Uscreen Review: VOD Features, Pros & Cons, and Pricing (2021)
In this detailed Uscreen review, I’m going to discuss Uscreen’s key features in detail, along with its pros and cons.
Let's get started with the in-depth review.
Uscreen is an all-in-one VOD and OTT platform that helps you host, market, distribute, and sell your videos. It also enables you to launch your own apps for both mobile and TV devices without paying any commissions.
The turnkey VOD platform got launched in 2015 and currently has a team of over 70 skilled individuals located worldwide. The video hosting platform also boasts of supporting 11,000 video creators and over 8.5 million end-users in 195 countries.
It allows you to create apps and monetize all types of videos, including fitness, educational, entertainment, eLearning, faith, ecommerce, etc.
The central data admin helps you manage every aspect of your video streaming business without any coding requirement. You don’t even need third-party tools to distribute and monetize your videos since everything is available to you in your dashboard.
Here’s a list of the features it provides to help you build and scale a streaming business:
- Branded Websites and Apps – You can personalize your website and apps to match your brand by using a theme, adding logos, changing colors, etc. You can also make advanced modifications with custom CSS and HTML.
- A Central Video CMS – The built-in content management system helps you upload, store, organize, and distribute your videos in a single place.
- Video Hosting – Uscreen provides free video hosting with all of its payment plans. However, you can add your custom domain if you want.
- Fast App Release – The OTT (Over-the-Top) service lets you distribute your videos to your own mobile and TV apps with time-to-launch averaging 30-60 days. There are no coding requirements.
- Live Streaming Platform – It provides a complete HD live streaming service directly from your admin area or OTT apps. You can even monetize your live streams.
- Video Monetizing grants access to versatile monetization options, including subscription plans, free offers, rentals, or pay-per-view.
- Video Marketing – Marketing features like coupons, upsells, lead generation tools, and more will help you increase your outreach and retain customers. You can also offer special discounts and gift cards to entice subscribers and cart abandoners.
- In-depth Analytics – You get access to detailed reporting and analytics to analyze video and author performance.
- Community Feature – The video platform lets you build a community around your content to engage customers. Respond to comments, manage conversations, and more from your dashboard.
- Information Resources – Uscreen offers multiple resources to help their video creators get familiar with the platform. They have a blog, video business school, podcast, help center, and a library. You can also refer to their FAQs section.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about encoding costs or additional bandwidth fees since their payment plans are inclusive of everything. You can upload your video content without worrying about hidden costs.
Table of Contents
Uscreen lets you upload, organize, and distribute your videos from a central admin area, which works as your video content management system.
It has built-in video hosting services to host your videos, which you can handle from the CMS.
Start by uploading your videos using the bulk uploader. Aside from videos, you can also upload audio files, documents, images, presentations, and even Live Streaming.
The process is pretty straightforward. Just head to the Content > Videos section from your dashboard and drag and drop your files into the upload area. You also get the option to upload videos directly from your Dropbox account.
It also allows you “continue where you left off” if you go offline or head to another page. You won’t lose your upload progress in any case.
They also provide quick transcoding and a 100% no buffering guarantee. However, make sure you’re using one of the supported browsers and limit your upload to 13GB at a time for quick results.
After uploading, you’ll get multiple options to help you optimize your video and customize its appearance. You can add your video titles, descriptions, subtitles and provide a downloading option to your viewers.
Everything is available to you under the “Video” section from your admin area.
You can also create playlists, collections, chapters and even organize your videos to create an entire series.
Besides, it also lets you control and schedule your content’s availability. You get the option to set a release date and an expiration date, and the actions you set will get completed automatically.
The CMS also allows you to:
- Upload custom thumbnails.
- Add captions and subtitles.
- Add basic SEO elements like meta-data and search tags.
- Sync with Vimeo and Wistia.
- Choose a trailer video.
- Set custom filters to help your viewers find what they’re looking for.
Plus, it has a geo-blocking feature that allows you to control access to your video content. You can restrict access to specific videos or even your entire website.
Note that Uscreen doesn't allow you to add other content types like assignments and quizzes. For that, you’ll need special online course platforms.
It primarily works as an OTT and VOD platform that allows you to host videos and create video-based membership sites.
All in all, I love how intuitive the entire platform is. The sidebar with all options is always available, allowing you to manage anything you want with a single click and navigate every setting readily.
Uscreen also helps you build and customize your own website for your video on demand business. You can use the website to host and promote your videos and even engage your audience.
