The world of online video is rapidly growing. It is happening so quickly that some experts even predict that video will make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2022! With such a big impact video has on the online world, video marketing is becoming a necessity, not a choice, for brands who want to stay on top of their game. But how do you start with video? Well, the first and most obvious step is to find a reliable online video platform.
Picking the right OVP can make all the difference in offering the best video experience and having excellent ROI. However, not all online video solutions are born equal, so choosing the right one can be quite challenging. Because there are so many choices out there, most media companies and publishers are left at a loss.
That is why we’ve decided to help! We’ve conducted extensive market research and prepared a side-by-side comparison of various aspects of some of the best OVPs on the market. So whether you want to get on board the current video marketing craze or wish to make some internal communications videos, you’re sure to find a suitable platform for your business.
But before we get to our list and comparisons, let’s first cover some essential information on online video platforms. If you wish to go to the comparison part immediately, please skip to it from the Table of Contents below!
Online video platforms (OVP) are platforms that allow users to host, manage, and stream video content to their respective audiences. Most OVPs use HTML5 players to play back the content they host on their servers (most often cloud-based). Video platforms also provide users with intuitive video content management systems that users can use to upload, organize, and embed their content. The most significant advantage of having and using an OVP to distribute your content is that their video hosting services reduce the strain on your website and provide a stable infrastructure you don’t have to pay a small fortune to maintain.
The benefits of using a professional OVP in favor of a free one are multiple. Free video platforms like YouTube lack various features publishers and media companies can use to make the most of their online video and video marketing campaigns. The most notable example is that such platforms don’t give creators full control over their video monetization and branding. Such uncertainty is a significant downside for established businesses looking to make the most of their videos.
Aside from the above, professional OVPs often offer various integration with third-party programs and systems that many companies use daily. These integrations can help streamline your everyday tasks, making them an incredibly valuable addition to the professional OVP arsenal.
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Last but not least, digital video platforms offer state-of-the-art server-side security and privacy. That is because your content is not only protected by the latest encryption technology but is also not available to the general public like on video sharing platforms.
All of the above sets premium OVPs apart from free ones, but there are plenty of additional, more specific features you should consider when deciding. Not all OVPs are born equal, though, so you’d be wise to look thoroughly into each platform’s offer to make the best choice for your business.
Now let’s look at some of the best options on the market!
Here are ten of the best online video platforms on the market in 2020 in no particular order:
All of these video platform solutions are feature-rich and offer premium services. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, though, and focus on various aspects of the online video industry.
So the best way to find the most suitable one for your business is to see how they compare across various crucial categories.
We’ve done extensive market research and have prepared an in-depth comparison of the above ten OVPs across various categories. But before we begin, let’s look at how each of these platforms identifies itself in its own words.
These broad labels are an excellent starting point on your decision-making process, but there is much more to each of these platforms than meets the eye. For instance, just because some identify as enterprise-level video platforms doesn’t mean others aren’t suitable for enterprise-level publishers. The same applies to live streaming and monetization.
The only real way to make an informed decision is to look at all individual features and prices and decide what suits you best from there. Let’s begin our scrutiny with general platform features!
Whatever your video needs may be, the above features are some of the most sought-after ones in enterprise video platforms. Unfortunately, a few of the above fall short in this regard.
Hosting is vital for video publishers as it allows them to reduce the strain self-hosted videos put on their websites by storing them on an external server. Having a CDN is also essential since that will enable your externally-hosted videos to reach your viewers that much quicker. We believe these features are necessary for any video platform, so it’s a shame to see that THEOplayer doesn’t offer these.
Having full access to a platform’s API is a fantastic feature, especially if you have some coding knowledge. That allows for near-endless customizability, which is something Vimeo users will lack. So if customizability is your number-one priority, Vimeo is a no-go.
