OTT (“Over-The-Top”) streaming is popular, and its market share continues to grow rapidly. A growing number of consumers all over the world continue to flock towards OTT streaming platforms like Netflix. OTT providers work behind the scene, which makes superior streaming experiences possible. In this post, we talk about the top OTT streaming platforms. Subsequently, we explain the criteria to choose OTT providers. We wrap it all up with a comparison of the top OTT providers.
What is an OTT Streaming Platform?
OTT streaming refers to a relatively new approach to delivering video content to consumers. In the case of OTT, broadcasters deliver content over the Internet. Consumers don’t need to buy any specialized hardware or software. They can use any Internet-enabled device like laptop, gaming console, tablet, smart TV, or smartphone to view content. Finally, users don’t need to be constrained by the program schedule of the broadcaster. They can watch video content at their own convenient time.
OTT streaming includes both live streaming and VOD (“Video-on-Demand”). Live streaming enables consumers to view live events, whereas VOD refers to pre-recorded content.
An OTT streaming platform is the website or app that consumers access in order to view video content. OTT streaming platforms might charge a subscription fee, alternatively, they might offer a “pay-as-you-go” pricing plan. These platforms focus on delivering a frictionless streaming experience to consumers. They might work with different providers to handle all the background processes involved in delivering OTT video content.
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The Best 11 OTT Streaming Platforms
The top OTT streaming plans are as follows:
Netflix is one of the most popular OTT streaming platforms. It offers large libraries of content for different countries. Netflix creates content, furthermore, it shows content from other production companies. The company provides a range of pricing plans. To know more about how Netflix started and challenges it went through before becoming a streaming giant, read our blog on history of Netflix.
2. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is the OTT streaming platform from Amazon. It offers access to live streaming as well as VOD. Amazon Prime Video provides access to a large library of content with a subscription. However, the company also provides additional content for purchase or rent. An Amazon Prime membership includes an Amazon Prime Video subscription.
SonyLIV is a popular OTT streaming service in India. It’s owned by Sony India. The platform offers popular shows, furthermore, it offers live streaming of sports. SonyLIV offers a range of pricing plans.
Hulu is a well-known OTT streaming service with a variety of content. The company offers both VOD and live TV shows. Its pricing plans vary based on streaming with or without ads. Finally, Hulu lets you bundle other streaming services like Disney+ and ESPN+.
5. Disney+/Disney+ Hotstar (in India)
Disney+ is a popular OTT streaming service from The Walt Disney Company. It’s present in many countries. Acquisitions by The Walt Disney Company in some countries resulted in Disney+ rebranding other popular apps, e.g., Hotstar in India.
Disney+ includes content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The company offers a wide range of pricing plans and bundling options.
Crunchyroll is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex. It’s an anime-focused OTT streaming service. As an Anime company, Crunchyroll has over 100 million registered users. Its OTT streaming platform reached the milestone of 5 million subscribers in August 2021.
Zee 5 is an OTT streaming platform with high popularity in India. It’s a part of the Zee network, which has a large user base. Zee 5 shows a wide library of content. Its content caters to many regions in India, and the company offers a range of pricing plans.
Voot is a popular Indian OTT streaming service with a focus on VOD. It’s owned by Viacom18. The platform has a wide range of content and attractive pricing plans.
ESPN+ is a popular OTT streaming platform. Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution and ESPN Inc. jointly own this streaming service. ESPN+ is focused on sports and live streaming. Consumers can purchase a subscription to ESPN+ only, alternatively, they can bundle it with a Disney + subscription.
10. HBO Max
HBO Max is the OTT streaming service from AT&T’s WarnerMedia. It shows VOD content, and the majority of its content is from WarnerMedia. HBO Max offers two pricing plans, namely, streaming with and without ads.
11. YouTube TV
Everyone knows about YouTube, and YouTube TV is its premium OTT streaming offering. YouTube TV offers a subscription plan for unlimited streaming. Furthermore, it offers a “pay-as-you-go” plan to view individual video content. Consumers often prefer YouTube TV for live streaming and gaming.
What is an OTT Provider?
OTT streaming services need to deliver a high-quality streaming experience to consumers, which requires plenty of background work. They work with OTT providers to make this happen.
OTT providers are companies with the requisite hardware, software, and manpower capabilities to host and deliver video content on behalf of OTT streaming platforms. These companies use various hardware and software products to store, manage, and deliver video content via the Internet. They are also often referred to as OVPs (“Online Video Platforms”).
What Features Should You Expect in an OTT Provider?
OTT streaming platforms should look for the following capabilities while choosing an OTT provider or OVP:
1. Hardware and software
An OTT provider should have robust hardware and software capabilities. It should be able to deliver credibly when it comes to hosting and delivering video content.
2. Data security
OVPs should use robust data security solutions. They should use strong authentication and encryption solutions, and hackers shouldn’t be able to tamper with the video files.
