Large businesses are increasingly choosing to invest in enterprise video platforms. And with good reason. In particular, online video enables businesses to streamline internal communications and training, market products and services, stream events, and more. So, that brings us to the focus of this article: how can businesses start using online video successfully? And what key tools are necessary for enterprise streaming video?
This blog post will answer these questions by comparing the top enterprise video platforms for 2020. This post is the second part of a series. In the first post, we discussed 13 reasons why businesses should invest in enterprise video streaming platforms. This post, in contrast, will look purely at the best platforms available. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
SaaS Enterprise Video Platform Comparison
To help narrow down the options for pro platforms, we’ll compare five top enterprise video platforms. These include Brightcove, Dacast, IBM, Kaltura, and Vimeo. Several major brands use one of these pro platforms. However, each streaming service takes a slightly different approach, which we’ll tease out by comparing them on a feature-by-feature basis here.
1. Basic Live Streaming and VOD Functionality Comparison
First, note that all of the platforms under review here include basic live streaming and VOD functionality. With that in mind, let’s review a few of the differentiating factors. Yes, all of these platforms support 24/7 linear streaming and multiple simultaneous channels. However, two outliers stand out: Vimeo only offers this feature with custom-priced enterprise plans. Dacast, in contrast, offers this ability with all plans. Let’s dig in a little deeper below.
2. CDN and Delivery Comparison
Brightcove — provides multiple options for delivery. Option 1 is Brightcove’s built-in delivery option, which uses multiple CDN partners. Option 2 is a bring-your-own CDN model, which requires an external contract with CDN provider. Supports intranet delivery via your own servers, but this is suitable only for small use-cases.
Dacast — Uses the Akamai CDN for the majority of content delivery. Akamai is the world’s largest CDN and overall the market leader, with 240,000 servers globally. Also of note, Dacast uses Amazon’s AWS to deliver low-latency HLS streams, a unique new offering.
IBM — Does not disclose which CDN provider, if any, it uses.
Kaltura — Provides a similar suite of options to Brightcove.
Vimeo — Vimeo uses the Fastly CDN to store and deliver content.
Overall, we find that Dacast, Kaltura, and Brightcove tie for first in this category. While Kaltura and Brightcove do offer BYO models, this introduces additional complexity. Dacast’s Akamai-first approach makes this one a wash. IBM Cloud Video and Vimeo, however, fall behind in this content delivery comparison. While Fastly is a good CDN, it simply cannot compare to the larger, more established players. And in the case of IBM, no news is generally not good news…
3. API Access and Customization Comparison
In this category, these enterprise video platforms are mostly a wash. All offer API access for customization. Most offer other tools such as SDKs, which help with platform-specific app development, as well. The main difference here relates to pricing. With Brightcove, IBM, Kaltura, and Vimeo, API access comes only on custom-priced enterprise plans. These plans are all priced at around $1K or more per month—as a baseline. In contrast, Dacast offers API access starting at $188/month.
4. Other Distinguishing Features
Brightcove — Brightcove’s focus is on marketing and OTT/media companies. As far as distinguishing features, Brightcove has a big emphasis on providing end-to-end solutions. The platform offers a unique built-in tool for streaming to social programs. Overall, Brightcove is a powerful enterprise video platform.
Dacast — Compared to all the other platforms here, Dacast seems by far the most cost-competitive. Dacast also offers 24/7 live support to all customers—something that costs extra with platforms like Brightcove. In 2019, Dacast acquired vzaar and merged the features of the two platforms. One result of this merger is Dacast’s robust in-China video delivery options. Dacast’s ICP license makes it easy and fast to stream your video using servers inside the Chinese mainland, which is a must for businesses active in the region. Other standout features include HLS-based low latency live streaming.
IBM — In comparison to the other 4 other platforms, IBM comes up a little short. Its publicly-advertised plans are relatively basic, especially for the price. However, that’s because IBM is focused on the largest clients. These customers are all on custom plans, which do provide a higher level of service. That comes at a price, however.
Kaltura — The Kaltura platform has a big focus on education. Their platform is available as an on-premise application for intranet use. Plus, they integrate several engagement tools like video quizzes. Kaltura is best suited for applications where a dedicated technical team can work on custom integrations for Kaltura on an ongoing basis.
Vimeo — Vimeo has the most brand-name recognition of all the platforms here since it began as a free YouTube competitor for creatives. Today, Vimeo offers services to businesses as well, especially after the company’s 2017 acquisition of Livestream.
5. Pricing Comparison
Brightcove — This platform removed its last publicly-available pricing data in 2019. At that time, basic plans started around $200 per month. These
“Enterprise Starter” plans are basic, with (for example) live streaming restricted to SD resolution and only 8 hours per year. Custom plans increase the price, but they do reflect a more professional feature-set (API access, better support options, etc.).
Dacast — Plans for businesses start at $188/month and include all features (API access, monetization tools, etc.) and 2 TB bandwidth. Plans with larger bandwidth allotments are available at a discount, and bandwidth can also be added as-you-go.
IBM — IBM Video Streaming starts at $99 per month. However, they advertise this plan as being suitable only for small businesses. Their “Gold” plan for medium businesses starts at $499/month. And their enterprise video platform, the “Platinum” plan, starts at $999 per month. Stunningly, this plan only includes streaming up to 720p resolution—in 2020! Higher priced plans are also available.
Kaltura — Frankly, Kaltura has a confusing array of pricing options. The VPaaS (Video Platform as a Service) option is priced based on usage of bandwidth, storage, transcoding, amount of content uploaded, number of plays, minutes streamed, etc. According to external sources, Kaltura pricing starts at roughly $500 – $1,000 per month.
Vimeo — Vimeo’s basic plan for business starts at $50/month. However, this plan doesn’t include live streaming at all. Live streaming starts at $75/month, but enterprises will likely require custom plans. These custom plans add security features, 24/7 support, multiple simultaneous live streams, linear streaming, and API access. These plans generally cost multiple thousands of dollars per month, plus per-customer fees. In short, it appears that Vimeo’s pricing is extremely expensive.
Modern businesses are finding online video with enterprise video platforms to be an indispensable part of doing business. We hope this article has helped you to compare the top enterprise video platforms of 2020. And if you are in the market for a professional video platform, we hope you’ll consider Dacast. We include all the features highlighted in this article and more. Please contact our support team to discuss your specific needs. We’re here to help and can walk you through any technical questions you may have.
We also offer a 30-day free trial of Dacast, with no credit card required. It’s a risk-free way to test out our platform today. If you’re interested in trying our streaming solutions for yourself, just click the button below:
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