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

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

There are numerous video-on-demand (VOD) platforms out there and choosing the best can be challenging. We have prepared a short guide 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 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. As per this perimeter, there has been a magnified increase in transmission through the internet as the need for video service providers has reduced due to easy access to movies and series through VOD platforms. 

Thus, learning and understanding a video-on-demand platform is integral to maximize its benefits. The first step is to understand the different use cases of streaming and VOD platforms in businesses. 

 

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. 

This, compared to other video-sharing mediums, is a great advantage since you have greater freedom when viewing content. This way of transmitting programs has made these platforms a great success around the world. 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 its 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 ofn 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: 

 

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.

 

VIDIZMO 

ET (1)-1

VIDIZMO, one of the leading VOD platforms of 2021, is considered the best option for businesses looking for a video-on-demand streaming platform.

This platform includes all features offered by YouTube or any other VOD platforms, along with many other amazing variations. Here are a few reasons why we think VIDIZMO should be the number one choice for businesses as a VOD platform:

  • VIDIZMO is recognized by Gartner, a leading IT research firm.
  • VIDIZMO VOD is perfected for both internal and external streaming, as it allows you to create your own customized VOD portal with your domain. Check out the demo portal here. 
  • VIDIZMO also gives an option to separate content in the portal for different viewers. The company can decide which video to be shown to which department or list of employees in a business.
  • With an added layer of SSO, logins are needed for internal users to access the portal.
  • VIDIZMO also allows users to save their content on AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Azure, or any other cloud service. The benefit of using these services is that these cloud providers store several copies of your videos in various places (data redundancy) to ensure that the data is safe and is safe from any cyber threats.
  • VIDIZMO offers a fully customizable portal with the option to edit the entire portal as per logo, theme, and colors, making it more personal to your brand.
  • Another amazing feature of the VIDIZMO VOD platform is that it offers ad-free videos for viewers to enjoy.
  • VIDIZMO offers a feature to automatically generate accurate transcripts and closed captions for videos through AI (Artificial Intelligence).
  • Recorded online meetings (Zoom, MS Teams) can also be automatically ingested through VIDIZMO. 

 

 

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.

 

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.  

 

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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