VOD, short for video on demand, is a term used to describe videos that are available for playback at any given time from any accessible device. Unlike traditional broadcast channels that offer a fixed schedule, VOD services allow consumers to watch videos when they want and on any device. Essentially, VOD services give users the flexibility and freedom to access content on their own premises.
Video-on-demand differs from live video streaming in that it is previously recorded rather than broadcast live. Video-on-demand assets are pre-existing content. Services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Hule are a few examples of video-on-demand services.
Video on demand (VOD) is the most popular way to watch TV and movies these days. Different VOD platform vendors offer a wide variety of technology and features, so choosing the right VOD platform for your needs can be hard. In this article, we list the top 8 video-on-demand platforms in the streaming industry.
OTT technology enables online VOD streaming via different distribution methods. To stream files over the Internet, a series of streaming protocols are used to take care of the video files all the way from ingest to distribution. This usually involves encoding, transcoding, packaging, asset management, content curation and distribution to the correct device and service.
Furthermore, streaming services that do not offer free content use different methods to monetise video-on-demand content. Video content is typically monetised through AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD business models. There is also an increase in using FAST, to combat the price fatigue associated with SVOD services.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from video-on-demand platforms. For smaller businesses, YouTube is a good choice for streaming your videos, but bigger organisations with large video libraries would benefit from a professional video hosting platform that includes tools for content management, monetization, video player, security, and API access.
From ingest to distribution, there are several steps a video has to complete before it's ready for the world to see. Having the right tools and features is essential to handling large files like videos. However, the features and additions of each VOD platform vary, but there are a few important capabilities to look for in a quality professional-level VOD platform:
Transcoding and packaging videos for streaming is an important first step in the process of getting your video online for the world to see. It requires you to convert your video file into a format that can be streamed, and then package into the correct bitrates and aspect ratios for all devices and bandwidths. Check out our blog post detailing the process of uploading, retrieving, and transcoding videos and why it is important to learn more.
The video CMS (content management system) operates as the content hub for streaming services. When you have a large video library you need a place to store videos and manage metadata. The complexity of a video CMS differs, but in general a Video CMS should make it easy for anyone in an organization to ingest, find, manage, curate and stream video content to any platform.
Video monetisation is the process of making money from your video content. There is a range of different monetisation modules to choose from. Examples are SVOD, AVOD and TVOD. Recently FAST has also been on the rise. Either way, you need a tool that can help you easily set up new content packages and monetization plans and adjust as you see fit for you and your audiences.
Data privacy around video viewing patterns and security are very important aspects of the streaming industry today. With the advent of new technology, there are many threats to privacy and security. This can be seen in the form of hacking, unauthorized viewing and illegal distribution.
In order to prevent these issues, there must be some form of protection. This can include obfuscation and encryption including DRM, forensic watermarking, and license control on video playback. As well as greater emphasis being placed on the overall information security and data protection for all aspects of the technology stack supporting video.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers that deliver content to an audience. A CDN has servers all over the world, so when someone in France watches your video, they can watch it from one of those servers in France. That means the video will load more quickly for them. In addition, a CDN can also cache your videos so that people can watch them even if their connection is slow. Instead of sending them an entire video file every time someone wants to watch it, a CDN will just send them small chunks of the video as they need them. This means that people who are watching a video on slow connections won't have to wait as long for their videos to load.
With insights and analytics you can increase viewer engagement and retention by understanding how, what, and where your audience is consuming your content. With analytics, you can optimise your business strategy based on data-driven decisions.
An open video API is a set of programming instructions that allow software developers to access relevant video content and functionality in an application interface. This can include playback, recording, encoding, and decoding. Open video APIs provide a standard way for developers to access the video infrastructure, making it easier to create applications that work with a variety of video formats and devices.
The front-end application is the layer that the user sees. It contains both the graphical interface and a display of the video contents. Front-end applications are the ones that run in the user's web browser, device or screen. They are responsible for fetching data from the backend server and rendering it in the browser.
