9 Best OTT Platforms & Services for Over-The-Top-Video Content

With the 2020 lockdown, OTT platforms saw a sharp increase in viewership. More and more people are relying on online video platforms to deliver content.

After all, the freedom to choose the when and where is certainly alluring. The month of March 2020 alone saw a 20% increase in the viewership of such platforms across the world.

In fact, you might be quite familiar with some popular platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

OTT platforms allow one to host and stream a service similar to these. Considering the success of such platforms, it’s not hard to see why such ventures may be appealing to some.

The Contents

  • An Introduction To OTT Platforms
  • 1. Uscreen
  • 2. Dacast
  • 3. Pivotshare
  • 4. Vimeo Livestream
  • 5. Kaltura
  • 6. Accedo
  • 7. Wowza
  • 8. Beacon
  • 9. BridTV
  • Conclusion

An Introduction To OTT Platforms

So, what is an OTT platform?

An over-the-top platform allows viewers to screen videos anywhere, anytime. It is an alternate option to the usual satellite TV connection. Hence, you can essentially launch your own streaming app with the hosting capabilities of these platforms.

The only thing you need to access such a platform is a hardware device such as a mobile, tab, or desktop and a stable internet connection.

Using OTT platforms is a great way to advertise your business. These platforms can offer various services such as monetizing your videos, live streaming, hosting features, and white labeling of your stream. So, depending on the nature of your business, you might want to try out platforms that offer those specific features.

For example, if you want to host live streams, you will have to select an OTT platform that allows real-time video hosting. Some features you can keep a lookout for a while selecting these platforms are:

  • Ease of launching a streaming app
  • Marketing and Analytics feature
  • Live streaming possibilities
  • Monetization of videos
  • White labeling control
  • Limits on viewers and channels
  • Content delivery range – global or local
  • Video API access
  • Security tools in place
  • Device support
  • Help and support

While one might think that creating and launching such a platform can take months, with the right creation tools, you could very well accelerate this to two months. Let’s take a look at the top OTT platforms and their features.

1. Uscreen

Uscreen is undoubtedly one of the top OTT platforms out there. It functions not only as a platform to showcase videos but as one that helps video entrepreneurs to grow. Uscreen offers an intuitive app builder that does not require any coding knowledge.

unscreen

Their easy website builder has a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to access existing templates and add other elements as per your need. You can add banners, texts, customer testimonials, or any other category to create a well-designed interface.

Also, users on your app can sign up to receive notifications regarding new video releases. Uscreen allows you to monetize your videos. You can also ask users to sign up for subscription-based models, a pay-per-view model, or a buy-a-video model. They also use an HTML5 video player that’s extremely easy to use. It is compatible with AppleTV, AndroidTV, FireTV, and Roku.

Uscreen prides itself on providing a platform that allows you to launch a new app or website within 30 to 60 days. They aim to take the load off UI designing so that you can focus on video quality instead. And you will retain full rights for any video released on the platform, of course. Not only this, but Uscreen allows you to provide completely secure and encrypted VOD and live streaming services.

Uscreen’s Ultimate Marketing Toolset includes the ability to create landing pages, upsell and down-sell and integrate with other email automation tools. The list includes Zapier, MailChimp, Drip, and more. You can use their Abandon Cart tool to recover viewers or keep sending emails to users asking them to upgrade to a higher plan. Apart from this, the Uscreen team offers 24 x 7 tech support, and they have a strong help community.

Key Features

  • No-coding OTT apps and platforms
  • Marketing automation tools
  • Video content management tool
  • HTML5 Player
  • Video monetization with different subscription levels
  • Live streaming
  • Playback on demand
  • Global delivery
  • Video hosting
  • 24 x 7 help

Try Uscreen

2. Dacast

Dacast allows you to post videos, live stream and broadcast globally.

However, they offer several features that many platforms do not. One of these is – you can protect your live streams and on-demand video content by adding a password to it. Secondly, you can live stream via Zoom as well! With their Low latency HTML5 channels, you can get the closest thing to live streaming possible!

dacast

For users of Dacast, both subscription and pay-per-video models are available. Their Video Content Management System allows you to manage your videos, create playlists and access analytics. You can integrate Dacast with your Google dropbox. With live syncing, any videos on Dropbox will also be available on your Dacast list.

