Live Streaming CDNs – What Broadcasters Need to Know [2022 Update]
Content creators and broadcasters who use live-streaming as their creative tool of choice know how hard it is to retain their audiences. Staying visible and relevant among the hoards of viewing choices today takes more than just engaging live streams.
Today’s live-streaming scene is highly comparative, with viewers spoilt for choices. That means minor inconveniences such as buffering or slow-loading videos can cause damage much greater than the sum of their parts.
Your viewer’s experience, on the whole, ultimately decides the popularity of any broadcaster. One thing that turns viewers off is lagging and buffering. In the era of instant gratification, the buffering wheel often prompts your viewers to switch to other live streams rather than waiting it out.
Constant interruptions and technique glitches can ruin the viewing experience for your audience. No matter how engaging and relevant your content might be. Live streaming CDN is one technology that works behind the scenes to ensure your viewers enjoy uninterrupted viewing. It’s vital to have a basic understanding of technologies such as real-time CDNs that make smooth content delivery possible.
No matter how extravagant and new his content, how many viewers do you think Mr. Beast would have had today if his content came rigged with glitches and needed buffering? Not too many, for sure.
Imagine this: you want to cook an authentic Chinese dinner but need ingredients such as Chinese five-spice. Regular supermarkets don’t carry these items. What would be the fastest way to get the specialty ingredients you need? Ordering directly from China or visiting your local specialty grocery store?
Live-streaming CDNs act as stores that carry local and specialty products. That’s how they help accelerate the video delivery process. Instead of waiting for your package to travel to you from China, they supply you with the needed products quickly, locally, and conveniently.
If you were to live stream from the USA, viewers wanting to stream your content live in Australia or any remote part of the globe would have to wait for the content to load. That would increase latency by a lot.
But when you use a streaming service with CDNs integrated into the platform, your live stream can jump to the server closest to your viewer. Resulting in smooth viewing of your content, no matter which part of the globe your audience belongs to.
A CDN is a group of geographically distributed streaming servers. They catch internet content, such as your videos, from a location closest to the person trying to view your content. That helps speed up the delivery process of your videos to your viewers.
There are many possible live-streaming solutions on the market that streamline online broadcasting, but you’ll also need to consider the technical elements of content distribution. Among these technical considerations is ensuring you can deliver your content quickly and effectively to a large audience.
In this post, we will discuss the value of CDNs for live-streaming before we compare 10 of the top live-streaming CDN providers on the market. We’ll wrap things up by looking at four video hosting platforms with reliable CDN partnerships.
Table of Contents:
- What Is a CDN?
- How CDN Works?
- What Are the Benefits of a Live Streaming CDN?
- Why You Need a CDN
- Live Streaming CDNs and Video Hosting
- How to Access a Powerful Live-Streaming CDN
- Finding the Right Live-Streaming CDN
- Live-Streaming CDN Providers Comparison
- Top Video Platforms With Live Streaming CDN Partnerships
What Is a CDN?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers and data centers spread around the globe. They are essentially cell phone towers for video content. Each network location caches content, which is a fancy way of saying that they take your data, in this case, your video content, copy it, and store it at all their different locations.
Why does this matter? A CDN shortens the distance between your content and the end user. The shorter the distance your content travels between where it is stored and the end-user, the faster the content will get to them. A short travel distance also preserves the quality of the content.
The terms “content delivery network” and “content distribution network” can be used interchangeably.
Today, video streaming CDNs deliver a large portion of the data sent over the internet at any given moment. Businesses usually rely on CDNS for their content delivery needs due to the hefty cost of employing worldwide servers.
How CDN Works?
CDN delivers a range of content, not just video files. Content that is sent through CDNs includes
- Other data,
However, CDNs are most often used to distribute large files. A CDN uses a widely distributed network of live-streaming servers for your content.
Viewers who request content from a CDN are automatically routed to the closest server. This is called the “edge” server. A viewer’s IP address generally dictates the server to which they’re directed.
The further a user is from any given server, the potential for latency increases. A top-tier CDN reduces buffering and maximizes the quality of secure live video streaming.