It offers everything you need to create your website quickly, without any coding requirement. You get a visual website builder, pre-designed themes, automatic updates, free web hosting, and more.
Moreover, the themes are attractive, responsive, and mobile optimized. They also come with multiple web pages, such as a home page, checkout page, subscription page, and more. You’ll see that all of these pages are collectively referred to as your storefront in your CMS.
Once you select the theme you like, you can modify its appearance the way you want. You can customize the text, colors, images, and other branding elements.
Moreover, every theme has a wide array of blocks that include customizable elements like the main banner, the text under the banner, etc.
Most of the themes even allow you to add testimonials or videos to your site. Some even enable social media sharing right from the site’s homepage.
There are even options to preview your site on desktop and mobile devices (accessible from the top right corner).
Your homepage also lets you customize the SEO settings.
You'll be able to customize the SEO Title, Description, URL Handle, and Tags under:
- Video Collections
- Live Events
Note that there aren’t any tags available for the Categories and Authors section.
Uscreen also handles other hidden SEO settings, such as generating open graph meta tags, the mark-up on your web pages for H1 tags, etc.
The only downside is that you can’t add or even move around blocks on the pre-built themes. You can only modify the elements like text, colors, title, basic images, etc.
If you need to modify anything beyond this, you’ll have to get it custom coded in the in-built “Code Editor.”
Here are some other features for your website customization:
- Set your own custom domain.
- They handle web hosting for free.
- Translate your website in any language you want.
- A free SSL certificate is built into the checkout and sign-in page.
Uscreen also lets you launch your own OTT apps for smart TVs and mobile devices. Your viewers can watch your live streams, videos, series, and collections on these apps from anywhere they want.
The apps are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The video monetization platform also supports Smart TVs like Roku Box, AppleTV, Android TV & Amazon Fire TV.
Uscreen will do the heavy lifting that includes publishing, maintenance, and regular updates.
You also get complete branding freedom and the ability to modify the look and feel of the apps the way you need.
Additional app features include:
- Support for in-app purchases.
- In-app notifications.
- Live-stream feature.
- Offline viewing.
- In-depth analytics.
- The average release time is 30-60 days.
- Allows you to play audio while the phone is locked.
Additionally, you get the ability to launch your Apple watch app as well – which is a unique feature. This allows viewers to control the player from their wrist while working out.
Note that branded OTT apps are only available with the custom plan. And you may have to spend an extra amount to gain access to this feature.
Uscreen provides a complete marketing suite to help you promote your video streaming business. There are different tools for different scenarios, including retaining customers, cross-selling, upselling, reducing customer churn, abandoned cart recovery, etc.
Here’s a quick overview of all of the marketing tools you can leverage:
The Reduce Churn tool is an automated tool that helps you prevent cancellations and increase customer retention.
If a customer tries to cancel their subscription, they’ll get prompted to provide their feedback. This will help you identify why they’re canceling their subscription.
After that, the tool will automatically put the customer into the sequence of win-back offers and emails to retain them as paying subscribers.
Subscription upsell is another marketing tool that helps you increase the lifetime value of your existing customers.
For instance, if a customer purchases a monthly subscription, the tool will automatically display special discount offers on the annual purchase.
The prospect of getting special discounts gives the customers a big nudge towards making an annual purchase.
Such generous offers not only help you increase your revenue but also help you build customer loyalty.
Leadzen is a built-in auto-funnel and lead generation tool that helps you turn leads into paying customers.
It helps you set up automated sequences that help you grow your email list and persuade the customer to make a final purchase.
To start with, it provides optimized and responsive landing page templates and a landing page builder to create landing pages.
The landing page builder is also intuitive and easy to use. You can also customize it and see results simultaneously while making modifications. There’s also a preview option for desktop and mobile devices.
These landing pages will help you grow your email list by enticing visitors and persuading them to share their emails with you.
You can do so by adding free giveaways, flash sales, and more to your landing page.
You’ll be able to configure automated emails to nurture newly acquired leads. The collected emails get stored in the Leadzen tool, and you can download the list anytime you want. You can also connect Leadzen to any of your existing membership platforms.
It lets you create special coupons and discount offers and use them with subscriptions, specific videos, or bundles. You can also set an expiration date and even limit the number of users that can redeem your offers.
These coupons help you nurture leads, retain customers, increase revenue, enable upsells, and more.
This tool helps you capture and bring back your almost-subscribers. These subscribers abandoned their cart at the last moment – right before the checkout.
When enabled, it will automatically send emails that offer discounts in a last-ditch attempt to retain cart abandoners. It should help you reel them back in and get them to complete their checkout process.
