Video on demand (VOD) is a trend with sticking power.
As a growing number of households trade cable contracts for online streaming services, experts predict the industry will experience billion-dollar growth.
In this article, we’ll briefly review what VOD platforms are and how they work before reviewing the top 10 VOD platforms for 2022.
Grab your popcorn and get comfy.
What is a VOD platform?
OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are prime examples of video on demand platforms at work. In exchange for a monthly subscription fee, people who pay for these services gain access to hundreds (maybe thousands) of TV shows.
Unlike YouTube, which relies solely on an advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) model, VOD systems typically provide content creators with several monetization options:
- Subscription video on demand (SVOD): Subscribers pay a monthly fee to access your growing video content library.
- Transactional video on demand (TVOD): Customers buy individual videos, like new releases or exclusive content.
- Advertising-based video on demand (AVOD): Viewers enjoy your content for free in exchange for viewing ads (which generates revenue for you).
How does a video on demand platform work?
For the modern consumer, it’s not enough to settle for whatever’s currently on TV. Today’s viewer wants to watch whatever they want whenever they want — and VOD platforms provide that flexibility.
Whenever someone wants to watch a given title, all they need to do is open the VOD app on their phone, TV, or computer, choose the program they want to watch, and wait a few seconds for the video to load.
For your viewers, it’s almost like magic, but there’s a lot of complexity behind such seemingly simple actions.
Once someone chooses a program, a VOD broadcaster must:
- Encode the video file in a format suitable for streaming
- Encrypt the video file so only people who’ve paid can decode and receive it
- Embed advertisements into the video file (typically if the program is free)
- Stream the video file across the internet to hundreds (potentially thousands) of people
You’ll also need ample bandwidth to power high-quality video streaming at scale, which is tough to do without help.
That’s where VOD platforms come in. The best ones manage all the technical aspects of providing a seamless viewing (and buying) experience while freeing broadcasters to create more great content.
Building your VOD empire on the right platform is essential — if your viewers can’t easily or reliably watch your content, they’ll stop watching it altogether.
And that’s bad for your OTT business.
Top VOD platforms
Choosing the right VOD solution will come down to weighing your needs above obvious factors like price. That’s how you’ll get the best value.
Here are 10 VOD streaming platforms worth checking out.
1. Vimeo OTT
As a premium video on demand platform, Vimeo OTT has everything you need to launch, scale, and monetize your video content.
Whether that means selling subscription video streaming services or transactional video products your customers can rent or purchase, Vimeo OTT is an end-to-end VOD solution that’s as customizable as it is user-friendly.
Vimeo OTT highlights:
- Video upload/migration: Batch upload up to 30MB of video at a time. Migrate your video content from an existing platform for free on the Enterprise plan.
- Video hosting and organization: Manage and control your entire video library from a central hub. Adjust video settings, organize videos into collections, add metadata, control access, and more.
- Video monetization: With Vimeo’s advanced selling options, you can set up subscriptions (SVOD), ads (AVOD), and one-time purchases (TVOD) for all your on-demand content.
- Video analytics: As a leader in the video on demand space, Vimeo OTT delivers comprehensive real-time video analytics. From watch-time per subscriber to the most popular videos on your channel, Vimeo OTT customers gain insights that help turn data into dollars.
“Since switching from YouTube to my own subscription, I’ve been able to focus more on what my subscribers want and need, and earn more revenue.”
Millionaire Hoy, Founder, HoyPro.com
- Branding and accessibility: Vimeo OTT puts your videos right where customers want them—on the Apple and Android devices they already use. In addition to branded apps, content owners also get their own branded OTT site via pre-made templates. If you need something more custom, you can use their API and SDK with the Enterprise plan.
- Setup and maintenance: You don’t need to be a developer or tech wizard to navigate the platform and maintain OTT apps skillfully. Vimeo handles app development, submission, and management while providing 24/7 support to your subscribers. Spend less time worrying about the tech and more time focusing on what matters — your content.
- Live streaming with auto-archive: Turn those live streams into on-demand video titles without missing a beat.
- Customer support: Get reliable email support with Vimeo’s Growth plan. Get dedicated account management and your customer support team with the Enterprise plan.
