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Which is the Best Video on Demand (VOD) Platform in 2021?

By Shahan Zafar
A man watching an on-demand video on his smartphone

Need to upload a video and make it available on-demand for your audience - something like YouTube?Well, YouTube is not the only option and there are numerous video-on-demand (VOD) platforms out there, and choosing the best can be challenging. We have prepared a short guide in this blog to help you compare across these platforms. 

In this blog, we discuss what a VOD platform is, the benefits it has for businesses and organizations. Lastly, we have included a comparison of the best 6 video on-demand (VOD) platforms.   

Jump to the Comparison List of Top 6 VOD Platforms

In the past decade, video consumption has changed tremendously, thus creating a radical change in the industry. With the use of the internet, the way content is distributed, consumed, and sold has fostered a completely different pattern. in the US alone, online video penetration was over 83% in 2020.

Before we move forward and discuss the different VOD platforms, let's first answer what a VOD platform is, to define our scope. 

What is a VOD Video Platform, and How Does it Work? 

Let us talk a bit about what a VOD platform is and its benefits compared to a traditional broadcasting service. VOD is an online video delivery platform that gives the user an option to choose what content they want to see. The end users can watch the video based on their own schedule on any device. 

This, compared to other video-sharing mediums, is a great advantage since you have greater freedom when viewing content. Thus, by using a video-on-demand platform, people have the power to request and watch a specific program at the precise moment when they want it. 

According to Nielsen, in the United States, VOD has increased in use by between 15% and 20% in the last year, and 60% of households already enjoy some platform with these services (80%, according to an Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media report and rising). 

You can learn more in our detailed blog on the definition and history VOD platforms.

Use of VOD Streaming Platforms by Businesses 

With rising popularity, these platforms are of significance to businesses. In the USA alone, the attractiveness of serving this market lies in the fact that the universe of Internet users who consume streaming content amounts to 44.3 million at the end of 2019, 14.8% more than a year ago. This means that just over 50% of internet users (52.1%) make up the audience of these platforms, a growing proportion that will accelerate during the current confinement (Source: Statista). 

Businesses are using different types of VOD models as per their needs. We have listed a few VOD business models below for a better understanding of how these platforms work:

Types of VOD models used by Businesses 

 

Advertising Platforms  

This is a business model called Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD), in which the user obtains "free" access to the content, but these contain advertising inserts. It is a model that followed in broadcast transmissions (open TV). The provider obtains income from placing advertisements for companies that wish to make their products known to audiences. 

The user does not have to pay a fee or subscription. Under this monetization scheme, we find YouTube (the primary and historical player due to its volume of income and users), Dailymotion, Facebook Watch and IGTV, as the leading platforms of technology companies. 

 

Monthly Subscription Platforms 

This model has become popular since the incursion of the incumbent and dominant player Netflix in 2011. Video-on-demand platforms by subscription or Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD for its acronym in English) precisely receive this denomination by requiring a pay monthly or, in some cases annually, to have access to the content without advertising. 

In this scheme, the considerable investment efforts for the generation of original and exclusive content stand out, as well as the increasing atomization of the competitive structure to become a portion of a market that generated an income of 17,032.6 million pesos (the US $ 883.9 millions of dollars) in 2019, a figure 14.5% higher than the previous year, as well as registering a user account that amounts to 38.3 million in the same period (Statista). 

 

Content Purchase  

This is the transactional model of video on demand or is also known as Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD for its acronym in English). It refers to the possibility that users temporarily acquire (rent) or permanently (sell) the content made available on digital platforms. 

The payment per event or 'Pay Per View (PPV) also enters this segment, which offers access to live content such as sporting events, concerts, among others. 

We find platforms such as Apple iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft Store and PlayStation Store in this type of content offering. As referred to above, Amazon Prime Video's recent foray into this category was recorded, and YouTube also participates in this market. 

During the pandemic, promotions, discounts, advertising efforts and early content launches on these platforms stand out to attract audiences and even detonate their knowledge and preference. 

 

Internal Information Channels 

Experts say that the world of work will no longer be the same, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes, and everything indicates that some are here to stay. 

The pandemic has driven the digital transformation with the use of collaborative tools and processes remotely. According to the McKinsey Global Survey of Executives, organizations globally have accelerated their digital transformation by 3-4 years.

Organizations that reach the most advanced home office level do not entirely break the paradigm of work schedules; everyone can work at the hours they want and can. What matters is getting to results. In the future of work, the specialist stressed that the home office is here to stay, and with this, it will be necessary to have the right technologies to carry it out successfully. 

Learnability (ability to learn), critical thinking and problem solving, cultural agility, digital skills, creativity, emotional intelligence, adaptability and resilience, perseverance, communication, and empathy are these skills. And to adapt to this change, businesses have started using models for easier and safer communication online between their remote employees. Training, meeting, and resources in video formats are integral parts of this digital transition and will continue to play an important role even after. 

Now that we have explained the different kinds of VOD models, let's discuss the top 6 VOD platforms that are out there to help businesses grow.

 

List of the Top 6 VOD Platforms for Streaming Video on Demand (VOD)

 

As expected, below, we detail the main and best video-on-demand platforms for businesses. Considering that, depending on their characteristics and functions, some are free, and others are paid: 

 

VIDIZMO 

ET (1)-1

VIDIZMO is a Gartner-recognized enterprise video platform. This platform includes all features offered by YouTube or any other VOD platforms, along with many other amazing variations. Here are a few strengths of VIDIZMO for using it as a VOD platform:

  • Centralized System: VIDIZMO provides a system to stream videos for end-to-end use cases. Be it uploading training videos and adding quizzes to them, or streaming an advertisement, or transcribing your recorded Zoom meeting, you can use one system to do it all. 

Enterprise Video Platform Infographic 2

  • Content Access Management (Who Can View Your Videos and Who Can't?): VIDIZMO offers detailed sharing and access management features, where you set access for video as anonymous, the entire organization, specific departments, groups or users. You can also define what they can do once they have access - for instance, can they download the videos or not, share ahead or not.  
  • Both Internal and External streaming: You can stream to the public - for marketing or public relations. You can also use the same portal for private video hosting, say for training.
  • Integrations: VIDIZMO's VOD platform does not operate in isolation and you can integrate it with your existing IT systems like your LMS, CMS, Zoom for recorded meetings' management, SSO and more.
Integration Infographic 2
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  • Artificial Intelligence: Through AI capabilities offered by VIDIZMO, videos can be automatically transcribed in around 80 languages.
  • Interactivity: You can add quizzes, surveys, handouts, annotations, and comments to videos to create an interactive two-way video experience. 
  • Customizable Player: VIDIZMO offers a fully customizable player, where you can use your colors and fonts. More importantly, you choose the buttons to display on the player, which comes in handy if you want to restrict your audience from skipping ahead or play/pause a video.  
  • Brandable Portal: You get a white-labeled platform that you can customize to match your brand. Learn more about branding in VIDIZMO.
  • Data Hosting Options: You can choose where to store your data, in Azure or AWS or on-premise. This is a great option if you have stringent compliance and security requirements to fulfill.

 

 

We Offer Much More!  Learn About All Features

Learn more about VIDIZMO as an on-demand video (VOD) platform.

Nonetheless, there are other platforms that are offering amazing features for VOD including Microsoft Stream.

 

YouTube

YouTube-Logo

YouTube requires no introduction. It is one of the most famous hosting and streaming options for individuals and businesses looking for live streaming and on-demand video streaming for free. Internal and external stakeholders can use it for marketing, monetization, and entertainment.  

What makes YouTube rank in our list of top 6 VOD platforms for businesses? Here are some reasons:

  • The videos uploaded on YouTube can help in SEO as Google indexes them for search results.
  • With over 2 million users every month, YouTube is one of the largest streaming and VOD platform and provides a large audience to reach out to.
  • It gives several features to businesses who want to use it as a VOD platform like creating libraries of your videos in a channel and embedding those videos on social channels or third-party websites.
  • It offers the automatic generation of closed captions.
  • It is free for external streaming for small businesses.
  • YouTube API is available to integrate into existing systems.

However, with all these amazing features, there are some drawbacks to using YouTube as a dedicated VOD platform for a business.

  • For instance, there is no privacy for content uploaded on YouTube and can be accessed by anyone with the link.
  • Moreover, uploading videos on YouTube gives it the right to use your content in any manner, (learn more here.)
  • It does not allow you to choose where to store data.
  • It doesn't offer multiple sharing options (authenticated sharing, multiple links).
  • Furthermore, the player is not customizable, and your videos cannot be internally shared. 

With that being said, let's move onto our next top VOD platform for business and learn about the features it offers.

