Comparing The Top 10 OTT Video Hosting Solution Providers in 2021

OTT hosting

As the use of traditional television continues to decline, the over-the-top (OTT) video industry grows more by the day.

In recent OTT trends, more than 60% of adults in the US report watching subscription-based OTT video services every day. That number continues to grow as video hosting solutions make it easier for OTT service providers to build scalable platforms.

However, with so many OTT hosting solutions on the market, it can be difficult for streaming services providers to choose one that best fits their needs.

In this post, we will look at what OTT video hosting is and what features to look for in an OTT hosting platform before we compare some of the top video hosting solutions. We will discuss each solution in terms of the features that OTT streaming service providers need.

After our comparison, we will run through a few major trends in the OTT industry.

Table of Contents

  • What is OTT Video Hosting?
  • How Does OTT Technology Work?
  • Key OTT Hosting Features for Streaming Solutions
  • Top 10 OTT Hosting Solutions: A Comparison
  • 2021 OTT Trends
  • Conclusion

What is OTT Video Hosting?

OTT video hosting
OTT video hosting is essential to building a streaming service.

OTT video streaming is a form of video broadcasting that goes “over-the-top” of traditional broadcasting technology, like satellite or cable, and uses the internet to deliver content instead.

Over-the-top video hosting is OTT technology that supports this type of streaming.

Thanks to their OTT business model, services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney + have seen exponential growth in recent years. Streaming services with a slightly different approach, including Amazon Prime, iTunes video, and HBO GO, have been increasingly successful, as well.

Worldwide OTT revenue was roughly $46.5 billion in 2017. Experts predict that number will rise to $83.4 billion by 2022.

Many different types of broadcasters use OTT hosting and delivery. For example, many sports leagues and networks are developing online portals for fans to watch their games, matches, championships, and other special events over the internet.

Independent educators also use OTT streaming services to monetize collections of courses and training sessions. This approach could be used by a fitness studio, a yoga instructor, a CPR/first aid organization, entrepreneurship lessons, or any other niche educators.

How Does OTT Technology Work?

OTT technology is the combination of software and equipment that makes it possible to bypass traditional broadcasting technology and broadcast video content over the internet. 

With OTT technology, viewers can stream on internet-enabled smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, or computers.

While accessing video via OTT is typically more convenient for viewers, what goes on behind the scenes of OTT streaming is a bit more complex than traditional broadcasting. 

Here is how OTT technology looks in action:

  1. Broadcasters upload video content to an OTT video host 
  2. The video host transmits the data to remote servers via a content delivery network (CDN)
  3. Viewers select the content they want to stream on the user-facing video gallery
  4. The video player on the device delivers the video content via the internet from the video streaming CDN’s server 

OTT streaming is made possible with the help of an OTT video hosting platform.

Key OTT Hosting Features for Streaming Services

ott streaming server
OTT streaming server providers benefit from a few video hosting features in particular.

Businesses using the OTT streaming model need most of the standard video hosting tools, but some of these features are more important than others. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the most desirable features of OTT hosting solutions.

Video CMS

Aside from storing your video content, one of the main functions of a video hosting solution is video content management.

Essentially, this refers to the tools available for managing your content. This includes building playlists, video galleries, content organization, bulk uploading, and more.

Many OTT hosting solutions are often video content management systems (CMS) by nature, but you can use video API to customize your hosting experience.

API Access

API (Application Programming Interface) access is an essential tool for most OTT businesses. APIs facilitate programmatic interactions with your video platform. Broadcasters can easily integrate existing workflows, build a custom web or mobile apps, and more. 

APIs save companies a great deal of time, resources, and money.

Monetization Tools 

Most OTT businesses monetize their videos through subscriptions, pay-per-view, or advertising. Some broadcasters even choose to use a blend of two of these models.

Which method you choose will depend on what you are trying to achieve, who your target audience is, and what sort of content you’re creating.

Not all video platforms are equipped with every OTT monetization tool, so look for video hosting solutions that support your chosen method.

Privacy and Security

Privacy and security are major concerns for OTT businesses, especially since online piracy will cost the U.S. economy more than $50 billion by the year 2022. A secure online video platform should offer a wide range of flexible tools for restricting access to content.

