These days, businesses large and small have become video broadcasters to one extent or another. More companies are uploading corporate training videos, town halls, and product videos than ever before. The enterprise online video streaming market is projected to hit 24 billion USD by 2026. And with a growing market comes a growing need for secure, robust, scalable, and customizable solutions. In this article, we’ll explore the 5 best cloud-based Enterprise Video Platforms (EVPs) and how to choose the one that will suit your company’s video needs best.
Enterprise Video Streaming in 2021
Especially in the last year, online video streaming, both live and on-demand, has exploded in the corporate world as the format of choice for all kinds of internal and external use cases. Videos are streamed to onboard new employees, mobilize personnel through all-hands meetings and town halls, engage stakeholders through virtual events, or help customers through product tutorials, just to name a few.
The use of online video streaming implies a host of issues and actions, from uploading and organizing to delivery and analytics. These are generally taken care of by a single video content management system or EVP.
Why not stream to social media or YouTube?
YouTube is a free, easy-to-use gateway to millions of viewers. But while price and convenience certainly are important, social media aren’t suitable platforms for enterprise video streaming for many reasons.
One huge reason is that you won’t get the level of security and control over the distribution of and rights to your video content, as you would with an EVP. Social media also lack the tools, tech support, and better monetization options that EVPs provide.
A third important reason is the interface in front of which your audience sits. Your business might have its banner, logo, and name on its Facebook page, but it remains first and foremost a Facebook page. Social media don’t offer many branding options other than maybe a thumbnail, banner, or small watermark. And most users won’t view your online video streaming from your business’ dedicated page, but rather from their feed, where it will be surrounded by third-party ads, maybe even from competitors. Most Enterprise Video Platforms provide an ads-free white-label solution.
How To Choose The Right Online Video Streaming Platform For Your Business
We made the case for EVPs over free online video platforms. But among EVPs, there are many differences in quality and features. Let’s review 4 basic factors by which you should evaluate enterprise video platforms to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
You want your online video streaming to reach your audience without technical issues. So reliability is paramount. Especially if you plan to live stream, you should look for an EVP that offers a top-tier CDN and low-latency streaming. You’ll also want mobile-friendly transcoding to keep the playback experience of your content seamless on any device.
- Security and privacy
Extensive security and privacy features should be high on your wish list. You’ll want to protect your content and copyrights through robust encryption and digital rights management. EVPs should give you full permission-based control over who has access to your content.
Your EVP should be ‘invisible’ to your audience. It should provide you with extensive customization and branding features to make your video stream a 100% branded experience for your audience. The best online video streaming platforms allow API access and developer tools to take the customization even further.
- Features and tools
Make sure your strategy and creativity aren’t limited by technology. Choose an EVP that is rich in features. Think content management tools, video editing tools, customizable video player, captioning and translation tools, search and indexing features, video analytics, social media support, etc.
Top 5 online video streaming platforms comparison
New EVPs hit the market regularly to meet the rising demand for reliable online video streaming solutions. Alas, they’re not always of high caliber and at varying levels of maturity. Only a handful qualify for the 4 main factors we discussed in the previous section. We review the top 5 platforms here:
The Kaltura MediaSpace Video Portal is the market-leading online video streaming platform, and the most extensible and customizable solution on this list, thanks to its open-source philosophy.
Kaltura’s enterprise video portal was designed to enable any video use case for businesses, from desktop video capture to streamlined webcasting, live or on-demand. Your video is delivered with adaptive bitrate and cloud-based transcoding to ensure seamless playback on any device.
Kaltura offers a complete suite of powerful video creation and enrichment tools, top-tier security features, excellent monetization options, interactive video elements, real-time analytics, video organization, SSO-based user permission management, and so much more.
