Update (2.22.20): Since I wrote this review, a couple of things have happened.
- My Crowdcast revenue grew to over $12,000.
- Crowdcast added an amazing tool that lets you check the status of Crowdcast before you go live. This takes such a mental load off of doing live training. One of the stressful things about streaming live is the potential for tech glitches. Being able to see that Crowdcast is running smooth, and make sure everything is gold. You can even see if there have been any incidents reported in the last 90 days.
This is a review of Crowdcast, a tool for hosting live webinars, trainings and other virtual events.
The short version: Crowdcast is great. I use it for monthly paid events and it does what I need it to do really well. In this post, I get into all the specifics about the platform. This post contains affiliate links which means you get a great product and I get a commission at no cost to you. Win/win.
Full review: Five months ago, I subscribed to Crowdcast because I needed a way to host virtual trainings. I have since hosted four paid events on the platform and had an average of 18 attendees at each event, paying an average of $50 apiece.
My big takeaway from my experience is that Crowdcast is an outstanding platform that is clean, intuitive, easy to use, full-featured and comprehensive. It’s a valuable and useful platform that has become a core tool for me and my business.
Here is an honest review of Crowdcast, including my opinion on Crowdcast pricing, the event page setup, the Crowdcast support team, the Crowdcast app, the Crowdcast coupon code feature and lots more. The review is an attempt to answer any questions you may have about Crowdcast before subscribing yourself.
Here we go:
I’m currently on the Lite plan and find Crowdcast pricing to be more than fair. I received a discount for making an annual commitment, and an additional discount for attending one of the regular Crowdcast Talks.
If you haven’t attended a Crowdcast Talk, I highly recommend them. They’re educational and the best way to see the Crowdcast platform in action.
Here’s the current Crowdcast pricing and plans, as of April 2019. Prices reflect the annual plan. Monthly pricing is slightly higher.
- Lite: $40.83 / month for annual commitment
- Professional: $74.17 / month for annual commitment
- Business: $162.50 / month for annual commitment
I use Crowdcast for paid events and the revenue generated more than makes up for the price of the software. If you plan to do unpaid events, weigh the pros and cons of using a paid service such as Crowdcast, but keep in mind that having a tool that does what it’s supposed to do really well is incredibly valuable.
Within an event, the Crowdcast features are: screensharing, the ability to invite up to three other people to present, a sidebar chat, a cool Ask a Question feature, polls, auto email once someone registers, the ability to email everyone registered for an event at any time, and more.
Crowdcast is simple, it’s intuitive, and it does what it’s supposed to do really well. Increasingly, I’m a fan of tools that do one thing really well. While it’s tempting to want a tool or platform that does all the things you need, I find that, more often than not, those are bloated, tricky to navigate, and glitchy. Crowdcast is the opposite of that. It’s a great tool that is easy to use.
The Crowdcast support team has impressed me numerous times. The chat feature on the website gives you direct, and pretty speedy access to the support team. I’ve found the Crowdcast team to be beyond helpful, going above and beyond to make my experience using the tool a great one.
For example, during a test event, my co-host was having issues with screensharing and videos embedded in a slide deck. I jumped into a chat with Erin from Crowdcast, and, rather than just giving me a typed response, she asked me to invite her into the event so she could help us troubleshoot the issue. (See above photo.)
Who does that? A company that really wants you to be successful and happy using its platform. I was, and continue to be, bowled over by the extra measure and top-notch customer service.
The Crowdcast App
I use the Crowdcast desktop tool far more than the app. In fact, I’ve only opened the Crowdcast mobile app a handful of times. That being said, the app is clean, intuitive, and does everything you need it to do, including watch an event, participate in an event chat, ask questions, respond to polls, and watch replays of your events.
The quality of a Crowdcast broadcast depends entirely on the internet quality and speed of the hosts and participants. The tool itself is high-quality and streamlined. If you or a participant has a slow internet connection, however, the video quality will likely be glitchy and may drop off.
The best practice to ensure a high-quality Crowdcast event is to plug into ethernet as the host, and encourage participants to use fast internet. Note: I have not had any problems with events dropping or streaming glitches. I plug in to an ethernet connection in my home coworking space and make sure my co-hosts plug in or are on a fast internet connection.
The Crowdcast login is simple and straightforward. Use an email and create a password. From there, you can host events, participate in events, follow other Crowdcast users, see analytics about your events, manage participant emails and contact information and more.
Crowdcast Chrome Extension
If you plan to screenshare in Crowdcast, you’ll need to download the Crowdcast Chrome Extension. This will give you the best video quality. I highly recommend hosting your event on Chrome. Firefox does okay, but I’ve had a few glitches, and I haven’t tried Safari.
The screensharing in Crowdcast is very straightforward. When you’re live, there’s an option to share your screen. Once selected, you choose whether to share your entire screen, application window or Chrome tab.
Crowdcast and Firefox
As mentioned above, Crowdcast can broadcast in Firefox, but I recommend using Chrome, including the Crowdcast Chrome Extension, for the best experience and the ability to screenshare.
Crowdcast Setup to Test Mic, Camera and Screenshare
One of the nice features in Crowdcast is the setup page, which lets you test your mic, camera and screenshare. Event hosts and guests should take advantage of this option before starting an event to avoid any uncomfortable technical glitches during a live event.
