When it comes to watching your favourite TV series or the award show you have missed watching on television, the first option that pops up in your mind is Netflix. Netflix is one video streaming site that has gained a lot of popularity over the years ever since it was started. With its comfortable pricing structure and a wide range of shows, Netflix has managed to get onto the top of the table making it tough for its competitors to follow up. It is all about the Netflix business model that attracts customers from all over the world. Simultaneous logins, multiple device compatibilities, no-commercials policy add to the advantages of Netflix.
However, it is not that there are no alternatives to Netflix. There do exist sites similar to Netflix which are comparatively less popular. If you consider it in terms of apps, there are even apps which resemble Netflix and provide video streams. No doubt, Netflix alternative sites and apps also provide the same services as Netflix does, but they lack the technique to market themselves. Movie apps like Netflix need to increase their discoverability in order to improve their customer outreach.
Let us first understand why it is suggested to start a streaming site like Netflix. If you have an awesome script which serves as a fertile ground for dramatics and theatrics, you should reserve DRM (Digital Rights Management) privileges. Many budding and brilliant actors often get rejected due to many reasons. The talent, professionalism and discipline of such actors should be valued by effectively showcasing their performances on your streaming site. And doubts associated with your propensity for a stable source of income will be addressed, many thanks to Netflix. In lieu of the interconnectedness of these advantages, it is always recommended to start a streaming site like Netflix.
Well, let us now see some best Netflix alternatives which you might be interested to try the next time.
Crackle presented by Sony can be designated as the free version of Netflix. It is one of the best alternatives to Netflix which allows its users to watch movies, TV series and the Crackle originals, all for free. Be it comedy, action, drama or any other genre, Crackle comes up with new content every day. Sports and Anime sections are also covered in Crackle. The popular Crackle original ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’ has become one of the most viewed show in the world. One special feature of Crackle is its ‘Always On’ option which allows the viewers to search and stream what they want on other devices while their favorites are being auto-played.
All you have to do to get access to all these is to register and create an account for yourself. The next time you visit Crackle, you just have to login to your account through any device like your mobile / tablet / smart TV / streaming player / gaming console and watch your favorite shows. You can also install the Crackle app available in iOS and Android operating systems. Crackle also allows its users to pause and resume content across multiple devices, queue up the user’s favorite movies and TV series to watch anywhere and receive alerts to stay up to date with its network premiers. You can find Crackle here – crackle.com.
2. AMAZON INSTANT / PRIME VIDEO:
Amazon, which is one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms, entered into the video streaming market with its Instant Video and Prime Video options for the users to watch their favourite shows and movies. Amazon Instant video allows its users to either rent or buy their favorite TV shows, animation specials, movies, educational videos, shows specific to channels, exercise and fitness movies etc. But if you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can stream all these unlimitedly. Thus spending $8.99 per month on Amazon Prime which includes the price for Instant video will serve your purpose of watching latest movies and shows. What’s more in the store is that Amazon provides a 30-day free trial offer, so that the user can decide upon choosing its service or not. Amazon Prime is competitively priced when compared to Netflix which provides three kinds of streaming plans – Basic ($8 per month), Standard ($10 per month) and Premium ($12 per month). Being very much similar to Netflix in all terms, Amazon Instant/Prime video can be chosen as one of the best Netflix alternatives. Check it out at amazonprime.com.
Hulu is another alternative to Netflix which has become popular for streaming the latest episodes of various TV shows. Hulu being associated with TV networks like Fox has an advantage over Netflix in the case of TV shows. It is even known for its high-quality maintenance and accessibility on a wide range of devices like TV, Kindle Fire, smartphone, Xbox One etc. Hulu also provides a trial version to its users to decide upon subscription. There are two plans it offers to its users – Hulu which charges $7.99/month after a 30-day trial period and Hulu with Live TV(Beta) which charges $39.99/month after a 7-day trial period. What’s advantageous with the latter one is that you can stream live videos and can have access to 50+ on demand TV channels including sports, news and entertainment. Similar to Netflix, Hulu also produces original series which are not available elsewhere. Deciding to pick one between Netflix and Hulu is definitely going to be tough! Find it at hulu.com.