The streaming speed is about more than just one’s internet connection speed. Content delivery speeds are also determined by the number of “jumps” content has to make en route. When content is hosted by an old or distant server, the content may load slowly no matter how fast the internet connection is at the destination.
A high-quality CDN can revolutionize and streamline the download process. That way, you can focus on creating high-quality content for your viewers!
What Are the Benefits of a Live Streaming CDN?
For a business that wants to live-stream video content, there are many benefits of working with a CDN. The main benefits of CDN live streaming are increased speeds and reduced buffering, the ability to create redundancy, increased resilience, and scalability.
Increased Delivery Speeds
With a CDN, your content gets to your end-user faster. With live streaming content, a CDN helps your end-user experience the event as close as possible in real-time.
A little spinning buffering wheel brings one back to the days of dial-up internet. It’s frustrating and not something viewers will deal with for more than a few seconds. With CDN, buffering can be significantly reduced and, in some cases, eliminated for your streaming content.
As a broadcaster, you spend a lot of time and resources on creating interesting live streams and spend on SEO to make sure your content ranks high on search engines. Your website shows promising numbers, yet most of these viewers seem to drop off without engaging with your content.
That’s a somewhat familiar problem many broadcasters face. The culprit is usually slow-loading content. Even though you’re piquing the audience’s interest, they get discouraged by the slow speed and leave without giving you the views and engagement you work so hard for. By using a CDN video hosting platform for your live streams, you help reduce load time. That helps reduce the drop-off rate and prompt viewers to engage with your content.
You don’t want your stream to go down while live streaming an event. When you work with multiple CDNs, you can increase the resilience of your content, ensuring that if one CDN fails, another is there to get your content to your viewers. Multi-CDNs can also increase the resilience and dependability of your VOD content as well.
With CDNs, it’s easier to scale your content than if you were hosting the content on your own servers. If your content suddenly goes viral and starts using more bandwidth, for example, a CDN would be able to handle that increase in demand. Your small servers may crash if your content goes viral and demand suddenly increases.
Live streaming CDNs reduce costs and technical overhead. Building your global network of servers to deliver your content to users would require a great deal of expense (hardware, electric costs, maintenance, etc.) and a dedicated, round-the-clock staff.
You’re renting access to a global network of high-performance and professionally-built servers by choosing a streaming solution integrated with a CDN.
By integrating with a CDN, broadcasters can all gain access to speed, reliability, security, performance, and more without the attendant costs. That way, your business can focus on more significant problems instead of worrying about servers crashing if you create viral content.
Less Transit Time
In addition to reducing buffering and providing a better viewing experience for your global audiences, using CDNs reduces the time it takes for your content to reach your audience. CDNs help manage load and make transitions quicker by rerouting viewers to the closest server.
Business Specific CDN Benefits
Besides the main benefits mentioned above, using a CDN for live streaming has many more business-specific benefits. Here are a few:
- Speed: CDN delivers speedy content for the end-users.
- Customer satisfaction: The speedy delivery of content increases customer satisfaction and, in turn, can drive more sales for online businesses.
- Higher traffic support: Your business website can sustain higher traffic with a CDN’s additional server capacity.
- Audience segmentation: Segmenting your audience with the data gathered from your CDN network becomes easier once you know their location.
- Storage and security: CDNs offer secure storage capacity for content such as videos for enterprises, as well as archiving and data backup services.
Businesses can enjoy additional benefits from working with a CDN that are important to consider if broadcasting content is an essential part of your overall business strategy or structure.
Imagine you’re live streaming from a single server, and your content suddenly goes viral. All at once, ten thousand people request data from your server. This overloads your machine, causing it to crash. At this point, no one can access your stream.
This is a disastrous video distribution scenario, especially for monetized streams.
With a live-streaming CDN, the server network distributes loads like this across dozens, hundreds, or thousands of servers.
That means video content can be reliably delivered to thousands or even millions of viewers without service interruptions. For professionals, this sort of reliability is essential, especially regarding scalability.
