Are you looking to launch or grow your video channels on OTT? If so, then you may be looking into some popular video streaming solutions like MAZ, Uscreen, Vimeo OTT or other alternatives. But how do these services compare? How much does it cost to launch OTT channels on Roku, AppleTV and Amazon FireTV? And between MAZ, Uscreen, and Vimeo OTT (or VHX), which is going to be the right OTT platform solution for your business?
There are many factors to consider before committing to an OTT video streaming solution. In this article, we’ll give you an unbiased view of each service and what each one offers. We’ll break down some of the pros and cons of each OTT platform and help you find the one that best fits your business!
For a quick breakdown of each platform, feel free to skip to the bottom. To go through each in more detail, jump in below!
How does each platform work?
Between MAZ, Vimeo OTT, and Uscreen, each platform works differently and offers various solutions.
MAZ is a no-code app-building platform for businesses of all sizes. Think of it like Squarespace, but for OTT apps. With MAZ, you can deploy custom apps into all major OTT markets, including iOS, Android, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV and more. No coders or designers needed. MAZ is best known for working with some of the world’s premier brands, like Bon Appétit, Wired, Forbes and hundreds more. With MAZ, you can access the same exact tech as these prestigious companies, but for an affordable price.
Uscreen offers generic video tools aimed at small-scale businesses. With Uscreen, you will have access to all the basic tools to start in OTT, including simple video hosting, website, and OTT app solutions. Uscreen is most known as a cheap and simple way to launch videos on the web. Their OTT products are an add-on, so functionality is much more rigid and many businesses “grow out of” the service as they scale (more on this later).
Vimeo OTT (or VHX) is an app-building platform, and like MAZ or Uscreen, Vimeo OTT allows you to build your own OTT apps and stream videos. Vimeo’s pricing model can scale as your add users and subscribers to your apps, so if you plan to scale your app quickly, be aware that costs will rise with that growth.
How can I make money with each platform?
When it comes to making money, MAZ offers the most flexibility.
For subscription-based businesses (or SVODs), MAZ can implement flexible paywalls and subscriber profiles. For ad-based businesses (AVODs), MAZ integrates with the leading ad servers, such as Google Ad Manager, Spring Serve and more. And for custom sponsorships, MAZ offers a variety of sponsored app skins, loading screens and more. This gives your business options, and can allow for many creative hybrid business models (see our article here for more business models in OTT).
Uscreen and Vimeo primarily offer monetization with subscriptions (SVOD) on OTT. This means that if you want to monetize your videos any other way on OTT, Uscreen and Vimeo may not support it. This can be a limitation for many businesses, especially as hybrid models are picking up steam in 2020.
How much does each service cost?
This is where things can get tricky. With all the platforms, it depends on the size and scope of your business.
MAZ works on an annual subscription plan and is typically one of the most affordable solutions. With MAZ, you pay the same rate every month, no extra costs to launch and no price increases when you grow. For small to mid-sized businesses, MAZ is by far the most affordable option to launch on all OTT platforms (iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast). For enterprise businesses, rates are by quote.
Uscreen’s OTT service works by quote only, so it’s not clear what their average price is.
Vimeo OTT starts at a high base rate and can additional fees along the way. According to their website, Vimeo’s base rate is $500 per app (which can result in $3,000 to get on all six major OTT platforms) and $1 per subscriber. There may be other fees depending on your contract. So based on how much your business grows, prices may increase each month. For businesses that plan to scale, this can lead to huge price jumps so that must be taken into consideration.
Average time to launch:
This is a category where MAZ shines.
MAZ’s self-service platform makes it easy to launch professional apps in two to three months. After launch, you can directly edit and update new features instantly from the platform dashboard.
OTT app stores you can publish to:
All 3 services measure up rather evenly here, with a slight edge to MAZ and Vimeo OTT.
MAZ, Uscreen, and Vimeo OTT all are able to publish to each of the following app stores: iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. MAZ and Vimeo are also able to publish to Chromecast.
Can I edit my app on the fly?
MAZ allows you to update any part of your app instantly from its platform dashboard. This includes adding new content, banners, and sections.
Dynamic changes are something you will have more trouble doing through Uscreen or Vimeo. Making instant changes is particularly useful for uploading new content, creating playlists, running sponsorships, fixing bugs, etc.
Which platform has the best designs?
This is totally subjective, but one platform does offer much more variety than the others.
MAZ offers many beautiful, highly-rated templates and designs. Plus, you’re in full control to customize your company colors, logos, app skins, playlists and more. Apps built on MAZ also boast an average 4.5 out of 5 star rating across all app stores. Overall, MAZ’s designs are extremely highly rated and enjoyed by users.
Uscreen’s designs are more limited by comparison. A recent review states that Uscreen offers only three design templates, so many sites and apps on Uscreen look similar. Vimeo OTT offers 4 templates according to their website, so again this is a more limited selection. As far as quality, we believe MAZ and Vimeo’s templates are more appealing than Uscreen’s offerings.
Which is best for my business: MAZ, Uscreen or Vimeo?
We broke down a lot of information above. So let’s boil it down here:
MAZ is the best solution for businesses looking to build and grow on OTT. Its pricing makes it affordable and simple to launch everywhere on OTT. Its platform is extraordinarily powerful, feature-rich, and easy to use. App customizations, from monetization to UI and design are made available in its dashboard. These are the same features used by MAZ’s Fortune 500 clients, like Condé Nast, Forbes, Wired and hundreds more. In short, MAZ is an excellent platform for any business that’s serious about OTT.
Uscreen is best for businesses looking to focus on a website solution, where OTT may not be a priority. Their website building and video hosting tools bring together some important features. If you’re just getting started in video, Uscreen is a good platform. However, as your business grows, you may find their OTT products are lacking in features. That is why the majority of Uscreen’s OTT customers are much smaller-scale businesses.
Vimeo is best for businesses who wish to create an efficient OTT app for a small audience. Vimeo’s pricing makes it very affordable to build a single OTT app, so long as your audience is relatively small. This can be great for specific organizations who are small and not interested in monetizing. However, its pricing structure can make it an expensive platform once your business starts to scale. If you plan on building an audience or expanding to multiple OTT app stores, Vimeo may not be worth the cost. Especially when a solution like MAZ will likely cost much less.
It will be up to you to determine which of these most closely matches your use case.
From the surface, it can be tough to tell the differences between MAZ, Vimeo OTT and Uscreen. For anyone who has been around the block with OTT, it will be much easier. But no matter what your level of expertise, it never hurts to shop around and see all of your options.
Once you’ve done all of your research, the best way to pick the best OTT platform is to try them all out. If you’re interested in getting a free trial of MAZ, schedule a demo with our team here
We hope this article was helpful in your research! If you’re looking for Uscreen alternatives or Vimeo OTT alternatives, look no further than MAZ. We wish you the best of luck in your search, and happy streaming!