What is a video platform?
A complete, end-to-end video platform allows you to: upload video, store it, play video back, live stream and track usage analytics. There are different ways to provide this service, with different types of video platforms providing only some of these elements. A video platform can be something flexible that you can program through the use of an API, or it can be a studio solution, where everything is already set up for you a specific way.
Types of video platforms
Some of the most popular video platforms offer limited capabilities to their users. For example, Netflix and Hulu are examples of online video platforms. You can't upload video or live stream, but you can watch video on demand. Contrast this with a video platform like YouTube, where you can upload videos, live stream, and watch other uploaded content, including movies and TV shows.
Other kinds of video platforms are more flexible - allowing you to use an API to develop whatever you want. api.video, for example, provides everything you need to transcode, upload, stream video on demand, live stream, display content in a company created player, and track analytics. Other video companies may offer similar flexibility, but only for one or a few of these features.
Anatomy of a video platform
All online video platforms have two elements - OTT (over-the-top) and OVP (online video player). OTT is the concept of delivering video through the internet, without requiring a traditional mode of distribution like cable, or broadcasting radio waves. Some popular examples are Instagram and TikTok videos, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook and Pinterest video, and similar. OVP is the infrastructure that delivers the OTT video. This can be set up all kinds of ways, from private, video-focused CDNs (content delivery networks) to general media delivery infrastructure that places like Akamai offer.
Online video platforms, cloud video platforms and api.video
api.video is an online (cloud) video platform that lets you develop your own OTT service. Complicated things that are part of the OVP, like how to set up the infrastructure, how to handle latency, the best way to store and back up your content, the most efficient way to transcode and live stream content, all of these things are handled for you. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your development such as the content you will present, how it will be provided to your users, and what kinds of algorithms you want to create to suggest content to your users and keep them engaged. Plus anything else you might want to focus on.