As the most recent Over-the-top (OTT) statistics for 2020 show, consumers are increasingly cutting the cord and adopting new, better ways of devouring content.
OTT platforms have given consumers more flexibility and options to explore personalized content that suits their taste, easy to use platforms, and devices on their own schedules.
Consumers now have nearly 300 streaming video services to choose from. In fact, more people have at least 1 video subscription (68%) than a traditional pay-per-cable subscription (65%).
Popular services such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV+, HBO Now, iTunes, Disney Plus, etc use the OTT technology to offer content to consumers.
As far as users are concerned, they only need a streaming media device such as a laptop, Roku, smartphone, smart TV, or a gaming console to view content on OTT platforms.
These platforms are rich in content and provide services to a large audience globally. So, it’s no surprise that content creators can use an OTT platform to reach out to their target audience – and monetize it.
If you’re someone who is looking to stream live-events or deliver video-on-demand (VoD), you can easily use an OTT platform to provide video content globally on a host of devices.
OTT platforms are grabbing the attention of a larger audience than any other conventional form of marketing. Professional broadcasters should consider building their platforms using OTT providers such as Vimeo Live, Dacast, and others.
Now, there are plenty of OTT platforms that allow you to upload and monetize your video content and it can become challenging for creators to choose the best OTT platform.
So, we decided to test and review the best OTT platforms out there based on their features, website capabilities, marketing tools, support, pricing, and more. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better idea of the top OTT platforms and decide which one is the right platform for you.
What is an OTT Platform?
An over-the-top (OTT) platform allows you to deliver your video content across different devices over the internet without the need for a satellite pay-TV or traditional cable services.
To stream OTT content, customers only need an internet connection and a compatible hardware device such as smartphones, tablets, computers, Smart TVs, Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, FireStick, etc.
OTT platforms are more convenient for both creators as well as viewers because:
- Viewers can stream content anywhere there’s internet
- OTT offers ad-free content (or highly targeted campaigns)
- Provides subscription-based services that are quite affordable
- More personalized, accessible content means more engagement
The good part about OTT platforms is that it lets you tap into a larger audience and monetize your video content without needing third-party applications.
Usually, OTT platforms are popular for live streaming and video-on-demand (VoD) services. But there’s much more to them.
OTT platforms also allow you to:
- Record live streams in HD
- Manage videos using a powerful CMS
- Distribute video content through global CDNs
- Leverage advanced monetization tools
- Customize your online video player
- Track user analytics
- And do much more.
What is the Best OTT Platform?
We’ve reviewed the top OTT platforms to give you a good idea of the best options that are available in the market today.
Uscreen is one of the most popular OTT platforms that lets you launch and manage your video streaming apps for both TV and mobile devices.
Offering an average launch time of 30-60 days, Uscreen is one of the fastest OTT platforms to distribute your content across various devices and apps.
It gives complete branding freedom to personalize your app’s look and feel to align it with your brand.
In addition, Uscreen offers built-in analytics for a detailed insight that lets you take a closer look at the users’ behavior and even determine watch-time per device. This way you can identify which video works best for your audience and focus more on leveraging them.
What’s more interesting is that it offers monetization of Video on Demand (VoD) and global live streaming services. Uscreen lets you access multiple pricing models including subscription, fixed price, rental/PPV bundles, free trials, and freemium.
You also get access to their HTML5 online video player that provides buffer-free online video streaming along with cross-device full HD quality.
Uscreen also reduces churn rate with their ‘Try Again for Free’ feature that lets you engage customers who canceled their subscription.
Finally, it offers powerful security features such as SSL, secured payment data, complete data ownership, and 24/7 monitoring.
- Free web hosting with SSL at no extra cost
- Has a centralized CRM
- In-app notifications and purchases
- Allows offline viewing
- Offers an average release time is 30-60 days
- Supports Chromecast and Apple Airplay
- Offers built-in sales and checkout pages
- Has a slight learning curve, but is overall easy to use
- As you grow, the higher pricing tiers become expensive
All the Uscreen pricing plans offer some standard features such as unlimited encoding, global CDN 99.9% uptime, geo-blocking restrictions, and more. You can also get a free 14-day trial.
