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Detailed Guide on Online Video Platforms | Vendor Comparison 2021

By Zohaib Khan & Shahan Zafar
Comparing the Major Online Video Platforms of 2020

Video technology has come a long way since the first video ever was recorded back in 1888. Videos weren't a widespread thing on the internet until 2005, YouTube, the world's first major online video streaming platform came to the web. Although best for entertainment, YouTube isn't the best for video streaming for business use cases - say for uploading and streaming internal training videos.

Video use is on the rise! According to Grand View Research Inc., the online video platform market is expected to reach $18.7 billion by 2027.

Video platforms have greatly changed the ways in which we now use videos. While YouTube remains one of the most popular ones out there (with over 2.1 billion users), there are several other platforms for streaming and sharing videos designed for different use cases. Examples include VIDIZMO, Brightcove, Panopto, Kaltura, Microsoft Stream and more.

Welcome to our detailed guide on video platforms where we help IT buyers and researchers make much more informed decisions regarding such platforms. In our guide, we have explained the different types of video platforms based on market needs. We have highlighted the important factors to consider when evaluating such a platform. And most importantly, we have included a vendor comparison based on our research and expert knowledge. 

Fill in the Form Below to Download Our Interactive PDF, or Read the Summarized Version in This Blog.

 



Table of Contents

What is a Video Platform?

Types of Video Platforms

What to Look for in a Video Platform?

List of Top 12 Online Video Platforms

 

What is a Video Platform? 

A video platform is where you can upload, store, share and play videos. A typical video platform allows you to upload and access the videos from any device, browse and search for videos - that's YouTube for you basically. Most of them also provide both live and on-demand video streaming, though there are exceptions. And while every video platform provides video streaming and sharing capabilities, other features and functions may greatly vary from one to another, such as the ability to add quizzes, integrate them with your LMS etc.

We like to define an online video platform as "a platform that essentially helps organizations and individuals deliver video content to their intended audience"

The simplicity with which we can now share videos belies the true complexity of how video platforms work. A modern online video platform means you can upload a video in any format and automatically encode it to enable an optimized streaming experience for all devices and network conditions. Most platforms also provide features and functionalities such as closed captions, player customization and video analytics, and the technical infrastructure for video delivery such as WAN optimization, edge caching, eCDNs etc.

Read more in our blog on the definition of a video platform and its history.

Types of Video Streaming Platforms 

Video platforms can be further categorized depending on their use case and function. These may be consumer-oriented like YouTube or business-oriented.

We have prepared a list of different types. They may fall into any one or multiple categories. Or they may cover all of these categories (solutions like these are referred to as Enterprise Video Content Management Systems or Enterprise Video Platforms) 

Public Video Streaming 

Often referred to as streaming video to external audiences or with anonymous access. These platforms are designed such that any person could watch a published video if they enter its URL into their browser

Internal (Private) Video Streaming 

These video platforms are such that videos aren’t accessible to the public and people need to authenticate through some means to watch them. These are usually used to host sensitive or classified information such as internal meetings or even organization training. 

Learn more in our blog on private video streaming.

Video Sharing Sites 

These platforms are designed to securely transfer a video file. As opposed to common mechanisms of transferring files (through Google, WeTransfer, Dropbox etc.), these platforms include a rich video player, transcode videos and deliver them through means of a CDN network. This ensures optimized playback on any device, under any bandwidth condition.   

Learn more in our blog on secure video sharing platforms.

Online Video Trainings Platforms

These are platforms where you can upload your training videos, add quizzes and create learning plans. These usually specialize in creating a great learning experience. For instance, you get the ability to import content in the form of SCORM. You can essentially create a Udemy type platform with some of these or create an internal YouTube for learning. 

Learn more about setting an online video training platform

On-demand Video Streaming (VOD)

Video on Demand (VOD) is when people can watch videos from a library as and when they want, without being constrained by traditional broadcasting schedules. A VOD platform is such that it allows users to browse through a range of videos and view the ones that they want. An excellent example of a VOD platform is YouTube.  

Learn more in our blog on on-demand video streaming (VOD).

Live Video Streaming 

This refers to video that is recorded and streamed to the end-user in real-time. Depending on the technology used, there could be latency (delay) between the recording and playback at the user’s end. Although live streaming is one-way communication, these platforms include interactivity features to engage with audiences such as a live chat, surveys and handouts. These platforms also integrate with online meeting solutions such as Zoom, to enable live streaming for an online meeting.   

Read more in our blog on comparing different live streaming platforms.

