Comparing the Top 15 Cloud Video Streaming Platforms – What You Need to Know [2023 Update]

By Kevin Graham

26 Min Read

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Kevin Graham

Kevin is a content writer and former software developer. He focuses on producing compelling content for B2B software companies.

    Cloud video streaming is ideal for most modern marketers that need a straightforward and scalable professional video hosting infrastructure. With the support of cloud video streaming platforms, brands can focus on putting out good video content without dealing with many technical challenges.

    In this post, we’ll look into cloud video streaming and provide an in-depth comparison of the top 15 platforms on the market. We’ll then look at the most important features to look for in video streaming software. We’ll compare a video cloud platform to an on-premise solution.

    Table of Contents

    • What is Cloud Video Streaming?
    • How Does Cloud-Based Streaming Work?
    • Comparison of the Top 15 Cloud Video Streaming Platforms
    • Essential Video Cloud Streaming Features
    • Video Streaming on Cloud vs. On-Premise: 6 Considerations
    • Conclusion

    What is Cloud Video Streaming?

    To understand what cloud video streaming is, let’s quickly go back in time. In the past, broadcasters needed complex on-premise servers and other hardware to stream videos to their audiences. This infrastructure had high upfront costs, was complicated to maintain, and wasn’t a core competency for many brands.

    That’s why many broadcasters are moving to cloud video platforms that provide a straightforward video streaming and hosting solution.

    So now, back to the initial question, “What is a cloud stream?” Instead of physical hardware, cloud-based video streaming uses software you can access over the internet. Files and data are stored in “the cloud” to make it easy for broadcasters to access their information and workflows from anywhere as long as they have a computer and a strong internet connection.

    This way, you don’t have to make heavy investments in hardware nor go through the complexity of installing and maintaining these various pieces of hardware.

    Some platforms let you stream from cloud storage. So whether you want a simple solution for online movie storage, streaming for personal entertainment, or leveraging these platforms for business purposes, cloud video streaming is a robust solution for all these goals.

    How Does Cloud-Based Streaming Work?

    Let’s cover the question “How does cloud-based streaming work?” in detail.

    Cloud-based streaming software relies on a network of cloud servers dedicated to hosting video files and efficiently delivering this content to viewers.

    Once broadcasters upload files to these cloud video streaming servers, they’re encoded and transcoded into various formats ready for playback.

    Video transcoding in the cloud efficiently creates multiple renditions of a single video file without taking resources away from the initial encoding process. That way, broadcasters can share their content to nearly any device their audience wants.

    For context, these cloud servers, though virtual, come from actual physical servers held across large data centers. Hence, each physical server can be divided and rented out to businesses. That way, you benefit from the concept of economies of scale. Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft own these data centers. 

    With cloud-based streaming, broadcasters can host their content in the cloud for on-demand consumption or live stream events to their viewers.

    Comparison of the Top 15 Cloud Video Streaming Platforms

    There are many cloud-based video streaming solutions today. Each platform offers a unique set of features at various price points. With so many options available, choosing the right platform feels overwhelming.

    To help you with this decision, we’ve rounded up information on some of the market’s top cloud video streaming services. Let’s look at some of the best options.

    1. Dacast

    live streaming platform
    Dacast’s cloud-based platform enables live streaming and video on demand.

    Company Background:

    Dacast offers a straightforward cloud-based streaming solution for users of all experience levels. The platform has enterprise-grade hosting and streaming capabilities that can meet a diverse set of business requirements.

    Once users get up to speed with Dacast’s robust set of features, they have an affordable cloud solution for delivering video content to their audience.

    Basic Functionality:

    Dacast is an enterprise-grade video platform for broadcasters that supports live and on-demand video hosting. With Dacast, you can enjoy benefits such as streaming video to cloud storage.

    Our streaming cloud platform is targeted at small to mid-sized businesses. Some of our top features include an excellent video analytics feature that allows you to judge the performance of your content. We also have video management tools that help you transcode your live streams, save them to later upload as on-demand content, and enable users to view them multiple times.

    Key Features: 

    Pros:

    Working with Dacast as a cloud video streaming platform has some big benefits. We offer video hosting for both live and video-on-demand content. 

    We offer live stream recording when you start a live stream with Dacast. Live stream recording allows you to turn your live stream into a video-on-demand and keep a record of your content.

    Want to deliver content to China? We offer support for on-demand and live streaming to China. Plus, we offer 24/7 tech support for every plan and have great customer reviews!

    Cons:

    • A slight learning curve to fully utilize some features

    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)
    • Video 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, MT

    Pricing:

    Dacast has live streaming pricing plans starting at $39/month, including:

    • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1.2 TB 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)
    • Custom plan: Contact us for custom pricing plans

    Best Use Cases:

    2. Brightcove

    brightcove cloud video platform
    Brightcove uses an HTML5 video player to better live streaming and video hosting.