Uscreen has three pricing plans:
- The Basic Plan comes at $49/month and offers very minimal features like marketing tools, bandwidth and storage, ability to create a website, etc. So if you want to leverage Uscreen, you’ll need to upgrade to their higher plans.
- The Amplify Plan costs $299/month with additional features like live streaming and live chat, advanced customization, free migration from other platforms, and much more. This is more well-designed for creators looking to use OTT platforms for their business.
- The Enterprise Plan is a custom pricing plan which allows you to white-label your mobile & TV OTT apps, give API access, end user support, etc. This is ideal for small businesses and professionals who want more control and flexibility over their apps.
Dacast is a leading OTT platform that offers a full-features, self-service solution for both VoD hosting and live streaming. Plus, it offers a variety of options for access to the Chinese market, which helps you increase your content reach.
The platform distinguishes itself by offering high-end features such as ad-free broadcasting, white-label service, and high-quality live streaming with top-tier CDNs.
Additionally, Dacast allows you to set up as many pay-per-view streaming prices as you’d like on your video content.
Right from managing pricing plans to promo codes, Dacast gives you a lot of flexibility to boost your revenue by monetizing your video content.
What’s unique about Dacast is that it offers an intuitive content management system (CMS) which makes it really easy for creators to manage their content. The best part is that you can also create your own automated workflow with their video APIs.
You also get secure video hosting and streaming with features like geographic restrictions and 24/7 network monitoring.
Overall, Dacast is an end-to-end SaaS OTT and VoD hosting solution that offers easy integrations, seamless monetization, an all-device HTML5 player, and many other features that will work well for most creators.
- All-in-one streaming solutions
- Easy to use CMS
- All-device HTML5 player
- Buffer-free video streaming adapts the video quality based on the internet speed
- Ability to pre-schedule your videos
- 24/7 network monitoring with advanced security
- Ability to upload multiple videos or large videos in a batch
- Has a learning curve
- Doesn’t offer robust analytics
All of Dacast pricing plans come with features like ad-free HD streaming, VoD streaming, unlimited live events, full 1080p HD broadcasting, and 24/7 customer support.
Dacast has four pricing plans:
- Developer Plan costs $21/month and offers all the essential features you need to launch and manage your content.
- Event Plan comest at $63/month with a bunch of additional features like china streaming for VoD and offers 6,000 GB bandwidth upfront, which is great.
- Scale Plan costs $188/month and offers pretty much the same features as the Event plan. However, it’s designed to scale well as your audience grows with a bandwidth of 2,000 GB/monthly and 1,000 GB storage.
- High Volume Plans are custom plans for your business and offer all the features of the platform.
JW Player is another strong OTT platform that helps you deliver high-quality video content faster and in a smaller size to your audience across any device.
A fine-tuned feature of JW Player is its recommendation engine that delivers the most engaging and relevant content to your viewers in real-time.
Moreover, the HTML5 player uses HLS adaptive live streaming for faster delivery of your videos and ads.
If you want, you can also deliver a fully branded customer experience by customizing your video player using APIs and CSS customization.
JW Player also offers really nice ad integrations that allow you to get high ad fill and CPMs. For example, JW Player works with any video ad network, server, or exchange and has built-in support for Google DFP, FreeWheel, AdX, Google IMA, and SpotX.
The good thing is that you can keep 100% of your ad revenue.
The platform goes beyond native analytics tools and offers integration with Google Analytics, Adobe, Conviva, Nielsen, Comscore, and more.
Overall, JW Player is a simple, easy to use OTT platform that offers a wide range of features that work well for both beginners and pros alike. If you’re just starting with OTT platforms, we’d recommend you consider this platform as it doesn’t have a steep learning curve.
- Easy to use platform
- Offers multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
- Ability to customize your video player
- Has Global CDN
- Offers monetization tools
- Provides great advertising tools
- Doesn’t offer China content delivery
- Has basic security features
- Limited customer support
JW Player offers a Free Trial where you can check out all the features that the platform has to offer.
JW Player offers two paid pricing plans:
- The Starter Plan costs $10/month and gives you access to only the core features of an OTT platform such as HTML5 video player, HLS and DASH adaptive streaming, password-protected sharing, etc.
