Vonage Video API vs. Stream Video

6 min read

Adding video capabilities to your app can drive user engagement and retention, let’s compare two of the top providers in the space.

Jeroen L.
Jeroen L.
Published May 8, 2024
Stream vs. Vonage

It is essential to ensure that the video capabilities added to your product function as expected by your end users. Otherwise, you risk alienating your users instead of engaging them.

Both Vonage and Stream provide Video SDKs. Let’s compare these two and see how well each can deliver your desired video functionality. But first, we’ll explore the details of Vonage.

Vonage Video API is the result of a startup called TokBox, founded in 2007. It was acquired by Telefónica Digital in 2012 and subsequently acquired by Vonage in 2020.

Vonage offers client-side SDKs for Web (JavaScript), iOS, Android, React Native, MacOS, Windows, and Linux.

Vonage's Video SDK supports video calling, audio rooms, and live streaming. It offers chat capabilities with features such as reactions, threads, quoted replies, URL previews, editing, deleting, moderation, and typing indicators. These features are ahead of most chat alternatives when chat is a free feature in a Video SDK product.

In addition to the basics, Vonage offers several recording options, a backstage mode, and a permission system to create a full-featured video experience.

Vonage lacks a Flutter and React SDK. It also does not have an edge network architecture, which can cause potential scalability issues. To our knowledge, the upper limit for the number of video call participants is 15,000.

Vonage offers three video-related APIs.

  1. Meetings API: A no-code solution
  2. Video Express: A low-code solution
  3. Video API: A pure developer API

Up front, you must decide what route you want to take with Vonage, no-code, low-code, or all-code. There is no gradual path here.

Stream allows you to build feature-rich in-app video calling, live streaming, and audio rooms experiences in days. Stream Video provides an extensive UI Component library for the platforms React, React Native, iOS, Android, and Flutter to ensure quick and efficient implementation.

Let’s pit Vonage and Stream Video against each other in terms of video quality, ease of integration, customization, support, developer experience, and pricing.

Video Quality and Performance

Stream Video raises the bar on real-time communication by providing unparalleled quality and performance. With adaptive bitrate streaming supporting resolutions up to 4K, Stream offers your users crisp, clear video streams, making sure end users experience minimal latency and smooth playback, regardless of device or network conditions.

Stream adjusts the resolution, video codec, fps, and bandwidth usage through our Dynascale capabilities, redundant audio support (RED) and full OPUS DTX audio support. This works great for calls beyond 20 participants.

Our Dynascale feature adjusts video resolution and codecs to optimize content displayed on each user's screen. If a video displays as a small thumbnail, we seamlessly switch the stream to a lower bandwidth, aligning with what's visible on the user's screen. Conversely, when a user's video feed is viewed in high resolution, triggered by active participation, we automatically elevate the stream quality.

By integrating Dynascaling with Stream's global edge network and SFU architecture, we ensure participants experience minimal latency and optimal resolution, regardless of their geographic location. Each user receives video and audio streams at the appropriate resolution and bitrate, guaranteeing an unparalleled user experience.

While Vonage delivers commendable performance, it does not operate its global network of video nodes with the same capacity as Stream. With Stream Video, you can trust that your video streams will consistently meet the highest fidelity and reliability standards, setting your application apart from the competition. With Vonage, you are limited to 25, 200, or 15,000 participants, depending on which API you use.

Effortless Integration and Seamless Experience

Stream Video prioritizes three fundamental aspects: developer experience, scalability, and rapid time-to-market.

For developers venturing into web development with React or mobile development with native Android, iOS, or cross-platform solutions, Stream's Video SDKs offer a wealth of resources. These include extensive developer documentation, sample applications, and tutorials to simplify the API learning curve and facilitate your application's swift deployment of a tailored audio and video calling experience.

Like our acclaimed Chat API, Stream provides a suite of highly adaptable pre-built components seamlessly integrated with our API and optimized for peak performance. This empowers developers and businesses to focus on the distinctive elements of their applications that differentiate them in the market.

