We all know the video has taken over the internet. Now the next trend is creators taking full ownership of their content by launching their own video-on-demand (VOD) services
With the number of VOD users expected to amount to 1.9 billion users by 2027, that’s a big ol’ chunk of the market you might want to get a slice of. And the good news is: you can!
You can build a profitable video-on-demand (VOD) business like thousands of video entrepreneurs who are serving content-hungry audiences around the world.
The key to success? Picking the right VOD platform for you.
Not all VOD platforms are created equal, so you need to figure out the good bits of each one and see how that fits with your needs.
That’s what we’re here for.
We’re going to give you a full rundown of the 10 best VOD platforms out there, plus a cheeky bonus if you stick with us to the end.
Here are the top 10 VOD platforms for creators and businesses in 2023:
Let’s get right on into it.
So, What Is a VOD Platform?
A video-on-demand (VOD) platform is a tool to deliver video content to your viewers as pre-recorded, streamed content.
Viewers can choose a video from your online content catalog through a website, mobile app, or a connected TV.
This type of platform is a place to host your videos for uses like:
- Sharing your creative output with the world.
- Monetizing your videos and building an online video business.
- Marketing your brand to your current and potential customers.
- Getting your business message across to your team.
In practicality, it can be anything from streaming a football game replay on your iPad to catching up with a recording of a Zoom meeting or conference you missed, and everything in between.
Now that we’ve seen what VOD platforms are capable of, it’s time to look at the best video-on-demand platforms.
First up on our list of video-on-demand platforms is Uscreen.
The Uscreen platform is for video creators and entrepreneurs who want to build a video streaming business, offering access to high-quality content for a paid subscription, one-time payment, rentals, and more.
Uscreen is built with scalability and growth in mind, empowering you to create and launch your own branded website and video streaming OTT apps on mobile devices and TVs (with no coding).
Our platform also comes with robust built-in marketing and retention tools, allowing creators, businesses, and brands to grow their streaming business and retain their users.
Whether you’re starting out on your video entrepreneurship path or are looking to scale your video offering and increase functionality, Uscreen has the goods you need.
What are those goods exactly?
Uscreen has plenty to offer video businesses and individual creators, like:
- Video hosting and full HD video playback.
- Live streaming and on-demand streaming.
- Loads of monetization models like subscription VOD (SVOD), and transactional VOD (TVOD), pay-per-view, and hybrid options such as multi-tiered subscription, with billing included.
- Detailed marketing and sales analytics that you’re in control of.
- Fully customizable website with built-in themes and landing page builder.
- Built-in HTML5 video player with Chromecast and AirPlay support.
- Over-the-top (OTT) streaming apps with your own color scheme and logo.
- Built-in marketing and retention tools such as gift cards, coupons, lead generation funnels, abandoned cart emails, and more.
- Over a thousand integrations, including the most popular payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorized.net.
- End user support to help you through the ins and outs of the platform.
Uscreen supports the tech side of your online video journey, allowing you to focus on quality videos.
Free trial: 14 days
You hear “online video streaming”; you think “YouTube.”
It’s a behemoth of the genre, and the second most used search engine in the world, only second to Google.
With over 14 billion visits per month, YouTube is the place where many creators start posting their content.
Here’s how the site works for creators.
We all know how YouTube works from a user perspective, but what features do creators get out of it?
Along with the huge potential audience, creators get:
- Video monetization options like ad revenue share and channel memberships once certain parameters of viewed hours and subscribers are hit.
- A cut of a Premium subscriber’s membership fee when they watch your content.
- Live streaming, video premiers, and private content options.
- Super chat and super stickers that your fans pay to use.
- Access to the Creator Studio including in-depth viewer analytics.
- Creator Academy and YouTube NextUp support to help learn how to improve your content.
- Options to sell branded merchandise through your channel.
- Channel customization options such as banners, profile pictures, and color choices.
Did we mention that lots of people use it?
Anyone can use YouTube for free as a viewer or as a creator.
The business model primarily revolves around advertising revenue, which gets split with creators once they reach a certain level of success.
Creators can also add a membership subscription to their channel, which YouTube takes a 30% cut from.
From Silicon Valley, let’s jump on over to Cambridge, MA to our next VOD service.
At Wistia, the focus is on using their video-on-demand service to build your brand through your content.