Crunchyroll is the best option to choose if you are a huge fan of Anime and Manga as it provides access to these shows within one hour of their television broadcast in Japan. Crunchyroll offers two plans – a $6.99 plan that streams popular TV shows without any ads and $11.99 plan that not only streams premier quality videos but also freely ships the items brought from the Crunchyroll store. Trial version can be used for a period of 14 days after which the user can choose either of the plans. There is no such video streaming site that provides access to the Anime and Manga series like Crunchyroll does. Crunchyroll is available on a wide range of devices like Roku, Nintendo, Playstation Vita, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV and also on iOS, Android and Windows phones. You would certainly choose this over Netflix if you’re a Naruto fan! The site address is crunchyroll.com.
Tubitv provides a large library of modern classics and cult favourite TV shows and movies. Anime videos are a recent addition to the list. This streaming service boasts of more than 40,000 titles and is partnered with popular studios like Paramount, Lions Gate, Starz Digital and MGM. Tubitv is 100% legal and safe to use. It charges no fees and comes with ad-supported content. Tubitv is supported on most of the streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Samsung Smart TV, mobile devices, Chromecast, Android and iOS devices. Special features like titles queue, watching history, resume playback and account synchronization are also available to improve customer experience. You don’t have to register to access the video streams, however creating an account will give you access to the special features earlier mentioned. The users have an option to register through Facebook, making it even simpler. You can find the original site at tubitv.com.
Though there are several other video streaming sites, they are not so better when compared to Netflix. Apart from the above mentioned ones, there are other alternatives like Fandor, HBO Now, Vudu, Mubi, Acorn that provide more or less similar services. But these streaming sites differ in their pricing structures, device compatibilities, availability across regions and video library ranges which make them less desirable when compared to Netflix. If you are willing to explore different video streaming sites like Netflix, above are the best five you can choose from.
If you are looking to start a live streaming venture, try StreamView, a turnkey software that pledges superior services. One of the hallmarks of StreamView is that it helps you replicate the business model of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Everything is automated and thanks to multiple monetization options, revenue generation seems legit. Known for its assortment of themes and diverse layouts, StreamView brings effective streaming to the table. Check its features here.
If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights and hacks on live streaming apps. Cheers!
So, the light bulb in your head has flicked on, compelling you to enter the online video realm. And you can’t wait to get started. The online video space is an endless landscape of interesting content, innovative people, and multiple formats. Whether you’ve chosen to go the live video route or the on-demand route, there is a selection of technology frameworks you can choose from to spark the beginning of your journey.
2017 has seen the rise of StreamHash, a company that specializes in creating avant-garde video frameworks for an assortment of streaming needs. With StreamTube for video sharing, StreamView for over-the-top services and StreamNow for live streaming, StreamHash has you covered all through. Once you’re done setting up your video service, your next step should ideally be to monetize your videos. In this guide, we walk you through some of the best practices in the industry and how they can help pave the way to your success.
Step 1. Pick a Monetization Route:
When it comes to picking a route to monetise video your videos, there are three time-tested options that are as effective as they are easy to implement. These can be executed either individually or together, depending on your need.
Advertising, done effectively, will rarely let you down. Having proved its effectiveness on a range of formats, including television, radio, and print, the digital realm has now embraced it wholeheartedly. Advertising is popular for several reasons. For one, it lets you root your marketing strategy in an enduring, sustainable monetization model. Advertisers are easily lured by a compelling audience, and as long as you can show them value, you’ll have enough reason to reign them in. Also, advertising lets you provide free content to users, meaning that customer registration will see greater traction than if your content were priced. The result? Better advertising opportunities.
Allow us to tell you how to monetize videos via advertising by digging deeper into the two main advertising models favored by broadcasters.
A.1. Digital Ad Platform:
A digital ad platform is possible through VAST, a term that stands for Video Ad-Serving Template. This service exhibits many of the same features as Google AdWords and is tailored to monetise video content. Its setup process is simple and straightforward.
