After all the time, planning, and consideration that went into it, your video is finally ready. Now, it’s time to show it to the world! You can, of course, upload the video to your website, but it is far from being the best decision.
Video files can often be as large as hundreds of MB, and uploading them directly to the website will consume storage and bandwidth. It also makes for a bad user experience – the website speed slows down, and the playback is not smooth. You will also need to consider the range of browsers and devices your target audience will watch the video on and optimize your video for each. Otherwise, a large chunk of the potential audience will be left out. If this sounds like a headache, that’s because it is.
This is where video hosting websites come to help. These are platforms specializing in providing space for you to upload your videos and then share them on different sites. These platforms come with high-speed players and can optimize the videos for different devices. Not only is the process simpler, but it also works better – a win-win situation!
The only remaining question is how to pick the right platform. To assist you in finding the right video hosting website for your business, in this article, we are going to look at our pick of the best video hosting sites for 2021.
- Sprout Video
YouTube is a popular video hosting site that doesn’t need an introduction. Starting in 2005, it is often credited as the driving force behind the rise of online video content.
Today, with almost 2 billion active monthly visitors, this video platform called YouTube is the hosting platform of choice for many businesses.
- Free and unlimited videos – Uploading videos to the platform is free for all users, and there are no limits to how many videos you can upload. The video duration and file size, however, are limited: non-verified users can only upload videos up to 15 minutes. For verified users, it’s 12 hours. The maximum allowed file size is 128 GB.
- Analytics tools – Basic video analytics tools are available on the platforms, so that you can monitor the performance of your videos. While the tools are far from being advanced, this is a great addition considering that the video hosting platform is free.
- Vast reach and viewership, SEO tools are available – 6 billion hours of video watched on the platform every month. Belonging to Google also helps – videos hosted on YouTube get the top spots in search engines. Any other platform can now match with the viewership and reach offered by YouTube.
- Easy embedding – Embedding the video on your website is also very convenient if you host your video on YouTube. Simply copy the embed code and use it to embed the video on your website.
With that said, if you are looking to maximize your viewership, YouTube is the perfect hosting site. However, if your goal is to center the viewer’s attention on your website or product, YouTube may not be the best choice. The first reason is the ads: they appear both at the beginning and during the video and may distract the viewer from your message. The second reason is the personalized suggestions YouTube shows at the end of the video.
This also can potentially take away the attention from your product, and even prompt the viewers to leave your website.
YouTube is free for all the creators. YouTube owns its own streaming service YouTube Premium, available at $12/month. However, it benefits only the viewers.
Vimeo like YouTube is not only a video hosting platform but also a social network of sorts. The main difference is the audience: Vimeo is branded to be more professional. While it cannot yet compete with YouTube when it comes to viewership, it has a large community of 90 million creatives. This existing audience makes Vimeo a suitable place for reaching a broad audience.
- Higher video quality – Vimeo has been around since 2004 but became known in 2007 because of the high quality of hosted videos. The encoding techniques of the platform allow for compression on a higher bitrate. As a result, the uploaded video content looks sharper and brighter.
- Ad-free – The platform doesn’t run ads on videos, which means the viewers can watch a high-quality video for free, without interruptions, and ad-free.
- Replacing the videos- The platform has a very convenient option of replacing the videos. You can remove the old video and add a new one instead of it without losing the views and comments.
- Advanced sharing settings – This video hosting platform offers a variety of sharing settings, depending on who you want your video to be available for. You can add collaborators to the project, and set different privacy settings for each of them. An option to password-protect your video is also available.
- Analytics tools available – Depending on your plan, access the analytics of your videos to see how they are performing.
- Embedding options – Each video has a unique embed code you can use to add the video to your website. In the player, users will be allowed to change the volume and quality of the video, and make it full screen.
- Vimeo Basic – This free plan comes with a 500 MB upload limit a week, with a total of 5 GB storage for your account. The plan also allows up to 10 uploads a day.