- The Enterprise Plan offers a custom pricing with all the features the platform has to offer along with VIP or Plus support.
IBM Watson Media
IBM Watson Media is a powerful OTT provider that lets you manage and monetize your OTT platform and stream videos seamlessly.
The platform leverages intelligent content distribution features for both direct and third-party OTT streaming services to monetize every single user. It offers multiple video services as well as cloud streaming, including GPU computing and storage.
Moreover, IBM Watson comes with powerful UX tools that help you optimize your user experience.
Plus, it monitors real-time analytics to track the performance of your videos and makes data-driven decisions.
A cool feature that IBM Watson Media offers is its Live Chat and Q&A which enables you to engage with your viewers in real-time during a live stream. Along with this, you also get built-in user upvoting, moderation, and user management.
Additionally, it lets you customize your channel based on your needs. Further, you also get the ability to showcase upcoming events or previously live-streamed videos, which is a great feature.
Overall, IBM Watson is a great OTT platform that is suitable for a wide range of creators, professional marketers, and businesses. While you can use it as an enterprise-grade software, it also works well for most creators and small SaaS businesses.
- Offers Ad-based (AVOD) and subscription-based (SVOD)
- Ability to schedule videos and use automatic looped playback of live streaming
- Multi-DRM and language support
- Doesn’t limit resolution or bitrate
- Compatible with mobile and provides HD videos on any screen size
- Ability to monetize videos through third-party services or ads
- The live chat feature could be improved
IBM Watson offers a 30-day free trial where you can test drive their video streaming services, and try out all of their features to decide whether it suits your requirements and aligns with your goals.
IBM Watson has three paid pricing plans:
- Silver Plan comes at $99/month and is ideal for beginners or small businesses.
- Gold Plan which costs $499/month is well-designed for medium-scaled businesses that need more advanced features.
Enterprise Plan costs $999/month with a complete feature set and is designed for high volume usage.
Vimeo Livestream is another popular OTT platform for launching your video subscription services. With a centralized dashboard, you can manage, access, control, publish, and archive all your videos in a single place.
It allows you to broadcast your video content in full HD with adaptive streaming across various devices.
Vimeo also offers the ability to embed permissions, add password protection, or a private hub along with SSO for your internal teams.
Right from accessing real-time analytics, to monitoring your stream quality, and even set up a backup stream, Vimeo lets you do it all.
If you’re a professional streaming on a corporate network, you can ensure seamless content delivery with ECDN. Plus, you can also add lower thirds, logos, and full-screen graphics – right from your browser.
Vimeo also takes care of your user engagement by offering a suite of easy to use, effective live engagement tools such as live pools, email capture, audience chat, live Q&A, and custom calls to action.
It also offers customization tools for your branding requirements. Besides, you can keep all your video-on-demand and live videos in a centralized location and showcase them whenever required with customization.
- Live streaming with auto-archive
- Offers engagement tools for your viewers
- Ability to customize your video player using Vimeo’s API
- Offers global CDN and adaptive bitrate streaming
- Allows you to embed in-app purchases
- Supports pay-per-view and subscription plans
- Offers real-time analytics
- Free migration, no downtime
- The user interface can be clunky at times
- Customer support isn’t very responsive
Vimeo Live offers a reasonable pricing plan, so if you’re a beginner or someone who is on a stringent budget, we’d recommend you consider this platform as it is easy to use, feature-rich, and scales well with your business.
You can also try a plan free for 30 days to check out their features and decide whether it’s a good platform for you and aligns with your needs.
Vimeo Live has four paid pricing plans:
- Plus Plan comes at $7/month with 5GB/week and is more suited for individual users.
- Pro Plan costs $20/month with 20GB/week and is suitable for a small team. It offers more features like video creation, private team projects, customizable showcase sites, etc.
- Business Plan costs $50/month with no weekly limits and offers features like custom branding, lead generation, google analytics, etc.
- Premium Plan comes at $75/month with unlimited live streaming and viewers. It’s suitable for enterprises and professional creators who want to host videos on a large scale.
Wowza is a full-service OTT platform that helps you deliver reliable, scalable, and flexible solutions for a varied range of industries. It offers interactive live streaming experience with tools that boost engagement like virtual gambling, Esports, etc.