You do this by having the website host your content and then choose where to place your video, like on a landing page or your next marketing email.
It’s all about marketing your business with video to help you get your message out there easily and understand who’s listening to you.
Heavily focused on building up your brand awareness through video, it’s no surprise that the features of streaming solution lean in that direction, such as:
- Personalization options like adding brand colors, custom thumbnails, and tailored calls to action (CTAs).
- An API with even more detailed personalization options.
- High-quality audience data and analytics to help you target your advertising better.
- Creating a channel to host your own comprehensive content library.
- Integrations that cover analytics, paywalls, and email marketing, among plenty of others.
- Sharing and embedding videos in email, and landing page in-line and as a pop-up.
- A/B testing feature to help with optimizing your video for better engagement.
All of this should allow you to use the power and potential of visual content to bring your brand to life — and increase your bottom line.
There are 3 tiers of pricing available, depending on your content needs:
- Free: the Free tier allows for 3 free videos or podcasts, up to 250 subscribers on one channel, a branded video player, and A/B testing. Price: free
- Pro: the Pro package costs 25 cents per video or audio file added after the initial 10 included, plus personalization options on the player. Price: $99 per month.
- Advanced: the Advanced package has even more benefits and with that, a bespoke pricing strategy. Price: contact Wistia for pricing information.
Moving right along to the next video-on-demand service we’ve got for you.
When you want to bring your marketing campaigns to life, Vidyard is there to host the video content you need to add some spice to your messaging.
Connect with your audience in a fresh and creative way by making your proposals and pitches into a visual feast — rather than a mundane slide show.
You get a place to host your high-quality video-on-demand content to embed in your email marketing campaigns or sit on your landing page to communicate your message.
Time for some details.
Vidyard is a handy VOD software to start you off on your audio-visual marketing journey.
On the platform, you get…
- video creation tools to record your screen, webcam feed, or both, for up to a maximum of 1 hour
- fast uploads and hosting of your content with embed links to work in email, LinkedIn, and on your landing pages
- high-quality, ad-free streaming with a GIF preview option
- detailed analytics about your audience and how they interact with your videos
- high level video personalization, adding customer or business names on screen, plus CTAs and email collection
- to collect all your content in one central hub for easy access by all your team
- video search engine optimization (SEO) and content transcription for accessibility
- control over exactly who gets to see your content
- to personalize videos using viewer data — including user’s name or company
- integrations with your current marketing tools so you can share your data across platforms and monitor the success of your video content
…to give an edge to your marketing and communications strategies.
How much does all this cost?
The 4-tiered pricing Vidyard offers is designed to grow as your business does:
- Free: get video recording, video uploads, and the ability to share it by email, social media, and more. Price: free.
- Pro: you’ll also get basic branding, video insights, and calls to action for your videos. Price: $19 per month.
- Teams: you’ll also get the ability to have 3 users, custom branding, and full video analytics. Price: $300 per month.
- Business: you’ll also get 5 users, fully customizable video CTAs, and CRM/MAP integration. Price: $1,250 per month.
The next one up is Wowza.
If Lua, Kotlin, and Ruby could be exotic cocktails rather than languages to you, maybe you should get your software developer to check out Wowza.
It’s a video streaming engine that caters to live streams and real-time video embedding.
They have an array of tools that your developers are going to appreciate and possibly have great fun trying new use cases with.
Here’s a full roundup of the features.
Wowza has features that include…
- a strong stack of developer tools such as GitHub repositories, SDKs, and an API sandbox environment for control over your VOD
- streaming services like live streaming, OTT streaming, live broadcasts, and stream embedding options
- the Wowza ClearCaster for live encoding with a Micro or Enterprise option depending on how you want to deliver your VOD services
- a content delivery network (CDN) offering cloud streaming and streaming server options to store your video content in one place
…giving you plenty to work with to get your playback streaming perfectly.
Time to look at how their pricing works.
Wowza offers 4 different pricing tiers:
- One Month of Streaming: gives you limited streaming for 30 days, plus 15 streaming hours, 500 viewing hours, and you’ll have to pay for storage as needed. Price: $149 one-time fee.
- Pay as You Go: great if you’re just getting started with Wowza since you can scale as needed, and you’ll have flexible streaming with low startup costs. Price: $25 per month.