I don’t know of another tool that works as well as Crowdcast for broadcasting events. Crowdcast alternatives could include Zoom, GoToWebinar, WebinarJam, Google Hangout etc., but those aren’t designed specifically for events in the way Crowdcast is.
When looking at Crowdcast vs Zoom, Crowdcast vs. GoToWebinar, and Crowdcast vs. WebinarJam, consider your needs–what you want to do with the platform—before making a decision. If you want to have live conversations between more than four participants, Crowdcast won’t work for you. If, however, you want to host live events, trainings and summits, Crowdcast is an excellent tool.
Crowdcast vs Zoom
Before moving to Crowdcast, I used Zoom for video calls, webinars and virtual meetings. I still use Zoom several times a week for video calls and meetings, but I wouldn’t use it again for a webinar or virtual training now that I’ve used Crowdcast. Rather than hacking Zoom to do things it’s not designed to do, I do all my trainings with Crowdcast. It simply works really well and does everything I need it to do, including handling all payments, registration and email.
Test Events in Crowdcast
Before your first Crowdcast event, I recommend doing a test event to get a feel for the whole Crowdcast live experience. Everything is intuitive, simply laid out and easy to use. It’s just good practice to do a test run so you don’t have any surprises on your live event day. Before going live, check out the Crowdcast Setup page to test your microphone, camera and screenshare.
Crowdcast Paid Events
Crowdcast for paid events is probably my favorite feature of the platform. Crowdcast makes it ridiculously easy to accept payment by linking with my Stripe account. I set up an event, determine the cost, add any coupon codes and Crowdcast does the rest, accepting payment, transferring funds to me, registering participants, sending confirmation emails and more.
Crowdcast Coupon Code
Crowdcast lets you easily create and customized coupon codes for any event and set a limit on how many quantities of a specific coupon code can be used. It also tracks coupon codes used so you can see how many of each type have been used.
Crowdcast and Facebook Live
I haven’t used Crowdcast to livestream via Facebook, but it is one of the features the platform offers. Since my events are paid, I livestream directly through Crowdcast rather than going live on Facebook
Crowdcast and Patreon
Crowdcast now offers a patron-only livestream option for Patreon Creators. As the website explains, “you can now host Q&As, interviews and livestreams with just your patrons.”
Creating a Crowdcast Event
Creating a Crowdcast event is as simple as clicking “New Event.” From there, you’ll add the event name, create a custom url, add an image or video to the registration page, set the price (if a paid event), create coupon codes, specify how many participants can register, and customize settings.
Crowdcast analytics offer a glimpse into your event, both before and after it. Analytics include sign-up rate, conversion rate and metrics, traffic sources, most active attendees, location statistics and more. The most valuable analytics for me are conversion rates (how many people registered after visiting the page), and traffic sources (where people get to an event registration page from).
Crowdcast for an Online Summit
I haven’t yet used Crowdcast for a virtual summit, but I definitely see how you could–especially if you’re doing your summit live. In fact, I believe the first iteration of Crowdcast (or what would become Crowdcast) was software for a large, virtual gathering.
If I were doing a live summit on Crowdcast, I would probably set up different events for each conversation, link to them all from one central landing page, and give participants a code to join. Although, as I write this, I realize the codes could be shared. Hmmm. I’ll need to ask around about the best way to do this. I’ll update this once I find out.
Before you go live, be sure to do a Crowdcast test so you’re familiar with the software and can (hopefully) avoid any issues. The Crowdcast setup page lets you test your mic, camera and screenshare, but set up a test event days before your official one. Get a couple of friends to join the event so they, and you, can walk through the registration, coupon, joining, chat, questions, poll, email etc.
The Crowdcast tutorial above is a good place to start if you’re interested in using the platform. There are also a bunch of videos on YouTube.
The platform is pretty intuitive, however, so you won’t have a big learning curve. Just take some time to look at all your options, including the advanced ones when you’re setting up your Crowdcast event. There are some important features, such as creating a custom url, that you don’t want to overlook.
Crowdcast Zapier Integrations
I’m not a Zapier expert, but if you’re looking for Crowdcast Zapier integrations, there are a bunch of them—87 as of today. Popular integrations include zaps for Mailchimp, Hubspot, ConvertKit, Slack, Leadpages and Google Sheets.
As I mentioned in the update, the new Crowdcast Status tool is a gamechanger. It shows you any operational glitches and any issues that have been reported in the last 90 days. Bonus: Crowdcast is extremely reliable and the status report is generally just confirmation that everything is working fine. This is a really nice assurance when you’re getting ready to go live.
Big Picture Review of Crowdcast
My overall review of Crowdcast is a raving, two thumbs up. I’m super impressed with the tool and the interface. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of a very impressive, reliable and functional tool is the customer support. The one-on-one care and attention has helped me sail through glitches and questions with ease.
Crowdcast is proving to be a core part of growing my business. My content training attendance grows every month, and the platform enables me to scale effortlessly. Highly recommended.
Hope this helps.
Note: This review contains affiliate links. That means you get a great tool and I get a small commission on your purchase. Win/win.