In a world dominated by technology, where VoD streaming services are no longer niche businesses ( over 40% of U.S. TV homes have subscription video on demand (SVoD) access), companies are doing their best to find the right online video platform (OVP). Choosing the perfect platform for VoD streaming it’s really a decision that should depend on how much more you can get out of your video content.
While it’s true that all OVPs operate similarly in terms of functionality, hosting, and serving videos, it’s important that they work to your advantage. And there are things you should be looking at when trying to find the right platform. Some of the features that you’ll find with most online video platforms available today are video hosting, analytics, interactivity, syndication, custom players, monetization, and encoding. These components are indeed typical of most OVPs and enable management, publishing, and measurement of on-demand videos.
To host on-demand videos, you would have to choose between user-generated content sites (UGCs such as YouTube or Vimeo), hybrid services (Vimeo Pro, for example), or OVPs. Regardless of your choice, the workflow is very much the same. You upload single or multiple files to the site, they encode, and you configure the player and embed it into the site using HTML code, such as you’d do to upload a video to YouTube.
Why online video platforms instead of UGCs?
While user-generated content sites are free and do deliver reasonable features, online video platforms, depending on each, offer more control options, much more support, better analytics, and last but not least, they come with additional features to support marketing endeavors.
To help you make the better choice
There are plenty of things to take into consideration when looking to choose an OVP, and the following are definitely worth looking into.
Support across devices. The number of people who would be willing to pay for accessing content on the go has increased by 25% since 2012, as found in the TV and Media 2014 report. An online video platform that supports as many popular devices as possible is always the better choice. This is also one of the things that will keep you from having to switch OVPs given the trends in video-on-demand services. One other thing to look into is the service provider’s intention in regards to updating for multiple formats and subsequent support for streaming.
Video player customization. Most OVPs let you customize the player and video libraries, but each online video platform service comes with its own limitations in this respect. You may want to check whether your OVP of choice allows you to create various custom players that match and reflect your brand (video branding features). The more customization options are available the better. You should be able to create varieties of shapes and sizes and have access to a programming interface for customization. Also, make sure that using these features is relatively easy.
Distribution of videos. You’d want your online video platform to accomplish tasks for you. Therefore, you should check with the OVP service provider that syndication and distribution options are available.
Monetization. Even if your intention isn’t to monetize your videos now, you’ll probably be looking to do so sometime in the future. Better safe than sorry, make sure that your OVP supports your business model (subscription, pay-per-view, hybrid models) and various advertising types (third party, in-house advertising, etc.).
Analytics. Are usually integrated within all online video platforms. However, you may want to check all available options to see if they fit your requirements. Standard analytics for OVPs includes views by video, content drop-off, but more extensive reporting can be included.
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