Top 5 Video Streaming Platforms Comparison 2020

video streaming platforms

When it comes to live video streaming, it can be a challenge to know where to start. Before going live, broadcasters need to consider how to choose their online video platform (OVP). And with so many video streaming platforms on the market, it can be daunting to know which is right for you.

However, not to worry; that’s where we come in! When it comes to pro streaming solutions, we’re here to guide you through comparing key features. Specifically, these features might include monetization options, video API access, storage, secure video uploading, analytics, and more.

To help you narrow down options, this article provides an updated comparison of 5 top video streaming platforms today. First, we’ll review the basics of video streaming platforms. Next, we’ll discuss the importance of comparing features, particularly reliability and price. We’ll also share a comparison chart of the basic features of five video streaming platforms, including our own. Finally, we’ll wrap things up with recommendations on how to choose the right platform for you.

With that outline in mind, let’s jump right in!

Video streaming platforms: What to know in 2020

To effectively compare video streaming platforms on the market, you first need to narrow down what exactly you want to achieve. In reality, this process is not really about how to find the cheapest or the most popular platform. Instead, it’s about choosing the platform with the greatest number of beneficial attributes for you or your business.

B2C vs. B2B video streaming platforms

video streaming platformsFirst of all, let’s discuss the difference between B2C (Business-to-consumer) and B2B (Business-to-business) video streaming platforms. Of course, we understand why some broadcasters initially opt for free B2C streaming services. However, most popular B2C streaming solutions, like YouTube Live, acquire the rights to your video content and can monetize it themselves. Yes, that approach may work for some broadcasters. However, most businesses and professionals won’t want to give up the distribution rights to their content. Furthermore, free B2C video streaming platforms can also display third-party ads and comments on your broadcasts.

And that’s where pro B2B video streaming platforms come into play. If you plan to stream live events like concerts, meetings, and religious events, you’ll want a live streaming platform that keeps the broadcasting process simple and professional. Likewise, if you want to stream live video on your website, you’ll want to choose a platform that supports that feature.

A Growing Market

According to Statista, the number of digital video viewers in the United States will likely surpass 249 million by 2022. In today’s digital world, video streaming has become a primary way to entertain and engage with customers. And the demand for video streaming continues to grow exponentially. As a direct result, so do the number of video streaming platforms designed to meet that demand.

When choosing between B2B video streaming platforms, reliability and price are key aspects to consider. Let’s review both in a bit more detail.

Key Factor #1: Reliability

live streaming CDNWhen comparing platforms for reliability, look for a service that partners with a CDN (content delivery network) to deliver broadcasts to viewers.

Why is this important? First, a live streaming CDN-powered service allows you to stream content globally without reaching a viewer limit. Five major players who offer this feature include Dacast, IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream), Vimeo (acquired Livestream), Wowza, and Brightcove. (We’ll share details below for each of these video streaming platforms.)

Along with hosting and delivering your video broadcasts, some live video streaming platforms come equipped with built-in features. For example, some now provide analytics about your viewers. This is useful when you aren’t sure how many people are viewing your content. With analytics, you can easily request a report and review your viewership metrics.

Key Factor #2: Price

Along with reliability, price is an equally important factor for many consumers. With close competition between live streaming platforms, broadcasters generally want the best quality and features for the lowest price.

price comparisonThe good news? This competition ultimately helps to keep prices lower, while maximizing the impact of your budget. Of course, when users find high-quality video streaming platforms at a great price, they tend to commit right away. (We’ll dig into the specifics of entry-level plan prices and features for five top video streaming platforms below.)

Overall, we recommend comparing pricing plans to narrow down your options. And we highly recommend taking advantage of free trials (like Dacast’s) when available!

Video Streaming Platforms Comparison

With those key features in mind, we’re ready to review the specs of five top platforms.  Note that most streaming services offer various plans and pricing options. The chart below compares five video streaming platforms by analyzing the first plan level for each service.

First, take a moment to review the nine features under comparison below. Then, try to identify which feature(s) are most important for your streaming goals. Which are the non-negotiables? Are there features you could afford to do without? Or, if you’re already a customer of one of these platforms, why did you choose it? Relatedly, do the services you’ve received so far meet your needs?

 

Features Dacast Vimeo
IBM Cloud Video
Wowza Brightcove
Entry-Level Price $19/mo $75/mo $99/mo $49/mo* (*monthly billing only)

$167/mo

$499
Ad-Free Viewer Hours 300 Unlimited 100 1,000 or 6,000 Up to 8 hrs/yr of SD live streaming
Storage (GB) 20 Unlimited 50 250 50 videos
Number of Channels Unlimited 1 only
5 only
Unlimited Custom
Watermarking From $999/mo
Paywall From $125/mo X X
Analytics From $399/mo
Geo restriction From $999/mo
Password Protection X

Choosing Between Video Streaming Platforms

In addition to the features above, these five video streaming platforms all provide access to a video API. Specifically, this feature supports quick and easy product integration into numerous cloud-based video applications, services, and digital media workflows. In other words, you can develop your very own platform and stream live directly from that site.

video streaming platformsAdditionally, you’ll want to check whether the video streaming platforms you compare offer a basic/starter plan. If it does, does it require you to commit to a premium or professional-level account right away? Relatedly, make sure to review which features come with the basic plan level. For example, will you need to pay more for basic features? Does the platform offer advanced features like China video hosting, and at which plan levels? And we could go on.

For example, Vimeo recently eliminated its basic plan offering in 2018.  This followed Vimeo’s acquisition of Livestream in 2017. Today, Vimeo (Livestream) broadcasters can choose the Premium Plan for $75/month (billed annually) or $199/month (billed monthly). However, Vimeo (Livestream) users seeking professional live streaming features must purchase a custom-priced plan. Common pro features for most businesses include white-label streaming, security features, and 24/7 streaming capabilities. For larger-scale businesses with high-end budgets, custom-priced “Enterprise” plans may be an accessible option. Live streamers on a tighter budget will need to look elsewhere for accessible, affordable options that are still feature-rich.

Why choose the Dacast video streaming platform?

After making your comparisons, we do hope you’ll consider our own OVP. Dacast is a self-service, white-label platform delivering both live and VOD streaming.

Also, note that we stream video using HTML5 via HLS or HDS. This means all Dacast streams are compatible with mobile, desktop, tablet, and any other device. When you compare Dacast to the video streaming platforms above, we remain the only service to offer so many features in its basic plan. In fact, nearly all of our Premium-level features come with the basic Dacast plan. Even better, this plan is currently available for only $19 per month.

Additional Dacast platform highlights

Dacast OVPAs mentioned above, Dacast’s basic plan provides broadcasters with access to a white-label system. (Not all video streaming platforms offer this feature, so make sure to review the fine print!) With Dacast, you can completely rebrand our platform to meet your specific needs. For example, let’s say you decide you want access to the integrated paywall feature? Simply upgrade to the Premium plan at $125 a month. Then, you’ll have access to ALL of our features, plus more bandwidth and storage. To start streaming with Dacast today, just sign up for an account (or for a free trial). Our team will help you start streaming live in a matter of minutes!

Additionally, Dacast features also include 24/7 customer support, and ad-free system, analytics, APIs, and access to Akamai’s CDN. This CDN has a network of over 180,000 servers worldwide. The Akamai CDN allows Dacasters to broadcast high-quality streams to a large audience all over the world. Additionally, Dacast makes it easy to stream live video right from your website. That way, you can focus on maintaining the look and feel of your site and content.

If you need API access, monetization, and rapid phone support, we recommend the popular Dacast Premium Plan at $125/month. In particular, this plan includes 2000 GB of streaming data per month and 200 GB of storage. You can also click here for our live streaming pricing plans for more details.

Conclusion

Whichever of the video streaming platforms you do choose, we hope this article has helped you to make a more informed decision. Remember: take the time to compare price, reliability, and other important features you’ll need before committing to a streaming service. And take advantage of free trials whenever possible!

And whatever your streaming goals, needs, and audience size, we’re here to help. Dacast offers an all-in-one professional streaming solution with no need to engage with intermediaries. In short, we guarantee our users an easy, seamless experience, backed by our 24/7 support service and a complete knowledge base.

