We live in a mobile-dominated world. People’s lives revolve around their phones, and more than 1/3 of the total global population now has a smartphone. Any businesses involved in the online video space need the right tools to build custom mobile apps and websites. This post will look at how the best video live streaming solutions tackle these issues.
Over half of video content is viewed on mobile. That means you need to cater to this audience. You also need dynamic, modern web pages to stay competitive. This post will help you with both of these issues.
Specifically, we’re going to look at two key tools for building custom mobile apps: video APIs, and SDKs. Then, we’ll look at three key elements of custom live streaming websites: embedding, white-label streaming, and customized branding. With these tools from the best video live streaming solutions, you can effectively build a custom video presence.
Key developer tools to build custom mobile apps
First, let’s look at mobile apps. The question is, how can you take the abilities of online video (live streaming and beyond) and integrate them into custom mobile apps? The answer is to use an online video platform that has the APIs and SDKs you need. Let’s look at each in turn.
Before we can fully explain this process, we need to understand the term API and what it means. API stands for “Application Programming Interface. Essentially, an API allows a programmer to easily write code that interacts with a given application or service (in this case, with streaming solutions).
We can also explain this using a simile: an API is like a simplified “language” that allows you to interact with and control an underlying service. You can use this language to quickly and easily code custom apps, including mobile apps.
Since 2012, the number of public APIs available to developers has more than tripled. The rate of growth in private and subscriber APIs is similarly exponential. That’s because APIs are powerful tools that allow you to create custom solutions and integrations that would otherwise be impossible. A video API is an essential tool for any video streaming platform.
More than 58 percent of video plays globally were on mobile devices in late 2017. That figure is forecast to now be well over 60 percent. Therefore, building apps for mobile devices is critical.
SDKs make this process a lot easier. The term SDK stands for “Software Developer’s Kit.” An SDK includes actual code samples and tools to make app development using APIs much easier. These tools typically include a visual screen builder, a compiler, and linker, and more.
As one example, we can look at the video SDKs offered by Dacast. These include both an Android and iOS SDK. These tools make it much easier to get up and running with mobile apps. We can see this in the stats. The number of viewers watching Dacast live streams and on-demand video via mobile devices increased from 9% in 2016 to 39% in 2017. This amounts roughly to a five-fold increase!
Key features to build live video websites
Next, let’s take a look at some of the key features of building your own live video websites.
Embed streams anywhere
The industry publication MarketingWeek says that live streaming “is key to building authenticity.” Authenticity is all about branding and voice, and this underscores the importance of embedding your live streams on your websites.
Embedding your live streams is THE key step in building a website around your broadcasts. Typically this involves copying an “embed code” and pasting it into the “code view” of your website. This code can be modified to adjust the size of your video and other attributes.
White label solution
The second key factor in building a custom live streaming website is to use a white label solution. “White label” refers to a platform that doesn’t include any branding from the service provider. I’m sure you’ve all seen YouTube videos and noticed how each video player includes the YouTube logo. When you click that logo, it sends you to the YouTube site.
This can direct viewers to external sites and cause you to bleed users. Instead, you need a video player that focuses exclusively on your content and provides a professional experience.
The best video live streaming solutions all include a white label option. However, some platforms charge exorbitant prices for this feature—more than $1,000 per month! Dacast offers white label live streaming at all plan levels, starting at $39/month.
Finally, we recommend customizable branding for all professional broadcasters. The best live streaming platforms should include a customizable branding option. This should include the ability to:
- Embed your logo in the video player
- Embed your logo in each video and live stream as a “watermark”
- Change video player colors to match your brand
- Use your own branding when building a platform using external developer tools such as APIs and SDKs
These types of customizations allow you to change the look-and-feel of the player to fit right in with your website. This eases the process of building a professional live video website considerably. It’s no surprise, with features like this, that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
Best video live streaming solutions
We can take the above list of key features and use them to compare the best video live streaming solutions. We don’t have space for a full comparison here, but here’s a quick and dirty one. If you need a more in-depth comparison, check out this video streaming solutions comparison.
1. Brightcove ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Video API: available with plans starting at $599/month
- Mobile SDKs: all plans, starting at $599/month
- Embedding: all plans, starting at $599/month
- White label: all plans, starting at $599/month
- Customizable branding: all plans, starting at $599/month
2. Dacast ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Video API: available with plans starting at $39/month
- Mobile SDKs: all plans
- Embedding: all plans
- White label: all plans
- Customizable branding
3. IBM Cloud Video ⭐⭐
- Video API: available with plans starting at $999/month and up
- Mobile SDKs: custom plans costing more than $999/month
- Embedding: all plans
- White label: limited starting at $499/month
- Customizable branding: $999/month
4. Livestream ⭐⭐⭐
- Video API: available with custom plans starting at $999/month and up
- Mobile SDKs: not available
- Embedding: all plans, starts at $75/month
- White label: $999/month and up
- Customizable branding: $999/month and up
5. Ooyala ⭐⭐⭐
- Video API: available on all plans, custom pricing
- Mobile SDKs: available on all plans, custom pricing
- Embedding: available on all plans, custom pricing
- White label: available on all plans, custom pricing
- Customizable branding: available on all plans, custom pricing
6. Vimeo Live ⭐⭐⭐
- Video API: only available on custom plans
- Mobile SDKs: limited availability on all plans
- Embedding: all plans, starts at $75/month
- White label: all plans, starts at $75/month
- Customizable branding: all plans, starts at $75/month
Professional services to get up and running fast
As you can see, Dacast offers the most compelling price-to-performance ratio among the different solutions for live streaming. That’s why we think Dacast is at the top of any list of the best live video streaming solutions.
What if you need to get custom live streaming websites and mobile apps up and running, but you don’t have a developer team to help you out? That’s where Dacast’s professional services team comes in. We offer a team of experts to help you get started. They can help you build your mobile app, launch a custom website, and even more—and they can do it fast.
We’re done! Hopefully, this article has helped to introduce you to how to build custom mobile apps and websites for your live video broadcasts. The best live video streaming solutions offer tools that make this a LOT easier.
Interested in testing out such a live streaming platform? You can sign up for the Dacast free trial. Our trial lasts for 30-days, and it provides access to nearly every Dacast feature. No credit card necessary. Just click the button here to sign up.
Any questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comment section below. We appreciate hearing from our readers, and we will get back to you. For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, you can also join our LinkedIn group.
Thanks for reading, and as always, best of luck with your live broadcasts!