- Pricing: Vimeo OTT provides transparent pricing based on the number of video hours uploaded. Plans start at $1/month per subscriber without bandwidth limits.
Things to consider when considering Vimeo OTT:
Wowza is a comprehensive video streaming platform with two main video streaming products: the Wowza Streaming Cloud and the Wowza Streaming Engine.
Whether a content owner opts to stream from the cloud or through its on-premises server, Wowza offers a suite of tools designed to help broadcasters share their content with audiences no matter the device, scale, or network condition.
- Streaming cloud/Streaming engine: Beam video content to any destination with minimal setup via Wowza’s managed streaming service or manage and customize transcoding in-house with Wowza’s downloadable media server software.
- Video encoding: In addition to build-in transcoding, Wowza offers adaptive bitrate streaming to ensure a smooth viewing experience.
- Branding and accessibility: Wowza’s Streaming Engine supports APIs and SDKs so you can customize the experience and automate workflows as needed. White-labelling is also available.
- Multi-level security: Automated source code review, regular third-party penetration tests, and monthly “security days” mean your data is well-protected with Wowza.
- Customer support: Get the expert help needed to ensure your streaming service is successful with Wowza’s professional services team.
- Pricing: Streaming Cloud plans range from $85/month to $425/month with pricing based on a combination of video hours and watch hours. Streaming Engine pricing starts at $175/month with custom pricing available on the Enterprise plan.
Things to consider when considering Wowza:
As an OTT platform, VPlayed enables content creators to send video across web, mobile, game consoles, and set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku. What’s unique about Vplayed is how they do it.
With a focus on monetization and accessibility, VPlayed is a feature-rich VOD platform with the infrastructure to support seamless video streaming — and growing your business — on any device.
- Video uploading/management: Upload an unlimited number of videos at a time and manage them all from VPlayed’s video CMS.
- Video encoding: Deliver high-quality videos in low-bandwidth conditions with targeted encoding and optimization based on each given video.
- End-to-end customization: Build the VOD platform of your dreams with VPlayed’s design and development teams. White-label your video content to re-package and sell it to different audiences.
- Monetization: With six revenue models, VPlayed’s monetization options offer something for every type of content owner. From AVOD to SVOD to “catchup TV,” there are many ways to make money from your content with VPlayed.
- Connect with other apps: VPlayed supports several third-party integrations (including Google Analytics) which means you can better understand and act on monetization and content goals.
- Video marketing: With social media integrations and a machine learning-based recommendation engine, VPlayed has several features to attract viewers and keep them engaged.
- Security: In addition to standard features like video encryption and SSL certificates, VPlayed also supports screen capture restriction and geoblocking.
- Pricing: VPlayed doesn’t provide pricing information on their website.
Things to consider when considering VPlayed:
VPlayed treats OTT apps as custom development (i.e. it’s not included) and could get costly. If VPlayed has a help desk, it’s not accessible to non-customers.
Brightcove is a robust and user-friendly VOD platform with a long history in the online video space.
Broadcasters who use Brightcove can go beyond the standard Netflix-style VOD solution to create virtual experiences via the platform’s interactive features and audience behavior tracking functionality.
That’s part of what makes Brightcove the perfect candidate for organizations that need to provide a premium viewing experience every time—from colleges and universities to conferences and festivals.
- Interactivity and engagement: Brightcove customers can embed interactive features and enhanced audience behavior tracking in all their videos, including in-video purchases, quizzes, and choose-your-own-adventure paths.
- Monetization: Brightcove supports several ad-based VOD monetization models including meta-data driven ads, companion ads, and ad cue points. Refine your targeting even more with integration partners like Google Ad Manager and FreeWheel.
- Branding and accessibility: Create branded content on OTT apps, websites, social media, and any other tool you need with Brightcove’s API.
- Comprehensive analytics: With real-time data and viewer-level profile analytics, Brightcove’s robust reporting suite helps broadcasters maximize revenue and refine their video marketing strategy.
- Connect with other apps: Brightcove’s growing library of integrations means you can connect your VOD platform with the apps you already use.
- Security: Digital rights management (DRM) features ensure your content only reaches its intended audience.
