Comparison of the Top 10 VOD Platforms: What You Need to Know [2021 Update]

VOD platforms

The video on demand (VOD) industry is exploding. More and more people want to watch their online videos when and wherever they desire. 

One recent report found video viewing on VOD platforms “[is] up 155% year-over-year, with an average viewing time of 17.1 minutes per session,” and businesses are taking advantage of this trend. In fact, the video streaming market is predicted to be worth $30.6 billion by 2022. 

Today, we will review the top ten platforms for VOD hosting. We’ll compare them on a feature-by-feature basis and discuss different plans and pricing options

Before we dive into our in-depth comparison, we will run through what exact video on demand is and why professional broadcasters need to use enterprise-grade VOD hosting platforms.

Please note that the Dacast team has updated this comparison to reflect improvements and version updates in VOD platform technology as of January 2021.

Table of Contents

  • What is Video on Demand?
  • What is a Video on Demand Hosting Platform?
  • Top 5 VOD Platforms for Video Hosting
  • Conclusion

What is Video on Demand?

video on demand vod platform
Video on Demand (VOD) can be useful for businesses and organizations of any type to host videos online.

Video on demand, or VOD for short, is a content distribution method that gives viewers access to a library of video content that can be accessed on-demand.

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney + are prime examples of businesses that use this method. In addition to providing access to content for entertainment purposes, many businesses and educational institutions use this method to share libraries of content with different intentions.

For example, many large businesses use online video content to streamline their internal training processes. In this case, they’d use VOD to bring training modules to their employees.

Schools also use this to make online lectures and crash courses available for students, which is a great tool for remote learning.

VOD is different from live streaming since it is pre-recorded content whereas live streams capture and deliver content that is being filmed in real-time.

What is a Video on Demand Hosting Platform?

Broadcasters use VOD hosting software in order to store and manage their on-demand video content. There are consumer-grade and professional-grade VOD hosting platforms for businesses.

YouTube is the most popular video hosting platform, but its features are not well-suited for professional use. Other free platforms, like DailyMotion, Twitch, and Periscope, come with the same sort of limitations.

These free platforms are fine for independent content creators, like the vloggers and other “YouTubers,” but if your goal is to create a VOD platform that is secure, scalable, and easy to monetize, you’ll want to look for a professional-grade solution.

A professional video hosting platform will include tools for monetization, video player customization, easy embedding, advanced security, and API access.

On a good VOD hosting platform, these features are accessible in an easy to use video content management system (CMS).

Top 10 VOD Platforms for Video Hosting in 2021

VOD video on demand platforms
Explore some of the best VOD platforms on the market.

We have rounded up the top ten online video hosting platforms for VOD streaming so that you can review their pricing and features side by side.

Please keep in mind that not every broadcaster needs every tool or feature. The most important thing to consider when choosing a VOD hosting platform is whether or not it has the features you need to reach your broadcasting goals.

With this in mind, let’s dive into the top VOD video on demand platform providers for video hosting.

1. Dacast

Dacast Video On Demand VOD Platform
Our VOD hosting platform is made possible by our recent acquisition of vzaar.

Dacast is a unified streaming solution with both VOD hosting and live streaming functions. It offers a variety of advanced online video hosting features. These advanced features include video monetization, top-notch security, video API global video delivery, and top-tier video delivery. 

Although this hosting and video on demand platform provider are loaded with so many powerful features, Dacast manages to keep prices pretty competitive. 

It is best suited for enterprise businesses and other professional organizations that aim to host high-quality video broadcasts, both live and on-demand.

Video Encoding

Video Hosting and Library Organization

Uploading / Migration

Video Monetization

video monetization
Dacast integrated paywall facilitates global payments, control rates, promos, and is built right into the player
  • Integrated white-label paywall built-in
  • Pay-per-view (TVOD) support
  • Subscriptions (SVOD) support
  • Advertising (AVOD) support
  • Coupon codes and packages to sell bundled content

API Access 

Security Features

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: none (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
  • Aspect ratio: no restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
  • Max file size: none
  • Max video length: none
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MT

Pricing

Dacast has multiple live streaming pricing plans for organizations of all sizes and budgets. Here is a quick summary of all plans:

  • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
  • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
  • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
  • Custom planContact us for custom pricing plans

To learn more about advanced video hosting, video transcoding, unlimited live channels, and other custom options, please reach out to Dacast’s support.

