An over-the-top (OTT) platform allows you to send video as well as various other live stream data to any Internet-connected device.
The most often used OTT service is video OTT. Disney + HotStar, Hulu, and Netflix all provide video OTT services. These platforms provide a plethora of programs to consumers. These programs contain licensed libraries of television series as well as original programs like movies, documentaries, and more.
Video streaming is the most prevalent kind of OTT services. Netflix is the most popular platform, which comprises subscription-based services. Amazon Prime is yet another popular OTT platform. There are ad-supported platforms as well, such as iTunes and YouTube.
OTT systems also provide audio streaming. It is another over-the-top service. Spotify is one such audio OTT service that caters only audio content. It offers recorded podcasts and an enormous online music collection.
Following that are the text messaging services. The most used OTT messaging platforms are WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. Using an internet connection, these services enable users to share their information.
Through SMS networking and internet connectivity, OTT-based instant messaging connects people. It also includes Google, SMS Networks, Skype, WeChat, and Facebook. Most of these systems can integrate with or replace the messaging capabilities of smartphones.
Other OTT services include voice calling through applications such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, or Skype that use internet protocols. In comparison to phone calls, the most frequently utilized services are WhatsApp and Skype.
These services are also connected through mobile networks to maximize the functionality of the features.
If you are concerned mostly about videos, OTT services not just enable streaming videos, but also allow you to do the following:
- Record live stream in high definition.
- Manage your videos.
- Offer various video subscription packages.
- Monetize your videos in many ways.
- Distribute your content through different CDNs.
- Use analytics to learn about your customers.
- Customize the online player that you provide to your customers, etc.
OTT platforms are gaining popularity. It is estimated that by 2025, the online streaming market will be worth $124.6 billion. OTT is gaining prominence in almost every industry you can think of. This has become more evident after the 2020 Wuhan virus pandemic that swept the world and forced many businesses to shut down.
Today business from industries like education, food & beverages, health & fitness, etc., are adopting the OTT platforms for staying relevant and gaining more and more customers. So, you can always use OTT platforms to your advantage.
If you are looking for the best OTT platforms to spread your business and take it to a new level, this article is going to tell you about the 9 best options you will get today on the market.
So, without wasting time, let us begin. In case you are short on time, here is the list of options you will find in this list:
- Brid TV
- JW Player Live
- IBM Watson
- Vimeo OTT
Now, if you have time, I will urge you to go through the details of each option. You will get to learn valuable information about each of them, which in turn, will help you to select the right platform for your needs.
Let us begin.
Uscreen is the leading OTT provider, managing and launching video streaming applications for smartphones and TVs. Uscreen is the quickest OTT platform.
The platform you choose must assist you develop your company by increasing your audience and subscriptions. The assistance should come in the form of allowing you to edit, record, plan, and brainstorm your projects.
Uscreen frees you up to develop your company while keeping users. It offers a great user experience, and at the same time, give you a nice platform for managing your videos efficiently.
It also caters to both experts and novices. Yoga, spirituality, arts & crafts, eLearning, health & fitness, and religion are some common industries that extensively use Uscreen.
The platform allows video content creators to broadcast and monetize their VODs (videos on demand). It also enables global dissemination of live video material.
Uscreen will help you to dynamically grow your streaming business. It helps you run a profitable platform and allows you to monetize and post videos.
Core Features of Uscreen
- There are OTT apps available for various platforms including iOS, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, etc.
- Offers various community tools like Live Chat, Comments, Likes, Personalized Profiles, and so on.
- There are several marketing tools available that include Landing Page Builder, Subscription Upselling, Powerful Integrations, Lead Generation Tools, Giveaway Funnels, and so on.
- They offer premade templates for building your website that allow you to launch your site with minimal customization.
- They offer an HTML5 video player that works on any device and screen size.
- They have a robust video management interface that allows uploading, removing, and categorizing your videos.
- They have various video monetization options including things like Monthly or Yearly Subscriptions, Pay-Per-View, Bundles, Lifetime Access, Rentals, Free Trials, and so on.
