Videos have literally taken over the internet and they have become the most preferred content format online, be it for creating online courses, marketing your products or even customer support.
Now, in order to host and deliver your videos, you should always use a video hosting platform rather than self hosting videos as it can be an extremely tricky thing to manage and you will face a lot of issues.
The best video hosting platforms take care of all the super technical aspects involved in the process and help you deliver a seamless watching experience to your users across devices.
In addition, there are so many of these platforms in the market and some of them even offer features for marketing and video monetization – which means whatever your use case, you’re likely to find a platform that will meet your needs.
In this guide, I will talk about the 7 best video hosting platforms that are available in the market, the key features they offer, their pros and cons, and discuss how you can choose the right one for your business.
Let’s get started.
How to Select the Best Video Hosting Site
There are dozens of different video hosting sites out there in the market and each one of them has something different to offer.
So, if you don’t know how these platforms work and what makes a great one, you are more likely to make the wrong choice.
With video hosting platforms, you can upload your videos so that you can share them on your website, social media and for that matter, any online platform.
The videos are served from their servers and it is their job to provide a great viewing experience to your users.
As such, there are some essential things like video quality, playback experience across different browsers and devices, video player customization, closed captioning, video security, etc. that will be important for all video hosting websites.
However, you’ll need to narrow it down further in order to pick the right platform for you and for that, I recommend you to look at three major things: end goal, feature requirements, and budget.
You should start by asking yourself questions like do you want a platform that helps your videos reach a larger audience? Do you want a platform to host your sales & marketing videos? Or do you want to just host videos for your online course or membership site?
The thing is: your end goal is going to massively influence the features you would need in your video hosting service.
For instance, if your goal is to host your online course videos, you should select a platform that allows you to embed videos on your own website and provides you advanced restriction features.
The majority of modern online course platforms (e.g. Kajabi) offer you unlimited video hosting as part of your subscription. When you use one of these platforms, you don’t need to buy video hosting separately.
It’s mostly when you use a self-hosted option like WordPress, that you’ll need a video hosting platform for your online course videos.
Or let’s suppose, your goal is to build a video on demand business, then you should look for an all-in-one video platform that also offers video monetization tools.
Similarly, if your goal is to create marketing videos for your website, you might want features like lead capture, audience retargeting, A/B testing, etc.
Once you have identified the purpose of your video marketing and the features you need in a video hosting platform, you can now decide a budget that you want to allocate to this.
Thankfully, you can start hosting videos with little to no budget. So if you’re starting from scratch, you may even start with a free video platform depending on your requirements.
But if you are a professional marketer or content creator, you would want to invest in a premium video hosting solution that gives you everything you need.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best video hosting platforms that you can use for your videos.
With over 2+ billion users, YouTube is by far the most popular video platform on the internet. The large user base offers a high exposure potential to creators which often makes it the most favorite and go-to choice for those who want to build an audience.
It lets you create your own Youtube channel, upload unlimited videos, create playlists, and do live streaming and you can share them with others.
The users can watch your content on all devices and they can even subscribe to your channel to get notifications about your future videos.
In addition to this, you can monetize your videos with ad-supported options and if you meet certain minimum requirements (e.g. 30,000+ subscribers), you can even sell a channel membership.
Now, you can even embed YouTube videos on your website or landing pages but the thing is you don’t have much control over branding or the content recommendation made to your users at the end.
Plus Youtube doesn’t allow you to restrict access to your videos on certain domains or to certain users (e.g. paid members).
So, if your goal is to host your brand videos or your online course videos to be used on your own website, Youtube won’t work for you.
However, if you’re a video creator who wants to tap into the huge audience base that Youtube has, the platform should work well for you.
Vimeo is another popular online video platform which is similar to Youtube in some regards. It has a relatively smaller user base of 170 million but then it caters to a more professional and creative audience.
So, you can create a channel on Vimeo and upload your videos to it so that other users can watch them. However, Vimeo is much more than just a video sharing platform.
Vimeo has a powerful embedding feature that is clean, fast, and doesn’t include forced ad recommendations. Plus you can customize the look and feel of your video player which is awesome.
As far as video privacy is concerned, you can make your videos private as well as protect them with a password.
Moreover, you have the option to make your videos available only on certain domains which makes it ideal for hosting content for paid products like online courses and membership sites.
Apart from hosting regular videos, you can also do live streaming through Vimeo. You can not just embed the live stream on your website but you can also simultaneously use that for FB and Youtube Lives.
Another stand-out feature that Vimeo provides is for seamless collaboration which allows you to invite team members, clients, and other stakeholders to preview your private projects. Reviewers can even leave comments at the exact moment in the video where they want to.
Now, Vimeo offers a lot of useful marketing features as well which include the ability to add CTAs in your videos, lead generation tools, integrations with popular email marketing solutions, video analytics, etc.
As far as pricing is concerned, Vimeo is one of the most reasonably priced platforms with their paid plan starting at just $12/month. Although they have a free video plan as well, that won’t give you premium features like restricting access to your videos.
Finally, Vimeo also has a separate OTT platform which offers you video monetization tools as well as the ability to get your own branded OTT apps so that you can run your video on demand business.
Overall, Vimeo is among the most complete (and affordable) video hosting websites out there, it can cater to various use cases and works well for all types of creators.
Uscreen is very different from other video hosting sites on this list. Unlike other platforms, it is primarily focused on helping creators build a video on demand business under their own brand.
So, it is an all-in-one video monetization platform that not just lets you host your videos but also offers plenty of useful features and in-built tools to monetize them.
The platform allows you to host your videos and deliver a flawless cross-device playback experience with features like HTML5 player, global CDN delivery, multi-bitrate HLS streaming, etc.
You can also create live events and do live streaming from within the platform which is great for engaging your audience.
As far as the content management system is concerned, Uscreen gives you a lot of flexibility. You can assign categories to your videos as well as create custom filters, allowing you to create a well organized video catalog.
Moreover, it has a feature called “Collections” which allows you to group your videos into playlists and chapters, making it ideal for creating video-based online courses.
However, where Uscreen takes the whole thing to the next level is OTT apps. It lets you launch your own OTT apps for mobile phones and smart TVs so that your users can watch your content on all devices.
When it comes to video monetization, Uscreen allows you to create custom pricing models for your audience which include recurring subscriptions, one-time purchases, and rentals.
In addition, it offers some useful features like bundles, upsells, cart abandonment, and subscribers analytics to help you streamline and enhance your marketing efforts.
As far as pricing is concerned, Uscreen has a very different pricing model and it makes sense as well. Their Basic Plan costs $149/month and allows you to have up to 300 active subscribers while the Pro Plan costs $299/month and comes with a limit of 1,000 subscribers.
Uscreen is one of the most feature-rich video platforms out there but you should keep in mind that it will be an overkill if you’re just looking for a solution to host your marketing or training videos.
Having said that, Uscreen will be ideal for creators who are looking for an all-in-one platform to build their own video on demand business.
Wistia is a professional video hosting service that is focused on providing you the video marketing tools you need to grow your business.
To start with, you can host your videos on Wistia, customize the video player appearance, embed the videos on your own website and deliver them with high-quality playback experience across devices.
Wistia also lets you create your own channel where you can organize and showcase your videos. You can even embed the channel on your own website.
However, unlike Youtube, you have complete control over customer experience. So, you don’t have to worry about your users getting distracted with ads or unrelated video recommendations.
Now, the platform offers some really powerful video marketing features which includes the ability to add CTAs, perform A/B testing, and much more.
The most interesting one is the ability to capture leads from within the video and send them to your marketing automation or CRM solution.
It also offers handy SEO features which include the ability to create search-friendly video pages and automatically optimize your videos, helping your videos rank better in Google.
Finally, Wistia offers advanced analytics tools which lets you track every action that a viewer takes, right from viewing your video content to pausing it to clicking on a form.
You can also pass this data to Facebook and Google pixels so that you target new audiences or retarget existing ones.
As far as pricing is concerned, Wistia is one of the most expensive video hosting platforms on the list. It has a free plan which allows you to embed up to 3 free videos.
The Pro plan costs $99/month and allows you to embed up to 10 videos for free. For additional videos, you’ll need to pay 25¢ per video per month.
Overall, Wistia is one of the most feature-rich video marketing platforms out there and is ideal for established brands that are looking to leverage video marketing to grow and engage their audience.
Vidyard is a video hosting platform designed specifically for businesses looking to use videos for sales, marketing, and internal communications.
It has all the essential features like video storage, high-quality playback without ads or distractions, video player customization, video embedding options as well as the ability to restrict access to them.
In addition, it has all the important sales and marketing tools like call to actions, lead capture forms, easy SEO optimization, CRM integrations, advanced analytics, etc.
However, there are a few standout features that Vidyard offers.
The first one is the ability to create personalized videos for individual users instantly, based on their personal information.
You can use these personalized videos on your landing pages as well as in your email campaigns and is great for engaging your audience.
Secondly, Vidyard offers a free transcription feature for its paid customers which automatically transcribes the uploaded videos for use as captions.
Another useful feature is the inbuilt video creation tools. It has an inbuilt screen recorder that allows you to record your screen, webcam or both and you can make basic edits to these videos inside the platform as well.
Moreover, you can quickly share your videos via email or messaging, making it ideal for instant communication with your customers or within your team.
Finally, Vidyard lets you do a live stream as well and the good thing is that it can be watched on any device. And the live stream will automatically be saved as an on-demand video once it is over.
When it comes to pricing, Vidyard has one of the most reasonably priced offerings. It has a free plan which allows you to create and upload unlimited videos, even though you can embed up to 5 videos only.
If you want more features and increased limits, you can upgrade to a paid plan starting from $15/month. If you need Vidyard for your team, the pricing starts from $300/month.
SproutVideo is another video hosting platform for businesses looking to leverage videos for sales and marketing.
Like other platforms in this list, you can upload and embed your videos, display in-player call to actions, capture leads from within the video, pass information to popular email marketing, track performance with advanced analytics.
Again, you have complete control over who can access your content. So, you can restrict access to your videos based on specific URLs, IP address, and/or geographic location.
Now, SproutVideo offers a few important features that help it stand out from the competition.
Firstly, you can do a live stream from inside SproutVideo which is awesome. Like videos, you can embed the live stream on your website as well as restrict access to it.
Another useful feature is the ability to design unlimited unique video players. This allows you to match each video player with individual pages on your website for seamless user experience.
Finally, it gives you the ability to create a video website on the platform itself and require your users to login in order to access your content. Your video site can use a custom domain and you even have pre-built themes to customize your website.
The only thing that’s missing from the video site feature is the native video monetization tools. However, you can accept payments externally and grant access to your video site via Zapier.
As far as pricing is concerned, SproutVideo has a very flexible pricing. The lowest tier costs $24.99/month and offers the core video hosting and delivery features.
However, if you want access to premium features like video sites, login protection, etc. you’ll have to switch to one of the higher tiers which will obviously cost more.
Overall, the platform can cater to various use cases including content marketing, sales communication, delivering online training, etc. and should work well for all types of businesses.
7. JW Player
While it’s possible that you might have never heard about JW Player, it is one of the best video hosting platforms for digital media companies and is worth mentioning here.
Like other platforms in this list, JW Player lets you host, manage and deliver your videos. The inbuilt HTML5 player is pretty fast and it lets you deliver an optimized video experience to your viewers on every device.
However, the USP of the platform is its powerful video advertising features. You can integrate JW Player with leading ad services like YuMe, Tremor, SpotX and Google. Plus it offers innovative features like Video Player Bidding which helps maximize ad revenue.
It’s OTT feature enables you to deliver video ads for your viewers across a wide range of devices and platforms like iPhone, Android, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, ROKU, Fire TV, etc.
JW Player also lays out recommendations curated from your playlists to each viewer. This helps increase the visibility of your video content to your audience and also maximizes the viewing sessions.
Finally, it offers pretty powerful video analytics for you to access real-time video activity, build and monitor custom reports including views, engagement levels, etc that can help you improve your content and targeting strategy.
JW Player is a fairly affordable video hosting platform with a free plan for developers that offers basic video hosting capabilities.
And, its starter pack costs just $10/month with advanced features like live streaming, 50,000 plays, 150 GB hosting, etc. If you want to use their entire range of features, you can get custom pricing from them.
Overall, the platform is ideal for publishers and digital media companies looking to monetize their videos via in-video advertisements.
Best Video Hosting Platforms – Final Verdict
There are tons of different video platforms available in the market and I know that it can get confusing to decide what is the best video hosting site for you.
And that’s exactly why I recommend you to keep it simple and approach it methodically – what you want to achieve with your videos, what are the specific features you want, and what is your budget for a video hosting platform.
While all the platforms listed in this guide are awesome, I personally recommend two of these platforms and they should work for most people.
If you’re looking purely for a video hosting platform, Vimeo is a great option. It is a multi-purpose video hosting platform that will work for all types of creators as well as all types of video content including marketing videos, premium online course videos, etc.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to build a subscription-based video on demand business, you should go for an all-in-one platform like Uscreen.
And you may want to use one of the other platforms mentioned in this list depending on your requirements.
I hope this guide helped you choose the right video hosting service for your business.
Do you have any questions related to any of these platforms? Have you used any of them in your business and if yes, what did you like and not like about them? Please leave a comment below and let me know.
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