I’ve updated this comparison review to reflect changes in both Instant Video Wizard and Content Samurai since the post was first written. Both online video creation apps have dropped significantly in price since then and Instant Video Wizard has had a user interface re-design, now reflected in the screenshots below.
There’s a new video creation tool on the block called Instant Video Wizard which has just gone on sale today. Instant Video Wizard has now been available for a couple of years.
You may have seen a previous post I wrote about my favorite video creation tool – Content Samurai. I also have a more extensive review of Content Samurai here.
I got an opportunity to get an early look at Instant Video Wizard, so here’s how these two tools stack up against each other…
How Videos Are Made
Both apps are cloud based and the tools can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. So there’s no difference there.
The only difference is in the rendering times due to the power of the servers each service uses. I haven’t used both tools in anger, so to speak, to test such differences, but my sense is that Instant Video Wizard is slower at rendering completed videos than Content Samurai. This could be due to the large number of people who are all buying it and testing it out and using it at the same time!
The method for creating videos is the same and it looks like Instant Video Wizard (IVW) is a clone of Content Samurai. The apps come from entirely different companies and I think Jon Leger, who’s behind IVW used the look of Content Samurai videos and tried to improve on those.
In both apps, you paste in a text script which gets turned into slides, with each slide showing a couple of lines of text.
Both apps also auto-select background images to use on slides, based on keywords in the text on that slide. Instant Video Wizard does allow you to fine tune the keywords for a slide so you can get more relevant background images.
Both apps also allow to to select a specific image to use on a slide.
In Content Samurai, images are added to auto-fit the width of a slide. This can result in the top and/or bottom of a slide being cropped. IVW seems to auto-fit images into the slide which can result in distorted images (people can look short, fat and ultra-wide but none of the image is cropped).
For a bit of dynamism, Content Samurai allows background images to zoom in or out. Instant Video Wizard instead allows background images, and the text portion of slides to slide in and out from various directions (e.g. background image slides in from the left and text slides in from the right).
Instant Video Wizard also provides thousands of animated backgrounds that can be added to slides, an option only recently added to Content Samurai.
Both apps also allow you to position text at the center, top, bottom, left or right of a slide. Each slide can have its text positioned individually.
Both apps also provide royalty-free music tracks to add you your videos. Instant Video Wizard has thousands of tracks, categorized by music genre whereas Content Samurai only has a few tens of tracks.
Both apps allow you to upload your own music track should you prefer that option.
Again, both apps allow you to record your own voiceover or to upload a pre-recorded voiceover.
Instant Video Wizard’s Extras
In addition to the much larger libraries of background images, animated backgrounds and music tracks, Instant Video Wizard also contains a library of tens of thousands of PLR articles on a huge range of topics.
So, if you’re ever stuck for a script for a video, you can just import one of these articles and get going.
UPDATE: Motion backgrounds are now available in Content Samurai. There’s a library of over 700,000 to choose from which comes with your subscription.
Instant Video Wizard also includes cutting-edge text-to-speech technology so if you don’t want to record your own voice, you can use one of the 14 English (Male and Female) voices (in USA, British, Australian, Indian and Welsh flavors).
This feature is not in Content Samurai and to achieve the same effect with it, I had to use an external text-to-speech service to record a voiceover, process that through Camtasia and then import the resulting file into Content Samurai – a much more laborious process.
UDDATE: Content Samurai now offers its own in-built text-to-speech feature with some very good-quality voices (though all are English speaking).
In Instant Video Wizard, if you want to create videos in another language, there are options to translate between Danish, Dutch, English, French, French-Canadian, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Brazilian Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Castilian Spanish, US Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Welsh(!). English has the widest range of voices available.
The translation feature will translate both the script and do the voiceover for you. This gives you a huge opportunity to target your videos at countries you’ve currently ignored due to the language barrier.
Again, this is not a feature in Content Samurai. While Content Samurai does now have a text-to-speech voiceover option, voices are only in English. There is still no translation option for text scripts.
Both apps do allow you to add watermarks to your videos so you can brand them with a logo and/or web address.
Instant Video Wizard also allows you to upload your rendered videos directly to YouTube. With Content Samurai, you have to first download the video to your PC or device and then manually upload the video to YouTube. This can be a bonus though if you also want to upload your video directly to Vimeo, Facebook or Instagram.
Instant Video Wizard also includes a sizeable number of audio, image and video transitions that you can add to your video creations (
again, Content Samurai doesn’t have these).
