zoom and WebinarJam reflects my recommendations as well.

  • Carl Chapman says:

    Hey Shane, thanks for the comprehensive reviews, helps validate our choice. Everwebinar is much cheaper than you have listed. You can buy it for $497. And if you buy WebinarJam first, it has a discount in the upsell funnel.

    • Thanks for your comment!

      In my price comparison, I have one entry for WebinarJam and one for WebinarJam + EverWebinar. Perhaps I can clarify that further. My thinking was that getting EverWebinar as a standalone is probably rare. Can’t really think of many cases where you’d want a webinar automation tool, without being able to host live webinars.

      • Carl says:

        I understand, but when I bought them together EW was only $397 as an upsell. Makes the yearly =~ $900.

  • jlrichardsonjr says:

    Great work Shane. Very helpful review. I don’t get stuff like this anywhere else. Thanks

  • Philip says:

    Very useful and complete summary of what was a very interesting series of tests.

    And the quiz at the end is very handy way of selecting according to preferred criteria.

    Thanks Shane.

  • Julius says:

    I suggest to include https://livestorm.co in the next review round.

  • john says:

    Great roundup. Thanks for the effort. I have zero affiliation to EasyWebinar other than being a user (primarily for the automated webinars) and wanted to add that they have indeed updated the UI and it’s much better. The standard landing page templates still aren’t great but we just embed the registration widget in our Thrive Landing Pages and it works just fine that way and looks way better :)

  • Ish Sarwar says:

    Hi Shane,

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been using Zoom for group calls but it’s good to know what else is out there and the main pros and cons of them.

  • Tony says:

    Hi, Thanks for your review. I agree, Webinar is very good with marketing and I had been using it. The one major downside is that they don’t have screenshare for devices. My only option is to share my iPad screen using quicktime and then screenshare and the quality of the video came out really bad with distorted sound and screen skips. Do you have any other recommendations that supports screenshare of devices and also good marketing and funnels?

  • Geoff says:

    Wow! Amazing review. So helpful. Thanks so much for all your hard work in putting this review together. The best of the best. Thanks a million Shane.

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