OTT platforms are a must for any business in the 2021 media landscape. OTT is here to stay, and your customers are using it.
More than one-third of all internet users have used an OTT platform, and that number has been steadily increasing since 2016. (GlobalWebIndex). OTT platforms offer many advantages over traditional television.
Viewers can watch what they want, when they want, and skip commercials. They can also use on-demand programming to supplement live TV.
OTT providers have responded to these trends by offering viewers more OTT channels than ever before, with some offering thousands of channels for only a few dollars per month.
But how do you choose which one is right for your business? We’ve done the work for you, so you don’t have to waste your time searching through hundreds of OTT providers.
This article will cover the best OTT platforms currently available and the features they offer, so you can find the best platform for your business needs.
What is an OTT Platform?
Over-the-top (OTT) platforms and apps have become a dominant force in our modern lives. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are household names today. But it wasn’t always this way; the term OTT originated because of the Internet.
In the early days of the Internet, we had a phone line and the phone company would provide us with Internet access (dial-up). We’d connect to the internet through our phone line.
That meant that all our phone calls were essentially going “over-the-top” of our dial-up internet connection. Hence the name over-the-top or OTT.
Today, when we talk about OTT, we are referring to any service that distributes television and audio content over the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service like Comcast or DISH Network. Basically, any streaming video service is considered an OTT platform.
So why is OTT important? Well, for starters, it’s revolutionized how we watch video content. By 2020, 80% of global internet traffic will be video content delivered over OTT platforms like Netflix and YouTube.
What is the Best OTT Platform?
The best OTT platform is the one that best meets your needs. That’s why it’s essential to take a close look at your goals, budget, and the features you need before you choose a platform.
Before making your decision, consider these factors:
Content – What do you want to stream? In addition to original video content, are you planning to stream live events or rebroadcast linear television channels? Will you create multiple streams or a single channel? When choosing an OTT platform, look for one with sufficient bandwidth and storage to handle your needs.
Devices – Which devices will your audience use to view your content? If you’re streaming to desktop computers as well as mobile phones and tablets, you’ll want an OTT platform that supports multiple screens.
Geography – Where are members of your audience located? Look for a platform that can handle high-quality live streams worldwide. Find out if a platform offers global distribution deals that can help you reach a wider audience.
Analytics – How will you use viewer data to improve the quality of your content? Look for an OTT platform with robust analytics tools that let you track user engagement and make informed business decisions.
Uscreen is a platform that lets you sell your videos online. Uscreen is an on-demand video platform that provides creators with the tools they need to build their own video streaming business.
In order to get started, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial of the service. No credit card is required to sign up for this trial period. After the trial period, you will be asked to choose from one of their subscription plans, which start at $99 per month and go up to $399 per month depending on your needs.
If you agree to pay for a year upfront, you can get 2 months of free Uscreen, which is a video monetization platform for entrepreneurs. The platform serves as a distribution hub for your videos and handles the logistics of payments, security, and subscriber management.
Uscreen works best for entrepreneurs with existing audiences looking to sell their content as a subscription service. Uscreen also works well with live streaming platforms like Zoom, which enable you to easily create subscriptions for webinars and other live videos.
Uscreen.tv allows you to stream or download your videos on any device, anywhere in the world. Your customers will love the flexibility and you’ll love the extra revenue!
Membership Types create different membership types and price points to suit any audience. Offer recurring memberships to capture long-term subscribers.
Subscription Options offer monthly, annual, or one-time payment options for your monthly recurring memberships. You can even offer trial periods to give new subscribers a taste of what they’re getting.
Personalize For Each Customer With Uscreen you can create personalized content that each customer can access based on their subscription type, location, and device. This will help you maximize your revenue by offering the right content at the right time for every customer.
It’s easy to use, even if you’re not technical. No coding skills are required to set up your store. It’s all-in-one and comes with the tools you need to succeed.
They have a strong customer support team who is always happy to help out. They also have a good resource center with an FAQ section, which you can access on the website and in your admin panel. The Uscreen team can also help you set up your site for a small fee.