A. 2. Direct Advertising:
Although a digital ad platform can be convenient, it will likely make you less money. Direct advertising is a ground-up effort, requiring you to build your service from scratch. Scouting for potential clients, closing deals and stitching ads onto your platform can be exhausting but can also yield you a better return as a result of precise targeting. It’s an effective way to monetize video content. You could also introduce the concept of banner ads, inviting advertisers to bid for prime advertising space on your website. Despite the advantages of direct advertising, the process can be expensive. Sourcing advertisers can entail a tremendous effort and a subpar turnout can press your bottom line.
B. Pay Per View:
If you monetize your videos via pay-per-view, or PPV as it is known, you can provide access to users to standalone programmes at a predetermined rate. This format has some merits. If your content is worthy, you can expect significant traffic on your website, accelerating your revenue stream. On the other hand, if you offer premium content, and cater to a small audience, your revenues could still be high. However, PPV doesn’t encourage customer stickiness. By serving your users on a per-piece basis, you may fail to build customer loyalty. PPV can also be costly to market.
Subscriptions can offer users a ticket to unlimited content on your website. Unlike a PPV model, a subscription service serves as a generous gesture to customers while also working as an effective tool to monetize video content. If you’re thinking Netflix, you’re absolutely right. If you monetize video content through subscriptions, you can encourage loyalty and stickiness while also enhancing user experience through continued usage. Subscription services also offer better analytics, allowing you to discover which types of content receive the best response from users. Like any model, subscriptions come with their share of demerits. A subscription service warrants a bank of amazingly curated content that users would be willing to pay for. Striking a balance between customer acquisition and retention is imperative.
Step 2. Pick a Video Streaming Platform
We’ve already mentioned how an effective video streaming platform can work wonders for your business. By picking a superior turnkey framework, you’re saved the trouble of piecing your streaming service together yourself. You don’t have to go through the rigmarole of hiring manpower, training your resources and investing energy and time into it in the process. Here’s where to look for the technology piece of your enterprise puzzle:
For Live Streaming:
Live streaming is becoming increasingly relevant today, with enterprises geared towards engaging with and reaching out to customers in real-time. StreamNow is an ideal technology fit for a business rooted in live streaming. Built to be a close-knit community, the platform allows you to craft your streaming service akin to a social media page, offering users the option to follow each other. The framework also allows users to share moments by way of a status bar. The key to monetise video content on StreamNow lies in its banner ads and dynamic subscription plan.
For Over-The-Top Content Streaming
If you see yourself building a content library based on a subscription model, turn to StreamView. An intricately modeled framework that offers fluidity across devices, StreamView makes content consumption easier and more enjoyable than conventional streaming formats. It is also armed with an arsenal of personalisation features, a handy control console and a range of user-friendly functions. There are various inbuilt features through which you can monetize your videos on StreamView.
For Shared Video Streaming:
StreamTube can help you create your own version of YouTube. Let’s say you’re looking to set up an exclusive cooking site that invites users to share recipes and tips. In this case, StreamTube would be perfect. The technology features channel management and a host of payment mediums. You can monetise video content with banner ads and a dynamic subscription plan mechanism.
Step 3. Market Your Product:
Building an incredible video service will not reap results unless you get your product into the market effectively. Here are some ways that you can get the word out there:
- Email promotions
- Regular social media updates
- Frequent blog posts
- Contributions on other blogs
- Conventional advertising including television, print, and radio
- Search engine advertising
- Influencer sponsorships
There is no holy grail to monetise video content for any business. Consider your audience, your content and your reach. Monetize your videos a little at a time to see what works for you. In time, you’ll discover your path in the world of video sharing.
Producing original and quality videos are expensive and time-consuming. Without the right video hosting strategy, it is not possible to get optimal results for all the effort put in creation. YouTube and Vimeo are popular options to share your video for your business on the internet. Here is why you shouldn’t do it.
- You may reach a large audience instantly, but they are not your target audience.
- Your business doesn’t receive any benefit when viewers share or embed your video.
- Ads can appear anytime within your video – before, during, after – always without your permission. Ads displayed could also be for your competition and you have no control to remove it.
Having your own video hosting site like YouTube gives you complete control over your business. When you use video hosting for business, you can integrate videos with your website. It is also true that you can integrate your videos hosted on YouTube with your website using an embed code, but there are three major disadvantages to it.