    Company Background:

    Brightcove offers a cloud-based streaming solution specializing in marketing and monetization. Its users worldwide can integrate the cloud platform with their existing marketing, advertising, and communication apps to achieve more with their video content.

    Basic Functionality:

    Brightcove provides an enterprise-level video cloud solution for broadcasters.

    Key Features:

    • Live streaming through Video Cloud
    • Over-the-top (OTT) streaming
    • Advertising and monetization
    • Numerous cloud app integrations
    • Offers customizable branding features 
    • On top of the video analytics and reporting feature, it has the option to track your ROI. 

    Pros:

    • A straightforward cloud interface that’s easy for people to use.
    • Offers built-in integrations for other cloud apps, allowing you to integrate your video content with other business tools easily.
    • High-quality privacy and security.
    • Share your live streams in private groups and with the public through your social media channels. 
    • One of the best cloud storage for video production, so you can neatly categorize your videos and save them in various playlists.
    • All the essential editing tools you need to make small changes to your videos, which is especially beneficial if you often repurpose your live streams.

    Cons:

    • Lack of fine-grain analytics or reporting
    • No China video delivery
    • 24/7 support isn’t free
    • Although the analytics feature is present, you have to go through some manual workarounds to compare the reports of different videos. 
    • You can’t find data on the number of unique viewers on your videos or track the number of users at specific time markers. 

    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 builds custom pricing plans to suit enterprise streaming needs.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Enterprise cloud video hosting
    • Brand awareness through video for marketing and sales professionals
    • Video marketing for publishers and broadcasters 

    3. IBM Cloud Video

    IBM Online video platform
    The IBM Cloud Video offers reliable streaming for broadcasters.

    Company Background:

    IBM Cloud Video is a cloud video streaming service and a leading provider of live streaming and VOD capabilities. This streaming solution is powered by IBM, which is a tech powerhouse.

    Basic Functionality:

    IBM Cloud Video offers streaming and VOD through the cloud.

    This cloud-based live streaming service supports a large audience without causing lag or interruption in the feed. It also has tools to manage multiple streams at the same time.

    Key Features:

    • Live and on-demand video streaming
    • Secure sharing of online content
    • Enterprise content delivery network
    • Video distribution and workflow
    • OTT video management
    • Video monetization

    Pros:

    • One of the best streaming cloud storage set-ups, with reliable cloud streaming.
    • Responsive customer support, helping you if you ever run into issues.
    • Enterprise-grade video capabilities for large organizations, r 
    • Hong Kong (China) video hosting. 
    • Impressive analytics feature where you can monitor various KPIs of live streaming. 
    • You can easily upload video files and media for your audience during the live broadcast. 

    Cons:

    • Uses an internal content delivery system 
    • General plans don’t offer APIs
    • The chat feature isn’t the best given that this supports a large audience
    • Users report issues with data synchronization and upload when there’s heavy traffic on the platform. 
    • The file management system isn’t good if you have many files because it gets challenging to find what you’re looking for. 
    • Although it allows non-hosts to interact with the broadcast and share files, the permission-granting process is tricky and requires a learning curve. 

    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 video cloud 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:

    The pricing plans for the IBM Cloud Video include:

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

    Best Use Cases:

    • Cloud video hosting for marketing and enterprises
    • Virtual conference streaming
    • Media & entertainment video management

    4. Kaltura

    Kaltura video solution
    Kaltura is online video platform that provides live and on-demand video SaaS solutions.

    Company Background:

    Kaltura is an Israeli company that offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) video solution. Their video cloud service offers both live and VOD support.

    Kaltura is known for being customizable thanks to its open-source nature. That makes it an excellent cloud streaming platform for large institutions with advanced broadcasting needs.

    Basic Functionality:

    Kaltura specializes in cloud video streaming for professional organizations and universities that want to deliver educational content to their employees and students.

    It easily integrates with Canvas LMS and PowerPoint so that you can switch screens from your webcam and these tabs. You can also conduct quizzes using the In-Video Quizzing feature of this cloud-based streaming platform.

    Once your cloud stream ends, you can add it to an album or a chapter using Kaltura’s categorization feature.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud video hosting and streaming
    • Cloud TV service
    • Advanced Security in the Cloud
    • Highly customizable
    • Integrations for any feature imaginable 

    Pros:

    It is designed specifically for education and large enterprise uses. They offer various monetization options, making it a great choice if you want to earn money through your content.

