What is an OTT platform?
Before going to the list of OTT platforms, it would be more appropriate to get a better idea about the concept of OTT platforms. OTT is an abbreviation that represents the term Over-the-top media services.
A user can access OTT content, including live steam, directly through their computer. However, it can even be watched through web-enabled TV units or other devices that have internet access. Roku and Apple TV are some of the best examples of such devices connected to conventional televisions and used to view OTT content. Basically, OTT is a streaming media service.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken the world by storm, many filmmakers and professionals release their content through OTT platforms. According to them, broadcasting with OTT is a better and practical approach other than waiting for the concept of “social distancing” fades away, and theatres reopened.
When it comes to OTT, there is no shortage of options in the modern-day industry. However, not all those OTT platforms are the same. So, choosing the best OTT platforms can be a tricky task.
Choosing a good OTT platform
You should know that there are plenty of OTT platforms available today, and the number is likely to grow in the future. So, you should know how to choose a good OTT platform from the rest. In this section of our guide, we explain the main aspects you should consider before selecting an OTT platform.
It must offer complete services
The platform you pick must offer full services. That means, from your side, you should only decide the content that should be provided to your customers. Your provider should handle the rest of the work. For instance, they should handle tasks like transcoding, content distribution, adaptive streaming protocol utilization, IPTV management, etc.
Better viewer engagement
Go for a service that facilitates good viewer engagement through personalization, researched viewing recommendations, streaming, and working through multiple devices.
Both you and your business are trying to achieve success through the OTT platform, and therefore, your aim is making money. So, you should need to find an OTT platform that lets you capitalize on every opportunity and make money.
Ease of managing
Last but not least, the platform you choose must let you manage the content and other data conveniently. More importantly, your customers should experience the same level of convenience.
Dacast can be considered the first-ever OTT platform with a comprehensive SaaS (Streaming as a Service) strategy. This unique platform is empowered with a range of useful features based on cloud computing. For instance, it offers features such as on-demand video hosting and High Definition Live Broadcasting.
In addition to that, they provide a host for well-secured video monetization tools as well. Dacast has a powerful video player based on HTML5 white label video player. This specific player can be customized to match your requirements, such as personalized colors and logos.
Dacast is a pretty affordable OTT platform compared to many other counterparts. Its pricing starts at $21.00 per month for a single user (developer plan). Also, it is possible to get more advanced plans based on your requirement. Although they do not offer a free version, there is a free trial so that you can get a glimpse of their platform.
- Detailed analytics are provided so the users will be able to get a clear idea about the current strategies’ effectiveness.
- It supports mobile screens, which are particularly useful because many users access these platforms through mobile devices.
- Brand overlay options are provided, so the content can easily be customized to match the branding theme.
- The bulk uploading feature is there to save your time.
- Affordable pricing plans and the ability to get tailor-made packages.
- Very impressive customer support team which assists you through the configuration process.
- A highly customizable platform that integrates perfectly into aspects like HTML pages and OBS studio.
- Some learning curve is required.
- Analytics is a little bit complex to understand.
- Developer: $21 per month (billed annually)
- Event: $63 per month (billed annually)
- Scale: $188 per month (billed annually)
Uscreen.tv is another unique OTT platform ideal for those who want to monetize and distribute their videos across the globe. It can be used either to broadcast content for the target audience or online courses for employees. It can be identified as a powerful and well-simplified SaaS solution.
Uscreen offers full control to the users to achieve their video monetization targets. The safety and the profitability of the content broadcasted over Uscreen is appreciable.
This OTT platform was introduced to the public back in 2015. As of now, there are more than 1000 businesses, and creators make use of this platform. However, big-scale clients like RIVNow, WanderlustTV, and Leadercast use Uscreen.tv, the vast majority of its clients are small brands.
Their plans start from $49 per month, and they offer a trial period as well. Although they allow you to pay the fee monthly, that will cost significantly more than the annual billing method.
- Bulk uploading can save plenty of time.
- Brand overlaying ability is offered to add their branding to the content for better results.
- The social sharing feature is enabled, so there is an excellent chance of publicizing your content over a wider range.
- Privacy options are provided for the safety of the content.
- A very friendly user interface which is convenient even for novice users.