You need a CDN to ensure that you have the support to consistently deliver high-quality videos to your end-user, no matter how many people are watching.
Live Streaming CDNs and Video Hosting
Watching video content through any website involves a server. Here’s how it works:
Your computer sends a signal to a server requesting content, which gets delivered to you. You know that a CDN comprises hundreds, if not thousands, of these dispersed streaming servers. The same thing goes for video hosting platforms. While you may not see a connection, there is.
While you can host videos online for free on YouTube, you’ll want a more professional streaming platform as a business. The dedicated online video streaming service you choose will provide a network of computer servers to store your video content. It also provides a robust network connection so viewers can easily access the videos without any network lag.
Businesses need the best options for remote video strategy. If you stick to the free public platforms, your growth will be limited. However, if you use a secure video hosting platform and CDN video streaming, your growth can continue, and there’s no stopping you.
Many top video hosting solutions use HTTP live streaming (HLS), which is supported on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and almost every other modern platform. It doesn’t require a plugin but instead uses built-in HTML5 browser functionality. HLS streaming via an HTML5 video player is now by far the preferred method for video playback.
In 2019, over 79% of all global consumer web traffic came from video, most likely from HTML5. That figure will continue to grow in 2021. Given this trend, HTML5 and mobile-compatible live streaming are absolutely essential for businesses.
Dacast provides an HTML5 player that can be embedded in any website or app. This video player is white-label and fully customizable, which means you can add your company’s branding, colors, and more. To deliver your video, you can utilize the latest cutting-edge technologies and long-established standards.
How to Access a Powerful Live-Streaming CDN
There are many different ways to access a live-streaming CDN. For one, you could set up a deal yourself. Large CDN streaming customers generally work with petabytes of data and spend tens of thousands of dollars on bandwidth.
Alternatively, many CDNs now offer pay-as-you-go contracts for smaller users. These are usually billed for bandwidth on a per-GB basis. If you have video files on your servers, you can connect this server to a live-streaming CDN if you expect significant traffic.
However, this topic becomes more complex when dealing with live-streaming video distribution. The technical setup required to configure a CDN for live-streaming video is relatively intricate.
More CDNs have made it easier for businesses to distribute video content via live streaming over their network in recent years. Still, for ease of use, the best way to access a powerful live-streaming CDN is via a video streaming platform.
Finding the Right Live-Streaming CDN to Use
So, which live-streaming CDN is right for you? That depends on factors such as the traffic your live streams get and the part of the world your audience belongs to. The great news is that you have multiple choices available today. With the explosion of internet and online video content, many CDNs provide web infrastructure video distribution services today.
Each CDN has a different focus and strength. For example, some focus on specific geographic regions. Others specialize in different types of content.
As a business, you must choose the best CDN for video streaming based on the needs of your specific goals and business model. You have to consider features, reliability, and CDN pricing.
Live-Streaming CDN Providers Comparison
Each streaming CDN is a little different in terms of functionality, features offerings, and pricing. Let’s look at 10 of the top live-streaming CDN providers on the market.
The first live-streaming CDN we’ll examine here is Akamai. Akamai is one of the oldest CDNs in the world. It’s also the largest network, with more than 240,000 servers in more than 130 countries.
A behemoth in the industry, Akamai delivers between 15-30% of all web traffic. A whopping 96 out of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. rely on Akamai for content delivery. Major Akamai customers include Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Healthcare.gov. Dacast also partners with this CDN.
This makes Akamai the largest single CDN in the world. Collectively, this infrastructure delivers 30 Terabits of data per second.
The Akamai platform supports live streaming and on-demand video hosting. They provide several other features, including analytics, video security, privacy settings, HTML5 video delivery, and support for a wide range of codecs and protocols.