    Cons:

    • Many options for customization may get complex for beginners
    • Slow uploads to the cloud
    • No China video delivery
    • Users complain about the lack of sufficient customer support

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

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

    Pricing:

    Kaltura charges based on bandwidth and feature usage with a credit-based model, but there are free trials available as well. They have a unique way of charging compared to other platforms, but the plus side is that you don’t end up paying for features you’re not using.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Cloud video hosting for Education and Enterprises
    • Video streaming for sales
    • Live event streaming

    5. Vidyard

    cloud video hosting vidyard
    Vidyard’s cloud video platform is built for marketing, sales, and corporate communications.

    Company Background:

    Vidyard is a cloud video streaming solution for hosting and delivering professional video content. The platform is geared toward marketing, sales, and corporate communications.

    Basic Functionality:

    Vidyard is a comprehensive cloud video solution for turning viewers into customers.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud integrations
    • Video hosting and streaming
    • Secure cloud video platform
    • Interactive viewing experiences
    • Video SEO
    • Personalization, playlist, and other viewing features
    • Advanced video analytics
    • Robust security options

    Pros:

    • You can sync your video content with your marketing efforts using its numerous cloud integration options.
    • An active community of users, so you can get help and insight from others when needed. 
    • Customer service agents who can help you with the platform
    • Scripting feature that allows you to practice your live stream content beforehand and prepares a script for you. Then, you can read off that script during the live show. That way, you don’t have to remember all the points and can be more relaxed.
    • Excellent video-sharing options such as “publish to socials” buttons, schedule releases, and instant link sharing. 
    • 4K video playback quality.
    • Add call to action in your video player or on the sharing page 
    • You can easily manage users in your team and enjoy flexibility in customizing permissions to specific users. 
    • Extensive self-serve helpful resources to guide you through the Vidyard cloud video streaming solution. 

    Cons:

    • Complicated backend
    • Consistency issues
    • No 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 prices its platform based on the use-case, and includes the following packages:

    Packages for Individuals and Teams:

    • Free package
    • Pro Package: $19/month (when billed annually, or $29 when billed monthly)
    • Business Package: $145 per person per month 

    Custom Video Solutions:

    Best Use Cases:

    • Video hosting and streaming for marketing
    • Enterprise hosting and streaming solutions
    • Video streaming for sales

    6. Wowza

    wowza video platform
    Wowza was founded to help simplify video delivery.

    Company Background:

    Wowza is known as a bootstrapped start-up that was founded back in 2005. This cloud-based live video streaming service offers live and on-demand streaming support. Like the other platforms we’ve discussed, Wowza uses an all-device video player compatible with smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles.  

    This platform focuses on greater accessibility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

    Basic Functionality:

    Wowza offers two main products: Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud. The platform supports self-hosted and global video streaming between these offerings.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud video management portal
    • 4K streaming
    • Reliable video security options
    • API access for customization 
    • Live stream recording and auto-archive
    • Low latency streaming

    Pros:

    • They offer mobile streaming support if you want to stream from your phone. 
    • This cloud-based streaming platform is beginner-friendly. 
    • It’s easy to set up, and you get a ton of resources from the company to help you through each step. 
    • Their web management feature is impressive and makes cloud video streaming easy.
    • If you want to play the same video repeatedly, you can do that with their unique video looping feature. 
    • Wowza supports video delivery to China.

    Cons:

    • Does not support multistreaming
    • No monetization support
    • Single source streaming (only one camera feed)
    • No event scheduling
    • Customer support can take a while to reply to your ticket.  Also, you have to pay extra money to access better support which is difficult for broadcasters with low budgets. 
    • Setting up a new stream in Wowza Streaming Engine requires you to fill out many options and thus requires a lot of time. 

    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 has several pricing options that are split into two main tiers: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine.

    Streaming Cloud:

    The Wowza Streaming Cloud offers three pricing plans and services. These monthly plans include:

    • Pay As You Go: $25/month, flexible streaming with low startup costs
    • One Month of Streaming: $149 one-time purchase; includes 15 hours of live streaming and 500 viewing hours also at 720p
    • Basic Annual: $1,560 per year
    • Enterprise: Contact Wowza for a customized price

    All of these Live Event plans include complete brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

    Streaming Engine:

    The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

    • Basic: $195/month
    • One Month Event: $295/month
    • Basic Annual: $2,100 per year, first instance included
    • Enterprise: Contact Wowza for a custom price

    For more details, check out this third-party review of the platform.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Live event streaming
    • Interactive streaming
    • Low-latency streaming
    • VOD hosting

    7. JW Player

    platform video jwplayer
    JW Player is a highly capable cloud video streaming platform.

    Company Background:

    JW Player is a cloud video streaming option that supports live streaming and VOD hosting for companies with different budgets. JW Player was known initially for its HTML5 video player, which played a role in the early developments of YouTube, which is now the most popular consumer-grade streaming platform. 

