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Interactive Video for Beginners - the 22 Best Software Tools for 2022

by Abbie Horning, updated 15 June 2022

What is Interactive Video? Much more than just video with a button on it!

Making a video interactive is a whole new way of thinking about video, by joining up multiple clips into a personalised viewer journey. From feature films and immersive theatre to demos and tours, from recruitment and training to challenges and behaviour change campaigns – the uses of interactive media stories are exploding (seemingly by the day!).

Interactive films are a whole new genre on Netflix

You’re probably aware of Netflix’s breakout hit Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but did you know that Netflix now have over 20 more interactive films and interactive tv episodes on their main platform? Across gaming platforms, interactive films are entering a golden age. And 360 VR video is crying out to be made more interactive and immersive in the metaverse.

Meanwhile many brands are finding they can add links to make shoppable videos for ecommerce platforms and pre-roll adverts, so that viewers can buy what they see.

As creators, we can see every day that you’re inventing new and innovative ways to join up video content into exciting interactive video stories – to choose your own adventures…

So, the question now for creators is…

What’s the best way to make video interactive?

One of the platforms listed below will be right for your creative needs. Whether it’s Stornaway, Wirewax, Brightcove or one of the 19 others. Each has a slightly different offering.

So for 2022, we’ve taken a dive into 22 top options – along with information on their key features, who they’re best for and (where possible) pricing – and compiled our findings here for you.

An unranked list of 22 tools for 2022

This table of contents links to the 22 powerful interactive video platforms, apps and tools we describe in more detail below. Click to jump to our description of each, or keep scrolling down.

Comparison Criteria

How have we evaluated all these different tools?

They have such different offerings and focuses that a simple score won’t suffice – and so we won’t provide a simple conclusion or a top 3. Instead, we’ve tried to describe them in more helpful terms:

  • Summary of their focus and how they describe themselves, with a bit about the people who created them and why.
  • Who it’s best for: What kind of content we think each tool is designed for – many are aimed at a specific market.
  • Key features: as a sentence rather than a bullet point list.
  • Pricing: Details of plans and limits where advertised, or whether they are Price on Request.

What areas should you be thinking about when you consider these tools?

  • Your Focus: Are you looking to connect up multiple clips into stories, experiences, journeys or lessons? Or are you looking to add simple buttons to single videos to let people buy things?
  • User Interface (UI): Does the interface make you feel happy when you think about using it? Trust your gut!
  • Usability: Is it easy to learn and use? Is it too technical for you and your team, or not technical enough?
  • Features & Price: What key features do you need? Do you really need all the bells and whistles? Nothing does everything, so it’s more important that you can work well with what you really need, at a price you can afford. Try before you buy!
  • Where do you want to publish (and how are you going to monetise it)? Most of these platforms publish interactive videos to the web and social media, but a few like Stornaway.io allow you to publish to other platforms too (like apps, gaming and Youtube). Decide how you want to deliver your videos, and work back from there.

Stornaway.io - let's cover ourselves first!

Summary: Designed for creative interactive storytelling with video, 360 and slides – Stornaway is the no code interactive video platform that makes it easy for you to craft video journeys and test them. Founded in 2020 by filmmaker and video tech innovator Ru Howe with writer, performer and producer Kate Dimbleby.

Who’s it best for: Entertainment / Brands / LearningStorytellers, creatives and teams looking to make their own gamified and personalised interactive videos in a revolutionary way – without coding, without technical headaches. Stornaway.io is being used by feature film makers, FMV game producers, huge global brands and many universities.

Key Features: Lovely interface for planning interactive video journeys, experiences, lessons and stories. Instant playback, even before you have your own video. Collaboration. Publishing to web, social and other platforms including YouTube and gaming platforms and apps via Unity.

Pricing: Free to create, edit and playtest projects. Plans from $10/m to publish; $29 for Pro, $75 for Premium. Academic and Enterprise plans also available.

