With so much of our working lives having gone online over the past year, you and your company have probably heard of cloud streaming. But you may not know what it is, why it’s important, and how to choose the cloud streaming service that will effectively meet your needs. This primer, however, can help you sort it out and hit the ground running.
- What is Cloud Streaming?
- Who Uses Cloud Streaming?
- How Does Cloud Streaming Work?
- How to Choose a Cloud Streaming Service
- Top Three Cloud Streaming Services for Enterprises in 2021
What is Cloud Streaming?
Cloud streaming is a way of delivering video content to online audiences. Before cloud streaming, companies had to rely on complicated hardware – that was also expensive, space-intensive, and had high maintenance costs – to get video to their audiences. Today’s enterprises don’t need to do that thanks to cloud streaming.
Cloud streaming services don’t require enterprises to invest in costly or complex hardware. And, they don’t require your company and its staff to develop a whole new area of expertise. Rather, they give you access to an internet-based, scalable solution that handles both video hosting and video streaming. This allows you to focus on creating content and lets someone else worry about getting it to your audience.
Who Uses Cloud Streaming?
Cloud streaming is a popular solution for enterprises of all sizes that have video content to distribute. This video can be live or recorded, so you have lots of flexibility. Non-profit and educational institutions also often choose to use cloud streaming services. Cloud streaming will work for any business that has video content and can help your enterprise make sure that video content reaches its full potential. Cloud streaming services allow your audience to watch high-quality video anytime, anywhere, and from any device without lags or glitches.
Cloud streaming services also have security features that will allow you to control access to your video content and store it in ways that are secure and compliant with security requirements for your industry. Because of the analytics feature that often comes with cloud streaming services, this approach is also a great choice for enterprises who want a keen understanding of how their video content is being viewed.
How Does Cloud Streaming Work?
Cloud streaming services store video off-site from an enterprise, in the cloud. The cloud is a network of servers that the provider dedicates to hosting and delivering this video content. As a broadcaster, your enterprise uploads video content to the cloud. Then, your streaming provider will make these videos ready for playback in a variety of formats. This process is called encoding and transcoding.
In general, transcoding takes video that was produced in one format (e.g., high-definition) and changes its nature into smaller files that are specifically designed for different types of playback devices. Sometimes transcoding even takes data that was compressed, uncompresses it, changes the format, and then recompresses it. A lot happens in the transcoding process, and using a cloud streaming service can help make all that easy – and invisible – to your enterprise.
All of this, of course, makes sure that your videos play smoothly, efficiently, and without interruption on whatever devices your audience chooses to use. This process can be used both for recorded videos that are viewed on an on-demand basis and for live streaming events.
How to Choose a Cloud Streaming Service
When choosing a cloud streaming service, there are several key questions you’ll want to consider as you make your selection:
- Does the cloud streaming service have the ability to grow with your enterprise and its audience?
- How easy is it to feed your video content to the cloud streaming service?
- What type of encoding and transcoding options are available and do they create a great video experience on all the platforms and devices your audience uses?
- Does the cloud streaming service offer support both for video-on-demand playback and live-streamed events?
- Are analytics available to help you understand how your video is being used, when, and by whom?
- Is quality customer support offered by the cloud streaming service?
Top Three Cloud Streaming Services for Enterprises in 2021
There are several cloud streaming services for you to choose from. These three are some of the top options available.
Kaltura offers a video platform that can meet any enterprise’s streaming needs. This includes both video-on-demand and live events but doesn’t stop there. It can also help your company conduct and distribute virtual meetings, webinars, town halls, and more. If it’s happening via video, Kaltura can help. From creation to transcoding to management to publishing and distribution, Kaltura’s cloud streaming services are designed to help you deliver a high-quality product to your audience at every stage of the video process.
And with robust security, Kaltura video cloud products will also help you protect your video collateral. Kaltura’s video player is white label and customizable for your end-user audience, allowing for ultra-fast loading times, great playback experiences, and consistent branding. A range of support options exists, including white-glove services for big events.
In addition to excellent video delivery, Kaltura’s video cloud services can help make your videos more accessible and more searchable through captions. Kaltura’s cloud services can also be integrated into your current systems and workflows allowing you to build on what you already have and continue to grow it in the future. New, improved analytics are highly granular and allow you to monitor both video transmission quality and understand which parts of which videos are in the highest demand.
Bitmovin also offers a cloud streaming service for video. Bitmovin is based in Austria and provides cloud streaming support for both video-on-demand and live events. It has limited security and captioning features but does encode video so that it is readily available on a range of platforms. Most online reviews focus on Bitmovin’s ability with video-on-demand but provide more limited insight into its capabilities for live events. Support is email-ticket based and some analytics in adjustable formatting are available.
AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It has two different options for cloud-based streaming services and works with both live events and video on demand. Like other cloud streaming services, it offers support for multiple output formats and some security and content protection. AWS handles video ingestion, transcoding, and playback and video files can be stored with AWS at an additional cost. Support issues are generally conducted through an online ticketing system.
Looking for a powerful solution for all your video needs? Kaltura can help.