- Akamai CLI
- Case Management
- Certificate Provisioning System
- China CDN Manager
- Content Control Interfaces
- CP Codes and Reporting Groups Tool
- Diagnostic Tools
- Firewall Rules Notification
- Identity and Access Management
- Log Delivery
- Property Manager API
- Sandbox Environment
Akamai pricing is customized for each user based on the features they need, the size of their business, bandwidth requirements, and other factors. However, these two tiers are available online for comparison:
- 1 TB bandwidth: $350 per month
- 10 TB bandwidth: $3,500 per month
2. Microsoft Azure CDN
Hailing from the Microsoft technology powerhouse, Microsoft Azure is a streaming CDN that broadcasters rely on for global content delivery. This live-streaming CDN is easy to set up, which makes it suitable for beginners. Azure also uses a pay-as-you-go pricing structure, which makes it a good choice for broadcasters with a wide variety of budgets.
Microsoft Azure brings together the support of other top-tier content delivery networks, including some mentioned on this list. We’d also like to point out that Microsoft Azure is a CDN that delivers video, among other types of media.
- Reliable security
- Scalable, global delivery
- Bandwidth analytics and monitoring
- Several options for integrations
- Capable of handling high-capacity delivery
Microsoft Azure uses a complex pricing structure based on zones and usage. We recommend checking out their pricing page to learn more about costs based on your unique broadcasting needs.
Next, let’s take a look at Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a growing streaming CDN with widely distributed Point of Presence (PoP) worldwide. PoP is an artificial demarcation point or interface point between communicating entities.
Their video hosting offering incorporates excellent features, including cloud encoding and customizable HTML5 video players. They also support API access.
- Globally load-balanced CDN
- Static content caching
- Instant full cache purge
- Min cache TTL expiry
- Custom cache keys
- Argo smart routing
- China delivery
- Accelerated Mobile Links (AMP)
- Mobile optimization
- CNAME setup
- Key-value storage with workers
Cloudflare has simple, transparent pricing plans. Their packages have four tiers:
- Free plan: available for personal websites, but it doesn’t support video hosting.
- Pro plan: $20/month
- Business plan: $200/month per domain.
- Enterprise plans: these plans are also available with customized pricing per business
Fastly offers a global, cloud-based video CDN geared towards business video streaming. This platform has several products for video streaming, including security, load balancing, and image optimization.
The Fastly platform has a specific focus on content delivery optimization.
- Lightning-fast delivery
- Real-time bandwidth analytics
- API access for customization
- Unique computing code
- Fast loading video
- Cache-control and purging
Fastly prices their services based on the region where you’re streaming to. For example, streaming to North America is $0.12/GB for the first 10 TB, $0.08/GB for the next 10 TB, and $0.0075 per 10,000 requests.
Please check out the Fastly pricing page for a complete list of bandwidth and request costs for other regions.
CloudFront is the CDN offering from Amazon’s Web Services division. CloudFront has servers in 28 countries, which is a relatively small number when compared to 130 countries when you look at Akamai. However, the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America have good coverage. However, they do not yet have coverage in Africa.
This can impact your live stream’s performance, especially if you’re hosting a global event. Overall, Cloudfront tends to be 14% slower than Akamai. That’s valuable information to consider for the smooth and high-performing delivery of your online video content.
Their service is popular and widely used for hosting large downloads and web files. It also supports video streaming, both live and on-demand. CloudFront’s system is basic, but you can build on your features using external tools and API.
- Global edge network
- Security protection against network and application layer attacks
- Edge computing
- Real-time metrics and logging
- DevOps friendly
- Full-featured APIS and DevOps tools
- Free data transfer between AWS Cloud Services and Amazon Cloudfront for origin fetches
CloudFront pricing is on-demand based on geographic region, bandwidth usage, and the needed features. CloudFront offers three tiers:
- Free trial plan for 12 months, which allows 50 GB of transfer-out data and 2,000,000 HTTP(s) requests per month
- On-demand pricing tier based on data transfer out (internet/origin) and HTTP/HTTPS requests
- Discounted pricing tier for customers who are willing to make certain minimum traffic commits (typically 10 TB/month or higher)
CDN77 is a live-streaming CDN provider that offers access to a video CDN and advanced cybersecurity services.CDN77 offers support for both security and video content delivery.
This company is trusted by significant video creation and distribution companies like TedX, Udemy, and Eleven Sports.
