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Detailed Guide on Online Video Platforms | Vendor Comparison 2021

By Zohaib Khan & Shahan Zafar
A woman conducting a live session on a video platform

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, when 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. 

Download Video Platform Guide

 

 



Click Here to Download the Guide

Or You Can 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

Consumer-Oriented 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, Zoom, MS Teams, 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"

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.

The History of Video Platforms Infographic

 

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 with paid subscriptions like Vimeo.

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. YouTube is a great example here, but even paid platforms like Vimeo also have this option.

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. Users usually need to enter their login credentials (or log in through an SSO), and can then access the video library, which is safe from the outside world. These are usually used to host sensitive or classified information such as internal meetings or even organization training. 

Learn more in our blog private video streaming.

Video Sharing Sites 

These platforms are designed to securely transfer a video file with options such as temporary viewing, link sharing etc. As opposed to common video cloud storage (through Google, WeTransfer, Dropbox etc.), these platforms include a rich video player, transcode videos and deliver them using adaptive bitrate streaming 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 Training 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 VIDIZMO 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.

Live and On-Demand Streaming Survey

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 videos are being used in a variety of ways. From streaming externally for marketing, to training internal employees, to sharing confidential meetings with a few individuals, to creating a video archive of old assets. 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. 

Lastly, in an enterprise video platform, you get the flexibility to store data in your own cloud (e.g Azure, AWS, etc.) or even in your on-premise datacenter.

 

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.   

For any video platform you need to look in 2 important areas: 

  1. How and where data is stored?: This first step refers to security of video data when it is stored at rest and is not being utilized. We recommend a data center that follows leading industry standards such as FIPS 140-2, and uses robust encryption and security mechanisms to keep data safe. We recommend looking at how Microsoft keeps data secure 
  1. How is data handled within the application?: During the video streaming process, video is transferred from storage to the device that plays it. Most of this is done by the video platform application and the infrastructure behind it. It is important to consider the security of the application, and ensure that data is secure from start to end. We recommend reading our blog on FIPS 140-2 compliance and how data is encrypted end-to-end within the VIDIZMO platform.  

Security should be a priority for organizations in government, organizations that are large and have large amounts of video data. Security is less of a concern for smaller organizations that are seeking to stream videos publicly for marketing.  

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 two levels: 

Data storage and processing: To ensure data is stored and processed in a compliant manner, it is important for organizations to choose datacenters that cover their requirements. For instance, Microsoft Azure cloud is certified in over 90 compliances. Therefore, to cover such compliances, organizations need to choose a video platform that allows them to choose their cloud provider; Azure, AWS, Google or any of choice.    

Within the platform: compliance on a storage level isn’t enough and organizations would need to evaluate solutions to ensure they have the features that are needed to stay compliant. For instance, Article 30 of GDPR states that organizations need to maintain a record of recipients to whom personal data has been shared. As videos include personal data, it’s important for organizations to use a video platform that can provide audit trail reports for each video file. You can read more about different compliances and how they affect video platforms here.    

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 get’s 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. Some examples of such information include personally identifiable information (PII), controlled unclassified information (CUI), classified information, or sensitive and personal data as under GDPR. Breach of such information can lead to a financial loss, legal action, violation of agreements, violation of compliance, loss in reputation and much more. 

It is, therefore, important to evaluate a platform in terms of its sharing and content segregation capabilities. 

Groups, Teams or Channels: It is important for video platforms to have the capabilities to allow you to create different groups such that one group doesn’t have access to the other’s video content.  

Role Based Access Control: It’s also important for video platforms to have capabilities to define access based on a hierarchy, such that you can restrict users only to perform the functions that are relevant for their hierarchy in the organization.  

Limited Sharing: Although link sharing is the dominant form of sharing mechanism, it gives recipients the option to indefinitely share it ahead. Therefore, look for platforms where recipients are restricted to only viewing the content. 

SSO and SCIM: To be able to manage access and define organizational hierarchy from your identity provider/SSO, it’s important to use a video platform that integrates with it. Moreover, you need cross domain identity management (SCIM) support to be able to automatically provision your SSO users and groups, and their permissions into the video platform.   

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.   

AI for Video Platforms Infographic

Source: McKinsey & Company | Global survey: The state of AI in 2020 

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

EnterpriseTube New Layout-02 (2)-1

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, HIPAA and offers to host for FedRAMP as well.

VIDIZMO Review

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.

