As a business owner, the ability to share video content with your target audience is essential. The right VOD (video-on-demand) platforms allow you to use the right apps to make videos on your phone or desktop and share the content in an easily accessible format without jumping through hoops to push it online.
In addition, sharing your online courses is a great way to make money via VOD platforms. You can create a course on virtually any topic, and once it's completed, you can offer it to students worldwide.
This makes the proper selection of a VOD platform a critical decision for any business owner looking to share their expertise on a business topic with the world. In this article, we'll compare the best VOD platforms available today so you can understand which one is the proper selection for you.
The Best VOD Platforms To Consider
As discussed, there are many VOD platforms, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Here we'll go over the top platforms for you to consider:
Best For Producing High-Quality Video Content
For companies wanting to produce video content and share it with others, VidYard is a fantastic platform. The tool makes it simple to develop unique videos and share them with potential customers.
Along with this, Vidyard allows companies to measure the impact of their video content and understand how it affects their business.
Create fantastic sales videos for your prospects and consumers in a matter of minutes - all you need is some video filming experience. The final result will look polished and professional.
Vidyard is simple to use, with an easy learning curve for beginners. Plus, you can get started for free and test out its features with a free version.
With the ability to send videos via social networks, email, and more—Vidyard is the best VOD platform for marketing. You will also track how many clicks your links have received so you can understand which videos are performing best.
Whether you're launching a video-centric email campaign or providing hosting for a complete suite of video marketing solutions, Vidyard is the simplest method to get your movies online.
With a free version available, there are then three paid pricing plans to choose from:
Best For Reliability When It Comes To Business-Critical Video Applications
Wowza offers flexibility when it comes to live streaming video. This is useful for many users to share their message with the world via smartphones or desktop applications.
Wowza will work with several media streaming protocols when trying to stream video. This means that the final output will always be top-notch. From their excellent understanding of the needs of broadcasters and content owners to providing an interface that the end-user can consume videos in, Woza contains all the needed tools.
With a minimal setup needed and simple integration into custom applications via API, Wowza Streaming Cloud was created with flexibility in mind.
There are two pricing plans available when it comes to Wowza. Both of the below-mentioned plans are prepaid annually:
Best For Those Looking For Measurable Results
With Wistia offering a complete marketing hosting platform, you may see tangible results from your videos (and podcasts) starting right now.
Being an easy-to-use platform that converts your videos and podcasts into marketing engines, Wistia is great for businesses of all sizes.
Capable of hosting an unlimited number of videos and podcasts, you'll find all the features you need to succeed with this platform.
Plus, you can track viewer engagement in great detail and learn what content is working best for your business.
Create and customize your own branded content material experiences that feel unique to you, allowing you to engage with your viewers.
With a version that’s free forever, Wistia offers two pain plans:
Best For Accepting Payments Directly From A Single System
Uscreen is great for uploading batches, categorizing content, and using bespoke filters to enhance the viewing experience. This viewing experience is quickly distributed across many digital devices.
With streaming on-demand videos, you can customize your video channels, enhancing your visitors’ experience.
You may also use your material to create a lovely on-demand video library that you can use to drive more sales or showcase your work. In addition, schedule your video library as a playlist so you can manage content and control playback.
You may also sell subscriptions or one-time purchases. You can take card payments through PayPal to make it easy for your viewers to purchase your content.
Check out my full Uscreen review for more information.
With pricing plans that allow you to scale with each subscriber you have, you may choose the plan that works best for your business:
Best For Delivering Live Streams To Your Target Audience
Sprout Video can host live and recorded streams, allowing you to deliver your videos to multiple platforms within one interface.
With the power to manage your viewer's experience with customizable analytics, Sprout video has everything you need to succeed.
Its professional video hosting services are easy to use in secure internal communications and live streaming to external third parties. You’ll also be able to make use of heatmaps, viewer tracking, and review audience interaction to make the most out of your video content. These features are all built-in without the need to install extra software.
Without the need for a third-party provider, you'll be able to execute your marketing strategy with ease and precision.
You can try Sprout Video’s privacy, marketing, and analytical tools for free for 30 days.
After that, their monthly pricing plans are as follows:
What Are Video-On-Demand Platforms?
VOD is an online service that allows people to pay and watch for the video content of their choice - at the moment they want it.
