First VHS, then DVD, now it seems like nearly everyone is watching video on the internet.
Don’t just take our word for it! AppAnnie reports that we watch an average of 38 hours of YouTube content alone every month – that’s pretty much a full working week spent just on video, on one platform.
Want to include beautiful video content on your website but aren’t sure where to start?
We present to you:
The 13 best video hosting solutions currently available:
Each of them has different features to help your business develop and grow, but figuring out which one will work for you isn’t always easy.
In this article, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best video hosting services currently available to make your research quicker.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of today, July 23, 2021.
Before we dissect your options in detail, let’s look at why you’re even considering video hosting.
What is a Video Hosting Platform, and Why Use One?
A video hosting platform is a third-party website that holds all your video content on its servers, meaning you can ensure your website runs smoothly.
We don’t want to get too deep into the nuts and bolts of the internet, but if you’ve already created a website, you’ll know that your server is where all your website’s data is held. When someone goes to your site, they’re accessing the information from said server.
Having a super speedy server means your website loads fast, which search engine algorithms like. This means that when someone searches on Google, for example, your site should appear higher on the list.
Since video content uses a lot of data – 1 hour of 1080p video is about 1.5 GB – you don’t want it cluttering up your own server.
Enter stage right: video hosting platforms.
Using a video hosting platform rather than your own server:
- Keeps your video content running smoothly
- Makes your videos accessible outside of your website
- Allows you to place your videos on different platforms
- Takes away a lot of technical headaches and complications
Sounds handy, right?
Now that you know why you need a video hosting platform, we’re going to explore all the different options and what they’re good for.
Uscreen – that’s us! – is an all-in-one video hosting solution that allows your video content business to bring in the money by distributing and monetizing your live and on-demand content.
We’ll help you create branded mobile and TV apps, as well as a customized website and landing pages, to distribute your content.
Want to go live? You can stream your content directly to your audience and even engage in live chat with them through your new website and apps.
Not only do we host your video; we’ve got the tools to help you market it and loads of ways to monetize it, including offering discounts to new members and features that help you keep the ones you’ve already got.
You even have full ownership of your audience – you get data such as their email addresses so you can do your email marketing wizardry with integrations like Mailchimp and Drip.
Not to boast, but we reckon we’ve just about got it all in terms of getting your video online, scaling your business in the direction you want, and helping you connect with your audience.
What exactly do we provide for you?
That’s coming right up.
Uscreen Video Hosting Features
When you choose us to host your video content, you get:
- A full feature video player with high-quality video, captions and subtitles, an autoplay the next video function, and a video quality picker.
- Offline viewing of your content.
- The option to create white-label, brandable phone and TV apps to get your content onto every screen.
- Your own website, made with our drag-and-drop builder, to host your video library including search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities.
- A content management system (CMS) with options to organize your content into collections and series with episodes.
- A range of monetization options like monthly and annual subscriptions, pay-per-view transactions, and more.
- Multiple ways to accept payments with integrations with Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and our own payment solution.
- Marketing and retention tools to help reduce churn, such as a “Try it Again for Free” feature, and discounts, coupons, trials, and gift cards.
- Analytics to help you understand your audience and what they’re watching to help guide your creations, including a Google Analytics (GA) integration.
- Complete ownership of your members’ data, including their email addresses so you can connect with them directly.
- Video storage starting at 3,000 minutes with no bandwidth limits – we use a blend of content delivery networks (CDN) for reliable streaming.
How about the cost?
At Uscreen, we offer you three plans:
All of these plans give you your own website, tools to market your content, and storage.
Higher-level subscriptions include advanced options like live streaming and chats, mobile and TV apps, and more integrations.
Ready to Host and Monetize Your Videos?
Try Uscreen for free today!
What’s up next?
YouTube is widely recognized as the biggest video hosting platform on the internet.
There are over 2 billion active users on YouTube and more than 1 billion hours of video are watched through the platform every day.
It’s also second only to Google when it comes to the number of search queries it handles.