Wowza comes with global CDNs for the delivery of your content across the globe. It also offers great control over delivery options, video format, and video quality.
The best part about Wowza is that it offers you a patented Wowza software customized for seamless live streaming performance. You can also scale your videos’ live streaming performance using its Extensible Modular Architecture.
Besides, the platform offers some industry-leading streaming technology such as streaming server software, which offers powerful customizable features.
It also supports a cloud streaming service which allows you to do live-event streaming using a simple setup and integrating with various custom apps.
In addition, it offers a live encoding solution that lets you manage and monitor your video production remotely.
Moreover, Wowza offers powerful APIs and SDKs that enable you to build highly customized video streaming infrastructures.
What we like about Wowza is that it makes it very easy to deliver video content anywhere. For example, it has a mobile app that lets users start live streaming instantly.
Finally, it offers high-level security with encryption of incoming and outgoing streams, token authentication, and digital rights management (DRM).
- Any device can power high-quality VoD and live stream services
- Offers mobile app for instant live-streaming
- Offers adaptive bit-rate streaming
- Integration of closed captioning
- Offers multi-level security
- Free GoCoder SDK
- Doesn’t offer any monetization features
Wowza has a pretty straightforward pricing plan with only two tiers:
- Wowza Streaming Cloud costs $149/month and is suitable for building live-streaming apps via API or GUI, live-event streaming to the web or social sites, and deploying content quickly on a managed infrastructure.
- Wowza Streaming Engine costs $125/month and is ideal for self-managed infrastructure, streaming service providers, and customized streaming solutions.
Kaltura offers video-on-demand and live SaaS solutions to promote communication, collaboration, training, and marketing. It offers a range of video communication tools such as webinars, podcasts, pitch video messaging, meetings, and virtual classrooms,
To start with, Kaltura has a user-friendly interface that gives an intuitive experience. So, if you’re looking for a good OTT platform that’s beginner-friendly, you should check out Kaltura.
The platform allows you to host virtual meetings with any number of participants. Along with this, it also comes with powerful analytics tools for live streaming and VoD to help you analyze the performance of your videos in real-time.
Kaltura really stands out among other OTT platforms in this list as it provides a cloud TV platform to meet all your streaming needs.
It promises a 99.995% uptime, integration with third-party apps, and a personalized on-demand and live TV experience to your viewers.
Kaltura offers interactive videos and tools to enable you to create, launch, and embed personalized videos to boost engagement and conversion.
Moreover, it also gives you the ability to create podcasts, so you can easily create, edit, and upload podcast episodes and channel playlist to your Kaltura portal.
There’s another interesting feature called “Kaltura Pitch” that allows you to send videos and track all the viewer engagement activities like open rates, how they interacted with the video, etc.
Besides, there are tons of cool features the platform offers such as the ability to add transcriptions, translations, and captions.
And it also enables you to add live quizzes, polls, breakout rooms, note-taking, and collaborative whiteboards to boost engagement.
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Ability to capture multi-stream recordings synchronized with PowerPoint presentations
- Allows you to create, edit, and launch podcasts
- Integrates with some popular tools
- Track user engagement
- Advanced real-time analytics
- Offers a bunch of interesting features
- Poor customer support
- Short recording time
Kaltura offers a Free trial for 30 days and a paid enterprise package. If you like the platform and choose to go ahead with it, you can contact their team for a custom pricing plan that is aligned with your needs.
Muvi is another great OTT provider that lets you launch your OTT platform instantly. It boasts of itself as an all-in-one OTT platform that enables you to launch a white-label, cross-device, video streaming platform.
Muvi offers video on demand (VoD), live streaming, and audio streaming platform offering live audio and music streaming instantly. It offers end-to-end features and can be controlled from single CMS, without any coding skills required.
You can also launch a multi-screen OTT platform with unlimited videos, geo-restrictions, SVOD, TVOD, AVOD, etc.
Additionally, you get an HTML5 based online video player, transcoding/encoding servers, billing, DRM, billing, reports, analytics, and user management.
Muvi comes with a live broadcast radio feature that lets you start streaming talk shows to your own radio channel. Plus, you can launch audiobooks, podcasts, and anything in between, using a single platform.