As such, VOD offers people freedom — whether it's catching up with the latest episode of one’s favorite show or watching a live broadcast from a distant part of the world, VOD gives people complete control over how and when they get to consume their video content.
VOD platforms allow people to stream their favorite movies and videos on demand efficiently, which has changed how we consume entertainment. Whether it's Hollywood blockbusters, action flicks, indie cinema, documentaries, or reality TV shows - there are plenty of options that people can watch at any time on various streaming services.
Video on demand VOD platforms also applies to business. VOD services enable companies to stream their internal and external presentations, videos, training material, and more.
There are also VOD services for music videos, sports events, and TV shows on demand. Essentially, you can deliver any type of video content through a VOD service. In the business world, VOD platforms empower managers to share briefings with employees or clients by streaming them on laptops, smartphones, or tablets at preset times without the need for physical media distribution.
Types Of Video On Demand Platforms
There are various types of Video On Demand (VOD) platforms, classified into a few major categories. Let’s have a look at these.
An enterprise may hand over video hosting to a specialist VOD provider to manage all aspects of video delivery for them. This relieves the company of worrying about bandwidth, hosting, and storage capacity - leaving these details in the hands of specialists.
Managed VODs are usually offered through a monthly subscription and can be scaled to meet growing bandwidth demands.
A company may choose to host its own videos on-premises using its own IT resources. Such a company needs to ensure that it has adequate bandwidth and storage capacity to handle the expected demand from viewers.
Another option is to have cloud-hosted videos. This offers benefits such as elasticity (the ability to scale up or down depending on viewer demand quickly) and global reach. Moreover, the process is fully managed, so the company doesn't have to worry about bandwidth, storage, or hosting.
Cloud-hosted online video streaming platforms can be found as part of a Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
A company may use a combination of on-premises and cloud-hosted solutions. This gives them the best of both worlds - the control that comes with self-hosting, combined with the convenience and scalability of cloud hosting.
VOD platform providers using hybrid hosting will often have dedicated use of a private cloud specifically for their needs.
How Customers Can Pay For Videos
Now that we’ve looked at the different types of video on demand let’s discuss how customers can pay and consume such a service.
Transactional Video on Demand
Transactional video on demand (TVOD) is a video-on-demand service where customers pay for each video they watch. The videos are typically short, lasting from a few minutes to around an hour. You can deliver TVOD services through various platforms, such as apps, websites, or even smart TVs.
The main benefit of using a TVOD service is that viewers have complete control over what they watch and when they watch it. This makes it perfect for viewers who want to pick and choose which videos they watch and when they watch them.
On the other hand, TVOD services are perfect for content owners who want to monetize their videos and create a source of additional revenue. Marketers and advertisers can also use TVOD services to promote their products and services and drive traffic back to their sites
Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)
With subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime, viewers pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to an entire library of films and TV shows that they can watch on any device connected to the internet. With video being one of the cornerstones of Amazon’s business model, there is no limit on how much you can watch with such an SVOD platform.
It's literally "anything you want, whenever you want, wherever you want" as long as you keep paying the subscription fee.
The advantage of using an SVOD platform is that it can take a lot of pressure off your content budget because there are no additional costs incurred from creating and maintaining videos, hosting them, or streaming them to viewers. For example, Netflix spends billions of dollars each year on TV shows and films for its customers – essentially taking over the role of a studio – making it one of the largest buyers in Hollywood.
SVOD services offer convenience and flexibility – allowing viewers to watch full-length feature films and episodes from their favorite TV series whenever they choose. However, customers pay a premium price for this convenience with their monthly subscriptions.
Features To Look For In A Video Streaming Platform
When choosing a VOD streaming platform, there are several features to consider. A platform with a mix of the following is perfect for most companies.
Marketing And Advertising Support
Most video streaming platforms have integrated tools to help you promote your shows, videos, and events. These might include any marketing or advertising support needed. In addition, some offer direct marketing services that can be beneficial when it comes to promoting specific products or services on-demand and across different platforms.
Integration & Connectivity
A robust VOD platform will have an open API so you can connect it with third-party applications easily. For example, a video hosting platform with a powerful API could integrate its content with a customer relationship management (CRM) system so customers who watched your videos could be automatically added to a mailing list.
