Digital video content is the most popular way of delivering entertainment these days, and OTT platforms are becoming the best way to deliver this to viewers’ homes. If you’ve got an idea for interesting and compelling videos that you want to share with the world and monetize, it’s important that you find the right OTT platform to do it with. We’ve taken a close look at the best OTT platforms for VOD on the market.
What is an OTT platform?
OTT itself stands for “over the top,” which refers to how OTT content is delivered to viewers’ televisions by means of bypassing a traditional cable or satellite connection. When you watch VOD (video on demand) or live-streamed content via services like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and AppleTV, you are watching OTT videos. An OTT platform is a software product that enables creators to stream videos over the internet to websites, mobile apps, connected TV apps, and more. They offer services like video hosting, live streaming, video monetization, and app development.
Now that we understand the meaning of OTT platforms, let’s get to our list of the best ones for your VOD content!
Which OTT platforms should I look at?
VlogBox is a global video content distribution and monetization company delivering precisely targeted video ads to OTT/CTV audiences and bringing high monetization yields to content creators. It covers hosting, encoding, and streaming of video content combined with custom app development for its clients. Its key selling point is efficient ad monetization, a dedicated content distribution team, and the PR/Marketing support it offers for its partner channels. VlogBox is currently one of the top 3 publishers of CTV apps on Roku.
The company has built over 700 channels across top CTV/OTT platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV. Android TV, and Apple TV. It works with major video content verticals including:
- Kids animation
VlogBox customers can easily create their app with the VlogBox constructor, by working via the company’s website, or by commissioning the content manager team. Overall, considering approval stages, IO signing, and content provisioning, the app development process usually takes 2-3 weeks. Customers can also order customized apps if they’re interested in more than what’s available on the templates. VlogBox’s PR and marketing team are among the most active in the industry, and they keenly understand the importance of brand awareness. Thus, when you create a streaming app with VlogBox, they will work to boost it through social media, PR channels, and communities.
Uscreen aims to offer a top-notch all-in-one OTT platform. Some of the key highlights they advertise are the ability to launch your content in 30-60 days, as well as built-in churn reduction features you can use to draw customers back in, like “abandoned cart emails” and a “try again for free” option.
Other features from Uscreen include a HTML5 video player that lets you stream UHD VOD and live-streamed video, website and video templates, offline viewing, built-in marketing tools, and community building tools like commenting and upvoting to help you build your brand and your viewers’ attachment to it from the ground up. Its monetization capacities also go beyond the normal AVOD and SVOD to include rentals, pay-per-view, bundles, lifetime access, and free trials.
Muvi’s main selling point is that it allows you to get into both the video and audio domains of streaming OTT entertainment. If you’re trying to build a multimedia content business, especially if that content business involves live streaming, Muvi is an OTT platform that’s definitely worth checking out. The platform also takes care of the legwork involved in online media hosting services. They advertise that customers won’t have to write a single line of code or worry about any IT issues.
Some reviewers cite limited website templates and a less-than-perfect visual editor as minuses. Moreover, because of the extent of Muvi’s under-the-hood capacities, it is one of the most expensive options on the market, meaning it is perhaps not the best OTT platform for those just starting out.
One of the biggest advantages Dacast advertises is their ability to help you get into the Chinese market. Due to the Great Firewall, quick and convenient VOD hosting in mainland China is quite rare. Thanks to Dacast’s arrangements with Chinese CDN services, however, they’re able to deliver high-quality, no-buffer video streaming to audiences in the 1.4 billion-strong Chinese market. In addition, it is one of the most affordable OTT platforms on the market, with plans starting at just $39 per month.
Dacast is an SaaS (software as a service) platform, meaning that in addition to hosting video, they provide a whole platform with which to construct your video business. They offer many standard features, like offering a white-label OTT platform, an all-device HTML5 video player, and monetization tools. However, the monetization features are not as strong as those available on other platforms. It may not be the best match for you if you want to study your audience data or need video marketing tools.
MAZ is a no-code app-building platform for businesses of all sizes. They describe themselves as the Squarespace of the OTT platform domain, and provide services for a number of impressive clients like Bon Appétit, Wired, and Forbes. They also boast an app launch time of two to three months, and offer monetization models beyond just the standard SVOD.
MAZ is certainly not on the cheaper end of the OTT platform market. Big clients with in-house expertise in web design may find MAZ to be a solid option. Other players may find it to be a bit more than they are able to afford or maintain.
As one of the world’s longest-standing titans of tech, it of course makes sense that IBM would have a strong product to offer in the OTT platform field. They use the power of their Watson AI to do things like enforce copyright protections, convert speech to captions, provide strong monetization options, and offer strong user analytics capacities to help you boost engagement. There are even social media-like features like comment sections, upvoting and downvoting, and built-in moderation. IBM Watson Media also uses multiple CDNs, so you can deliver your VOD or live streamed content to users anywhere in the world on any device.
As a top-flight option with top-flight features, users can expect to pay top-flight prices for IBM Watson Media, with their least expensive plans starting at $99 per month and going up from there. Some users, however, have been less-than-enthusiastic about the video editor. You’ll get a great deal with your subscription to IBM Watson Media, but you need to be prepared to pay for it.
The marketplace for OTT platforms is very robust these days, so there is a provider out there for every sort of user. We wish you the best of luck in making your choice and in sharing your content with the world!