Online Video Platforms Costs calculator - Online Video Providers Features Comparison
Compare Online Video Platforms Features and Pricing
The objective of this page is to let you compare the best online video platforms for your specific needs, considering factors such as adherence to standards for optimal playback reliability, as well as pricing and possible concealed expenses.
What does Apple App Store compliance mean for streaming?
It means the provided stream can be used to submit an app to iOS, iPadOS, MacOS and tvOS App Store. By being compliant to Apple App Store, an HLS Stream is compliant to Roku Channels, Google Play, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO Platform Plus, etc as well.
The Importance of Apple's HLS Authoring Recommendations in Choosing an Online Video Provider
Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) Authoring Specification for Apple Devices is a crucial guide for anyone involved in the creation and delivery of on-demand or live streaming content. Its importance extends beyond Apple devices, as HLS has become the HTTP streaming standard used for most streaming playback today. Therefore, understanding and applying these recommendations is paramount when building an Online Video Provider (OVP) or lasting streaming platform. By wholeheartedly backing it from the start, you experience fewer compatibility issues when you opt to expand your streaming services to different devices.
Apple's HLS Authoring Specifications offer a solid foundation for the creation and delivery of high-quality video streams. They include crucial aspects like encoding recommendations for both HEVC and H.264, detailing specifics like bitrates and resolutions for different scenarios. This information is highly relevant when creating video streams that can adapt to varying network conditions, ensuring a smooth and high-quality viewing experience on any device.
While these specifications serve as a valuable guide, they're not infallible. As stated by an article on streamingmedia.com, Apple's encoding specifications for HEVC and HLS might not provide the optimal quality for certain resolutions. This is due to the fact that HEVC can incorporate larger block sizes and has other technical advantages over H.264, suggesting that the resolutions should be different.
Value of a Video Streaming Engineer for Stress-Free Live Streaming Events
It's important to remember that these specifications are just one piece of the puzzle. The dynamic nature of live streaming introduces a multitude of variables that can impact the viewer's experience. This is where the value of a video streaming engineer comes into play.
In the dynamic environment of live streaming, it's strongly recommended to enlist the services of a video streaming engineer. By doing so, you ensure your live event proceeds seamlessly, free from unnecessary stress and complications. A video streaming engineer offers a wealth of invaluable expertise, ranging from live monitoring of video playback to on-the-spot adjustments of delivery based on real-time analytics.
In live streaming events, where multiple variables can impact the viewing experience, the value of a skilled engineer cannot be overstated. They are equipped to swiftly identify and rectify potential issues as they occur, ensuring minimal disruption to your broadcast. They also offer solutions for redundancy to avoid any single point of failure and suggest alternative archiving solutions for long-term content storage.
If professional services are not included as a complimentary offering, it is advisable to seek out the expertise of these specialists on freelancing platforms. Upwork is one such platform, alongside others like Fiverr, Freelancer, Toptal, and Guru. These platforms host a multitude of highly skilled video streaming engineers ready to ensure the success of your live streaming events.
In essence, a video streaming engineer plays a crucial role in navigating the complex web of variables inherent in live streaming, freeing you to focus on delivering engaging content for your viewers. Their proactive monitoring and troubleshooting expertise can be the determining factor between a successful live stream event and a potentially disrupted broadcast.
Quality vs. Cost: A Dilemma for Video Streaming Professionals
Video streaming professionals are committed to delivering quality and reliability in their broadcasts. However, this can lead to an increase in computing power, storage, and bandwidth when employing a cloud provider, CDN or streaming platform. Striking a balance between these needs and cost remains a constant challenge. When online video providers rely entirely on an external Content Delivery Network (CDN), their primary means of cost reduction can be through decreasing bandwidth, storage, and computing power. However, such measures may unavoidably lead to degraded quality.
The Innovative Approach of iReplay.TV to Video Streaming Pricing
iReplay.TV disrupts this model by charging video broadcasters based on the minutes used, while still upholding the highest possible quality. This contrasts with the convoluted pricing structures of traditional online video providers that can conceal the total cost or 'cost-per-viewer', making it challenging for video publishers to set ticket prices and predict event margins.