After reading this video streaming platform comparison, are you ready to go live today? If so, you can sign up for our 30-day free trial (no credit card required) by clicking the button below:

YES, SIGN ME UP

And finally, for regular tips and exclusive offers, you’re also invited to join our LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your live broadcasts!

By Max Wilbert.

*Note to our readers: We’ve updated this article to reflect the latest comparison information as of January 2020.

27 thoughts on “Top 5 Video Streaming Platforms Comparison 2020

  1. Agatha Brown says:

    Very
    interesting and informative write up. The comparison clearly shows that
    DaCast is one of the best in the market. I also saw an interesting platform
    called PHANDO. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. Natalie says:

    Great review! We also had some good experience with viblix.com, the guys have done a great job, and it is free, comes with live video streaming and video promo support.

    • DaCast says:

      Pre-roll advertising, lower CDN quality, are some of the downside you have to accept in order to use this platform, Many broadcaster prefer making their own choices instead of adapting to a restrictive platform 🙂

  3. Rebecca says:

    We have great experience with PHANDO video platform (www.phando.com). It’s a relatively newer platform but offers all great features at a very low cost. Highly recommended!

    • DaCast says:

      Greetings,

      Twitch used to have a non-gaming version called Justin.tv… in fact the whole company was known as this. Although Justin.tv no longer exists, and they spun off and ran with Twitch instead.

    • DaCast says:

      Good morning Craig.
      It depends what do you mean by downloadable files. If you mean downloading the content of our streamer, it is not a feature indeed.
      We are specialized in broadcasting (live or On-demand). If you were talking of XML files of M3u8 links, we do provide them for free to our broadcasters, according to their plan level.
      Best,

      PS: How is everything going at medianets3?

      • DaCast says:

        Individuals love using Facebook because it is free. But like everything free nowadays, it comes with downsides. Paywall, geo-restriction, password protection, et cetera are reasons why Organisations often prefer using platforms such as Ustream, Livestream or DaCast (on which you can still broadcast on Youtube, Facebook or Twitter while keeping all the benefits of the platforms)

  4. Thomster says:

    What about support for Multiple Live channels? We have streamed 16 live channels for 6 weeks that last 2 years. I used Ustream the first year and Azure this last year; Both had problems. each year it’s a challenge to be able to effectively monitor all those channels.

  5. Cobus van Loggerenberg says:

    I am part of a church group that want to start up a 24/7 Internet TV station. Can you suggest best setup and service. Any input will be valued. Regards

    • DaCast says:

      Thank you reading us Cobus Van Loggerenberg.

      It is quite complex to advise the best setup and plan for fits your needs without getting more precisions on the use of live streaming you will have.
      Questions like, how many people on average will be watching your content. Call us at 855-896-9300 and an account manager will help you figure out which offer is the best for you.

      We also offer a pricing calculator that can be found following this link: https://www.dacast.com/streaming-pricing-plans/#tab3.

      Finally, our blog section and our help website are providing a lot of useful informations on live streaming, equipment and best practices.

      Thank you.

  6. DaCast says:

    Good afternoon Cobus,

    The best I could possibly recommend for you would be to start on a “Starter Plan”, which includes 100GB of bandwidth for $19 monthly. From there, you can purchase some additional storage for your video on demand.
    Finally, to be sure that your live stream won’t be stopped if you use all you data faster than expected (could be caused by more viewers than expected for instance), we recommend setting an overage protection.

    For more details, don’t hesitate to jump in a chat with one of our employees (by clicking the chat icon on the bottom right corner of any webpage) or by calling us 🙂

    Thank you

  7. Ian says:

    Hi – understand Akamai provides global reach. What local capacity is there is Australia compared to other providers using Akamai but with an Australian presence? I’m thinking 5 Stream here.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hi Ian! Thank you for reaching out.
      Well, Akamai will work exactly the same everywhere in the world. And our services are actually already providing a lot of streamers in your region (Australia + New-Zealand).
      5 streams would not have any impact on the performances.
      Have you tried already using our free trial to test the stream?

  8. Steve Bostin says:

    Hi
    Have used Livestream’s Basic Plan to livestream Ix camera and Ix screen capture for over 2 years for our very small church meetings but with the dropping of this Plan we are being forced to look at alternatives. I can forward our account details to show you what we do, to see if yours is a possibility.
    SteveB NZ

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