This CDN is so popular because it is reliable, secure, and scalable, making it desirable to broadcasters.
- Redundant content delivery
- Tools for secure delivery
- Smooth delivery
- CDN management
In addition to custom-priced, high-volume plans, CDN has some standard pricing options available. These plans include:
- 6 TB of monthly traffic for $199 ($0.045/GB for overages)
- 25 TB of monthly traffic for $385 ($0.039/GB for overages)
- 50 TB of monthly traffic for $580 ($0.029/GB for overages)
- 100 TB of monthly traffic for $990 ($0.019/GB for overages)
- 150 TB of monthly traffic for $1,390 ($0.016/GB for overages)
Please check out the CDN77 site for higher bandwidth needs.
7. Verizon Edgecast
Best known as a cell phone service provider, Verizon also offers CDN services via its Edgecast network. With 20 Terabits of capacity and 95 nodes worldwide, this CDN is quite large. However, it is still smaller than Akamai’s CDN, though Edgecast has expanded more than 340% in the last 2.5 years.
Verizon offers a live-streaming video solution natively via its Digital Media Services division. This service is aimed at major enterprise users with large budgets.
- CDN balancing tech
- Video on demand (VOD)
- Live video streaming
- RTMP streaming
- Shared SSL certificates
- Large file delivery
- Small file delivery
- GZIP Compression
- Mobile acceleration
- Cloud storage
- Real-time analytics
Verizon does not publish pricing for Edgecast.
Leaseweb offers a wide variety of digital services, including content delivery. The platform offers access to both private live-streaming CDNs and multi-CDNs. This content delivery company was founded over two decades ago, making it a longtime player in the content delivery game.
The Leaseweb CDN is pretty standard in terms of video CDN functionality. It simply delivers video content to viewers around the world.
- Reliable security
- Global delivery
- 43 PoPs and 29 internet exchanges
- API access
- Support for private delivery through your own servers
Leaseweb does not publish pricing information on its website.
StackPath is an edge computing service and content delivery service. This company’s global CDN delivers videos and other media to viewers worldwide. StackPath uses a cloud component in addition to standard live-streaming CDN servers.
This platform collaborates with several other powerful carriers to give users the best results possible. StackPack currently delivers content to viewers in 35 markets across the globe.
- Top-notch security
- Reliable delivery
- Fast delivery
- Reaches 35 high-population markets
- Business-worthy delivery
- SSL certificate management
- Instantaneous analytics
- Serverless scripting
StackPath has recently removed pricing information from its website.
Sucuri is another great live-streaming CDN. This platform offers software for content delivery and security. Sucuri has advanced firewalls that keep your content out of the wrong hands.
This streaming CDN uses PoPs strategically placed worldwide to deliver high-quality content near and far.
- Website security support
- Website firewalls
- Reliable, global content delivery
- Adequately spaced PoPs
- Tech support by ticket
Securi has four pricing plans with different scan frequencies. Content delivery is included with each plan. Here’s how they are laid out:
- Basic: $199.99/year; security scans every 12 hours
- Pro: $299.99/year; security scans every 6 hours
- Business: $499.99/year; security scans every 30 minutes
Broadcasters can also opt for custom plans. These plans come with unlimited customer support and can be used for multiple sites.
Top Video Platforms With Live Streaming CDN Partnerships
For most broadcasters, the online video platform (OVP) they choose integrates a live-streaming CDN into its platform. Since this is the case, working directly with a CDN for live streaming generally doesn’t make sense unless you’re a larger-scale enterprise.
We recommend doing some research to choose the right video host that offers a full-service solution. A single platform with a monthly fee, like Dacast, can handle many or all of your needs in-house. These might include video hosting, distribution, CDN services, API access, video player, monetization, etc. Since you depend on a single service to do all these things, choosing the right video hosting platform goes a long way.
That said, let’s take a look at four video platforms with reliable live-streaming CDN partnerships.
Let’s examine our video hosting and live-streaming solution. Dacast partners with several top-tier CDNs, including Akamai and Limelight.