Video Content Management Systems

Although mainly used for video hosting and streaming, these platforms include additional features to make the management of video easy. Categorization of videos, tags, editing, adding quizzes in videos and powerful search (search inside video) are a few examples. 

Read more in our blog on comparing the best video cms

Complete Solution - Enterprise Video Platforms 

An enterprise video platform or enterprise video content management system (EVCM), is a special type of platform that covers all of the features from the ones mentioned previously. These can be used for both live and on-demand streaming, for both internal and external audiences, with detailed sharing and management features.   

These platforms are specially designed for large enterprises, where video is being used in a variety of ways. From streaming externally for marketing, to training internal employees, to sharing confidential meetings with a few individuals. An EVCM can help an organization stream video content for all purposes, from one system. By doing so, the organization can effectively govern video use, ensuring it meets security and compliance requirements.   

Enterprise Video Platform Infographic

Learn More About VIDIZMO Enterprise Video Platform

These also include features to ensure that only those that are supposed to watch a videoare able to watch them. This means that organizations can restrict viewing for each video on a department or individual level. Certain leading platforms also offer multiple video portals within one license, where these autonomous portals can be assigned to each department in your organization - to segregate content, users, billing etc. 

 

What to Look for in a Video Platform? 

With a variety of solutions out there in the market, it can be overwhelming to evaluate them. Here's a list of features on which a video platform should be evaluated. 

Strategic Direction

Although seems very minor, the strategic direction of a platform vendor can be very important to a few. If you are a small business that wants to spend a few dollars every month on a platform, then this doesn't matter at all. But if you are in the market to procure a solution for 1000s of employees in your organization, which will use it over a long period of say 2-3 years, then the strategic direction is very important. As vendors continue to add features to their solutions, you are better off if they operate in your industry or if these new features align with the technology that you want for your organization. 

For example, we at VIDIZMO focus on allowing our customers to benefit from Azure and AWS technologies. As such, our customers can reasonably expect to get access to cloud innovations (such as AI) from these giants. Hence our solution is more aligned for those that want to closely work with these cloud providers. 

Learn more on how VIDIZMO helps stream videos in Azure

Security

Video platforms are also open to cyberattacks, and therefore, we believe that this is the first and the most important factor that needs to be considered when evaluating an IT system.   

Security Infographic

Source: Accenture Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study

Compliance

Organizations may need to comply with various regional or local compliances, to ensure data security, privacy, accessibility etc.  Organizations need to consider video platforms that cover compliance requirements on both storage at the datacenter and during streaming at the application level. Look for audit trails, custom policies, security etc.

Compliance isn't optional. For instance, under GDPR the fine for violation is €20 Million or 4% of the Organization’s Global Annual Revenue

Search 

Video use is on the rise and organizations are increasingly seeing a rise in the amount of video data that is stored. This brings the next challenge. How do you find the right video amongst a large repository of videos? The answer lies in a powerful search. 

Sharing, Access Management and Content Segregation 

Who gets to see your videos? Who can access them? What can they do after they get access? It’s important to ask these questions if your organization is handling sensitive information.

Integrations 

Like any other form of data, one of the biggest challenges that organizations face with video data is that a lot of it is siloed and exists in sperate IT systemsThis makes it difficult to implement effective mechanisms for governance, security, compliance etc. It also makes it difficult to use video data in combination with other types of data.  

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence has numerous benefits that include cost reductions and revenue increasesVideo platforms, are at an early stage of providing AI capabilities but are progressing rapidly to add diversity to what they can offer.   

Data Hosting Options 

It’s important to consider a video platform that lets you choose where to store your data and also leaves your organization open for data migrations in the future.  For instance, Businesses collecting data on European citizens are not allowed to store data outside the EU under GDPR law

 

Comparison of The Top 12 Major Online Video Platforms in 2021

Based on the criteria discussed in the previous section, reviews and knowledge gathered from industry experts, we have compared the following list of video platforms. 


Enterprise Video Platforms

  1. VIDIZMO
  2. Microsoft Stream
  3. Kaltura
  4. Panopto

Simple Video Platforms

  1. IBM Watson Media
  2. Brightcove 
  3. YouTube
  4. Vimeo
  5. Wistia
  6. Dacast
  7. JW Player
  8. Cincopa

Or Download Our Summary

 

Enterprise Video Platforms

VIDIZMO

 

Built as a corporate YouTube-like solution, VIDIZMO is designed to provide end-to-end live and on-demand video streaming, sharing and content management for public and private organizations, unlike the consumer-focused YouTube.