Create Your YouTube-like Training Library Today!  With Our Free Trial

Strengths:
  • Recognized by Gartner.
  • Offers both live and on-demand streaming.
  • 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.
  • Set video access as anonymous, entire organization, specific portals, specific groups or users.
  • Define for every video what users with access can do (whether they can download, embed, or share ahead), and can also set these permissions on both user and group level.
  • Rich sharing options; create multiple links or share through email (option to have external recipients authenticate temporarily to view content). 
  • Simple one-click video embedding through an iframe.
  • Brandable and multilingual video portals.
  • All videos are optimized for streaming and play through the browser on any device. This is through means of technologies such as HLS, transcoding, adaptive bitrate streaming, CDN and eCDN delivery, etc.
  • SSO Integration (with 25+ SSO providers) with user provisioning through SCIM.
  • Integrates with CMS, CRM, LMS and other video conferencing systems.
  • Integrates with Zoom and MS Teams for recorded meetings' management.
  • SCORM support for e-learning.
  • 255+ files natively play through the application.
  • 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 in around 50 languages, 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.
  • AI for Video Redaction.
  • Audit trails are available for system and individual video files.
  • Host data in your cloud of choice or purchase as SaaS. This makes the platform highly scalable.
Weaknesses:
  • Offers basic content creation tools such that you can only record your screen or capture video from a camera. You can't add animations, overlays etc.
  • Monetization features are not offered by default and you need to integrate with 3rd party tools.
  • No AI-generated automatic chaptering for videos.
Pricing:

Basic Plan - $85/month

Mid-level Plan - $140/month

High-end Plan - $350/month

Custom Plan - Contact Sales

Learn more about VIDIZMO pricing.

 

VIDIZMO is Trusted by Leading Organizations Such as The US State Department - View VIDIZMO Customers

 

 

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 has recently undergone changes where it is integrated and made part of OneDrive and SharePoint. The older 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.

Microsoft Stream - Video Platform

It is quite rigidly focused on internal video sharing and now as part of SharePoint, it has become much better. 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 and private video hosting.
  • Automatic Transcription is offered for Microsoft Teams meetings.
  • Integrates with other Microsoft systems such as Teams and SharePoint.
  • You can 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. 
  • You can get audit logs for all videos to see who accessed them and when.
  • You can share videos with guests where they get temporary viewing.
  • You can choose your datacenter location, which is required for compliance purposes.

Weaknesses:

  • No pre-encoding and caching for large files.
  • Can’t manually add transcripts or closed captions.
  • No automatic multilingual transcripts for uploaded videos. 
  • No automatic tagging of videos for improved search. 
  • Can’t add quizzes or forms in videos.
  • No branding features. 
  • No monetization features. 
  • Can’t customize the video player.
  • Can't add annotations, closed captions and there are no keyboard shortcuts in the player.
  • No playback speed options in the video player. 
  • Doesn’t support SCORM, which may be required for e-learning.
  • Search inside video using transcripts, is not available. 
  • Search using faces and objects is not available.
  • Doesn't offer a YouTube-like interface for users to comment and interact with videos.
  • No options to generate a video embed code

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

Pricing:

Microsoft Stream is sold as part of a Microsoft Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium - Starts at $20/user/month

Enterprise - Starts at $32/user/month

Learn more about Office365 pricing.

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.

Kaltura - Video Platform

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.
  • Offers both live and on-demand video streaming.
  • Offers a range of OTT-focused services and monetization features. This includes ad insertion and integration with payment gateways or subscription management tools.
  • Videos are encrypted at rest and in transit during delivery.
  • Security features such as role-based access controls and integration with SSO and IAM systems.
  • Highly customizable platform as it offers APIs and its related documentation.
  • You can add quizzes and polls in live and on-demand videos for interactivity.
  • Offers automatic transcription and translation of these transcriptions using AI.
  • Is available as a SaaS solution on the cloud or as an on-premise solution as well.
  • It offers detailed analytics on viewer behavior, content performance and delivery.
  • You can create channels to segregate access to content based on teams or departments.
  • It offers multiple integration options including SSO, LMS, CMS and video conferencing.

 Weaknesses:

  • Complex and fragmented, requiring advanced business & technical knowledge and remodeling to use some of its functionalities.
  • Requires a great deal of time investment and coordination for deployment.
  • It doesn’t support SCORM for e-learning. 
  • It doesn’t offer drone mapping and KLV metadata support. 
  • Its live streaming has no backup live stream option.
  • It has no bulk editing for video files.
  • It offers no desktop application for offline viewing. 
  • You can't add a password for additional protection of videos.
  • You can’t limit permissions for end-users (eg., restrict downloading, embedding, sharing). 
  • In terms of sharing, you can’t generate multiple links or share temporarily with external guests.
  • No audit trails are available in the application.
  • SSO integration doesn't include SCIM support.
  • Not available for deployment in Government Clouds (Azure and AWS).

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

Pricing:

You need to contact sales to inquire more about Kaltura's pricing.

Learn more about Kaltura's pricing.