Try Stornaway.io now

Wirewax / Vimeo

Summary: The OG of interactive video service businesses – making shoppable videos and interactive experiences for brands for over a decade. Founded by Steve Callanan and Dan Garraway in London in 2011, and now a Vimeo company since 2021.
Who’s it best for: E-commerce / marketing / sales
Key Feature: They describe themselves as the Photoshop of interactive video – start with your video and customise from there.
Pricing: on request – one-off videos from $7000. 
Visit Wirewax

Brightcove Hapyak

Brightcove / Hapyak

Summary: One of the world’s most successful OTT platforms designed for medium-sized and large brands to monetize live and on-demand video through advertising. They bought their Boston-based neighbours Hapyak in 2021 to add Hapyak’s learning-focused interactivity to their platform.
Who’s it best for: E-Learning / training / marketing
Key Feature: Add interactivity to your Brightcove corporate videos.
Pricing: on request – Brightcove accounts start at around $5000/yr
Visit Brightcove

Eko

Summary: Shoppable video platform for creating and publishing choice-driven e-commerce experiences. Formerly Interlude, founded by Yoni Bloch in 2012, after creating the great Bob Dylan Like A Rolling Stone video – now partnered by Walmart.
Who’s it best for: E-commerce
Key Features: Designed for e-c
ommerce, with templates backed by data from the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.
Pricing: on request – one-off videos from $7000.
Visit Eko 

Eko
Spott

Spott.ai

Summary: Shoppable video with interactive clickable ‘spotts’. Interactive content with images, catalogues, videos and ads. Founded by ​​Michel De Wachter (ex-BNP Paribas) and Jonas De Cooman (ex-Coca Cola) in 2014 in Belgium.
Who’s it best for: Ecommerce and product sales
Key Features: Spotts – clickable dots to highlight products for more info.

Pricing: based on interactions, with 30 interactions on the starter plan, $420/yr for 500 interactions, $2100 for 2000, $7000 for 7000 and then on request.
Visit Spott

Kaltura / Rapt

Summary: Kaltura provides live and on-demand video solutions to thousands of organizations around the world. In 2018, Kaltura acquired Rapt, adding their interactive tools for all Kaltura users.
Who’s it best for: Learning / Training
Key Features: Create engaging Interactive Video Paths, trim videos, create clips that highlight the most interesting parts or to add fun hotspots, add video quizzes

Pricing: On request, but reported as starting at around the same level as Brightcove – around $5000/year
Visit Kaltura

KALTURA / RAPT - platform

Playposit

Summary: Make personalized content accessible to engage any learner while empowering them to take control of their learning journey through flexible and equitable delivery options. Founded as eduCanon in 2012 by Benjamin Levy, a former teacher.
Who’s it best for: Schools / Training
Key Features: allows instructors to enrich video content with a variety of powerful interactions ranging from multiple choice questions to graded fill-in-the blanks – with branding, notes and sidebars.
Pricing: From $144 / Year for an individual teacher with a free option for a limited number of learners, to institutional and enterprise contracts.
Visit Playposit

Smartzer

Summary: Live shopping and on demand interactive video platform, with integrations for Shopify, Magento and other major ecommerce platforms. Founded in 2012 in London by Karoline Gross.
Who’s it best for: e-commerce / agencies / brands
Key Features: Make live streams instantly shoppable and integrate with Shopify and others.
Pricing: On request – charged as a subscription
Visit Smartzer

Smartzer
Hihaho

Hihaho

Summary: Add interactions to your own videos to jump to different chapter points. Hihaho stands for high interactivity, high attention value and high outcome – founded in 2014 in Holland.
Who’s it best for: Training / Healthcare / Demos
Key Features: Simple interface for creating chapter jump points
Pricing:
€97 per video with 500MB limit, on request for more
Visit Hihaho

Dot.vu

Summary: All kinds of interactive marketing content, including flipbooks, calculators and games. Launched in 2013 in Denmark by Casper Kandelsdorff.
Who’s it best for: Brand comms projects
Key Features: Simple / Advance options that allow users to utilise premade templates.
Pricing: Starting from €5,995 per year, with higher plans for €9,995 and €15,995
Visit Dot.vu

Dot.vu
Wootag

Wootag

Summary: Create simple interactions, directly within your video. Founded in 2015 by Raj Sunder in Singapore, because he wanted to buy sunglasses he’d seen in a video.
Who’s it best for: E-Commerce / Brands / Marketing
Key Features: Add touchpoints in the editor; allow viewers to select the chapters they’re interested in and jump straight to that section of the video
Pricing: Free for 50 interactions; $1200 for 1000 interactions, enterprise pricing available
Visit Wootag

