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Online video streaming platforms such as Netflix are a dream of many businesses today – the monetization is too enticing to ignore.
Streaming is popular among people of different ages, nationalities, interests, etc.
However, building one from scratch can be rather challenging as there are many things to think about. In this article, we will discuss what a video streaming platform is, and how it can be monetized.
What is a Streaming Platform?
A streaming platform gives you the ability to broadcast videos (and audio) to an audience. Two types of streaming platforms are widely spread today — video streaming platforms and live streaming platforms. Let’s talk about them a bit:
Video streaming platform
A video streaming platform allows consumers to access videos on-demand (VOD). It means that videos are pre-recorded and stored on a particular server. When users want to watch a video, they just click on it on the platform, and a video starts transmitting from a server to their devices – whatever that device is.
Video streaming platforms use two major ways to deliver content to a user — “over-the-top” (OTT) or with the help of the Internet protocol over a LAN (IPTV). An OTT platform requires an Internet connection to deliver content directly to a user. IPTV is a closed network that delivers videos to consumers via on-premise equipment, such as a set-top box or any other.
Examples of famous OTT platforms are Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, while popular IPTV examples are Mom IPTV and NimiTV.
Live streaming platform
Live streaming happens in real-time. Viewers watch the video simultaneously as it is recorded and delivered to their devices at the same time. Often, a live streaming platform has a chat room that includes an interactive component to the streamed event. Whether it is a sports event or an expert talking, consumers can share ideas and votes right in a chat room, thereby increasing engagement.
Live streaming is a subset of a video streaming service. If recorded simultaneously with delivering and watching, it is live streaming. However, if a consumer watches the recorded show later, it is an on-demand video.
What is a Video Streaming Platform Good for?
At Setplex, we are serious about monetization. Enterprise OTT platforms have more options that platforms like YouTube can’t compete with.
A video streaming platform is a perfect tool for a company — both for shifting from low-profit YouTube or other social media platforms and for expanding business with new monetization methods.
Of course, the first thing every business does is assess risks and possible revenue streams. A video streaming platform can pay for itself quickly. There are two fundamental reasons:
- Different monetization models:
- AVOD (Advertising video on demand) — video content is free of charge but can be interrupted with ads
- SVOD (Subscription video on demand) — consumers pay for a monthly subscription and watch videos without annoying ads
- TVOD (Transactional video on demand)/PPV — consumers purchase one single unit of content
- The opportunity of reaching a wider audience
You can also combine different monetization models for multiple streams of income. It creates a wider audience reach too.
Video streaming platforms use CDN solutions to reach people in different countries. CDN stands for a content delivery network. It is a territorially distributed group of servers around the globe. They deliver video content faster and with low latencies, especially over long distances. Increased content availability and redundancy provide a better user experience (UX).
Businesses that should consider video streaming
Both live streaming and video streaming are perfect here. For instance, those who cannot attend religious service, especially the elderly population, can pray along with others staying at their homes or communicate with a church directly through the Internet.
The sports and entertainment industries have been benefiting from streaming for a while. In fact, consumers more often seek streaming platforms focused on these two topics. These two industries will evolve with AR/VR development.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, more schools, universities, and other educational facilities moved to remote learning. The OTT platform can make it easier for universities to organize their videos into categories and make it convenient for students to access. Students can watch it now, or later if it is recorded and stored.
How Hard is it to Develop a Video Streaming Platform?
Designing a platform all by yourself? Difficult, time-consuming, and potentially very expensive.
To build a video streaming platform from scratch, you have a variety of tasks before you:
- Create a business plan
- Research and select a content niche
- Hire designers and developers
- Manage the team during the process of development
- Rent (expensive) servers
- Partner with other companies that help deliver content
- You will need a marketing team at some point.
You will spend quite a lot of time on building the platform as it is a complex technical solution that needs to be developed properly and maintained.
On top of all that you also have to create content.
The answer here is to find an already designed solution. However, the market for such solutions is large. That’s why you should explore it properly and learn the functionality of each technology meticulously. Most solutions aren’t end-to-end – you still have to buy hardware or software.
Finding an end-to-end solution already built is better and less expensive
A company such as Setplex can develop a video streaming platform for you. We provide our clients with all the components required: both software and hardware. At Setplex, we also help you customize your video streaming platform with your branding.
Setplex provides an end-to-end solution for building your video streaming platform. Here is a check-list with all components that such a solution includes:
#1 Hardware and Software
- IPTV/OTT Middleware simplifies the compatibility and connection between two or more other applications so that they can easily send and receive data with each other. Providers use IPTV Middleware to configure the platform interface and manage subscribers, content, and monetization models.
- Multi-platform applications deliver your content to all major devices: Smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, computer displays, etc.
- IPTV Transcoder/Encoder that converts digital signals to analog video signals. The process of encoding implies converting videos into formats maintainable by different devices. During encoding, a video is compressed into chunks—smaller pieces of video that are easier to deliver. A Decoder receives these chunks and converts them into a format supported by a user’s device.
- A set-top box (STB) helps consumers watch videos via the Internet or cable TV on conventional TVs.
- Content Delivery Network solution (CDN) is used to deliver content globally. It is useful if a company wants to reach new customers and expand the business to other locations.
IPTV/OTT solution developers know that building a video streaming platform from scratch is a difficult task. That’s why they came up with the idea of a white-label video streaming platform. It is like WordPress for websites — you have all the tools to build your website pursuant to your brand image.
Such companies as Setplex can help you white label the platform with your logo, colors, and other elements that will make it recognizable and eye-catching.
#3 OTT analytics tracking
To enhance your video streaming platform, you need to know what’s working – and what is not. Tracking analytics shows what is popular on your platform and what should be changed.
Video streaming platforms usually have an analytics feature so that you can learn customer preferences without asking anything of your customers. You can observe a customer journey via OTT analytics tracking and, consequently, get insights to enhance your video streaming service success.
#4 Monetize, monetize, monetize!
The primary goal of any business is to earn money.
That’s why the Setplex video streaming platform provides a range of monetization possibilities: from advertisement-based models (AVOD) when other companies pay you for showing their products to customers to subscription-based models (SVOD) where customers pay for access to video content, usually monthly.
As a business owner you are always looking for ways to enhance your services and make more revenue. Building a video streaming platform can be a great solution not only for monetization possibilities, but also for an opportunity to learn customer behavior – and that means more satisfied customers.
You could build your streaming platform yourself, but there are barriers to this, often including a big price tag. Hidden and scaling costs are also concerns in the future. When it comes to building a platform, the less expensive and more comprehensive way is to look for a company like Setplex to cover all the bases and help you scale as you grow.
If you already have an enterprise system in place and are finding it difficult to keep up, consider migrating to Setplex for free. Contact us and see how we can help!