What is a Video Content Management System (CMS) and Which One is Right for You?

Blog 1 min read | Dec 15, 2023 | JW Player


By the end of 2023, there will be 48 billion digital video viewers worldwide.

Skyrocketing video popularity is largely driven by technological advancements, with consumers favoring faster streaming services and watching interactive, digestible webinars or live events on their mobile apps.

With video continuing to boom and consumers demanding more of it, businesses need a way to efficiently handle their vast numbers of video files. After all, no one wants to – or can afford to – spend hours searching for that one video they once saw on a colleague’s laptop.

In this article, we’ll cover what a video content management system (CMS) is, who needs it and why, and the key features of a good video CMS platform. We’ll also compare the seven best video hosting CMS options on the market to help you make an informed decision on which one is the right one for your business needs.

What is a Video Content Management System?

Video content management is the practice of organizing and managing large amounts of online media content, including text, video files, playlists, and photos.

A video content management system, also known as video CMS or video hosting CMS, enables companies and individuals to store, access, present, and share video content from one centralized, secure, and scalable location, without any need for programming knowledge.

Think of a video CMS as your video library.

The best video CMS platforms offer great file categorization and options to search for your video content using specific keywords or by file name, file format, creator, project, date, size, tags, manually-entered metadata, and other handy criteria. They’ll allow you to embed or group videos together, making it easier to distribute them.

Some video content management system platforms also offer a video API feature, which allows you to integrate various applications and build your own system just how you want it to meet all of your needs.

Who needs a Video Content Management System?

Broadly speaking, if you’re a content creator or a company of any shape and size that relies heavily on videos to deliver their business or marketing strategy, then a comprehensive video CMS software will be your best friend.

This is particularly true if you’re a broadcaster or a publisher as you’re in need of a solution that will enable you to manage, scale, and monetize your video strategy easily, deliver compelling viewing experiences to your audiences, and grow your revenue.

If you’re a sports broadcaster, a video CMS or an all-in-one streaming platform will help you bring premium viewing experience for your fans and bring them closer together for that tightly-built fan base.

If you’re an enterprise, a video CMS will help you organize your workshops, webinars, conferences, brand videos, tutorials, and more, and share them with your global audiences for maximum engagement.

Educational institutions can also benefit from an online video platform like a video CMS to better understand student engagement and content adoption, building better classes and ensuring great educational outcomes. They can integrate it with their learning management system to carry out live and VOD webinars and support their learning programs.

And let’s not forget the fitness industry who can benefit from a video CMS for their real-time yoga classes or home-based personal training videos, bringing best-in-class experiences to their members’ homes.

Why use a Video Content Management System?

If you’re struggling to store all of your videos in your current CMS, need additional, professional-grade features, or an all-in-one video management solution, then a video CMS is the thing you need. Especially if you’re a business that relies heavily on video content.

Here are some of the main benefits of a video CMS:

Great video organization

If your business relies heavily on videos, you can’t afford not to have a well-organized video content library. Logical categorization will make searching much easier for your viewers, potentially keeping them on your website for longer or encouraging them to come back.

A good video CMS will let you categorize and sub-categorize videos, add tags to your videos to make them easily searchable, and or implement smart playlists. Smart, automatic playlists of videos adhere to your pre-defined criteria, giving your viewers a group of videos on a similar topic to begin with.

Some video CMS platforms will also recognize speech and let you index information based on the words spoken throughout the videos.

Storage for large files

Videos can take up a lot of space. And that can put pressure on your internal storage systems.

As your video content library expands, you’ll need a scalable place to store it. Video CMSs are built specifically for hassle-free storage and uploading of large video files, perfect for when you’re planning a longer series of on-demand webinars or to broadcast live sporting events.

Cloud transcoding

Transcoding ensures you’re able to deliver your videos in a format that’s compatible with your viewer’s device and internet connection. Without proper transcoding, your audience will likely experience poor-quality videos, constant buffering, and laggy playback.

Video transcoding also helps you improve your workflow by automating the repetitive tasks in the file conversion process while also freeing up your time to focus on other important aspects of your project or production.

A professional video CMS platform will have built-in cloud transcoding capability, automatically converting your video files into different formats for the best user experiences on every device. It’ll also enable video streaming with an adaptive bitrate video player to tackle even the most underwhelming internet speeds.

Read here to find out more about why transcoding is important for video streaming.