VIDIZMO allows you to manage and stream video for all use cases, through one single platform. Need to add a marketing video to your website, or share a video for review with limited access, or need to keep a confidential meeting recording between select individuals only. You can do it all through VIDIZMO. Rather than maintaining multiple video systems, using one complete system such as VIDIZMO can help improve security, compliance and data privacy, and help IT admins better manage users and groups. 

VIDIZMO provides several features to enable or restrict viewers from accessing any content, such as configurable user groups, security policies, domain restrictions, and role-based access control. With robust platform security, these features and functionalities make it the perfect solution to securely store and share private videos with the relevant or authorized people only, and share non-private videos publicly or across the organization.

It also provides remarkably flexible deployment, being available on any public or private cloud (including the Azure Government cloud and AWS GovCloud), on-premise data center or in a hybrid model. The platform meets various regional and international regulatory compliances such as GDPR and HIPAA.

Quote by NEC on VIDIZMO Video Platform

 

The platform creates auto-tags, generates transcriptions and captions, and indexes all words spoken or displayed in the content so viewers can search on the platform to find a video, or within a video itself to quickly find content. You can also view analytics and add quizzes, surveys and other media, like slides or documents, to your live or on-demand videos while leveraging additional interactivity tools in a live stream such as live chat, Q&A and feed integration with social media platforms.

VIDIZMO is an all-in-one video platform for internal and external communication & collaboration, training & learning, marketing, knowledge management and other commercial and government use cases. However, if you're looking for OTT and video monetization solutions, try checking out some of the major video platforms on this list.

Learn More

Strengths:

  • Recognized by Gartner.
  • Robust privacy & security controls (customizable usage and retention policies, geo and IP restrictions, role-based access controls).
  • FIPS 140-2 compliant end-to-end encryption of videos. 
  • Can create groups and portals to map access based on your organization’s departments.
  • Rich sharing options; create multiple links or share through email (option to have external recipients authenticate temporarily to view content). 
  • Brandable and multilingual media portals.
  • SSO Integration (with 25+ SSO providers) with user provisioning through SCIM.
  • Integrates with CMS, CRM, LMS and other video conferencing systems.
  • SCORM support for e-learning.
  • 255+ file format support.
  • Flexible deployment in any cloud, on-premise data center or hybrid infrastructure.
  • Add quizzes, surveys, polls and handouts for live and on-demand video interactivity.
  • AI services, including automatic closed captions, facial and object detection and people timeline.
  • Live streaming (RTMP, RTSP, HLS) with interactivity. 
  • Live streaming from drone and CCTV. 
  • Set up backup live streams.

Weaknesses:

  • Content creation tools not offered by default and need to integrate for content creation. 
  • Monetization features not offered by default and need to integrate with 3rd party tools.

 

Video Platforms Summary Infographic

Microsoft Stream (New)

Microsoft Stream is a live and on-demand streaming video streaming solution for Microsoft Office 365 customers that integrates with other Microsoft applications such as SharePoint and Teams.

This video platform is currently undergoing changes, and its previous version will be known as Microsoft Stream Classic and the new one as New Microsoft Stream. In this guide, we have listed the strengths and weaknesses of the New Microsoft Stream.

MicrosoftStream-Logo

Stream is quite rigidly focused on internal video sharing and now as part of SharePoint, it has become much better under the New Microsoft Stream. The process to manage access is excellent and you can essentially define who can watch a video and who can't. The New Microsoft Stream also has features to enable sharing of videos with external audiences, but it's just limited to sharing and there's no YouTube-like portal that you can create.

The platform, however, provides no interactivity for on-demand videos, such as adding quizzes and surveys. It has also removed several existing features such as facial recognition and automatic transcription from its platform.

When it comes to searching for that one video amongst thousands, the platform isn't the best. There is no custom metadata support, no tags and no filtering.

Strengths:

  • Recognized by Gartner.
  • Reliable internal video hosting.
  • Transcription and search within videos.
  • Integrates with other Microsoft systems.
  • Manage video and other documents through one single application. 
  • FIPS 140-2 compliant end-to-end encryption of videos.
  • Can create teams and map access based on your organization’s departments. 

Weaknesses:

  • No pre-encoding and caching for large files.
  • Can’t manually add transcripts.
  • No automatic multilingual transcripts. 
  • No automatic tagging of videos for improved search. 
  • Can’t add quizzes or forms in videos.
  • No live streaming.
  • No branding features. 
  • No monetization features. 
  • Can’t customize player.
  • No annotations, closed captions and keyboard shortcuts in player. 
  • Doesn’t support SCORM for e-learning.
  • Search inside video using transcripts, is not available. 
  • Search using faces and objects is not available.
  • Limited metadata support for videos.