- They are analytics tools available to help you understand how well your videos are performing so that you can plan your business growth based on real data.
They offer a free trial for all of three available pricing plans. The available plans include:
- Basic – It costs $49 a month, and they will charge an additional $0.50 per subscriber per month.
- Amplify – It costs $399 a month alongside an additional charge of $0.50 per subscriber per month.
- Enterprise – You will get a bespoke pricing depending on your requirements. The charge of $0.50 per subscriber per month still holds.
Dacast is the next most popular OTT platform that also provides VoD or Video on Demand solutions for various platforms and mobile devices. The service comes with powerful OTT features that allows its users to increase their content footprint with ease. There are features like live stream recording, video transcoding, video player, and so on.
API integration through VoDs for video content monetization is a cool feature of Dacast that will allow you to make money from your content. Their powerful HTML5 player is compatible with all devices and screen sizes.
Dacast ensures high quality video streaming globally by integrating with Akamai CDN. Additionally, Dacast allows customizing and branding depending on your business needs.
Core Features of Dacast
- The service offers various monetization tools including Subscription Video on Demand, Ads-Based Video on Demand, and pay-per-view.
- It offers an adaptive HTML5 video player.
- The service allows branding control and white labeling.
- It allows integrating Zoom live streaming.
- It allows unlimited viewers and unlimited live channels.
- It allows Video API and Player API access.
- Dacast even offers live encoding support.
- For live streaming, it offers low-latency HTML5 channels.
Dacast offers three plans and a custom plan with bespoke pricing. The three plans are:
- Starter – Costs $39 a month billed annually.
- Event – Costs $63 a month billed annually.
- Scale – Costs $188 a month billed annually.
For their custom plan, you must contact their support and provide your requirements. The three plans above will give you a free trial option so that you can test their services before paying.
Wowza is a live streaming and VOD engine that provides OTT solutions with broadcasting and streaming provisions.
Specifically, Wowza is particularly fit for live streaming users that wish to customize or create their own server.
There are many software-as-a-service and hardware options. It also allows for seamless and customized streaming. It also has an Extensible Modular Architecture that allows expanding the instant version of live streaming videos.
Core Features of Wowza
- Wowza offers browser-based streaming service using WebRTC, which is known for providing real time communication with the browser.
- The platform also supports VR and 360 degrees streaming, and that too in HD 4K quality.
- It allows remote management and monitoring of videos.
- Wowza offers cloud streaming service and manages all aspects of any live streaming event with custom integrations and custom applications.
- It offers a mobile app that allows instant live streaming. It even allows encoding, streaming, and live video capturing using 3G and 4G networks, and even Wi-Fi.
- The company also offers a powerful video CMS, and there are a wide range of security options available.
On the downside, you will not get video monetization tools and analytics tools, which might be a problem for those who want to make money through their videos.
Wowza’s pricing model is split into two tiers – Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine. Streaming Cloud has three plans that include:
- Basic – $99 a month for 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours.
- One Month Event – $149 (one time purchase) covering 20 hours live streaming and 1000 viewing hours.
- Plus – $499 a month for 150 hours of live streaming and 7000 viewing hours.
Streaming Engine has three plans that include:
- Basic – $125 per month plus $145 per month for every additional instance. If you prepay for additional instances, the price comes down to $125 per month for each additional instance.
- One Month Event – $245 per month plus $155 per month for every additional instance. If you prepay for additional instances, the price comes down to $95 per month for each additional instance.
- Enterprise – This comes with bespoke pricing, and you need to speak with Wowza support to get a custom price.
Setplex is a full-featured OTT platform. It is a full streaming service with innovative revenue techniques, broadcast channels, and a powerful web-control panel.
Billing, multi-screen applications, security, API connectivity, ad monetization, real-time analytics, and transcoding or encoding are all available.
