Here’s the thing: There’s a storyteller in all of us.

The way we see it, the world’s obsession with content, content, content, is a direct reflection of an even bigger realization: We’re all content creators. 

For many of us, that actually is totally accurate. You’re probably on this page because it’s true — whether you’re in brand marketing, creative content creation, or you’re just out there trying to get the best ideas out to the masses. And we get that because we’re content creators too. (You’re reading this after all!) 

But while there is an ever-increasing need for content, there’s also an ever-increasing competition for eyeballs. So how do you break through the noise and make your mark as a personal brand or an organization? You have to optimize the video streaming platforms you employ so you can be seen as a thought leader, attract viewers (or qualified prospects), and win over your market. To start, you have to understand what your options are, what’s great about them, and what they mean for the future of your content. 

So let’s get started.

What are streaming platforms?

You probably already know what a streaming platform is — or if you don’t know the actual details, you’ve still most likely come in contact with one. 

By definition, a streaming platform is an on-demand online entertainment source for TV shows, movies and other streaming media. For example, think of things like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vimeo, and Sundance Now. And while these may not be in the same league as, say, a YouTube, by this explanation, websites like Facebook, Instagram, Crackle, and Internet Archive are also examples of streaming platforms. 

At this point, you’re probably thinking, so what? That’s fair because how do these streaming platforms really help you as a content creator and not a viewer? 

Here’s the truth: Video streaming platforms are the bread to your butter and the white to your rice if you’re in the business of telling stories, building brands, and engaging audiences. Why? Because in the Age of Technology, people are increasingly giving up on television and turning to online sources. In fact, this will be the first year that people will spend more time online than they spend watching television

That’s huge, and part of the reason for that is the rise of over the top (or OTT) and everything it stands for. Now that everyone is going online for their content, it’s definitely where you should be going to. But where is the best place? That’s a great question, so let’s talk about your options.

What you need to know about video players

When it comes to video players, there are a few that reign supreme: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s easy to see why, it’s easily where the most traffic from anywhere is. Here are some stats to show you just how important.

Without a doubt, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the best places to put your content — they have massive amounts of daily users, quality metrics and analytics, and platforms to grow your audience. If you’re a content creator or an influencer with a massive following, you’re probably already on one of these platforms. And that’s a great thing, because that’s where audiences are. 

However, your strategy would be incomplete if you were only using one of these platforms to reach your audience, and you even might be overwhelmed if you’re using all four to reach your audience. 

Another thing to consider? The payout schedule. When it comes to YouTube, the company has a very strict payout segment for creators to make money with views. In the end, it can often feel like the person who’s really getting paid for your content is the platform you host it on. Facebook (who also owns Instagram) can feel the same way — the payout structure just isn’t as fair as it should be. And as a creator, that can be a challenge, because growth in numbers often comes down to content, and without the revenue to grow your ideas, things can plateau.

What you need to know about OTT networks

But the good news is, video streaming platforms aren’t the only ways people are viewing content these days. Just think about all of the places where you watch content: Hulu, Netflix, PlayStation Now, DirectTVNow, SundanceNow, and more. These content gurus are all doing their content over-the-top, or OTT, and it’s another great opportunity for content creators and brands to catch their audience where they are

But the best part of these platforms? Definitely the prestige. There’s a lot of audience viewership everywhere, but for many, the big draw to create mind-bogglingly creative and captivating content is to one day get your big break and make it on these channels. 

Why? Because OTT platforms like Hulu and Netflix deliver a second-to-none customer experience through apps, account logins, recommendations, easy-to-use video players, multi-platform access, and more. These OTT networks aren’t just beloved for their content (although they should be!), it’s also that these brands are delivering a curated experience to the customer. 

According to a recent study, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And to be truthful, we see that every day. YouTube has lots of content, but Netflix can still sell their subscription, and it’s not rocket science. It’s because it’s not just about watching something, it’s about what is being watched, how it’s being watched, and whether it’s fitting the needs of the ultimate consumer and delivering the ultimate curated experience.

