The video streaming market is predicted to be worth $70.5 billion by 2021. Live streaming is making up the majority of that growth. To take advantage of that market, there are a lot of video streaming solutions on the market. However, many of them have serious drawbacks that prevent professionals from wanting to use them to stream live video on their business website. This article aims to help you choose a corporate video streaming solution.
Specifically, this article will provide a simple, 5-step process to determining your needs and finding the right video streaming solution for you including what the right pricing is for professional live video streaming. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
5 steps to selecting the right corporate video streaming solution
Our five-step process has the following elements. First, we recommend that you assess your needs. Second, research the market. Third, ensure you have access to the right features. Fourth, factor price into your situation. Fifth, choose a video streaming platform and begin integration.
Let’s jump into the process with some more details.
Step 1: Assess your needs
The first step in selecting the right corporate video streaming solution is to assess your needs. This can be done via a simple, two-step process. However, at this phase, it is important to involve various individuals. For example, IT, management, human resources, marketing, and other parties may need to have input.
Here is the process I recommend:
- Determine how you aim to use the OTT video. Will it be for internal training purposes? For OTT monetization? For marketing communications? Or for some other use-case?
- Use your use-case to begin assessing your specific needs. For example, how much bandwidth might you need? What specific features are essential?
The answers you gain through this simple process will help guide you through the rest of this procedure.
Step 2: Research the market
Now that you have a list of basic needs, it’s time to begin assessing the market. A great place to start is our 2018 comparison of the top 10 professional live streaming solutions. Look through the various platforms and compare the features you get at various price points. Based on your specific list of needs, this should help you create a small, specific list of platforms you are considering.
Step 3: Ensure access to the right features
You’ll want to make sure that whatever online video platform you’re using has the right features. Beyond the big obvious features, there are many important ones that are easy to overlook. Here are a few of these.
Any corporate video streaming solution definitely needs a high-end CDN or Content Distribution Network. So what is a CDN exactly? A CDN is a network of servers connected via the internet and distributed around the world. Its purpose is to cache digital content and then deliver this content to viewers.
A live streaming CDN generally increases the speed with which content is delivered. It can also reduce buffering, increase video start-up times, and improve redundancy. Online videos with a start-up time exceeding two seconds have significantly higher streaming video abandonment rates. Each incremental second propels another 6% of viewers to leave.
Business users should choose a corporate video streaming solution that works with a fast, large CDN—often called a “Tier 1” CDN.
Chapter markers are a feature that allows you to mark a VOD file to show different sections. This allows viewers to easily identify and navigate between different sections of a longer video. It’s ideal for training use, for events, and other sorts of corporate uses. Be sure that your chosen corporate video streaming solution includes a chapter market functionality.
Live captions and subtitles
Captions are important for many professional broadcasters. In some cases, they may be a legal requirement. The general TV closed caption standard is CEA-608, but the digital standard (more commonly used online) is CEA-708.
If you’re broadcasting online, make sure to choose a video platform that supports inserting captions into your videos.
This one is absolutely essential. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a special type of language and interface. Specifically, it allows you to program applications and services that work with a video platform for custom needs.
For example, you can use a video API to easily create a custom web app or video portal. Or, you can build a mobile app. This can be done much faster and easier than if you had to create a whole service from scratch. For SMB and Enterprise businesses, choosing a corporate video streaming solution that includes a robust API is absolutely essential.
24/7 tech support
Professional users need professional support. Even better, you should look for immediate, 24/7 support via live chat or phone rather than a ticketing system. Different corporate video streaming solution providers have different levels of support. And those levels of support sometimes come with different costs.
In the past, we’ve reviewed which video platforms offer the best 24/7 support. Check out that article for more on this subject.
White label service
Another absolutely essential feature for a corporate video streaming solution is white-label service. “White label” refers to a service that does not include corporate branding. The video player and all customer-facing material is free of branding. Except, of course, any branding of your own that you choose to include, like watermarks and logos.
White-label makes video presentation professional. It’s a major differentiating factor, especially when you’re comparing to free platforms that include branding in all videos. YouTube and Facebook, for example, offer free
Make sure to choose a fully white-label corporate video streaming solution. And beware: many services claim to offer white label service, but only include it on very highly-priced plans.
Other small, important features
We’ve already covered the big ones. But there are many other important features to look for in a corporate streaming solution. One of these is related to white label service. This feature is the ability to have a custom video player theme. Custom themes allow you to change the color scheme of the video player to match your brand identity.
Another example of a relatively small feature that can be critical for professionalism is a countdown timer. A countdown timer allows you to embed a video player into any website. If users visit this website in the lead up to your stream beginning, they will see the countdown timer informing them when the live broadcast will start.
Make sure whatever video platform you choose includes both custom video player themes and a countdown to the live stream start time.
Step 4: Budget
At this point, you should have a short-list of a few video platforms that include all the features you need. The next step is to assess these platforms based on price to get the best deal for your funds.
Some video platforms, for example, charge a premium rate for some basic features. For example, sometimes you have to pay $1000 per month or more to access white-label service. Features like that should be entry-level for professional platforms. If you want to learn more about live streaming platform pricing, click the link for our previous article on the topic.
Step 5: Choose a corporate video streaming solution and begin integration
At this point, you should be ready to choose a live video streaming platform. After making your selection, you’ll usually have to choose between monthly pricing or an annual contract. The latter option usually makes the most sense for business users. However, you may want to take advantage of platform free trials to ensure the video solution you’ve chosen is the right option for you.
At this point, you’re ready to begin the process of integration. You can begin uploading and adding metadata to content, compiling playlists and collections, and creating custom portals and apps.
There are a variety of great live streaming platforms on the market today. However, we recommend that you be careful when comparing price and features access. As we’ve mentioned, a great way to make your final decision is to take advantage of the free trials offered by most of the video streaming solutions. You can start now with Dacast 14-day free trial:
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We’d love to hear about your experience. Let us know about your setup, challenges, and how it’s all working out, in the comment section below! We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can, and we’ll incorporate relevant ideas and insights into future articles.
For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, you can join the Dacast LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your broadcasts!