Setplex also includes distribution, subscriptions, broadcasting, and multi-CDN approach. Those OTT platforms enable content distribution to devices including PCs, Android TV, Apple TV, smartphones, tablets, and Smart TV.
Advanced capabilities like platform administration on-premises or in the cloud are also available. It also allows the OTT app to be found in app shops and over ten directories.
Middleware integration is a bonus. It allows you to navigate the content, primary menu, and user interface with simple clicks.
The statistics offered by the platform assist in assessing and monitoring the OTT streaming success. Subscriber statistics, and data on income, hot content, and content consumption are readily accessible.
Core Features of Setplex
- The platform offers several monetization options including ad-based video on demand, subscription-based video on demand, pay per view, and rental video on demand.
- It offers a very powerful content management system that will allow grouping videos and channels in categories and subcategories, episodes, seasons, etc.
- Setplex OTT allows distribution of digital and interactive broadcasts and other multimedia content over satellite.
- It allows streaming content on three devices at once.
- It allows 100% customization of the interface on mobile, TV, and computer apps.
They do not have pricing plans. You need to provide them with your requirements, and they will provide a custom price for you.
Muvi is the finest video and audio streaming platform. It is one of the greatest platforms since it is one of the few that exclusively streams audio files.
On demand video, live streaming, and audio are all handled well by Muvi. It emphasizes multi-media rather than just video.
As a media empire, it concentrates on various kinds of niches, making it an ideal choice for your business. Among all OTT platforms, Muvi excels in handling all multi-media requirements.
Core Features of Muvi
- You can host your personal radio shows using Muvi with 100% control.
- It allows you to create your very own Spotify alternative where you can stream music and audio.
- You can also create your Netflix alternative with Muvi’s video on demand service where you get all utilities of mobile apps and TV along with options for billing and even a powerful CMS for managing your video content.
- You can use Muvi for live streaming as well. Whether you are looking for streaming news or sport or a comedy show, or just about anything else – Muvi will enable you to do so.
- It is one of the most novice-friendly platforms where you do not need to know anything about coding. The platform will handle everything.
- You can even create native apps for Android and iOS, and it can also work on Smart TV apps.
Muvi offers a 14-day free trial for all its plans. There are four plans available, which are:
- Standard – It costs 399 USD a month. There will be an additional charge of $299 a month for every app you create, and there will be infrastructure fees, as well.
- Professional – It costs 1499 USD a month. For every app, there will be an additional charge of $499 per month in addition to the infrastructure cost.
- Enterprise – It costs 3900 USD a month with 499 USD per app per month plus infrastructure fees.
- Ultimate – It costs 8900 USD a month with $499 per app per month plus infrastructure fees.
They also have a plan called ‘Black’ for which you will get bespoke pricing. It will cost a lot more than the Ultimate plan because it comes with may additional things, especially handholding for almost everything.
#6. Brid TV
Brid TV is a strong OTT platform powered by ads. It is intended to let big video producers monetize and broadcast content more easily. The company has tied up with Google ADX and various other ad networks to ensure easy monetization of your video content.
Brid TV will give you a completely white label video platform where you run your branded video platform. In other words, you can create an alternative to Netflix or Amazon Prime or other such services using this platform.
Core Features of Brid TV
- It allows header bidding for maximizing ad revenue using prebid and SpotX.
- They offer a brandable and customizable HTML5 video player.
- Powerful ad monetization features using VAST’s overlay options, VPAID, Google IMAAdTgs, etc.
- Allows live streaming.
They have a forever free plan that allows up to 100,000 video plays and 50,000 impressions. You will not get live streaming or encoding features.
Then comes the Essential plan costing $24.99 a month which allows up to 300 GB of video streaming and 300 mins of video encoding. The next plan is the Business plan that comes with a price tag of $89.99 a month (discounted offer) with 1.5 TB of video streaming and unlimited encoding.
If you need anything more, you can go for their premium plan that will attract bespoke pricing depending on your requirements.
#7. JW Player Live
JW is one of the first digital video players to come into existence. Its tools for content production keep improving. It is suitable for both small and big media companies. Brands may also benefit from its monetization and scalability capabilities.