As a creator and business, what does YouTube offer for you? Let’s check it out.
YouTube Video Hosting Features
When your main content goal is to get your content noticed through organic search and build your audience, YouTube is a very powerful platform.
Here’s what else you get when you use YouTube:
- Your video is hosted in up to 4K quality, but users can select the resolution they prefer through the website or app, which has been downloaded more than 5 billion times.
- Unlimited free video hosting – with each video being up to 12 hours or 256GB and no limits on how many videos you can upload.
- Options to livestream and create a premiere for your content.
- When you hit certain parameters – we’ll discuss them shortly – you can earn a cut of the ad revenue featured on your content, as well as the option to brand your channel and monetize chat features.
- You can use Youtube’s basic video editor and access a library of royalty-free music to help improve your content.
- YouTube videos can embed just about anywhere online – your website, social media, chat apps – with HTML code or a simple link.
- Options to optimize your content for search with tags, transcripts, chapters, and subtitles.
- Access to detailed channel and video analytics with the option to use your subscriber data to build audiences for remarketing on Google Ads.
- Viewers can leave comments on videos that you can directly reply to, as well as subscribe to your channel and set alerts when you post new content.
- The ability to organize your content into playlists.
With everything you can do on YouTube, what’s the cost?
YouTube’s business model relies on advertising revenues and user subscriptions, with $6 billion of revenue in the first quarter of 2021.
Because of that, creators don’t pay a subscription or fees to YouTube.
Instead, creators that…
- live in a few select countries, such as the USA and the UK
- have more than 4,000 hours of video views in the last year
- have at least 1,000 subscribers
- own a Google AdSense account
… get a cut of the advertising that appears on their content, reportedly at a 55/45 split in favor of the creator.
YouTube Premium offers viewers ad-free content, plus some other benefits, for $11.99 per month, with some of that revenue getting shared with creators in place of ad revenue.
If this isn’t the type of monetization model you had in mind, we’ve got a detailed look at alternative platforms to get paid for your video content, here.
That’s YouTube’s hosting and pricing ticked off, next on the list is…
It may not be the original social network – anyone remember MySpace? – but Facebook is by far the biggest, with 2.74 billion users.
Those are numbers any creator would be happy to see.
What does Facebook offer to you as a video hosting platform? Let’s take a peek.
Facebook Video Hosting Features
Looking to build a community through your Facebook account? Here are the features they’ve got to help:
- The ability to upload your content on a personal profile, to a business page, directly into a group, or as a comment on any feed you can interact with.
- A dedicated “Watch” tab on the website and app – which was downloaded 985 million times in 2020 alone.
- A suite of editing features, including trimming, muting, interactive and static stickers, text on video, and effects and frames using augmented reality.
- Videos can have a resolution of up to 1080p full HD with a maximum file size of 10GB, and be no more than 240 minutes long.
- The option to monetize your content and make a profit from ad revenue when you meet certain requirements.
- Options to add titles, tag for categories, choose your thumbnail, and include a call-to-action.
- The ability to upload .srt files to include captions or subtitles on your video.
- Options to share content into Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp or use links to embed elsewhere.
- Blue tick verification badges when your account meets certain criteria, so users know your account represents you or your business.
- The ability to target ads specifically at the people who have already watched your videos.
They might have ditched “free and always will be” from their tagline, but does video hosting come at a price?
You don’t get charged money to have your videos hosted on Facebook, but they’re making a lot of money from advertising on your videos.
Facebook will only pay you out a share of ad revenue from your videos if you:
- Live in an eligible country.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Reach 600,000 viewed minutes, including 60,000 from live streams.
- Have 5 or more active videos.
- Are over 18 years old.
Currently, reports suggest you’ll get 55% of the revenue and Facebook keeps the rest.
Time for the third video hosting service we’re going to look at.
Dailymotion calls itself “the home for videos that matter” and is used as a place to host video content by the likes of CNN and MLB.
The French company curate content on their homepage with categories for users to choose from.