2. IBM Cloud Video

ibm cloud video on demand platform
IBM Cloud Video offers powerful solutions for broadcasters with a wide range of budgets.

IBM Cloud Video is loaded with features that you need for creating a professional VOD platform.

As a massive corporation, IBM provides a sprawling video service. Their VOD solution, IBM Cloud Video, is packed with features. 

However, the expansive nature of the platform is a double-edged sword since it can be hard to navigate. 

IBM Cloud Video is an excellent platform for large organizations with expert broadcasters.

Video Encoding

  • Support for multi-bitrate streaming
  • Adaptive video player
  • Cloud encoding
  • Live transcoding

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • VOD hosting and live streaming
  • Categories and subcategories for organization
  • Tags for further sub-organization
  • Hong Kong (China) video hosting
  • Custom metadata fields
  • Playlists

Uploading / Migration

  • Video library migration: available for an additional fee via professional services
  • Phone technical support available

Video Monetization

  • Subscriptions (SVOD) 
  • Ad-integration available
  • Subscriber management tools

API and Security Features

  • Full video API included
  • SDKs for iOS and Android development

Security Features

  • Password-protected videos
  • AES encryption and/or DRM
  • Domain restrictions
  • IP restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery

IBM Limitations

  • No SSL secure paywall built-in (integration only)
  • Bulk upload tool and Dropbox upload are NOT included

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 480p (480 x 270)
  • Maximum dimension:  4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: No published aspect ratio
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: 1TB – 5TB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MPEG2, H264, H263, MPEG4, VP6, VP8, THEORA, WMV, MP3, AAC-LC, NELLYMOSER, PCM, SPEEX, VORBIS, WMA

Pricing

The pricing plans for the IBM Video Cloud include:

  • Silver – $99/month
  • Gold – $499/month
  • Platinum – $999/month
  • Custom Please contact IBM Cloud video for custom plan pricing.

3. Kaltura

kaltura VOD video on demand platform
Kaltura’s VOD hosting platform is equipped with the tools you need for a totally customizable experience.

Another large VOD hosting platform comes from Kaltura. Kaltura takes an entirely customized approach to video. Since it is customizable, the platform offers a lot of flexibility. 

Kaltura is best for enterprise businesses and other large organizations. Their prices are not published on their website, but users have reported that Kaltura’s software comes with a hefty price tag.

Video Encoding

  • Support for multiple bitrates
  • Adaptive video player: delivers best video quality automatically
  • Cloud encoding: simply and easily transcode videos into multiple bitrates.
  • Support for transcoding from unusual and proprietary codecs(e.g. GoToMeeting).

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • VOD hosting and live streaming
  • Categories and subcategories for organization
  • Tags for further sub-organization
  • Playlists

Uploading / Migration

  • Bulk upload tool 
  • Custom XML/CSV upload tool supports offline metadata editing

Video Monetization

Kaltura only allows monetization with external integrations.

API Access

  • Full video API access
  • SDKs for iOS and Android development

Security Features

  • Password-protected videos
  • AES encryption and/or DRM
  • Domain restrictions
  • IP restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery

Kaltura Limitations

  • No SSL secure paywall built-in
  • No pay-per-view (TVOD), subscriptions (SVOD), or advertising (AVOD) support
  • Do dropbox upload or video library migration

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

Pricing

  • All plans: no pricing information available. As a result, users must negotiate all plans on a custom basis with Kaltura.

4. Muvi

Muvi VOD platform
Muvi is known for its customizability and monetization tools.

Muvi is a feature-rich, flexible video platform. If you need high-end features and have a large budget, Muvi could be right for you. 

Muvi’s most popular feature is its wide range of monetization tools. This is appealing to organizations that set out to make money on their video content with ads, subscriptions, or pay-per-view models.