3. CMS (“Content Management System”)
Leading OTT streaming platforms provide a wide range and volume of video content. Their libraries are large, and they grow rapidly. An OVP needs to have robust CMS capabilities to manage them.
OTT streaming services monetize their video content in various ways. They need OVPs to offer relevant video monetization tools.
5. User-friendly APIs with extensive documentation
Developers working for an OTT streaming company often need to integrate various services provided by an OVP in their apps. Well-documented APIs (“Application Programming Interfaces”) make that easier.
6. Technical support
OTT streaming services need to offer excellent streaming experiences to their consumers. That’s possible only if an OVP offers extensive and competent technical support. The technical support team of the OVP needs to resolve glitches quickly.
Note: OTT streaming companies will also need to look at the pricing plans of an OVP. However, they need to analyze the price within the larger umbrella of “value”.
Comparison of the Best OTT Video Streaming Providers in 2022
The top OTT video streaming platforms are as follows:
A prominent OTT provider, VdoCipher supports both VOD and live streaming. The company uses AWS for cloud infrastructure. It uses Akamai and AWS for CDN. Not just reliable hardware and software solutions, VdoCipher provides a customizable video player.
This OVP offers strong security features like encryption and dynamic watermarking. Cyber-attackers can’t download video content and tamper with them.
VdoCipher provides APIs with extensive documentation. It offers video monetization tools. VdoCipher offers a range of pricing plans, and it provides reliable technical support.
Already well-known, Vimeo became very prominent in the OTT provider space after acquiring Livestream in 2017. It offers reliable hardware and software capabilities including the cloud. Vimeo supports live streaming and VOD.
This OVP offers robust content management, analytics, and monetization capabilities. It has a customizable video player. Vimeo provides strong security features.
This OTT provider offers well-documented APIs. Apart from offering a range of pricing plans, Vimeo provides reliable technical support via phone, live chat, and email.
An OVP with a clear focus on marketing and sales-related use cases, Vidyard offers robust tools for business-focused streaming. It provides conversion-focused tools and capabilities. Vidyard offers tools for improving user engagement and the reach of video content. It provides extensive analytics and dedicated marketing support.
Vidyard has robust security solutions. The company utilizes strong CMS solutions, and it offers advanced tools for broadcasting. Vidyard has robust technical support capabilities. This OVP provides tiered pricing plans.
Kaltura is an OVP from Israel. It supports both VOD and live streaming. Kaltura offers top-notch security features, and it provides a customizable platform for OTT streaming services.
Kaltura offers robust content management capabilities. Its closed-captioning and video monetization tools are robust.
This OVP offers pay-as-you-go and annual pricing plans. Kaltura provides reliable technical support, and it offers well-documented APIs.
Wistia is a prominent player in the OTT provider space. The company provides robust hardware and software capabilities for OTT streaming. This OVP supports live streaming, VOD, and podcasts. Wistia uses robust security solutions, and it provides an advanced video player.
This OTT provider offers CRM integration, extensive analytics, and video monetization tools. Wistia makes marketing easier with tools for lead generation, engagement management, and SEO.
Wistia has a competent technical support team, and the company provides top-notch support. It has tiered pricing plans.
Brightcove is well-known among OVPs. This OTT provider supports multi-bitrate and adaptive bitrate streaming. It supports both live streaming and VOD. Brightcove offers robust hardware and software solutions, and it uses a reliable global CDN (content delivery network).
This OVP uses robust security solutions. Brightcove offers custom video portals, CRM integration, video monetization tools, and extensive analytics. It provides customized pricing plans.
Brightcove offers extensive product documentation and well-documented APIs. The company provides reliable technical support via phone, live chat, and tickets.
Wowza is a capable OVP with important features. It supports both live streaming and VOD. Wowza offers cloud streaming services, furthermore, it offers streaming server software.
The company has a competent and reliable technical support team. Wowza also has extensive documentation for its products.
Wowza offers flexibility and reliability. The company has well-documented APIs and SDKs that help developers. Wowza uses robust security solutions. Wowza offers separate pricing plans for its streaming cloud and streaming engine.
SproutVideo is an OVP that’s focused on business broadcasting. This OTT provider supports both VOD and live streaming. It offers useful marketing tools, and SproutVideo provides top-notch analytics.
This OVP has a customizable video player. It provides custom video portals. SproutVideo provides high-quality privacy and security features.
This OTT provider offers APIs with comprehensive documentation. SproutVideo has a wide range of pricing plans, and the company provides high-quality technical support.
OTT streaming platforms have captured the attention of consumers. By taking care of the “nuts-and-bolts” of OTT streaming, OTT providers played a key part in this phenomenon. We reviewed a few key OTT video streaming platforms and OTT providers in this article.
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Head of Digital Marketing at Vdocipher. I love the art of connecting the right product to their users. When i’m not doing that i love getting lost in books.