You can create a great-looking site using one of their templates or hire Uscreen to create a custom design for you. It’s affordable, starting at $99/mo for a basic plan with 1,000 active subscribers and $199/mo for the Pro plan with 5,000 active subscribers.
You can also pay annually for a 15% discount (the Basic plan would be $84.15/mo). This is much cheaper than other platforms like Vimeo or Wistia, which charge $75/mo and $99/mo respectively for 5GB of video storage per month (and don’t include any of the other features that Uscreen offers). I was able to get my business off the ground while keeping costs low thanks.
CONTUS VPlayed is a powerful video streaming platform that lets online video service providers deliver content with an interactive and intuitive interface. With CONTUS VPlayed, you can monetize video content in various ways.
VPlayed enables you to set up your own online video streaming site quickly and effortlessly. We have ready-made plugins for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and other CMS platforms that allow you to integrate the VPlayed player into your existing website.
CONTUS Vplayed is easy to use and also has excellent customer support. No matter which OS you want to use it on, whether it is Windows or Linux, it works perfectly fine.
CONTUS VPlayed, a cloud-based video streaming platform, helps you in transcoding your videos and making it compatible with multiple devices. The best part is you don’t have to go through the hassle of downloading any software as it can be easily accessed with a browser.
It is a complete solution to all your video streaming worries right from hosting your videos, categorizing them, and protecting them from piracy. It enables you to stream live videos and allows your viewers to watch them on any device they choose.
VPlayed empowers your business with a complete end-to-end solution for an OTT video platform. From content ingestion, encoding, and protection to delivery on multiple devices, VPlayed offers an array of features that outruns conventional platforms.
The intuitive user interface facilitates smooth functioning from all ends. Here are some of the features that make VPlayed the best video platform in the industry:
VPlayed is a robust online video platform with some amazing monetization capabilities that help you generate revenue from your video content.
Highly Scalable Architecture
VPlayed is a highly scalable platform that can be scaled to serve any number of users without compromising on performance.
White-Label Video Platform
VPlayed enables you to create a unique identity by branding it with your own logo, URL, and favicon.
VPlayed offers support for all major devices including Desktops, Smartphones, and Tablets so that no one gets left out! It is also compatible with iOS and Android apps
To be one of the best video streaming platforms, CONTUS VPlayed offers you a wide range of options to monetize your content. One of the most popular is the pay-per-view model. This lets you charge users for content access.
Pay-Per-View (PPV) is a video monetization strategy that allows viewers to pay for individual videos or live events. This can be an excellent way to generate revenue from video content by charging viewers for each video they consume or live event they attend.
How do we implement this? We have three different types of pricing models:
- User Level
- Content Level
- Plan Leve
If you want to stream live video, you can do it on Dacast. With Dacast’s streaming solutions, you can deliver high-quality live video from your website, mobile app, or even a Roku channel.
Dacast is a simple and secure solution for delivering live and on-demand video content. This includes live broadcasting, live streaming, video on demand, pay-per-view, and more.
Dacast Features Live Streaming Mobile and TV Apps Video Hosting Video Player Monetization Analytics and Delivery Security and Reliability Custom & White-label Solution Payment Gateway Integration.
Dacast Pros is a leading online video platform and service provider for live and on-demand streaming, OVP, and SaaS services. The company was founded in 2007 by Stephane Roulland and Alban Denoyel.
Some of the company’s most recent milestones include:
- More than 20,000 paying customers in over 120 countries
- Support for up to 10 million concurrent viewers per broadcast
- More than 2,000 professional broadcasters on the platform
With offices in San Francisco, Paris, and Hong Kong, Dacast is the trusted choice for more than 20,000 video content creators worldwide.
Share your content with the world!
Muvi has been helping OTT businesses launch their own branded video platform since 2010. Muvi is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product and there are no hidden costs involved.
We charge you a fixed monthly subscription fee based on the number of users accessing your platform. As an OTT business, you can use Muvi to launch your Video On Demand (VOD), Live Streaming, Music Streaming, or Audio Book platform instantly.
