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With the rise of YouTube and people offering up free advice and how-tos on just about every topic under the sun, you can get a lot of mileage out of just combing the internet to beef up on your streaming skills. But at a certain point, you might come to the realization that sorting through everything free the internet has to offer brings in a lot of bad alongside the good, and consider looking into the best online live streaming courses.
We dove into the details of four of the major players in online course offerings. All of these have classes specifically aimed at upping your skills when it comes to streaming, from building a brand to honing your tech skills to figuring out what equipment you need to succeed.
Best for: people who want a wide variety of courses at their fingertips or who want to give paid courses a test run.
Skillshare has a large variety of courses for a monthly ($32) or annual ($168) fee, currently boasting 35,000 different videos. All classes are available under the subscription plan—meaning no hidden fees per course once you sign up.
There’s a mix of offerings from familiar names and folks you may not have heard of, covering topics like creative writing, graphic design, and web development. There are 20 videos diving specifically into Twitch, as well as many other online courses for streamers in general, and an easy interface that allows you to sort courses by level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) or even by video length.
Each course stands alone and tells you how many people have taken it so you can get an idea of its overall popularity. They also allow for the instructors to earn money based on how many people are watching, giving them a good incentive to make their content engaging and useful to viewers.
Skillshare offers a free 30-day trial, allowing potential customers to give the courses a test run and see if it’s the bang for your buck that you’re hoping to find. And if you’re currently a college student with a valid .edu email address, you can get 50% off the membership fee.
Best for: people interested in buying one course at a time rather than paying for a membership.
Unlike Skillshare, Udemy offers courses a la carte, with prices reportedly ranging between $11.99 and $199.99 per class. That being said, they do offer 600 free courses alongside their staggering 180,000+ paid offerings.
With such a large number of courses, the variety of what Udemy has to offer is equally vast. They have coursework specific to streaming and Twitch but also delve into things that could be additionally useful in building an online brand—photography, web development, music software, business, and so, so much more.
One nice thing about Udemy is that once you’ve paid for a course, you will always be able to access it, something that isn’t the case under sites requiring a membership fee. Users also report that courses frequently end up heavily discounted for people who have already signed up for the site and are looking through options to watch. On the flip side, you won’t find any celebrity instructors on Udemy like you would with the other sites.
Best for: people looking for more of a traditional course framework.
Nas Academy also takes the courses on-demand approach, with more than 75 different options at individual price points reportedly ranging from $29 to $699.
Whereas Skillshare and Udemy generally offer single videos accessible at any time, Nas Academy takes a different approach, mixing live classes with pre-recorded lessons. Each individual course lays out both the outline of what you will learn and the number of days/hours it is expected to take in advance. They seem to be more centered around community and getting feedback from classmates and, in some cases, an instructor rather than simply watching how-to videos.
Nas Academy’s site is the most limited in terms of offering so far, but since it’s pay-per-course, that isn’t really an issue. They have 31 courses focused on content creation at the moment, with additional opportunities to dive deeper into business, crypto, sound design, and more. They also offer a number of free courses so you can get a feel for things before spending money.
MasterClass remains the gold standard on the internet for a good reason. While it’s a pricier option than the others ($180 per year, with only annual billing as an option), the courses come from genuine masters at their craft.
Rather than offer single videos, MasterClass courses are generally split up into many smaller videos that come out to several hours of content in the end, making it easy to fit a little bit of learning in as you have free time. Their library currently boasts over 220 courses—a lower number than fellow subscription-based site Skillshare but much more carefully curated.
At the moment, there’s only one online course specifically aimed at streamers, but additional options that may prove useful include courses on personal branding (Kris Jenner), communication (Robin Roberts), and self-expression and authenticity (RuPaul). And of course, if you want to learn more about cooking, storytelling, music, or just about anything else you can imagine someone being an expert in, MasterClass probably has it.
The price tag is probably the biggest drawback of MasterClass, but if you can find a current subscriber with day passes, you can try it out with a 14-day free trial. They also offer access to a single “session,” such as Ninja’s “Become a Streamer,” for a lower annual price.
Each of these websites offers something different that you can’t quite get from the others, and many eager learners would probably be best served by testing them out and mixing and matching online courses for streamers from each.