- Constant monthly upgrades to the platform.
- Awe-inspiring OTT service with useful monetization options.
- It can be somewhat expensive because of the extra fees they charge to add different features.
- There is no robust built-in email automation feature included in this platform, and it doesn’t have a robust analytics dashboard as well.
- Basic Plan: $49
- Amplify Plan: $299
- Enterprise Plan: Price will depend on the customized options you choose.
Wowza is another widespread and growing platform that has become a norm for both live and on-demand streaming. They cater to all the scales without any trouble. This platform allows you to stream content on any devices in a live, linear, and on-demand basis.
Wowza Streaming Engine can accelerate the development cycle correctly. It then creates a variety of innovative streaming solutions thanks to its comprehensive collection of tools and APIs.
As of this writing, more than 38,000 organizations depend on Wowza for their streaming purposes. They also offer a free trial for 30 days. The installation process of Wowza is just like a walk in the park. Moreover, this platform allows excellent customization options for users to make it a more personalized experience.
Thanks for the impressive flexibility, this tool lets you build pretty much anything related to streaming. The feature set they offer is simply outstanding. In addition to that, they offer constant improvements and updates to make the product a more valuable one.
- Analytics of the content to get a better idea about their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Closed captions
- Brand overlay for a more customized approach.
- The mobile screen supports a broad range of users will be attracted to the content.
- Very easy to customize the interface of the software, and relatively little learning curve is required.
- Features can be accessed thanks to the clear and straightforward instructions on the user-interface very conveniently.
- The affordable fee structure for new businesses.
- Many reports are related to its heavy memory usage (this is probably because it is a Java-based platform).
- Novice users might find it somewhat challenging to understand all the features of the platform.
- Software (Media Server Software): $125 per instance (per month)
- Services (for managed live-streaming service): $149 for one month’s streaming.
If you are looking for an end-to-end OTT platform with multi-screen features, MUVI can be a great option. This outstanding OTT service allows content owners to launch unique content under their own, personalized, and branded streaming platforms very quickly.
MUVI platform comes with such a unique IT infrastructure, CMS, hosting, CDN, DRP, transcoding, online video player, and even apps for both mobile and TV. This is a fully managed streaming space that comes as a white-labeled solution with the approval of the most comprehensive Video and Audio CMS.
It also features multiple payment gateways as well as multi-currency options. Moreover, it requires very little attention in terms of the configuration. They also offer around the clock support, their services under different pricing plans. They offer a free version and a free trial period to provide a glimpse of the platform’s efficiency.
- Very handy video monetization tools for businesses of all the scales and niches.
- Multistreaming capabilities.
- Availability of even scheduling tools.
- Audience engagement for more effective distribution of content.
- MUVI platform comes with plenty of different features, and they work very efficiently.
- New features are added continuously to this platform with frequent upgrades.
- The customer support team comprises nice and friendly professionals who maintain a cooperative approach.
- In some cases, the performance of the platform becomes pretty unstable, particularly due to the bugs.
- In some instances, CMS works irrationally and reduces the workflow’s overall clarity and intuitiveness.
- Standard: $399 per month
- Professional: $1499
- Enterprise: $3900
- Ultimate: $8900
- Black: Personalized package that costs $8900 + other costs based on your choices.
- They offer a free plan as well (no credit card required).
Watson Media is another powerful OTT platform that utilizes the best of Artificial Intelligence. This platform has enough power to provide improvements for aspects such as video analytics, viewer engagement, delivery, and, more importantly, monetization.
It offers a comprehensive employee video portal with live and on-demand broadcasting facilities when it comes to employee communication. There is a speech to text and captioning features in the cloud. Moreover, it is empowered with easy error corrections and AI training to make it a better experience.
Real-time alerts to define predefined behaviors and its scalability to synchronize thousands of cameras make it a powerful contender in this list.
- Useful video analytics so you can decide the overall effectiveness of the content.
- Viewer engagement for better user-experience.
- Monetization options for any scale of business regardless of the niche.
- Real-time analytics and the ability to monitor multiple channels simultaneously.
- The platform can cater to massive audiences, and it gives access to previous casts easily.
- A user-friendly platform for both management as well as to the user.
- The chat feature has plenty of room to improve though it is “OKAY” for general conversation.
- Sometimes, it takes longer than expected to join a stream.
- Silver Plan: $99.0 per month.
- Gold Plan: $499.0 per month.
- Platinum Plan: $999.0 per month.
They also offer a free plan.
JW Player Live is a distinctive OTT among the other options because of the easy-to-use, simple, and intuitive user interface. One of the most significant benefits associated with this OTT platform is that its fast loading speed.
Many individuals consider this player to be a very snappy one. In addition to that, the time it takes to render and transcode the content is speedy. All those characteristics make this platform a superb option for those who look for a lightweight, fast-loading OTT platform.
When it comes to the sales support and overall service, JW Player Live is exemplary. Their customer care team and the technical staff are very knowledgeable, professional yet highly flexible.
However, the platform would have been a much better one if it comes with a dedicated information panel with things such as bitrate. Also, the platform should have a YouTube button as well so content can be shared easily. Generally speaking, JW Player Live is a pretty handy, stable, and solid platform that does the job.
- Session recording.
- Supports multiple camera feeds.
- Event scheduling.
- Live streaming production.
- Customizable branding.
- Very simple and intuitive user-interface which is ideal for any user.
- It has a very impressive loading speed and also takes very little time to render and transcode.
- Availability of free trial.
- Their RSS feed is incompatible with iTunes Video Podcast submission parameters as of this writing.
- Lack of information on videos.
- Starter Plan: $25 per month.
- Enterprise Plan: price depends on your requirement.
Vimeo Livestream is a very popular option for those who want to launch their video subscription services. The internal video gallery of the Vimeo live stream plays the role of a centralized dashboard. Therefore, managing, controlling, publishing, accessing, and archiving the videos can be done at a single place.
One of the best characteristics associated with Vimeo OTT is that it does the hard work for you. So, you don’t have to worry about hiring a specialist to do it. All the subscription plans of Vimeo offer a variety of features. For instance, it lets you migrate free with no downtime. In addition to that, it facilitates in-app purchases as well. The auto-archive feature associated with live streaming is another handy option. To make it a more useful platform, they offer real-time insights as well.
Vimeo comes with several practical customization tools that can be used for branding requirements. With the assistance of Vimeo, you can even live-stream the video content with 1080p resolution without any flaws.
Vimeo supports monetization and it features the pay-per-view subscription sales model to optimize the ability of monetization.
- Auto-archive feature integrated to live streaming.
- Free migrate with no downtime.
- In app purchases.
- Live streaming with 1080p resolution to offer high-quality content for the viewers.
- Very useful monetization option.
- Pay-per-view subscription sales model.
- There are features like live polls, audience chat, and even graphical overlays facilitating highly professional live streams.
- Presence of data such as shareable user-level analytics, engagement graphs, and location-related statistics.
- DRM (Digital Rights Management) to prevent piracy.
- No native TV apps for Android, Apple TV, etc.
- No option to choose a server location.
- Cannot request custom templates.
- Starter: $1 per subscriber
- Growth: $500 per month.
- Enterprise: Quote based plan.
Kaltura comes with both live and video-on-demand SaaS options. These options are used for purposes such as promoting collaboration, training, communicating, making sales, and marketing. This OTT features a range of video communication tools. Webinars, townhalls, virtual classrooms, podcasts, etc. are only to name a few.
Kaltura allows you to hold virtual meetings without necessarily having a limitation on the number of participants. The advanced analytics tools used for Video on Demand and live streaming will allow you to get an idea about the real-time performance of the video.
In addition to that, Kaltura has a cloud TV platform as well. The uptime of this platform is promising and they promise an uptime of 99.995%. This OTT comes with an open API-based architecture so it can integrate with widely used systems such as Teams, Zoom, Webex, and so on.
The interactive video feature lets you create and share personalized videos. You can even embed them and optimize the engagement, learning, and conversion of the videos. Creating podcasts with the Kaltura platform is easy.
- Unlimited number of participants for virtual meetings.
- Create and share personalized videos.
- Supports video on demand and live streaming.
- Impressive uptime (they guarantee 99.995% uptime).
- Availability of webinars, townhall, virtual classrooms etc.