You must work with a VOD platform that has around-the-clock customer support, so you'll never have to wait to get issues resolved. A company should offer support via phone, email, live chat, and social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Customer support in an online streaming platform can be vital. This should make it easier for customers to connect with the company when they need help. Customers are more likely to return over time if they feel valued by the business, not frustrated by its technical errors.
The more devices you want the VOD platform to support, the more technical specifications you'll have to consider. For example, if you're creating videos with Adobe Flash, it's best that your streaming platform can support that format across different platforms.
If you want to share your videos on Facebook or YouTube, look for a video hosting solution that's compatible with their standards and can allow easy sharing without requiring too much additional work from your side.
The right VOD solution will support your existing content, so you won't have to replace all your old videos because they aren't compatible with the new platform.
It would help if you looked for a video hosting company with an intuitive user interface (UI) and navigation. Customers shouldn't need to spend hours learning how to use the system, especially if they're already familiar with other online streaming services like YouTube or Vimeo.
The goal is to provide customers with more time for creative engagement rather than technical engagement – meaning the platform should make it easy for them to upload, manage and share their videos without too much busy work getting in their way.
Content creators need to consider the user experience when streaming video content as part of their business model.
Social Media Integration
A robust video platform will also have built-in social sharing tools to spread content on sites like Facebook, Tiktok, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., without leaving the site.
This type of connectivity makes it easier for customers to share videos with others, increasing your viewership over time. When people share your videos with others, more people will check out your website as a result – leading to additional conversions down the road.
In addition, if viewers can quickly post comments about specific videos publicly, this promotes user engagement and conversation around those topics in social media networks.
The great thing about on-demand video content is that you can promote it through social media very quickly and effectively, so if there is that feature, ensure that you use it.
It's essential to consider the pricing structure of any VOD platform before signing up. Plans can vary significantly in features, storage space, and bandwidth allowances, so it's essential to find a plan that fits your needs. In addition, be sure to ask about any additional fees associated with the service – such as charges for video encoding or bandwidth overages.
Some video hosting solutions offer low monthly rates but require users to pay a per-video fee for encoding. This can add up quickly if you have a lot of videos hosted on the platform. Be sure to ask about these extra charges upfront, so there are no surprises later.
VOD content can be costly to produce, so the price is always a factor when choosing a platform.
A video-on-demand solution that's ideal for small businesses may not be sufficient if you expect your video viewership to increase exponentially over time. When developing a business plan, consider how much impact introducing new content will have on existing customers and your overall growth rate.
If you expect the bulk of your video distribution to happen over the next few months, you should choose a VOD platform that can scale quickly and as needed. The right platform allows broadcasters to grow their audiences rapidly because of how its infrastructure has been set up.
The best online streaming platforms are scalable, helping companies adapt when they need more resources to launch new products or services, or even if one of their videos goes viral. In addition, the right platform should also offer the possibility of downgrading in case that is required.
Video Playback Quality
It's also vital that an online video streaming service has HD (High Definition) playback in at least one quality level and supports 4K (Ultra HD) in other quality levels. This is especially so if content providers expect to reach a global audience.
At this point, 4K playback is the new norm, so having a platform that can support it should be part of any VOD platform's features.
Video Analytics Tools
Another essential feature to look for in any VOD platform is the availability of analytics tools that can measure your viewership and audience engagement levels. This data will help you understand what types of videos engage viewers the most and allow you to tweak existing content and create new projects accordingly.
Analytics helps creators know how their customers interact with their video projects. This information is crucial to developing a successful video marketing strategy.
Platforms offering a broad range of permission and access levels give users more control over who can access their videos and for how long – which may be especially useful if you work with sensitive information.
For example, if you're using a VOD solution because it has HIPAA compliance features, being able to stop sharing content at a moment's notice is a must.
Many video hosting solutions allow users to stream certain videos only to specific audiences, which is another feature that you might want to look into.
In many cases, VOD platforms have built-in support for promoting branded channels and customizing channel pages, allowing broadcasters to create a more professional look for their viewers.
These features can be beneficial when you want to attract a larger audience or work with channel sponsors who expect a fresher look than what's available in the default templates.
When choosing a VOD platform, be sure to consider all of these factors so you can find one that's best suited for your needs. Doing so will help ensure that your videos are seen by as many people as possible, leading to increased profits and brand awareness.
The right video-on-demand platform will help you focus your energy on adding value to the customer experience instead of spending precious time and resources figuring out how to stream content online.