    Basic Functionality:

    JW Player supports live and on-demand video streaming with a reliable video player.

    Key Features:

    • Streaming to any device
    • Basic plan available at a low price point
    • Suitable for companies of all sizes
    • Video management in the cloud
    • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
    • Global content delivery
    • Tech support, but only in the form of email support through custom plans
    • Video API access on all plans
    • Security features are basic but functional. Only custom-priced Enterprise plans offer DRM
    • Monetization (only via advertising)
    • Conversion tracking

    Pros:

    The biggest benefit of working with JW Player is that they offer affordable plans, making video hosting possible for organizations of all sizes. Plus, they have a great sales and customer support team, so you can get the help you need at every step of your journey.

    This cloud streaming platform has excellent analytics tools for your live streams. You can get data on total plays, countries, average video completion rate, devices, etc.

    Cons:

    • Some limits on live event streaming
    • No China video delivery
    • It can get expensive if you host a large number of videos

    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:

    The basic version of JW Player starts at $10/month, but enterprise plans are available in custom packages. It offers two pricing plans. These are:

    • 30-day free trial subscription, full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
    • 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.  

    Best Use Cases:

    8. DailyMotion

    DailyMotion Platform
    Dailymotion is a French video-sharing platform that enables you to record a live stream and create a video out of it.

    Company Background:

    DailyMotion is a primarily consumer-based streaming platform that provides basic on-demand video hosting support. However, DailyMotion has some professional features for developers and advanced broadcasting.

    The standard version of DailyMotion is comparable to YouTube, but the main difference is that it has fewer limitations and restrictions on video content.

    Basic Functionality:

    DailyMotion makes it straightforward to manage and share on-demand or live stream video to cloud storage.

    Key Features:

    • Infrastructure for video streaming
    • Consumer-grade platform with some professional capabilities
    • Specialized tools for developers and partners
    • Integrates with many gaming platforms
    • Localized to 35 countries and 18 languages
    • Offers closed captions and privacy options to limit access to your videos.  

    Pros:

    • DailyMotion offers unlimited streaming bandwidth and video cloud storage if you have lots of video content. 
    • They offer a free plan, allowing you to use the platform if you have small video streaming needs.
    • Through their partnership with Huawei they offer China video delivery, providing you with support for true global streaming.
    • It’s easy to integrate various tools with Dailymotion. The self-service resources are helpful if you run into any trouble.

    Cons:

    • Limited support for private cloud video hosting
    • Not suited for all professional broadcasters
    • The dashboard has many unprofessional ads, especially for bigger businesses and brands. 
    • The Smart TV version doesn’t always work. 
    • You have limited options to edit or customize a video to improve the viewer’s experience while uploading it. 
    • Multiplatform support is lacking 
    • The analytics feature is incredibly limited compared to the other HLS streaming software mentioned in this article. 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (adds padding to videos with other aspect ratios)
    • Max file size: 128GB
    • Max video length: 12 hours
    • Total file storage: Unlimited
    • Compatible video formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV,  MPEG-PS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM

    Pricing:

    DailyMotion is free to use, but users can apply for their partner program for advanced broadcasting capabilities. 

    Best Use Cases:

    • The latest news for consumers and businesses
    • Live streaming for entertainment and media
    • Video on demand for sports broadcasting

    9. Livestream

    Livestream Streaming Platform
    Vimeo’s Livestream supports video streaming for small-scale broadcasting.

    Company Background:

    Livestream is a streaming solution that provides large organizations with live event streaming and advanced marketing capabilities.

    Basic Functionality:

    Livestream is a premium cloud video platform for streaming, hosting, and marketing videos.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud video streaming and management
    • Live streaming through the cloud
    • Advanced marketing features
    • High-quality streaming 
    • Large storage capacity
    • Privacy options
    • Impressive interactive tools to engage the audience with chats and polls
    • Upload from anywhere

    Pros:

    • Livestream works directly with YouTube, so if you want to stream on your own site and YouTube, this is a great option. 
    • They have in-depth and insightful analytics. 
    • Livestream is easy for broadcasters to use and offers an easy-to-use video player for your viewers.
    • You can create recurring live events or set up your single live event in advance. That gives you a good window to market your live stream and gather an audience. 
    • You can also easily integrate this cloud video streaming platform with RTMP applications.

    Cons:

    • Frequent software updates during live streams
    • Limited CDN support
    • No China video delivery
    • No free plan 
    • Many users find the plans too expensive for small to medium businesses
    • Some users have difficulty integrating it with LiveStream Studio 6 and vMix.
    • Although it offers an option to duplicate events to replicate your settings, the process is often clunky. 
    • Limited graphic overlay options compared to other HLS Streaming Software in the same price range.