Our streaming solution includes various security features, 24/7 customer support, and an easy-to-use live streaming platform. All of this is available through every plan level. Dacast also uses an HTML5 video player to provide a better performance, which you can customize to your needs.
- Live streaming and Video on Demand are included in all plans
- Unlimited viewers and live channels
- Video transcoding for true adaptive bitrate streaming
- White label and branding control
- Embeddable HTML5 video player
- Secure, global content delivery, including industry-best video hosting
- RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) ingest, playback, and streaming support
- 24/7 tech support with all plans, including email and live chat
- Video security features, including password protection and AES encryption
- M3U8 media links to stream to mobile and smart TV apps such as Roku, Apple TV, etc.
- Player API and Video API access
- Multi-bitrate streaming
- Real-time analytics
- Ad-free streaming
- AES video encryption for best in class streaming security
- Multi-user access on Scale and Custom plans
- Zoom live streaming integration for meetings and live events in real-time
- Expo 2.0 galleries video portal for immersive video experiences
- Live streaming and VOD packages on all pricing plans
- Unlimited viewers and live channels
- White label and branding control
- Embeddable HTML5 video player
- SVOD, AVOD, and pay-per-view TVOD monetization options
- Mobile device support
- Live stream recording
- China Video Hosting
- Plans for every budget
- Takes a little bit of time to learn all of the features
Upload Guidelines and Specs:
- Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
- Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
- Aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
- Max file size: None
- Max video length: None
- Total file storage: 10-1000 GB (depends on plan)
- Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS
Live streaming with Dacast comes at four levels. The video streaming pricing plans include:
- Starter plan: ideal for newcomers with 1,000 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per month, at just $39 per month, billed annually.
- Scale plan: includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage for $188 per month billed annually. These Scale pricing plans add phone support, a monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, a white-label video player, and video API access.
- Event plan: for organizations who’d rather not sign a contract and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event. It offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage, and costs just $63 per month (or $750/year). Additional data and storage can be added as needed.
- Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high-volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.
Next, let’s take a look at Wowza Media Systems. Wowza is an online video platform that provides products and services widely used in the streaming video industry. This includes Wowza Streaming Cloud, their video hosting, and a streaming platform. Streaming Cloud is the service we will be looking at here.
Stream Cloud includes support for both live and on-demand video. The service includes features such as full HD streaming, low latency live streaming solutions, and security access features. They also offer video API access and use Akamai’s network as well.
- Cloud transcoding
- Live streaming and VOD hosting
- White-label video player for advanced customization
- HTML5 video player for all-device video streaming
- API access
- Top-notch customer support
- APIs are available
- Live stream recording
- Cloud management portal
- 4K streaming
- Wide range of security options
- No simulcasting tools
- Lack of video monetization and audience analytics tools
Upload Guidelines and Specs:
- Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
- Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
- Max file size: Not available
- Max video length: Not available
- Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
- Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP
Wowza recently overhauled its pricing plans and added several options. These are split into 2 main tiers: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine.
- Basic: $99/month; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
- One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours also at 720p
- Plus: $499/month; includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
- Pay as you go: $29/month; three month minimum with additional fees for usage
All of these Live Event plans reflect the rate when paid monthly and include full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and UHD and HD streaming.
The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:
- Basic: $175/month + $195/month for each additional instance
- One Month Event: $295/month + $295/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
- Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions
3. IBM Video Streaming
Today, the IBM Cloud Video service offers a range of services, including video hosting and live streaming via “Streaming Manager.”
Key features of the IBM Video Streaming platform include custom branding on higher-priced plans, password protection, and an HTML5 video player. The service also includes HD broadcasting up to 720p resolution with a full 1080 supported only on Enterprise plans.
- Reliable platform
- Stellar customer support.