Now let's take a look at some of the best VOD platforms.
We have compiled a list of the top 8 video-on-demand streaming platforms so that you can select the one that fits your needs best.
Keep in mind that not every broadcaster or content provider quires every feature or tool. Seeing all of the options side-by-side will make it easier for you to determine which one is right for your business.
Vimond Media Solutions offers a modular, cloud-native VOD platform with an advanced Video CMS. From ingest to distribution, Vimond, supports the video pipeline, content management, curation, monetisation and distribution to the preferred end-destinations.
With flexible and open APIs, Vimond is a good fit for broadcasters, telcos, sports and other media-rights holders that are looking to upgrade or launch a streaming service. Vimond provides a “no lock-in” ecosystem, meaning that it's easy to integrate with the preferred vendors to fit all needs of a customer.
Kaltura has several offerings tailored to both medium and large businesses, all the way from off-the-shelf offerings for schools and education to customisable solutions for larger organizations.
The platform offers a great deal of flexibility since it is customizable. Kalturas SaaS products are known for their flexibility, modularity, extendibility, and ease of integration.
Ingestion, transcoding, metadata management, distribution, publishing, engagement, monetization, and analytics are all built on open APIs.
Boston-based Brightcove is a cloud-based video platform used by the likes of NBC, Disney, and the BBC. It's used by over 15,000 organisations and has over 4 million users.
Its usage has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2004: Brightcove says they have over 35 million viewers per month on its platform.
Brightcove offers cloud encoding, live streaming, and VOD (video on demand) hosting. For large organizations, Brightcove is a good potential fit.
Quickplay media is a digital media company that specializes in creating and distributing high-quality video content. The company was founded in 2004 by a team of experienced media professionals. Quickplay media main offerings are managed services for the distribution of premium VOD and live video. The company's cloud-native VOD platform powers video services for Tier 1 streaming providers. They are suitable for content providers across the globe, including media, sports, and entertainment companies.
Video Pipeline: Quickplay media offers a video pipeline that's built to handle high volumes of content while offering advanced functionality required to operate in the complex media landscape. The video pipeline offers live and VOD streaming capabilities.
Video CMS: The Quickplay video content management software offers human curation, recommendations, and personalized content to drive user engagement. The video CMS includes a datastore for metadata, curation, and distribution rules. To create editorial or personalized carousels, dynamically target different user segments, devices, or regions, and experiment with A/B testing to maximize engagement the video CMS uses Storefront. In addition, the video CMS comes with user management that defines user access, subscription packages, and billing and payment methods.
Vimeo originated as a consumer-grade video platform like YouTube, but it has since shifted to serve professional broadcasters. Vimeo OTT is one of their premium solutions that is equipped with the tools that businesses need to build an online streaming platform.
Vimeo is a video-sharing platform that gives you the tools to develop and monetize your creative work. You can use Vimeo to distribute, sell, and watch videos in an ecosystem built for creators by creators.
At its core, Vimeo enables anyone to upload a video with ease — but it goes beyond that. With robust tools for filmmakers and professionals alike, Vimeo offers both advanced features (such as closed captions) and an open platform that allows everyone in the community to share their work with each other.
Dacast offers both VOD hosting and live streaming setup functions. A variety of advanced features are available with this online video hosting service. Among these advanced features are video monetization, security, video API global delivery, and video delivery.
The Dacast platform is ideal for enterprises and other professional organizations looking to broadcast live and on-demand video.
For enterprise businesses with larger budgets, Muvi could be an alternative for you. Muvi is a feature-rich, flexible video platform.
One of Muvi's most popular features is its wide range of monetization tools, including ads, subscriptions, and pay-per-view models.
Redbee provides managed media services and media experiences to audiences worldwide. With its end-to-end offerings, Redbee Media covers the entire content delivery chain. Redbee is owned by Ericsson.
With so many platforms out there, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. We hope that this list of the top 8 VOD platforms will help you find what you're looking for! If you are unsure what technology you need to launching your own streaming service, we made a step-by-step guide for you.