In 2020, the company had an 8% share of the advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) market across North America, so how does it work for you as a creator?
Dailymotion Video Hosting Features
There’s a range of features available to creators wanting to use Dailymotion, including:
- Videos in up to 4K ultra-HD with a 60-minute or 2GB cap per video for Users and Starters; Advanced creators have no limits.
- Upload 10 videos or 2 hours of content a day for Users and Starters, whilst Advanced users can upload 96 videos per day with no time limits.
- Videos can be password protected so you can choose who’s allowed to access and repost your content.
- Categories, titles, a tag for age-restricted content, and descriptions available to help with your video SEO.
- Partners get analytics on video performance and finances and Advanced users get a GA integration.
- Playlists so you can organize content on your channel through the website or app or embed on to your own website.
- Partner verification badges so viewers can be sure you’re a legitimate creator for your brand or company.
- The ability to natively publish your Dailymotion content to YouTube and social media accounts up to 10 times a day.
Moving on to the money situation.
As a creator you don’t pay money to use Dailymotion; their nearly $16 million annual revenue is generated by advertising.
To get a share of the advertising revenue on your videos – both from content on the Dailymotion site and on the content that’s embedded on other sites – you need to become a Partner.
You get paid out through PayPal or Payoneer, although the site doesn’t disclose the exact revenue share that you get from your content.
Another place to store your online video is coming right up.
5. WordPress Video Hosting: Jetpack
When you’ve already got your own website created through CMS WordPress, Jetpack is a way to embed video.
It works as a plugin to your WordPress site, meaning you don’t have to go to another site to upload your content and get the embed code.
How exactly does it work for you?
Jetpack Video Hosting Features
Installing the Jetpack plugin to your site means you:
- Get an unbranded video player that sits on the website you’ve created.
- Have automatically mobile-optimized for the videos you upload.
- Can upload videos directly to your pages and posts with a WordPress block editor integration.
- Have access to stats and analytics about your video performance.
- Get potentially unlimited video storage, with a soft limit of 2TB which can be updated, and a maximum video file size of 2GB, but you might struggle to upload files over 1.4GB.
- Offer viewers HD video playback for anything up to 2 hours long and 1GB in size, with standard definition quality for longer content.
Time to see the cost.
To get all the video hosting options you need to take one of two higher-level paid plans, Security Daily or Complete.
The prices we’re presenting here are for monthly payments; discounts are available for annual payments.
Wistia is made with marketing in mind.
It’s a place that’s designed to host your marketing video rather than create a community around your content or directly monetize it.
What exactly can Wistia do for you?
Wistia Video Hosting Features
As a platform to host video content, on Wistia you can:
- Embed your content in different places with a customizable video player.
- Deliver videos to viewers of up to 4K quality, with an adaptive player.
- Collect viewer data such as email addresses.
- Add annotations, links, and calls-to-action (CTAs) to your video.
- Create a video channel to group your videos, show trailers, use “up next” features, and offer an ad-free video experience.
- Access detailed analytics to understand your audience and marketing integrations to reach them.
- Host up to 100 videos on the highest price tier before you need to start paying extra for hosting.
- Embed videos onto most CMS platforms with automatic search optimization for every uploaded video and the option to add transcripts.
- Post videos to social media and allow viewers to share your content directly.
- Create audiences in Google Ads and Facebook Ads using viewer engagement data.
There’s a price for all of these features, which we’re looking at next.
Wistia has three plans for you to choose from, depending on where you’re up to in the business cycle.
The Free tier offers hosting for 3 videos, allows one channel, and up to 250 subscribers.
The Pro plan allows 10 videos, email notifications to your subscribers, branding on your player, and buying more video hosting space.
The Advanced plan includes hosting for 100 videos, more subscribers, integrations, and marketing tools.
We’re about to hit the halfway point with our next place to host and share videos.
In the 2010s, Vimeo was a direct competitor to YouTube. Now, it has positioned itself as a place to “create, manage and share videos”.
There are over 200 million users and around 1.5 million creators on the site, according to the CEO.