Bandwidth 

Depending on the volume you stream at, bandwidth can get expensive for OTT businesses. Look for a platform that provides plenty of bandwidth with affordable pricing plans.

Budget and Pricing

Video streaming solutions come in a range of pricing levels. So, price should definitely factor into your calculations. This is especially true given that OTT businesses can chew through bandwidth quickly.

Please keep in mind that the more expensive platforms don’t always provide the best features. Some lower-priced options have better functionality than the highest-priced options, so it’s worth shopping around.

Top 10 OTT Hosting Solutions: A Comparison

Now that you have a better understanding of the key features for live streaming, let’s compare ten of the top OTT video hosting solutions.

1. Dacast

Video Hosting Platform for OTT
Our user-friendly platform is equipped with the tools you need for OTT video hosting.

Dacast is a unified streaming solution that supports both live streaming and on-demand video hosting. Dacast is the top choice for many OTT businesses since our solution is feature-packed and easy-to-use. 

A variety of broadcasters in the OTT industry are current users of Dacast. Some are TV stations developing online replay portals to remain competitive in a changing market. These users include the French-language channel IDF1 and the Danish-Flemish channel BVN.

Dacast has also recently introduced an Expo video portal feature which allows you to create a branded viewer-facing gallery to showcase your video content if you haven’t yet built a streaming site of your own.

API Access:

Dacast supports full access to player and video API in addition to mobile SDKs.

Monetization:

Dacast has a built-in paywall for subscriptions and pay-per-view monetization. Advertising is supported via direct integration. No coding is needed to insert ads from a variety of servers and networks.

Security:

Security is a priority for Dacast. Some of our privacy and security tools include secure video sharing, password protection, IP and domain restrictions, and tokenized security.

Bandwidth:

The main difference between the Dacast plans is the amount of bandwidth that comes with them. That said, you can start with a plan that comes with an amount of bandwidth that is appropriate for your immediate need. You can purchase additional bandwidth when you run out.

Please check out the “Calculator” tab of our pricing page to crunch some numbers regarding bandwidth and data. You can plug in different information about your stream to find out an estimate of how much bandwidth you need and which plan is right for you.

Pros:

Cons:

  • A large range of features require a bit of an initial learning curve

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
  • Max file size: None
  • Max video length: None
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS

Pricing:

Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans begin with the Starter Plan, and include the following:

  • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
  • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
  • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
  • Dacast also has Custom plans for greater bandwidth needs.

2. Brightcove

Brightcove Cloud Video Hosting Platform
Brightcove is generally a well-rounded OTT hosting choice.

Brightcove is a US-based streaming solution that offers a specific solution for OTT video hosting. In general, Brightcove is said to be easy to use, which is a valuable quality if you’re still new to broadcasting.

Past users have said that the platform is generally reliable and the customer support is highly attentive. The major downfall? The analytics tool is not very sharp. Other than that, Brightcove’s features are highly desirable for any OTT broadcaster. 

API Access:

Access to API and mobile SDKs is available on Brightcove.

Monetization:

Brightcove supports subscription-based and pay-per-view monetization.

Security:

Brightcove keeps your content safe with content encryption, SSO, IP and Domain restrictions, and Geo-Restrictions.

Bandwidth:

For OTT Broadcasting, you’ll need to use Brightcove’s “Monetization” plan. Unfortunately, there is no public information on how much bandwidth will cost on this plan.

Pros:

  • Custom video player landing pages
  • CRM integration available
  • Wide range of professional broadcasting features

Cons:

  • No China video delivery
  • Very expensive (according to user reviews)

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Determined by user
  • Maximum dimension: Determined by user 
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (since Brightcove uses a responsive player)
  • Max file size: No limits on files size
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: Varies by plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP

Pricing:

Brightcove has multiple pricing plan levels to meet each broadcaster’s unique OTT hosting needs. These include the following:

  • Starter: includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
  • Professional: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with +10 users
  • Enterprise: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

Brightcove doesn’t publish pricing for their plans online. For pricing information on the plans, we’ve detailed above, contact Brightcove directly to discuss your specific business needs.

3. IBM Cloud Video

ibm cloud video online video platform
IBM Cloud Video is a great option for broadcasters with a large monthly budget.

Formerly known as UStream, the IBM Cloud Video platform provides a range of powerful features at top dollar. This platform is one of many software available from the IBM tech powerhouse.

This platform is best suited for OTT broadcasters with large budgets.

API Access:

API access to the platform is available, but only on the custom-priced “Enterprise Plans.”

Monetization:

IBM Cloud Video platform supports subscription and pay-per-view monetization methods.

Security:

Password protection and embed controls come with each plan.

Bandwidth:

IBM Cloud Video plans include bandwidth as “viewer hours” rather than per GB. The Silver plan includes 100 hours, the Gold Plan includes 2,000 hours, and the Platinum plan includes 5,000 hours.

Pros:

  • Well-suited for enterprise use
  • Reliable customer support
  • Global video delivery (including to Hong Kong)

Cons:

  • Streaming at high resolution costs extra
  • Limited tools for accessibility 

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 480p (480 x 270)
  • Maximum dimension:  4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: No published aspect ratio
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: 1TB – 5TB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MPEG2, H264, H263, MPEG4, VP6, VP8, THEORA, WMV, MP3, AAC-LC, NELLYMOSER, PCM, SPEEX, VORBIS, WMA

Pricing:

IBM pricing plans range from $99 to $999 per month and include the following:

  • Silver – $99/month
  • Gold – $499/month
  • Platinum – $999/month
  • Custom – Please contact IBM Cloud video for custom plan pricing.

4. Vimeo OTT

Vimeo OTT hosting
Vimeo OTT is a specialized solution for OTT streaming.

Vimeo acquired Livestream in 2017, which gave Vimeo the ability to offer live streaming solutions. Vimeo’s OTT solution is one of the three advanced solutions that Vimeo has available for streaming service providers under the Livestream name.

Vimeo OTT is a specialized video hosting solution designed specifically for broadcasters using the OTT streaming service business model. 

API Access:

API and mobile SDKs are available, but only with custom Enterprise plans.

Monetization:

Vimeo OTT can be monetized with both subscriptions and pay-per-view.

Security:

There is no mention of privacy or security tools on the Vimeo OTT page.

Bandwidth:

Vimeo advertises that OTT plans come with unlimited bandwidth.

Pros:

  • Global content delivery
  • Customization for on-brand streaming
  • Tools for promoting interaction and engagement

Cons:

  • Some features require professional support due to the complexity

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Recommended dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 3GB
  • Max video length: Information not available 
  • Total file storage: Information not available
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)

Pricing:

Vimeo OTT uses a bit of a complex pricing structure. There are three base OTT plans:

  • Starter – $1/subscriber per month
  • Growth – $500+/month
  • EnterprisePlease contact Vimeo for Enterprise pricing.

The Vimeo OTT page mentions a pay-as-you-go structure but does not provide information about additional costs and fees. Please contact them directly for more information.

5. Wowza

Wowza video hosting and OTT streaming
Wowza offers a special solution for OTT streaming and live broadcasting.

This solution is a longtime player in the OTT streaming industry. It launched back in 2007 as an alternative solution to the Adobe Flash Media Server.

Wowza offers an OTT streaming solution for businesses that place great importance on their online presence. 

API Access:

Wowza supports API access.

Monetization:

Wowza does not support video monetization.

Security:

Wowza supports a wide range of security features, including tokenized security, secure streaming, and more.

Bandwidth:

Instead of bandwidth, Wowza allows a set number of streaming hours and viewing hours for each plan.

Pros: 

  • Brand customization options
  • Live stream recording and auto-archiving
  • Easy to use video CMS
  • High-quality streaming (Ultra HD/4K)
  • Reliable security options

Cons:

  • No native support for simulcasting 
  • No support for video monetization 
  • No reliable video analytics tools

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160) 
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: Not available
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP

Pricing:

Wowza recently overhauled its pricing plans and added several options. These are split into 2 main tiers: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine. The Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services. Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

  • Basic: $99/month; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
  • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours also at 720p
  • Plus: $499/month; includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p

All of these Live Event plans include full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming. The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

  • Basic: $125/month + $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • One Month Event: $245/month + $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

6. JW Player

JWplayer video streaming platform
JW Player is a trusty video hosting option.