- Paid Plans – The platform comes with four paid plans, suitable for varying needs. Plans start at $84/year and go up depending on the storage space, analytics levels, and the number of collaborators.
If you are looking for a hosting platform dedicated to business, Vidyard is one of the best options to turn to. It offers premium content marketing tools for sales and marketing professionals, and for solving corporate communication problems.
- Unlimited video hosting – This video hosting platform offers unlimited video hosting, without any constraints on the video duration and file size. 4K videos are also supported.
- Analytics tools – Premium analytics tools are available for marketers and sales specialists. Vidyard offers insights on video performance over time, as well as details on who your audience is.
- Video optimization – Vidyard also offers tools for optimizing the video content for search engines, A/B testing the thumbnail, and add buttons or links to the video for maximum results.
- Ad-free video hosting – The platform gets its revenue from subscription plans and doesn’t run any ads on the videos.
- Simple embedding – To embed a video on your website, copy the video embed code and add it to the HTML of the website.
- Free – Marketing and Sales categories both have a free plan available. You can use it to record an unlimited number of videos. However, you can only embed or share only five videos under the free plan. It also comes with a Vidyard watermark.
- Paid – Depending on if you are looking for a solution for your marketing or sales needs, or for corporate communication, Vidyard offers a variety of packages. The prices start at $180/year with the Pro package and go up from there, which makes Vidyard a costly tool to afford.
Vidyard is a great option for marketers and sales specialists looking for more efficient ways to use videos in their strategies. Because of its price, however, the platform may be available only to medium or large businesses.
Wistia is another video hosting platform for catering business marketing and sales needs. The platform comes with powerful customization tools to cater to the clients’ needs as best as possible.
- Analytics – Being a hosting service for businesses and marketing specialists, Wistia offers powerful analytics tools to check the performance of your content, as well as learn valuable insights on your audience. Detailed information on the play and engagement rates are available.
- Wistia Channels – This is the feature that sets Wistia apart from its competitors. With Wistia Channels, you can add not only videos but entire playlists to your website, providing a TV-quality experience. This is an especially valuable feature for businesses that create video series.
- Marketing Tools – Apart from SEO, Wistia offers an opportunity to retarget your viewers through Facebook, Instagram, and Google. In addition to that, viewers can subscribe to Wistia Channels. While this is similar to subscribers on YouTube or Vimeo, on Wistia, you own their email addresses and can sync with your CRM.
- Ad-free – As some of the other platforms on this list, Wistia doesn’t run ads on the videos.
- Collaboration – Invite team members to work on the project, give specific access to each team member. You can work on the project in real-time, commenting, or adding feedback.
- Embedding – As with other hosting platforms, copy the embed code from Wistia and add it to your website code. With the video replace option the platform offers, if you replace your video, the embedding code will not change, and the new video will appear on your website instantly.
- Free – The free plan comes with all the standard features like a fully customizable player, embedding, and interactive video tools. You can upload up to 3 videos. The Wistia branding will appear on the player.
- Paid – In addition to the free plan, Wistia offers two paid plans – Pro and Advanced. Pro plan costs $99/month. The plan allows users to upload and embed ten videos. After this limit, each additional video will cost 25¢ per month. The pricing of the Advanced package is not mentioned – you will need to contact the company for additional information.
Wistia is a powerful hosting platform businesses can leverage to boost their video marketing efforts. However, the pricing and offered packages make Wistia quite a costly tool to afford.
SproutVideo is another hosting platform great for businesses that want to skip “crowded” platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. A private hosting service without an existing audience, SproutVideo is the alternative to Wistia and Vidyard.
- Protection – Password-protect your videos, set up a geo-restriction, block IPs, or even restrict embedding – the platform comes with large safety tools.
- Marketing tools – The platform also offers a large selection of marketing tools such as marketing integration, SEO tools, and social sharing.
- Analytics – Detailed analytics on total views and impressions, device types, domains, unique viewers are available.
- Playlists – You can collect the videos into playlists, organize the playback order, and choose from the layout options to customize the player look. Embed the playlists into your website or blog by using the embed code.
SproutVideo doesn’t have a free plan, but it offers a 30-day free trial. Later, you can upgrade to any of the four available plans, by comparing the functionalities.
The most affordable plan starts at $24.99/month, which makes SproutVideo a more cost-efficient alternative to Wistia.
Brightcove is an established name in video hosting. However, it is different from the other platforms in the list, as it specializes in providing tools for video monetization.
- Fast and reliable video player – The platform claims to have the fastest HTML5 player available, making it possible to deliver the videos on every device without sacrificing speed and quality.
- Advertising – Easy-to-use ad integration tools allow the users to insert ads into your videos across platforms, while bypassing ad blockers, to maximize your revenue.
- Analytics – The platform comes with premium quality analytics tools that give you insights into viewer behavior and the effectiveness of your content.
- Social Media Integration – You can use Brightcove to post videos on social channels such as Twitter and Facebook, and access the video analytics right on the platform.
- Live-Streaming – Brightcove offers extensive tool options for live-streaming through the platform’s high-speed player. Live streams can also be monetized through the seamless integration of ads into the streams.
While the website doesn’t mention any pricing information, the offered plans are broken down into three categories: Marketing, Enterprise Communications, and Monetization.
The specifications of each plan are described in detail, and you are welcome to contact their sales team for pricing details.
Cincopa is a video hosting service specialized in providing video hosting and analytics tools for businesses, websites, and digital agencies. The company offers a large selection of premium content marketing tools brands can use to reach their marketing goals.
- Customizable HTML5 player – The platform comes with a selection of player templates, from which you can pick the one matching your needs most.
- SEO-friendly embedding – Easily embed the videos hosted on Cincopa to your website by using the unique code of your video.
- Ad-free video hosting – Because of the subscription-based business model, the platform doesn’t run ads on videos, allowing the viewers to watch your videos without interruptions.
- Analytics tools – Advanced analytics tools let you get valuable insights about the performance of your videos.
- Security and protection – With the security tools offered by the platform, you can password-protect your videos, block IPs, and restrict unwanted domains.
Cincopa doesn’t offer a free plan. However, it does offer a 14-day free trial during which you can test the main functionalities of the website, and then choose a subscription plan based on your needs.
Instead, there are four paid plans available, each offering different functionalities. Prices range from $9/month for the “Startup” plan and going up to $350 for the “Agency” plan which makes Cincopa a hosting site for businesses with different budgets.
This one may come as a surprise, but the rise of video content in recent years did not bypass social platforms. More and more businesses turn to video content on Facebook to reach and attract new audiences.
Facebook Video Features
- Unlimited videos – The platform allows users to upload an unlimited number of videos daily. Each video can be up to 4 hours long, and the maximum allowed file size is 10 GB.
- Large audience – With 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social platform in the world. This makes Facebook another great hosting platform if you are looking for maximum reach.
- Analytics tools – Facebook Creator Studio offers analytics for each video, as well as data on total views, retention, and engagement rates.
- Simple embedding – Embed the videos hosted on Facebook simply by grabbing the embed code and adding it to your website.
Uploading and hosting your videos on Facebook is free of charge.
For those who don’t look for very advanced tools, want to gather all their online activity in one place, and drive some additional traffic to their social channels, Facebook can be a great hosting site. However, it comes with its share of downsides, such as reduced video quality, ads running during the videos, and the suggested videos in the end.
To sum up, there is no shortage of options when it comes to video hosting platforms. However, before choosing the hosting platform for your videos, you need to be clear on what your goals and needs are.
This article covered the main features and pricing points of our pick for the eight best video hosting platforms for 2021. Each of these platforms caters to different needs, and you are by no means restricted only to one! Experiment with the tools, dive into the features and choose those fitting your business needs best.
And if you are having any trouble with creating your first video, you can explore some of the video templates available on Renderforest. Browse through our large template library, choose the one you like the most, and start creating today.