Online video is exploding. If you’re new to the game, the numbers are staggering. For example, video streaming rose 72.4% between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019. And those figures come on top of a 114% increase over the previous year’s period. What’s more, we can expect the same in 2020.
Many businesses are monetizing their libraries of on-demand video content, whether it be a series of courses, fitness training videos, or entertainment. However, some businesses are using this structure to store a series of internal training videos and resources, as well.
In this post, we are going to cover the necessities for creating a video on demand website before diving into the process of building one of your own. We will wrap things up by discussing the value of using a professional online video platform to create your VOD solution.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- 5 Necessities for Creating a VOD Website
- White-Label Video Player
- Simple Embed Process
- API and SDKs for Easy Development
- Cloud Video Transcoding Services
- Video CMS
- 6 Steps to Create a Video on Demand Website
- Online Video Platform for Building a VOD Website
5 Key Features of a Video On Demand (VOD) Platform for Business
Video on Demand websites are very valuable to businesses. They are great for organizing internal materials or making monetized content easily accessible.
In a business setting, in particular, the most common uses of online video are:
- Internal updates or announcements
- Conferences and events
- Marketing and sales
- Streaming service (like Hulu or Netflix)
Creating a video on demand website calls for unique tools and features that can be found in most professional online video platforms (OVP). Of course, these needs ultimately depend on your video platform goals and usage.
Let’s take a look at five of the most important OVP features for professionals who are building a VOD site.
1. White-Label Video Player
One of the most important features in a VOD platform for professionals is a white-label service. Simply put, a white-label video player provides a more on-brand appearance.
“White-label” means that the platform has no branding present in the player. Only logos and branding present on white-label video content are whatever you choose to include. An all device HTML5 video player typically has white-label capabilities.
This is a much more professional approach as opposed to a consumer-grade video hosting platform, like YouTube.
That type of service is free because they run advertisements, and brand each video with their logo. In contrast, a white-label service ensures that your brand is front and center.
2. Simple Embed Process
Embedding a video on your website is a key part of building your own VOD site. Some platforms make this easy, while with others it is challenging.
Embedding videos should be as simple as copying an embed code from your video host and pasting it into your website’s backend. This process works with all major CMS providers like WordPress and beyond.
3. API and SDKs for Easy Development
With video API, you can customize the video hosting experience. Another type of API, player API, gives you the power to further customize your video player.
APIs are essential in the modern workflow for video projects that are more complex than simple uploading and embedding.
According to Streaming Media, “The video workflow and distribution environment are incredibly complex, and the way to build a best-of-breed system or even just gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.”
Software Development Kits are similarly important. SDKs simplify the process of developing mobile apps and services for different platforms. Building a mobile app opens the potential to grow your subscriber base substantially. Video platforms for businesses should ideally include both APIs and mobile player SDKs to make your custom development easier.
4. Cloud Video Transcoding Services
Modern video cameras record in different sizes and formats. Additionally, those who view your videos also need to watch in different video sizes due to varying internet speeds. Some of your viewers are likely using cell phones with slow internet connections, while others are on fast connections and large, high-resolution screens.
Meeting the needs of viewers and standardizing viewing formats presents some technical challenges. Cloud video transcoding solves this problem, by creating multiple “renditions” at different bitrates for viewers with different internet speeds.
Understanding this process can be complex for anyone who isn’t a video engineer. Luckily, professional video-on-demand platforms offer a solution: cloud video transcoding services. When combined with an adaptive video player, this will allow you to upload any video, click one button to transcode to multiple renditions, and serve it to your viewers in the appropriate bitrate automatically.
5. Video CMS
A business needs a centralized place to manage content. The best tool for organizing and managing your content is a video content management system (CMS).
Your video CMS will allow you to sort videos into different categories or tags or folders. It also makes your content searchable, making it easy to perform bulk actions on multiple videos. It is particularly valuable if your VOD platform allows you to provision multiple users with different permissions for managing, uploading, and publishing content to your account.