- Pricing: Brightcove doesn’t provide pricing information on their website.
Things to consider when considering Brightcove:
Brightcove primarily targets enterprise-level organizations, so expect an enterprise-level price tag.
Cleeng may position itself as a Subscription Retention Management platform for media and OTT businesses, but it’s also a powerful VOD platform.
With its robust set of operational APIs, Cleeng enables tech-savvy media and OTT companies to provide an enhanced customer experience to drive revenue and reduce churn.
- Customer experience: Integrate customer care workflows to reduce SVOD churn. Optimize the purchase flow for OTT with seamless payments on mobile and TV apps while giving subscribers an easy way to manage their accounts.
- Branding and accessibility: Launch a multi-channel subscription video service via web, native apps, and all major platforms (iOS, tvOS, Roku, Android, Amazon Fire). Manage plans, offers, and pricing through APIs. Customize your VOD service offerings with branded templates.
- Monetization: Integrate your payment gateway and deploy comprehensive billing and payment options (domestic, international, in-app) to boost conversions and retention.
- Comprehensive analytics: By collecting things like detailed service feedback data and unsubscribe reasons, Cleeng helps its customers understand what’s working (and what’s not) to improve their own customer retention.
- Offer management: Set up promotional campaigns that help grow your audience with flexible offer management.
- Pricing: Cleeng is free for your first 1500 subscribers (“managed users”) for up to one year. After that, pricing revolves around managed users. Cleeng Core costs .79 per managed user/month. Full API access requires the Scale-Ups plan, with pricing starting at .39 per managed user/month for a minimum of 5000 managed users.
Things to consider when considering Cleeng:
Maximizing your success with Cleeng will require adequate development resources.
Muvi is an end-to-end OTT solution that positions itself as both feature-rich and user-friendly. With a fastest deployment guarantee, Muvi is a good choice for broadcasters who need no-code audio streaming at scale.
- Branding and accessibility: Launch your own VOD platform with a branded OTT website and native apps on all major platforms (iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, LG TV) without touching a line of code. Use APIs and SDKs to customize further.
- Video uploading/migration: Muvi offers several ways to upload videos to its CMS: from your computer, via FTP, or third-party cloud providers like Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Monetization: Create your own monetization model or choose from the most common (SVOD, TVOD, PPV, AVOD, etc.) Choose your preferred payment gateways.
- In-app purchases: Make it easier for customers to buy online content by enabling native purchases on set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV.
- Customer service: Muvi offers 24/7 phone support to all customers. The Ultimate package comes with your own dedicated support team.
- Pricing: Muvi pricing starts at $399/month for a white-labeled website/app with hosting and CDN. Higher tier packages with additional bandwidth and functionality range from $1499 to $8900/month.
Things to consider when considering Muvi:
Muvi comes with more features than you may need, so make sure to test drive any relevant “nice-to-haves” before committing.
Uscreen is an end-to-end VOD streaming platform with everything you need to monetize video content. Known for its focus on eLearning, their clients range from health and fitness to entertainment and spirituality.
- Branding and accessibility: Launch and manage video streaming apps for mobile devices and TV. Personalize your apps to reflect your brand. Customize more via Uscreen’s API.
- Video hosting and library organization: Upload and manage your content in one central location. Video updates will reflect in your apps instantly.
- Comprehensive analytics: Understand viewer behavior with detailed analytics like watch-time per device. Identify your top-performing videos to inform future content decisions.
- Customer experience: Build a bustling community of engaged viewers with Uscreen’s community features. Includes user-owned avatars/profiles and live chat/comment capabilities.
- Live streaming to any device: Go live across web, mobile, and TV apps. Put live streams behind a paywall when applicable and drive engagement with live chat functionality. Auto-record lives to video on demand.
- Monetization: Uscreen offers several monetization options, including subscriptions, rentals, pay-per-view, bundles, free trials, and lifetime access.
- Pricing: Pricing starts at $79/month + .50 per subscriber for a customized OTT website. Uscreen Plus pricing (which includes API access and mobile/TV apps) isn’t listed.
Things to consider when considering Uscreen:
Uscreen has its own payment gateway, but limits third-party payment gateways to Stripe and PayPal.