JW Player makes it simple to reach new audiences on TV and mobile. It helps to launch videos and monetize them. There are additional options for ad assistance to maximize CPM across screens and various platforms.
It works perfectly with sever, exchange, and ad network and comes with a built-in support for AdX, FreeWheel, Google Ad manager, etc.
Core Features of JW Player Live
- It offers OTT apps for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Samsung Smart TV.
- You can get detailed video analytics via integrations with Google Analytics, Adobe, and Nielsen.
- It allows monetizing videos using options like Google DPF, Google IMA, Google ADX, FreeWheel, SpotX, etc.
- It is capable of pulling written matching content against the videos.
- Its recommendation engine pulls content from its network and ads to create a curated list of recommended videos for the users.
JW Player Live will offer a 30-day free trial, beyond which you have to settle for their Starter plan (costs $10 a month) or go for their Enterprise plan that calls for a bespoke pricing depending on your needs.
#8. IBM Watson
IBM Watson Media is a corporate video hosting and streaming service. It has all the features and capability for large-scale processes, plus extensive user API access and customization.
IBM monetizes, manages, and measures the videos across many platforms. It also includes GPU and storage computing for video services and cloud streaming. In addition, it offers sophisticated analytics, transcoding, speech to text, and video hosting.
Core Features of IBM Watson
- It offers a powerful content management system for managing your videos. It even throws in a powerful video editor and video cropping features.
- It allows OTT streaming with both white labeling and monetization capabilities.
- The company will take care of copyright and plagiarism issues. It will remove any plagiarized content from the broadcast service.
- It allows live streaming of webinars, virtual events, and corporate events.
- It also allows branding and customization of channels and even showcases videos, live streams, and upcoming events.
- Allows Q&A sessions during live streams, allowing user engagement. Moderation and upvoting features are also available.
- It allows ad monetization of videos using Google DFP and Google IMA integrations.
- It allows automatic video streaming and video scheduling. There is support for private video recording and public sharing at a later stage.
The company offers a 30-day free trial. They offer four paid plans that include the following:
- Silver – costs $99.00 a month with 100 viewer hours and 5 channels.
- Gold – costs $499 a month with 2,000 viewer hours and 10 channels.
- Platinum – costs $999 a month with 5,000 viewer hours and 20 channels.
- Custom – as the name goes, you will get custom pricing.
#9. Vimeo OTT
Vimeo is a well-known OTT platform. It is one of the finest venues for watching internet entertainment.
It has an easy-to-use OTT system and all the basics for a novice. It also provides mobile access through its SDKs and API.
Vimeo OTT's most notable features are service statistics and insights. The video website templates are restricted in customization. But you don't need to employ a developer or support team to work with Vimeo OTT.
The company guarantees free migration and zero downtime. Also, you may buy in-app features. It allows live broadcasting and real-time analytics.
There are tools for practical branding modifications. Vimeo lets you livestream videos in 1080p.
Core Features of Vimeo OTT
- The platform allows auto archive and simultaneous streaming, provided you opt for their Enterprise plan.
- They have a global network of servers that allows both bitrate streaming and global content delivery.
- It allows video content customization using API. It even allows streaming from third-party applications using custom API integrations.
- The platform offers pay per view and subscription-based models for video monetization. They also offer ad-based video on demand and free video on demand options.
- There are OTT apps available for iOS devices, Android devices, tvOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Xbox, Samsung Tizen, etc.
Vimeo offers three plans starting with Starter that doesn’t charge anything for the platform, but charges $1 per subscriber per month.
The next option is Growth plan that charges $500 per month (annual billing) for the platform, and an additional charge of $1 per subscriber per month.
Finally, they have the enterprise plan that comes with a bespoke pricing. You must call their customer service team to get a custom plan built for you.
Kaltura is ideal for businesses since it allows you to conduct webinars, virtual classrooms, and meetings as well as live OTT streaming. It encompasses, town halls, podcasts, and video message pitches.