How to Create a Video on Demand Website in 6 Steps
Now that you’re familiar with five of the top features for a video-on-demand platform, let’s move on and discuss how to get access to a video-on-demand platform.
There are a few ways to do this. One of the most powerful ways to create a video on demand website to build your platform yourself.
Here are six steps for creating your video on demand platform.
1. Plan and Strategize
To get started, you need to develop a solid strategy. Identify your goals by creating the content. It is very important to get very clear on who you’re creating content for.
Plan out your content. Map out series, write scripts, and figuring out what sort of equipment you need. You need to have a decent idea of what you’re going to do before you get started.
At this stage you should also work out who you’ll need to hire for filming, acting, editing, directing, and web development.
2. Produce Your Content
Once you’ve got everything planned out, it is time to produce your content.
Depending on your goals, you may want to release a large number of videos at one time, so this step could take several weeks or months.
One way to generate content is to record virtual events and live streams. Uploading previously live content as a VOD file is a great way to repurpose your content.
3. Develop Your Website
Your VOD content needs a place to live, so you’ll need to develop a website. You can either build a section on your existing business website, or you can build an entirely new website.
Building a new website is a good idea to keep things more straightforward.
If you decide to build a new website, you can either hire a contractor to develop it or leave the responsibility to a skilled and experienced member of your team.
You will want your site to be professional, on-brand, and easy to navigate.
4. Upload Your Content
Once your content is ready to go, you’ll want to upload your content to your video hosting platform. You’ll want to choose an online video platform that offers secure upload.
If you’re uploading batches of large video files at once, you’ll want to check if your OVP offers FTP upload.
5. Embed Your Video Player
After you’ve uploaded your content, it’s time to embed your video player on the website you developed in step 3.
Test all of your embedded video players on your new VOD platform to make sure everything is ready to go when your viewers access the content.
6. Promote Your VOD Website
If everything ran smoothly during your test runs, it is time to promote your VOD website. Your promotion methods will depend on the purpose of your content.
For internal content, your “promotion” will be more of sharing the link to your website with the members of your team that need to see it.
However, if you’re monetizing your VOD website and making it a streaming service, you’re going to want to put more time and energy into marketing and advertising your site.
Online Video Platform for Building a VOD Website
When you’re building a VOD website, using a feature-rich online video platform (OVP) will help streamline the process.
Choose a platform that includes API access to customize your experience and a global content delivery network (CDN) to deliver content rapidly and reliably.
Today, there are tons of video platforms on the market to choose from. However, Dacast is a great option. For two years in a row, Dacast has won Streaming Media Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Small/Medium Business Video Platform.
Note: Most businesses won’t be content with social video platforms like YouTube. These services have plenty of drawbacks. The branding doesn’t center your business, recommended videos distract users, and SEO benefits won’t accrue to your site. Social video platforms are simply not designed for professionals. They can be useful as part of an integrated strategy that includes a professional video platform.
Video streaming is a powerful tool for modern businesses. At the same time, knowing how and where to start can be intimidating.
To that end, we’ve covered some of the necessary features in a video on demand platform and how to use those tools to build a VOD website of your own.
As we’ve mentioned, Dacast has been named the best SMB video platform for two years running. In addition to the features discussed in this article, Dacast includes a variety of powerful tools for monetization, analytics, and more.
We also offer a range of professional services to help you get your business VOD platform up and running. You can check out our live streaming pricing plans to learn more.
With that in mind, are you ready to give the Dacast streaming solutions a try? If so, just click the link below to get free streaming for 30 days (no credit card required). You can be ready to stream live video in a matter of minutes!
Finally, if you have further questions or thoughts, feel free to leave us a comment below. Are you looking for more live streaming tips, industry networking opportunities, and exclusive offers? If so, you can also join our LinkedIn group.
Thanks for reading, and happy broadcasting!