- Annual: best for growing businesses, giving you 300 streaming hours, 10,000 viewing hours, and 150GB of storage. Price: $130 per month.
- Enterprise: you’ll also have the option of building a plan for your needs with discounted rates on hours and storage and robust customization. Price: contact Wowza for information.
Ready for more VOD platforms?
SproutVideo is a tool for businesses of all sizes.
They offer live and on-demand content hosting that facilitates all kinds of business functions, from internal communications to live product launches.
There are plenty of features that support these needs, so let’s check them out.
SproutVideo aims to be a complete video streaming solution for your business, featuring…
- a customizable player with logos and branding, playlists, and strong encryption protocols
- fully secure videos that can be password, log-in, or sign-in protected
- custom CTAs, lead capture tools, easy SEO, and handy integrations to support your video marketing efforts
- create your own website for video-on-demand content, with advanced coding options or a simpler solution to present to your users
- useful analytics to help content owners improve what they do each time
…for all your VOD needs.
Now to see how all this affects your outgoings.
As you can see, there are 4 pricing options for SproutVideo:
- Seed: you’ll get the core platform features, analytics and engagement data, and email and live chat support. Price: $24.99 per month.
- Sprout: you’ll also get log-in protection, account audit log, and a full video website. Price: $59.99 per month.
- Tree: you’ll also get advanced video site options, geo restriction, signed embed codes, and exportable data. Price: $199.99 per month.
- Forest: you’ll get everything SproutVideo offers, including premium support and unlimited viewers. Price: $499.99 per month.
That’s all about SproutVideo, so what’s next?
Brightcove is old school, starting 15 years ago as one of the original VOD platform providers.
They operate at enterprise scale and partner with broadcasters and other big brands to deliver on-demand and live video.
Let’s see what’s under the hood.
Brightcove is a reliable and powerful video hosting platform that can:
- Offer live streaming of events and a catalog of videos to present to users.
- Allow you to create your own TV channel with a player optimized for HTML5.
- Deliver detailed, high-level data and analytics to drive your video marketing efforts.
- Brand the video content you create on OTT apps, websites, social media, and any other channel you need with an API tool for even more customization.
- Integrate with the tools you already know and love to be able to monetize your content.
- Digital rights management (DRM) and other controls to make sure only the right people see your video.
- Cloud-based transcoding to get your content to the right devices without extra processes at your end.
Time to see how the pricing shakes out.
Rather than having a detailed pricing page, Brightcove does bespoke packages for content creators and distributors.
You can contact them online or by phone across different time zones to discuss your needs and their costs.
Onto the next VOD service.
Kaltura ticks a lot of boxes with what they can do and who they can work for.
They offer solutions that’ll boost engagement and get a message delivered and done well.
Looking at the features will help us see what they can do for your business.
This video-on-demand solution can do a lot and work across lots of different departments.
The features you can explore include:
- Live and on-demand video streaming services for events and cloud TV channels.
- Features to facilitate learning management system (LMS) videos and virtual classrooms.
- Analytics to help you understand what works and what doesn’t.
- Secure access to your video content so only your customers or colleagues can see your videos.
- An API and a SDK to help personalize and customize features of your video player.
- Branding options to add logos, brand colors, skins, and fonts over your stream.
- A full content management system to have all videos and data in one place.
- Captions, auto-transcriptions, and translations for your video content for improved accessibility.
With all that on offer, we should check out the prices.
The pricing structure isn’t disclosed on Kaltura, but there’s a free trial so you can understand what features you want to talk to them about.
You’ve stuck with us so far, and we’re nearly into the final act.
9. JW Player
Working across websites, iOS, and Android apps, and connected TV, JW Player is made for businesses wanting to make a profit from their content.
When you want to make money off advertising rather than a subscription model, JW Player is a VOD and OTT platform that can help make it happen.
Let’s explore what they offer.
Using JW Player, you get a range of tools and features that’ll get your content seen by users, such as:
- Technology that drives recommended content to your user with strong targeting capabilities.
- A multi-screen experience for your viewers, working across devices and operating systems.
- A complete SDK for your developers to add custom options to your mobile apps.
- An analytics suite that’ll integrate with the tools you’re using right now.