When you embed your YouTube video on your website, and a viewer clicks on that link to view it, it links back to the YouTube site. So the viewers on your website are funneled back to YouTube domain. This ultimately means that maximum revenue generation for them and undercutting for your business.
When people watch your business videos on YouTube, they generate revenue for YouTube and not for your business. This also means missing out on lead generation, minimal or no conversion on a third-party video hosting site.
YouTube allows for video description only while uploading a video. The sidebar of your business video will have related content, mostly from your competitors. You wouldn’t want a viewer to keep jumping over to other brands after looking at your video. Do you? But when you embed a video from a host on your website, it allows for tighter integration. Each of your videos can have a call-to-action in line with your business’ goals. Also, having your own video hosting server will ensure secure video hosting for your business.
Major benefits of a dedicated streaming video hosting service are:
Speed – By the use of Content delivery networks (CDN), you get global access rapidly.
Total control on customization – you can manage the configuration of the server and dictate how your server works to deliver optimal results for your business.
Power – many video streaming hosting service hosts provide encoding/transcoding services that utilize powerful servers for fast processing of your videos.
Security with private video hosting – no one else has access to your server except your company and the company that offers your dedicated server hosting and web hosting services.
Affordable – best video hosting service is made available at an affordable cost as video streaming business has become the main source of income for individuals and businesses alike.
Features provided by a video host:
- Live streaming video uploading
- Video portals
- Monetization via subscriptions, pay-per-view model, and advertisements
- White label solution for customized branding
- Total control on your video hosting website
- Integration with existing desktop, web and mobile apps as well as servers
Now that you know how “free” video hosting sites have been eating away your business which is why having your own video hosting site is important, here is how to choose a video hosting service.
Steps to choose the right video hosting service:
Step 1: Define objective:
Brainstorm goals and write them down. Split them into low priority and high priority categories to simplify the process of defining objectives. In the process, remove any unimportant items, and, identify between one and four main goals for your video content. Ultimately it is these goals that will help you determine your specific needs and will guide you to choose a video platform to host.
Step 2: Evaluate requirements:
Assess the requirements to meet the specified goals/objectives. For instance, if your objective is to reach out to larger audience constantly, looking out for a service with Tier 1 CDN is going to be helpful so you can utilize the fastest speed globally.
If you are looking to create content and earn money through subscriptions, you can opt for video streaming providers who offer Netflix clone scripts. With this, you can opt for multiple monetization options like pay-per-view and subscriptions.
If you are looking for a secure platform to communicate about business matters, you need a platform with access control.
This explains how important it is to define objectives because essentially everything is going to be working to fulfill those objectives.
Step 3: Deciding on the content:
What kind of videos will meet your business goals? Is it through training, product demonstrations, meetings, advertisements, educational, funny, sports, meetings, live sessions with customers or something else? Whatever the kind of content you want to play in your videos, the video host you choose should be able to enhance the quality of it. For instance, sports videos usually need controls for pause, rewind and slow-motion, whereas, music videos require retro, cutting edge and grunge. All the video hosting providers will not provide all the options. So you will need to look specifically for the ones that will work for the kind of content that you will produce.
Step 4: Live vs on-demand video hosting:
Businesses can make use of live streaming for the webinar, workshop, events, training sessions etc. live streaming increases engagement with the audience as you, as a business can directly communicate with the viewers. Not to mention the amount of public attention that will be drawn to your business by such live streams. When you have planned for the live sessions, you can share the details of it with your clients, customers and business partners. You could also publicly announce it on social media platforms to garner attention. After all, it is most easy to spread a word via social media these days than any other medium of communication. Based on your products, services, and marketing goals, you can also do live product launches, new product creations, behind the scenes, conduct sessions with product creators. Individuals selling services online can conduct online training sessions to bring in leads, and make a mark for themselves in their respective industry or field of training.
Video on demand (VOD) is a subscription-based video hosting business where users can pay for the content they want to watch, and do so at their convenience. VOD works well for the entertainment industry. Also, it is suitable when live broadcasting is not mandatory. Not to forget that VOD gives us exact statistics and numbers that are difficult to comprehend in live streaming.