VOD services are some of the most popular ones in the online world right now. That means not having any VOD options is a huge downside (sorry, Playwire). Aside from the aforementioned black sheep in the family, all other players have at least some kind of VOD support. The most flexible in this regard are Brightcove, Dacast, and Kaltura. However, any platform that supports your preferred VOD monetization model is a well-rounded choice. In the end, it will all depend on your business goals.
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The popularity of live streaming has skyrocketed in the last few years, so not having access to this feature is like living in the stone age. If you’re looking for an OVP that offers a complete online video service, you won’t find it at Wistia, as it doesn’t support live streaming.
The primary upside of professional online video platforms is the abundance of features they offer. Some of the most beneficial ones most publishers will not want to go without are in-depth analytics, playlists, closed captions, and syndication options.
Real-time video analytics help companies keep track of their videos’ performance and allow them to adjust their strategies on the go. That makes them essential for any professional looking to grow their business efficiently. Luckily, all of the above players support this feature.
Playlists and closed captions are excellent additions to any publisher’s video repertoire as the former allows for more accessible content organization. At the same time, the latter is incredibly helpful for video ads since most begin playback muted. Wistia, THEOplayer, and Playwire fall short in this area. But if you don’t care much about the quality of life these features bring, they’re still a decent choice.
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Video syndication and article matching exist to make publishers’ lives easier. They allow easy republishing on various social media or video platforms and offer better content suggestions, but they’re not detrimental in any way. Still, it’s worth noting that the OVPs without these features are quite lacking.
Finally, channels and interactive video CTAs are excellent options, but publishers who do not focus on the SVOD monetization route won’t lose much by not having them. So whether not having channels and subscriptions available will be a deal-breaker depends entirely on your monetization plan.
When it comes to 360 Video and VR, many would argue they are the future of video technology. That prediction does seem entirely plausible, but it’s an indisputable fact that these technologies haven’t yet taken off in the marketing world. According to one of the latest 2020 surveys, only 15% of marketers planned to use 360-degree video, and a meager 12% said they’d use VR. That is likely why some of the above platforms haven’t yet introduced these into their arsenal. So if you’re a part of the above minorities, the platforms that don’t support this tech aren’t for you. For all other publishers, though, not having access to these won’t make a difference.
As we have briefly mentioned before, integrations with various third-party platforms or software can help businesses streamline many aspects of their everyday routine. Such quality-of-life benefits can play a significant role in your decision-making process. That is why all the OVPs on our list come with various third-party integrations, plugins, and extensions that can make a publisher’s life easier.
The platform that stands out with its sheer variety of supported integrations is Kaltura, though Playwire, Flowplayer, Wistia, and THEOplayer also have a decent variety of integrations. However, do remember that most publishers will need no more than a few of these, so such a wide variety of options won’t make a difference for many. All you’ll need to look for is whether the platform supports the services you need. Or if you don’t care much about integrations, you can decide based on the other, more important categories.
Refer to the full list of supported third-party integrations, plugins, and extensions for each of these platforms below.
Google DFP, Google AdSense, AdX, Google IMA, Nielsen Analytics, comScore, SpotX, Prebid.js, React, SpringServe, Drupal, WordPress.
Float Left, SpotX, PubMatic, Telaria, Google DFP, Google AdSense, EMX, Index Exchange, Google IMA, AdX, FreeWheel, ComScore, Gum Gum, Oracle, WordPress.
Google Ad Manager, Google IMA, Iris.TV, Akamai, Sitecore, HapYak, Ramp, Oracle, Marketo, Wirewax, Hive, HubSpot, Freewheel, Cleeng, WordPress, Drupal, Sharepoint, Adobe Experience Manager, Joomla, Ektron.
Active Campaign, Animoto, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Cleeng, Databox, Drip, Emma, Eventbrite, Get Response, Google Analytics, HapYak, HubSpot, Hull, Infusionsoft, InPlayer, Intercom, Klick-Tipp, Lead Liaison, MailChimp, Marketo, Medialytics, Ontraport, Pardot, Parse.ly, Powtoon, Promo, Qwilr, ScreenFlow, Theta Lake, Trello, Uberflip, Upsales, Vyond, Wave.video, Wipster, Zapier, Zendesk.