JW Player has been serving broadcasters for over a decade. JW Player’s claim to fame is that their video player technology is part of YouTube’s first video player.

This platform offers OTT video hosting solutions for broadcasters in several different industries, including fitness, education, church, and sports.

API Access:

JW Player includes API access and SDKs for mobile support.

Monetization:

JW Player uses ad-integrations for video monetization.

Security:

JW Player’s security tools include geo-restriction, tokenized security, secure HLS encryption, and digital rights management.

Bandwidth:

JW Player offers different amounts of bandwidth for different plans. 

The free trial comes with 25 GB of bandwidth for hosting and 75 GB of bandwidth for streaming. The Starter plan comes with 150 GB of bandwidth for hosting and 500 GB of bandwidth for streaming. Custom plans have custom bandwidth allotments.

Pros: 

  • High-quality video player
  • Clean user-interface 

Cons:

  • Limited monetization options (Only supports AVOD)
  • Limited tech support
  • No China delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
  • Max file size: 25GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV

Pricing:

With JW Player, live streaming support begins at a free trial level. There are 3 pricing plan tiers:

  • 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
  • Starter pricing plan for $10 per month, which includes an HTML5 Video Player and video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month billed annually.
  • Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.

7. Kaltura

Kaltura streaming and business video hosting solution
Kaltura is another great option for OTT video hosting.

Kaltura is an open-source OTT video hosting platform that is great for broadcasters that need a more customizable solution. This hosting solution makes it possible for users to integrate thousands of different programs to create the broadcasting experience that best suits their needs.

That said, the ultra-customizable nature of this platform makes it a bit complicated, so it is definitely not well-suited for beginners.

API Access:

Kaltura is an open-source platform, so users use APIs to integrate different programs. This gives broadcasters access to whatever features want or need.

Monetization:

Broadcasters can integrate different monetization programs to monetize their streams.

Security:

Security tools can be integrated with Kaltura. 

Bandwidth:

Kaltura users spend credits to increase their bandwidth.

Pros: 

  • Completely customizable 
  • Very few limits on features thanks to integrations
  • Well-suited for advanced broadcasters

Cons:

  • The “pay-as-you-go” structure often makes it more expensive to use
  • Complicated platform 
  • Not cut out for beginner broadcasters
  • Slow-to-respond tech support

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

Pricing:

Kaltura’s pricing uses a very flexible model that allows users to purchase credits to spend on features and bandwidth. Please contact their sales team for a custom quote.

8. Vidyard

Vidyard Video on Demand Hosting
Vidyard is an OTT video host geared towards business use.

Vidyard is a reliable OTT hosting solution that provides tools specifically for businesses. This video hosting platform is geared towards marketing and sales.

The Vidyard platform provides features to improve audience reach and viewer engagement which makes it a valuable tool for generating qualified leads.

API Access:

Vidyard offers API access.

Monetization:

Vidyard does not have support for video monetization.

Security:

Vidyard has limited security options, including password protection and SSO.

Bandwidth:

Vidyard advertises unlimited bandwidth for all plans.

Pros: 

  • Tools for an advanced broadcasting experience
  • Powerful video analytics
  • Reliable technical support

Cons:

  • Inconsistent positive user reviews 
  • No support for China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (480 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 5GB to 16GB (depends on the plan)
  • Max video length: 1 hour (live stream)
  • Total file storage: Not available
  • Compatible video formats: WEBM, MP4, MKV, MOV

Pricing:

Vidyard pricing plans come in four tiers, split amongst two categories: Individual and Teams. 

All plans are billed annually and are broken down as follows:

  • Individual 
    • Free – $0/month
    • Pro – $15/month
  • Teams
    • Teams – $300/month
    • Business – $1250/month

Check out Vidyard’s pricing page for more information.

9. VPlayed

vplayed OTT Solutions provider
VPlayed is an OTT solutions provider that caters to broadcasters in many industries.

