CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING AN ONLINE VIDEO PLATFORM

CHECKLIST

To provide viewers with the best possible video experiences that will keep them engaged and coming back for more, many companies use an Online Video Platform (OVP) as well as the services of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver high quality video to media devices anywhere in the world. Your process for creating videos, delivering them, and ensuring they play flawlessly on any device needs to be carefully examined before selecting an OVP to support your specific workflow. The following will provide some key considerations and questions to ask in your evaluation process.

1. DETAILING YOUR NEEDS

Video Viewing Considerations

Understanding which media devices viewers will use to watch your video content is important and will help ensure the best viewer experience.

What type of media devices will you need to deliver to?

  • ▢ Mobile Phones
  • ▢ Tablets
  • ▢ PCs
  • ▢ Televisions

 

When choosing an OVP, it’s important to know if it supports delivery to multiple types of devices. Uploading your video assets and automatically transcoding them to the proper streaming formats and bitrates will ensure your videos can be played on any device type ranging from laptops and mobile phones to smart TVs and dedicated streaming devices.

How many videos will you need to store in your content library?

  • ▢ 10 – 1,000
  • ▢ 1,001 – 10,000
  • ▢ 10,001 – 100,000
  • ▢ Over 100,000

 

Whether your company has 10 videos or 100,000, those videos will need to be stored and made available when the request comes in to view them. When selecting an OVP, make sure it has the capacity, coverage, and performance to give your audience, wherever they’re located, the best viewing experience possible.

Where will your videos be viewed?

  • ▢ Local
  • ▢ Regional
  • ▢ Global

 

It’s important to choose an OVP that has the capability of delivering your video content in areas where your audience is located. Choosing a distribution partner with Points of Presence (PoPs) around the globe, as well as peering agreements with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and last-mile networks to bypass internet congestion, will give you the speed, capacity, and availability to deliver the highest quality viewing experience to audiences everywhere.

Will you need to restrict who can access your videos?

  • ▢ By Geography
  • ▢ By Domain

 

If specific domains or geographic regions need to be blocked from viewing your content, or you need to allow specific domains or regions to view it, make sure the OVP has the ability to set viewing restrictions.

Features and Capabilities

OVPs offer a wide range of features. Your business requirements should drive the capabilities you need.

Which content management features will you need?

  • ▢ Custom metadata and meta tags
  • ▢ Channel and playlist creation
  • ▢ Syndication (YouTube, iTunes, etc.)
  • ▢ Customizable video player

 

The OVP should give you complete control of your video files. The ability to add metadata to describe your videos, create channels and syndicate them on websites, and customize the video player to match your brand are important features to consider in your evaluation.

Will you need APIs to integrate existing apps or build new ones?

  • ▢ Content API
  • ▢ Player API
  • ▢ Analytics API
  • ▢ Closed caption API

 

If you need to create customized web experiences for your audience or integrate with your existing Content Management System (CMS), make sure the OVP you are evaluating has APIs available.

Will you need analytical data of your video views?

  • ▢ Overview metrics
  • ▢ Performance metrics
  • ▢ Engagement metrics

During your OVP evaluation, make sure it provides comprehensive analytics of how your content is being viewed. Performance and engagement metrics will help you track what your audience is viewing. Understanding viewer preferences allows you to produce content that drives higher engagement, increases monetization, and keep viewers coming back for more.

2. ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING YOUR OVP EVALUATION

Before selecting an OVP, be sure to ask if there are any limitations or additional costs for using various capabilities of the service. Below are some questions you should consider asking before selecting an OVP.

Can I use my existing player with the OVP?

Some OVPs require you to use their video player, so be sure to confirm the OVP you’re evaluating supports your player.

Are there any limitations to the number of meta tags or metadata fields I can create for my videos?

There are OVPs that limit the number of custom meta tags and metadata fields and some that do not. If your video assets need custom fields to describe them by subject, title, genre, description, etc., be sure to confirm the OVP does not have a limit for those fields.

Are there additional charges for the number of times a video is played?

During your OVP evaluation, be sure to ask every vendor this question. With some OVPs, video plays are unlimited, while other OVPs limit the number of plays before charges are incurred. This can result in unexpected costs and budget problems.

Are your storage and delivery rates competitive with other OVP vendors?

Many OVPs use third-party CDNs for delivery, and those costs are passed on to you. Make sure the OVP has transparency in billing. You’ll want to make sure there won’t be any hidden fees or other surprises in their monthly invoice.

How will the OVP help you when you have issues?

Most OVPs partner with third-party CDNs for delivery of your video content. When problems occur, who will you contact? With an end-toend solution this isn’t an issue.

3. SUPPORT

Finding an OVP partner who can provide the ongoing support and services you need before and after you start delivering content can be critical in ensuring maximum uptime, efficient traffic operations, and helping you respond to changing business needs.

Incident Support

Avoiding downtime will sometimes require support from your OVP provider.

What to look for:

  • ▢ Does the OVP vendor offer 24/7/365 support?
  • ▢ Is live support available, or are only email and chat support offered?
  • ▢ How much does the vendor charge for support?
  • ▢ Is support available in multiple regions and in different languages?
  • ▢ Does the OVP have a 24/7/365 Network Operations Center that can ensure efficient content delivery?
  • ▢ Does the OVP offer an appropriate customer notification system for planned maintenance and service incidents?

Configuration

What to look for:

  • ▢ Does the OVP offer a robust set of APIs for configuring or integrating your applications with the OVP?
  • ▢ Does the OVP offer a web-based GUI that can be used for configuration and management?
  • ▢ Does the OVP allow configuration for custom transcoding and a customizable video player?

Professional Services and Consulting

When implementing new capabilities that allow your business to respond to changing requirements, access to experienced assistance can be invaluable. Some OVP providers have experts available who can act as an extension of your team.

What to look for:

  • ▢ Does the OVP vendor have an expert Professional Services team available to help you optimize your video delivery and performance?
  • ▢ Can the OVP vendor offer workflow consulting and the implementation of best practices?
  • ▢ Will the OVP vendor be available to assist in migrating your video content to the new platform?
  • ▢ Ask for examples where the OVP vendor has solved similar challenges for other customers.

NEXT STEPS

Choosing the right OVP begins with determining the capabilities that are most important for your specific workflow and which vendors are best suited to meeting your needs. An implementation plan needs to be developed that will ensure an efficient and timely deployment with minimal impact on your operations. Support and implementation services are critical to your ongoing success and should also be an important element of the decision-making process. By considering all of these elements during the vendor-selection process, you will be able to find the right partner for your long-term success.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIMELIGHT VIDEO PLATFORM

The Limelight Video Platform is a complete end-to-end video management and publishing solution that is the fastest, most intuitive way to manage and distribute videos to media devices everywhere. And it’s the only major OVP that is fully integrated with a CDN, letting you easily manage and distribute video content without the need for custom coding or integration to a separate CDN for distribution. Leading companies all over the world use it to simplify and automate their video management and distribution processes across a range of workflows.

 

Delivering high quality online experiences is critical to your success, and you should be confident you are choosing the right OVP for your business. For more information about the Limelight Video Platform go to www.limelight.com/products/video-delivery/online-video-platform/.

FREE TRIAL

If you are considering OVP services, Limelight is offering a free 30-day trial of the Limelight Video Platform. Learn more at https://www.limelight.com/video-platform-free-trial/.

 

You can also download the Limelight Video Platform data sheet at www.limelight.com/resources/data-sheet/video-platform/.