Google DFP, Google IMA, Verimatrix MultiRights, Comcast, Verizon Media Ads, Verizon Uplynk, Vualto VuDRM, Xstream, Arris Titanium, BuyDRM, KeyOS, PallyCon, Nagra Conax Contego, castLabs, DRMToday, EZDRM, Intertrust ExpressPlay, Irdeto, Microsoft Azure, Vimond, Axinom, MediaMelon, SmartSight, Adobe Heartbeat, Agama, Youbora, Mux, Moat Oracle, Conviva Video Analytics, Yospace, Prebid.js.
AdX, Google DFP, FreeWheel, SpotX, Google IMA, React, Vue, AWS, MAZ, Tagflix, InPlayer, WordPress, Drupal, Google Ad Manager, Singular.live, VideoElephant, vMix, Wirecast, LiveU, comScore, Laterpay, EZDRM, SpringServe, FreeWheel, Open X, Naviga, Jamatto, Videolicious, Atex, Mux, Cxense, US Captioning, Escenic, Prebid.js.
Google Analytics, Google Drive, Dropbox, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, iMovie.
Google DFP, Google Analytics, comScore, Eloqua, Nielsen, Marketo, Adobe Analytics, Annoto, Display5, Glimpse Group, Hive Streaming, Inmobly, InPlayer, Peer5, Powtoon, Ramp, TouchCast, VideoKen, Wochit, Wonda VR, 24i, 3Play Media, Ai Media Group, Akamai, Alibaba, Alctel, Alphonso, Authôt, CaptionSync/Automatic Sync Technologies, Big Video, BIGVU, BizVision, Blackboard, Cattura Video, Cedexis, CenturyLink, cielo24, Cinema8, Civitas Learning, Cleeng, Collaaj, Coull, Crestron Electronics, Brightspace D2L, dotSUB, Dynamic Yield, eLearning Media, Elemental Technologies, eNautics, Epiphan Video, eSync Training, Exaltive, Extron Electronics, EyeSee, eyeson, EZDRM, Fastly, Frameweld, FreeWheel, Gracenote Nielsen, Graymatics, HaiVision, Hap Yak, Harmonic, IMT, InfiniGraph, Intellify Learning, Intertrust Technologies, Joomla, Jukwa, Magnet Klangoo, KnowledgeVision, LibLynx, LftIgniter, Lingk, Linius, LiveU, LogoBar, Matrox, Media Vision, Microsoft Azure, New Blue, OpenX, Osprey, Outbrain, Pexip, Plymedia, Rev, SpotX, Streamroot, Taboola, Teleos Media Services, Vayomar, Videolicious, Vidyo, VisoCon, VoiceBase, Volicon, Vormats, Watchwith, WordPress, Wowza, YuMe, Zentrick, Vos, Sensifai, AmberScript, Theta Lake, Brand3D, SyncWords, Aver, Verbit, Kaptivo, Streamhub, Advoxi, Eesysoft, Degreed, Rapidmooc, Cypher Learning, InvariVision, PhenixRTS, StriveCast, Blossom, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, AdapTV, Tremor Video.
Cleeng, InPlayer, Akamai, Encoding.com, AWS, SRT Alliance, AmpLive, Telestream, vMix, VidBlasterX, OBS Studio, Switchboard Live, THEOplayer, Limelight.
Google IMA, Google Open Bidding, Amazon Transparent Ad Marketplace, Conversant, District M, Rhythm One, 152, OpenX, PubMatic, EMX, Rubicon, Sonobi, advertising.com, Adapt.tv, AdoTube, Answer Media, BeOn by AOL, BrightRoll, Defy Media, Glibhippo, Innovid, Komli, Millennial Media, Sizmek, Smartclip, SpotXchange, Vdopia, Vena, Videology, YuMe, Collective, PointRoll, Flashtalking, Teads.tv, DoubleClick by Google.
