Uscreen Review: VOD Features, Pros & Cons, and Pricing – And just like YouTube, Uscreen was created with amazing features to help video content creators, businesses, organizations, and influencers all over the world spread their content to the billions of people on earth and earn income in the process. Yeah, I mentioned YouTube earlier but that was to give you a glimpse of what kind of people Uscreen is open to. But the thing is, Uscreen is kind of a hybrid — it is a twist of both YouTube and Netflix. That’s why we are excited to give a Uscreen review.
So, it all started in the year 2014, in the United States of America when Uscreen founder, PJ Taei, put together a team to build a unique video-streaming platform. A platform to help individuals and businesses monetize their videos. Up until this year, Uscreen has amassed more than 10,000 businesses and individuals who use the platform to distribute and sell their videos online.
What makes Uscreen a hybrid is that it lets you create your own Netflix — it offers you all the possibilities of creating your brand and pushing out your videos for people to watch on a subscription. Uscreen is a VOD and an OTT platform. Okay, let’s break it down. VOD stands for Video on Demand. A Video on Demand platform is any video streaming platform that lets viewers select the movie or show they would like to watch among other movies or shows.
On the other hand, an OTT (Over The Top) platform is a video streaming platform that lets a viewer stream a TV show or watch a movie over the internet anytime they request it.
So, in our Uscreen review, we will be talking about Uscreen’s features, pros and cons, and pricing.
Stick to the end.
Features it provides for building and scaling streaming businesses
1. Branded websites and apps
Uscreen offers remarkable features to help both businesses distribute their videos to people who need them. One great feature you can get from signing up with Uscreen is the ability to create branded websites and apps. Congratulations, you don’t have to break a sweat while creating one because the creation process has been automated.
Easy Branded websites to use
Speaking of branded websites, Uscreen offers you a limited amount of attractive and responsive website templates to choose from. The branded websites serve as your video library which houses your videos for viewers to select and watch.
The templates are easy to set up and in a few minutes, your site is up and running. You also have the choice to further customize how your website should look by selecting colors, uploading cover photos, your logo, etc. If you are technically inclined, you can also make modifications using custom HTML and CSS.
Support Apps for different platforms
When it comes to apps, Uscreen doesn’t also let you think of the technicalities involved. Depending on your plan, you can opt for an app. Uscreen offers apps for both mobile phones and smart TVs all you have to do is choose which app platform you would like your video library to be made available for.
Uscreen can help businesses reach more viewers by distributing their video library as an app on either of the popularly used operating system platforms.
2. Video hosting
Uscreen is a video hosting platform that has attracted over 10,000 users. The Video on Demand and Over-the-top platforms help you host your video catalog for viewers to access.
Although Uscreen can be compared to popular video-hosting platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Brightcove, and Vidyard, it still has an edge over them by letting you directly monetize your videos and using more professional ways to get your videos in the front of potential viewers.
Upload, store, and convert your videos
For any plan that you subscribe for, Uscreen will help you set up your website by offering you customizable themes to choose from. After setting up your website or storefront, you can start storing, converting, or uploading your videos from your local computer or using Dropbox.
Just like YouTube, these uploaded videos are made available on demand by anyone who wishes to watch them but the difference is that the viewers will be watching your videos on your branded website or your OTT branded app by Uscreen.
3. Fast App release
It is not too easy for most people to build apps. And the duration to set up an error-free app can take a while, sometimes, exceeding 40 days. Sometimes, the release date for your app can vary depending on the operating system you are building the app for.
For instance, it can take longer to build an Android app and get everything done, working properly, and hosted on the Google play store, than iOS apps. This can also apply to other operating systems on mobile phones and smart TVs.
App release schedule can be greatly affected by the operating system’s reviewing team. But they promise fast delivery as soon as possible
When it comes to app releases, Uscreen promises an average schedule of 45 – 60 days of delivery. App releases can also be done earlier than the estimated number of days and sometimes, it can take 60 days to deliver.