- An internal content delivery server
- Built for enterprises and large organizations
- Professional platform
- Great for professional broadcasters
- Reliable technical support
- Equipped with powerful features for broadcasters
- Hong Kong (China) video hosting
- Only ad-based monetization
- Some limitations with the internal content delivery server
- Some important features only available with high-ticket plans
Upload Guidelines and Specs:
- Minimum dimension: 480p (480 x 270)
- Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
- Aspect ratio: No published aspect ratio
- Max file size: 4 GB
- Max video length: No published limits
- Total file storage: 1TB – 5TB (depends on plan)
- Compatible video formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MPEG2, H264, H263, MPEG4, VP6, VP8, THEORA, WMV, MP3, AAC-LC, NELLYMOSER, PCM, SPEEX, VORBIS, WMA
IBM pricing plans range from $99 to $999 per month and include the following:
- Silver plan: $99+/month
- Gold plan: $499+/month
- Platinum plan: $999+/month
- Custom: Please contact IBM Cloud video for custom plan pricing.
4. Vimeo Livestream
Founded in 2004 by a group of filmmakers, Vimeo is the next service we’ll look at here. Vimeo acquired streaming platform Livestream in 2017, and today it provides live streaming and video hosting service.
Features of the Vimeo platform include a number of hardware and software integrations. The platform also offers an HTML5 video player, integrated chat, and no charge for bandwidth or storage.
- Pay for what you use
- Editing tools included
- Ad-free streaming
- Pay-per-view and subscriptions
- Professional looking platform
- Easy-to-use API
- User friendly
- Monetization options
- Built-in transcoding
- Customizable video players
- VOD and live streaming
- Monetization costs up to 10% of revenue
- Gets expensive as you purchase add-ons
- No China video delivery
Upload Guidelines and Specs:
- Recommended dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
- Max file size: 3GB
- Max video length: Information not available
- Total file storage: Information not available
- Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)
Vimeo Livestream offers three main pricing plans, including:
- Premium pricing: $75/month
- Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD services. This plan is the way to go for professional broadcasting.
- Enterprise Pricing: Please contact Vimeo for custom pricing information
- The Enterprise plan includes white-label service, monetization, and video APIs. It also includes branding control and added security features.
- Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
- Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month
- The OTT-specific pricing packages come with the Vimeo.com relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.
For more details, check out our comprehensive guide to Vimeo Livestream pricing.
Choosing the Right OVP With a Top-tier Live Streaming CDN
For most broadcasters, the online video platform (OVP) they choose integrates a live streaming CDN into its platform. As such, working directly with a CDN for content delivery generally doesn’t make sense, unless you’re a larger-scale enterprise.
Instead, we recommend doing some research to choose the right video host that offers a single-service solution. A single platform with a monthly fee, like Dacast, can handle many or all of your needs in-house. These might include video hosting, video distribution, CDN services, API access, video player, monetization, and much more. Since you depend on a single service to do all these things, choosing the right video hosting platform goes a long way.
We recommend looking for a video hosting service that integrates a top-tier CDN. That’ll ensure maximum reliability and scalability for your online video distribution. Selecting the right online video platform is a big decision.
When evaluating CDN providers, you should consider the following questions:
- Are you planning to distribute live streaming, on-demand video, or both?
- Which file formats will you distribute the content in?
- How many user hours do you expect to require?
- How much do you expect to grow in the future?
- Do you need specific features for monetization or security?
- In which geographic locations do the majority of your viewers reside?
- What’s your budget?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way toward deciding which platform makes the most sense for you.
Now you know the basics of live streaming CDN, how it works, and who some of the top players in the industry are. So you can make informed decisions for the uninterrupted delivery of your video and live-streaming content.
Live-streaming is a great way to share your content and experiences with the world, but it requires some technical knowledge to make things easier. A great video hosting platform is another must-have asset that’ll help you in your journey as a content creator.
That’s how you can ensure that you only need to work on improving your creative delivery while Dacast takes care of the technical side of live-streaming for you. So you’re always ahead of your competitors and consistently deliver the quality your audience expects from you.
Online video delivery doesn’t have to be challenging and complex. Using a live-streaming CDN can afford you peace of mind. It ensures that your content never encounters major speed bumps or service disruptions due to server overload.
If you’re still looking for the right live-streaming CDN, take advantage of Dacast’s free trial. Sign up today to enjoy free streaming and all our great features for 14 days. No credit card is required.