Live streaming and video on demand both serve different purposes and a business will need to use both in order to meet its business objectives. VOD is where you implement the kind of content you have planned for execution, and live streaming will be more of interacting with your target audience. However, when it comes to certain industries like event management, music, it could be a wise blend of live and VOD where equal weightage is given to both. News broadcasting companies will also be using both live and VOD wherein live videos are broken down by the news bits and saved for watch later as VOD. However, most of the news channels are not subscription-based yet, though digital magazines and newspapers have. With everything going online, we could expect many other business verticals that are offline, to go online soon.
There are two things that should top your priority list when you set out to start your own streaming platform: one, an excellent technology framework and two, an effective content delivery network (CDN). As far as streaming frameworks go, the kind of technology you choose largely pivots on the kind of streaming you plan to host on your website. For instance, if you plan on starting live streaming services, StreamNow is a fantastic framework. For over-the-counter entertainment, StreamView is your answer. And if you plan to start a video sharing service like YouTube, think of StreamTube. Each of these technologies is brilliantly coded and offers customized skins to make your service exclusive. Once you’ve picked your underlying technology, complete the circle by opting for a superior CDN service.
What Factors Should I Consider While Selecting a CDN Service?
Almost all CDN service providers are equipped to support video streaming. That said, each service has its own unique merits and demerits. Here are some factors you should consider before picking a CDN service.
The degree to which your viewers are geographically fragmented will play a role in how well your CDN service will work. Some of the more established video streaming CDNs are sparsely spread in certain regions; particularly in Asia. Regional CDN services are sometimes better suited to handle local needs.
The size of Event:
This is key. A large-scale event would need a special kind of CDN service to see it through. There is currently only a selection of video streaming CDNs that can support such events.
Your financial commitment may be enough of a differentiator to filter out some CDN services. If you’re bootstrapped and prefer a piecemeal pricing model, pick a CDN service that fits your budget. Some video streaming CDNs ask for a large upfront investment.
What Are the Top 5 Video Streaming CDNs?
With your main considerations listed, browse through the five best CDN providers to take your pick.
MaxCDN has an international server footprint, rich with SSD-loaded servers. This web of servers augments the speed and performance of your website and allows you to create custom commands to control the functioning of your CDN service.
MaxCDN has a global reach and is spread across 90 countries. It has the ability to scale its load and also offers secure tokens, giving you the option to safeguard your content. REST APIs allow the integration of a variety of users, applications, and resources into your website. MaxCDN works seamlessly with auxiliary marketing platforms, such as WordPress and Magento, by offering superior plugins. The control console also gives you access to your domain with an added layer of security, created by SSL. The platform is adaptive and squares off fluctuations in speed and performance, giving users an optimal experience.
Monetary Investment – Free Trial + Price on request
CloudFlare is a veritable haven for broadcasters. It serves as a protective shield for your content and improves the speed of your website by keeping bots, crawlers, and threats at bay.
Once you have registered for its CDN service, you are instantly inducted into a global community, whose pathways are used to transmit your content. While you may think that setting up a CDN service may be bothersome and even overwhelming, you should know that CloudFlare will prove you wrong. With a setup process that will ease you through, you’ll find that you don’t need any hardware or software interventions to get your CDN going. Only a simple settings change in your DNS is required. CloudFlare offers a suite of analytics tools to let you delve into your user patterns.
Monetary Investment – Free Trial + $200/Month
Incapsula is an incredible web of advanced networking, dynamic caching and content optimisation measures. It protects your website from threats such as DDos and effectively distributes data loads.
Incapsula’s notification system is equipped to report in real-time. Its CDN service operates by directing users to your website and then building a wall to block out threats. Video streams are then transmitted at speeds of up to 150% with a 60% lower-than-normal bandwidth consumption. Easy to install and activate, this CDN service comes with no additional hardware or software. It’s as easy as that.
Monetary Investment – Free Trial + $299/Month
Edgecast is a video streaming CDN that is supported by a vast mosaic of servers spread across various geographies.
