At this point, more than 69% of U.S. households subscribe to at least one of many video OTT services on the market. In fact, a full 38% subscribe to two or more. By 2024, experts predict that 310 million households will subscribe to at least one OTT solution. To be part of this market, you need a service capable of hosting and delivering video content. This article will compare these OTT solution providers.
Specifically, we’ll look at how five key features stack up between five of the top OTT solution providers. Let’s call it a 5×5 review. We’ll get started by looking at five key features OTT businesses need in a video hosting platform. Our competitors under review where include: JW Player, Vimeo, Brightcove, Wowza, and Dacast.
5 key elements of the best OTT solution providers
Research indicates that the video streaming market will be worth $70.5 billion by 2021. To get a foothold in that market, you need a powerful platform with the following features:
- Enhanced security
- Powerful CMS for organizing content
- Advanced monetization tools
- Video APIs
- Superior technical support
With that list in mind, let’s expand on each feature in more detail.
1. Enhanced Security Features
The costs of cyber-crime could reach $6 trillion by the year 2021. Relatedly, Akamai has found that credential theft for online video subscriptions is a major issue. In total, millions of accounts are compromised every year. That makes security features an absolute necessity for OTT businesses that rely on video revenue.
Access to a secure online video platform can help mitigate these issues. For example, AES video encryption allows you to prevent common “Man-in-the-middle” hacking attacks and data theft. IP and domain fencing can prevent people in unauthorized locations, or unauthorized websites, from streaming your videos.
Here’s a quick comparison of security features with our top five OTT solution providers under review here.
Security comparison of OTT solution providers
JW Player – Includes options for password protection and DRM.
Vimeo OTT solutions – Includes options for password protection, domain fencing, and DRM (starting with Enterprise plans, priced at well over $500 per month plus fees).
Brightcove – Includes options for AES encryption, IP address and domain fencing, tokenized security, watermarking, HTTPS video delivery, and DRM.
Wowza – Includes options for AES encryption, IP address fencing, tokenized security, HTTPS video delivery, and DRM.
Dacast – Includes options for AES encryption, password protection, IP address and domain fencing, SSL payment security, tokenized security, watermarking, and HTTPS video delivery.
2. Powerful CMS
OTT businesses quickly amass libraries with thousands of videos. This makes content organization essential.
Therefore, the best OTT solution providers include a powerful content management system. These systems should allow you to tag, title, and manage huge libraries with minimal effort.
It’s challenging to compare the CMS offerings from different online video platforms. Nonetheless, here’s the information we compiled in our own research.
CMS comparison of OTT solution providers
JW Player – Includes a CMS with the ability to upload videos or add via URL, tag content, add descriptions, etc.
Vimeo OTT solutions– Includes a video CMS that “Supports ingestion, transcoding, and metadata, all in one place.”
Brightcove – Includes a CMS with batch editing, drag-and-drop playlists, and other features to easily work with large libraries.
Wowza – Wowza Streaming Cloud platform does not describe CMS features on their website.
Dacast – The Dacast video hosting platform includes advanced categorization and labeling functionality, bulk uploading, Dropbox integration, and more for managing large content libraries.
3. Advanced Video Monetization Tools
Global OTT revenue is expected to rise to $83.4 billion by 2022. Digital sales and rentals increased by 30% between 2014 and 2018, bringing total revenue to more than $830 million. Some 17 countries are expected to generate $1+ billion in OTT revenue by 2023.
In other words, video monetization is driving the entire OTT industry. Having the proper tools to make 💴 💵 💰 from your videos is essential. Let’s take a look at some of the monetization tools offered by these video platforms.
Monetization comparison of OTT solution providers
JW Player – Includes advanced advertising monetization tools, but nothing for TVOD (transactional or pay-per-view) or SVOD (subscriptions).
Vimeo OTT solutions – Supports TVOD and SVOD, but includes significant fees.
Brightcove – Includes advanced advertising monetization tools, but nothing for TVOD (transactional or pay-per-view) or SVOD (subscriptions).
Wowza – No monetization features.
Dacast – Includes tools for AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD. It also includes a powerful white-label paywall for monetizing live streams, VOD, and playlists.
4. Well-documented and complete video APIs
According to Streaming Media, “The video workflow and distribution environment are incredibly complex, and the way to build a best-of-breed system or even just gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.”
Most businesses are migrating to API-based workflows for online video. As Louis Columbus said, “The greatest revenue potential [APIs] provide is removing barriers to growing revenue by integrating platforms and apps so organizations can quickly launch new business models and scale fast.” Simply put, having API access to automate 🤖and integrate is critical for a modern OTT business.
API comparison of OTT solution providers
JW Player – Full API, SDKs, and documentation are available (limited to the most expensive plans)
Vimeo OTT solutions – Full API, SDKs, and documentation are available (limited to the most expensive plans)
Brightcove– Full API, SDKs, and documentation are available
Wowza – Full API, SDKs, and documentation are available
Dacast – Video APIs, SDKs, and documentation are available
5. Strong customer support
The final essential feature OTT businesses need in a video hosting manager is robust, highly available technical support. When your business depends on fast, reliable video hosting, you need to solve any problems right away. Not in two hours. Not in two days. Right away.
Given this reality, a service with 24/7 phone support is a necessity. However, that’s actually a rarity in the video hosting industry. In fact, many large streaming service providers are unable to provide that level of service to their users. But as an OTT provider, you need assurances that you’ll receive help when you need it.
Tech support comparison of OTT solution providers
JW Player – “VIP” support available to high-end Enterprise clients.
Vimeo OTT solutions – SLA, phone support available during EST business hours.
Brightcove– SLA, phone support available for additional fees.
Wowza – Premium support available for an additional fee. Thirty-minute minimum response time. Live event support for an additional fee.
Dacast – Includes 24/7 support for all its customers and 24/7 phone support on all Premium plans and above.
Now you should have a sense of the features comparison between the different OTT solution providers. However, we can’t accurately compare streaming solutions without comparing live streaming pricing as well. Let’s take a look at pricing now:
JW Player – “Starter” plan at $12/month, most features limited to custom priced Enterprise plans.
Vimeo OTT solutions – OTT plans start at $1 per subscriber per month, plus transaction fees. Advanced OTT plans at $500+ per month. Enterprise plans (required for many advanced features) require custom pricing.
Brightcove– All Brightcove plans are custom priced and aimed at the high-end of the market.
Wowza – Streaming Cloud services start at $49 per month and range up to more than $1000 per month. Most features are included on all plans, but no data is included on the Starter plan. Pricing can be complex.
Dacast – A basic Dacast plan starts at $19 per month. All advanced features are available at $125/month. Custom Enterprise plans are also available, which lower per-GB bandwidth costs.
We hope this comparison has helped you understand the OTT solution providers market. All of these platforms are great for the right business. But many businesses have specific needs. Therefore, you need a live streaming platform that can fulfill your needs. Are you deciding between OTT platforms currently? Are you interested in giving Dacast a try? Why not sign up for our 30-day free trial (no credit card required) to test out all the features for yourself? Just click the button below to start streaming live in a matter of minutes.