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Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Online Video Platform

Blog Post by Martin Hayward, Marketing

March 6th, 2019

Your customers expect to have a flawless experience every time they watch your videos. And to provide that experience and keep viewers engaged, many companies rely on an Online Video Platform (OVP) to create and deliver high quality video to all types of media devices around the world.

 

But, the process of creating videos, delivering them, and ensuring they play on mobile devices, PCs and streaming devices can be very complex, so before selecting an OVP you’ll need to carefully evaluate their features and capabilities to make sure they will meet your needs. You wouldn’t buy a car before knowing it had the features you needed like remote start, rearview camera, and lane departure warning, right? Every car is different and the same is true for OVPs. Knowing which questions to ask the vendor during the evaluation is very important.

 

This blog explores some of the key issues that should factor into your decision. And, if you are actively evaluating a solution now, I encourage you to walk through this useful evaluation checklist Limelight Networks has created: Critical Considerations When Choosing an Online Video Platform.

Determining Your Needs

When evaluating OVPs it’s important to know the types of media devices you’ll need to support. You’ll need to understand how your audience accesses your content and be confident that the OVP you select can deliver video to those devices, whether it is desktops, mobile phones, tablets, PCs, TVs or other streaming devices.

 

Where is your audience located? Your OVP will work with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver your video assets to your viewers. If you need global scale, however, make sure the OVP you select is integrated with a CDN that has Points of Presence (PoPs) around the globe, and peering agreements with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and last-mile networks to bypass internet congestion. This will give you the speed, capacity, and availability needed to deliver high quality video to audiences everywhere.

 

If you need to restrict specific domains or geographic regions from viewing your content, or you need to allow specific domains or regions to view it, take a close look at the type of viewing restrictions available within the OVP platforms you are evaluating.

OVP Features and Capabilities

Content Management

The OVP you select should give you complete control of your video files, so take the time to decide which content management features you require. Do you need to add metadata? Do you want to create channels and syndicate your content? Is customizing the video player to your brand important? Be sure to carefully review all capabilities during the evaluation.

Application Integration

If you need to create customized web experiences for your audience or integrate your existing applications, make sure the OVP you’re evaluating has Application Program Interface (API) available.

Comprehensive Analytics

Knowing what types of videos your audience prefers allows you to produce content that drives higher engagement, increases monetization, and keeps viewers coming back for more. Think about the analytics that are most important to your business, and check to make sure that data is tracked and easily accessible.

Support and Services

Finding a vendor who can provide the ongoing support and services you need before and after you start delivering content is critical to ensure maximum uptime and efficient content delivery. As mentioned earlier, many OVPs use third-party CDNs for the delivery of video content. When there’s a problem with the services, who do you contact? Make sure you know who will be your point-of-contact when there’s an issue with the OVP or the CDN.

Next Steps

Before making your final selection of an OVP vendor ask them if there are any limitations or additional costs for using various capabilities of their services. How transparent is their pricing? This will help reduce the chance of any unexpected costs and potential budget problems.

 

Knowing the right questions to ask during the evaluation will make the selection process easier and provide a smoother transition. Don’t forget to take a look at our evaluation checklist Critical Considerations When Choosing an Online Video Platform containing more key questions (and why they’re important) to ask during the evaluation process.