For more information, visit our detailed analysis of Microsoft Stream Classic or our analysis on the New Microsoft Stream.

Kaltura

Unlike most major video platforms, Kaltura is designed for building solutions from scratch tailored to your requirements. Founded as a solution for broadcasting over-the-top (OTT) services, the platform is primarily designed for video streaming in the media industry.

logo (2)

In addition to OTT services, the platform provides live and on-demand video streaming and management, plug-ins for video recording and monetization, and video API that allows for extensive customization. The platform is secure and provides features such as platform branding and analytics, similar to most other major video platforms.

Kaltura's excursion into other markets meant breaking down the initial solution to build whole, different video platform solutions. Customers need detailed long and technical and business coordination with Kaltura's Professional Services Team to assemble the solution. This can create a lot of complexities. For one, the fragmented nature of the solution consequently means Kaltura's pricing model is fragmented as well, making it difficult to estimate or manage costs. Additionally, as business needs and use cases continue to scale and evolve, there are risks that the platform will need to make significant hardware investments and remodel its products to meet customer demands in the future. Kaltura also has a reputation for poor customer support; there is no live support and customer reviews frequently express the lack of reliable support as a major point of discontent.

Strengths:

  • Recognized by Gartner.
  • A range of OTT-focused services and monetization features.
  • Robust security features.
  • Highly customizable platform.
  • Quizzes and polls for live and on-demand video interactivity.
  • Flexible deployment and integrations.
  • Detailed analytics.
  • Encryption at rest using AES and in transit using TLS 1.3.
  • Can create channels to segregate access to content based on teams or departments.
  • Integrations (SSO, LMS, CMS and video conferencing).

 Weaknesses:

  • Complex and fragmented, requiring advanced business & technical knowledge and remodeling for future use cases.
  • Requires a great deal of time investment and coordination for deployment.
  • Unpredictable costs.
  • Doesn’t support SCORM for e-learning. 
  • Doesn’t offer drone mapping and KLV metadata support. 
  • No backup live stream option.
  • No bulk editing for video files.
  • No desktop application for offline viewing. 
  • No password protection for videos.
  • Can’t limit permissions for end users (eg., restrict downloading, embedding, sharing). 
  • Can’t generate multiple links.
  • Limited sharing (time and no. of views) options are not available.

You can read more in our blog on Kaltura vs VIDIZMO.

Panopto

Panopto markets itself as a video platform for education and businesses. Founded as a tech spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University, Panopto is popular with schools and universities for its screen recording tools.Panopto-Logo.wine-1

Panopto allows you to add quizzes in videos and integrate with learning management systems (LMS), as well as video conferencing systems to share recorded lectures and videos. The platform provides tools such as content encryption and role-based access controls for managing access and privacy. Viewers can also search within videos to look for content.

The platform is less equipped for business use cases, however. Panopto does not integrate with CMS or CRM systems with the exception of Salesforce. The platform has on occasion acknowledged its inability to match other platforms for use cases such as marketing. Another issue many businesses have with Panopto is the lack of flexible deployment options; Panopto is very AWS-oriented and its own provided cloud, the Panopto Cloud, is only hosted on AWS. While deployable in the Azure cloud as well, its lack of Azure-focused marketing and less than stellar listing on the Azure Marketplace strongly hints Panopto does not have much focus on Azure cloud customers.

 

Strengths:

  • Detailed and user-friendly content creation tools that work best for lecture capture. 
  • Desktop application is available with offline viewing. 
  • SCORM Support for e-learning.
  • Quizzes and polls for on-demand video interactivity.
  • YouTube video embedding for on-demand videos.
  • Customizable branding.
  • Transcription and search within videos.
  • Integration with LMS, video capture and video conferencing systems.
  • AI for automatic transcriptions and closed captions, and automatic video chaptering. 
  • Offers a multi-pane player, which is great for streaming lectures or training videos.

 

Weaknesses:

  • Few monetization features – current monetization offered through InPlayer integration. 
  • Doesn’t offer drone mapping and KLV metadata support.
  • No backup live stream option. 
  • No frame by frame analysis. 
  • No annotations.
  • Limited branding and customizations for the video player. 
  • No DRM support.
  • Designed almost entirely for online education only.
  • No password protection for videos.
  • Can’t limit permissions for end-users (eg., restrict downloading, embedding, sharing). 
  • Can’t generate multiple links. 
  • Limited sharing (time and no. of views) options are not available.
  • No SCIM support so users and groups may need to be synced and provisioned manually. You can create groups automatically, but the issue is in syncing.  
  • Integrable with fewer IT business applications.
  • Limited deployment options; only deployable on-premise or on the AWS cloud with a minute presence for Azure cloud customers.

Read more in our blog that compares VIDIZMO and Panopto.

 

Simpler Video Platforms

Simple Video Platforms Infographic

IBM Watson Media

In January 2016, IBM acquired Ustream, a live video streaming platform and rebranded the platform as IBM Cloud Video in 2017. The same year, it launched IBM Watson Media as a distinct platform that eventually 'absorbed' IBM Cloud Video to unite all of its video products and services under a single brand as of 2019. The platform is tilted towards streaming for the media and entertainment industry, such as broadcasting sporting events, as well as enterprise use cases like live corporate events.IBM-Watson-logoThe provides OTT streaming with support for managing subscribers, ad insertion and monetization for pay-per-view services. It also integrates with third-party billing providers such as PayTV. Though still primarily oriented towards live streaming in line with its origins and focus on the media and entertainment broadcasting, the IBM Watson Media also provides on-demand video hosting and streaming services for enterprise use cases.

When it comes to internal video streaming use cases, however, the platform has drawbacks. It lacks integrations with other common IT business applications and does not provide common interactive elements such as quizzes or surveys found on other enterprise platforms. As such, the platform does not facilitate internal streaming use cases such as collaboration and training & learning compared to other, better-equipped platforms. Customers have also reported that the platform is not very user-friendly and significantly difficult to use or learn without technical assistance.

Strengths:

  • Offers live and on-demand video streaming for external audiences 
  • Offers event streaming and OTT services 
  • Integrates with OTT billing providers 
  • Includes ads and monetization features 
  • Good for those looking for a solution to upload videos, share and embed them ahead for public viewing 
  • Can create permalinks and replace video after sharing 
  • Create channels, add related videos and stream for anonymous viewing through a link 
  • You can add custom metadata for improved search 
  • Live streaming through RTMP (You can use Cisco and Zoom to live stream) 
  • Offers AI-generated automatic transcriptions 
  • Can choose to store data in IBM data centers in multiple locations 
     

Weaknesses:

  • Can’t create internal groups for departments to segregate content access 
  • Lacks interactive tools for corporate and learning use cases 
  • API only available with high-end plans 
  • Relevant player customizations only available with high-end plans 
  • No branding capabilities 
  • No integration with Zoom 
  • No integration with SSO 
  • Limited integration options – Only Slack 
  • No backup live streams 

Brightcove

Brightcove provides an online video platform largely for organizations in the arts, entertainment and sports industry. It also establishes itself as a solution for marketing and internal streaming. Brightcove's solution is designed mainly for streaming to external audiences. It's also noteworthy that the company can occasionally take unpopular and spontaneous courses of action. For example, Brightcove purchased Ooyala, another online video platform, only to unexpectedly announce they were discontinuing the platform in less than a year; customers were understandably irked at the aggressive closing timeline and lack of any prior warnings.

 

Brightcove

The platform provides OTT support, monetization and integration with advertising systems for streaming to large, public and anonymous audiences. But unlike YouTube, which is also popular for similar external use cases, organizations still retain ownership of their content. You can also add interactive elements such as clickable CTAs, polls and add-to-cart functionality.

With a design stressed on external public streaming, the platform is limited when it comes to supporting other inter-organizational use cases such as corporate communication or training. Notably, there are no options for maintaining privacy between different departments or other organizational units; all registered users can access any content. Most organizations need more advanced features for greater control over who can access and view specific videos and content within the larger pool of all internal or external viewers.

Strengths:

  • Recognized by Gartner 
  • Offers live and on-demand video streaming for external audiences 
  • Offers a range of OTT-focused services 
  • Offers video monetization and advertising features 
  • Can add clickable CTAs and add-to-cart functionality for on-demand videos 
  • Add polls and video overlays for on-demand video interactivity 
  • Video sharing through links 
  • Embedding on any website 
  • Closed captions and audio description support 
  • Live streaming 

Weaknesses:

  • No segregation of content for internal streaming 
  • Not conducive for internal streaming: can’t add quizzes for training, have custom security policies, department wise portals etc. 
  • Live streaming available but for only external viewers, which is good for business catering to entertainment and sports viewers 
  • No integration with Zoom, MS Team, Cisco WebEx etc. 
  • No integration with SSO 
  • No backup live streams 
  • No Artificial Intelligence 
  • Can’t choose where to host data 
  • Does not offer smart search 
  • No custom metadata to improve search  

 

YouTube

A pioneer of the modern video platforms, YouTube is the most popular free video platform for publicly sharing videos. As the second most-visited website, only behind its parent company Google, it's perfect for reaching, creating awareness, attracting attention from the common man, and generating a following akin to social media.

YouTube-Logo

YouTube is free for hosting and sharing on-demand videos and live streaming. The platform makes your content easily searchable and discoverable on both the platform itself and through Google's search engine. It indexes words from the title, description, tags and even comments left by the viewers in order to make the video more easily discoverable. YouTube also allows you to automatically transcribe and generate closed captions for your videos, and promote your content for a certain amount of payment.

While excellent for reaching large public audiences, if you're looking for a platform to securely host and share your private videos only with specific viewers, YouTube might not be the best choice, however. Not only is keeping your private content on a public platform unsafe, YouTube lacks several important features necessary to protect videos, such as internal corporate meetings or training content from unwanted viewers. Other issues include lack of branding, 3rd party ads in your video and suggested videos siphoning viewers away from your content. Depending on where you live, you might not even be able to use the platform at all; YouTube is the most popular website banned in the world. Some organizations might also find issues with YouTube's Terms of Service (TOC), which states choosing to upload a video on the platform means you to automatically agree to give away all intellectual rights to the video and allow YouTube to reproduce, repurpose and share your content.

Strengths:

  • Offers live and on-demand video streaming for external audiences 
  • Videos are indexed by Google and appear in search results 
  • YouTube has 2 million logged-in users every month, and much more anonymous users. This provides a large potential audience to reach out to 
  • You can create a library of your videos on your channel, that your audiences can easily navigate through 
  • You can embed videos from YouTube and share them on social channels 
  • YouTube's video player is optimized for accessibility, with options to upload captions, and keyboard shortcuts for navigation within the video 
  • Closed captions are automatically generated 
  • You can engage with your audiences who can add comments to your videos 
  • It’s free and a great option for external streaming for small businesses 
  • YouTube API is available and you can integrate with your existing systems 

 

Weaknesses:

  • Content uploaded on YouTube is public and can be viewed by anyone, and shared ahead indefinitely. This is an issue if you have to adhere to compliance requirements such as GDPR 
  • Another major issue with YouTube is that, once you upload videos, you are agreeing to allow YouTube to reproduce, create derivates of the content and do much more 
  • YouTube does not allow you to choose where to store your data 
  • YouTube does not offer rich sharing options, such as password protected sharing, limited time viewing, authenticated access for viewing, and link expiration 
  • YouTube does not offer the functionality to upload audio descriptions, which means that it is not fully optimized for accessibility requirements 
  • You can't restrict viewing or track viewing activity through logs 
  • You can’t use it for internal sharing as there is no option to create internal licenses, and there are no content segregation options 
  • The viewing experience is disrupted with advertisements 
  • You can’t brand the playback page or platform  
  • You can’t customize the player according to requirements 

Vimeo

While Vimeo has been around since even before YouTube, it hasn't been able to achieve the same level of success as its fellow online video platform. Founded originally as a platform for creative film and media, Vimeo decided to change course and began providing business solutions in an attempt to enter the enterprise video platform market and differentiate itself from YouTube, with whom it was often compared. The platform continues to place emphasis on providing solutions for indie filmmakers, media producers, and creative freelancers.

vimeo_logo_blue

Vimeo still provides a free plan for a basic video hosting solution focused on sharing and streaming to external viewers similar to YouTube, but with limited features such as no live streaming and limited storage. Depending on your subscription, the platform provides a brandable video player, private sharing options, some secure sharing options and analytics. Like some other major video platforms, Vimeo also provides video monetization as well. Some important features such as live streaming with live chat, polls and Q&A, and certain security options are available only under the premium plan.

Primarily suited for sharing online videos with external viewers, Vimeo doesn't meet up to the mark when it comes to more targeted uses such as distance learning, corporate webcasting and internal communication. The platform provides limited viewer interactivity and does not allow viewers to search within a video for information or content, providing a less than engaging experience necessary for such use cases. Similar to YouTube, Vimeo is also reportedly banned or inaccessible in certain countries. Additionally, many customers report consistent lags, long buffering time, and notoriously poor customer support.

You also might want to look at Vimeo's reviews on Trustpilot, which include more than 80% of 1-star reviews, and on TrustRadius.

Strengths:

  • Offers live and on-demand streaming for external audiences 
  • Offers a range of OTT-focused services 
  • Offers video monetization features 
  • You can brand the Vimeo player 
  • It offers a Free version for basic video hosting 
  • You can add clickable CTAs at the end of videos 
  • Unlike YouTube, you retain ownership of your content 

Weaknesses:

  • Important features such as live streaming require subscription to Vimeo's most expensive plan 
  • Limited interactivity, especially for on-demand videos 
  • Frequent lags and long buffering times 
  • Poor customer support 
  • It is banned in certain countries 
  • Not conducive for internal streaming: can’t add quizzes for training, have custom security policies, department wise portals etc. 

For more information, you can visit our detailed blog on Vimeo and alternatives within its niche.

Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting platform that is specifically designed for video marketing. While the platform's experience is comparable to YouTube, Wistia is more exclusively oriented towards customers looking to host on-demand videos for marketing, support, and sales without ads or suggested content to distract viewers.

Wistia-Logo

The platform provides a customizable player, video analytics including heatmaps, and integrates with CRM platforms such as HubSpot and Marketo. The platform highlights these features to distinguish itself from YouTube. The platform also provides clickable CTAs anywhere within the video. Wistia also prevents distracting advertisements or suggested content.

While Wistia arguably holds merit in terms of features above YouTube, many other major video platforms offer almost the same features for video marketing. Additionally, the platform does not provide live video streaming, which has become a common tool for marketing use cases such as product demos or promotions.

It is not the best when it comes to internal use, say for hosting corporate training videos or sharing corporate communication videos.

Strengths:

  • Integrates with marketing and sales tools like email marketing, CRM, analytics, customer support, etc. 
  • Offers rich embedding options such as easy embedding, SEO optimized embedding, and fast load times 
  • You can replace a video after it has been embedded or shared 
  • You can share videos through links, but on top of that, you can use their application to invite new viewers or collaborators for your project. You can choose to give or not give collaborators and viewers the rights to download or share videos 
  • Allows channel creation on a website to display video content from Wistia 
  • Ad-free platform and allows placement of clickable CTAs on videos 

Weaknesses:

  • No live streaming feature available 
  • The platform is highly focused on external streaming 
  • Not possible to create user groups for content segregation 
  • Lack of integration with video conferencing platforms, LMS, single sign-on authentication providers, etc. 
  • Basic branding options where you can only change player colors 
  • No artificial intelligence capabilities 
  • Can’t choose where to host data 
  • Does not offer smart search 
  • No custom metadata to improve search  

Dacast

Dacast is primarily a live video streaming platform that expanded its reach into the online video platform market after acquiring vzaar, its competitor in the OVP market. Dacast primarily targets live video streaming use cases in the media entertainment industry, as well as for religious organizations, sport and fitness, and corporate use cases.Dacast-LogoWhile still a primarily live streaming platform, Dacast now offers on-demand video hosting and streaming capabilities as well. The platform provides analytics and a brandable video player. Its strengths include video monetization and OTT for pay-per-view content, where it has found a degree of success.

However, the platform needs a lot more to be desired when it comes to organizational use cases. Its video management features and functionalities are severely lacking; other than commonly shared features such as analytics and playlists found on other major video platforms, it does not provide much for on-demand videos. As of 2020 however, despite being primarily a live streaming platform, Dacast does not provide any features for interactivity in a live video stream, (even live chat), though it does integrate with certain chat providers. The platform also lacks privacy options for controlling access or segregating content for users. Moreover, Dacast is only deployable on an AWS-provided cloud, cloud and does not provide organizations with the option to manage their data or deployment.

Strengths:

  • Offers live and on-demand video streaming for external audiences 
  • Offers integrations with video monetization and OTT services 
  • Offers a brandable player 
  • Offers password protection for videos 
  • Video API and player API are available for 3rd party integrations 
  • Videos can be embedded on external sites 
  • Includes geo-restriction features for security 
  • Allows you to manually upload closed captions 

Weaknesses:

  • No interactivity features in live or on-demand video 
  • Integration with Zoom is only for live streaming, and not for ingesting and managing recorded meetings 
  • No integration with SSO 
  • Not conducive for internal streaming: can’t add quizzes for training, have custom security policies, role-based access controls, department-wise portals etc. 
  • Not conducive for e-learning, with no video interactivity, SCORM support, and LMS integrations 
  • Does not allow you to choose where to store your data in terms of region and cloud provider 
  • No Artificial Intelligence features 
  • No audit trails, customizable retention policy, security and privacy policy 
Read more in our blog on Dacast.