UPDATE: Content Samurai does have a limited set of video transitions now.
You can also add AfterEffects animations, such as kinetic text, into your Instant Video Wizard videos, something also not included with Content Samurai.
All in all, Instant Video Wizard has over 500,000 assets (images, backgrounds, articles, etc.) at your disposal,
a much larger selection than is available with Content Samurai (which contains no animated backgrounds or articles).
UPDATE: Content Samurai can now also use motion video clips in its videos. There’s a library of 700,000 clips to use. And 125,000+ music tracks are now available to use directly inside Content Samurai. Square-format video templates, better for posting on social media, are also provided now.
Instant Video Wizard is $47 per month.
Content Samurai is normally $47 per month but there’s a 25% discount through this special link, so you’d pay $35/mth.
Both of these online video creators were initially much more expensive. Competing in the same market has meant that the subscription fees have come down significantly. Good news for us consumers.
Instant Video Wizard was initially $497/year during its launch phase. Then, after that, the price rose to $997/year. After appeals by potential customers, the $97/month fee was introduced. That then dropped to $67/month and dropped again to $47/month price. It then dropped to $37/mth. Recently, the pricing changed again, and it’s now for sale at $197 per year (equivalent to $16.42 per month). They were obviously feeling the heat from Content Samurai’s competitive pricing.
Content Samurai itself was originally $97/month but after Instant Video Wizard was released they dropped the regular fee to $47/month where it now stands. The 25% OFF coupon reduces that fee to $35/month. They hold irregular sales where they drop the price to $29/mth. Sign up to my email list if you want to be notified when these sales are on.
I’ve made quite a few videos on various topics with Content Samurai over the last few months. One feature I was looking for was the ability to make square videos that are optimized for display on Facebook and Instagram. Content Samurai now has that feature but I’ve had difficulty in uploading square videos to Instagram through a 3rd-party app I use.
Something in the transcoding of square videos goes wrong. I’ve even run them through Any Video Converter to see if that would help (it didn’t). I don’t know if this is a Content Samurai issue or an issue with the 3rd-party video uploader I’m using to post on Instagram.
Rectangular videos upload to Instagram fine though.
- The addition of that square video feature took a couple of months in Content Samurai whereas Instant Video Wizard came with the feature already built in.
- New features are constantly being added to Instant Video Wizard at a far faster pace than to Content Samurai.
- The bigger music library, in addition to the library of PLR articles, make Instant Video Wizard a product that gives you more bang for your buck than Content Samurai. This is no longer as much of a pro as Content Samurai now provides its own text-to-speech feature, 700,000 motion backgrounds and 125,000 music tracks.
- The additional features in Instant Video Wizard outweigh the 25% discount available for Content Samurai.
- Instant Video Wizard is a more complex tool than Content Samurai so its learning curve is quite a bit steeper. If you prefer a point-and-click solution to making videos, Content Samurai would be the better option for you.
- Video rendering times are much slower than Content Samurai but it’s something you get used to.
- Some images are stretched to fit the dimensions of the video so subjects can look squashed and stretched. I find this very annoying as it’s not how I want my videos to look but others have no problem with it. Whether your audience are put off by this is or not is what really matters.
- Instant Video Wizard has hung (stopped working) for me several times, especially when trying to create longer videos. When that happens, the entire video is lost and you have to start from scratch. Content Samurai is rock solid and I’ve never hit any bugs or hiccups when using it.
While Instant Video Wizard isn’t perfect – it’s slower than Content Samurai and the images that are stretched really annoy me, especially after I contacted Support about the issue, it is a much more comprehensive product.
I sat in on a webinar during launch that gave an inside look at Instant Video Wizard and various ways you can use the videos you generate to make money.
On the basis of that and the additional features it has over Content Samurai, I cancelled my Content Samurai subscription (but see below).
However, a few weeks later, Content Samurai ran one of their very rare special offers and I reopened my account with them.
Some of the issues with Instant Video Wizard I outlined above, especially images that are in the wrong aspect ratio, made me return to using Content Samurai.
IVW’s slow video render times also pushed me towards using the faster Content Samurai again for some videos.
I find, despite the larger feature set in Instant Video Wizard that I actually use Content Samurai more often to create videos, because it is the easier to use and it’s rock solid. It’s frustrating to lose all your work when Instant Video Wizard hangs. It’s rare but it does happen.
Nevertheless, I do own and use both tools but the clear winner is Content Samurai.