Video Essentials

OVPs: What Do You Get for $100 per Month?


If you want to begin serving videos on the cheap, you can easily host them with a free video sharing site, then embed them in your pages. But what can you get for just a small investment?

There’s a perception that using an online video platform (OVP) to host and serve your videos is an expensive undertaking, but the reality is that pricing for many of them is about $100 per month. We examined seven of the leading OVPs, getting more information than they publish on their websites, to help you make a comparison.

Keep in mind that this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive listing of all OVPs, but a sampling to show you what’s available.

Brightcove
Brightcove’s Express plan starts at $99 per month. With it, you can host up to 50 videos and you’ll get 40GB of bandwidth.

Brightcove lets you upload videos in the following formats: 3G2, 3GP, ASF (streaming video for the Windows Media Player), AVI, DV, FLV (VP6), MOV (QuickTime multimedia), MP4 (H.264), MPEG, MPG (MPEG-1 and MPEG-2), QT (QuickTime), and WMV (Windows Media Video).

You can output and play your videos as FLV (VP6) or MP4 (H.264) files. Clients can stream videos at six resolutions, with the highest being an HD stream of 1280 by 720 pixels, sending 1.8MB of data per second. Brightcove has also announced plans to support Google’s new WebM format, based on the VP8 video codec.

Brightcove lets you create manual playlists with your videos, as well as create automatic smart playlists. The video player can be customized, including changing the color and selecting which buttons appear, but creating custom skins is reserved for higher-priced plans. While there’s no way to serve ads, you can add social sharing features (such as Twitter and Facebook integration) and view detailed analytics data.

ClickStreamTV
ClickStreamTV’s Standard Plan starts at a super-low $59 per month, so it’s good choice for extremely limited budgets, but remember to factor in the one-time $299 startup fee. The plan gets you 2GB of storage, so you can upload as many videos as will fit. You’ll also get 20GB of bandwidth.

You can upload video as MPG, AVI, MOV, MP4, and WMV files.

Uploaded videos can be encoded and shown as FLV, WMV, MP4, and 3GP videos. ClickStreamTV’s default is to encode videos at 300kbps files, but you can opt to stream 1280 by 720 or 1920 by 1080 high-definition videos, if you prefer.

You can organize your videos manually into playlists, but ClickStreamTV doesn’t support rule-based (smart) playlists. The company offers two ways to customize the look of your player. You can use the online design studio, which has a point-and-click interface and allows you to upload images for branding, or you can use the company’s support team, which you can reach through your sales representative. Having a ClickStreamTV staffer do the work costs an extra $50, though. The player can show banner ads that you sell yourself, but there’s no ad network integration or ability to show in-stream video ads. The player offers social sharing features, including Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail tools, and you’ll get access to real-time analytics.

Kaltura
Kaltura’s lowest-priced paid plan starts at $299 per month. This plan lets you upload 500 videos and provides 150GB of bandwidth. (If you’ve got the IT resources to host your own content, Kaltura also offers an open-source Community Edition.)

You can input video to Kaltura as FLV, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MKV, OGG, WMV, ISM/ISMV, and AVI files.

After uploading, you can serve video as FLV, H.264, OGG, VP8, and Silverlight streams. You’ll also be able to serve high-definition video.

You can create both manual and rule-based playlists with Kaltura, and fully control the look and features of your player with Kaltura’s Application Studio. Generate revenue by using free ad plug-ins found in Kaltura’s Application Exchange. The plan also offers sharing and syndication tools, as well as detailed analytics.

Kyte
Kyte doesn’t have a service level for people just starting out who are working with tight budgets. Its lowest-tier plan, Kyte Premium, starts in the low thousands of dollars per month.

Ooyala
The pricing for Ooyala‘s Publisher Plan (which isn’t listed on the site) works a little differently than the others. Instead of a fixed monthly fee, you pay a delivery fee of $.75 per hour of content delivered (so if you have a one minute video and you serve it 60 times, that’s $.75). Signing up for an account gets you 5GB of online storage, and you can store as many videos as it will hold for no extra money. If you’re worried about streaming too much and blowing your budget, Ooyala will let you cap your streams at a pre-determined amount.

Your uploaded videos can use the following video codecs: H.264, MPEG-4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.263, Motion-JPEG, SVQ-3, VP-6, WMV-8, WMV-9, VC-1. They must also be in these formats: MP4, MOV, MPG, FLV, AVI, ASF, WMV.