Muvi takes care of everything from Cloud Based Servers, Hosting, CDN, CMS, Transcoding, DRM, HTML5 Player, Website & Apps for Mobile and TV along with 24x7x365 Technical Support at a fixed monthly cost Muvi is the World’s only All-in-One OTT Platform which allows you to launch White Label Multi-Device Video Streaming Platform offering Video on Demand (VOD) & Live Streaming as well as Audio Streaming Platform offering Music Streaming and Live Audio Broadcast instantly!
Muvi includes IT Infrastructure, hosting, CDN, content management, transcoding, DRM, online video player, website, and apps for mobile and TV. In short, we handle all the heavy lifting so that you can focus on what you do best – content creation!
Muvi offers a fully loaded, all-in-one OTT platform with everything you need to launch your own multi-screen Video or Audio Streaming Platform Instantly!
Muvi comes bundled with tons of features for your Video/Audio Streaming Platform which include:
- Video/Audio Hosting & Encoding Video/Audio Players (Web, iOS & Android)
- Responsive Website/Apps for Web, iOS & Android Monetization (SVOD, TVOD, AVOD, Subscriptions & PPV) CRM, CMS & Marketing Automation Tools
Muvi Pros is a highly powerful and user-friendly white-label OTT platform that can be custom branded for you in the shortest possible time. Here are the main highlights of this end-to-end solution:
- User Management
- Content Management
- Payment Gateway Integration
- Player Customization
- Viewing History Management
- Billing and Invoice Generation
IBM Watson Media is a streaming video platform that empowers creators, content owners, and publishers to distribute immersive experiences to their audiences, across any device. IBM Watson Media is built on video infrastructure trusted by the world’s largest companies.
With a global reach of more than 100 million, your content will be seen by more people all over the world with IBM Watson Media! Their extensive experience and robust technology provide your business with everything it needs to stream live and on-demand video on the internet.
IBM Watson Media is a cloud-based video streaming platform for media and enterprise companies. IBM Watson Media simplifies live streaming and video hosting by providing a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to create, distribute and monetize your content.
IBM Watson Media features include a customizable player, monetization options, live streaming, on-demand delivery, webcasting, and more.
The easiest way to get started with IBM Watson Media is to sign up for a free, 30-day trial of all the Professional and Enterprise features. To request your free trial, use the signup form at the top of this page or call 1-866-843-8855.
Following the free trial, you can purchase a license on a monthly or yearly basis. The cost is based on the number of simultaneous viewers who will be watching a video. You can also add optional features such as support and a custom domain name.
To purchase a license, go to My Plan in the IBM Watson Media interface or call 1-866-843-8855.
Wowza® Media Systems provides an open-source implementation of the Apple Low-Latency HLS specification that’s freely available on GitHub. With this implementation, you can create a player using the Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software or Wowza Streaming Cloud™ live streaming service and the player automatically adjusts playback to reduce latency.
The low-latency HLS protocol uses fragmented MP4 (fMP4) for video and audio segments in HLS output. In addition to fMP4, this implementation supports CMAF (ISO/IEC 23000-19) for the delivery of both HLS and DASH streams. CMAF is a new industry standard for interoperable delivery of HTTP media streams.
The Apple Low-Latency HLS specification defines several options for controlling the encoder settings that affect latency: Use Keyframe interval: This controls how often I‑frames are inserted into the stream. Lower values insert more I‑frames, which increases keyframe frequency in the video stream and reduces latency between the camera and player.
However, lower keyframe frequencies also increase stream bandwidth because they require more data to be delivered to the player. The default, 250 ms, is adequate for most use cases (for example, live sports). Higher values
Wowza Streaming Engine is the gold standard of customizable streaming server software for building and delivering professional-grade streaming at any scale. Wowza Streaming Cloud is a cloud-based live-streaming service and API for managing, configuring, and delivering live streams across global networks to any device.
Wowza Player (preview) is an embeddable HTML5 player that plays back live streams and video-on-demand streams across all devices. The Wowza CDN is a robust content delivery network built on the streaming platform that securely delivers live and on-demand content to audiences around the globe using scalable infrastructure.