With the advanced plan, you can access the Video Library Migration. This means, if you are switching over to Dacast from some other platform, you can migrate all your earlier videos to the Dacast platform. This is not an automated system but done after discussion with a Dacast representative who will take care of it.

The Dacast Video Analytics allows you to closely monitor usage patterns. Their Advanced Dashboard shows stats like user consumption time, users broken down by demographics, playtime, devices used, location-based information and more.

You can also see the detailed engagement for each video. Using this, you can judge if there was any specific portion of the video that caused users to drop off. The revenue stats offer revenue details broken down by location, time and so on. Overall, Dacast has a pretty robust analytics tool that can be quite useful when used effectively.

All plans allow you to serve an unlimited number of views. However, the first plan starts at 39 USD per month and allows broadcasting at up to 1080p.

Key Features

  • Global delivery
  • Live Streaming
  • Video Hosting
  • On-demand playbacks
  • Password protected streams
  • Video migration
  • Analytics and reports
  • Video Content Management System
  • Unlimited viewers
  • Video API Access
  • 24 x 7 support

Try Dacast

3. Pivotshare

Pivotshare offers a global delivery base for businesses looking to advertise their products. They are specifically eCommerce oriented. As such, you can use their platform to offer customers free trials, discount codes, coupons and gifting options. Pivotshare’s main tactic relies on allowing collaboration between creators to allow increased revenue generation.

pivotshare

As a result, you can open both an individual or a collaborative channel on the platform. With a collaborative channel, multiple video creators can upload videos onto the same platform. Users can only access a subscription-based model for the videos. However, they can enjoy an encrypted payment gateway that stores their credit card information securely for repeat purchases.

Their channel creation builder is extremely simple and easy to use. You can also change the features later on. Based on, let’s say, upcoming events – you can easily change the color and outlook of your channel. Apart from this, Pivotshare allows you to break down your videos based on sections. This allows users to avoid wait time and skip directly to a part they are interested in.

Pivotshare has a feature called PlayRank. PlayRank calculates and assigns a publisher value to your channel. This is done based on your viewers, repeat viewers, total time spent and other analytics combined. Unlike many other OTT platforms that do not allow any video access to non-subscribers, Pivotshare allows non-users to view trailers. Overall, Pivtoshare works on an interesting model and is an ideal platform for smaller to mid-size creators.

You can sign-up for free as they do not charge any money for new users. They do not offer a subscription-based model for creators but rather take a part of your revenues. Creators can retain the full rights of their work and 70% of the total revenue.

Key Features

  • Easy channel builder with quick changes
  • Collaborative workspace
  • Subscription-based model for user
  • No sign-up fee
  • Global content delivery
  • Live streaming
  • Secure payment gateway with information saving
  • Allows gifting, free trials and coupon sharing
  • Video sectioning

Try Pivotshare

4. Vimeo Livestream

After acquiring Livestream in 2017, Vimeo renamed itself as Vimeo Livestream. Vimeo Livestream allows you to post videos, share screen records and live stream videos. Like Dacast, Vimeo offers password protection for its live streams. To cut down on hitches, Vimeo allows you to set up a backup stream as well.

vimeo

Vimeo is also a great place for video creators. With Vimeo Stock, you can access thousands of stock footage and pre-built templates. Vimeo allows you to simultaneously broadcast live streams across multiple channels. This means you can broadcast the same video on twitch, Youtube, RTMP, Facebook live and LinkedIn. For the central team managing the videos, you can set up multi-layer checks, including SSO identification.

Apart from this, you can engage users with various features. Vimeo allows live chats, polling sessions, question and answer sessions, and other customer engagement actions. Vimeo does not have any user limit and bandwidth restriction. One can live stream for up to 12 hours at a time. Vimeo offers a white-labeled HTML5 video player that you can further customize. Add colors, play bars and logos as you like!

Don’t know how to make a video? No problem! Vimeo allows you to hire video-making professionals from around the world. You can hire top creators directly from their sites. With higher plans, you can access ad-free video players that will ensure your users do not face any ads both before and after the video.

However, Vimeo’s strong point lies in their Analytics. You can track your video performance and user demographics in even more detail. Based on the analytics, you can replace videos too without affecting the existing URL linking. You can monetize your videos anytime with various pricing plans depending on your number of subscribers.

