We are pleased to announce a range of pricing and feature updates to the Vonage Video API to enhance the customer experience for multiparty video use-cases. We have seen a steady increase in use-cases for meetings, classrooms, breakout rooms, group therapy and care, large-scale online events, KPop get-togethers, and much more! So we want to ensure we support these as your video needs expand.
Participant Minute Pricing Model
We have added a new simpler participant minute pricing model to better support multiparty video sessions. This is explained in detail in our pricing Support article here. Starting at $0.00395 per participant per minute, this alternative model is based on the number of participants in a session and not on our classic stream-subscribed minutes. Don’t worry! Nothing will change in your billing unless you explicitly make changes to your account. You can do this by working with your Account Manager, if you are under contract, or directly through the Account Portal for our self-service users. Take a look to see if this new pricing model would be right for your use-cases. In general, you should find this useful if you are expanding your multiparty usage.
Maximum Video Session Size Increase
We are significantly increasing the maximum video session size up to 5,000 participants for 1 or 2 publishers, to 3000 participants for 6 publishers, and significantly larger numbers than previously for all levels of publishers. For interactive broadcast use-cases with more “on stage” speakers and screen-shares, this can be up to a 6X increase. See the detailed table, based on the number of publishers, listed here in our developer documentation.
Video Composer Stream Expansion
We previously announced that our “video composer” for recording and video streaming (to RTMP and HLS) has been expanded to support 50 audio streams including 16 video streams. You can review our recent blog post here. This allows much larger groups of “on stage” presenters to be streamed to huge social and streaming audiences, with additional improvements in the dynamic API control of which users are composed into the output stream. Plus, we added Google Cloud Storage to the storage options for your recordings (in addition to Amazon S3 and Azure).
You will be hearing from us soon about our Video API Multiparty Toolkit, built atop our regular Video SDK. This is designed to make the development of multiparty apps even simpler by providing a higher level of abstraction where we automate layout, display size, resolution and bandwidth for up to 25 video streams. The Multiparty Toolkit has been in Early Access with a number of our users, where we are continuing to get feedback before this becomes a Beta release. Let us know if you are interested in learning more.
You should also have seen our recent article on Video Quality, that linked to the independent vendor performance comparison report from testRTC, which particularly looked at multiparty and screen-sharing performance. The results, and our work to achieve these, are described in the article.
Ongoing improvements that we continue to make to our Video API platform can always be found on our platform updates page. For example, ongoing SDK enhancements, such as forceMuteAll and videoContentHint, might also be useful for your multiparty video apps!