Streamlined workflows

A good video CMS can help you streamline your media production and distribution, with features like format conversion or social media publishing to automate your workflows. In turn, this cuts down on time-consuming tasks and improves the efficiency of your video content delivery and distribution processes.

Better privacy and security

If you’ve got plenty of private video content, it’s best not to put it on social media, but rather to invest in an enterprise video content management system that can store it securely for you.

A good video CMS will allow you to manage access for different users, set specific permissions or roles to ensure appropriate levels of control over your video content. It’ll let you put content behind a barrier, for example a paywall and encrypt the connection between your viewers’ browsers and your server to prevent unauthorized access.

Video monetization

Video monetization is a great option for content creators who wish to generate extra revenue. If your business model or marketing strategy depends on video monetization, it makes sense to have a video hosting platform that supports your preferred monetization model.

There are three main attractive video monetization models:

  • AVOD (advertising video on demand) allows you to generate revenue through ads that are shown before and during your videos
  • SVOD (subscription video on demand) model lets users consume unlimited video content when they pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee
  • TVOD (transactional video on demand), also known as pay-per-view streaming, allows viewers to pay a one-time fee for the content they want to watch or rent

If you want to learn more about video monetization and the best platforms for it, check out our blog here.

What video CMS features do I need?

Now that we’ve outlined the main benefits organizations can gain from their video content management system, and touched on some functionalities of a professional-grade video CMS, let’s take a look at some additional features we think you should look out for when comparing various platforms:

  • Live-to-VOD – If you often broadcast live videos, you may want the ability to create video on demand assets from your live streams, so pick a video CMS that will let you do that
  • Multi-platform support – This feature will let you distribute your video content to many OTT (over the top) and O&O (owned and operated) platforms, channels (including social media), and devices, with a just a few simple clicks
  • Advanced video analytics – With advanced video analytics, you can deliver more personalized content in the future, so make sure your video CMS platform lets you track a wide range of metrics and consumer patterns to inform your video strategy decisions and optimization
  • Video API access – If you require customizable video hosting, you need video API access which will let you integrate features from your chosen video CMS into your own platform. Most video CMSs are fairly intuitive, however, as a content creator, you may not want to be tied to a specific user interface, or simply want a video CDN that links with other tools for the best video hosting experience
  • Google SEO optimization – If you’ve got an extensive video library, you naturally want to drive more traffic to it, so check whether your video CMS will help you increase video plays with a few clicks
  • Real-time encoding – This feature will help you digitize your video directly from your camera, letting you stream your live events in an instant and in high quality.

7 Best Video CMS Platforms

There are plenty of enterprise video content management system platforms that could grab your attention and meet your needs. Each of them will allow you to store, access, organize, and share your video content, but which one is the best?

Let’s take a look and compare the seven best options out there to help you make your decision.

1. JW Player

JW Player is an all-in-one SaaS platform for live and VOD streaming with broadcast-grade performance that helps you to easy scale your video strategy and removes the complexities of video management.

The platform offers many features, functionalities, and integrations to take your video marketing to the next level and make video sharing and live streaming a breeze.

You can use JW Player’s APIs and SDKs to stream your videos to web players, mobile apps, OTT apps, and social media platforms. The customizable HTML5 video player provides you with high-quality delivery and buffer-free performance.


  • Great video categorization options
  • Instant live-to-VOD
  • Video API access
  • Video monetization through SVOD, TVOD, and AVOD
  • Adaptive and multi-bitrate streaming via cloud transcoding
  • Robust integrations with Google Analytics, CRM tools, and CDNs


  • A full end-to-end solution to increase your efficiency and revenue
  • Trusted by over 40,000 broadcaster, publishers, and other content creators
  • Comprehensive, real-time analytics
  • Highly reliable and customizable HTML5 video player
  • User-friendly CMS platform
  • High security standards, with 24/7 monitoring from the in-house Network Operations Center team, geo-blocking, URL token signing, studio-approved DRM
  • Great customer support


  • For small companies or new users, integrating JW Player might be time-intensive with a steeper learning curve than what they’re accustomed to


  • JW Player offers a 30-day free trial with full API & SDK access, non-commercial license, 25GB hosting/ 75GB streaming, real-time analytics and monetization options.

2. Kaltura

Kaltura is an open-source, self-hosted video CMS for ingesting, managing, publishing, and analyzing media content. It’s got a lot of customization options, great for an advanced user.