    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 Livestream offers three main pricing plans, including:

    • Vimeo Advanced: Their Advanced plan includes Unlimited Streaming Analytics and White Labeling & Brand Control. This plan is the best option for professional broadcasting on this platform.
    • Vimeo Enterprise: The Enterprise plan includes white-label service, monetization, and video API access. It also includes branding control and added security features. Please contact Vimeo for custom pricing information.
    • Vimeo OTT: This OTT-specific pricing package comes with the Vimeo.com relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel and growing your OTT business online.

    For more details, check out our comprehensive guide to Vimeo Livestream pricing.  You can check out this third-party review of the platform.

    Best Use Cases:

    10. SproutVideo

    SproutVideo platform
    SproutVideo is a powerful video marketing tool for your live streams and videos.

    Company Background:

    SproutVideo is a cloud video platform for live streaming and VOD, which has plans for basic features through to a fully-featured solution.

    Basic Functionality:

    SproutVideo has cloud-based live streaming and VOD capabilities.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud video streaming and hosting
    • Advanced privacy and security options
    • Every plan includes live chat support
    • Strong security features make it a good option for businesses

    Pros:

    • SproutVideo stands out as they offer plans for all budgets, allowing video cloud streaming access to both small and large organizations. 
    • They offer advanced analytics you can use to grow your content.
    • This cloud video streaming platform has password protection features so you can share your live stream with only a selected audience. 
    • It has geo-restriction and IP address restriction features. It’s beginner-friendly, so people who aren’t tech-savvy can easily use it.
    • It’s super easy to embed videos in your website pages. 

    Cons:

    • Limited storage for basic plans
    • Some buffering issues
    • No China cloud video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: None
    • Maximum dimension: None
    • Supported aspect ratios: Any
    • Maximum file size: Up to 100 GB
    • Maximum video length: Unlimited
    • Total file storage: 500 GB 
    • Accepted video formats: MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, 3GPP

    Pricing:

    SproutVideo has multiple plans, including:

    • Seed: $10/month
    • Sprout: $35/month
    • Tree: $75/month
    • Forest: $295/month

    There’s also a 30-day trial available where you can test all the features.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Live video streaming
    • Video-on-demand (VOD) hosting
    • Cloud-based enterprise video streaming

     

    11. Panopto

    Panopto Streaming Platform
    Panopto’s video cloud is packed with features aimed at solutions for universities and large enterprises.

    Company Background:

    Panopto is a cloud video streaming solution with over 5 million users worldwide. The platform is geared toward businesses and universities in the online learning space.

    Basic Functionality:

    Panoptos’ platform is best for internal use and integrates with learning management systems (LMSs).

    Key Features:

    • Video cloud solutions
    • Live streaming and recording
    • Video content management
    • Mobile-ready solution
    • Lecture-capture and video-search software
    • Video analytics
    • Access control & security features
    • White-label streaming
    • Integration with LMS systems
    • APIs for further integrations
    • Seamless integration with learning management systems
    • Switch between slides and webcam
    • Good features organize your live streams into specific lectures/ files after the stream ends
    • Session recording and creating videos for watching on-demand

    Pros:

    • Panopto offers custom branding, allowing you to create a video player that reflects your brand. 
    • They have regional cloud infrastructure, allowing for strong storage support. 
    • They offer China video hosting.
    • You can update user permissions during or after the live broadcast without damaging the video link or other issues. 
    • Videos automatically upload to the folder they need to be in if you’ve selected the source before. You don’t have to manually input the settings or choose the playlist for each live video. It saves the teacher’s time and makes things easy for students. 
    • The mobile app is a handy tool for all age groups. 

    Cons:

    • No version control
    • No SEO management
    • Steep learning curve
    • Responding to questions from your audience can be complex if you’re live streaming and presenting at the same time.
    • Editing tools are subpar compared to other cloud streaming services. 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max video length: Information not available 
    • Total file storage: Information not available
    • Compatible video formats: AVI, MP4, MPG, WMV, MOV, QT, ASF, 3GP, WMA, MP3, M4V, and more.

    Pricing:

    Panopto recently simplified its pricing packages and included three options:

    • Basic: Free
    • Pro: $14.99/month
    • Enterprise: Please contact Panopto for custom pricing.

    After establishing a contract, you have access to unlimited streaming and storage. However, this aspect may represent a potential downside for some streamers as Panopto does not handle any external-facing video content.

    Best Use Cases:

    12. Vimeo

    vimeo cloud streaming solution
    Vimeo is a comprehensive cloud platform for video hosting and live streaming.

    Company Background:

    We’ve covered Vimeo’s premier offering, Livestream, but let’s look at Vimeo’s smaller-scale packages.

