Online video platform
It’s hard to select an online video platform vendor but from experience with our customers we know there are four main factors to consider.
- Platform functionality & features.
- Platform acquisition.
Video platform functionality & features
When choosing a video distribution platform most existing library owners try to closely emulate their existing video library management system; alternatively they try to get a vendor to customise their systems to a close approximation.
Again, and from experience, we know the latter is a very expensive route to choose; customisation of any kind is very expensive and typically will at least double the acquisition cost of your video distribution platform. Moreover, a new – and obviously comprehensive – video platform will most likely have everything you require and more; it’s just functionally different.
So put functionality & features at the top of your shopping list; this way you can swallow the learning curve and avoid customisation costs.
Video platform companies
Of course, you may have a business or archiving process that must be used in your new system. In this case make sure the vendor is capable of fully integrating these processes. It is not unknown for video platform companies to develop a system and then get rid of the development staff and just retain low-level maintenance staff.
Is the Vendor expert in the footage market? Or do they have general purpose software that’s been sliced and diced to fit? And you might want to factor in whether you will get upgrades, what those upgrades might be and how much they will cost.
Finally, and equally important whether the video platform company is big or small – do you enjoy speaking and working with them? Enough to get through the inevitable tough times?
Online video platform acquisition.
If you build your own system either in-house or working with a developer it will cost you a great deal of money and time - about double the cost of any other acquisition method and between 12 and 18 months to build. So it will not just be build cost, but also time to market to consider.
Conversely you may want to buy a video distribution platform outright so you can carry it as an asset in your company accounts and redevelop the core code to your own specifications.
You also have the option of buying a “Perpetual Licence” which means you acquire the system, use it forever with no added costs and sell it as an asset if you sell your business. However, you will not own the IPR so you cannot tinker with the core code or resell it as a system to compete with the vendor.
The last method to acquire an online video platform is to rent it – typically software as a service. The drawback here is that video platform companies are loathe to make any changes or customisation to the rental platform. So what you see is what you get. Or pay more for customisation.
Finally, video platform cost.
The true cost of online video platform
We’ve researched video distribution platform costs a lot; after all our business relies on our ability to offer flexible packages at market sensitive prices.
The fairest way to make an assessment is to take a longer term view. Software and related technologies undergo meaningful change every 3 to 5 years so we’ve analysed and projected the cost over this term.
|Software Licence||First Year Cost||Hosting 1TB per year||Support||3 year cost||5 year cost|
||$ 25,000.00||$ 3,240.00
||$ 40,120.00||$ 50,200.00|
||$ 13,500.00||$ 3,240.00
||$ 55,620.00||$ 92,700.00|
|Outright Purchase||$ 50,000.00
||$ 62,000.00||$ 70,000.00|
|Complete Build||$ 100,000.00
||$ 112,000.00||$ 120,000.00|
In the example above we assume hosting and support is provided in-house – but there is still a cost attached. Support costs are likely to be more because it will be a portion of an employee’s salary. Outsourced support is always cheaper and possibly more expert at higher levels.
The hosting & support for a Perpetual License is using Amazon Web Services, Back up, Disaster Recovery plus some vendor system support. SAAS rental looks a good deal because hosting is included; but read the small print and you’ll find the charge only covers 100MB or thereabouts. In fact, our research on SAAS hosting shows it to be a hidden cost and is generally the most expensive storage method.