What are the different types of video API?

As demand for seamless video experiences grows, video APIs are becoming increasingly popular. Companies are racing to develop innovative ways to deliver content to their customers. This requires developers to continuously build video applications to keep up.

Using a reliable video API service enable developers to build video applications faster. Different video API services are suited for distinct video product requirements. This article will discuss different types of video API with examples so you can choose the right type of video API service that fit your needs.

What is a video API?

A video API enables you to create, store, analyze, and distribute video files based on API mechanism. Different video API solves specific problems. The features of a video API may not be limited to above and may include other features like analytics, live streaming, etc.. depending on the provider. Here is an example to further clarify how a video API works:

You want to add a video streaming feature in your product. Instead of building the infrastructure yourself, you can use a video streaming API provider that takes care of back-end technicalities like maintenance, storage, and other difficulties. This way, you can focus on building your product and user experience.

Why use a video API?

A recent survey led by HubSpot revealed that audiences engage higher with video content over other forms of communication like emails, or blogs. As the number of content increases, there should be an efficient process to generate, store and deliver content to the users.

Video applications are foundational layers that enable the seamless delivery and usability of this content. Most apps on your phone or browser are video applications or have a feature that enables viewing these videos. But, building these video applications can be hard, costly, and may take a long time. This is where video API can help you build your product faster.

What are different types of video API?

[Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all video API categories. For a complete list of video API categories, you can find in an API listing site like Rapid API. The examples below may offer other that features that is not mentioned below. For more ]

Video Streaming API

Video streaming is the continuous transmission of video files allowing users to watch videos without having to download the entire file. Popular apps like YouTube and Netflix are examples of video streaming.

Video streaming APIs allow anyone to build and add streaming features to their product. They take care of encoding, storage, and delivery for the end-user so developers don't need to build from scratch. A streaming API handles the back-end functionality and supports control over product customization.


Video Editing API

Video editing API enables developers to edit and deliver customized media content to their end-users. Most editing API takes can quickly render multiple videos in the cloud infrastructure and optimize delivery through CDNs. This whole process happens quickly that it looks like real-time personalized content generation.

A robust video editing API supports complex editing capabilities, reliable hosting, video encoding, high-performance rendering, and multi-channel integration. With a proper video editing API, developers can integrate interactive video capabilities and develop reliable video products faster.


Live Video Streaming API

Live streaming is streaming video files but in real-time, without being first recorded or stored. The entire streaming process including compression, encoding, segmentation, CDN caching, etc… is done within seconds so that it feels like real-time.

On the downside, the process of building a live streaming product from scratch is challenging and resource intensive. Using a robust live streaming API to develop live streaming products or as a feature in your product can be the faster solution.


Video Platform API

A Video Platform API is an all-inclusive service that includes streaming capabilities, a video player, and a CMS that can deliver most video delivery requirements. This includes core services like encoding and delivery with additional features like a pre-built CMS.

** There are two types of video Platform APIs: **

Locked Video Platform API:

This type of Video Platform API doesn't allow to fully customize platform features like the video player UI, CMS, workflow, and monetization in some cases, etc. Although they provide all the platform features. Mostly, they are an extension feature of the main product.


Customizable Video Platform API

Also known as Online Video Platform (OVP), this type of platform provider supports all-inclusive services like the above but also allows additional customization features to the videos application. For example, a custom branded video player, full control over monetization, etc


Client-side Video Player API:

A Client-side Video Player API is used whenever a video is displayed in the client's browser or device. Abstraction level varies depending on the level of control one requires. These types of APIs are built-in to the client's browser or application.


The right type of video API will vary with the requirements of your product. Using a reliable video API service will be cost effective, enable you to launch faster, and efficient in the long-run.

Hopefully this article helped you understand different types of video API and choose the right type for your application. You can quickly get started with Shotstack video editing API to experiment manipulating videos. Learn more about video API technology from our range of learn resources.

Kushal Magar

27th July, 2022

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