The reason for a fluctuation in the estimated number of days is because the operating system platform review team Uscreen is building your app for will have to review your app to check if it meets their standards before Uscreen can finally complete your app development. In all, Uscreen promises to launch apps as fast as possible.
So, to get your app up and running, you have to start by filling out the form Uscreen provides. In the form, you will be asked for certain images and texts that would make up your app. The rest process is usually automated, you don’t need to think of a single line of code. If you want to have more than one app, that is, for different platforms, you will have to fill out each of their forms individually.
4. Video monetizing
So, we have always said that Uscreen is your own branded Netflix. But how exactly is that possible? Aside from the branded website and OTT branded app you get to distribute your videos, you can earn income from monetizing your videos.
Uscreen helps every content creator, influencer, business, or organization turn their video content into a massive business by granting Uscreen subscribers access to your premium videos which should, in turn, earn you income as subscribers watch videos on demand.
More distribution always means more income.
Thanks to the OTT branded apps, you can get your brand listed on most smart TV and mobile platforms and have people subscribe and watch your videos on TV just like they do on Netflix, Hulu, Disney, and other premium movies and TV platforms.
Uscreen offers several tools to aid businesses to generate revenue from their video content. The monetization options are almost endless — ranging from rentals to one-time payments, and subscriptions, to in-app purchases, and more. Every content creator has full control over his pricing and content monetization allowing businesses and individuals to create offers.
Support for 100+ countries’ currency and payment gateways.
Uscreen has support for over 100 countries’ currencies using some of the notable payment gateways to make subscribers have the freedom to pay for content. To add to that, Uscreen boasts a transparent pricing policy with one predictable fee. That means Uscreen will have a little commission from your income.
In addition, you will also have to deal with paying the payment gateways their commission for their service rendered.
5. Live streaming platform
Uscreen can also serve as a live streaming platform without latency. This is usually great if you want to show or teach your viewers something in real-time. You can also take advantage of this by offering your viewers a chance to watch reality shows and live chat on all platforms including the web, TV apps, and mobile apps.
Also as a live streaming platform, you don’t need to have a separate live streaming web hosting or video hosting plan to be able to stream live video content on Uscreen. All cost for that live streaming has been covered in your payment plan.
By default, Uscreen will Optimize live video streaming for all devices that can access the web and support live video streaming. Live streaming can be done on mobile phones with or without an app but when it comes to smart TVs, you will be needing an OTT app on it before you can stream live video.
To go live, all you need is to pay for Uscreen’s membership, have an HD digital camera, and an RTMP-enabled decoder that should send your live stream to Uscreen. If you are starting to feel that this is going to be too technical for you, you can always contact Uscreen’s support team to walk you through the process.
6. A central video CMS
Uscreen is a central video Content Management System (CMS) that lets content creators upload, deliver, and organize all their video content in one place. Uploading and managing videos on Uscreen is incredibly easy, fast, and straightforward.
After paying for your membership, you get to have your admin panel where you can manage and upload your video content. There, you can make any updates to your videos, assign them to a collection, and any extra you wish to do to them will be automatically reflected on your website and all your apps in an instant.
Uscreen lets you upload subtitles too
Uscreen also lets you add subtitles to your videos this way, your viewers do not mistake a single word that you say. Don’t know how? You can achieve that by accessing the backend on the Content Management System. Locate the video you will like to add a subtitle too. You can do that by following this approach: Content >> Videos >> Click edit.
Then, you will have to scroll down and click on upload subtitles and then upload your subtitles. Before uploading please be sure that your file’s format is VTT. If not, it is not going to work.
- Video marketing
On Uscreen, you will be exposed to several options to market your videos. You can market your videos and increase your reach and retain your viewers by using marketing features like upsells, lead generation, coupons, and so on. You can also create offers and give special discounts or gift cards to keep subscribers glued to your storefront and discourage cart abandonment.
With the features Uscreen offers in video marketing, just anyone can launch their video content creation business, grow their reach, and retain subscribers. You can launch your sales and product pages l, build your marketing funnels whilst using powerful integrations and built-in automation.
