An OTT platform is a form of software that enables the distribution and viewing of video content over an internet connection. In other words, it's a service that allows you to watch any type of streaming video without needing cable or satellite television.
OTT video watch time has increased by around 2.3 billion hours over the last year. This means that the right over-the-top (OTT) platforms are set to keep influencing digital marketing-related spending in the coming years.
As a marketer, this provides you with a powerful new way to engage your audience, promote your products or services, and ultimately grow your business. However, the right OTT platform can mean different things to different people.
This article will explore some of the most common OTT platforms and discuss how you can leverage them to engage with your target audience. I will also look at the right features to consider before choosing your OTT platform. Let's get right into it.
The Top OTT Platforms Available Right Now
Here are some of the most popular OTT platforms currently in use today:
Best Overall For An OTT Platform That Delivers
Brid.Tv is a great platform to bring your videos to life.
Not only will you be able to organize your library better and track video performance, but you’ll also be able to create your player and CMS in your brand's image.
Using their fully white-label video platform, you can get up and running quickly.
With a Lightweight HTML5 Player, your videos will play on any device while engaging your audience.
With live streaming that is both quick and dependable, you may now take events online and interact with viewers in real-time.
With four different options, you can find the right option that works for you:
Best For Having All The Functionality You Need In One Interface
Uscreen provides an all-in-one platform for video streaming.
It's easy to use and has all the tools you need to build professional websites, market your brand and extend your reach globally.
If you want to upload & organize, stream live, sell video on demand, and market your online video business all in one place, Uscreen is an excellent solution.
You may also append extra content to your video player while uploading large quantities of information in batches, categorizing them, and creating personalized filters.
Create an attractive on-demand video catalog to showcase your items and sell them right away.
You can also schedule events before they happen, so you have enough time to build excitement with your audience, ensuring that they will show up when the time comes.
Uscreen's pricing plans are as follows:
Best For Scaling Your Global Audience
Brightcove helps you grow and retain global audiences with flexible layouts, monetization options, and unrivaled dependability.
Brightcove delivers every moment in your videos without missing a beat. With 16 worldwide data centers with 875 million views each week at a 99.95% uptime, Brightcove understands how to deliver your audience the content they need.
You can also use coupons and trial programs to grow your audience. In addition, you can allow your supporters to pick how they pay for their memberships and subscriptions.
Brightcove's customization options allow you to structure your advertising and subscription offerings in any way you choose.
Start a free trial or contact their sales team to learn more about Brightcove.
Best For Creating A User Experience Your Audience Loves
With JW Player, you can reach your audience with a complete end-to-end solution for producing compelling video experiences.
Available across all platforms, JW Player is a go-to option for marketers, publishers, content owners & businesses of all sizes.
JW Player's software solutions for creating premium viewing experiences across every video screen are available in various complete packages or even a la carte options. The right package for you depends on your needs and budget, but there is an ideal option for you no matter what such needs are.
With integrated workflows that allow you to streamline content, marketing, and sales processes, the JW ecosystem offers a complete suite of solutions for publishers looking for an all-in-one video platform.
Incorporate personalized playlists to boost engagement and conversions by offering your viewers precisely what they want at the time they need it.
All of this allows you to use JW Player to manage all the components of your video production and delivery in one spot.
With a 30 day free trial, you can try JW Player with no risk.
After that, access starts at $10 per month.
An enterprise version is also available, with specific features and custom pricing.
Best For Easy Integration With Other Software
The Kaltura Cloud TV Platform is a comprehensive OTT platform. It includes customizable apps, user management, and professional content management services to boot.
Kaltura's video platform offers complete integration to consolidate all your media into one place for easy uploading and playback across devices. The solution is available as a cloud-based hosted service or through software installed on-premise.
The Kaltura TV Platform is entirely modular, and it may be readily connected with third-party services. More than 50 pre-integrated partners' solutions exist across different industry verticals, and you may build your integrations as well.
Kaltura's unique platform offers a complete set of tools for video management, mobile management, monetization, rich analytics, and engagement, which are available both on-premise or through the cloud.