    Basic Functionality:

    Vimeo is a cloud-based video streaming platform with comprehensive video hosting and live streaming functionality.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud-based video hosting
    • Small-scale streaming solution
    • Text and graphic overlay 
    • Collaboration and interaction tools 
    • Social share options 
    • Flexible storage options 

    Pros:

    Vimeo is straightforward to start using, even if you are not a techie. They offer low-budget options, so small organizations can use the platform as quickly as larger organizations. At the same time, the interface is very professional.

    You can easily embed your live stream video using this cloud streaming platform on your website.

    Cons:

    • Some issues with connection to an internal server
    • No China video delivery
    • Limited live streaming and video hosting capabilities
    • Requires you to be tech savvy to take full advantage of its features and have everything running smoothly
    • The live event management system is pricier than other services and lacks robust features you’ll find on other platforms
    • Buffering times are longer than other cloud video services
    • You can’t convert the text in English to other languages. 

    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 offers basic video hosting plans suitable for content creators and startups. These include:

    • Free plan
    • Starter: $9/ month if billed annually. 60 videos/seat/year
    • Standard: $25/ month if billed annually. 120 videos/seat/year
    • Advanced: $65/ month if billed annually. 240 videos/seat/year
    • Enterprise: Custom-priced, custom-built plans for advanced streaming needs

    All plans are billed annually. 

    Best Use Cases:

    Audience engagement and video for SMB businesses

    13. Cloudflare Stream

    Cloudflare Stream
    With Cloudflare Stream platform you can upload, store, encode, and deliver live and on-demand videos.

    Company Background:

    Although Cloudflare is primarily known for its content delivery network offerings, the platform also offers a cloud-based online streaming solution called Cloudflare Stream. This platform is flexible and scalable, so it is well-suited for broadcasters that plan to grow as they go.

    Basic Functionality:

    Cloudflare Stream is an API-driven cloud streaming platform for VOD hosting.

    Key Features:

    • Video API
    • Reliable content delivery
    • HLS and DASH streaming
    • HTML5 video player
    • Several privacy and control tools
    • Adaptive bitrate streaming

    Pros:

    Cloudflare stream offers high-quality video streaming that results in a great end-user experience. They strive to offer ultra-compatible streaming so that anyone on any device can access your content.

    Need to stream private content? They offer safe, private streaming options as well. Plus, Cloudflare offers flexible pricing!

    Cons:

    • Not a dedicated video hosting platform 
    • Pay-as-you-go structure can get costly

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimensions: 360p
    • Maximum dimensions:1080p
    • Supported aspect ratios: Unavailable
    • Maximum file size: 30 GB
    • Maximum video length: Unavailable 
    • Total file storage: No specific limit (storage is billed per 1000 minutes of video)
    • Accepted video formats: MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, FLV, MPEG-2 TS, MPEG-2 PS, MXF, LXF, 3GP, WebM, MPG, QuickTime

    Pricing:

    Check out the Cloudflare Stream pricing page for sample pricing based on different usage rates.

    Best Use Cases:

    • VOD hosting
    • Scalable on-demand streaming

    14. Muvi

    muvi live streaming OTT solution provider
    Muvi is an OTT solution designed for broadcasters with a lot of experience.

    Company Background:

    Muvi is another top cloud-based streaming platform. This online video platform is unique because it is a turnkey appliance for OTT broadcasters. The solution model supports users in launching their own video or audio streaming platform quickly and easily.

    Additionally, Muvi is equipped with an all-inclusive and fully-featured website and mobile and TV apps.

    Their OTT Multi-Screen Video Streaming service allows businesses to launch white-label multi-device video streaming, video on demand (VOD), and audio streaming. The platform includes fully managed, end-to-end solutions, all controlled by a single streaming video CMS, with no coding or IT team required.

    Basic Functionality:

    Muvi is primarily used for building OTT video-on-demand platforms that leverage cloud hosting for an enhanced streaming experience.

    Key Features:

    • Cloud video hosting
    • Custom branding
    • HTML5 video player
    • Analytics
    • Monetization options
    • DRM and security features
    • Downtime is almost nil.
    • Good streaming video quality for viewers
    • Excellent SEO management of live stream videos
    • Scalable to include more viewers and activate advanced features as your business grows
    • Option to implement additional payment gateways
    • Small learning curve
    • Good audience engagement options 
    • Broadcast scheduling

    Pros:

    • Muvi offers a comprehensive content management system, making it easy to keep track of your content. 
    • They provide dependable content delivery, allowing for a good end-user experience. Their customer support is also top-notch.
    • In addition to on-demand video cloud hosting, they offer cloud video transcoding. They even offer mobile and TV app support so you can stream everywhere.
    • Almost everything is customizable, from overlays to colors and more. 
    • Muvi supports different languages, and you can call customer support to set it up for you if you can’t do it yourself.

