Because you’ve almost certainly watched video online for either work or fun, you’ve probably already interacted with a video platform. But you might have been so focused on the content you were viewing that you didn’t really stop to think about where you were watching that video content from or the process behind its delivery to you.
Video platforms perform a wide range of functions in order to make sure that video from content creators is accessible to its audiences. So, what exactly is a video platform? What does it do? How does it work? And how do you select the right one for your organization?
What Does a Video Platform Do?
A video platform is a central piece of technology that allows users – of different types and with different permissions — to do everything they could possibly need to do with video and, optimally, images and audio too. This includes creating, uploading, editing, and viewing video content. Basically, if you’re interacting with video online, you’re doing that through a video platform, which serves as the interface between all the seriously technical stuff that makes video happen and the way humans actually engage with content
A video platform also provides mechanisms for controlling and tracking who views specific video content through permissions, security features, and analytics.
Video platforms have multiple components in order to serve the diverse needs of the people interacting with video. Video platforms are typically used by organizations from all industries to support their video needs. At the center of it all is the video management console, which is the backend – and backbone – of the video platform. But when learning to understand what a video platform does – and how to choose the right one for your organization – there are a lot of other components to consider too.
Why Do You Need a Video Platform?
Video is increasingly part of how we communicate in the workplace. From day one, video can be a fantastic part of an employee’s experience with a company. Video in the onboarding process can help new employees get to know corporate leadership and company culture. Video can also be used on an ongoing basis for activities like training, CEO town halls, and community building around fun activities like company family days. Additionally, video has external possibilities as well, offering sales, marketing, and customer service support.
Because video is everywhere, managing it can seem hard. But a video platform allows everything your company does with video to be managed from a single, central location. While the possibilities for video in the workplace are endless, the work of managing that video doesn’t have to be.
How Does a Video Platform Work?
By sitting between raw video content and the video end-user experience, a video platform allows for the definition of different types of users (e.g., administrators, video creators, and audience members) who receive access to different features of the video platform. For some users, their experience of the video platform will be limited to watching videos. But for others, the video platform is a creation and content management tool.
What Are the Components of a Video Platform?
While different video platforms have different levels of functionality, there are several key areas that should always be considered.
First, making videos. A video platform needs to contain tools for capturing, creating, and/or ingesting video. These can include features like recording meetings for later viewing and making informal videos right at the desktop. Broadcasting live events, and then saving those broadcasts for later viewing is also a key way a video platform allows users to create content.
Tools to help edit or enhance video are generally also part of a robust video platform. In fact, a video platform can provide the ability to add interactive features – like hotspots and quizzes – to traditional video. Tools that allow for transcripts to be generated (either automatically or by human transcriptionists) can also be an essential part of the video platform to ensure accessibility.
Being able to make great video content is essential. But so is being able to organize and manage that content. A video platform allows an organization to decide who can see what video through user and role management, ideally integrated with your SSO solution. It also provides analytics that can help administrators understand audience engagement as well as quality of service. Additionally, search tools allow search across video content – including metadata, text in slides, and captioning. This allows you to know exactly what’s in your video content and to group it appropriately for your audiences.
Videos have to live somewhere, and a video platform makes that happen. From storing video on demand content to generating the optimized output files that make sure your video looks great regardless of the type of device your audience is using to watch, a video platform is an essential part of creating a great video experience.
Also an essential part of the video platform? The ability to create customized branded video players, so that the video experience your audience has is specific to your organization’s identity and needs. A video player should be able to help your audience find the right videos for them. With products like Kaltura MediaSpace you can turn that video player into the center of a full blown video portal, creating what is essentially your own private YouTube. That can allow for interactive features such as upvoting and discussion. These, in turn, can help to increase your video audience, build community around video content, and ensure greater attention to videos in the process.
How to Select a Video Platform
While there are many video platforms on the market, not all of them are created equal, especially for organizations that want to integrate video into every aspect of their business.
Here are some key qualities and features to look for in a video platform:
- Because there are many diverse applications of video, choose a video platform that can work with both live video and video on demand. In fact, flexibility is a key watch-word throughout the video platform selection process.
- Make sure that your video platform gives you the ability to work with APIs and developer tools so that you can create a custom experience specific to your organization’s needs.
- Choose a platform that can offer high-quality playback by having robust video transcoding abilities. Today people are watching video on desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and cast on to televisions. Each individual user may, in fact, watch video on multiple different devices every day. A video platform needs to ensure your video is seamlessly available in a range of formats to deliver a fantastic playback experience every time because playback quality always impacts viewer engagement.
- Select a video platform with detailed and reliable security and permissions management. Not only do you want to make sure that video content reaches its intended audience and no one else, you want to be able to conveniently change and adjust these access control settings based on individual or group permissions. After all, some video is meant to be seen by the entire internet but other video you may want to restrict to members of your organization, or even a subset of those members!
- Make sure your video platform will protect your organization’s content and intellectual property. Encryption options can further help safe-guard your content. Digital rights management (DRM), granular entitlement management, SSL delivery, and forensic watermarking are also security features you may want to have access to through your video platform.
- Choose a video platform with a customizable video player. This ensures that your video platform can effectively serve your audience while reflecting your organization’s branding and style.
- Select a video platform with a robust search function that can search captions, slide text, and advanced metadata.
- Use a video platform that allows you to caption and/or translate your videos in order to have the best possible audience reach and provide accessibility.
- Make sure your platform choice can enable you to add video as native content to your social business, content management, marketing, and learning platforms, and more. Choosing a video platform that can work with your other systems and goals is essential to making sure video serves your organization to its fullest capacity.
A video platform is complex in that it does a lot of different things. But it’s also a simple concept – it’s the hub that makes working with video easy, effective, and central to your organization’s strategy and needs. By choosing the right video platform, you can make sure that the correct users have a fantastic experience with great video content every time.
Want to learn more about the Kaltura Video Platform?