Verse

Summary: “Your content connected. Connects your videos through interactive elements and transforms static content into dynamic digital experiences that invite exploration and increase engagement” Founded in 2016 by journalist, photographer and ex-senior-animator at game studio Harmonix, Antonio Bolfo.
Who’s it best for: Brands / Enterprise Marketing & Comms
Key Features: Hotspots, explainers, slideshows, mobile first design, 360 interactive video
Pricing: starting at $1200/yr for 10k mins/m, or $12,000/yr for 100k mins/m
Visit Verse

Verse
Wyzowl

Wyzowl

Summary: Leading producer of explainer videos. “Whether you want to increase sales, build brand awareness or educate your audience – We create video content to help you do it!” Founded in 2011 in Southport UK by Matt Byrom, who ran 4040 Media doing graphic design for print & web, and saw the opportunity for explainer videos.
Who’s it best for: Those who want interactive explainer video content production
Key Features: Full service production of high quality videos
Pricing: on request
Visit Wyzowl

Mindstamp

Summary: Present interactive videos based on what you already know about your customer. Founded in 2017 in Florida by Brett Lindenberg (ex-Amazon & Grooveshark)
Who’s it best for: Marketing/Sales
Key Feature: Ask different types of questions, add nice CTAs, and deploying as part of marketing automation (with tools such as Hubspot, Salesforce, Slack).
Pricing: Starting at $19/month for 10k minutes viewing/5k views, $99/month for 50k mins/100k views, $500/month for unstated mins/600k views. Self-hosting price on request.
Visit Mindstamp

Mindstamp
Cinema8

Cinema8

Summary: Add interactivity to videos, with on screen calls to action. Founded by Alisan Erdemli of Gobito in 2018 in Manchester and Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul.
Who’s it best for: Learning / Filmmaking / E-commerce
Key Features: 360 video, drag and drop tools, API
Pricing: on request
Visit Cinema8

Adventr

Summary: Interactive video creation and publishing, with pre-roll ad network compatibility, SmartListen voice control. Founded by music producer Devo Harris in 2019, inspired by his experience making interactive music videos.
Who’s it best for: Marketing / Quizzes / Demos
Key Features: SmartListen voice control, pre-roll ad compatibility, drag and drop editor.
Pricing: Free plan for 10 mins with watermark, pricing plans from $348/yr for 60 mins and $1188/yr for 5 hrs, and enterprise pricing on request
Visit Adventr

Adventr
Idomoo

Idomoo

Summary: “Personalized Video merges data and video to deliver exceptional experiences that wow customers and produce higher and more measurable ROI.” – founded by Yaron Kalish, Danny Kalish and Assaf Fogel in 2008.
Who’s it best for: Marketing / Brands / Enterprise
Key Features: Create thousands of individual personalised videos automatically with their Living Video tool.
Pricing: on request
Visit Idomoo

Near-life

Summary: “Produce high-quality training materials that increase knowledge retention and provide key data insights. Our LMS allows you to seamlessly track and authenticate learners in an easy to use platform.” Founded by Mike Todd in Bolton UK in 2020, inspired by an idea in 2015 to make Hostile Environment Training interactive.
Who’s it best for: Learning / Training
Key Features: Interactive 360 VR video creator and LMS
Pricing: Starting at $1200/yr fo 200GB streaming, with plans at $1450/yr for 300GB and $2250/yr for 400GB
Visit Near-life

Near-life
Luma1

Luma1

Summary: Securely hosted interactive content for training and communications, available to employees on any device.  Founded by John Hudson in Ottawa, Canada in 2017.
Who’s it best for: Learning and communications
Key Features: Secure hosting and ability to analyse data at a wide or user-based level.
Pricing: Starting at $4,188/yr for 2500 views/m, with plans at $9,540/yr for 10k views/m and $17,940/yr for 25k views/m
Visit Luma1

YouTube Interactive Video

Summary: Most people don’t realise that YouTube has interactive video features in it. Starting as ‘annotations’ in 2008, replaced by basic but mobile-friendly ‘end screens’ in 2016. Stornaway founder Ru Howe made the first interactive story on YouTube back in 2008, and Stornaway.io can now publish projects direct to YouTube interactive.

