Top 7 OTT Services

Written by
Danielle C.
 on 
July 26, 2021

The Most Common OTT Services You Might Be Considering

You’re a creator looking for sustainable options to house your content and reach your subscriber community. So you’ve decided OTT is the way to go and now you’ve found yourself here. We know navigating the OTT journey can be daunting to say the least (here's a comprehensive guide). Filtering through service offers, comparing pricing plans, and weighing the long-term benefits of one OTT service over another takes time and consideration before committing to one that fits your specific content distribution needs. But really, how many open tabs can you shuffle through before completely losing it?


When you’re eager to launch your media via a platform that’s right for you, this time-consuming research can be a frustrating phase in which to linger. You’ve perhaps considered a white-labeled service, but realized the legwork required to customize and manage can be unwieldy. And although the autonomy of a white-labeled OTT app sounds appealing, the responsibility of singlehandedly designing and maintaining an optimized UX can detract from the time and resources you’d rather dedicate to marketing high-end content and growing your subscriber base. Alternatively, you’ve likely contemplated utilizing a platform to efficiently manage some of these end-to-end design elements for you, but with so many boxes to tick while fitting a budget it’s a challenge to decide where to invest not only your money, but more importantly, where to house your art.


While there are many competitive options out there toting their own benefits, special.tv offers a silver-labeled experience that caters to your unique streaming needs with none of the barriers to entry. Moreover, our platform is specifically designed to grow your audience by making your content discoverable to potential subscribers interested in similar content. And because bold transparency is our love language, we’re sure that our 98% customizability coupled with zero startup costs and a fixed 10% fee will make special.tv the last tab you’ll cycle through today. Now let us break down these comparisons for you so you’re not blindsided by the nickel and diming of those dreaded “hidden” fees.

Comparing OTT Services

Vimeo OTT

Vimeo OTT has a new Starter Plan that’s certainly more budget friendly with only $1 per subscriber per month, but don’t mind the sneaky upload and transaction fees behind the curtain. And like any kind of budget plan, there is strictly email-based customer support for creators in this startup position, meaning if you want to grow with Vimeo, you might as well choose their more popular and aptly named Growth Plan that starts at $500 per month per app; but hey, at least you’ll get some IRL customer support sprinkled in there, right? Watch out for that $99 per hour storage fee.

UScreen

Like Vimeo OTT, UScreen offers a Basic Plan for $49 per month regardless of if your channel is ready to go live or not. What creator doesn’t love paying for something that nobody is actually ready to access yet... The Basic Plan includes some marketing tools within the platform interface to promote your channel growth, but you’ll only have 7,500 minutes of storage before you’re maxed. Any desire for extras will have you paying upstart costs of $399 per month layered over a $0.50 charge per subscriber per month. Their only plan to mention white-glove client support is the top-tier Enterprise plan with pricing that is customized per creator and we all know when a phone number is listed in lieu of a startup cost, we don’t imagine the offer to be thrifty.

An in-depth Vimeo vs. UScreen comparison available here.

Quick math break: In this hypothetical you’ve got 5,000 subscribers to your channel. If you’re charged $1 per subscriber by your chosen platform, that means you’re getting charged a 20% revenue fee in addition to their monthly costs. Oof.

Odeum

Despite Odeum’s Growth Plan claiming that creators can launch for free (all caps exclamation point!), they do charge monthly per subscriber on top of their 10% revenue share and transaction fees. And while this is scaled by number of subscribers, your first 100 subscribers alone will cost you $250 per month from launch. Sure, maybe that’s an incentive to reach their 10,001+ subscriber tier where you’ll only be paying $1.00 per subscriber, but what if you’re joining Odeum with a larger subscriber base already? Do you really want to front $10k and then some in your first month? We don’t, that’s for sure. If cost isn’t what you’re worried about here, then the other angle to consider is the likelihood for a longer road to launch, between the manual development necessary to create your app and the varied review timeframe. This is an instance in which you’d likely rather allot your time and resources to content and marketing as opposed to the tedium of OTT configuration, optimization, and customization.

Maz Systems

Like Odeum, Maz requires much more upfront manual app development well before launch. This is a great option for a business with a tech team at the ready, as you’ll need to build custom integrations with Maz to successfully launch, run, and troubleshoot the streaming service. Though their support team seems enthusiastic to help, that’s a lot of time dedicated to specific app design, and then the necessary approval process by Apple, Roku, and other app hosts. Nobody likes the waiting game, especially when it involves initial rejection. But kudos to Maz for admitting rejection is part of the process; like we said, we love transparency. If only they were as transparent about their, quote, “affordable” pricing.


DaCast

DaCast is unique in its China-based CDN (content distributing network) which holds the potential for a large expanse of international viewership. It is also one of the more affordable competitors with plans ranging from a Starter of $39 per month, a one-time or occasional event plan at $63 per month, a $188 per month scale plan, and of course, a custom plan for high volume options. However, the bottom two tiers cap out at 50 GB of storage – the equivalent of an old iPod from 2005 or, like, 3 episodes of How I Met Your Mother – not the most conducive to a channel with longevity in mind.

Muvi

Muvi offers it all, from 24/7 tech support to multifaceted platform building that streamlines your software development labor across devices. But an enterprise OTT service comes with an enterprise price tag, meaning the lowest rate you can get is $399 per month with their Standard Plan. The price jump between plans is an average chasm of $2800. The only thing free about Muvi is their 14-day trial.

The Newest Player in the OTT Game

When we started special.tv, we saw creators getting nickel-and-dimed with attractive “Get Started” offers and shiny promises of success with a reality check that hit hard after signup in the form of previously-veiled fees that never seemed to stop stacking up. With special.tv, you’ll know you’re cared about personally, both as client and creator. Here’s how we ensure that

Why special.tv is the best choice for your OTT platform

We’ll be frank. We’re not interested in parking lot style, first-hour-free storage plans, nor are we fans of monthly subscriber fees that are discouragingly counterintuitive when the desired outcome is subscriber growth. You shouldn’t have to jump hurdles before you even have the chance to launch your content.  While there are many popular whitelabel options out there, we want to offer you a silver-labeled experience.

We believe in empowering the creation and exchange of meaningful content so much that we’ve aligned our incentives with yours: special.tv only makes money when you do, with a 10% revenue fee, regardless of the number of subscribers you have. No ads. No algorithms. Just a home for your content and your audience.

Because of this alignment of incentives between creators and Special.tv, the special team provides white-glove services for all of their creators to take advantage of, from onboarding and building your channel, to helping strategize your channel’s launch plan, and accelerating your subscriber and revenue growth. A transparent OTT service that is easy to navigate, optimized for subscriber growth, full-fledged subscriber support, and more, all packaged up in a silver-labeled platform where creators benefit from network effects and subscribers enjoy a cinematic experience--THAT is what Special.tv is all about. And that’s why independent content creators--from indie filmmakers and studios, to distributors, to podcasters and beyond--choose special.tv.


If this sounds interesting or like a good fit for you, we encourage you to try out our earnings calculator to see your future channel’s potential and gauge for yourself how special.tv will be most suitable for your budget. Want to learn more? Ready to scale back on the stress of OTT development and streamline your media launch? Sign with early access!

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