Dacast is a video on demand solution that also supports professional-grade live streaming.
Whether you’re looking to set up your own Hulu-style OTT platform or securely stream live events to people across locations, Dacast is a robust VOD platform worth looking into.
- Video uploading/migration: Dacast’s S3 FTP upload feature means you can transfer multiple videos efficiently and at once.
- Branding and accessibility: Build your own content management system and customize your video player and mobile apps with Dacast’s APIs.
- Video library and organization: Keep things tidy with categories, playlists, and subcategories. Send live streams to your on-demand library.
- Comprehensive analytics: Track content performance and leverage those insights to improve your content and monetization strategies.
- Video transcoding: Dacast’s video CMS comes with a built-in cloud transcoder. Encode content for adaptive bitrate streaming that delivers no matter the wifi connection speed.
- Monetization: Choose from TVOD, AVOD and SVOD to monetize your content.
- Security: Protect your VOD content with passwords, domain and IP restrictions, and HTTPS delivery. Choose additional privacy and security features with Dacast’s API.
- Pricing: Uscreen pricing ranges from $39 to $188/month, depending on storage and features. For additional features like migrations and integrations, you’ll need to sign up for custom pricing.
Things to consider when considering Dacast:
All plans include API access.
Setplex positions itself as a VOD platform that can futureproof your OTT content engine.
To satisfy that claim, Setplex uses a microservices architecture that makes their software super scalable. For customers, it also means working with a rich set of tools accessible from a single dashboard.
- Video transcoding: Using a cloud or self-hosted version of Sextrix, transcode up to 33 HD live streams or 55 SD Streams at a time.
- Branding and accessibility: Reach audiences on every platform with mobile, web, and set-top box/TV apps. Personalize all apps and interfaces to match your brand.
- IPTV middleware: Control all aspects of your OTT/IPTV platform in real-time with Nora Middleware — from user analytics to app customization to content management.
- Monetization: Generate revenue through subscriptions (SVOD), rentals (TVOD), pay-per-view (PPV), or ad-supported (AVOD) models.
- Cloud-based or on-premises: With cloud-based and on-site options, Setplex can work for many broadcasters — whether you’re a small business just getting started or an enterprise with rigorous compliance demands.
- Pricing: Setplex doesn’t provide pricing information on their website.
Things to consider when considering Setplex:
It’s unclear whether Setplex has its own API.
Resi is a unique option among VOD platforms. Built with enterprise-level broadcasting in mind, this video on-demand solution provides customers with the reliability and quality that usually requires dedicated connections and expensive IT infrastructure.
- Patented technology: With Resi’s Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP), you can stream from anywhere without worrying about audio or video loss. Through a complete internet outage, Resi can guarantee a seamless stream.
- Multiple streaming options: Resi offers three ways to stream: through highly reliable hardware encoders that work well for mission-critical events; through Resi’s ProPresenter Stream software, a lower-cost way to leverage the same reliability; and with Resi Upload and Automate, a set-it-and-forget-it scheduling tool.
- Live streaming to multiple locations: Stream video content anywhere in 1080p. Broadcast live streams to your website, social media channels, and OTT apps like Apple TV and Roku to reach a larger audience with just one upload.
- Customer service: Resi provides proactive monitoring and support for all of its platforms. If the Resi support team sees anything that could cause an issue for your stream, they’ll work with you to resolve it via email or phone — even on weekends.
- Award-winning: Resi has won several G2 awards (including best support, high performer, and easy to do business with) and its client roster includes brands in the events, sports, and education industries.
Things to consider when considering Resi
To provide ultra-reliable broadcasts, Resi’s patented technology relies on a 90-second to two-minute delay when live streaming.
Start your VOD service
In the war of VOD platform providers, the best choice is the one that meets most (if not all) of your specific business needs. From hosting and encoding video to app development and accessibility, there are many variables to think through when evaluating a platform provider.
With Vimeo OTT, you can offer subscribers a streaming service as user-friendly and seamless across devices as Netflix. Beam flawless video anywhere — live or on-demand — with a powerful video monetization service beloved by 200M+ creators and brands.