Edgecast is one of the only CDN services to offer live streaming support and handles fluctuations in web traffic effortlessly. Unlike most other CDN providers, Edgecast provides CDN services for dynamic as well as static content, enabling users to source streams as quickly as possible. Plus, with its analytics tool, you’ll be armed with regular updates and server reports. Tailored specially for rich media, it pairs well with Flash, Silverlight, and HTTP.
Monetary Investment – Price on request
If your sole focus is speed, Cachefly’s a great bet.
Cachefly’s CDN service routes static content from your website to users up to ten times faster courtesy its network of 30 global points of presence (PoP). The locations of these PoPs lets content creators share rich content from one end of the world to the other at breakneck speeds. Specifically created as an on-demand CDN service, Cachefly upholds website performance and works to reduce timeouts and dips in performance quality.
Monetary Investment – $99 to $409/Month
Picking a CDN that’s right for you is as important as picking a pair of shoes that fit. Consider your purpose, your requirement and the kind of streaming services you plan to offer. Think of StreamNow, StreamView and StreamTube to breathe life into your brand. And select a CDN service that makes your platform stand out. It’s never been easier than now.
Let’s cut right to the chase. What is a content delivery network? A content delivery network, or a CDN, is as integral to video streaming as the camera you use to capture your stream. A CDN is a technology framework that transports various forms of content, quickly and economically, to myriad nodes. These nodes could include tablets, mobiles, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and web browsers. Regardless of where you are on the internet and what kind of content you’re browsing, it’s likely that every tiny fragment of data you’re consuming is enveloped in a CDN. CDNs are designed to solve a fundamental problem that plagues virtually every netizen: latency.
Latency is the lag that exists between when you give a web page a load command and when the page actually appears. While there are several reasons behind why the latency of a page may be high, the chief one is the geographical distance between your computer and the hosting server of the web page. A CDN resolves to reduce this distance, in turn, augmenting the performance of the website in question.
If you’re at the beginning of your video broadcast journey, remember to also pick a robust, versatile framework to pair with your CDN. Regardless of your need, Streamhash’s three new technology variants are ideal for every kind of webcasting brand. With StreamView you can create your own over-the-top entertainment platform, with StreamTube, your very own YouTube, and with StreamNow, an exclusive live streaming software.
How Does a CDN Work?
We already know that a CDN attempts to reduce the physical stretch between a web server and a user. Here’s a spotlight on how it really works in two simple steps:
Step 1. Cache Content:
A CDN doesn’t always visit a website server to fetch content. Instead, it resorts to storing multiple versions of content across geographies in storage banks called caches. These caches are also known as points of presence or PoPs.
Step 2. Quality Coverage:
By arranging content across various digital regions, users are assured superlative coverage. If a French user tries to access Indian content, for example, the content needn’t be routed from India. It can simply be fetched from a local French PoP.
Who Would Need a CDN?
CDN video streaming underpins more than 50% of worldwide Internet traffic today, and the number is only rising every year. Amazingly, many CDN video streaming services are free, and wrapping your web page in an effective CDN can significantly reduce your inter-country latency. However, for users within your geography, a CDN video streaming tool could actually slow down your website. This is because it could re-route local traffic to a remote PoP, when it could link directly to a user’s computer in the vicinity. Evaluate your requirement carefully to check whether CDN video streaming could make a material difference to your website performance. Sectors that embrace CDNs wholeheartedly include advertising, media, digital gaming, e-commerce, mobile, healthcare, education and government services. CDN video streaming presents utility for a variety of stakeholders. Here’s how.
For Technology Companies:
With video playing the main lead in most companies’ communication strategy, CDN video streaming becomes a coveted tool to stay relevant in the digital space. Also, as video gravitates towards an HTTP-based model, there is a huge amount of novel, the premium content being produced by content creators. A CDN enables these owners to draw revenue, safeguard content and reduce costs.
Why customers, you ask? Customers needn’t be acquainted with the concept of a CDN at any stage. They don’t need to be. However, the consumer experience is intertwined with the operations of a CDN. The fact that a customer can watch a video on YouTube at any time, without worrying about the whole clip buffering at one go, is thanks to an on-demand CDN. Think about which CDN video streaming tool will fit your content format the best, in order to give your customers a world-class viewing experience.