Once uploaded, you can deliver MPEG-4 H.264 Flash video as well as Silverlight and, soon, HTML5. You’ll be able to serve high-definition streams.

Ooyala allows for both manual and rule-based video playlists, which it calls channels. Clients can customize the look of their player with their own branding and colors, and add an Ooyala watermark, if they want. They can also decide which buttons appear. There’s no ad network support, but there are social sharing tools, including the ability to deep link to a section of the video. Clients will get analytic data in the form of reports which are updated every 5 to 10 minutes with current information.

Sorenson Media
Sorenson 360 offers a $99 per month plan, and with it you get 10GB of storage. You can host as many videos as will fit. You’ll also get 50GB of bandwidth per month to stream them.

Sorenson lets you upload video as ASF, AVI, DV, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and WMV files.

Once uploaded, you can publish your work as FLV (Spark and VP6) and MP4 (H.264) videos. You’ll be able to serve 1080p high-definition video, if you want. Support is coming for WebM.

You can organize your work into rules-bases playlists or manually create them. You can also customize the look of your player and enable watermarks with your company logo. Sorenson offers ad network plug-ins to generate revenue. The player also offers social media sharing tools and comprehensive analytics.

VMIX
While VMIX offers monthly service that starts in the same range as Kaltura’s pricing, it isn’t focused on smaller clients. It will accept small companies that are poised for growth, but refers companies whose needs are going to stay small to partners. It refers newspapers to Town News, for example, and radio stations to Triton Digital.

If you’re ready to stream and you’d like more information, read this buyer’s guide to choosing an online video platform.




Discussion

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  1. I think it is worth to add Bits on the Run – http://bitsontherun.com – to your list.

    Regards,
    Dennis

    Posted by Dennis | June 3, 2010, 3:43 am
  2. At Unicorn Media you can strt at $90/month.

    Posted by Nina | June 4, 2010, 5:16 am
  3. I use ClickStreamTV and I feel it’s the best platform out there. You get more bang for your buck with the video email tool.

    Posted by Brian | June 4, 2010, 12:00 pm
    • Brian,

      Thanks for your comment! Let us know if there is anything we can do to enhance your experiences with ClickStreamTV and your video delivery success!

      Jordan

      Posted by Jordan | June 7, 2010, 12:33 pm
  4. Vidaroo.com is another option.

    Posted by Diana | June 7, 2010, 12:05 am
  5. Great info – definitely missing http://www.EZWebplayer.com here. They’re new & cost a fraction of these guys.
    Thx!
    Richard

    Posted by Richard Bouchez (@richardbouchez) | June 14, 2010, 10:40 am
  6. You should also consider Zeitbyte.
    http://www.zeitbyte.com

    Posted by Gary Kahn | June 21, 2010, 11:12 am
  7. VOPED is a very affordable OVP as well, and is extremely feature rich. We also just launched a turnkey Pay Per View system that is build right into our OVP and which creates huge potential for our customers to create a new revenue stream from live and on-demand events and entertainment. Check us out at http://www.voped.com and call us for a demo!

    David

    David, VP Business Development, VOPED

    http://www.voped.com/solutions_pay-per-view.php

    Posted by David Hiltner | November 16, 2010, 12:55 pm
  8. Definitely add us to your list! http://get.buto.tv – for £99 per month you get unlimited storage and unlimited video uploads plus generous bandwidth.

    Posted by Team Buto | December 3, 2010, 4:19 am
  9. Well lots of tools out there check out Stream MP and see what you think with UK based support it’s a good choice if your in the EU.

    http://www.streamuk.com/mp.php

    Email for a Free 1 month Trial.

    Posted by Will | January 12, 2011, 12:29 pm
  10. I am currently using DaCast.com, a white label video streaming company that allows me stream my yoga video on the yoga studio’s website.
    There are 3 good things about them that I like a lot:
    1. They are cheaper than others. I pay only $29/mo for 140GB of bandwidth.
    2. The sale persons are on top of everything (I am don t have a lot of technical knowledge…).
    3. I can use their monetization system that is very easy to use, like that I can make extra money with my yoga classes video.

    I did not know at 1st if this was a good idea, so I tried their free trial, and it end up working amazingly well ;-)

    Posted by Ayla | January 25, 2012, 6:38 pm
  11. Another name to throw into the mix is vzaar.com

    lowest priced plan starts at $29 a month.

    Posted by Hayley | December 17, 2012, 11:50 am