VPlayed is an OTT video host with solutions for enterprises, houses of worship, sports broadcasters, education, filmmakers, and more. It offers both live streaming and on-demand video hosting. 

Although VPlayed is designed to serve broadcasters in several industries, the main function of this platform is VOD and live stream video hosting.

API Access:

There is no mention of API access on the VPlayed website.

Monetization:

VPlayed offers ad-based, subscription-based, and pay-per-view monetization.

Security:

VPlayed offers end-to-end content protection via DRM, SSO, SSL, dynamic watermarks, and password protection.

Bandwidth:

Contact VPlayed directly for information on how much bandwidth you can access with each plan.

Pros: 

  • Fully loaded with a wide variety of features
  • Easy to use
  • Creates a seamless viewer experience
  • Reliable customer support

Cons:

  • No API access
  • Limited analytics and reporting
  • Limited engagement tools

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Not available
  • Maximum dimension: Not available
  • Aspect ratio: Not available
  • Max file size: Unlimited
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: Unlimited
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, 3GP, MOV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-2 PS, MPEG1, and more

Pricing: 

VPlayed offers entirely customized plans, so please contact their sales team directly for additional information.

10. Vidmind

OTT Services Provider
Vidmind was created to serve broadcasters of any level of experience.

Vidmind is a London-based OTT video hosting solution that was designed to make the streaming process easy and straightforward for broadcasters with any level of experience. In addition to hosting the online video content, Vidmind also hosts live television content which gives it a leg up on its competitors.

Vidmind is built for broadcasters who don’t want to have to worry about the technical side of live streaming and video hosting.

API Access:

Vidmind offers billing API access to integrated additional tools for monetization. It is unclear whether Vidmind offers player or video API access.

Monetization:

Vidmind supports advertisements, pay-per-view, and subscription-based monetization.

Security:

The Vidmind site mentions that the site is “secure” but provides no information on the security measures the platform includes.

Bandwidth:

There is no information on bandwidth included on the Vidmind website.

Pros: 

  • Access to many professional features
  • Multiple options for monetization
  • Simple platform  
  • High-quality video streaming

Cons:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing can get expensive

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

Vidmind does not publish upload guidelines and specs.

Pricing: 

Vidmind uses a pay-as-you-go business model, so broadcasters must contact them directly for more information.

OTT Hosting on Dacast: A Success Story

One prime example is Striv.tv, a Dacast customer that uses our video hosting solutions. Striv.tv uses the Dacast platform to stream events for a network of more than 70 secondary schools in the United States. 

The Striv.tv system also adds value by using machine learning and automated data collection. These tools provide statistics, instant replay, and tools to help players improve their game. Another example is PlaySight. This company uses high-definition cameras installed in sporting venues to stream and record matches.

As you can see, the OTT industry represents a big umbrella of applications and uses. As such, professional OTT service providers within that umbrella need reliable business video hosting solutions.

Please check out our Strive. tv case study for additional information on how Dacast’s OTT hosting technology has helped Strive.tv brings their platform to life.

2021 OTT Trends

OTT is blowing up in 2021. Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at a few interesting trends in this industry:

  • Access to 5G is revolutionizing OTT streaming
  • More companies are using immersive video to connect with their audience
  • Media giants (Netflix, HBO, etc.) continue to rule the industry
  • CTV and smart TV streaming are growing in popularity
  • Subscription fatigue is causing OTT broadcasters to get creative with their offers

For more information on these and other 2021 OTT trends, please check out our dedicated guide.

Conclusion

Choosing an OTT hosting platform can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the world of broadcasting. We hope this article has equipped you with the knowledge and confidence you need to choose the best OTT hosting platform for your unique broadcasting needs. 

We recommend taking advantage of free trials offered by the different platforms to get a feel for their features.

While we’re on the topic of free trials, why don’t you get started with Dacast? We offer a 30-day risk-free trial so that you can test our professional video hosting tools for yourself.

All you have to do is sign up for Dacast to get started today.

GET STARTED FOR FREE

Finally, for exclusive offers and tips, you’re welcome to join our LinkedIn group.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your live broadcasts.

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