What you need to know about the companies that do both

So we learned about video streaming platforms and we learned about OTT networks, so here’s what you need to know about the guys like AppleTV, Roku, and Amazon who make both possible. 

When it comes to brands combining the strategy of video streaming platforms and OTT networks, it’s really a best of both worlds situation for content creators. These multi-channel networks, or MCNs, are a lot like the CBS and ABC of the digital realm, offering up a collection of different content from different sources on one big platform. Think of them like a library, hosting and sharing content from many different sources. 

But more than just hosting and sharing, MCNs also do something huge: They help promote. And not just promoting, but:

Funding
Cross Promotion
Digital Rights Management
Monetization
Audience Development, and more

For content creators, this can be a HUGE bonus for your ideas, your videos themselves, and your brand as a whole, because getting help with the growth aspect is one of the hardest things to do on your own. By leveraging the audience of a multi-channel network, you can get the exposure and resources you need to move forward with your agenda.

Here’s how these streaming platforms are affecting you

Here at Endavo, we use the term creator inclusively, meaning a lot of people can wear it as a hat, but it’s not necessarily the ONLY title they have in their job description. When we talk about content creators, we mean people like the Duffer Brothers, or companies and organizations like Coca-Cola and Red Bull, or even marketers for sports teams, cities, and more. 

Why do we take this approach? Because everyone out there has a story to tell, and content really is king. So if we’re all doing it, we should all consider how it’s affecting us as though we were content creators not in theory, but in practice. 

So whether you’re a .org, a Fortune 500, a university, a small business, an artist, or a kid hanging out with a camcorder in your living room trying to capture your next big idea, here’s how streaming platforms are your best shot at getting the audience you deserve.

Manage

You can organize your content to make it easy to search, easy to find, and targeted at your ideal audience.

Distribute

You get opportunities to take your content to new heights by getting picked up by other platforms, other creators, or even other networks.

Monetize

If you’re ready to generate revenue with your content, there are opportunities for content creators and brands to create exactly what they want.

FAQ on the differences between streaming platforms

Have you got questions? We’ve got answers. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the differences between streaming platforms.

What are the best streaming entertainment platforms?

The biggest streaming entertainment platforms are names you’ll recognize: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTubeLive. For a content creator trying to make the best decision for getting their content to their audience, they should definitely consider starting with one of these three, or better yet, work with a platform that can combine all these streaming entertainment platforms into one streamlined solution.

What are the top streaming platforms?

Ask around and you’ll get a different answer for who takes the #1 spot, but it’s easy to name the big players: Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Amazon all take the cake for the top video streaming platforms. That might all change soon, however, as more content creators and content companies start creating their own streaming platforms. Here’s how companies like Disney, Comcast, and more are catching the streaming bug, creating their own video streaming platforms, and making waves throughout the industry.

What are the upcoming streaming platforms I should know about?

Other than the one you’re about to create? Disney and Comcast have a few in the pipeline, as well as many others. Check out our rundown of the upcoming streaming platforms and what they’ll mean for streaming in our post here.

What can I do to stream multiple platforms at once?

Get multiple devices, hook up your content to each one, and then get ready for a content overload. Just kidding. The best way to stream to multiple platforms at once is to find a platform that offers the option of distribution in one platform. Endavo is a video distribution automation platform, or VDA, and that’s exactly what it was designed to do. You can learn more about it here.

Want more information about the next big thing in video streaming platforms? Ask Endavo.

streaming platforms

Your content strategy relies on your distribution platforms, but managing so many different outlines isn’t the most efficient use of your time. With Endavo, you can streamline all the best options out there, provide an unforgettable, personal experience, and get paid for all of the great work you. Those are the three pillars to the most efficient video content strategy on the market, and they’re also the three pillars of the Endavo platform. Give us a call today to learn more.