 

 

Microsoft Stream 

MicrosoftStream-Logo

Microsoft Stream is best for hosting and on-demand video content for an internal audience. So what makes it so brilliant? Here are some amazing features of Microsoft Stream that have made it rank on our list of top 6 VOD platforms for businesses:

  • It is a Gartner recognized platform with an option to manage large data.
  • It also gives an added layer of security with SSO integration.
  • Data storage on Azure's data center allows storing larger files.
  • One of the best features of Microsoft Teams that it helps businesses ingest meetings conducted on Microsoft Teams, making it easier to store meetings and access them later.

However, with many great features, several things are missing from the Microsoft Stream VOD platform.

  • There is no pre-recording for large videos.
  • You cannot add transcripts or quizzes or forms in videos.
  • The platform also does not allow you to create a YouTube-like portal for external sharing.
  • Unlike VIDIZMO, it does not allow you to brand and customize your video library.  
  • This platform is great for video management however it is not optimized for playback with very limited encoding, no AI or transcription capabilities.

Learn more about the New Microsoft Stream.

Vimeo 

vimeo_logo_blue

Vimeo has been in the business for quite some time. So what makes Vimeo rank on our list? Here are a few reasons:

  • With an edge on image and branding compared to its competitors like IBM Watson, it has a very easy-to-use branding and customization option.
  • Video can also be categorized into chapters and hyperlinks, something that YouTube does not offer.
  • Vimeo also lets users create user interaction and engagement videos and allows the users to have content creators upload videos that then enter the pipeline to be edited or reviewed by an editor.
  • Vimeo also allows well-designed micro-sites to have video links embedded with ease.  

But, with a list of wonderful features that Vimeo offers, there are a few setbacks that Vimeo users face including:

  • it offers very limited interactivity features.
  • Users have complained about frequent lags and buffering times.
  • Unlike VIDIZMO, Vimeo is not conducive for internal streaming: you cannot segregate content, or add quizzes for training. 

Our list does not end here. The last featured VOD platform for businesses is IBM Watson.

 

IBM Watson 

IBM-Watson-logo

IBM Watson is an old player in VOD market. It offers a wide range of services for businesses with many great features. Some of these features include:

  • Allowing users to stream without any device restrictions. The quality of videos is very high even when streaming from a phone.
  • Videos can also be downloaded, and the platform allows the creation of a personal playlist to be streamed at any time.

However, with many benefits, there are some restrictions to using IBM Watson as well:

  • Though the user interface is good and clean, it can surely be better and can have more options like a customized branding option and better video management.
  • It's not the best for internal video streaming, with no options to create teams, add multiple users and create an internal VOD sharing site.
  • The videos cannot detect screen orientation on mobile devices, and there have been some issues with embedding videos on websites like viewing orientation and JavaScript errors.  

Learn more about IBM Cloud Video and its alternatives. 

 

Brightcove

Brightcove

Brightcove is a VOD platform that was designed for media and entertainment. here a few reasons why it's a great VOD platform:

  • It has been recognized by Gartner. 
  • It offers a range of monetization features to help you earn from your VOD content, which is great for businesses looking to stream video content for media and entertainment. 
  • It allows you to add interactivity elements to videos such as CTAs, quizzes or handouts. 
  • You can generate embed codes and add your videos to any internal or external site. 

Despite these benefits, Brightcove has the following drawbacks as a VOD platform:

  • There are no AI capabilities to automatically transcribe videos.
  • The platform isn't the best for streaming videos privately as there aren't many internal user roles and detailed access management features. This has been cited in reviews by users online.
  • There are no integration options so you can only use the platform as is. You can't use its video playback capabilities in an LMS, CMS etc. 
  • You can't choose where your data is stored, which may be an issue for organizations that need to fulfill compliance requirements. 

Conclusion 

Now that we have given an extensive overview of all 6 top video-on-demand platforms for businesses it is safe to say that the nature of all these video content platforms is to enable a ubiquitous, on-demand, multi-device, and even direct multi-screen access path to audiences. 

We are facing a market characterized by its dynamic rate of growth in audiences and revenues and its structure and competitive segmentation. Thus making it essential for businesses to identify their needs and pick the best solution for their business goals.

VIDIZMO offers an advanced enterprise video platform with rich capabilities to support on-demand streaming. It also offers other features to facilitate end-to-end video use cases through one platform; live streaming, video content management, integrations, artificial intelligence and more. 

Learn More About VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube

Tags: VoD Platform

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