Key Features

  • Easy channel builder
  • Hire professionals feature
  • Global content delivery
  • Live streaming
  • Video Hosting
  • Strong Analytics and reports
  • Vimeo Stock access
  • Allows on-demand playback
  • 24 x 7 support

Try Vimeo

5. Kaltura

Kaltura is a highly suggested OTT platform for educational systems.

This global content delivery platform not only offers regular video sharing and hosting. It also allows you to conduct classes and town hall meetings in virtual spaces. You can organize meetings and webinars by creating “private rooms” for users and so on.  This makes it the perfect platform for hosting invitation or registration-based events.

kaltura

In this quest, Kaltura aims to help you make your videos more accessible and friendly with options like transcribing and captioning. As for analytics, you can access user heat maps and track video performance based on user logins and dropoffs. You can also use their marketing tools to create engagement funnels. The email automation allows you to catch up with users using pop-ups, emails and text messages.

You can use the management system to schedule the release of videos. Users can watch on-demand playback videos and live streams. And with the cDVR scheduler, they can schedule recording as well. For education institutes, Kaltura specifically offers three options – LMS Video, Virtual Classroom and Class Capture. The Video Content Management System allows back-end creators to easily manage the videos and perform bulk actions.

In the telecom department, Kaltura offers Cloud TV services. This essentially works similarly to a live stream. The feature is meant for service providers and broadcasters who can use it to offer personalized TV viewing. Kaltura offers a 30-days free trial for all types of users. Higher plans allow you to customize the HTML5 player as well. To get 24 x 7 support, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Key Features

  • Global content delivery
  • On-demand playback
  • Live streaming
  • Video hosting
  • Host cloud TV
  • Sperate packages for education, meeting and telecom services
  • Virtual classrooms and townhalls
  • Captioning and transcribing for videos
  • 24 x 7 support
  • Video API Access

Try Kaltura 

6. Accedo

Accedo One offers a SaaS platform where one can create videos and share them across multiple VOD platforms. Their easy-to-use builder offers many templates that you can choose from. Their visual editor allows users to integrate elements as per their need. You can create a customized viewing experience for different platforms.accedo

 

For each app launched, you can offer tab, phone, and desktop versions. You do not have to code anything separately. Rather, Accedo’s own editor does all this automatically. You can change and update the features of the apps rolled out anytime and release an update. As of now, Accedo’s team is experimenting with Machine Learning and AI to better understand the consumption patterns.

Accedo has an in-built video editor. It is much simpler and easier to use than the other ones on the list. After editing, you can manage the videos on your dashboard based on the playlist and tag segmentations. Where Accedo performs well is in its subscription model. You can give users the choice to opt for a subscription, a pay-per-view model or watch ads.

Along with this, Accedo offers real-time stats and analytics for each video. But what Accedo does differently than the other OTT platforms on the list is its pricing plan. There is no fixed pricing plan. Rather, they have various elements stacked.

You can choose only the features and elements you need to create a customized plan for yourself. One can sign up on the website and wait for an Accedo representative to get in touch with them. This makes it great for those who are still experimenting with the likes and dislikes of their consumers.

Key Features

  • Global content delivery
  • Easy template builder
  • Live streaming
  • On-demand playback
  • Feature-based pricing
  • Real-time analytics and reports
  • Distribution to multiple platforms

Try Accedo

7. Wowza

A platform made for an interactive and engaging live-streaming experience, Wowza has a lot to offer. Wowza assigns a wide range of developer tools for the quick creation of channels. This includes access to streaming clouds, video APIs, SDKs, sample codes and more. With the Live Encoding Solution, you can engage the services of a remote coder to help you with your task.

wowza

They also offer Wowza Professional Services. This includes a team of professionals who will help you decide what’s best for your business. If you are planning on engaging in live streams, then the Wowza Streaming Cloud can ensure that you can globally deliver low latency videos. Apart from this, you can opt for OTT streaming, live surveillance streaming and interactive streaming.

Their interactive experience offers features like two-way videos, esports, virtual gambling, live-stream auctions and so on. Their use cases include companies who use these features to host live fitness classes,  VR experiences and betting games. You can also add captions and transcribed data to any video in real-time!

For global streaming, Wowza offers Adaptive streaming. This means Wowza calculates and delivers the best-optimized content for different user locations. You can integrate Wowza with various DRM tools. Wowza’s cheapest plan starts at 25 USD per month. You can also opt to pay-as-you-go, where the total GB used, hours streamed, etc play a factor in the amount generated.