- IBM Cloud Video (formerly UStream)
While IBM Cloud Video also hosts on-demand videos, it is historically more centered on live streaming. With features like auto-recording and uploading, adaptive bitrate support, and live analytics, IBM Cloud Video indeed handles live broadcasting very well. The IBM EVP offers reliable video distribution and workflow, via a proprietary CDN and with cloud transcoding that will deliver live streams to any device.
We noticed negative user reports about unreliable closed captioning support. However, the biggest drawback is the hefty price tag and the fact that many important features are only available at the highest price plan, such as white-label customization, API access, and resolutions above 720p.
- JW Player
Contrary to IBM, JW Player started as a video player, then expanded to on-demand video hosting. Recently, it also added live-streaming capabilities to its platform. JW Player is an easy-to-use but very reliable platform that is also open source with API access for all plans. Other notable features include high-quality and low-latency streaming and a content recommendation engine that suggests what to watch next.
The platform’s monetization options are limited, as is the live stream duration. Depending on your needs, these don’t have to be deal-breakers. However, the biggest issue with JW Player is that its security features leave much to be desired, especially on lower-tier plans.
Fourth on the list is Brightcove which recently added cloud video technology to its arsenal, with the acquisition of video platform Ooyala. Brightcove’s most notable features are the adaptive bitrate streaming, good monetization options, robust security, and video API access. Based on user reports, the insightful analytics capabilities of the platform are its biggest draw.
Brightcove is a great choice and offers many years of expertise in the field. On the flip side, some of the best features are reserved for custom-prized plans only, such as the monetization options, 24/7 support, and live streaming (!). User reviews indicated a steep learning curve for beginners in online video streaming.
Wistia calls itself a video marketing software and indeed offers great marketing tools alongside its video capabilities. Wistia’s key features include adaptive bitrate streaming, API access, interactive video features, auto-play, branding, and advanced analytics.
Though Wistia offers a great and reliable solution, many users reported the UI to be too simplistic and lacking features, specifically for video management and organization (search), customization, dashboards, and reporting. What we’re missing most is that Wistia doesn’t support live streaming, which is why Wistia earned itself the fifth position on our list.
All 5 platforms on this list offer a freemium account or free trial so you can test the software for yourself. If you’re on a time crunch, we highly recommend you start with Kaltura as the MediaSpace Video Portal offers the most complete solution.
Why Choose Kaltura’s Video Streaming Platform?
Kaltura shines in all 4 basic requirements that any great online video streaming platform should fulfill, as well as offering many other requirements that will help with your video streaming needs.
Kaltura’s enterprise video platform guarantees flawless online video streaming and viewing on any device and via any connection, through top-tier CDN solutions such as Akamai, AWS, Limelight, eCDNs, or a CDN of your choosing. The Kaltura Player automatically optimizes video load time for the user’s device, using adaptive bitrate streaming.
Security and privacy
Kaltura does not take your security and privacy lightly. Your content is protected with advanced authentication and encryption security features, SSO-based access control, and digital rights management, forensic watermarking, and more. Kaltura is certified compliant with international video security regulations.
With Kaltura, you own the stage 100%. Everything is customizable. From full branding options for your audience-facing UI, including the video player, to user-created add-ons and integrations via API access and developer tools.
Features and tools
The Kaltura MediaSpace Video portal is packed with features that will help you harness the full power of video, from creation to distribution to performance assessment. Set up successful online video streaming with enrichment tools such as captions, interactive content, and video calls-to-action.
Kaltura provides features to organize your content into channels, galleries, and playlists. The advanced metadata and in-video search tools will make sure your viewers find what they need.
Engage your viewers with social media integration, comments, shares, and likes. Monetize your videos with SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD. You can do it all without leaving the MediaSpace platform.
Businesses are increasingly turning to online video streaming for all kinds of use cases. Without proper strategy and tools, your enterprise video catalog will become unmanageable and scattered. A professional-grade Enterprise Video Platform will help you maintain control over, and leverage the benefits of your online video streaming efforts.
Discover the Kaltura MediaSpace Video Portal