You can even choose the offer type and discount amount – and leave the rest to the automated tool.
The customer will receive a series of automated emails at set intervals. For example, the first email gets sent after 15 minutes of cart abandonment, the second email after six hours, and the third and the final email after a day.
The best part is that Uscreen provides ready-to-use email templates. However, you can modify the content if you want to change the tone of the email.
Uscreen also provides access to a library of email templates that you can find under Settings > Email Templates.
These templates can prove convenient when specific situations arise (confirming an order, inviting a customer, payment failed, etc.).
And that’s not all.
The turnkey VOD platform also allows you to offer gift cards and reinstate free trials to leads who didn’t convert the first time. If a potential customer needs more time beyond the expiry of the free trial, another session might help them make up their mind.
Uscreen gives you a lot of freedom to set your payment structure for your VOD business.
When you upload a video, you can set up the pricing under the Content >> Pricing tab.
You get access to all of these monetization models:
- Subscription plans (monthly, annually, and more).
- Enable one-time purchase.
- Rental price.
- Lifetime access for a one-time fee.
- Free trial periods.
You can also monetize using two or all of these options simultaneously. Uscreen gives you complete monetization freedom – it’s up to you how you want to monetize your VOD business.
You can also offer your videos for free if you want by selecting the “Free for everyone” option while setting up your pricing.
Aside from versatile monetization options, Uscreen also offers tons of incentives to persuade your viewers to make the final purchase.
For example, it allows you to monetize your live streams by advertising them and charging for access in advance. Built-in elements like timers can also help you excite your audience and create a sense of urgency.
There are also options to create special offers and discount coupons to build loyalty. And it’s all so simple and straightforward since everything is managed in one admin dashboard.
Finally, they provide a conversion-optimized checkout flow that includes built-in sales and ready-to-use checkout pages.
Other monetization-based features include:
- OTT in-app purchases.
- Upsells and cross-sells.
- The ability to track royalties and payouts.
- The ability to monitor customer lifetime value.
- Integration with “Rewardful” to help you create your own affiliate programs.
Uscreen provides seamless integration with three major payment apps – PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.
It also lets you accept credit cards, disregarding the currency and the origin. Uscreen also enables payment in over 130 currencies, which helps you do business in any country of your choice.
If none of these options work, your viewer can also process the payment through Uscreen’s Payment gateway.
Other features include secured SSL checkout, the ability to track your sales, pre-designed checkout pages, and more.
Uscreen’s analytics section offers a broad overview of your subscribers’ activity, including an insight into their watch-time per device.
You can also filter the watch time by videos, collections, countries, and devices. The Data on the tab also gets updated every 24 hours to help you stay up to date.
You will also be able to find out which of your videos are performing well so that you can focus on replicating them.
The analytics go hand-in-hand with Uscreen’s marketing tools. For example, you can check out the statistics and results of your “reduce churn” automation. You’ll be able to identify metrics like your Monthly Recurring Revenue and Saved Subscribers.
Managing royalties and payouts for your affiliate program is also easy using Authors analytics. The report taps into your customers’ behavior to track total plays and seconds played for videos assigned to each author or video content creator.
This will help you distribute payouts to affiliates accordingly.
If you’d like all of these stats and analytics in spreadsheet form, click on the Export CSV to download the reports.
Leadzen – Uscreen’s built-in lead generation tool – also provides access to in-depth analytics.
It will give you a clear picture of details like:
- How many visitors submitted the lead capture form?
- How many leads opened the welcome email?
- How many leads visited the giveaway page? Or the promo page?
Other than your marketing and video views, Uscreen also provides reports for your sales activities. You’ll be able to view all your invoices and financial reporting in one place.
The video platform provides access to the following sales reports:
- Invoices – To help you manage your customers’ financial transactions.
- Annual Sales Report – Determine how your business is performing every year.
- Monthly Sales Report – Determine how your business is performing every month.
- Coupons Report – See coupon redemption rate over time.
- Payouts Report – See your payouts from Uscreen payments and PayPal.
Uscreen’s full HD live streaming feature can help you to offer your audience an interactive viewing experience. The live streaming feature also helps you grow your community and lets you stream your events on the web, mobile apps, or OTT TV apps.
You can also enable the Live Chat option when you set up your live stream event. You’ll find the option to “Enable Live Chat” under the Details tab of the Content >> Live Event section.
The Live Chat can help you engage and interact with your audiences via a real-time chatbox. You can encourage conversations, respond to comments, and even report inappropriate comments with a single click. You can also delete comments and block users.