Panopto

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

Panopto offers multiple features to upload and share videos inside an organization. You can define who can view your videos and segregate content based on groups. The platform provides content-encryption at rest and in rest, along with features such as role-based access controls for managing access and privacy.

Panopto allows you to conduct a live stream easily, record the video and publish it as an on-demand video, You can add quizzes in videos and integrate with learning management systems (LMS), as well as video conferencing systems to share recorded lectures and videos. Viewers can also search within videos to look for content. All of this makes it a great platform to use for a University or an educational institute.

However, the platform is less equipped for business use cases. 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:

  • Recognized by Gartner.
  • Offers both live and on-demand video streaming.
  • It offers detailed and user-friendly content creation tools that work best for lecture capture. 
  • Videos are encrypted at rest and in transit.
  • It offers a desktop application with offline viewing. 
  • It offers SCORM Support for e-learning.
  • You can create groups and department folders to segregate access to content based on teams or departments.
  • You can define video access as public, entire organization or specific groups or users. 
  • You can add quizzes and polls in on-demand videos for interactivity.
  • It offers customizable branding features where you can include your logo on the portal and within the player.
  • It offers AI-generated transcription and translation of these transcriptions.
  • It offers AI-generated automatic video chaptering
  • It offers search inside videos using transcripts.
  • Integration with LMS, video capture and video conferencing systems such as Zoom and MS Teams.
  • Offers a multi-pane player, which is great for streaming lectures or training videos.

Weaknesses:

  • It offers few monetization features – current monetization is through InPlayer integration. 
  • It doesn’t offer drone mapping and KLV metadata support.
  • No backup live stream option. 
  • No frame by frame analysis. 
  • You can't add annotations in videos.
  • It offers limited branding and customizations for the video player. 
  • It doesn't offer DRM support.
  • It doesn't offer password protection for videos.
  • Audit trails are not available in the application, and you need to contact Panopto support to request them.
  • You can’t limit permissions for end-users (eg., restrict downloading, embedding, sharing). 
  • You can’t generate multiple links for video sharing. 
  • No limited sharing (time and no. of views) options.
  • 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 keeping them in sync.  
  • 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 Alternatives.

Pricing:

Panopto Basic - $0/month

Panopto Pro - $14.99/month

Panopto Enterprise - Contact Sales

Learn more about Panopto pricing.

 

Simpler Video Platforms

Simple Video Platforms Infographic

IBM Cloud Video

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 Media - Video Platform

The 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 are 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. 
  • Can't set up a custom video retention period.
  • Allows you to host data in IBM Cloud only. No on-premise or Government cloud deployments.

Read our blog on IBM Cloud Video.

Pricing:

Silver - $99/month

Gold - $499/month

Platinum - $999/month

Custom Plan - Contact Sales

Learn more about IBM Cloud Video pricing.

Brightcove

Brightcove provides an online video platform largely for organizations in the arts, entertainment and sports industries. 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 - Video Platform

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 is 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.

Read our blog comparing VIDIZMO and Brightcove.

Pricing:

You need to contact their sales team to inquire about pricing.

Learn more about Brightcove pricing.

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 - Video Platform

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 it 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 by advertisements. 
  • You can’t brand the playback page or platform.  
  • You can’t customize the player according to requirements. 

Read our blog on YouTube Live Alternatives.

Pricing:

YouTube is free and you don't need to worry about pricing 😀👍.

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 - Video Platform

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. 
  • Can't host videos in your own on-premise datacenter, or in cloud of choice like Azure or AWS.
  • Limited video integration options - no LMS or CMS integrations.

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

Pricing:

Basic - $0/month

Plus - $7/month

Pro - $20/month

Premium - $75/month

Enterprise - Contact Sales

Learn more about Vimeo pricing.

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 - Video Platform

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 is 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. 
Pricing:

Free - $0/month

Pro - $99/month

Advanced - Contact Sales

Learn more about Wistia pricing.

 

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.2021-10-08_7-12-03

While 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 Alternatives.

Pricing:

Starter - $39/month

Event - $63/month

Scale - $188/month

Learn more about Dacast Pricing.

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.

JW Player - Video Platform

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
Pricing:

Starter - $10/month

Enterprise - Contact Sales

Learn more about JW Player pricing.

Cincopa

Cincopa promotes itself as a video platform primarily for marketing and sales, though it also targets learning and business needs.

Cincopa - Video Platform

The 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
Pricing:

Plus - $25/month

Corporate - $99/month

Enterprise - $350/month

Learn more about Cincopa pricing.

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

Daily Motion Logo

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 logo

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.

 

Learn More About VIDIZMO Enterprise Video Platform

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Posted by Zohaib Khan & Shahan Zafar

This article is written jointly by Shahan Zafar (Product Marketing Manager) and Zohaib Khan (Product Marketing Manager).

Tags: EVCM, enterprise video streaming, online video platforms

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