Video Encoding

  • Support for multi-bitrate streaming
  • Adaptive video player
  • Cloud encoding
  • Automatic transcoding with support up to 4K resolution

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • VOD hosting and live streaming
  • Categories and subcategories for organization
  • Tags for further sub-organization
  • Playlists
  • 24/7 support available for high-end customers

Uploading / Migration

  • Bulk upload tool
  • Dropbox upload
  • Video library migration
  • Support for audio and image files in addition to video

Video Monetization

  • SSL secure paywall built-in
  • Pay-per-view (TVOD) support
  • Subscriptions (SVOD) support
  • Advertising (AVOD) support
  • Customer loyalty program (allow your viewers to redeem points for free content)

API Access

  • Full video API included
  • SDKs for iOS and Android development 

Security Features

  • AES encryption and/or DRM
  • Domain restrictions
  • IP restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery

Muvi Limitations

  • No password protection for videos
  • High price point

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 144p (256 x 144)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840  x2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: not available
  • Max video length: not available
  • Total file storage: 1TB, 2TB, 5TB (depending on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, M4V, AVI, 3GP, MPG

Pricing

Muvi has five different pricing plans:

  • Standard: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB of bandwidth, 1 TB of storage, and API access.
  • Professional: $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) increases limits and adds premium support.
  • Enterprise: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
  • Ultimate: $8,900/month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
  • Black: this is a custom solution and includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

5. Wistia

wistia streaming video hosting
Wistia is a marketing-focused VOD hosting platform.

Wistia is a VOD-only platform that has a main focus on marketing. It includes some excellent and unique features, such as “heat maps” analytics. 

Since Wistia is a more specialized platform, it does not include all of the great features that are included with the other VOD platforms we’ve covered. It has quite a few limitations, and it may not be ideal for all users. 

Video Encoding

  • Support for multiple bitrates
  • Adaptive video player
  • Cloud encoding

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • VOD hosting, but no live streaming
  • Categories and subcategories for organization
  • Tags for further sub-organization
  • Playlists
  • Powerful analytics tool with heat maps
  • Unique “project” organizational structure

Uploading / Migration

  • Bulk upload tool
  • Dropbox upload

Video Monetization

Wistia does not offer any native monetization features, but you can integrate external paywalls.

API Access

  • Full video API included

Security Features

  • Password-protected videos
  • Domain restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery

Wistia Limitations

  • No video library migration
  • No SSL secure paywall built-in
  • No monetization support
  • No SDKs for iOS and Android development
  • No AES encryption and/or DRM
  • No IP restrictions

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimensions: None
  • Maximum dimensions: Maximum of 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Supported aspect ratios: Any
  • Maximum file size: 8 GB
  • Maximum video length: 2 hours
  • Total file storage: Up to 10 videos with the pro plan ($99 per month), $0.25 per month for every extra video
  • Accepted video formats: MP4 (recommended format), .MOV, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP

Pricing

Wistia has three pricing plan tiers. 

  • Free: No cost to use; up to 250 subscribers and 3 videos; cannot remove Wistia’s branding from the video player
  • Pro: $99/month; 10 free videos with additional videos for $0.25/each; white-label video player
  • Advanced: custom pricing; 100 free videos with additional videos for $0.25/each; multiple channels, 250+ subscribers

6. Brightcove

Brightcove VOD Video Hosting
Brightcove is a powerful video hosting platform that is well-suited for enterprise use.

Boston-based Brightcove was founded in 2004. It is one of the oldest online video platforms offering cloud encoding, live streaming, and VOD (video on demand) hosting. 

Brightcove is another major player in the VOD platform building game. It offers powerful solutions in custom priced packages.

Users report the Brightcove platform as “robust” and “easy to use”. The platform includes essential features such as batch uploading and simplified management of large content libraries. The company also supports all revenue generation models for online video. 

Video Encoding

  • Multi-bitrate video player
  • Adaptive streaming

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • Global video content delivery
  • Tech support, but only at a basic level with slow ticket-based responses 
  • Includes custom video portals
  • CRM integration available

Uploading / Migration

Video Monetization

Video monetization is only available with custom-priced plans.