Uscreen helps you stay ahead of your competitors by offering you marketing integrations to make video marketing easier. Creating landing pages and setting up email automation can be achieved easily using built-in integrations.
8. In-depth Analytics
Sure, almost every huge platform like Uscreen makes use of in-depth analytics to help the user make decisions and track their progress. Analytics helps both individuals and businesses to know if whatever strategy they are trying out is working or not.
With charts and any other pictorial representation of data, analytics let businesses and individuals know what the next step to take would be, know what geographical location they are getting popular at and what geography location isn’t giving them any attention.
Uscreen gives in-depth reports.
Uscreen offers a broad overview of all subscriber’s activities on your site or app. The reports can help both businesses and individuals strategize and re-strategize. On Unscreen, you get to receive several reports on how your videos are performing on different levels.
You will get reports on your total watch time all your videos are getting both from your website, mobile apps, and smart TVs. Also, you will get to know how many views you get each day on your video page. Uscreen also lets you know how many views and watch time (in minutes) a single video is getting and how many views and watch time a collection is getting.
If you have more than one author on your brand, then Uscreen will let you know the total watch time and views an author is getting on the platform. Plus, you also get to know what devices the most subscribers are using to watch your content and what countries are giving you the most views.
Uscreen can have a limitation in calculating data and giving reports from smart TV apps, except for Roku TV (version 2.1 and higher). Right now, analytics are done from only websites and mobile apps.
9. Community features
A community is a group of people who share a common interest, belief, or attitude towards a thing. Online communities are people gathered on the internet to talk and share their ideas, and show how much they love and support a thing or movement.
Uscreen offers the opportunity for businesses and influencers to grow their business and reach by letting them build a community of die-hard fans. With the community feature, a business can grow a following that can help them market their products and make sales faster than they can imagine. Thanks to Uscreen, this is made easy by making comments and reactions available so that businesses and content creators can engage with their audience.
This Video on Demand (VOD) and Over-the-top (OTT) platform lets you build a community of dedicated followers around your content and engage with them by responding to their comments, managing conversations, and reacting to their chats.
Building a community can help increase sales, and make subscribers feel like they belong and are retained. It spikes up more content engagement. In fact, through the feedback of community members, businesses and individuals get ideas for their next content which can help them create better products.
Key Features of Uscreen
Since its launch date, Uscreen has been one of the most used platforms for a Netflix-like experience for small businesses and content creators because of its key features. So, in this Uscreen review, we shall be talking about the key features of Uscreen, honestly.
1. Video CMS
Uscreen has one of the robust all-in-one video content management systems where you can upload, manage, and organize your videos. You also have the option of adding subtitles to your videos. Another feature we can celebrate in Uscreen’s video content management system is that you can continue with your previous tasks where you left them when you went offline or wander off the page.
Uscreen’s content management system is great at hosting videos either in bulk or just a single video. You can also organize videos into collections and attach PDFs and workbooks to each video or for all the videos in the collection. After choosing your video content and materials you may wish to attach to your video, Uscreen will automatically distribute your video content across all your platforms.
Live video streaming and On-demand playback
You can go live and let your community engage with you in real-time, with a click of a button. Your live events are recorded and made available to subscribers on demand. A leading CDN powers Uscreen’s video delivery for all users to their audiences. So, no matter where your audience’s physical location is, they will always enjoy their videos in high quality — zero latency, only 100 percent buffering assured.
Video content scheduling
Video content scheduling is another thing you could do in Uscreen’s content management system. Video scheduling saves you the time to manually upload and organize your videos. All you have to do is upload all the videos you wish to publish, allocate them to a collection, attach the files you wish to attach to them and set the publishing date. When the publishing date reaches for each video, Uscreen will publish your videos automatically.
You can also set an expiration date for your video content, when the date for your video is unpublished, Uscreen will automatically remove your video and/or your collection from your catalog.
Manage everything in one place
The sole goal of Uscreen’s content management system is to help you manage everything in one place and deliver a seamless experience across all devices.
Some ways Uscreen helps businesses and individuals achieve this are:
- Custom thumbnails
You can upload your custom thumbnails to your catalog to improve your engagements by organizing your catalog visually.