For Content Owners:
As a content owner, you ought to know which CDN can package your content in the most compelling way. An effective CDN video streaming technology can minimize costs, present users with seamless content and create new avenues for premiumisation.
What Are the Types of CDNs?
A CDN could manifest as one of three primary classes: a general purpose CDN, an on-demand video CDN and a live video CDN. Let’s take a closer look at each of these, and why CDN video streaming may be of value to you.
General Purpose CDNs:
General purpose CDNs have existed well before the advent of video. As mentioned earlier, you’ve likely come across them on the internet while scouring a website or streaming a song on YouTube. A general purpose CDN accelerates web traffic by retrieving cached content from various regions. CDNs, although nifty in their functioning, can be tricky tools to implement. They rely on a widespread server spread, whereas the server footprint in most countries is nascent. General purpose CDNs are also challenged by language fragmentation. Language clusters within a limited geography may warrant a plethora of CDN video streaming layers to facilitate penetration across markets.
On-Demand Video CDNs:
Over the years, CDNs have evolved and new formats have emerged:
Generation 1. Direct Download:
A direct download means that a video needs to be downloaded before it can be viewed. The challenge here is that while shorter clips can be downloaded quickly, longer ones, like movies and large applications can prove cumbersome and time-consuming.
Generation 2. Progressive Download:
Think YouTube and you’ll know what a progressive download is. The medium entails a bit-by-bit download, allowing a user to begin viewing content within the first five seconds. The premise here is that the consumption and download of the content will be concurrent, with the viewer being able to watch a part of the content while the rest is being downloaded. As internet connections improve, the speed of downloads is outweighing the bitrates required to deliver standard-definition content. Thus, progressive downloads are proving to be effective and practical.
Generation 3. HTTP Streaming:
HTTP streaming is tethered to adaptive bitrate delivery. This technology works to throttle on-demand content by breaking it down into tiny bits. Then, it streams each one separately at varying bitrates to tailor a particular stream to a user’s video player.
If you pick StreamView or StreamTube to get your streaming service going, an on-demand CDN is for you.
Live Video CDNs:
Now that we know that CDNs are typically used to cache data, here’s a question. What about live streaming? Surely, you can’t cache a live stream. And you’re right, you can’t. Enter, live streaming CDNs. A live streaming CDN can be crafted to either display ultra-high bandwidth pipes to transmit content instantly to users, or low bandwidth pipes that use reflectors to accelerate content transmission. Live streaming CDNs can be costly, especially when a viewer population is likely to fluctuate and possibly, peak. Plus, live video technology may not be in continual use, meaning that costs will not be adequately recovered. Having said that, live streaming is picking up steam in most spheres. In the years to come, live streaming CDNs will likely make it to mainstream communication. StreamNow would be an ideal layer atop a live streaming CDN.
A CDN can serve as a magic fix in smoothening content transmitted to your users. Integrate a CDN into your streaming platform to see the difference. A remarkable viewing experience awaits.
Social media is a veritable powerhouse for entrepreneurs and marketers looking to promote their products. By selecting a range of social media platforms, a social media manager has the power to transform a brand, create a brand identity, draft a social media calendar and evaluate the efficacy of a marketing rollout. Capturing local news, and staying afloat with the latest trends is a great way to infuse ingenuity into a social media campaign. Now, with video becoming an essential driver of digital footfalls, crafting a video marketing strategy for social media becomes necessary.
Here, we give you five.
Embrace the Power of Curated Videos
Did you know that YouTube features the maximum number of search queries on its platform, only second to Google?
Go Big on YouTube:
YouTube combines the advantages of a search engine and the power of visual engagement, two tools that could propel your business quickly. Plus, you could draw on trends that feature on YouTube to determine which keywords could potentially optimize your website. Then, link your YouTube base to your own custom video streaming domain. There is an array of excellent platforms in the market today, that plug directly into your website and allow you to stream directly. Streamhash, for example, is a versatile, turnkey technology that provides features at par with YouTube, for a fraction of the cost. What’s more? You get to stream live. By using the customization options and themes on Streamhash, you can make your streaming site your own.
The bottom line? Go big on YouTube!