    Cons:

    • Not user-friendly
    • Hard to integrate or connect
    • CMS user interface is complex
    • No China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 144p (256 x 144)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840  x2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: not available
    • Max video length: not available
    • Total file storage: 1TB, 2TB, 5TB (depending on the plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, M4V, AVI, 3GP, MPG 

    Pricing:

    Muvi prices its plans at the following five levels:

    • Standard plan: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB each of bandwidth and storage, and API access.
    • Professional plan: at $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees), increases limits further and adds premium support.
    • Enterprise plan: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
    • Ultimate plan: You have to contact the sales team to find out the price of the Ultimate plan.   It doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
    • Black plan: This custom solution includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

    For more information, check out this third-party review of the platform.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Video-on-demand hosting
    • OTT video streaming

    15. Liveswitch Cloud

    Liveswitch Cloud platform
    LiveSwitch Cloud is a great solution for live streaming of videos and video conferencing.

    Company Background:

    Liveswitch Cloud offers several cloud-based solutions, including live streaming, video conferencing, and collaboration. 

    This platform is a bit different from the other cloud streaming solutions we’ve covered because it simply manages and delivers live streams. It does not support on-demand video hosting. However, some broadcasters prefer a dedicated solution without the extra functionality. 

    Basic Functionality:

    Liveswitch Cloud supports online video streaming, web conferencing, and collaboration.

    Key Features:

    • Full access to APIs and SDKs
    • Mobile app creation and management
    • In-stream video chat
    • Real-time video analytics
    • Ultra-low-latency streaming
    • Audience polling tools

    Pros:

    Liveswitch Cloud allows you to customize the video experience through the use of API and offers mobile app-building tools with SDK, allowing you to create the video experience or platform your organization needs. 

    Additionally, they offer live stream management tools that enhance the quality of your live content. They even offer tools to help with audience engagement.

    Cons:

    • No on-demand video hosting
    • No video storage

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Total file storage: 24 hours

    No other upload guidelines or specs are available on the Liveswitch Cloud site. 

    Pricing:

    Liveswitch Cloud used to have pricing listed on their page, but not anymore. You’ll have to contact them for a custom price to learn more about their pricing. Their plans include:

    • Standard: 2,500 max concurrent clients. You can stream in 1080p max and have up to 3 presenters.
    • Profesional: 5000 max concurrent clients. You can stream in 1080p max and have up to 5 presenters.
    • Enterprise: Custom concurrent clients. You can stream in 4K max and have up to `0 presenters.

    Best Use Cases:

    • Live video streaming
    • Web conferencing
    • Collaboration

    Essential Video Cloud Streaming Features

    video cloud streaming
    Video cloud streaming is more straightforward and scalable for broadcasters.

    Now that we’ve compared each video cloud platform, let’s talk about specific features you should look for in your chosen cloud streaming service. Here are some features broadcasters should look for when comparing cloud-based streaming solutions.

    Video Transcoding

    Video transcoding is indispensable for delivering high-quality video content to a large audience. There’s no telling what internet connection viewers will have, so you need a platform that can transcode video content into multiple renditions that are ideal for universal compatibility.

    Live Recording

    Live streams can be just as valuable after the event, so look for a platform that offers live stream recording. With a record feature, broadcasters can capture their live events and repurpose them as videos on demand without impacting the quality of the stream itself.

    Auto-archiving tools are valuable because they record your live cloud streams and automatically upload them to your video-on-demand solution library. That provides added convenience for broadcasters.

    Video Player

    While supporting many video formats is important, an HTML5 video player that’s compatible with nearly every device can further maximize an audience’s experience. HTML5 players can be easily embedded wherever viewers are, whether on social media posts or websites. 

    Additionally, it looks more professional and prevents your audience from leaving your website, such as with YouTube when people click on your video to watch it on YouTube instead of your site, which also affects SEO.

    Monetization

    Beyond saving on infrastructure costs, a platform should have options for monetizing video content. Some standard monetization methods include subscriptions, ad-based video monetization, and pay-per-view.

    Video Analytics

    Access to video analytics is key to measuring and optimizing the video experience you deliver. A professional-grade broadcasting platform should provide viewership insights such as track video plays, consumption time, and other fine-grained details about audiences to fuel business decisions. 

    For example, if you realize most of the traffic from mobile devices has a shorter watch time than traffic from desktops, you should look into it more deeply.

    Video API Access

    Along with monetization, broadcasters can make the most of their video content if it’s easy to integrate cloud-based solutions with other business applications.