On the content management system, you can add subtitles to your videos to help your viewers not mistake your words. Viewers also have the option to turn it off or on while on the player.
Uscreen lets you add meta-data to all your videos, category, and collection to aid SEO rankings. This will help subscribers find your content faster if it matches their search interest.
- Smart playlist
With the Uscreen content management system, you can build smart playlists containing chapters or organize your videos in series and/or episodes.
You can set access rules to specific subscribers from a particular zone for either a specific video or for your whole catalog. With this, you can control who has access to your catalog.
2. Website builder
One thing worth mentioning in our Uscreen review is the fact that you can get a fully customizable branded website up and running with no coding skill needed. All the websites are fully customizable and responsive. You have total control to choose your theme color, add logo, and images, and create your unique look. In general, it is really easy and fast to set up.
The website builder can let you do the following:
- Built-in check out and sales pages
With the builder, you can build sales pages and checkout pages that will smooth out every customer purchase experience. The built-in checkout and sales pages are unique and are optimized for conversions.
- Set your domain
By default, you will have your domain hosted for free by Uscreen. Primary, your domain name will be a default Uscreen domain URL. But Uscreen still lets you customize your domain name to whatever name you wish.
No need to worry about separate hosting, Uscreen will host all your content for you with no extra expense.
- Set your preferred language
To fully customize your site and apps, you have the choice to change your preferred language from English to any spoken language in the world.
- SSL certificate
Uscreen proves to be a safe and protected platform. They also extend security to all the branded websites by installing an SSL certificate.
3. Branded OTT Apps
Yes, we have talked about how you can create branded OTT Apps using Uscreen. You can upload, launch, and stream your apps on multiple platforms which will help distribute your video content among the millions of subscribers on the platform.
The branded OTT Apps will help you deliver your video content over the internet instead of satellite or on cable TV. This makes it easy for subscribers to stream your content on mobile phones and smart TVs. According to Uscreen, the branded OTT Apps should boast your revenue, giving you up to 50 percent more user engagement and up to 30 percent more sales.
Uscreen support multiple operating system platforms; for mobile, Uscreen support OTT apps for Android and iOS. And for smart TVs, they support Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku TV. Plus, the Apple Watch fitness tracker gives you the advantage of getting your branded app on the wrist of subscribers.
General Branded OTT Apps features
Uscreen apps are supported across all platforms — mobile, tablet, PC, and TV. These features are seen, generally on all platforms. Subscribers will be able to:
- Keep their audio playing even while their phones are locked
- Begin watching from where they left off
- Get some offline functionality
- Get in-app purchases
- Get in-app notifications
- Get a better Video on Demand (VOD) experience
4. Video marketing tools
Uscreen offers great ways to promote your business by making incredible video marketing tools available for content creators to harness. With Uscreen, businesses can and individuals can create sales funnels, upsells and downsells, and give offers, which will generate and convert leads.
Some of the video marketing tools that Uscreen makes available are:
- Upsells and downsells
- Subscription tools
- Landing pages
- Email automation
- Gift cards
- Marketing integrations
Uscreen will grow businesses in 3 steps:
The first step for every content creator of business is to launch their branded website and/or apps using easily made and customizable themes and templates. Setting up a website and app doesn’t need to be technical, Uscreen does everything automatically. Although, setting up your branded OTT app can take a lot of time (which is usually 45 – 60 days) while your branded website can be set up in minutes.
Uscreen offers its members an array of video marketing tools to grow your business and earn income. With the several marketing tools made available, one can create sales funnels, landing pages, email automation, etc to sell products or services to subscribers who might need them.
Through the blog and other knowledge base platforms, Uscreen teaches its members how to use the built-in retention tools to keep customers coming back. You can use the abandoned cart automation and win-back flows to remove churn and increase the experience of customers.
5. Video Monetization
Uscreen has always been seen as a platform that offers services like Netflix, but what’s different is its support for every content creator. It is seen as a platform that helps individuals and small businesses create and host their video branding catalog either as a website, an app, or both.
