The media industry uses a business model based on communicating information, art, and entertainment to an audience. In our internet-first era, online video is increasingly essential for media businesses and agencies. And that’s true whether you work in publishing, OTT or streaming media, video games or entertainment, film, music, events, or another sector entirely. The bottom line? Whatever your goals, implementing online video successfully requires an online video platform provider.
As traditional broadcast and cable TV declines, online video continues to grow explosively. For example, video streaming rose 72.4% between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019. And streaming quality is increasing, among other factors, thanks to CDN delivery and modern video players. As a direct result, online video platform providers are adding new features and more advanced technologies to better serve client needs.
In this blog post, we’ll provide a comparison of the top online video platform providers for the media industry. First, we’ll discuss some of the key features for media industry businesses. Then, we’ll move into a more detailed comparison of two top OVPs available today.
With that introduction in mind, let’s jump right in!
Online Video Platform Providers: Key Tools for The Media Industry
Today, media businesses and agencies have specific requirements in an online video platform provider. Without these key features, a video platform simply won’t be suitable. Therefore, our key metrics for comparing online video platform providers in this article include the availability and functionality of these tools, along with the pricing plans of each platform. Some key features include:
- Monetization tools are essential for profits. For example, tools such as a paywall for pay-per-view and subscriptions, and video advertising allow your business to generate revenue from video viewers.
- Video APIs support custom-code integrations and solutions for your unique workflow and use-case. For example, an API allows you to “MacGyver” your own apps, video portals, etc.
- Security features protect your videos from hackers, pirates, and other malicious actors. These tools are critical for media industry businesses.
- Video analytics can play a key role in assessing progress and allocation of resources by delivering instant, quantitative insight into video performance.
- High-performance CDN delivery ensures your content reaches any user globally. CDNs also reduce quality issues such as latency, buffering and slow load times.
- Video CMS allows you to organize, sort, filter, and manage libraries of content. Whether you’re dealing with ten videos or 10,000, a video CMS makes it easy to remain in control.
- Account management tools facilitate management and collaboration. Specifically, this means an entire team can control and access a single streaming service account.
Evaluating 2 Top Online Video Platform Providers
Now that we’ve covered key features for media industry video platforms, let’s move on to the next portion of this post. In this segment, we’ll review and compare two of the top online video platform providers on the market. Specifically, we’ll focus our comparison on Wistia and Dacast.
Introduction and Overview: Wistia vs. Dacast
Wistia is a video-software company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wistia provides video hosting services for businesses. Among other tools, this OVP focuses on adding videos to the web, tracking performance and building audiences.
Dacast is an online video platform provider that allows businesses to broadcast and host video content. Dacast includes both live streaming and VOD (Video-On-Demand) functionality, as well as a range of other features.
- ✅Advantage to Dacast for live streaming support
- ❌No live streaming with Wistia
1. Monetization and API: Wistia vs. Dacast
Wistia does not include any monetization tools. It does, however, include a range of APIs. These allow you to upload videos, manage plugins, create and edit playlists, download analytics data, etc.
Dacast includes a built-in paywall, which allows users to monetize video via subscriptions and pay-per-view / transactional. This is essential for media industry online video platform providers. Dacast also includes support for video advertising. API access is robust, with a full video API offering access to VOD, live streaming, uploading, content management, and so on.
- ✅Dacast includes powerful and flexible monetization tools.
- ❌Wistia includes no video monetization tools.
- ✅Wistia and Dacast both offer solid API tools.
2. Security and Analytics: Wistia vs. Dacast
Wistia publishes uptime information and includes a variety of security features. For example, the service offers domain restrictions, HTTPS delivery, SSL payment protection, and private video sharing. As an online video platform provider, Wistia offers excellent analytics for VOD. These include some class-leading features like heatmaps, which display the portions of your video that are most important to viewers.
Dacast security features include domain and IP restrictions, HTTPS delivery, SSL payment protection, password-protected videos, AES encryption, and more. In fact, Dacast’s analytics are quite powerful and include real-time live streaming analytics.
- ✅Advantage to Dacast for more robust security tools and live streaming analytics.
- ❌Wistia has lesser security features and no live streaming analytics.
- ✅Wistia does include some high-quality VOD analytics.
3. Video CDN and Video CMS: Wistia vs. Dacast
Wistia publishes content via a collection of top-tier CDNs. For organizations, it uses a video CMS to organize videos into projects, which users can subdivide into sections.
Dacast securely delivers video via the Akamai CDN. It also uses a few other CDN partners, for example with China video delivery. The Dacast video CMS allows you to organize video material into categories and use tags for further subdivisions.
- ✅This comparison is a wash; no clear advantage here. However, Dacast’s China video hosting is a powerful tool for businesses working in this region, which Wistia does not offer.
4. Account Management Tools and Pricing: Wistia vs. Dacast
Wistia uses a permissions system to manage account access. Media businesses and agencies can use this feature to determine who gets access to your content. Wistia pricing starts at $99 per month, but that entry plan doesn’t include embedding and only includes 10 videos. Additional videos cost 25¢ each per month. This online video platform provider also offers advanced plans with custom pricing.
Dacast includes a multi-level access feature that makes it easy to share portions of your account with accountants, content creators, managers, and others. As for pricing, Dacast starts at $21/month for a basic introductory plan. The event plan, ideal for organizations that stream events once or occasionally, start at $63/month; and the Scale plan, ideal for professionals with high streaming needs, starts at $188/month. Those premium plans give you full access to API, video monetization tools, and all other core platform features. Additional features are also available for a fee, including advanced VOD features.
- ✅Overall, these online video platform providers are comparable in terms of account management tools.
- ❌As for pricing, Dacast offers a great deal more for your money than Wistia offers. For example, Dacast includes streaming, unlimited video uploads (storage permitting), monetization tools, etc.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the media industry has some specific needs when it comes to incorporating online video into your workflow. Therefore, it behooves you to understand those needs before choosing between online video publishing platforms. Overall, I hope this piece has helped you by first specifying the essential features and then differentiating between two top platforms available today.
Whatever your goals, we hope this article has updated you on the top online video players available today. Of course, if you need an online video publishing platform, we do hope you’ll consider Dacast. As outlined above, Dacast offers all the features discussed in this article – and more! We also include 24/7 technical support on all plans. Furthermore, if you need assistance Dacast offers a wide range of professional services. For example, we’re here to help you with custom workflow setup and management, web development, migrations, and other tasks.
Not yet streaming with Dacast and ready to give our streaming solutions a try? We offer a 30-day free trial (no credit card required). Just click the button below, and we’ll have you up and streaming live in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, if you want to discuss your specific needs with us, reach out to our team and contact us today.
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Thanks for reading, and happy broadcasting!