API Access

  • Video API access with custom-priced plans

Security Features

  • Role-based access control
  • DRM and AES encryption
  • Geo and IP restrictions
  • Tokenized security
  • Domain restrictions
  • SSO

Brightcove Limitations 

  • High pricing
  • No China video delivery
  • Slow tech support

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: Determined by user
  • Maximum dimension: Determined by user 
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (since Brightcove uses a responsive player)
  • Max file size: No limits on files size
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: Varies by plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP

Pricing

Since Brightcove mainly targets enterprise-level clients, they offer several custom-priced streaming plans at high price points.

The three pricing tiers include:

  • Starter: includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
  • Professional: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with +10 users
  • Enterprise: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

Interested broadcasters can contact their sales department to receive a quote or sign up for a 30-day free trial.

7. Vidyard

Vidyard Video Hosting platform
Vidyard is a marketing-focused VOD hosting platform.

Looking to use VOD for your business’s marketing needs? Vidyard is equipped with the tools you need. 

This platform is known for its lead generation and engagement-centered features. Its most notable marketing tools are SEO, email capture, and advanced video analytics.

Video Encoding

Vidyard does not offer any special encoding or transcoding tools.

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • Marketing tools for SEO, email, and analytics
  • Interactive viewing and lead capture tools
  • Video organization and channels
  • Reliable technical support

Uploading / Migration

  • Fast video upload
  • Upload widget for easy upload

Video Monetization

Vidyard does not offer video monetization.

API Access

  • Video API
  • Player API

Security Features

  • Password protection
  • SSO

Vidyard Limitations

  • Mixed user reviews and consistency issues
  • Complicated backend editing portal
  • No monetization tools
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension:  360p (480 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension:  4k (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size:5GB to 16GB (depends on the plan)
  • Max video length: 1 hour (live stream)
  • Total file storage: Not available
  • Compatible video formats: WEBM, MP4, MKV, MOV

Pricing

There are a few ways to break down Vidyard’s pricing. They have two main umbrellas that their services, and are packaged as follows:

Packages for Individuals and Teams:

  • Free Forever: Free
  • Pro Package: $15/month; comes with password protection and marketing tools
  • Teams Package: $300/month; access for 3 or more users; video analytics and custom branding
  • Business Package: $1250/month; access for 5 or more users; custom integrations

Custom Video Solutions:

8. JW Player

JW Player VOD hosting platform

JW Player’s video player was part of YouTube’s original video player technology. This platform has evolved to become one of the most well-established players in the VOD hosting game.

Video Encoding

  • Multi-bitrate streaming
  • Adaptive video player

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • Global content delivery, except for China 
  • Tech support (limited to email support for cheaper plans)

Uploading / Migration

Video Monetization

  • Supports ad-based monetization (AVOD)

API Access 

  • Video API available with all plans

Security Features

  • Security features are basic but functional
  • Only custom-priced Enterprise plans offer DRM

Limitations

  • Only supports AVOD
  • Limited tech support
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
  • Max file size: 25GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV

Pricing

JW Player has pricing plans which range from free with a non-commercial license paid with numerous benefits and features. 

Their pricing packages include:

  • Free trial: JW Player offers a 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, a non-commercial license, 25 GB hosting bandwidth, and 75 GB streaming.
  • Starter plan: At $10 per month, the Starter pricing plan includes an HTML5 Video Player, a video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth, and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month (billed annually).
  • Enterprise plan: these business-specific plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.  

9. Wowza

Wowza video hosting and OTT streaming
Wowza offers a few different on-demand video hosting solutions.

Wowza is a multi-faceted VOD hosting platform that is rich in tools and features. This platform’s most notable feature is its customizable video player. This fosters an on-brand viewer experience.

Video Encoding

  • Built-in cloud transcoding
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • White-label video player for an on-brand viewer experience 
  • Mobile video streaming with HTML5 video player
  • Customer support
  • Cloud management portal

Uploading / Migration

The Wowza site does not present information on uploading and migration.

Video Monetization

Wowza does not support video monetization.

API Access

  • API access is available on all plans
  • SDKs for mobile streaming

Security Features

  • SSL
  • Tokenized-security
  • DRM
  • Source authentication

Limitations 

  • Lack of video monetization 
  • No video analytics tools

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160) 
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: Not available
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP

Pricing:

Wowza recently overhauled their pricing plans and added several options. These are split into 2 main tiers: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine.

The Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services. Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

  • Basic: $99/month; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
  • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours also at 720p
  • Plus: $499/month; includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p

All of these Live Event plans include full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

  • Basic: $125/month + $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • One Month Event: $245/month + $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

10. Vimeo OTT

Vimeo Livestream video hosting
Vimeo OTT is one of many professional solutions from Vimeo.

Vimeo originated as a consumer-grade video platform like YouTube, but it has since shifted to serve professional broadcasters. Vimeo OTT is one of their premium solutions that is equipped with the tools that businesses need to build an online streaming platform.

This solution is specifically geared towards creating a site like Netflix that sells streaming as a service. Check out Vimeo On-Demand, which is a pay-per-view streaming service by Vimeo that is powered by the Vimeo OTT technology. This will give you a good idea of how the tool works in action.

Video Encoding

Vimeo OTT’s webpage does not provide any information on encoding or transcoding features.

Video Hosting and Library Organization

  • Built for scalability
  • Advanced video analytics
  • Auto-archiving of live streams
  • Reliable customer support

Uploading / Migration

  • “No-downtime” migration

Video Monetization

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • Pay-per-view 

API Access

  • Tools for app development
  • Access to easy API

Security Features

Vimeo OTT’s webpage does not provide any information on privacy or security features.

Limitations 

  • Video security is not listed as a feature

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Recommended dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 3GB
  • Max video length: Information not available 
  • Total file storage: Information not available
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)

Pricing:

Vimeo offers basic video hosting plans that are suitable for content creators and startups.

  • Basic: 30-day free trial
  • Plus: $7/month; 5GB/week or 250GB every year; Single user; Brand customization and privacy tools
  • Pro: $20/month; 20GB/week or 1TB every year; 3 users; collaboration tools and video showcase sites
  • Business: $50/month;  5TB total storage (no weekly limits); 10 users; lead gen and marketing tools
  • Premium: $75/month; Unlimited live streaming with 7TB of storage; unlimited viewers

All plans are billed annually. The Plus plan can be billed monthly at an increased rate of $12/month.

Conclusion:

vod platform
Which VOD hosting platform will you choose?

There are a lot of great VOD hosting platforms on the market today, but these video on demand platform providers differ in both features and pricing.

Take a moment to consider your target audience and what sort of content you plan to deliver to them. The platform you choose should depend on what features you need to reach your broadcasting goals. 

If you are getting started in the world of professional broadcasting, we recommend taking advantage of Dacast’s 30-day free trial to get a better feel for all of the amazing features.

When you’re ready, just click the button below to sign up and check it out.

Finally, are you considering using pro streaming solutions for the first time? Alternatively, have you been using the technology already? Let us know in the comments! We love to hear from our readers. And we’ll do our best to respond to every response. And for exclusive offers and live streaming tips, you can join our LinkedIn group.

6 thoughts on “Comparison of the Top 10 VOD Platforms: What You Need to Know [2021 Update]

  1. Christiana says:

    I am just starting out with VOD in the Fitness/Wellness industry. I am interested in streaming, VOD and a video classroom setting where participants can see eachother and the instructor sees everyone as well. Is there a platform that will meet all of these requirements that is reasonabley priced for a new user?

  2. Rory says:

    I am just starting out with VOD in the Health Professional industry. I am interested in streaming, VOD, and a video classroom setting where participants can see each other and the instructor sees everyone as well. Is there a platform that will meet all of these requirements that is reasonably priced for a new user?

  3. J. says:

    Hello,
    I am interested in building a site thats able to be monitized through ads that can be turned off if the viewer pays. Does dacast do that or do you recommend another service?

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