Kaltura is the finest live TV solution and LMS for service providers and broadcasters. Kaltura is a recommended solution for global and large-scale brands.
It also provides VOD and live SaaS solutions for sales, communication, marketing, collaboration, and training solutions. You will receive nearly all common communication tools.
Above all, the cloud TV platform meets all video streaming requirements. It even supports multiple third-party integrations. The company offers 99.995% uptime guarantee. For your subscribers, the platform offers a highly personalized on-demand live TV.
Open API-based design for dependable system integration with marketing automation, data system, Zoom and Teams is also a possibility.
Core Features of Kaltura
- Offline video playback using multi-DRM.
- Offers SMS, emails, and in-app pop ups for audience engagement.
- Allows easy management of assets like clips, episodes, news, electronic program guides, recordings, etc.
- Video player easily integrates with third-party apps.
- Offers real time analytics that becomes vital for improving content engagement, tracking sharing frequency, and improving marketing.
- Allows podcast channel creation, podcast editing, and uploading with ease.
- Offers mobile apps for content creation.
- Offers several tools for sharing and embedding videos and personalized video creation for increased engagement, learning, and conversion.
There are various pricing packages available for different purposes such as Learning & Development, Communication & Collaboration and Marketing & Sales. Each one of them has two plans – Free Trial for 30 days and an Enterprise plan with bespoke pricing.
Brightcove is another reputable OTT hosting provider. Its cloud video hosting package gives broadcasters everything they need to succeed in online video hosting. Brightcove is designed for corporate video hosting, but it may be customized to include all the tools required for creating a SaaS (Streaming as a Service) platform.
The service offers custom video player landing pages and several CRM integrations. They also have abundant broadcasting features available.
Core Features of Brightcove
- They offer access to top-tier CDNA to ensure global availability of your video content.
- You will have video API access.
- The platform supports both adaptive bitrate and multi-bitrate streaming.
- There are several monetization tools available.
They have different pricing plans available for Marketing, Enterprise Comms, and Monetization. For Marketing and Enterprise Comms that have “Professional” and “Enterprise” plans. However, they never display their prices publicly. You need to contact them to get the pricing. For their Monetization plans, you need to contact them and get custom pricing.
What are the Features You Should Look for in OTT Platforms?
Now that we have completed our list, let us take a few minutes more to find out what you should be looking for while selecting any OTT platform.
You should be looking for five things and they are:
HTML5 Video Player
This is an important requirement. It allows buffer-free video streaming and high-quality streaming with smooth video rendering and adaptive bitrate streaming. It also works on all devices and with any internet bandwidth.
Live Streaming Tools
There should be various live streaming tools like payments, Q&A, real-time comments, and so on so that you can increase user engagement.
Since you will be paying for the OTT platform, you should look for customization options. The ability to customize the video player with colors and logo. You should be able to customize your video library.
This is vital. If you don’t know how your videos are performing and how users are interacting with your videos, you cannot market yourself in a better way. So, in-depth reporting and analytics is important.
API and Custom SKDs
APIs and SKDs allow customization of the video streaming platform. Additionally, they also help with consistent video playback across various applications. So, the platform should be offering those things.
I pointed out in the opening paragraphs; OTT business is scaling new financial heights. So, if you can take your business online and use the OTT platforms to deliver your content to your customers, you will experience fast and exponential growth. Selecting the right platform is important.
The list you read just now is nowhere even complete. There are several other platforms like SproutVideo, Wistia, Vidyard, etc. You can check them out. However, this list contains some of the best options you will get in the market today. I strongly recommend using Uscreen and if your pocket supports it, go for Muvi.
These two platforms are by far the best in business when it comes to simplicity and ease-of-use, while still maintaining advanced features. In case you are looking to monetize your videos solely using ads, Brid TV is by far the best option.
No matter what you select, make sure that you go through each and every feature that the platform has to offer and also ensure that you ask as many questions as you feel necessary before making a purchase.