Companies that use online video grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users. In total, the video streaming market is predicted to be worth $70.5 billion by 2021. Live streaming is making up the majority of that growth. This post will focus on how to bring streaming broadcast solutions to your business or organization.
We’ll start with an introduction to the topic. First, we’ll examine how (live) streaming video is helping businesses to succeed. Then we’ll define terms like video API and SDK; we’ll also share information about how to use these tools for your organization. Finally, we’ll discuss how to access an online video platform with integrated APIs and SDKs.
How is streaming video helping businesses?
Businesses and organizations use streaming broadcast solutions in many different ways. Some use video to live stream events. Others are broadcasting live meetings or live music. Some organizations are focused on building libraries of content for an OTT business model.
As mentioned above, the use of video the educational field is growing rapidly. Some find video useful for internal training and education. Still others use video for internal communication to keep employees appraised of the latest news. Video is being widely used by religious groups, sports leagues, educational institutions, and governments as well.
And it’s no wonder why. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. By that logic, a video is worth 30,000 words per second. This is being played out in the data as well. Online video is growing explosively. Hours viewing online video grew 114% in Q1 2018 compared to the same time period during the previous year.
Introduction to Video Platforms and APIs
To add video to your business with professional tools, there are two main methods. First is the direct use of an online video platform, or OVP. An OVP is a platform for hosting, organizing, and distributing video. Some platforms support live streaming as well.
In terms of streaming broadcast solutions, each platform also offers a variety of other features. These can include tools such as monetization to generate revenue from your video content, analytics to track performance, and security functionality, plus a variety of other features.
The Application Programming Interface – API
The second method of accessing professional video functionality is via an API. API stands for Application Programming Interface. Essentially, an API is a simplified programming language that allows you to interact with a given service. This allows programmers to easily take the functionality of an online video platform and integrate it into custom workflows, applications, and more.
In this manner, an API allows you to make totally novel uses of a video streaming solution. One example of this API use comes from WAPA TV, a Puerto Rican television station that broadcasts sports, entertainment, and news. Using Dacast’s video APIs, WAPA TV has created a free app that allows users to watch live content on mobile devices. This integration allows engineers and employees at the WAPA TV studio to upload, manage, and deliver live broadcasts to mobile viewers. This is all achieved alongside existing distribution channels with minimal extra effort.
Any questions about video APIs and their relevance to streaming broadcast solutions? This video shows an excerpt from a recent Dacast webinar, which looks in more detail at what an API is and how they work:
APIs as business tools for video
As evidenced by the discussion above, APIs can be powerful tools for businesses and organizations. Arvid Dyfverman, CEO of Deportivo, explains it in this way: “APIs are like having your own MacGyver. They do a lot of the hard work. Secondly, they solve a lot of tricky problems.”
Another leader in this field, Louis Columbus, notes that “the greatest revenue potential [APIs] provide is removing barriers to growing revenue by integrating platforms and apps so organizations can quickly launch new business models and scale fast.”
In other words, if your business or organization isn’t using APIs to power your online video, you may be wasting time, effort, and money:
APIs at Dacast
Dacast has two APIs. First, a video content management API which provides access to all features of the streaming video solution. Second, a player API which allows you to use video players of your choice and customize to your heart’s content. We also offer two SDKs, one for iOS and one for Android, to easily build.
Here at Dacast, we’ve experienced rapid growth in the use of our player and video APIs. For example, the number of customers using our video API increased 42 percent in the first half of last year. That growth continues to accelerate.
We’re seeing a wide variety of businesses taking advantage of our API functionality. For example, let’s look at Striv.tv. Founded in 2012, Striv.TV works with more than 70 high schools in Nebraska to provide live streaming services for events and sports.
Striv.tv uses the Dacast video API to integrate video streaming and storage into their existing workflow. Striv.tv customer schools can log into a customized dashboard to upload and manage content, as well as to access analytics. It’s all seamless to users.
Access to these features begins with the Premium Plan, which costs $125 per month. Compared to the pricing for professional live streaming via other platforms, that’s very affordable!
How to access to powerful video APIs via streaming broadcast solutions
There are many different video platforms on the market today. For professionals, it’s critical to choose a video streaming platform that includes an API. For example, some platforms like Wowza only offer API access with additional pricing beyond the OVP service plans.
However, for the purposes of article length, we’ll just look at one platform here: Dacast.
Dacast offers live streaming and video on-demand hosting for a broad range of businesses and organizations. All streams are delivered via the Akamai CDN, the largest and best CDN in the world.
Here are some other key features of the Dacast platform:
- White-label service
- Built-in monetization
- Security features
- RTMP and HLS ingest support
- CDN delivery via the Akamai network
- API and SDK access
- 24/7 customer support
- Competitive pricing
Dacast SDKs facilitate the use of video API
Finally, let’s look briefly at one more related topic: SDKs. The term SDK stands for Software Development Kit. In short, an SDK is a set of tools to help make the development of certain applications easier than previously possible.
SDKs are commonly used today to assist in the development of mobile apps. Do you need an app that can record and live stream video, or an app dedicated to watching live streams or video on demand? Perhaps you need to manage an ongoing stream from a mobile app. Maybe you want to integrate these functionalities into an existing app?
To do so, look for SDKs for Android and iOS to make it easier to develop this type of functionality.
Now that video APIs and what they can bring to your business are familiar to you, it’s time to start testing. Why not start today with Dacast’s 30-day free trial (no credit card required)? Just click the link below to start streaming today!
Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about live streaming pricing or our streaming broadcast solutions in general? Let us know in the comments section, below!