Video is one of the most important components of modern marketing campaigns. It is becoming critical for promoting website engagement, conversion and revenue in many industries. Above all, video is becoming the most popular online content medium, and is the best way to reach Gen-Z and millennials.
Online Video Platforms (OVP) are the technical infrastructure behind the growth of video. The quintessential example is YouTube, but there are many more OVPs that provide advanced capabilities, allowing organizations to automatically process, analyze, derive insights from, and monetize their video content.
What is an Online Video Platform?
An Online Video Platform is a video hosting service that can be used to broadcast, convert and store videos over the Internet. You can leverage the platform’s video hosting and live streaming capabilities to provide video content services and monetize video content.
A video hosting service uses streaming software to serve video to viewers over the Internet. You can use the OVP to perform adaptive streaming to a variety of devices. OVPs also provide hosted storage for video content, and other tools that can help you prepare video for consumption, serve video, and analyze the results of video content.
Some OVPs provide advanced capabilities based on deep learning computer vision algorithms, making it possible to automatically classify and tag video content, generate captions and subtitles, optimize video quality and perform transcoding without human intervention, automatically adjust videos based on their content, and more.
If you’re looking for the best video hosting service for your business, check out this online video platform list with the most popular services for your business.
Best Consumer Online Video Platforms
Let’s cover some of the video platforms we all know and use as consumers. You can use these platforms to share and view videos as an individual, and many organizations use them for marketing purposes as well, leveraging their huge native audience.
YouTube is the best platform if you want to maximize the potential audience for your video content. It is the second most popular search engine after Google (its parent company), providing a free service for uploading and hosting videos online and for streaming on-demand and live content.
YouTube allows potential viewers to find your video via Google search and on its own platform. It supports video transcription and auto-generated captions. YouTube also offers paid options to help you increase your visibility, promote your content and attract subscribers.
YouTube features include:
- Free video hosting with no limitations on file size
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Support for live streaming
- A variety of options for customization
- Video editing
- An option to make your content private
- Provision of basic analytics
However, YouTube is probably not your best option if you want to share your video content in a private and secure manner. Although you can unlist your videos and share them privately with a specific user, YouTube doesn’t offer sufficient security if you want to ensure confidentiality.
Another concern may be that YouTube retains the right to copy and redistribute your content, and that you relinquish intellectual property rights to your content. According to the YouTube Terms of Service (TOS), you agree to grant YouTube a royalty-free license to the content you upload.
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Vimeo provides hosting and sharing capabilities for video content. It allows you to share your content via social media, and its high-quality video player allows you to customize your display—you can set a color and logo and control playback speed. It is a good option if you want to maintain privacy.
Features of Vimeo include:
- Customized video player
- Unlimited, free video hosting
- Support for HD videos
- Support for uploads from a wide range of sources, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Adobe Premiere, etc.
- Support for embedding videos in any website
- Privacy controls
- No ads
Twitch is most commonly associated with live broadcasting and it is popular among gamers and sports enthusiasts. However, Twitch’s free hosting services means you find plenty of pre-recorded content as well.
As an Amazon subsidiary, Twitch benefits from massive hosting capacity, allowing you up to 5 uploads simultaneously, and up to 100 uploads per day.
Features of Twitch include:
- Completely free hosting and streaming services
- Compatibility with a range of devices, such as smartphones, PCs and set-top boxes
- Support for ad removal
The Vidyard platform helps you increase your outreach by incorporating video content into your marketing strategy. It offers tools for generating leads and increasing viewership. Vidyard facilitates the use of videos with tools for creating, hosting, publishing and sharing videos. Vidyard also provides powerful video analytics capabilities and produces useful metrics for marketing teams.
Features of Vidyard include:
- Fast and easy uploading with an uploader widget
- Video sharing options
- Personalized video content and playlists
- Video editing and optimization
- Ad-free videos
- Security measures such as password protection and single sign on (SSO)
- Automated transcript generation
- Robust analytics capabilities
- Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Integration with tools such as Gmail and Salesforce
Top Professional Online Video Platforms
Professional video platforms are usually offered at a price, and provide additional features that can help businesses present their video content in a customized way that suits their brand, as well as monetize their content by displaying their own ads and incentives. Some platforms also provide value added features like video APIs and AI processing of video content.