Kaltura is also a cloud-based technology company, so they are developing a single fully-managed service that both media and IT teams can use to turn their TV experiences into personalized digital offerings.
A free trial is available with all products so that you can try the right ones for free before making a purchase.
Best For Providing A Combined Desktop And Mobile Experience
Yondo is a cloud-based video platform that unifies all your web and mobile video experiences into one product, with no programming or staff required for installation and no downtime during upgrades.
Whether you want a top-notch webinar platform or are planning to offer video on demand, live streaming events, entertainment, music videos, or other types of video content, Yondo provides a complete suite of hosting services that enable you to build your own personalized experience.
With a solution that works on both desktop and mobile platforms, Yondo offers a video platform that provides you with access to various features. These include monetization tools, lead generation and direct response capabilities, email marketing, social publishing, and much more.
They also offer live 1-to-1 consultations that guide you through the process of building your video platform.
You may create your online storefront or use one of the many pre-designed platforms and stores developed for your industry.
With their annual plans, Yondo's pricing is as follows:
Best For Allowing Users To Connect During Broadcasts
Streann uses smart-OTT to allow you to deliver video and VOD material at any time on any device.
Create your own branded entertainment applications and distribute them everywhere by utilizing Streann's technology to build your custom apps for all types of platforms. This can include anything from mobile to TV.
In addition, you can make use of Streann's catalog and set it up as a channel on any platform you desire.
Smart-OTT solutions come in various sizes and pricing, which means that with Streann, you can find a package to suit your needs and preferences.
With Streann, you're always in command of the live performance. You may add new personalities to your shows and produce exciting content experiences that engage your users - all with a single click.
Starting at $1,995 per month, Streann offers a variety of packages and services to fit your business needs.
There is also a premium plan to get even more advanced features. You’ll have to schedule a demo to learn more about this plan.
Best For A Streaming Cloud Solution That Works
Wowza can stream anything that you dream up, whether it's an online event, sports game, video podcast, or anything in between.
There are no limits to where your content can go with Wowza.
Live video streaming software for mission-critical business applications makes Wowza one of the best options on the market.
As a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, Wowza offers several packages and unlimited streaming to fit your needs.
Using top-notch steaming technology, Wowza has the technology to do what you need and more.
With a cloud streaming service that's scalable and flexible, you're guaranteed to find a package that has everything you need included.
You'll be able to manage your video quality on different platforms and adapt to evolving technology.
The flexibility of Wowza Streaming Cloud was designed from the ground up, and it's ideal for live event streaming with little setup. It’s also great to have simple integrations into custom applications via API.
On the other hand, Wowza Streaming Engine is equipped with a user-friendly interface that makes it ideal for self-managed infrastructures and streaming service providers.
Wowza currently offers two products, available at these pricing points:
What Are OTT Platforms?
OTT platforms are web-based applications that allow you to deploy live streaming services on the internet. They essentially act as an intermediary layer between your live content and any platform you want to stream into.
OTT platforms serve multiple business purposes, including but not limited to being the central authority for broadcasting your live stream over the internet, monetizing it, embedding it on social media, or any other platform that you want it to be seen on.
With platforms like Android TV and Apple TV making live streaming central in everyone’s lives, these platforms are undoubtedly popular.
With such applications also becoming more critical in business, OTT platforms are used by self-employed, small businesses, and even large enterprises to make their lives easier. These platforms turn what used to be a time-consuming process into something simple, fast, and cost-efficient.
Features To Look For In OTT Services
The following are some of the features that OTT streaming services should have. Ensure that the features you need are included in the chosen OTT technology package you decide to go for.
Video Streaming Services
This is the backbone of your live streaming service. The service should have a wide variety of video encoding methods to ensure that any platform you want to stream to will have the best possible experience. It should be able to scale dynamically with your user base so you can grow at a low cost without having to worry about performance problems.
