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 6 best video on-demand (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.
Today, platforms like Netflix and YouTube are preferred over e-books or magazines. Wonder why? The answer lies in "video". This can be seen from the fact that, in the US alone, online video penetration was over 83% in 2020.
Chances are, you too want to upload and share video content. It could be streaming to a public audience (something like what BrightCove did for The Premier League) or sharing information updates with employees through video (something we did for NEC Japan)
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 traditional broadcasting services.
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 of VOD platforms.
Use of VOD Streaming Platforms by Businesses
With rising popularity, these platforms are of significance to businesses.
However, since the needs of every business are unique, each of them uses them differently. TO segregate the market, 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
This is the Business Model That YouTube Follows
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 is 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 model, 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 is the Business Model That Netflix Follows
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) precisely receive this denomination by requiring a pay monthly or, in some cases annually, to have access to the content without advertising.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Hulu are good examples of this type of VOD model. The SVOD segment was in fact, valued at $82 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase in the future as well.
You have even streaming providers that provide a mix of both AVOD and SVOD. For instance, we have Viki, which shows advertisements to free users but you can remove them with the subscriptions.
This is the Business Model That Google Play Follows
This is the transactional model of video on demand, also known as Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD). It is based on the idea that users can temporarily acquire (rent) or permanently (sell) the content made available on digital platforms.
The payment per event or 'Pay Per View (PPV) also falls in this segment, which offers access to live content such as sporting events, and 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.
We also have training courses and plans in this segment. It involves creating a series of recorded videos, bundling them as a course and charging users for its access.
Internal Communication Through VOD
Video is Increasingly Being Used for Internal Communication As Well - Read How Our Customers Do It
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.
A concept that has emerged is of internal secure VOD or a Corporate YouTube, where employees can log in and view the organization's exclusive content. This could be a video of the recipe of the organization's leading drink or a unique manufacturing process.
One step ahead, these internal VOD platforms let managers decide for every video who can view them and who can't (like just restrict access to select 4 or 5 people).
The idea is to create a Netflix-style environment for employees to consume information. These can be recorded Zoom meetings, video training, corporate communications or expert knowledge documented by employees.
List of the Top 6 VOD Platforms for Streaming Video on Demand (VOD)
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.
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 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.
It's the best when it comes to secure internal on-demand video streaming. It can be used for external and public streaming but that's not where its expertise lies.
Here are a few strengths of VIDIZMO for using it as a VOD platform:
- An Easy-to-Use YouTube-like Interface: VIDIZMO makes it easy to consume content and the navigation is similar to YouTube. You can have a look at how the platform looks like here.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- User-Generated Content Platform: In VIDIZMO, you have a setting to enable every employee to be a contributor for content. This is great if you want to create a knowledge-sharing platform where employees can document and share their expertise.
Learn more about VIDIZMO as an on-demand video (VOD) platform.
The US State Department Uses VIDIZMO For Secure Internal On-demand Streaming - View VIDIZMO Customers
Nonetheless, there are other platforms that are offering amazing features for VOD including Microsoft Stream.
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? If you are willing to switch to an exclusive platform, some of these reasons might have you rethink:
- Improved Discoverability: Google indexes videos uploaded on YouTube and they appear in search results. Moreover, YouTube has its own algorithm of making sure your videos are watched by your relevant audience.
- It Has More Users Than Any Other Platform: 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.
- Embedding: 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.
- Accessibility: It offers automatic closed captions and you can upload them manually as well.
- Budget-friendly: It's free!
- Customizability: You have a YouTube API available to integrate into existing systems or applications.
However, with all these amazing features, there are some drawbacks to using YouTube as a dedicated VOD platform for a business.
- Monetization: This is restricted to what YouTube has to offer and you can't run your own ads or charge your own subscription.
- Secure Video Streaming: You just can't create a library to allow access to certain restricted users only.
- Content Ownership: Moreover, uploading videos on YouTube gives it the right to use your content in any manner, (you can learn more here.)
- Data Storage: It does not allow you to choose where to store your data and your content will be in YouTube's own datacenter.
- Branding: The red and white branding. Well that's all you get! You can't customize the layout, color, logo, domain or font to your liking.
With that being said, let's move on to our next top VOD platform for business and learn about the features it has to offer.
Brightcove is a VOD platform that was designed for media and entertainment. Similar to VIDIZMO, it's also recognized by Gartner.
Here are a few reasons why it's a great VOD platform:
- Public Video Streaming: Brightcove helps you create a YouTube-like site where you can upload and stream your exclusive content. It includes optimized video streaming to ensure playback on varying devices and bandwidth conditions.
- Monetization: It offers a range of monetization features to help you earn from your VOD content, in the way you want it. There's a range of options and you can create all of AVOD, SVOD or TVOD platforms using them.
- Interactivity: It allows you to add interactive elements to your videos such as CTAs, quizzes, surveys or handouts.
- Customizability: You can generate embed codes or use their APIs to add your videos to any internal or external site or application.
Despite these benefits, Brightcove has the following drawbacks as a VOD platform:
- Artificial Intelligence: There are no AI capabilities to automatically transcribe videos, which means you'll need to manually generate closed captions and upload them.
- Private Video Streaming: 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.
- Limited Integrations: 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.
- Data Storage Options: You can't choose where your data is stored, which may be an issue for organizations that need to fulfill compliance requirements.
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.
- Security: It also gives an added layer of security with SSO integration, along with detailed features such as audit logs, encryption at rest and in-transit, and more.
- Integration with Microsoft Teams: One of the best features of Microsoft Stream is 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.
- Public Streaming: You can't embed a video on a website or share it externally.
- Monetization: The platform has no monetization features whatsoever.
- Accessibility: You cannot add transcripts to videos.
- Interactivity: You cannot add quizzes, handouts, or surveys to videos
- Branding: Unlike VIDIZMO, it does not allow you to brand and customize your video library.
Learn more about the New Microsoft Stream.
Vimeo has been in the business for quite some time. So what makes Vimeo rank on our list? Here are a few reasons:
- Branding: 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 Chapters: Video can also be categorized into chapters and hyperlinks, something that YouTube does not offer.
- User-generated platform: Vimeo also lets users create user interactive and engaging videos. It can also be used as a knowledge-sharing platform where users can upload videos that are then edited or reviewed by an editor.
- Embedding: 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:
- Interactivity: It offers very limited interactivity features.
- User Experience: Users have complained about frequent lags and buffering times.
- Internal VOD: 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 Media
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:
- Promising Technology: Allowing users to stream without any device restrictions. The quality of videos is very high even when streaming from a phone.
- Personal Library: 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:
- User Experience: 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.
- Private Streaming: 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.
Learn more about IBM Cloud Video and its alternatives.
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.
We at VIDIZMO offer an advanced enterprise video platform with rich capabilities to support on-demand streaming. The platform offers multiple features to facilitate end-to-end video use cases; live streaming, video content management, integrations, artificial intelligence and more.
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