The platform takes care of your IT infrastructure, cloud-based storage, and servers, payment gateway integration, security, billing, subscriber management, etc.
As far as monetization is concerned, Muvi offers built-in monetization features like coupons, promotions, video advertising (AVOD), subscription (SVOD), and pay-per-view.
Overall, Muvi is a great OTT provider that lets you do a host of things – right from launching your OTT platform to hosting podcasts and much more.
- Versatile, feature-rich platform
- Supports a wide variety of devices like Roku, Android, iOS, Chromecast, Apple TV, etc
- HTML5 video player
- Offers cloud hosting
- Built-in features like DRM, partner portal, watermarking, etc
- Powerful reports & analytics
- Range of monetization features
- Offers 24/7 support
- The interface can feel a bit clunky at times
- Expensive as compared to other platforms on this list
While Muvi comes packed with features, it’s an expensive platform that is suited mostly for businesses and enterprises. The pricing ranges from $399 to $8900/month.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the pricing plan:
- Muvi Standard costs $399/month with 1TB bandwidth/mo and 1TB storage/mo. If you’re a small team, this plan should work well for you.
- Muvi Professional which comes at $1499/month offers 2TB bandwidth/mo and 2TB storage/mo. It also allows you to use your own CDN or storage.
- Muvi Enterprise costs $3900/month and offers 5TB bandwidth/mo and 5TB storage/mo along with a staging environment. At this point, you also get better customer support like a dedicated account manager.
- Muvi Ultimate is the most expensive plan at $8900/month with 10TB bandwidth/mo and 10TB storage/mo. It offers proactive consulting, premium customer support, and security tests.
Vidmind is another OTT solution that is designed to offer seamless video streaming. It’s well-built for both beginners and pro broadcasters alike with a range of features suited for all levels of expertise.
With adaptive bit rates – MPEG-DASH and HLS, Vidmind offers a continuous viewing experience to viewers. Plus, they get an option to catch-up live rewind and live pause as per their convenience.
As for creators, Vidmind enables you to manage your content and users without any hassle. So, you can use their user management system to manage subscribers, manual service and product provisioning, user engagement and activity, etc.
Similarly, you can use their content management system for VOD and live TV assets management, set policies and restrictions, manage content owners, and do much more.
The OTT platform makes it easy to launch a white-labeled video player to targeted audiences across various devices. Right from customizing the brand theme and logo to modifying the content showcase, collection, and menu, Vidmind lets you do it all.
Vidmind offers pay-per-view, ad-based, and subscription monetization tools. It comes with an advanced paywall with multiple payment methods along with in-app purchase features.
Plus, it comes with decent payment gateway integrations like PayPal, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discovery, etc.
Overall, Vidmind is designed to offer excellent user experience – whether it’s user engagement tools or enriching their viewing experience, this OTT platform offers a lot of flexibility to both creators as well as viewers.
- Has adaptive bitrate for a continuous viewing experience
- Offers ad-based, pay-per-view, and subscription monetization tools
- Ability to white-label your video player
- Full-fledged video content management suite
- Connects with payment gateways
- Customer service features are very limited
All Vidmind pricing plans are custom priced, so you can get in touch with their customer team for pricing information.
Wrapping it Up!
OTT platforms can help you reach a wider target audience on a global level. So, if you’re a professional marketer or a fitness trainer or a business owner who wants to leverage the best OTT platforms to achieve your goals, this list should serve as a quick guide for you.
All the OTT platforms mentioned in this list offer some basic capabilities and a few unique features that you’ll need to create and launch your video content. However, all of them can help you easily stream live events and video-on-demand.
For example, if you want a completely packed OTT platform, you should consider using Uscreen. Or, you can also work with Dacast that offers similar features.
If you want to use an OTT platform for live streaming, you can also check out Vimeo Live as it’s a popular choice among creators.
Whether you want to leverage an OTT provider that lets you deliver content globally across devices or a simple solution that has dedicated OTT features, you can find them in this review guide.
We hope you liked this article about the best OTT platforms and can decide the best OTT solution for your business.
If you have any questions about the platforms mentioned above, please drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you asap!
PS: We’re coming up with a range of technical guides, review articles, and a lot of interesting content, so stay tuned!