Kaltura, Inc. is a New York-based company founded in 2006. It provides an open-source online platform for video publishing, management, and syndication: the Kaltura Video Platform.
The platform is built on a free and open-source software API and customers do not need to install any software or hardware: they just need to register and log in to the website (or download the Kaltura Desktop Recorder) to use it.
The Kaltura Video Platform supports several different modes of operation: The community edition (CE) is aimed at individual users and small organizations who wish to host their own video platform, but it can also be deployed by larger institutions wishing to run their own system on-site (private cloud).
The code for the CE edition is open source under the AGPL license and is publicly available from the Kaltura website. The enterprise edition (EE) is aimed at large organizations who wish to outsource their video needs to Kaltura’s data centers (public cloud).
The platform is available in two languages – English and Hebrew.
Kaltura’s video platform and video APIs serve as the backbone for our out-of-the-box video products, including our Video Portal, Webcasting, Lecture Capture, Video Player, and more! Here is a list of all of Kaltura’s products and features.
Core Functionality Video Management – Uploading and importing videos from multiple sources.
Transcoding and Encoding to Multiple Formats – Tagging, categorizing, and organizing media in playlists.
Publishing – on web pages or social networks.
Interactive Video Editing
Slides & Presentations – Slides Viewing and Sharing – Add slide decks to your videos. Share them with your viewers, download them for later use or edit them to extract specific slides. Slide navigation is available with the player’s scrubber bar.
Chapters – Easily add chapters to any video by selecting a title & time stamp. Chapters improve user experience by enabling users to jump between different sections of the video using the player’s table of contents (TOC) menu.
Captions & Subtitles – Automatically create subtitles in over 80 different languages or upload subtitles files manually. Captions are vital for accessibility compliance. Use captions in multiple languages for global reach.
I’ve been using Kaltura as a video platform for a few years now. It took some time to get used to Kaltura, but once I got comfortable with it, I found that the software worked great. There are a few features that I really like about it and I’ll cover those here:
Kaltura’s search function is great. You can search for videos based on their title, description, or tags. (This is especially useful if you’re looking for something specific.)
You can filter by category as well, which means that you won’t have to scroll through all the videos in your library before you find what you’re looking for.
It has an easy-to-use interface and it’s easy to navigate through all the different options available in Kaltura. You can upload videos from any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phones and tablets.
The quality of the video will depend on your Internet connection speed, but overall, it works pretty well.
The only downside is that it doesn’t support live streaming yet, so if you want to do that, you’ll have to use another service like Twitch TV or Ustream TV instead of Kaltura.
10. JW Player Live
JW Player Live is a live streaming platform that can help accelerate your live business by connecting you with your audience, on any device. In this guide, we’ll walk through the four main components of a live stream: capture, encode, deliver, and playback.
In order to stream a live event, you must first capture the source video. For example, you can use a hardware encoder to ingest video from a camera or a production switcher. Or you can use a software encoder like OBS Studio or Wirecast. Both options are great for high-quality and low-latency streaming to your audience.
Once you’ve captured your source video, you’ll need to encode it into an HLS stream, which is compatible with most web browsers and devices. This step converts your video into multiple bit rates so that different viewers can watch the video at the quality level that works best for their connection speed.
There are several encoders to choose from:
- JW Desktop Encoder (Windows)
- JW Desktop Encoder (macOS)
- Adobe Media Encoder (Windows/macOS).
JW Player offers seamless live streaming and DVR functionality for audiences across platforms. With JW Live, you can reach your audience with the full support of live streaming across any device.
Simplify your workflow with a single-player for both VOD and live content that includes DVR functionality for playback up to 72 hours in the past. Power your video experience with our world-class player, rich analytics, and advanced advertising capabilities.
We love live videos. Anytime, anywhere. It’s a great way to reach your audience. Live streaming is not as simple as uploading files and letting the player do the work. The good news? It’s not hard either. Our Live Pros have helped thousands of customers get started with live videos.