The Issue of Transparency with Some Online Video Providers
Certain Online Video Providers do not provide public pricing, which can be a red flag. Private pricing, also known as custom pricing, is a practice where prices for services are not publicly listed. Instead, they are tailored for each client based on various factors such as usage, audience size, technical requirements, and more. On the surface, this model can seem attractive. After all, it implies a certain level of personalization, and clients can feel they are getting a deal that matches their specific needs. However, the lack of transparency in private pricing can often lead to confusion and unexpected costs. Without a clear, upfront pricing structure, clients may find themselves locked into contracts that are more expensive than they initially anticipated.
Online video providers typically base their pricing on various factors, and audience size is one of the most significant. As the size of your audience grows, so does the amount of bandwidth and storage you'll need, driving up costs. Live streaming, in particular, can be a significant cost driver. If you have a large audience tuning in simultaneously, the costs can quickly escalate. By making the details of their plans not disclosed, streaming platforms add a layer of complexity to the decision-making process.
Ultimately, the concept of transparent pricing does not equate to easily understandable pricing, as demonstrated by the intricacy of the Quortex Pricing Structure when juxtaposed with this calculator.
Beware of Per GB Data Overage and Other Hidden Fees: They Can Quickly Become a Substantial Part of Your Costs
Numerous online video service providers offer subscription plans that are billed monthly or annually. The termination of these subscriptions often comes with peculiar rules, following the initial commitment. For instance, Dacast's monthly subscription has a minimum term of three months.
In addition to these, these providers frequently incorporate hidden excess usage fees. For example, LivePush charges $0.07 per GB, Castr charges $0.10 per GB, and Dacast charges $0.30 per GB, which represents a 20% increase in 2023; The cost for using Vimeo Livestream ranges between $0.12 and $1.37 per GB, largely dependent on your negotiation skills. Synamedia Quortex charges a minimum of $5,000 per month to get access to archived live streams (catchup). These charges are likely to apply often, except for instances where your audience is significantly limited in a given month. In this way, even if the user's subscription plan seems affordable at first glance, the additional data overage charges can make the overall cost significantly higher. Therefore, it's crucial for users to be aware of these potential hidden fees and understand how they can impact the total cost of using the service. You can conveniently estimate a portion of these costs by projecting the expenses of a 24/7 TV channel as demonstrated above.
To mitigate these extra costs, a commonly proposed solution is to lower your streaming quality. While this approach might save you some money, it detracts from the viewing experience of your audience and doesn't fundamentally address the issue of data overage charges.
Certain other features, which are now considered standard in the realm of streaming, such as fMP4 support (a standard for HLS since 2016), streaming scheduling, or the capacity for concurrent streams, can unjustifiably hike up prices. These features, while essential, are sometimes used by online video providers as a tactic to upsell their services, thereby increasing their profit margins, despite the fact that these features don't inherently warrant a significant cost increase for the OVP.
The Risk of Yearly Commitments with a Streaming Platform
Committing to an annual subscription with an Online Video Provider (OVP) might initially seem like a cost-effective decision, especially if some providers offer attractive discounts for such long-term commitments. However, this can be a risky move if the audience size for the upcoming year cannot be accurately predicted. Audience size, which is a key factor in determining the cost of an OVP, can fluctuate significantly throughout the year due to various reasons such as seasonal trends, marketing campaigns, or unforeseen global events.
Subscribing to an annual plan based on an estimate that eventually proves inaccurate can lead to overspending or, conversely, insufficient resources that negatively impact the streaming quality. For instance, if the audience size is underestimated, the broadcaster may exceed the data limit and incur high overage charges. Conversely, if the audience size is overestimated, the broadcaster may end up paying for unused data, storage, and bandwidth.
The risk is further exacerbated if the provider's pricing model lacks transparency, leading to unexpected costs. In light of these potential pitfalls, it is recommended to carefully evaluate the anticipated audience size, growth rate, and other relevant variables before committing to a yearly plan. It's often more prudent to opt for flexible, scalable solutions that allow adjustments as the situation evolves, especially when the future audience size cannot be precisely forecasted.
Templates: iReplay.TV vs other streaming platforms comparison