- Kaltura can capture videos easily thanks to its user-centric interface that gives innovative experience.
- Ability to add aspects such as transcriptions, captions, and transactions to the videos in order to maximize engagement.
- Ability to create engaging webcasts that are optimized with interactive elements through the “Townhall” feature.
- The interface of the admin panel can be somewhat difficult for some users.
- In certain cases, ingested videos can only be available after a couple of hours or even days.
- The support service is not as fast as you would expect.
- They have paid business and enterprise plans. The prices can be acquired upon a request.
- They offer a free trial as well.
Vplayed is considered a high-end OTT platform that comes with plenty of features to cater to both individual and corporate level clients. Their online media platform is comprehensive and they allow every user to gain maximum control over all the essential tasks including broadcasting, distribution, and marketing of both audio and video content.
This unique platform also offers precious features such as secure access control, multi-media formatting, unlimited storage, content partner portal, adaptive streaming, etc. to the benefit of the users of all levels. All those aspects collectively make Vplayed a promising platform that offers a flawless streaming experience.
One of the most significant characteristics associated with this tool is the way it offers analytics. When it comes to choosing an OTT, its monetization ability is a decisive characteristic.
It offers excellent support to analytics to the delight of content marketers. There is a dedicated dashboard for the purpose of reporting and it allows you to follow trends and behavior insight.
With the assistance of this powerful OTT platform, you can launch a comprehensive, multi-faceted content strategy with excellent monetization abilities and better overall engagement.
- Supports detailed analytics
- Secured access control
- Unlimited storage.
- Easy to use monetization for the use of businesses.
- Buffer-free streaming capabilities
- Very impressive, comprehensive, and user-friendly monetization options.
- Ability to perform multi-device streaming.
- No free trial is offered.
- Some learning curve is required.
- Limitations when it comes to choosing a plan.
- Not provided by the vendor. A one-time license is available.
Headquartered in San Jose, CA, OOYALA is another useful OTT platform that delivers video hosting through premium-grade CDNs. That is exactly why many clients consider OOYALA to be an ideal solution for the high volume global distribution of videos.
The video player of OOYALA can be customized easily and there are skins available for it. In addition to that, there are video embeds and widgets to be customized with your brand depending on your requirement. In order to assure optimal delivery, they offer dynamic bitrate switching as well.
They offer open APIs and various other tools to develop seamless third-party video experience or application. More importantly, OOYALA offers ad integrations with all the top-notch platforms. Their ads can be integrated as interactive, mid-roll, pre-roll, post-roll, or overlay banner mode.
To make things easier for content marketers, OOYALA facilitates batch uploads as well. When it comes to the analytics factor, they display the details under categories such as audience, plays, etc. Also, it tracks popular content trends so you can change your strategies accordingly. Both flash player and HTML5 players are available with this platform.
- Ability use different skins to give it a more personalized appearance.
- Dynamic bitrate switching.
- Multiple modes to integrate ads.
- Availability of Flash and HTML5 players.
- Easily integrated with multiple platforms.
- Easy to manage the content.
- Provides valuable analytics for monetization.
- Not the best user interface in the industry (more room to improve).
- Some learning curve is required especially for newbies.
- The website tends to crash often (hope they will fix it soon).
- Starts from $500 per month.
☆Best for Beginners★
These 3 OTT platforms are best for beginners：
If you are a beginner, Vimeo OTT can be considered as a very impressive option for you due to various reasons. As a beginner, you might be looking for a pretty affordable platform that doesn’t have too much complexity.
Vimeo OTT has all those characteristics. It has already received impressive feedback from a lot of novice users praising its user-friendliness and the convenience it delivers when it comes to living to stream.
Uscreen is another suitable OTT platform for beginners. The user interface is simplified and all the options can be found easily without any confusion. They offer frequent upgrades to their platform making it even better. The overall OTT service they offer is very impressive and the monetization options are useful. Their basic plan starts at $49 per month.
The other OTT platform that can be recommended for newbies is Wowza. This is particularly useful if you want to render VR & 3600 Streaming.
The interface of this platform can be customized easily and users require a very little amount of learning curve. Its features are located in such a way so you can access them easily. Also, its fee structure is affordable.