Here’s what those creators get with Vimeo.
Vimeo Video Hosting Features
As a creator or brand hosting videos on the site, you get to:
- Present video in up to 8K quality with no limits on video length except the storage limits that come with your plan.
- Control access to your content with password protection, restrictions on domains it can be embedded on, and whether it can be found on the platform and app.
- Edit videos with features like adding frames and using templates to create content quickly.
- View detailed analytics of your content and user behavior over the last 30 days, such as impressions and engagement levels.
- Add CTAs, offer promo codes to access your content, generate leads with your content, and integrate your marketing CRM.
- Include alt tags and descriptions of your content to help with SEO.
- Publish your videos directly to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Shopify from the platform.
Now for those plan details we promised.
Vimeo has a range of pricing plans, including a free plan called Basic.
Here, you can see the different options, including the annual and weekly storage increases as you choose to pay more each month.
On the Enterprise and Premium plans, you also get access to live streaming, and at the highest tier, you even get in-person customer support.
Jumping over to eighth on our list.
8. Spotlightr (Formerly vooPlayer)
Recently rebranded from vooPlayer, Spotlightr is a video hosting site that positions itself as a host for “video for small businesses and big ideas”.
Videos are stored on the cloud and can be placed on your website with a suite of security options.
These are the details.
Spotlightr Video Hosting Features
By using this video host for your content, you can:
- Upload videos up to 4K quality to play on a player with options like auto replay and disabling pause.
- Create a gallery of your content and restrict access with codes, passwords, and paywalls using a Stripe integration.
- Provide a completely ad-free experience for your audience.
- Better understand how your users are interacting with your content through video data analysis and heatmaps.
- Embed your videos and galleries onto your webpage or direct users straight to the Spotlightr site.
- Store up to 100GB of video in total and use up to 100GB of bandwidth each month, with options to pay for extra.
- Add CTAs, video annotations, thumbnails, and chapters to your content.
- Customize your video player with a wide range of options.
As with all things in life, there’s a cost involved.
There are just two pricing options with Spotlightr.
With the Free plan, you get 5GB of storage, 5GB per month of CDN bandwidth, and hosting for a total of 5 videos.
Upgrade to Polaris and you get 20 times more storage and monthly bandwidth, unlimited videos, and the option to add storage and bandwidth as needed.
That’s 8 down, number 9 coming right up.
Helping businesses use video to make sales is VidYard.
For companies looking for a place to host demo videos, create personalized video campaigns, and use video to generate sales, VidYard might be the option your sales team is looking for.
This is what VidYard offers.
VidYard Video Hosting Features
Whether being used by tech teams or marketers, here are the features available:
- Unlimited video hosting and uploading with up to 100 video embeds available up to 4K quality, plus unlimited bandwidth.
- Analytics to understand video performance and integrations with marketing tools so you can use the data you gather.
- Options to add agencies to your account so external teams can upload videos.
- Customization options on the player including adding your own branding, thumbnails, and GIF previews.
- A simple video editor that lets you trim your content before you upload it.
- A completely ad-free experience for your internal or external viewers.
- One hub to host all of your content including playlist creation.
- Control of access with user permissions and password and SSO protection for your content.
- The option to share your videos to other platforms directly from VidYard, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube as well as embed on your own website.
- Automatic SEO for your videos including captions and metadata, plus transcriptions for accessibility.
Next, we’re looking at costs.
There are four tiers of pricing at VidYard, with added features and options as you go up the scale.
The price goes from the Free package up to Business, with the highest level offering tools for your marketing strategy like customization of CTAs and integrations with your CRM.
That’s VidYard boxed off, so we’re serving you the next video hosting website on our list.
Brightcove aims to hit a range of different markets, including media, arts, retail, marketing, and internal comms.
They’re proud of their technical skills, so let’s see what’s on offer for creators looking for a video hosting platform.
Brightcove Video Hosting Features
Opting to have Brightcove host your video means you get:
- The potential for unlimited storage of video content to embed on your website and unlimited viewer access.
- A CMS with libraries and playlists.
- Video restrictions so you can release content by date, location, domain, or IP address.
- The ability to monetize your content by inserting ads from some of the top servers.
- A range of analytics covering locations, interests, and engagement with your content.
- Custom player templates that you can access with an API and SDK.
- Integrations with marketing and automation tools.
- 24/7 customer support available online.
On to the price for all of this.
Brightcove has a range of plans with different features depending on your needs.
However, as of the date we published this blog, the prices of these options aren’t available.
There’s a few more on our list, so let’s hop to the next one.
SproutVideo describe themselves as a place to host your product and business-oriented video files.
How does that translate into the features they offer?
You know the drill by now, that’s the next section.
SproutVideo Video Hosting Features
Using this video hosting website offers creators:
- A customizable website to host your content, which can be played up to Ultra HD quality on a brandable player.
- 500GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth with all packages.
- Options to restrict access by IP address, protect content with passwords and logins, and control content by location.
- Lots of different analytics such as locations, devices used, average playback time, and more.
- CTAs in the video, along with lead capture and options for viewers to share content on social media.
- Codes for embedding videos in your own website, Lightbox, or email.
Now, the information your finance department wants to know.
There are 4 tiers of pricing at SproutVideo, with an increasing amount of access control and information about users as you pay more.
Every plan has the option to buy more storage and bandwidth capacity and live input and delivery options, with the price per unit reducing as you move up the tiers.
Progressing to 12 on our list of video hosting service providers.
12. JW Player
If your video marketing plan is all about monetization through advertising, JW Player may be the hosting platform that you’re looking for.
This video hosting platform gives you a place to upload your video and embed it into your existing CMS, such as WordPress.
JW Player Video Hosting Features
Customers who choose to use JW Player are able to:
- Deliver video on an HTML5 player with storage starting at 150GB.
- Create video galleries to keep content in one place for viewers on your own website.
- Choose your own ad network to deliver advertising to viewers and monetize their content or use the company’s ad bidding system.
- Add closed captions to video to help with SEO, as well as metadata editing options and automatic SEO hardcoded into the player.
- Protect content with passwords so only people who you choose can see it.
- Publish your content to social media platforms without leaving the site.
- Present viewers with video recommendations based on their watch history.
- Get detailed analytics data of their viewers.
- Fully brand the video player using API access.
How do the costs stack up?
JW Player Pricing
JW Player offers a month-long free trial, after which, their Starter plan gives you limited storage and access to their player and galleries for your content.
If you want to add more features, you need to contact them to discuss their Enterprise solution.
We’ve got one more for you.
For enterprise-level functions like online meetings and hosting your training, Kaltura may be a solution that’s up for consideration.
We’ve got all their features in one handy list.
Kaltura Video Hosting Features
Using Kaltura as your video hosting platform gets you:
- One central location to keep all the video your brand produces in channels, galleries, and playlists.
- A brandable player with videos able to be embedded on your existing website.
- Quizzes, captions and subtitles, and interactive content hosted on the platform, useful for hosting educational content.
- CTAs and the option to add chapters to your videos.
- The ability to monetize your content by including advertising on your videos.
- A range of analytics data such as engagement and viewer location at user level.
- Strong video security with SSO, geo-restrictions, domain-level access, and more.
One last time with the money.
At the time of publishing this post, there was no pricing information on the Kaltura website.
Now you’ve seen all these great options, we should talk about how to choose between them.
How to Choose the Perfect Video Hosting Platform
Choosing the right video platform for your needs is an exciting step for your business – and also requires a lot of thinking and consideration.
What do you need to think about? What are those considerations?
We’ve boiled it down to what we think are the four most important factors and we’re sharing them with you now.
Tip #1: Understand your future
As an entrepreneur, business, or brand, you know your business will eventually evolve. It won’t remain the same forever.
The video hosting website that seems perfect for your needs today may not be able to grow with you the way you need.
