If you create and distribute video content, you might want to listen up. You may already know that in the last year alone, millions of households have become cord-cutters or cord-nevers, opting for internet-based services over traditional cable subscriptions. A majority of households either pay or are willing to pay a higher proportion of their budget for subscription streaming services over cable. OTT (over-the-top) services and IPTV (internet protocol television) are two of the most common alternatives. If you’re a content provider or publisher, a good content delivery system is a must as we move towards a newer, more mobile, subscription service based world. The best way to get set up with this kind of video distribution and capitalize on the OTT/IPTV model is to work with an established platform. A good OTT service will provide you with the basics, but a great one comes with advanced features for uploading and managing your video content, and makes it easy to do so seamlessly. Here are the services that made the cut:
The OTT platform offered by Brightcove is built around growing viewership as well as revenue. In other words, user growth and monetization are central to the the Brightcove model. Their claim to fame is speed and ease, and they promise quick growth. The platform itself is feature-heavy, making it a great choice for larger organizations—it’s designed to support large content libraries. Notable features include hardware integration, batch uploads, and high end SSAI technology that minimizes buffering. This monetization-focused platform also offers up useful marketing tools. The downside of a feature-rich platform designed for large clients? $500 is reportedly on the lower-end of plans for Brightcove, which doesn’t list pricing on their site—potential clients must reach out to get a quote for the custom plans they offer.
Ooyala is a popular video hosting, video advertising, and media logistics platform which shares a lot of similarities with Brightcove in terms of their OTT services. They tout large-scale, global clients and offer up a robust user interface. Ooyala’s website lists strong video management and delivery, batch uploads, HTML5 video playback, an open API, and content recommendation and personalization as its standout features. The emphasis, however, is clearly on its strong analytics. It offers detailed analytics for video performance and audience engagement, page-level behavior analytics in-app or on the web, and even a heat map which highlights which parts of your video content increase audience engagement. Like Brightcove, pricing is entirely customized based on each client’s personal requirements and bandwith/storage usage, but is reported to have a similar starting price ($500).
An all-rounder, Server Room is a video hosting, streaming, and internet radio platform which serves up OTT/IPTV services with global reach. Standout features are service and speed, which are fully managed and lightning fast, respectively. Its custom-built content delivery network brings your video content to any H.264 compatible set top box, mobile device, or internet platforms like ROKU or Amazon. Dedicated IPTV middleware allows you to create your own IPTV service or resell. With certain plans, you can also get a custom mobile app for iOS and Android. All plans come with 24/7 support, making it the most user-friendly platform, ideal for organizations of any size.
Server Room has the most budget-friendly plan of any OTT platform listed, starting at $279 a month. Users of the Simple plan can get up to 20 channels at 100 viewers per channel and any bitrate. This plan, like the more professional plans, comes with 24×7 support, analytics and statistics, and offers dedicated hardware. The Enterprise plan comes with up to 250 channels at unlimited viewers per channel and premium features like geo-fencing, dedicated support, dedicated hardware, a dedicated account manager, and free app development. Customized plans are available in addition to base plans. With Server Room, what you see is what you get.