Kaltura provides plenty of tools for organizing your video content and video management for enterprises and educational institutions.


  • Customizable white-label video player
  • Video security tools, including DRM and encryption
  • Integrations with existing workflows and systems
  • Advanced video analytics


  • Plenty of customization options
  • Flexibility on features
  • Bulk ingestion and uploading
  • Virtual classroom is a good fit for educational institutions


  • Can be too complex for beginners
  • No clear pricing structure


No pricing information on Kaltura’s website, but there is a free trial.

3. Panopto

Panopto is another popular video content management system built for scalable video storage and video distribution. It is a particularly attractive platform to those in the educational sector to support learning via live streams.


  • CRM and learning management system (LMS) integrations
  • Engagement tools (for example quizzes)
  • Video analytics
  • Video API access
  • Video monetization via InPlayer integration


  • Auto-indexing of spoken words
  • China delivery
  • Great content categorization options


  • Lack of comprehensive security measures such as DRM support
  • Limited customization options for the video player


Panopto offers a Basic plan for individuals for free, Panopto Pro for $14.99/month, and a custom-priced Enterprise plan for organizations with 100+ users.

4. Brightcove

Brightcove offers a robust video CMS that lets you easily batch-edit and organize your video assets, and manage your smart playlists. It specializes in video solutions for digital enterprises.

Brightcove’s got a quick video publish feature, and plenty of video search criteria, including video grouping, custom metadata options, and tagging.


  • Full API access
  • Detailed analytics
  • Custom metadata
  • White-label HTML5 video player
  • Cloud transcoding


  • Integrations with leading CRM and CMS providers
  • Multi-account environment
  • Support for all video monetization models
  • User-friendly interface


  • No support for China video delivery


Brightcove offers custom-priced plans so you’ll need to contact their team directly for details.

5. Vimeo

Vimeo is one of the most popular video management systems, with a great range of streaming features for enterprise use. The platform offers on-demand and live video streaming and video monetization, however, some of the most useful features are included in its most expensive plans.

You can use it for marketing and sales videos, internal team communication, and growing a subscriber-only over-the-top (OTT) channel.


  • On-demand video hosting
  • Customizable embedded video player
  • Business-focused features for team collaboration, marketing, and analytics
  • Different permission levels
  • Screen recording


  • 100% ownership of your videos
  • Video monetization
  • White-label streaming
  • Lead generation tools and CRM integrations


  • It can get expensive with additional features
  • Some users report issues with customer support
  • Live streaming only on Advanced plan


Vimeo has a free trial and a free plan, as well as a Starter plan for £9/seat/month, Standard for £27/seat/month, Advanced for $51/seat/month, and Enterprise plan that is custom priced.

6. Wistia

Wistia is a video CMS designed for marketers and businesses who need an easy-to-use platform for video hosting, managing, and delivering VOD content.


  • Advanced video CMS
  • CRM and social media integrations
  • API access for customization
  • Embeddable video player


  • SEO-optimized embedding
  • Password protection
  • Computer-Generated Captions & Transcripts


  • No live streaming
  • Basic search criteria
  • No custom metadata


Wistia offers a Free plan with 200GB bandwidth, Plus plan for $24/month, Pro for $99, Advanced for $399, and Premium custom-priced.

7. IBM Cloud Video

IBM’s video streaming service is perfect for large-scale events and campaigns. The platform was created for external audiences, supports both on-demand and live video streaming, is reliable, scalable, and secure.


  • Smart playlists for video organization
  • AVOD video monetization
  • Support for workflows and video distribution
  • Real-time video analytics
  • Document indexing


  • Machine learning capabilities for accurate transcriptions
  • Custom metadata
  • Provides OTT services


  • Lacking in integrations
  • Doesn’t support internal video streaming
  • Can be difficult to use
  • Can be expensive


IBM Cloud Video offers four pricing plans: Silver $99/month, Gold £499/month, Platinum $999/month, and custom. It has a 30-day free trial.

Ready to accelerate your video strategy?

Whether you’re a pro broadcaster, a retailer, or a marketer, having a good video content management system will make your life – and your user’s life – so much easier.

There are many powerful video CMS options out there that can help you create great viewing experiences and monetize your video content for that extra income, so pick one that has all the functionalities you need.

If you’re ready to accelerate your video strategy with JW Player, get in touch with our experts.