11. Vimeo OTT
Vimeo is a U.S.-based video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos. Vimeo was founded in November 2004 by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein.
The name Vimeo was created by Lodwick, as a play on the words video and me. Vimeo is also an anagram of the word movie.
Vimeo was founded in November 2004 by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein. The name Vimeo was created by Lodwick, as a play on the words video and me. Vimeo is also an anagram of the word movie. IAC purchased Vimeo in August 2006, as part of its acquisition of Connected Ventures (which owned CollegeHumor).
In January 2009, Dae Mellencamp joined IAC as general manager of Vimeo. She served as CEO until March 19, 2012, when Kerry Trainor joined Vimeo as CEO. On June 20, 2013, Vimeo announced that it would introduce a new feature set called “Vimeo On Demand”, allowing users to charge for their work.
Vimeo has tons of powerful options to help you customize your experience and get the most out of your video content. Here are a few key features that you may not know about — but should:
Bulk Uploading – Get videos online fast by uploading large batches with the Vimeo Uploader.
Customizable Privacy Settings – Lock down your content or open it up to the world with our advanced privacy controls. Pro Profiles Show off your business in style with a beautiful Pro Profile. Advanced Stats Gain insight into how viewers are interacting with your videos using Vimeo’s advanced stats dashboard.
Vimeo Pro is a paid membership for creators who want to take their work to the next level. Vimeo Pro includes unlimited plays and views, powerful customization tools, advanced privacy options, and the most advanced video analytics available today.
Unlimited HD uploads Uploads in any format Advanced privacy controls Unlimited bandwidth & plays Customizable player.
What Features Should You Look For in An OTT Platform?
In today’s world of competitive business, the way you deliver your content to your audience is extremely important. The delivery of your content can make or break your business.
With that in mind, you need to evaluate which platform will suit your needs best and be able to adapt to the changes in technology. This platform is called an Over-The-Top (OTT) platform.
It allows you to publish and manage your own content without having to go through a cable network or satellite provider. So how do you choose the right OTT platform?
First, you need to assess what features are most important for your business needs.
You want a platform that has a flexible API so you can integrate with other third-party software and services easily. You want a reliable hosting service that will ensure that your videos are available 100% of the time.
You also need security features like AES encryption and DRM support so that unauthorized parties cannot access or download your copyrighted material. Lastly, you need one that offers customizable branding options for personalizing the look and feel of your video player on any device!
With these things in mind, it becomes clear that not all OTT platforms are created equal. Some platforms have more features than others, but not all those features may be relevant for every business
OTT Platform – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Video Streaming Platform?
A video streaming platform is a multi-tenant, cloud-based solution that enables you to build and publish your own live or on-demand video streaming site in a matter of minutes. It comes with all the essential features required to run a fully functional video streaming service.
Q: Where can I buy an OTT Platform?
You can either choose to buy it from an online eCommerce website or get a licensed copy directly from the developer.
Q: How do I know if my internet connection is fast enough for live streaming?
You need at least 2Mbps (megabits per second) for standard definition, and at least 5 Mbps for high definition. However, you may need more for multiple users or high quality. Test your internet speed here.
Q: What if my Internet connection isn’t fast enough?
You should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about upgrading your service, especially if you will be broadcasting in HD.
Best OTT Platform – Wrap Up
It’s hard to choose, but my vote goes to Vimeo OTT. It’s really easy to use and it doesn’t take any time at all to get up and running. That’s why I recommend this OTT platform for beginners. It has a great set of features, but some are only available on higher plans.
If you have an existing base of followers, I think Kajabi is great because it helps you connect your OTT service with your email list and other marketing tools. Uscreen is probably the best choice for people who want to start off with a few videos and then expand their library as time goes by.
They have a great set of advanced features that let you do things like creating bundles, or selling channels. Regardless of which OTT platform you choose, make sure you pick one that fits y our needs and budget!
There you have it – reviews of the four best OTT platforms.
Which one do you think is right for you? Let us know in the comments below!