The ability to dynamically switch between multiple CDNs (content delivery network) is critical for ensuring content delivery speed and quality. This way, if one CDN has an outage for some reason, another one will take its place seamlessly.
Video monetization OTT platforms give you the flexibility of choosing from a wide variety of ways to make money from your live stream. This includes, but is not limited to:
OTT content is all about flexibility. The platform you choose for your live streaming service should accommodate the different types of monetization you want to use.
Mobile OTT Apps
This allows users to access your content from their smartphones and tablets without using a web browser. It should support low latency streaming so that the stream isn't delayed when using mobile devices.
As a user, you should be able to link your phone number or email address to the platform to push notifications over SMS/email whenever the broadcaster goes live on their channel.
In this case, the feature set of your OTT service is as important as its technical specifications.
The features you have and how many of them are available at any given time during your broadcasts to people’s devices (especially as they are on-to-go) might be the factor that makes or breaks your OTT platform selection.
An Excellent Video Content Management System
The best OTT platform is one that gives you the flexibility to manage your videos, playlists, and channels from a single interface. It shouldn't have a learning curve that turns off less technical users, but at the same time, it shouldn't be limited in features either.
These features should function at lightning-fast speeds with no lag whatsoever - regardless of stream quality. There's nothing more frustrating than having a high-quality video playing on an OTT platform that has constant buffering or lags during playback.
Live broadcasts are live for a reason – they represent real people who feel comfortable letting their guards down in public where anyone can watch them from behind their screens.
While this level of openness is fundamental for most broadcasters, there comes a time when publishers might want to broadcast anonymously, which is why having advanced anonymity features on your OTT platform is vital.
Easy-To-Use Tools For Social Media Sharing
OTT platforms aren't just about live streaming anymore – they're also about bringing your audience closer to you with exclusive content that keeps them engaged between broadcasts. How can you do this if not all subscribers have access to this material?
Make sure that your choice in OTT service comes with an integrated set of easy-to-use tools for sharing videos through every major social media channel. This allows viewers to stay up to date with what's happening in real-time.
The best OTT platforms will offer you an API for getting things done. This will allow broadcasters to develop their apps, then distribute them to all Android and iOS stores worldwide. You could also decide to set up your feed, stream it over the internet, and allow your viewers to watch it on any device of their choice through this API.
Live Event Broadcast Functionality
OTT content isn't just about broadcasting on-demand videos – it's also about live events broadcast everywhere at once. Whether you're talking about sports or politics, live event broadcasts play a massive role in how people view things today.
Having easy-to-use tools for managing multiple cameras is essential so that viewers can be right up in the live-action.
Broadcasting In High Resolution
Live broadcasts are watched on large high-definition screens as well as small mobile devices. Your OTT platform should support all of these resolutions without issues or lag – it should also be compatible with most devices and operating systems out there.
This is especially important during live events when viewers expect their favorite broadcasters to look and sound like they're right next to them – this is why great audio and video quality is the key to every successful broadcast.
Video Communications Tools
OTT video should be more than just video – it should also be about communication. People want to be part of a community, and the right tools allow your audience to do just that while consuming the content you’re delivering.
OTT platforms are also about interactive broadcasting, so having more advanced communication options might be a great feature to have. Imagine communicating directly through your screen during a live broadcast by sending emojis and even drawings over the internet.
You'll never make anyone feel like they've been left out if you have messaging features that let people contact others via text, images, or even GIFs (while ensuring the proper privacy settings are in place).
Not all OTT platforms are created equal – make sure to take your time and do your homework before you decide to sign with a specific company so that you can provide the best product for your audience without any issues.
OTT platforms are not just for broadcasting anymore – they're about communication with viewers and fans of your content. Both on-demand streaming and live broadcasts are great, but there is so much more to these platforms than what meets the eye.
In addition, live events play a huge role in how people view things today, so having easy-to-use tools for managing your broadcast without any issues is vital.
With so many options out there, choosing the right OTT platform for your business will not be an easy task, but if you're willing to put in the time and research, you'll end up with a product that will serve your needs perfectly.