JW Player

Originally just an HTML5 video player, JW Player now evolved to an online video platform for hosting, streaming and sharing videos. The platform provides solutions for media and companies, as well as for faith and fitness streaming.JWPlayer-Logo

The platform is mainly built for streaming, advertising and monetizing content for public audiences, with features such as player bidding and integration with any ad server. IT also provides a brandable video player and analytics for ads and videos. The platform has recently added live video streaming to its feature set in order to keep up with other major online video platforms.

However, it does not boast any significant features or differences compared to other major online video platforms. The platform does not provide closed captions (necessary for Section 508 compliance), though you can upload your own captions. It also lacks several features commonly found in most other major video platforms, such as privacy options and mobile screen support. It also integrates only with a handful of other systems. Most of JW Player's customers consist of consumers looking for a basic platform for the bare minimum video streaming and hosting capabilities. To effectively use the platform for any other use case means a professional is needed to productively use the platform.

 

Strengths:

  • Extensive advertisement features
  • Support for OTT services through partnership
  • Brandable video player
  • Analytics for ads and videos

 

Weaknesses:

  • No closed captions
  • No privacy options
  • Very basic security
  • Focused almost entirely on advertisements
  • Monetization only through ads
  • Lack of mobile support
  • Limited integrations

 

Cincopa

Cincopa promotes itself as a video platform primarily for marketing and sales, though it also targets learning and business needs.cincopaThe platform provides live and on-demand video streaming, customizable video galleries and video player and analytics. It also allows you to search in a video and add clickable CTAs at the end of a video. The platform can integrate with certain other systems like HubSpot and Moodle.

Organizations looking for a business, communication or learning & training solution however, will find that certain features are missing or lacking. The platform doesn't provide any privacy features for segregating content or controlling access among users. Interactive video elements such as in-video quizzes or slide sharing are missing, unlike other major video platforms for education & training. Another notable drawback is the lack of integration with any marketing automation and learning management systems (LMS) other than the aforementioned HubSpot and Moodle.

Strengths:

  • Customizable galleries for videos
  • Brandable video player
  • Search within videos
  • Clickable CTAs at the end of videos

 

Weaknesses:

  • No privacy features
  • Lack of interactivity
  • Very limited integrations
  • Focused heavily on basic video sharing for sales and marketing

 

Consumer-Oriented Video Platforms

The above-mentioned video platforms are more focused for business use cases. However, there are a few options for individual people as well. Most of these focus on streaming videos to the public, and offer limited security and privacy features.

Dailymotion

Dailymotion was founded in 2005 in France, but now has a presence worldwide and is available in more than 183 languages. The platform gets about 300 million monthly active users, which is in fact way less YouTube's 2 billion each month. Dailymotion is a platform similar to YouTube in most ways, except for the fact that you retain ownership of your content. You can upload videos, monetize them and your viewers can watch them seamlessly through the browser on any device. If you are a bit geeky, then you can customize the Dailymotion player much better than you can do on YouTube.  

Twitch

Twitch is a live video streaming platform, which mainly has evolved towards video streaming for games. It is a good option if you need to upload or live stream videos related to video gaming, but won't be the best for streaming for other purposes. Although, you will find people uploading their vlogs on this platform. In terms of live streaming functionality, the platform offers live transcoding so your viewers can enjoy the stream under any bandwidth conditions. However, you don't get live DVR (unlike YouTube) so your users can't rewind the stream if they join in late.

 

Conclusion

While most major online video platforms offer similar basic features for sharing and streaming videos, each has its own strengths and weaknesses that make it reliable or less suitable for specific use cases. It's important for organizations to compare their options so they can choose the right platform that best meets their requirements.

VIDIZMO offers a robust online video platform for sharing and managing live and on-demand videos for commercial and government organizations. With enterprise-level security, configurable user groups and management, powerful search and video analytics, support for a vast range of integrations and flexible deployment options, VIDIZMO offers a complete, end-to-end video streaming and content management system for a wide variety of internal and external use cases, including corporate communication, training & learning, virtual events, marketing & sales, knowledge management and more.

Take a 30-day free trial to explore the platform or contact us today for more information.

 

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Tags: EVCM, enterprise video streaming, online video platforms

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