In a world where over half of all online video consumption occurs on mobile devices, having access to mobile-specific features is crucial for online media companies and publishers. That is why having access to a wide variety of supported devices and mobile SDK is a huge benefit!
Unfortunately, Vimeo and Wistia fall short in that regard, so if mobile optimization and compatibility is something you’d like to focus on, these two OVPs aren’t the best choice.
If you’re looking for a premium OVP, you’re likely interested in monetizing your video content. Unfortunately, this is where many of the above platforms lack quite a lot. There are only six noteworthy contenders for a reliable video monetization platform — Brid.TV, JW Player, Brightcove, THEOplayer, Flowplayer, and Playwire.
Luckily, all of these OVPs support most of the above monetization options, so choosing between these six will mostly depend on other factors or the few features they don’t share. Either way, if you’re a publisher looking to monetize their content with the best AVOD platform, here are some of the essential features you must look for:
As long as you have the above, you’re on the right track. Any additional features that boost your ad fill rates or help with monetization are just icing on the cake.
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In today’s fast-paced world, being able to get your brand’s likeness out there is more crucial than ever. That is why having a white-label video player can is essential to raising your brand awareness!
White-label solutions allow you to customize them and present them as if they were your product. With video players, white-label entails security, stability, and a great degree of customization! From custom player skins and buttons to branding, white-label video platforms allow you to include that personal touch that most consumers want to see from brands nowadays.
JW Player, Wistia, THEOplayer, and Dacast have it rough in this regard as they don’t offer this well-sought-after degree of customizability. So if you wish to make your HTML5 video player truly your own, these four platforms are outshined by the rest.
All lovers of the spoken word will be thrilled to find that most of the above OVPs support audio files too! This additional flexibility is perfect for podcasters or any publishers who understand the value of repurposing their content.
If you want to make a website for your podcast or just allow your users who prefer audio to video content to access your videos in audio form, this feature is a must-have! However, despite many supporting audio files, only three platforms allow you to monetize them! So if audio support and audio ads are something you could use, Brid.TV, Flowplayer, or Dacast are the obvious choices here!
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Customer support is a significant part of any online service nowadays, and the same applies to online video platforms. Although it’s not a deal-breaker, the quality of its customer support speaks volumes about a business. If anything goes wrong, you will need to have someone available to assist you promptly. With that in mind, 24/7 support should be a staple for all the above platforms, yet only three live up in that regard — Brid.TV, Vimeo, and Dacast. So if you find that having reliable tech-support around the clock a valuable addition to an OVP, you should consider one of these three platforms.
This category shouldn’t need an introduction — it’s in everyone’s interest to get the most out of a service for the least amount of money. With that in mind, it’s crucial to look at all the features you’ll get for a specific price when making a decision.
As you can see from the above, the starting prices for each of these platforms vary dramatically, but so do the features and limits you get for the cost. Some platforms impose strict bandwidth limits, while others charge you for everything you spend. Some even limit the number of video uploads you can do or the number of users that can use their service. The only way to find the most suitable option for your business is to check all of the above platforms’ pricing plans and offers yourself. Follow the links below for a complete overview of these OVPs’ subscription plans:
Regardless of your platform of choice, all of these OVPs allow publishers to try their platform for free using a free trial or at least a free subscription plan. These are excellent options to have; they can help you make an informed decision upon testing the platforms yourselves. However, do note that most free plans are incredibly limited on features. That means you will have trouble judging the full scope of these platforms’ capabilities if they don’t offer a free trial option.
The last thing worth mentioning is whether a platform forces you into a contract. Not all publishers will be willing to legally bind themselves for an entire year (or at all) for a service they might not be 100% sure about. So if you find having to enter a contract repulsive, JW Player, Brightcove, and Vimeo aren’t for you.
If you liked what you saw in our market analysis above and feel that Brid.TV could be the right monetization solution for your business, why not check out our plans and start today?
How does trying our platform and all of its features for free sound? Contact us, and start your free trial today!