Some of the ways Uscreen helps content creators monetize their videos are through:
Content creators and businesses can earn money by putting up their content for people to watch for a recurring fee. Viewers have to pay a subscription fee to be able to have access to videos. This subscription anyways has expiring date and viewers have to keep subscribing if they want access to the videos. Subscriptions are usually done monthly or annually.
On Uscreen, content creators can charge money from viewers to watch their video content for a limited time. Once the time elapses, the money paid by the viewer will be expired. And if the viewer wishes to make another payment for certain videos, he can.
Not every viewer wants to watch all your videos on the catalog by making a monthly or yearly subscription. A few are there to only watch one video. This is where pay-per-view comes in. Content creators can offer viewers an option to pay-per-view for a video.
Content creators can create bundles for a one-time payment for a series of videos or categories. This seems like a cheaper option than others on the list.
- Free trial
Free trials are a good way to entice subscribers to have a taste of how your content can be of help to them and then, leave them hanging and wanting for more. Content creators use free trials to allow viewers to enjoy limited access to videos.
- Lifetime access
Content creators and businesses can offer lifetime access, which is usually a one-time payment, to viewers.
6. Payment gateways
Primarily, Uscreen offers only 3 payment gateways — Authorize.net, Stripe, and Uscreen’s very own payment gateway. PayPal is a secondary option that can be set after you are done setting one primary payment gateway.
You can make use of your credit card through Stripe, Authorise.net, or Uscreen’s payment gateway to make payments on the platform. If Stripe is not supported in your country, then using Uscreen’s payment gateway can stand to be a better option as it supports over 130 currencies.
7. Analytics and Reporting
Uscreen does an overview of analytics and reporting for content creators and businesses on all platforms on which their videos have been hosted. Analytics band reports are usually refreshed every 24 hours to keep you up with the latest happenings on your video content.
If you want to be looking at a graphical representation of your analytics, you can only have a full report of, highest, 12 months.
Uscreen usually rolls out reports on different aspects of your content performance. Some of the places you will be getting reports on include:
Uscreen let content creators know which device gives them the highest watch time and views.
Members can get reports of which countries drive them the most traffic. This can help content creators and businesses take more strategic actions for better outcomes or sales.
In a brand where there is more than one content author, Uscreen also gives you a report about how many views and watch time each author gets.
Uscreen also gives you reports about how your collections are performing — which collections are having the highest views and watch time. This gives a report of the cumulative watch time and views of all the videos in a collection.
You will get to know the overall watch time and views per video.
All the views a video gets per day.
- Watch time
The total watch time of all your videos hosted on the web and apps.
8. Live streaming
Uscreen boast to be a powerful live video streaming platform. You can stream uninterrupted HD videos across all platforms including the web, mobile apps, and TVs. Using the array of video monetizing features made available by Uscreen, you can choose to monetize your live video streaming just the way you want it.
As you stream live, you can also take the opportunity to build your community by engaging with your audience on live chat, just as your video is going on. On Uscreen, you can also let your subscribers know beforehand that you would be going live by giving them an in-app notification alert or an email so they don’t miss out on your event.
More features for live streaming
You can make a cool effect by creating a live event countdown to let your subscribers know how much time is left before you go live.
Your live stream is automatically recorded to Video on Demand (VOD) and made available after the event for anytime a subscriber wants to view it.
You can create a buzz about your event by creating a pre-registration page and pre-sales pages to build engagement beforehand.
- Live chat
Of course, you also have the live chat feature which will let you engage with your viewers immediately, in real-time. The live chat box is usually situated at the corner of the live stream. On the bright side, engaging with your audience immediately on live chat can offer ideas and insight into a thing.
9. HTML5 online video player
The Uscreen’s HTML5 online video player offers crisps, secured, and smooth video playback. The full HD player is perfectly optimized to reduce latency and distribute videos across all devices in any part of the world.
Aside from all those jargon, you can do stuff with Uscreen’s video player. Like, you can create chapters, episodes, or a playlist that should automatically transition smoothly to the next video when the last one is done, according to your settings.
Other features in the HTML5 online video player
- Cast to TV
You can broadcast to either or both Chromecast and Apple Airplay directly from your Uscreen video player.
Viewers can adjust the speed of their video content.
- Closed captions
As a content creator, you can add subtitles to your videos and let viewers deactivate them if they don’t need them.
- CDN Delivery
Uscreen’s video player is powered by two global CDNs which makes it possible to distribute videos to any device anywhere in the world without having to buffer.
Viewers can easily resize their video player to a drag-able size while they run through other stuff with your video sticking to a corner of their screen — this doesn’t let them miss a thing even when they wander off your page.
10. Third-Party Integrations
Third-party integrations is also a huge part of Uscreen. The platform happens to own massive third-party integrations with various other platforms to aid email marketing, accurate analytics, marketing, etc.
For instance, Uscreen integrates with Stripe, Authorize.net, and PayPal to offer various payment gateway options for users to choose from. For extensive productivity, other platforms like MailChimp, Slack, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zapier, etc. have been integrated into the platform. If you don’t know how many native integrations are available for you, you can check it out by following this step: settings >> integrations.
Uscreen offers 3 pricing plans (which are recurring) to people who want to become members and a 14-days trial to test the platform if it is right for you. Of course, you will have some limitations. The 3 pricing plans are:
- Uscreen Plus
Basic is the basic pricing plan that you can purchase to become a member on Uscreen. Uscreen lets you pay a monthly payment or annually. If you want to go for a monthly payment, you will be spending $99 every month.
But if you choose to make an annual payment, you will be saving yourself a whole 20 percent of the total sum. This means that you will be making a one-time payment of $948 for a year, saving you $240.
Basic plan features
Here are what you will be getting on the basic plan:
- 50hrs of video storage
- 1 admin user
- 1 1-1 onboarding session
- Email support
- Customizable website
- Flexible pricing options
- Accept credit cards & Paypal
- Marketing tools & automation
- Business & customer analytics
- Uscreen Accelerator Program
The growth plan is the mid-tier plan and is the most purchased plan for small businesses. This plan goes for $199 per month. If you are willing to make a one-time annual payment of $1,908, you will be saving $480.
Growth plan features
- 150 hours of video storage
- 10 admin users
- 3 1-1 onboarding sessions
- Chat & email support
- eCommerce integration
- Zapier & Webhooks
- 3rd party integrations
- Affiliate integrations
- Free migrations
- And every other thing in the Basic plan
3. Uscreen Plus
- Uscreen Plus is the highest tier in the pricing plan and is mostly targeted at businesses. The pricing isn’t specified, instead, you will have to call the customer service line to discuss the features that are best for your business and their cost. You can also choose to ask for a demo to have an experience of what you will be getting.
Features of Uscreen Plus plan
- Mobile apps
- TV streaming apps
- Live streaming & chat
- Live streaming analytics
- White-labeled branding
- Dedicated account management
- Support for your customers
- API support
Uscreen Pros and Cons
As much-praised this platform has received, while running this Uscreen review, we have also found out that there is a downside to using Uscreen.
- Okay customer support
- Availability of a 14-days trial
- Native integrations with the most popular and usable platforms
- Uses good CDN to distribute videos
- Support for over 100 currencies
- Great analytics and reporting
- No additional side charges
- Fast payments
- Predictable fee and transparent pricing
- Customizable and responsive branded website themes
- Website and landing page builder
- Slow websites
- Few payment methods
- Few themes to choose from
- No support for ad-based videos
Uscreen is one platform that has amassed a lot of reviews since its launch. This is because it is created for something spectacular worth talking about — helping video content creators sell their videos online. With Uscreen, you don’t need to struggle to appear on the screens of Netflix, Hulu, and the likes, Uscreen empowers content creators to become independent and earn 100 percent of all the income they make from selling their videos.
In this Uscreen review, I can say that I have covered everything that makes Uscreen what it is. Although Uscreen can be put side-by-side with other platforms like it, there is good stuff that makes Uscreen stand out and there is also bad stuff that makes Uscreen a flop.