Stream API offers a range of advanced functionalities right from the start, including seamless integration with CallKit, ringing, background track management on mobile devices, backstage modes, and pre-call participant viewing. In contrast, these features must be more adequately supported or available on Vonage.

For clients seeking a holistic chat experience alongside their video integration, our Video API seamlessly integrates with our flagship Chat API from the get-go. This enables developers and businesses to leverage both products within their applications and enjoy the full spectrum of features offered by our Chat API, such as reactions, threads, offline support, and more, all while utilizing a single token and SAAS provider for their communication requirements.

Extensive Customization and Flexibility

Regardless of whether you're crafting an audio-centric environment akin to Twitter Spaces or constructing an educational platform akin to the one illustrated earlier, Stream's UI Components offer developers extensive control over their application's design, branding, and functionality.

Since all components are readily accessible and adaptable in code, developers can seamlessly tap into and adjust every aspect of the video pipeline. This flexibility facilitates effortless integration of various features like video filters, integration with noise suppression APIs, AI models for sentiment analysis, and a plethora of other capabilities.

Dedicated Developer Support and Thriving Community

At Stream, we recognize the significance of delivering top-notch developer assistance and nurturing an active community. Stream is dedicated to empowering your success with our Video API through specialized support channels and comprehensive documentation. Whether you're an experienced developer or just starting with video integration, our team at Stream will support you at every turn, providing the necessary resources and guidance to unleash the complete capabilities of Stream Video.

Moreover, we have open-sourced all our client SDKs to ensure a complete understanding of runtime operations. This allows you to debug your project thoroughly and delve into every detail when necessary.

Transparent Pricing and Scalability

Let’s see how Stream and Vonage pricing stack up in a head-to-head comparison. We'll use a typical classroom example: five participants, 60-minute session duration, and 300 sessions each month with chat, recording, and HD quality (720p).

That would make 300 60 minutes 5 = 90,000 minutes in total, with 18,000 recorded minutes.

StreamVonage
90,000 Video Conferencing minutes$ 72.00$ 355.50
Video recording 18,000 minutes$ 108.00$ 630.00
Chat for 1500 Monthly Active Users$ 399.00$ 0.00
Total$ 577.00$ 985.50

Below, we will detail each line item for both Stream and Vonage.

Vonage does not provide free minutes and charges $0.00395 for 90,000 minutes, resulting in $ 355.5. Add 18,000 recorded minutes to that by multiplying 300 sessions with 60 minutes per session. Each recorded minute is charged at $0.035, resulting in $630.

Stream charges $3 for every 1,000 minutes over 66,000. That’s 24,000 divided by 1,000 multiplied by $3, resulting in $72. Add 18,000 recorded minutes at $6 for every 1,000 minutes: $108.

Since Vonage offers a rudimentary chat feature, let’s add Stream Chat. We assume each session has 5 new participants. This resulted in 1,500 monthly active users (MAU). Stream charges $399 for the starter plan, covering the first 10,000 MAUs.

With transparent pricing and scalable infrastructure, Stream Video offers a cost-effective solution for projects of all sizes. Whether you're a startup with limited resources or an enterprise with extensive scalability requirements, Stream Video's flexible pricing plans ensure you can scale your video application without breaking the bank. With predictable pricing and no hidden fees, Stream Video enables you to manage your video streaming costs effectively while maintaining the highest quality and performance standards.

Conclusion

In video streaming technology, where innovation meets user experience, Stream Video sets the standard for excellence and pushes the boundaries of what's possible. With its streamlined integration process, focused features, and unparalleled scalability, Stream Video offers developers a platform that simplifies the development process and empowers them to create exceptional video experiences.

Stream Video prioritizes reliability and performance to ensure users enjoy smooth and crystal-clear video streaming regardless of network conditions or device capabilities.
With a comprehensive support ecosystem that offers documentation, tutorials, and dedicated support channels, Stream is ready to provide support and guidance when using Stream Video.

Try Stream Video for free today and unlock the full potential of your app and website.

Try Stream Video and Chat

If you prefer to dive into code first, here are some tutorials to get you started: