Top 12 Video Hosting Sites: Pros, Cons and Main Features
Videos have become a crucial marketing tool.
Nowadays, if you want to have a successful web company, you have to rely heavily on videos. While written content is still vastly popular, it is hard to neglect the rise of multimedia. The younger generations are used to YouTube and similar platforms, so they are much more likely to see your company’s ads through these platforms than to go directly to your site.
But this isn’t the main reason that you should publish your videos on video sharing platforms. The simple truth is that it’s really hard to host such multimedia on your own website.
For a video to be successful, it usually needs to have a high production value. Oftentimes these videos tend to be larger in size which quickly eats up your server’s bandwidth. Slow loading speed and other issues with performance are commonplace.
Furthermore, it isn’t surprising if a viewer encounters compatibility and quality issues along the way. So the best way to circumvent the problem is by hosting your video on a site dedicated to this purpose.
Before you choose where to host a video, there are numerous things that should be considered.
Here are five of the most common questions you need to ask yourself before choosing a hosting site.
Is it for business or for private use?
Most people prefer going with free solutions such as Vimeo or Dailymotion. These websites are fun and are very popular. However, if you wish to promote your business, perhaps you need to consider sites such as SproutVideo or Wistia. These websites require payments but they have numerous advantages for business owners. For example, they don’t have ads, they provide advanced analytics, A/B testing features and so on. You can even use them as a testing platform before sharing on some bigger, more popular free sites.
How many people do you want to reach?
Everybody knows that YouTube is the most popular video platform there is. It is also the platform with most videos posted. That being said, if you wish to maximize your reach, it is best to post content on this site. YouTube is especially great for businesses as you are able to post almost anything there. Still, they do have a quite strict policy so make sure to create content within the allowed limits. Another good alternative is DailyMotion. Of course, if you want to get even more views, you can always post videos on multiple platforms, both free and paid.
How much customization do you want?
Different platforms have different options and features. This is especially true when it comes to customization. Brightcove is a website that is pretty awesome in that regard. Some platforms have the option of asking viewers for a password to watch them, which makes the videos more exclusive.
There are also video sharing sites that allow adding of call-to-action links, something that all entrepreneurs can appreciate. It is best to learn more about customization options beforehand especially if you wish to go with a paid platform.
What is your budget?
Marketing budget can be a really restrictive thing. Most small and medium-sized companies don’t have a lot of financial resources when it comes to promotional activities. So, if you don’t want to pay too much, you might want to focus only on free platforms.
On the other hand, if you have some more leeway, you might want to consider sharing your content through multiple websites. This will not only give you more exposure but will allow you a better analysis of results.
What kind of interaction do you want to accomplish?
One of the biggest drawbacks of a lot of free video sharing platforms are the ads. This is something that can easily ruin the viewers’ experience. In terms of marketing and viewer retention, ads are also one of the worst things for video creators. They significantly reduce interaction and if you want your message to be seen, it is much better to post it on sites that don’t use ads.
You don’t want any interruptions to the storyline you’ve been putting together with your video post-production agency. There’s nothing worse than a shampoo ad killing the momentum of a great video edit that you’ve been working on.
These are 5 important questions that you have to consider prior to posting your videos. Based on your answers; you will know which platform (or platforms) are best for your project.
Now that we have this out of the way, let’s check some of the best sites for posting video content.
Best video hosting sites
There are lots of video hosting platforms out there.
Most of them have a specific purpose and features distinguishing them from the competition. In that sense, depending on the industry you’re in, you can find the optimal platform for your product. Here are twelve of the best video hosting sites with their main features, pros, and cons.
When we mention video hosting, YouTube is the first thing that pops to our mind. Not only is it the most popular video sharing platform, but is also regarded as a social network. That gives it a distinct advantage over its competition.
YouTube is the first platform that achieved worldwide popularity. A great thing about it is that you can profit from your content so, if you’re a young and aspiring video producer, this is probably the best place for you to start.
- YouTube videos are usually shown at the top of the Google search results
- They can easily be embedded on any site or shared via social networks
- You can create playlists
- Lots of customization options
- Video authors can profit by posting content
- Low level of security compared to some other platforms
- Sometimes, suggested videos might be irrelevant
- Strict policies
- Lots of ads that may affect users’ experience
Although at this point no other platform is even close to YouTube, there are some good alternatives. One of them is certainly Vimeo. This sharing website is known for its high-quality, professionalism and lack of ads. It is also great for companies who are new to video production and want to analyze if their content is successful.
- Much higher quality of videos
- Great set of analytics tools which can be crucial for any company
- No ads
- Popular for documentaries and professional content
- Allows you to upload up to 500 MB per week or 25 GB per year (although the paid version has a higher allowance)
- Paid accounts get unlimited video length which can be good for hosting online events, however; you’re still limited in terms of upload
- Lower exposure compared to YouTube
Dailymotion offers its users both free and paid versions. There are also partnering programs through which you can get some additional exposure as well as a steady stream of revenue. Although watching videos on Dailymotion isn’t ad-free, the ads are not that intrusive and don’t affect visitors’ experience that much. The platform is pretty great in terms of the options available to both visitors and publishers.
- A wide variety of content
- You can embed videos to your blog
- There is an option of making a profit
- Limited analytics regardless of the type of account you have
- Files can be up to 60 minutes long or 2 GB in size
Similar to Dailymotion, Wistia offers its users both paid and free plans. Although the free option isn’t bad, its paid option is the main reason why you should consider using it in the first place.
Wistia is probably the best platform for entrepreneurs and businesses due to its advanced analytics. However, the price tends to go up pretty quickly once you‘ve been using it for a while. That being said, you should make sure that the platform will have a positive impact on your profitability.
- One of the best video sharing platforms for entrepreneurs
- Various analytic tools such as heat maps, video engagement metrics, etc.
- Videos can be protected with a password giving you an additional layer of protection
- Ability to add links to your site
- Great for search engine optimization
- You can integrate it with tools such as MailChimp, HubSpot, WordPress et
- Bandwidth for the free account is limited to 200 GB and you can post up to 25 videos
- The most expensive video sharing platform on the list
- The price goes up with the number of videos you post
- Customization is available only with a paid account
Brightcove is similar to numerous online tools: it is a paid platform that gives you a 30-day trial. The sharing platform is mainly focused on businesses and there are numerous Fortune 500 companies that are using it. Brightcove has various plans, tools and customization options allowing you to get just the type of experience you want.
- High level of customization
- Excellent for small, medium and large businesses
- Allows you to use plugins
- Has some amazing branding tools
- It has one of the better analytics platforms for a video hosting site
- Good customer support
- The 30-day trial allows you to make a proper decision before investing any money
- You might encounter some issues with pricing as plans are not properly displayed; you will likely have to contact the company directly
- The platform is really robust and complex especially when compared to its competitors.
Twitch is a pretty specific platform. It is primarily used by streamers and gaming companies. In fact, it is probably the most popular streaming website in the world. Besides watching streams, you can also access videos from the library. Furthermore, Twitch has a live chat feature and is regarded as an inseparable part of the gaming community.
- Great for gaming streamers and gaming companies but has limited use otherwise
- Paid accounts provide some additional customization options and give you more storage
- Good browsing options
- Free accounts have ads, paid ones don’t
- The platform has quite a strict policy and has been amidst controversies as of late
Veoh is another niche specific site. Veoh has a wide variety of content due to the fact that it streams videos from Internet TV sites. In a way, it is a cross between a video sharing and video streaming platform where you always find something fresh. Through this platform, you can even watch your favourite series as Veoh features lots of ABC and CBS TV shows.
- The platform has a very vibrant community
- Veoh allows different video formats
- It streams popular TV shows as if you were watching TV
- Using this platform can be confusing for new users
- Browsing may be difficult at times as there is lots of clutter
- You might stumble upon content that isn’t related to the topic
If you’re a business owner who wishes to start creating and sharing actionable videos, Vidyard is one of the better platforms to go with. The best thing about it is the high degree of customization available. The site is rather simple to use even though it has a complex analytics suite. Furthermore, you can only pay for the things that you need without having to spend money in vain.
- It is rather easy to use
- You can integrate it with tools such as Marketo and Hootsuite
- Vidyard has social media sharing features
- The basic plans are really expensive
- You have to contact the company to get pricing
- There aren’t many options for reporting
SproutVideo is a very sophisticated suite that is focused on entrepreneurs. It provides the best results when used by marketers but other professionals and businesses can use it as well. The platform has a lot of customization options. However, its pricing model can sometimes be an issue for small and medium companies.
- The tool is pretty straightforward
- Analytics can help you drive more traffic and improve your current videos
- Good revenue analysis tools
- Not ideal for large volumes of content
- Your geographic location may cause some issues
Twentythree is a video marketing company that provides exclusive video hosting solutions to business organizations. Like most other sharing sites, it is an all-in-one platform where you post and manage videos as well as analyze your results.
- Simple to use
- Affordable price
- Has less features than some other video sharing platforms
If you’re looking for software that will help you create videos, Loom is one of the best options on the market. With it, you can easily create downloadable and shareable videos which prove to be really great for larger teams. Rather than spending 30 minutes writing a how-to email, make a 5 minute video.
- Integrated into Google Chrome
- You can share videos with a larger audience
- Great editing features
- Too basic for some bigger jobs
- There are some bugs with the current version
- Certain user interface aspects can be improved
Like Loom, Dubb is a software that can be used to create awesome videos. The tool allows you to record, share and track videos via email and social media. It also gives you a lot of options in terms of integration. It’s a great tool to use for sales prospecting as you can record custom videos for cold prospects and add CTA’s to do things like book an appointment etc.
- Allows you to add call-to-action
- Offers several different ways to make videos
- It has great analytics
- The mobile app is subpar compared to the desktop version
- There are some minor issues with the tool that have to be addressed
These are the twelve most popular video sharing platforms in the world.
The way you will use them depends on your needs. If you’re a streamer who just wants to create web content, it is much better to choose free sites with lots of viewers.
On the other hand, companies may opt to go with paid platforms as they usually have much better analytics and customization options.
Of course, you can always post your content on several platforms in order to maximize your viewership.
When it comes to paid platforms, it’s best if you try them out before investing any money as some of them can be quite costly, which is fine if they are serving the right purpose, but not fine if the same video could be hosted on a free site. For more tips on platforms, read our ‘Creative Ideas to Increase Sales‘ e-book.