For example, Facebook might be the place where you vibe with your community right now, but to make it a sustainable source of income, you’ll need a way to own that audience and monetize it.
Looking forward to the next 2, 5, or 10 years can be daunting, but starting to secure your revenue stream now will make those later years much easier to handle.
Tip #2: Figure out your data needs
As we’ve seen going through each of these options, one thing that’s different platform-to-platform is the amount of storage space and bandwidth you get.
Here at Uscreen, we work on minutes rather than data numbers, so you don’t have to compromise on video quality because you’re worried about a data cap.
You also need to think about how much of your content is going to get watched. This is where bandwidth comes in.
Unlimited bandwidth will help you keep all of your users, viewers, students, and members happy in the long run.
Tip #3: Choose where your content lives
Where do you want people to find you?
To give your video viewers the best experience, you want to make their viewing environment simple, attractive, and easy to navigate.
For example, YouTube is huge and great for finding an audience, but all your competitors know that, too.
By hosting your content on a platform that…
- lets you create your own website
- takes care of your domain and security certificates
- helps you create TV and mobile apps
… you’ll be able to guide your viewers through their experience with you.
Tip #4: Get to know your audience
To become a successful business, your content needs an audience – so you need to know who they are.
Wherever you host your video, you want to know who’s watching. Using analytics can help you gauge the success of your recent marketing efforts or help you see what drives engagement in order to sell yoga memberships.
First, you need a strong set of metrics and analytics data that tells you about your audience’s behavior and helps you see what resonates with them.
Next, you need to be able to access your audience data to slide into their inbox and do some magical marketing outreach to boost your revenues.
You’ve got plenty to think about here, we’re going to wrap this up.
Now Over to You
That was a ride, wasn’t it?
By now, you know all about the top video hosting websites out there, what they offer, and what they cost – so you can make a well-informed choice.
For many businesses, Uscreen is the perfect fit.
We work with entrepreneurs who want to generate revenue from their content without the hassle of worrying about hosting, technical website building, or how to manage payments.
If that sounds like your kind of business plan, let’s chat!
We’ll give you a free demo and answer any questions you have about how Uscreen can help you achieve success for your video business.
YouTube vs Vimeo: Which Platform is Best for Creators?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still have questions?
There’s a lot to take in, we get it.
Here are the most common things we get asked by friends and customers, so we thought it best to share them with you, too.
Hosting your own video requires renting or buying server storage space and maintaining high quality and speeds. It can get expensive and technically challenging, so many businesses opt to buy video hosting from video hosting websites such as Uscreen. You can create your own website or embed your videos on existing spaces with this type of website.
To feature a video on your website, you can upload it to a video hosting website and then use embedding coding to place it on your site. To monetize it, you will need to have a membership website ready to take payments. Using Uscreen, you can create your own customized, branded website and landing pages and host your video, monetizing through subscriptions and one-off payments.
Sites that don’t charge users to host video include:
There are platforms that’ll host your video content for free, but some of those have limits. Others charge fees starting from $50 per month for cloud-based storage solutions and other features. Renting or buying your own server space to host videos comes with significantly higher costs.
Yes, YouTube is the biggest video hosting site in the world, with 1 billion hours of video watched every day, 2 billion active users, and the second largest number of search queries. As a search engine, it’s second only to Google.
YouTube is the most popular video sharing site in the world, with 2 billion users and 1 billion hours of content watched every single day.
You can host videos natively on your WordPress site, but it will take up a lot of bandwidth and become expensive. Popular plugins such as Jetpack will host your video content and let you embed it directly to your WordPress site. You can also host your video on other video hosting sites and embed them on your WordPress site.
There are lots of different options for video hosting websites. You can choose a free service like YouTube and Dailymotion or a subscription service like Brightcove and SproutVideo. We reckon Uscreen is the best pick when you want to monetize your video content, have full control of your audience, and expand into mobile and TV apps with your content.
The post 13 Best Video Hosting Services for 2021 (Free & Paid) appeared first on Uscreen.