With any plan, you get full content rights and no Wowza logo or branding. Unlike Kaltura, Wowza allows you to host multiple live stream events simultaneously. You can also encrypt your videos based on CDN tokens or geoblocking. And like every platform, Wowza offers analytics and reports regarding user and video performance.

Key Features

  • Global content delivery
  • Interactive experience
  • DRM tool integration
  • Video API
  • On-demand playback
  • Developer tools
  • Expert guidance
  • Advanced security features
  • Analytics and reports
  • Captions and transcribing

Try Wowza

8. Beacon

Beacon by Brightcove offers OTT platform solutions for 7 different types of users ranging from e-commerce sellers to sports broadcasters. It guarantees a 99.999% uptime with their video hosting server. Like Pivotshare, Beacon aids creators in growing their following by offering discount codes, free trials and coupons. Users can also choose from subscription models, ad-based models and pay-per-video models.

beacon

Beacon offers a simple content management system. You can manage your videos by segmenting them into playlists. All videos can be encrypted and connected with DRM tools. With DRM encryption, you can ensure that live streams are password protected. Other integrations include Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. Beacon offers various monetization options as well along with expert guidance from their team. You can opt to display ads before your video or insert an ad panel on the side.

Their live streaming platform allows Adaptive Bitrate streaming and optimized viewing based on the user’s location. Their SSAI technology ensures that you can detect and bypass ad-blockers. You can also simultaneously live stream across multiple social media channels like LinkedIn. Beacon’s server aims to preserve the viewer experience by adjusting downtime around viewing periods.

E-commerce owners can integrate other email and marketing automation tools with Beacon. You can use it to keep track of your leads. You can sign up for a free trial on the platform. Beacon offers both Flash and HTML5 players. Their analytics tool is the most detailed one on the list. You can even compare the performances between the two players!

Overall, Beacon offers a pretty robust interface. They have strong security features that allow geo-blocking and IP blocking. It offers integration with CRM tools, DRM tools, CMS tools, analytics tools and more.

Key Features

  • Global content delivery
  • Interactive experience
  • Various tool integration
  • Geo-blocking and IP Blocking
  • On-demand playback
  • HTML5 and flash player
  • Expert guidance
  • Advanced security feature
  • Analytics and reports

Try Beacon

9. BridTV

BridTV allows a seamless and smooth platform to broadcast content across the world on desktops, mobiles and tabs. As a white-labeled player, BridTV allows you to share content, live stream videos, and access analytics. Their partnership with Google ADX means you can access in-depth details of the revenue generated.

bridtv

Their Video Content Management platform allows you to perform batch functions on videos. You can also schedule releases, encode videos create playlists. If you are migrating here from another platform, you can use the metadata from the MRRS feed to import the videos in one click. This will take some time, but while it imports, you can continue other tasks, including uploading videos. In fact, you can directly import Youtube and Vimeo videos from their link itself instead of from the CMS.

However, BridTV’s main feature is its WordPress Plugin. With this, you can convert your WordPress account into a veritable streaming service. BridTV also effectively utilizes AI for content matching. While uploading content, you can also manually match videos that you believe are “alike.”

The BridTV Analytics section allows you to access device insights, user location, demographics, and engagement throughout a video. Additionally, you can see the Ad performance as well. BridTV offers detailed analytics for each user including things like bandwidth consumption. You can track performance across individual videos or entire playlists.

In the higher plan version, you can opt for Header bidding. BridTV offers a free plan that still allows you to monetize your videos and create playlists. However, for video encoding, analytics access and other features, you will have to upgrade to higher plans.

Key Features

  • Global content delivery
  • Header bidding
  • Matching content via AI
  • HTML5 player
  • Analytics and reports
  • WordPress plugin
  • Video migration
  • Various monetization options

Try BridTV

Conclusion

Finding the right platform depends on what you are looking for. So, do you need an easy web builder?

Or are you looking for DRM integrations?

Overall, Unscreen offers a pretty comprehensive package that can aid both small and large-scale creators. Wowza comes a close second with interactive tools, affordable plans, and expert guides.

Also, another thing to check out is the monetization options provided.

BridTV is a good option for those looking to integrate with an existing WordPress site.

Kaltura is undoubtedly the top dog when it comes to hosting educational classes. Each platform also comes with its own specs regarding uploading size, aspect ratio, and so on. While all of them offer global content delivery, you might still face issues in reaching some countries based on their own local laws.

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