Here’s how your viewers see your live chat:
You’ll also be able to see the number of total participants and current active viewers.
Setting up a live event is also easy, and you can do it by heading to the Content >> Live Event tab. Next, add elements like the event title, event start date, full description, information for the pre-registration screen, etc.
You can also use timers and display your registration options in advance to increase urgency and build excitement amongst your user base. Once the Live Event is open for pre-registration, it will automatically get listed on your video catalog page.
You can also monetize your Live Event by choosing to include them in your subscription packages, enable one-time purchase, offer them as a bundle or via a pay-per-view paywall. Or you may offer them for free.
If you plan to host regular live events, you can add a custom live events page to your website and list all your upcoming events. There’s an option that enables viewers to add your events to their personal calendars.
To grow your event’s attendance, you can also set up email notifications and push notifications to the apps. Your subscribers will get notified every time you stream an event.
Other live streaming features include:
- Your live streams get recorded automatically.
- Make them available on demand right after the event.
- Build engagement with a pre-sales page.
- Multi-bitrate adaptive streaming for consistent video quality regardless of the bandwidth or location.
Note that your live stream will not play on Roku or AppleTV without an OTT app. You can stream your live events on mobile devices with or without an app, but they can’t play on TV without an app.
Delivering an excellent user-end experience is equally, if not more, essential as the backend of the VOD software.
Uscreen comes with a built-in HTML5 video player that provides:
- Fast delivery.
- White-labeled experience.
- Full HD video quality.
- Speed controls.
- Multi-bitrate HLS streaming.
- Support for VTT captions and screen readers.
Powered by a leading global CDN, Akamai, the platform also ensures a secure and quick video delivery to your audiences. There’s no need to worry about video buffering either, disregarding the region.
Uscreen provides integration with all types of third-party business tools, such as marketing tools, email marketing services, chatbots, affiliate integrations, data analytics software, etc.
You can easily find the available native integrations under the Settings > Integrations tab.
Extensive native integrations eliminate the need to switch to different apps and dashboards. For instance, native integration with third-party payments apps like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net enables a hassle-free checkout process.
Other famous integrations include MailChimp, Zapier, Constant Contact, Salesforce, Google Sheets, Slack, Google Analytics, etc.
Aside from native integrations, you can further connect Uscreen with thousands of apps using Zapier integration and Uscreen API.
Uscreen has three payment plans and a 14-day free trial that costs $1 only.
The subscription plans include:
- Basic – $49 per month
- Amplify – $399 per month
- Enterprise – Customizable, quote-based plan
Note that these prices are applicable only for annual subscriptions. Uscreen pricing jumps if you opt for a monthly plan – the $49/month plan jumps to $99/month, and the $399/month plan jumps to $499/month.
Also, the first two plans don’t provide access to branded OTT apps. If your sole purpose is to use Uscreen as an OTT platform, then you’ll have to contact their team to get quotes for the Enterprise plan.
The Video on Demand platform has its fair share of pros and cons. I’m sharing a list of all benefits and downsides I discovered while reviewing it.
- Visual website and landing page builder.
- Pre-designed, mobile-friendly website themes.
- Transparent pricing with one predictable fee.
- Get paid instantly or with only a slight delay.
- No additional bandwidth, streaming, or encoding costs.
- Full control of your customers’ data or any additional information.
- Affordable plans compared to many of its competitors.
- Built-in billing and integration with payment tools like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net
- Uses Akamai, the same CDN as Netflix and Youtube use.
- Integration with over 1000 apps directly from the platform.
- A 14-day free trial at $1.
- 24/7 customer support via email.
- Uscreen doesn’t support ad-based video on demand monetization.
- Their Basic Plan offers three customizable website themes. Unless you hire a web developer, your choices are limited with the website builder.
In this Uscreen review, I covered all of its key features in detail, along with the pricing plans and pros and cons.
Uscreen is one of the biggest players in the VOD platforms space. It’s affordable and provides access to marketing tools, multiple video monetization options, website themes, website editor video hosting functionality, and more for as low as $49/month.
It also allows you to launch your own branded OTT apps on mobile and smart TV devices, albeit for a much higher rate.
All in all, it has all features you need to build a successful video on demand and video streaming business. Another great thing is that every feature is available in a central admin area. Moreover, the admin area also has a CMS that lets you manage your video library.
And you can even get access to its 14-day free trial if you’re still not sure about this video platform. The free trial will help you see firsthand whether Uscreen's platform aligns with your requirements or not.