How to Create a Live Streaming Budget: 3 Budget Levels

By Todd SitrinMay 15, 2024

Live streaming has become an important channel for enterprises to engage with their audiences, build brand awareness, and boost sales. But like with any product launch or marketing campaign, streaming requires an investment and planning if you want to do it right.

The last thing you want is to prepare for a live stream production and find out later that you didn’t account for all of the necessary equipment, talent, or software. In this guide, we’ve outlined the primary elements that go into a live stream production – and how to budget for them at three different budget levels.

Read on to find out how to create a live streaming budget to ensure the best quality for your streams.

Table of Contents

Defining Your Live Streaming Budget

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To determine the right budget for your live stream ambitions, you need to start by considering your business objectives. Is it product marketing, customer engagement, brand awareness – or do you intend to monetize your live streams and turn them into a profit center?

You also need clarity on the audience you’re targeting. Keep in mind that even if your product or service appeals to a wide audience, that won’t necessarily translate to who will participate in a live stream – this depends on factors like geolocation, demographics, and the subject of your content.

Lastly, we recommend doing an audit of your internal resources, equipment, and personnel. This will help you take stock of what you already have, what you need, and how much you can afford to invest in your live streaming budget.

Why Make a Budget?

A live streaming budget is important for a few reasons.

First of all, it ensures that your organization is investing the necessary amount to achieve the quality you’re looking for in your live stream productions. 

Second of all, it ensures that your streaming plans are aligned with company objectives, because budgeting requires you to think through every aspect of production. 

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the five most important components of your live stream budget.

5 Elements of a Live Stream Budget

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1) Software and tools

There are two main types of software you’ll need to consider for your live streams: an online video platform (OVP) and broadcasting software. 

An OVP like Maestro provides valuable live streaming platform features like real-time analytics, security, and monetization options, while broadcasting software like OBS Studio supports important key technical functionality for your stream, such as encoding, screen recording, and managing stream sources.

Beyond these, you may have some other software needs, such as using Adobe Premiere Pro or another video editing software to create titles, lower thirds, and motion graphics.  

2) Equipment

All live stream productions need one or more cameras. These can range from a basic webcam or smartphone up to a broadcast-grade professional camera. Obviously, a more sophisticated production will usually have a multi-camera setup, so you may need to plan on getting multiple cameras.

In terms of audio, you’ll need microphones – such as a lavalier, handheld, or studio mic – as well as an audio mixer. 

Your studio setup should also have lighting. These can range from LED panels or ring lights up to advanced softboxes, along with bounces, stands, and other miscellaneous lighting gear.

And lastly, when it comes to equipment, you’ll need to have some kind of encoder for live streaming. This can be a computer with encoding software on it, or you can invest in a dedicated hardware encoder.

3) Talent

You may already have employees in mind to serve in on-screen talent, production, and support roles for your live streams. 

However, if there are any gaps, it’s important to take note of them now so you can invest in hiring new full-time employees or getting contract help. Professional videographers and technical crews can be pricey, but they’re instrumental in achieving a quality live event.

4) Marketing and promotion

Most enterprises already have a marketing budget, and live streaming often falls into marketing’s domain – but it’s still worth keeping in mind that if you’ve never streamed any live events before or you’re trying to boost attendance, you’ll want to dedicate some resources to spreading the word about your live content. 

Depending on who you want to reach, you could focus on promoting these live streams to your owned channels, such as email and social media, or you could extend the promotion to new audiences through paid digital ads, influencer marketing, and public relations campaigns.

5) Miscellaneous

There are other things to budget for in a production that you may not have thought through in the software, equipment, talent, or marketing categories. 

Probably the biggest one is the set or backdrop where you’ll be filming. Renting a venue is one option. Alternatively, you can build your own professional studio. This could easily run you $15,000-$50,000 as a one-time investment, but may be worth it if you plan to produce a lot of video content for streaming or VOD.

Choosing Your Live Streaming Budget (By Level)

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Your production depends on your goals, so it’s difficult to suggest a one-size-fits-all amount for a budget. That’s why we broke it down into a few different tiers based on expense and complexity. 

Customize these to your own needs. You may be able to get by with a lighter production crew and divert more resources into software, for example. Let’s go through what an entry-level, mid-tier, and advanced live streaming budget might look like.

1) Entry-Level Budget

An entry-level live stream production can be sufficient for smaller-scale streams like webinars or product launches (and often feature just one presenter).


  • Online video platform (OVP): Secure and reliable platform for hosting your live streams ($20-$200/month)
  • Broadcasting software: Open-source or basic software for encoding and production ($0-$100)


  • Camera: HD webcam or basic DSLR camera ($100-500)
  • Audio: USB microphone or lavalier mic ($50)
  • Lighting: Ring light ($20-$100)
  • Streaming: An existing laptop or desktop computer or dedicated encoder hardware


  • Solo presenter or small team ($0-$1,000)

Marketing and Promotion:

  • Social media and email marketing ($0-$500)

Estimated Budget: $500-$2,500

2) Mid-Tier Budget

Here’s what you can expect to budget for a mid-tier live stream production for a multi-camera webinar or virtual conference. 


  • OVP: A more robust OVP setup ($200-$800/month)
  • Broadcasting: Higher-end broadcasting software ($100-$500)


  • Camera: 2+ DSLRs or camcorders ($500-$2,000 per camera)
  • Audio: High-quality XLR microphones and audio mixers ($150-$1,000+)
  • Lighting: Studio lighting kits ($300-$1,500)
  • Streaming: Computers or hardware encoders ($1,000-$3,000)


  • Professional hosts and production crew ($1,000-$5,000)

Marketing and Promotion:

  • Paid ads, social media, and email ($500-$2,000)

Estimated Budget: $5,000-$15,000

3) Advanced Budget

If you want to go all-out on your live streams for a quality branded event, virtual summit, or online conference, this is what you should expect to budget for an advanced production.


  • OVP: Enterprise platform with full customization ($800-$5,000/month)
  • Broadcasting software: Comes with multi-camera switching, advanced overlays, and more ($500-2,000)


  • Camera: 2+ broadcast-quality cameras ($2,000-$10,000 per camera)
  • Audio: Professional microphones, audio mixers, and monitoring equipment ($1,000-$10,000)
  • Lighting: Professional LED or studio lighting setup ($1,500-$5,000)
  • Streaming: High-end computers or hardware encoders ($3,000-$15,000)


  • Professional directors, hosts, and full technical production crew ($5,000-$25,000)

Marketing and Promotion:

  • Integrated campaign across paid media, influencer marketing, and PR ($2,000-$20,000)

Estimated Budget: $20,000-$100,000+

Optimizing Your Live Stream Expenditures

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With any live stream production, you have flexibility in how you choose to allocate your resources. But you can also help them go farther with a few of these quick tips.

1) Plan to scale

Just like a startup, your live stream production may benefit from starting lean (entry-level or mid-tier) and having the budget adjusted higher (advanced) as you begin to see results. 

Like with other organic content strategies, it’s a good idea to test and optimize your live stream presentation first to ensure it’s getting the engagement and follow-through you want to see. Then, you have a reason to uplevel the quality of the production, boost it through marketing, and increase how often you go live.

2) Upskill existing staff

Equipment can cost a lot, but items like an audio mixer or camera are generally a one-time expense. Your crew, however, is an ongoing cost. That’s why you may get more mileage out of training and upskilling the staff you already have, rather than going out to hire new employees or contractors.

If you train your people well, this has the added benefit of deriving more value from everything else you’ve invested in, from the software to the equipment to the marketing – and of course, even the content of the stream itself. Even the best studio is only as good as its crew and talent!

3) Focus on ROI

Any goal your business has for live streaming will ultimately come back to a return on investment. So, we recommend you start by asking where your biggest return on investment in live streaming will come from.

Is it marketing? Maybe, if your presentation is already dialed in and getting great engagement.

Is it equipment? Maybe, if there’s a weak link in your production that a new piece of gear could correct.

Is it software? Maybe, if you need better real-time analytics and interactive elements in your stream.

Hopefully, these tips help you think about what you can do to get the most out of your live streaming budget.

Make Maestro Your Live Streaming Solution

In the end, budgeting always comes back to your business goals. Once you’ve decided what level of quality your live stream needs, you can focus on choosing the best tools and resources within that budget level. 

But no matter what your live streaming budget is, we hope you consider making Maestro a part of it! Maestro is an online video platform with the versatility and power of an enterprise-level video platform at an excellent value for brands of all sizes. 

Our live streaming hub makes it easy to create interactive video experiences, monetize your videos, and even build a unique branded site for both live and on-demand video content.

Are you ready to publish and monetize your own high-quality videos on Maestro? Contact us now to book a demo!

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