Every video streaming platform has its pros and cons and differ by the range of features they offer. This is especially true when you’re deciding whether to use a free or paid platform. When you’re searching for the right platform it’s vital to ensure the one you select aligns with your business goals. So how do you know if a streaming platform is up to par? Here are some key features to look out for with both types of platforms you could opt for, free or paid.
Questions to Consider Before Making your Decision
Is security important to you?
Data protection is an important issue that should be taken into careful consideration when deciding on whether to use a free or paid platform. Video communication can leave you vulnerable to third parties listening in, unauthorised recordings by third parties and, of course, infringement of data protection law. Paid for video platforms are more likely to ensure you’re GDPR, WCAG and Schrems II compliant so that yours and the data of your attendees is safe and secure.
Would you like to keep your audience engaged?
Let’s face it, when hosting a virtual corporate event we want to keep our participants engaged with our content. Paid for platforms will have more features to ensure this allowing you to run polls and chat rooms throughout your streams to keep your audience engaged and involved, ask qualifying questions to convert your leads live and enable you to invite multiple guest speakers with ease.
Do you want your audience to remember your brand?
It’s important that your broadcasts and videos really stand out from those of your competitors. If you opt for a paid streaming solution it will most likely offer a custom video player that can be tailored to match your own branding for instantly recognisable video content. Remember, consistent brand reinforcement will create loyal customers.
Would you like video editing tools for a higher spec result?
If you want to produce optimal video content you need to be sure you’re choosing a platform with a range of video editing tools. Having the ability to edit your videos to the highest spec, cut sections for social media, and even include state of the art AI speech to text functionality are all features that will ensure flawless results. If you’re considering a free platform your access to such features are more likely to limited.
How valuable is time saving and workflow efficiency to you?
If you opt for paid platform it will likely offer an end to end user experience helping you to improve your workflows. This includes integration with other apps, like your calendar, CRM, email marketing tool and CMS all built-in to save you time and boost efficiency. You’ll also have the option to store and manage all your content in the platform. If you choose to use a free platform, it is more likely that you will need to use more than one tool for the same process.
How important is it that your audience be focused solely on your message?
This is an area of importance. Consider your goals and finetune what you’re looking to achieve with your video content. Paid platforms hold a higher level of professionalism in that the content you create is yours and yours only. If you opt for a free service it may leave you open to advertisement pop ups that spoil the continuity of your message and may redirect your attendees to other content, or competitor content, on the platform.
Do you require support?
If you’re new to streaming platforms they can be a little tricky to navigate so it’s good to consider the level of support you may require. With free video platforms customer support will of course be included in your subscription however if you opt for a paid platform you will receive advanced technical and customer support. For example, with the Quickchannel platform customers have the option for a member of our team to be with you in person or online for your first stream and continued support thereafter.
Will your customers be willing to download a third-party app to attend your webinars or live streams or would they prefer to join without having to download?
It’s good to consider this point before making your decision. Some of your attendees may not be happy to download a third party app in order to view your video content resulting in drop offs or lower attendance rates. Paid platforms offer you a link to share with your attendees so they can watch your content via their browser. You will also have a record option for your live streams for creating on demand versions of your content. This also allows you to keep your content live for longer for repurposing.
How many participants do you expect to join each session?
Consider the number of participants might attend your virtual events (hard, 800). You should look for a streaming solution that is scalable to suit the needs of each individual virtual event without ever compromising on quality. You need to be sure that the option you choose can provide your audience with the best possible viewing experience even if there is limited bandwidth.
Does quality and scalability matter to you?
If you want to provide the best viewing experience to your audience it’s important to have adaptive streaming in full HD via CDN and eCDN. Without this built into your platform you may get unreliable video streams with disruptive buffering which can cause audiences to lose interest. A reliable enterprise video streaming solution is therefore important. Paid platforms are more equipped to assist with page load speeds and handling high traffic loads.
What will be the average duration of your streams?
This is an important question to consider when deciding whether to use a free or paid streaming platform. With free platforms you could encounter time limits causing potential interruption to your streams whereas a paid platform won’t have these restrictions. A free platform is more likely to suit your requirements if you’re planning to host shorter streams.
That’s a wrap
So there you have it, these are just some of the questions you should consider when deciding on a video solution to suit your needs. Deciding on these factors should narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to find the best video streaming platform for your company.