Explore an Array of Video Initiatives:
There are various approaches you could take to drive engagement on YouTube. Here are some video marketing ideas you could consider:
Streaming live to your audience builds authenticity, and gives rise to a platform that facilitates communication both ways. We’ve already told you about the advantages of starting your own streaming website. With a platform like Streamhash, you can give your streams your own personal twist.
How-To videos are excellent content vehicles, especially if your product is demonstrable. By capturing users’ attention and imaginations, you’re likely to see traction in sales.
Webinars are especially useful if your company caters to a large base of corporate clients. By engaging them on a digital forum and leaving room for a question-and-answer session, you could create key influencers.
Interviews are always an engaging way to draw eyeballs, especially if you interview someone well-known that people would be interested to watch. Seek out about five personalities that could feature in your interviews, and release your episodes in installments, creating a sponsored campaign around each one.
Create Sponsored Promotions on Social Media:
If you’re a frequenter of social media, you’re probably privy to the assortment of advertisements that appear on your news feed. Social media is an excellent market vehicle for brands and is a critical element of a typical promotional mix today.
Identify Competition on Social Media
The trouble is, with the explosion of companies scurrying to promote their brands on social media platforms, shining through to a customer has become challenging. As a brand, you’re not only vying with rivals in your own space, you’re competing with brands across the board, each desperate to project their offerings.
Build Your Own Video Domain
Before you take social media head on, make sure that you have a dedicated domain that can support video. This will pave the way for you to make your video campaigns bigger and better in the future. Use a framework like the one provided by Streamhash to get you going. Streamhash, for instance, gets you started in just two days.
The most effective method to break through the brand clutter on social media, is to create sponsored content, and what better way to do that than with a video marketing idea? There’s evidence that a video post on Facebook generates about twice the engagement of a plain, vanilla post. By creating excellent video content and refining your targeted audience, your marketing campaign can do wonders. Remember to keep your video crisp and precise, spotlighting your offerings in a quick and clever way.
Send Customised Videos for Followers:
Everybody knows that social media can be a great way to listen to customers, gauge interest levels and feel the pulse of an audience. However, most brands use social media only as a projection tool, to disburse communication in a unidirectional manner.
Make Customers Feel Special:
By using social media to interact with followers on a personal level, you’re not only making them feel special, you’re most likely handing them a torch to spread loyalty amongst their network. You’re making them influencers. But let’s take it a step further. Imagine sending customized videos to your followers, each one tailored for a specific person. You could do this in two ways. Either you could scour social media platforms for key influencers in your space, and send them personalized videos, or you could select key customers that have contributed to your company significantly. If you’re still a small enterprise, perhaps you have the wherewithal to create custom videos for all your followers.
The Example of Dell
Dell has been an iconic brand in the computer space for years, priding itself on quality and price. In the spring of 2016, the company launched a fantastic video marketing strategy on Twitter, sending personalized videos to users who had recommended a Dell product to someone else via the microblogging platform.
Maximize Presence Through Social Media Stories:
As of a few weeks ago, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all feature a Stories feature, under which video content that is uploaded features in a band that sits atop followers’ news feeds. These stories disappear after 24 hours, allowing brands to continually reinvent themselves without flooding content onto social media. A study conducted recently revealed that users prefer Stories over conventional social media posts. It’s an ideal time to maximize uploads through the Stories feature. Create concise, captivating videos and remember to include a link at the end to lead users to your website.
Capitalize on User-Generated Video Content:
Using user-generated content has endless advantages. For starters, it is one of the best means for user engagement.
Hold Contests for Innovation
Think of holding an online contest for users to send videos of themselves using your product in the most innovative way. You could even ask them to share it on a social network and tag two friends. Not only will the videos act as reviews, automatically endorsing your brand, but they will impart confidence and faith in prospective customers.
Invite Videos of Unboxing
Confused? Don’t be. Watching others unbox a package can build anticipation in viewers, and it’s an activity that many users enjoy. Ask your customer base to record amusing videos of their children or themselves unboxing your product on arrival, and showcase the excitement on social media.
There are so many ways that you can use video vehicles to inspire customers to get to know you. Even on a small budget, video content can create a big impact!