    Video platforms with well-documented video API access help customize your video streaming experience and incorporate advanced features when necessary.

    Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    Not every platform is created equal regarding streaming quality. Some cloud video streaming platforms partner with content delivery networks with geographically dispersed servers to help you deliver the best video experiences possible.

    Platforms that leverage top-tier global live streaming CDN networks have fewer buffering and latency issues associated with delivering video over long distances.

    Privacy and Security

    Broadcasters need confidence that their data will be safe in the cloud. That’s why a cloud video streaming service that complies with security standards and privacy regulations is required.

    Using a secure enterprise-grade platform helps brands mitigate the risks of piracy, hacking, or other issues.

    24/7 Support

    When using a cloud video platform, broadcasters will have less control over the underlying infrastructure. That means having reliable and fast support is crucial if any technical issues arise.

    Look for a platform that provides 24/7 support from a knowledgeable tech team.

    Accessibility Features 

    Look for a platform that can transcribe your audio files, convert the audio into text, and provide audio descriptions for visual content for people with accessibility needs. Your choice cloud streaming platform should also have keyboard shortcuts to make navigation easy.

    Video Streaming on Cloud vs. On-Premise: 6 Considerations

    Online live video
    Cloud-based streaming platforms are available to users on-demand via the Internet from a cloud-computing server.

    As you can see, many cloud streaming platforms are available. That’s why broadcasters must understand the features they need for their business before choosing a video solution.

    Practically every industry has been disrupted by cloud technology. It’s everywhere. Before the cloud, we needed to email Word documents back and forth, buy physical data storage devices if our computers ran out of space, and buy expensive hardware to support specific business goals.

    In fact, the upfront and maintenance costs required to have a robust on-premise setup widened the competitive gap between smaller businesses that didn’t have the budget and larger businesses that did.

    Unsurprisingly, the cloud has disrupted video production and live streaming industries. With that said, let’s go over a few reasons why investing in a cloud-based video streaming platform is a smart move.

    1. Set Yourself Up to Achieve Virality

    With a live streaming cloud platform, you don’t have to worry about your servers crashing when you go viral. Traditionally, you’d have to either buy extra hardware just in case you went viral or risk your servers crashing. 

    Maintaining hardware is costly, so having hardware only used for “just in case” situations might become a wasted investment. The cloud makes it easy to scale your resources up and down to meet demand. In other words, only pay for what you use.

    2. Remove Complexity 

    A live streaming cloud service abstracts the complexity of installing and maintaining hardware. The provider usually has their own tech team, so you don’t have to stress. That’s why those with minimal tech skills can start professionally broadcasting fast.

    3. Easily Integrate With Other Software

    By leveraging cloud video streaming platforms, it’s easier to integrate and connect your videos with other hosted applications. Sometimes it’s just a matter of clicking a few buttons. For example, you can integrate your video platform directly with a video chat service, email marketing software, and video editing software.

    4. Hassle-Free Transcoding

    The process of transcoding video footage to play it on multiple devices requires a lot of computing power. Instead of tying up your in-house resources, you can just leverage the cloud.

    5. Advancements in Privacy

    When the cloud was in its newer days, privacy was a significant worry. Major cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have invested heavily to provide the highest level of security. 

    However, the cloud has come a long way and is now very secure. Still, if you’re in a regulated industry using videos to share very confidential things, you might consider the best of both worlds and implement an on-premise and cloud setup.

    6. Affordability 

    The cloud allows anyone or any organization to get started with broadcasting and live streaming. Most run on a monthly subscription basis and have an affordable plan for everyone, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.

    On the other hand, with an on-premise setup, you have to buy everything upfront, and if you change your mind about broadcasting, you’ll just have a bunch of hardware laying around. Plus, with an on-premise setup, if you don’t have the technical skills for installation and maintenance, you’ll need to pay extra for the skills of an IT person.

    Conclusion

    From small businesses to large corporations, Dacast is an excellent option for cloud video streaming because it offers everything brands need to deliver video content at the highest quality. Over 300,000 broadcasters use our platform to do so.

    We hope this article has helped you understand the cloud-based streaming space and the top platforms available today. Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date information possible to our readers. 

    However, we firmly believe that when assessing features and pricing against the competition, Dacast’s comprehensive solution for hosting, live streaming, and VOD is one of the best live streaming platforms for professionals.

    If you haven’t decided firmly on which streaming solution is for you, why not try our streaming solutions for yourself? We offer a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. Click here to sign up for our free trial and start streaming live today:

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    If you have any comments, let us know what you think! We love to hear from our readers. Feel free to join our LinkedIn group for regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers.

    author avatar

    Kevin Graham

    Kevin is a content writer and former software developer. He focuses on producing compelling content for B2B software companies.

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