There are various, amazing looking hardware- and software-encoders on the market, sold for easily $15,000 and more. These types of live-encoders in the five-figure-range are often used with CDN contracts starting at $2000-3000/month - not seldom plus storage, plus expensive overage costs and other, separately billed services. Since most CDN subscriptions are "naked" many CDN customers are required to build their own video players, thumbnail galleries and other integration tools (starting in the mid 5-digits of development costs), invest into statistic services and the internal human resources of skill-sets to develop and manage everything. We are talking about large organizations with large budgets who have the power and energy to build and manage everything on their own. But: is professional livestreaming and VOD delivery to multiple platforms, outlets and mobile devices, through high-performance CDNs really a luxury reserved to those who have six figures to spend on it per year? And: do you really need such expensive encoders and CDN contracts?
I would say: "no you don't" and "nope, professional, high-performance and ad-free delivery with unlimited custom integration on your websites and apps is not a privilege exclusive to the 1% mega-organizations". Not any longer!
If you are using streaming media in order to build your audience, extend your viewership, grow your organization and to develop revenue streams through your growing popularity, then you need to utilize the following:
1. All outlets possible: Roku, AppleTV/iTunes, GoogleTV, other SmartTV platforms, social sites, mobile apps, your conversion optimized websites and landing pages (and maybe even some TV broadcast if feasible).
2. A detailed statistic service which gives you real data on viewership and allows you to refine your presentation and strategy.
3. Well designed, "custom-everything": custom players on your websites, custom apps - all well designed in your corporate design.
4. Follow-up and conversion mechanisms in place: how do you convert viewers into followers, prospects and further on into customers and supporters?
5. Products/Services: what do you want customers to pay for? What products and services are you providing?
So, which service providers do you need to cover these requirements? Generally speaking, these three types of service providers cover it: