In the past two years, we have witnessed a surge in video content demand in the digital world. Video is no longer reserved for entertainment only. Businesses and enterprises now actively use video content format for marketing. Even Institutions are focusing on online learning and creating online video courses for their students. Therefore, Content marketers need to have a reliable video hosting platform that meets the business objectives.
You must choose a video hosting platform that delivers a smooth user experience for your online courses. This could be in terms of quality, monetization, and format.
However, this will take us back to why you need a video hosting platform. Keeping in mind that video content is one of the top lead generation tools right now, I will guide you on choosing a hosting platform for your videos.
How to Choose the Best Video Hosting Platform?
There are dozens of video hosting programs available on the internet. Unfortunately, not every platform will work for you or deliver the results that you want. When choosing a video hosting platform, consider these three major factors:-
Goal – Identify your overall objective before you create any of your videos. Who is your target audience? In most cases, businesses use video content to drive traffic to their websites. Choose a video hosting platform that allows you to share the videos on your website blog and social media pages.
Video marketing has shown incredible results in terms of brand awareness. People love to watch a story unfold rather than read it. Videos are also excellent lead generation tools with a high conversion rate. Besides, marketers can get a lot of data from monitoring viewer engagement. Using this data, it becomes easier to create products that meet customer needs and standards.
Features – Once you identify your goals, you must get a video hosting platform with features that will help you meet these objectives. For instance, if you plan to use video content for marketing, go for a platform that offers monetization tools.
Each business will have different goals. Thus, you must choose a platform that offers as much customization as possible. Choose a platform that provides the privacy of your content. For example, if you are running an online course, you want people to view this content. You may not want to allow people to download your videos to use in any other way. A good video platform offers maximum security and privacy to ensure you monetize your content.
Other features that you might consider may include Video analytics, Good quality, Ease of use.
Budget – Most people are conversant with the free video platforms. However, while the open platforms allow you to do basic video upload and management, they are not very useful.
For example, take a free video platform such as YouTube. While it allows you to use the basic features free of charge, there are many adverts. The platform’s primary goal is to market its website to get people to advertise instead of selling your content.
Paid video platforms are different. They allow you to customize your content to meet your goals. There will be limited advertisements on your videos and much more security. Before settling for a video platform, analyze your budget and needs accordingly.
Lets take a look at at the eight best video hosting platforms that you can consider for your business.
8 Best Video Hosting Platforms in 2021
YouTube is the most popular video platform across the internet. And what’s more? You do not need to pay any money to start uploading and publishing your videos. Over 2 billion people use YouTube for entertainment, business, and training purposes.
As such, you have a lucrative opportunity to create a fan base and monetize your content. You can build your channel and start uploading your videos right away.
On monetization, YouTube is one of the top video marketing platforms. Businesses and individuals can use the ad-supported option to monetize their content. This allows YouTube to run advertisements on your videos at a price.
One feature to love about YouTube is the ability to embed your videos on your website. It also allows you to record and upload live streaming, a recent concept.
Pros and Cons of YouTube:
- It is free to use, and users can watch your videos on any device.
- You can reach a large audience base at no costs.
- Easy to monetize your content through Google Adsense.
- Offers backlinks for your website for SEO purposes.
- Privacy is not guaranteed since YouTube is a public video platform.
- You don’t have control over who advertises on your videos.
- YouTube has so many restrictions that can lead to losing your account if you go against these rules, e.g., violating their terms and conditions policy or copyright issues.
Video makers who are focused on monetizing their content can use the Vimeo hosting platform. This is one of the best options for YouTube and offers relatively better services. However, I must say that you might not reach a huge fan base as you would with YouTube.
Vimeo offers incredible hosting options, even when using the free version. However, the paid version will provide excellent features that will ultimately achieve your business goals.
Vimeo hosting platforms have over 170 million monthly viewers. This is a huge audience base for any business. However, the free plan does not allow a lot of videos. It offers 500MB bandwidth with 5GB storage space.
You can also make your published videos private and protect them with a password. However, this feature is for individual accounts. Businesses will have to pay to enhance their video content security.
And as with YouTube, Vimeo also has a live streaming feature for both free and paid plans. You can also customize Call-to-Action to capture leads. Besides, Vimeo makes a great hosting platform with an easy to embed feature that works smoothly. You do not need to be an expert to embed your videos into your site.
You can invite your team members to preview your private videos in the comment section. Whether you are hosting an online course or branded marketing videos, Vimeo has incredible features. It allows you to restrict your content to specific audiences, for instance, paid members only.
Vimeo offers affordable pricing on their four plans. The basic Plus plan started at $7/month and billed annually. It comes with 5GB per week and 250GB storage per year and allows only one account user.
The Pro plan offers 1TB storage space per year and 20GB per week. Three team members can use Vimeo to host video content. This plan will cost you $20/month and is also billed annually.
Vimeo prices Business and Premium plans at $50/month and $75/month, respectively. The former allows up to 10 team members with 5TB storage space, while the Premium plan allows an unlimited number of team members and up to 7TB storage. All these plans are billed annually.
Vimeo is one of the most outstanding and most efficient video hosting platforms with exclusive features. It also supports branded OTT apps that will get you to sell your on-demand videos. Overall, it works well for both small businesses and large enterprises.
Pros and cons of Vimeo video platform
- It offers a high-quality user experience since it is an ad-free platform.
- Vimeo is an excellent choice for branded content.
- It allows you to edit your published videos.
- Perfect lead generation and video monetization tools.
- The basic plan allows only a limited number of videos.
- You have to subscribe to Pro or premium use advanced monetization features.
Wistia offers professional video marketing solutions with enhanced security. It is a perfect platform for small and medium-sized businesses. One thing to love about Wistia is the player interface. It is simple and easy to embed on your website to monetize your content.
Once you create your channel, your viewers enjoy a high-quality user experience with no ad disruptions. This sets it apart from YouTube.
Small businesses can take advantage of the rich monetization features that Wistia offers. And the good news is you can start with a free basic plan. It features three videos and podcasts but only allows just one user. The free plan will only support up to 250 channel subscribers.
If you have a more extensive audience base, you can upgrade to the Pro or Custom plan. The latter will allow you to customize your account to meet your business objectives. The Pro plan allows you to upload up to 10 free videos. However, to upload more videos, you have to pay 25 cents per upload. I think this is a pocket-friendly criterion. Wistia is also a lead generation tool, especially with the Pro or Custom plan, and you can have up to 250 subscribers and an email notification tool.
The Custom Plan allows up to 100 free videos with more than the 250 subscriber limit with the Wistia Pro plan.
Pros and Cons of the Wistia Video platform
- With the affordable $99/month Pro plan, you can customize and brand your content as desired.
- Have in-depth analytic reporting. This will come a long way in terms of your video content monetization.
- Easy to use platform with reliable customer support.
- Lead generation tool that allows subscribers to sign up for email notification through Call to action pop-up forms.
- The Custom Plan offers a wide range of features, including HubSpot integration or Marketo.
- The Pro plan is a bit pricey for its features.
- Less customization options, especially with editing, even in the Pro plan.
- Wistia is overall an excellent platform for small businesses looking to expand soon.
Unlike most video platforms, Uscreen is a private video hosting platform that focuses on video-on-demand businesses. As such, it provides a wide range of content monetization options. And what’s more? It gives high sales conversion rates.
Uscreen has over three different player interfaces, including the HTML5 player and the multi-bitrate HLS players. These are high-quality player interfaces that are compatible with multiple devices.
Besides live streaming, Uscreen will categorize your videos into assigned catalogs. It is effortless for your viewers to access the videos they want. Most video hosting platforms do not provide video cataloging. Customers spend so much time trying to find your videos, which leads to low viewership.
Using Uscreen, you can launch an OTT app for users to access your content on TV, smartphones, and other devices. This feature would be ideal for online courses and other video-on-demand businesses.
Besides, it has a live streaming feature, which is an excellent tool for webinars. You can monetize this tool by charging users on pay-per-view terms or recurring subscriptions. The comprehensive analytics tool will help you tailor your business to meet your customer needs.
Uscreen offers very flexible plans. It offers three plans starting with the basic $49/month plan for small businesses. Medium-sized and large enterprises can use the Amplify or the Enterprise plans. The Amplify plan goes for $399/month, offering total customization and up to 1,000 subscribers.
The Enterprise plan offers total control of your content and monetization. Businesses and brands must consult with the video platform customer support for pricing.
Pros and Cons of Uscreen Video Platform
- It has an easy to use dashboard, and you can edit your videos before publishing.
- Offers a reliable technical support.
- It has a reliable analytics and reporting tool to tailor your content to meet your target audiences’ needs.
- Live streaming feature with practical monetization tools.
- All plans feature a free trial and supports SEO optimization.
- Limited video storage with the basic plan supporting only 3,000, Amplify plan up to 7,000 minutes only.
- The Amplify Plan price is quite steep for small businesses.
- Doesn’t offer a reliable lead generation tool.
Vidyard has a lot to offer for small businesses that are slowly scaling up. It is one of the popular video hosting platforms with an in-built CRM system. This platform also allows vast video sharing features, which contributes to content monetization.
Vidyard boasts of a powerful analytics feature, and you can use it from a Chrome browser extension. You can record videos from your digital camera, edit and upload them on Vidyard. Besides being one of the most secure video platforms, Vidyard allows you to capture your screen too.
You will notice that Vidyard keeps on updating its features, making it a better platform. The most recent update allows you to edit your videos extensively before publishing. It has an easy-to-use interface with reliable 24/7 customer support.
Beginners can start with the free plan that has plenty of features. You can record and upload unlimited videos and share them on social media and email. However, this plan lacks the password security option and does not support a comment section. The paid plans start at $15/month with extra monetization features.
Pros and Cons of Vidyard Platform
- Excellent marketing tools, including SEO optimization and lead capture features.
- Powerful analytics and reporting tool with an in-built CRM system.
- Offers video transcriptions for use as captions.
- Screen capture feature and direct webcam or digital cam recording.
- Video sharing options to enhance monetization.
- You get a notification every time a user opens your videos.
- It tends to lag during editing.
- It does not categorize videos, which makes it difficult for subscribers to access the videos they need.
- The free version allows minimal embedding options.
This is a perfect video marketing and sales conversions platform for small and medium-sized businesses. It boasts of reliable security and reporting tools that offer great data analytics. You control who can access your content and also how they use your content. For instance, you can protect your videos from unauthorized downloads.
Unfortunately, the Sprout Video platform does not allow direct payment tools. Thus, it is not easy not to ask users to subscribe to your content at a fee. It can be quite disadvantageous for people who want to monetize their content through subscription and pay-per-view terms.
The one outstanding feature is the video website. You can construct your website to upload your videos. Users who need to watch your content must sign up to access it. In the end, this is a great lead capture technique.
The Sprout Video plans start at $24.99/month with a free 30-day trial for beginners. The advanced plans offer better features that can help you manage your content.
Pros and Cons of SproutVideo
- Seamless user experience.
- Great analytic reporting tool.
- Perfect choice for lead capture for video marketing.
- You can control who accesses your content and how they use it. SproutVideo has enhanced security options.
- It is an excellent choice for online training video content.
- You can only access critical features at a higher cost than what is already on the market.
- Users complain of slower playback, which is a significant setback.
- It can be a complex platform for beginner video content marketers.
JW Player is one of the most preferred video hosting platforms for small and medium-sized digital media startups. Most users love that JW Player provides analytic reporting to aid video engagement and determine the ROI.
Besides, you can customize your videos for branding. For instance, JW Player allows you to add your logo to your videos. And what’s more? This video platform also has a split-screen feature and excellent content marketing solutions. Marketers can access the sales conversion as well as manage content distribution using the JW Player.
It also comes with an HTML5 player that allows fast video loading for viewers. With an active OTT feature, users can launch their content on Android smartphone Apps and TV.
JW offers a 30-days trial, after which a starter plan subscription at $10 per month. This plan provides 250GB hosting bandwidth and 500GB storage. However, you can always speak with the JW Player customer representative for custom enterprise video solutions.
Pros and Cons of JW Player
- It is an excellent choice for digital media companies for both videos and podcasts.
- It converts your videos to play on various devices.
- It has an easy to use interface.
- Allows faster rendering and no loading time when playing the videos on JW Player.
- You can schedule to publish your videos or podcasts at a later date.
- It does not allow you to use a clickable link on the video.
- JW Player does not provide detailed analytic reports.
- Allows only a single login for individual accounts.
Dacast video platform is one of the best all-in-one video platforms with an excellent live streaming feature. You can shoot from your webcam or digital cam to shoot, edit and publish your HD videos directly via Dacast.
Being a paid video platform, DaCast offers secure video upload and publishing. Small and medium video-on-demand businesses can take advantage of the useful monetization tools DaCast has to offer.
If you run webinars or live events, go for the DaCast video platform. Besides, it offers a high-security level, and you can protect your content with a password.
Dacast also supports all mobile devices, and their customer representatives respond to your requests almost immediately.
You can boost your revenue when using DaCast to host your video content. The Event Plan allows you to charge your viewers to access your premium content. You can, however, subscribe to any of the following packages depending on your goals and budget:
- Starter Plan: Starts at $39/month with 1.2 TB per year and 50GB of storage.
- Event Plan – $63/month with 6TB upfront bandwidth and 50GB storage.
- Scale Plan – $188/month with 24TB/Year bandwidth with 1TB storage.
- Custom Plan: You can contact Diecast customer representatives if you have specific requirements. The pricing will depend on your demands.
Pros and Cons of Dacast
- It is an excellent choice for HD live event streaming, such as webinars.
- It offers a 30 days trial with no credit card needed.
- Dacast platform allows you to monetize your content easily.
- You can add your branding material such as long or colors in your videos for marketing purposes.
- The packages are a bit pricey for small businesses.
- If your files are over 2GB, you can only upload via FTP. You need technical knowledge to do so, which makes it an unsuitable platform for beginners.
Final Verdict – Which Video Hosting Platform to Choose?
Video content has become one of the most effective content marketing strategies. Most users want to consume videos for entertainment, learning, or only for shopping purposes.
As I have explained above, you need a video hosting platform that aligns with your goals. Take your time to analyze your preferred platform before uploading your videos. After all, you want to see the return on investment for your video content.
If you are just getting started with video content, I suggest you start with the free platforms. This way, you can measure and understand how video marketing or training works for your business.
I hope you can choose a video platform that will suit your needs from the list above. Spend some time analyzing what it is that you need before settling for one. I will love to hear from you if you have any questions about the best video hosting platforms in the comment section.