- DRM support, geo-blocking, and encrypted feeds to ensure secure content delivery
- Monetization options for your videos like player bidding and support to develop other streams of income from your content.
Let’s get down to brass tacks and look at the money.
During the month-long free trial that JW Player offers, you get to work with their API and SDK, can upload and host up to 25GB of video, and have up to 75GB watched by your viewers.
After the trial, you can choose between 2 pricing plans:
- Starter: gives you a HTML5 video player, a gallery for content management, and hosting and streaming storage of 150GB and 500GB, respectively. Price: $10 per month.
- Enterprise: for video service providers who want to offer more than the starter plan; get in touch with JW Player directly to chat about their Enterprise VOD solutions.
Closing out our list of 10 of the best VOD streaming services is…
Hosting films, series, marketing videos, and any other video content you want to monetize and share with the world is Vimeo On Demand.
Pretty similar to Uscreen in some ways, Vimeo On Demand is a VOD and content management system (CMS) that works for small creators and larger content distributors, too.
Getting on to the features.
As a video-on-demand website, Vimeo has plenty of things that a creator might need:
- Monetization models with rentals and on-time purchase and subscription options, with promo and discount codes supported.
- Video player templates that can be customized with logos and colors.
- Detailed analytics broken down by platform to support creator growth.
- Broadcasting across multiple platforms such as Apple TV, iOS, Android TV and Android mobile apps, as well as website embedding.
- Production workflow assistance with sharing, collaboration, and annotation tools to ensure your VOD content meets your team’s needs.
The pricing is coming right up.
Vimeo’s pricing is split over 5 different levels:
- Plus: with the Plus plan, you get to customize your player, control video privacy settings, and capture your screen or other video without limits. Price: $7 per month.
- Pro: the pro plan gives you private team projects, customizable showcase sites, and 1TB of storage every year. Price: $20 per month.
- Business: gives you video creation with custom branding, player calls to action, lead generation, and Google analytics. Price: $50 per month.
- Premium: you’ll get unlimited events and webinar, browser-based production tools, live streaming to multiple destinations, and live audience chat. Price: $75 per month.
That’s our 10 best VOD platforms.
But wait, remember the bonus we promised?
We present to you…
Hold up, is Loom a video-on-demand platform?
We’re not going to split hairs — it might not offer the full range of services you’ll find at Uscreen, and you won’t find TV like on Hulu — but it does sit in the VOD services sector.
Loom is a tool that lets you easily create videos through screen or webcam recording and send a link for anyone who needs to watch it.
Ever been to a Zoom that could have worked as an email?
A Loom is somewhere in between.
Here’s what it can do.
Loom is a business-focused SaaS, with some super-handy features, like…
- video playback through sharing a link by email to colleagues, clients, or customers
- visual feedback with time-coded comments to help improve your video content
- team-level content management with storage for videos and screenshots
- branding and CTAs for reaching external users
…to get your message across.
One last time, let’s see the prices.
Loom comes in 3 different pricing levels:
- Starter: with the Starter level, you get limited storage, video lengths, and functions. Price: free
- Business: you get unlimited videos and recordings, and tools to support your marketing team. Price: $8 per month.
- Enterprise: Enterprise customers get advanced features and bespoke pricing to go with them.
Well, not quite. Now we’re going to cover what you need to know to choose which of these will work for you.
How To Choose the Perfect VOD Platform
There’s a lot of options to create the best VOD service for a great user experience, right?
Choosing the right platform for your needs will depend on loads of factors, such as:
- White label websites.
- Full customization.
- Global payment gateway options.
- Fully supported setup.
You know what?
We’ve covered this in detail in our shopping list for video platforms.
Head on over to that post to know which features you need to be looking for and compare it to what each of these are capable of.
See you over there.
Meanwhile, we’re going to close this one up.
Wrapping It Up
Thanks for coming along on our foray into the best VOD platforms out there.
If you’re looking to be the next Disney+ or Amazon Prime, these are the places to start.
Gone are the days of set-top boxes and analog signals — video-on-demand is the future.
These 11 options work for different use cases, depending on the type of business you’re in and what monetization solutions you’re looking for.
Uscreen covers pretty much everything you’re going to need when you want the best VOD selling service or just a place to host your internal video messaging.
Want to give us a try? Get in touch and we’ll talk you through your needs.