Nowadays, live streaming has become highly important in the business world. According to one survey, 82 percent of viewers prefer seeing a live stream rather than a brand’s social posts. This article will examine some of the top solutions for live streaming video in a corporate environment.
Specifically, we’ll begin this article by looking at the ways in which corporations are using live streaming. Next, we’ll review some of the essential features for live streaming, followed by five of the top solutions for live streaming video. These streaming solutions include Livestream, IBM Cloud Video, JW Player, Wowza, and Dacast.
Streaming video in a corporate environment
Analysts predict that the global enterprise video market will reach $40.84 billion by 2022. That’s an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent! As you’re probably already aware, corporations are benefiting from using OTT video in many different ways.
Some corporations focus on using video for internal training and onboarding. In this context, video provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional training. Solutions for live streaming also allow modern businesses to effectively train a distributed and remote workforce. Additionally, video training is effective for training external partners and affiliates.
Another key area for video in the corporate world are product launches. Today, the largest companies like Apple and Microsoft regularly leverage live streaming to reach millions for new product releases. This approach is being used by smaller companies, too. Live streaming product releases build hype, drives pre-orders, and start a product off right.
Video is also applicable for product demos. These can be part of product announcements. Businesses can share such videos with partners for use in training their own employees. And corporations increasingly use videos on their websites and other websites from which their products and services are sold.
The final use-case we will highlight in this article on solutions for live streaming is internal communications. Video can be an effective tool for communications from CEOs, execs, and boards. Businesses can disseminate live streaming and pre-recorded video instantly to everyone in the organization, no matter if they are at work, at home, or traveling.
Now, let’s move on and discuss the essential features for these video platforms, starting with a CDN.
Quality is important. One survey shows that 62 percent of viewers are likely to view a brand more negatively if they publish a poor quality video.
So how do you improve quality? If you want top-quality, it’s essential that solutions for live streaming use a high-end CDN or Content Delivery Network. A CDN is made up of a distributed network of servers that caches content dynamically. Using a powerful live-streaming CDN ensures that videos are delivered fast and with as little buffering and lag as possible.
Corporate users need video streaming platforms that, simply put, work. But all platforms experience error—whether it’s human error or error caused by integrations or external hardware/software. When problems occur, business users need fast, experienced 24/7 customer support to help them resolve issues.
Look for a streaming platform that offers 24/7 online and/or phone support, especially if your business doesn’t employ a full-time, streaming-savvy staff.
An API, or Application Programming Interface, is also essential for business users. APIs enable custom integrations and the creation of custom mobile, web, and intranet apps.
An API is a foundational building block for taking a service and truly integrating it with your existing infrastructure, marketing, sales, and IT systems. APIs speed development and make all sorts of new, creative possibilities available.
Flexibility and compatibility
More than 58 percent of video plays globally were on mobile devices in late 2017. That figure is forecast to rise to 60 percent in 2018. All video players in the modern world must be compatible and flexible. Services are being used together more than ever before. Is your OVP (Online Video Platform) set up for this sort of integration?
Choosing among solutions for live streaming
Now that we know what features to look for in our solutions for live streaming, we can begin discussing specific platforms.
Let’s take look now at five of the top solutions for live streaming in the corporate world. We’ll begin with Livestream.
Livestream is a professional-focused video platform that was bought by Vimeo in 2017. The Livestream service centers on unlimited streaming, and the platform offers hardware and software tools for easy integration. Key features of the Livestream platform include:
- No viewer limits/bandwidth limits
- Hardware/software encoder available
- Cameras that integrate with the service available
- Stream to social platforms
- Streams via internal CDN / Livestream network
- API available (on highest-priced plans)
- Phone support available 7 days a week, 9:30 am – 8:30 pm EST
- Mobile compatible video player
All that said, it’s important to note that Livestream is priced at the high end of the market. Many of their key features are only available to larger clients willing to pay $999 per month for the Enterprise plan. Cheaper plans are available for other users, but these are not generally suitable for corporate needs.
IBM Cloud Video
IBM Cloud Video (formerly UStream) is another live streaming solution. The core platform is called Streaming Manager. An online dashboard allows users to manage account features. Key features of this platform include:
- Streaming only up to 720p resolution for basic plans
- White label service on $999 and up plans
- Uses IBM network to distribute content
- API available on high-end plans
- Mobile compatible video player
Pricing for IBM Cloud Video streaming services ranges from $99 to $999 per month. These accounts include a basic live streaming platform, as well as additional features and viewer hours. Customized packages are available for larger businesses with substantial budgets.
The next solution for live streaming we’ll examine is JW Player. JW Player has expanded into video hosting in recent years. Last year (2017), they also added live streaming functionality. Key features of the JW Player video platform include:
- Video recommendations engine to recommend next videos to watch
- Integration for advertising monetization
- Live streaming and on-demand video hosting (does not support streams longer than 6 hours)
- Analytics and revenue calculator
Business plans start at $50 per month and include live streaming, 1,500 videos, and 150,000 video plays. Enterprise plans are also available for larger users, with custom pricing.
Another solution for streaming video is the Wowza Streaming Cloud platform. Features of the Wowza platform include:
- Live streaming and on-demand video hosting
- Support is available, but phone support costs extra ($95/month or more) and rapid response (30 minute response time) is only available with the Platinum support plan (custom pricing).
- Security options
- All-device video player
- Can be used with various CDNs
- RESTful video API available
Wowza pricing starts at $49 per month for a starter plan with 500 GB of bandwidth. The Standard plan ($199 per month) increases bandwidth to 3 TB. The Plus plan ($499) goes to 7 TB and the Premier Plan ($999 per month) includes 15 TB bandwidth. API-based plans are also available starting at $15 per month. These plans include unlimited API calls and are billed on an as-you-go method for bandwidth and processing.
Finally, let’s examine the Dacast video platform, our own solutions for live streaming. Dacast is a fully-featured video platform that has been used by more than 300,000 broadcasters, including Nokia and Red Bull. We provide powerful API access and other high-end features to large businesses, and affordable pricing for SMB. Key features of our platform include:
- 24/7 customer support with 2 minutes average response time at all plan levels. This involves talking directly to knowledgeable Dacast employees, not to a call center.
- Streaming delivery over Akamai’s CDN network that has 240,000+ numbers of servers worldwide
- RESTful API provides full access to the platform (code samples are available to further ease development)
- White-label mobile-compatible video player with an integrated paywall
- Flexible, easy-to-use platform, including to stream live video on your website
- Live streaming and video-on-demand support
Dacast pricing starts at $39/month for the Starter plan. Businesses will likely prefer the Scale plan ($188/mo). These include API access and other advanced features like monetization. Custom plans are also available for OTT video stream hosting and other large businesses. Event-pricing is also an option if you stream occasionally or just a few times a year.
To assess the right plan for you, you can check out our live streaming pricing plans, or contact us directly for a custom plan.
We hope that this article has helped you choose among solutions for live streaming. No matter what your business model, it’s very likely that video can help you grow and expand.
Our platform, Dacast, is one of the solutions for live streaming that we hope you’ll consider trying! Our streaming service helps a wide range of businesses access solutions for live streaming and online video. If you’d like to try our services, we have a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. Click here to start streaming live with this trial:
We love to hear from our readers, so sound off in the comment section if you have any questions or comments. For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, feel free to join our LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and happy streaming!
By Max Wilbert.
Note to our readers: we’ve updated this article to reflect the most up-to-date and accurate information as of mid-2018.