The Brightcove streaming platform allows you to broadcast your on-demand and live content to a large audience in high-definition. It supports the creation of over-the-top (OTT) video content with features such as video analytics and dynamic advertising. A major advantage in comparison to other video hosting and streaming platforms (i.e, YouTube) is that you keep the full ownership rights of your content.
Brightcove was initially designed for distributing content externally, catering to marketing and communications needs for companies in the sports and media business.
Features of Brightcove include:
- Unlimited file size
- Support for streaming on any device
- Adaptive bitrate streaming
- Transcoding through the cloud
- Dynamic ad insertion (DAI)
- Compatibility with numerous file formats
- Integration with other platforms like Google Ad Manager and Marketo
- Integration with social media and marketing tools
- Round-the-clock support
Cloudinary is a cloud-based service that provides end-to-end media management solutions for images and videos, including uploading, storage, management, operation, optimization, and delivery.
Cloudinary’s video API and easy-to-use dynamic URLs let you automatically transcode uploaded videos into multiple formats, suitable for web viewing and optimized for modern web browsers and mobile devices. You can also automatically manipulate and adjust videos, using AI-based detection of objects and elements in a video, to suit a website’s design.
Features of the Cloudinary API include:
- Video encoding and delivery—serves video using either HTTP or HTTPS, directly from cloud storage and delivered via high-speed multi-CDN.
- Video player—lets you embed video into your website using HTML5 video tags.
- Resizing and cropping—automatically resizes video to fit the graphic design of your website or mobile application, while focusing on the most interesting elements in the video.
- Video effects—automatically changes the appearance of videos, on the fly without requiring pre-processing.
- Video thumbnails—generates attractive thumbnails of any frame in the uploaded video.
Microsoft Stream replaced Microsoft 365 Video in March 2021—it is a service offered to Microsoft Office 365 customers for hosting and streaming enterprise video content.
Features of Microsoft Stream include:
- Video content management tools
- Tools for securing and encoding
- Apps for uploading, delivering and streaming in the cloud
- Integration with Microsoft Office applications, such as Yammer, SharePoint, and Teams
- Access control for authenticated Office 365 users
- Integrated with other Azure analytics solutions
The potential downside of Stream is that it offers limited integration with non-Microsoft products, and doesn’t support sharing content outside of Office 365. This is fine if you are using the system for internal collaboration and only want to share the content with licensed users, but it can be problematic if you need to provide access to external partners.
Dacast is an online video hosting platform popular among professional broadcasters, with 300,000 professional clients using it to deliver on-demand content and live streaming. Dacast helps simplify the delivery of high-quality video content through multiple platforms and offers white label OTT streaming media solutions.
Features of Dacast include:
- White label video platform
- Bitrate streaming
- Option to record live streaming
- Option for ad-free streaming
- Support for video encoding
- Security mechanisms (including password protection and AES encryption)
- Multiple options for generating revenue—SVOD, AVOD and TVOD
- Round-the-clock technical support via email and chat
JW Player is a managed video platform that originally operated as a video player, but expanded to offer video hosting solutions. JW Player uses open-source technologies, such as an HTML5 media player, to deliver video content in HD. It also supports live streaming via JW Stream.
Suitable for individuals and businesses alike, JW Player video hosting and streaming capabilities, with an emphasis on monetization and advertising. It also enables advanced features for protecting your content and preventing copyright infringement.
Feature of JW Player include:
- Adaptive streaming, including live streaming and VOD content
- Cloud-based solution
- Customizable video galleries
- Automated recommendations
- Integration with other platforms
- Monetization of videos via advertising
- Advanced analytics capabilities
- Support for OTT services
- Support for Digital Rights Management (DRM)
The Wistia online video platform (OVP) focuses predominantly on digital marketing, providing a TV-grade experience that can help organizations reach new audiences. Its speciality is in helping digital marketers to generate subscribers and leads with online video content.
Features of Wistia include:
- Personalized video content
- Customized video player
- High-speed and high-fidelity playback
- Dedicated channels
- Support for autoplay
- Support for unlimited bandwidth and viewers
- Easy-to-use tools for video marketing
- Advanced marketing analytics tools such as A/B testing and audience tracking
- Integration with third-party platforms (Markety, HubSpot, etc)
- No ads
In this article I covered ten leading online video platforms:
Consumer-Grade Online Video Platforms
Professional Online Video Platforms
- Microsoft Stream
- JW Player
Use this online video platform list to find the best service that can support your organization’s journey for managing video content that will support your business growth.
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