Who’s it best for: YouTubers and anyone wanting to beat the YT algorithm
Key Features: Simple boxes with thumbnails on screen within the last 20 seconds of a video, which link to other videos.
Pricing: free, ad supported – and check out Stornaway’s YouTube interactivity designer
See how to use Stornaway to publish interactive videos to YouTube.com

YouTube Interactive Video
H5P

H5P

Summary: Open-source tool for users to create, share and reuse interactive html5 content in their browser
Who’s it best for: E-learning / Marketing
Key Features: Ability to create adaptive questions. If answered incorrectly, people will be sent to rewatch certain information but not people who answered correctly.
Pricing: Free open source code
Visit H5P.org

Adobe Captivate

Summary: Adobe’s only interactive video offering at the moment but not part of Creative Cloud, Captivate is their e-learning authoring tool – originally eHelp from Macromedia 20 years ago. Captivate now works with Captivate Prime, Adobe’s LMS, as a Desktop app for authoring interactive learning experiences of all kinds.
Who it’s best for:  E-learning, Training
Key Features: build standalone interactive experiences with responsive design and 360 video via Adobe’s desktop app
Pricing: from $408/yr as a desktop subscription app, unfortunately as a separate subscription from Creative Cloud
Visit Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate

Bonus Levels

As a reward for reading this far – and even though it’s not strictly an interactive video tool – we thought we’d include Twine, since we love it and a lot of people use it. Built by Chris Klimas in 2009 as a tool to plan out branching narratives for interactive fiction on the web. 

Stornaway.io adds much that Twine doesn’t have for interactive video making: media, instant playback and game logic without coding – but after all these years Twine still holds a special place in our heart, and it’s good to remember our roots!

As a reward for reading this far – and even though it’s not strictly an interactive video tool – we thought we’d include Twine, since we love it and a lot of people use it. Built by Chris Klimas in 2009 as a tool to plan out branching narratives for interactive fiction on the web. 

We also wanted to link to the BBC’s Makerbox. Even though it’s for BBC use, our friends at BBC R&D have done a great job creating the no-code open source tool Storyformer, and it’s very closely aligned with what our aims are at Stornaway.io

Also in the UK making back ends for branching narrative video are Branching Narrative, Flavourworks and Wales Interactive, all working on their own projects.

Finally, if you’re interested in experimental non-commercial interactive films, check out Korsakow, made by Florian Thalhofer. It’s a tool for creating serendipitous experiences which can feel very meaningful to the creator, if sometimes a bit baffling to a casual observer!

RIP: Klynt and Flash

So many interactive video tools have come and gone over the years before the web was ready for interactive streaming as it is now. Klynt was a favourite because it was the great workhorse of interactive documentary makers and interactive filmmaking classrooms. It required some geekery, but it was flexible. It finally shuffled off to the digital graveyard last year together with Flash. Lots of old projects have faded away with them. That’s why Stornaway projects are built with an open standard data model and integrations – so in future, projects can keep running.

Klynt

In conclusion: try the platforms that best suit your needs

We hope this has been helpful, and shows the diversity of choices there are out there. For shoppable video with tools like Wirewax, Eko and Spott, or educational LMS with Adobe Captivate, Playposit and Near-life, or data integrations with Luma1, Mindstamp and Smartzer – to mention just 9 of the 22 without detracting from the other 13. Horses for courses!

We built Stornaway.io as an interactive filmmaking platform, and it’s grown to be a creative-focused production tool for all kinds of interactive video stories and journeys in every sector. We’re proud to be a part of such a rich ecosystem of tools.

We hope that whatever you’re trying to do, you give Stornaway.io a test drive – do let us know how you get on. Have a look at some of our examples and case studies via the links below to see what’s possible.

And do let us know at hello@stornaway.io if there are tools, apps or platforms you use that aren’t included here.

Here’s to a delightful year of interactive exploration in 2022 – HAPPY MAPPING !