If you haven’t noticed the increasing use of video in online content and marketing … well, my best guess is you haven’t been online much. Over the past decade, video has become a leading outlet not just for advertising products, but also for engaging visitors, interfacing with leads and customers, and establishing brand identity.
There’s data to back this up, too: According to HubSpot’s State of Video Marketing survey, 86% of businesses use video in their marketing strategy, and 84% of video marketers report that video has helped generate leads. On the support side, 43% of marketers say that video reduces the number of help requests they receive.
But, as always, there’s a tradeoff to video. On top of writing and producing your online videos, you need a place to actually put them. You might first think to upload them to your web host. For reasons we’ll get into, this usually isn’t the best idea.
Instead, most online businesses use a
video hosting site
to get their video content online. In this guide, you’ll first learn why video hosting benefits your business and website. Then, we’ll recommend 10 of the best platforms for hosting online video.
Why You Need Video Hosting
When you watch a video on a business’s website, chances are that video isn’t stored on that specific website’s server. Instead, it’s more likely embedded on the page and stored with a video hosting service. These services allow users to upload their videos to a specialized video server, then view these videos on the host’s website or embed them on a different website.
So, why would a business choose not to host their videos on their own servers? The main reason is that videos are large — thousands of times larger than the average image on a page.
Since all servers are limited in how much data they can store and how quickly they can transfer this data (i.e. their bandwidth), storing even a single video on your web server can cause poor site performance, poor streaming quality and playback, and exceeded storage limits that might get you booted from your hosting plan. It’s much simpler and safer to put your videos on a dedicated video hosting site and then embed your videos in your pages.
All video hosting sites solve the problem of giving your videos a home on the web. However, there is a diverse range of providers in this space, and the best host for you will depend on your budget, needs, and how you use video on your site. Some video hosts are oriented toward distribution and virality, while others focus on using video to fuel your marketing efforts and include more in-depth analytics and lead capture tools.
Whatever service you’re looking for, we’ve brought together ten of the best services for hosting your online video content.
Top Video Hosting Sites
- Hippo Video
Videos are a powerful method not just for informational or marketing purposes, but for every customer-facing aspect of your businesses. That’s why the all-in-one HubSpot platform weaves video throughout the entire system, seamlessly blending into your workflow inside HubSpot CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub.
For marketers, HubSpot allows you to upload videos to your portal, then place them on pages, blog posts, and social media channels to draw in users and keep them on your website. Explore the performance of all your videos with detailed reporting to see what content resonates most with your audience.
For your sales team, HubSpot lets you record personalized one-on-one videos to send to prospects and give them through your sales funnel. Lastly, Service Hub users can leverage video for tutorials and responses to tickets.
HubSpot is built to be an all-in-one video platform. Ultimately, switching between tools, figuring out integrations, and subscribing to additional services is time and money better spent elsewhere. With HubSpot, you get your videos, along with everything else, in one place.
Video hosting is available starting on the Professional tiers for Marketing Hub ($800 per month), Sales Hub ($450 per month), and Service Hub ($360 per month). You can also purchase the Professional Growth Suite, which gives you access to all three Hubs for $1,343 per month.
Does this even need an introduction? With two billion global users, YouTube.com is the second most popular website after its owner, Google. Nowadays, it’s tough for many of us to get through a day without viewing at least one video hosted on YouTube — even the name “YouTube” is now synonymous with online video.
YouTube’s omnipresence makes it a go-to for many online businesses that produce and distribute video. The biggest benefit? It’s completely free to use, no matter how many videos you upload or how many times they’re viewed. Any business can create a channel for their brand, grow their subscriber base, and try to get exposure to YouTube’s massive user base.
Businesses can also become a YouTube partner. This means that, once verified, you can monetize your videos, upload videos over 15 minutes long, and get access to analytics and a video editor.
However, all this doesn’t necessarily mean that YouTube is your best option. The biggest drawback of YouTube is its ads — in exchange for free hosting, YouTube will put ads before and during your videos, which distracts from your content and interrupts the users’ browsing flow, especially if they’re watching an embedded video on your website.
Another downside: After your videos, YouTube displays recommended videos that may not be related to your brand, and possibly even from a competitor. There’s no way to disable ads or recommended videos, meaning you run the risk of luring people away from the content you want them to see.
Given the pros and cons, YouTube is great for smaller businesses and individual creators looking to establish a presence online, and it doesn’t hurt your businesses to have one worked into your video marketing strategy. Still, those looking to use video for informational content, lead capture, and tutorials should consider premium options.
YouTube is free.
Often compared to YouTube, Vimeo is a video streaming service directed at creative professionals and businesses. Despite bringing in far less traffic than YouTube, Vimeo has garnered a reputation for hosting higher quality content overall, and for offering a better experience for viewers and marketers alike. There aren’t any ads or recommendations after your clips, videos look great and load quickly, and embeds can be customized to match the look of your website.
If you’re interested in trying out Vimeo for free, sign up for a Basic membership — it grants you 500 megabytes per week of upload space, up to 5 gigabytes of total storage, unlimited bandwidth, and some other basic features.
Vimeo’s paid plans add more benefits like increased storage, customization options for your video player, a video editor, collaboration tools for team-based projects, private videos, in-video CTAs and other lead gen tools, and Google Analytics integration. Regardless of your plan, you don’t need to worry about bandwidth limits or clunky embeds.
All of this makes Vimeo a great step between YouTube and more businesses-dedicated platforms that we’ll discuss later. What you lose in virality, you make up for in the quality of your presentation.
Need more help deciding? See our YouTube-Vimeo comparison.
Vimeo sells on four tiers: Plus ($7 per month), Pro ($20 per month), Business ($50 per month), and Premium ($75 per month). There’s also the free Basic plan, as well as an enterprise solution.
Dailymotion is another option you might have heard of — this video hosting service is like YouTube in that it allows you to upload as many videos as you want for free, and there are no bandwidth limits to your content. Dailymotion is made to be accessible to anyone, and it’s easy to sign up and get started. However, note that video lengths are capped at 60 minutes, and uploads are limited to two hours per day.
As a content source, Dailymotion is oriented toward news stories, and divides its content into News, Sports, Entertainment, and Music — consider the platform if your business fits any of these categories.
Businesses can also harness Dailymotion to further distribute and monetize content with its partnership program. You’re probably not going to see the level of growth as you would on YouTube, but for some, it’s worth the extra time.
Also note that, as a free service, Dailymotion plays ads before, after, and during your videos, including embedded videos. If you’re looking for detailed analytics about your videos, this also isn’t the platform for you.
Dailymotion is free.
Organizations in need of a tool to support their high-quality video marketing campaigns should consider Wistia. Wistia serves as both a video host and a marketing tool for businesses — rather than posting your videos on a public page, you upload your videos privately to Wistia, then place them on your web pages using an embed code. The video player is sleek, completely customizable, and ad-free. Once live, Wistia will track visitor engagement with your videos and present insights with premium visualizations, including viewer-based tracking and heatmaps.
Wistia also packs the tools marketers need to run successful campaigns. You can place CTAs and forms inside your videos and integrate Wistia with your CRM software to keep everything in one place. This way, your videos themselves become another opportunity to capture leads.
Wistia is a premium service — it starts at $99 a month for 10 free videos. Beyond those ten, each additional video is 25 cents per month. It’s an investment compared to free alternatives. Still, when used well, Wistia can more than make up for the cost by increasing video-based conversions. Those interested can sample to Wistia free plan, which allows up to three videos total.
Wistia offers three pricing tiers: Free, Pro ($99 per month), and Advanced (contact sales).
SproutVideo is another business-oriented video hosting service that contains tools for marketing teams to track engagement and grow their customer base. With it, you can embed ad-free videos onto your website with a customizable player. Videos can be toggled to include social sharing buttons, lead capture forms, and CTAs as well. Unlike some other options here, you can also build playlists for tutorial series and online courses.
Once viewing data is captured, view and present it with SproutVideo’s robust analytics — for example, you can segment viewers by country, domain, and even by individual. Share your analytics with your team with built-in collaboration features, and keep everything in order with an audit log of activity.
While SproutVideo’s services are comparable to Wistia’s, this service offers more pricing options, two of which are cheaper than Wistia’s single $99/year plan.
SproutVideo has four plans: Seed ($24.99 per month), Sprout ($59.99 per month), Tree ($199.99 per month), and Forest ($499.99 per month).
7. Hippo Video
Hippo Video is a tool for businesses to leverage video in their marketing, sales, and services processes. Unlike Wistia and SproutVideo, Hippo Video divides its product into separate services for marketing, sales, services, and internal communications. If you want to implement video for one of these specific goals, Hippo Video is a potentially cheaper, more specialized option.
The marketing tool provides features you’d expect from such a tool: in-video forms and CTAs, CRM integrations, and detailed viewership analytics, plus the option for customers to record their own video testimonials of your product.
On the sales side, you get video playlists to walk leads through your buyer’s journey, metrics to track your conversions, and a built-in teleprompter to help you record pitches.
Finally, Hippo Video’s customer service product is a way for users to submit video tickets, and for you to respond with videos of your own. There’s also an option for users to submit tickets and for you to post video tutorials to shorten your queue.
However, be aware of Hippo Video’s limits by plan. In lower-tier plans, you’re limited to 30 minutes per video (60 minutes or 120 minutes if you upgrade) and 200 GB of bandwidth across all plans.
Hippo Video offers a variety of plans for Sales, Marketing, Support, and Team Communication applications. There are three tiers for the Marketing product: Starter ($23 per month), Pro ($49 per month), and Growth ($99 per month).
Need something a bit more powerful for your scale-up or enterprise? Vidyard might just have you covered — this solution provides ad-free video hosting and marketing features to fuel your growth at scale.
While there is a cheaper single-user plan, the higher-tier plans are where Vidyard shines. You’ll get a fully customized video player that you can enhance with your own branding, in-video CTAs and opt-in forms, an analytics dashboard, and the ability to gate your videos and grant access through email requests.
Still, perhaps the best perks of Vidyard are its unlimited uploads and no bandwidth cap. Record as much content as you wish without worrying about exceeding data limits. Note that you’re limited in your number of video embeds based on your plan.
Vidyard offers three paid plans: Pro ($15 per month), Teams ($300 per month), and Business ($1,250 per month), all billed annually. There’s also a free plan with limited functionality.
You might not have heard of Brightcove, but this enterprise video hosting service is a force behind major brands like McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Adobe. Brightcove focuses on providing creative, customizable means to incorporate video into your enterprise-level marketing efforts and content delivery.
Among Brightcove’s plethora of offerings is its flagship product, Video Cloud. This video publishing platform promises high-quality, high-performance video streams that are reliable, customizable, and secure. Brightcove also has solutions for video marketing, with the benefits of comprehensive analytics, social publishing, live streams, and integrations with marketing automation platforms like HubSpot — combine these capabilities to build an impressive video experience and draw an even larger crowd.
Smaller businesses and those just getting started with video probably won’t be able to justify Brightcove’s pricing and can get results with other options on this list. However, enterprises looking to step up their video game should have Brightcove on their radars.
Finally, if you’d prefer a SaaS platform for storing digital assets including, but not limited to, online video, consider Cincopa. This host offers an array of plans for any sized organization to market and monetize its video, audio, and image content.
On the video side, the Cincopa platform lets you utilize marketing tools and integrations to market your brand to website visitors and leads. Videos are compiled into Video Channels, designed to keep visitors engaged with your content for extended periods. You’ll also be able to record videos within the tool for marketing and sales purposes, as well as track each video’s performance down to individual viewers and in aggregate via heatmaps.
In addition to video, Cincopa accommodates images and podcast content. It functions as a multimedia cloud storage platform, allowing you to store images and audio files and keep your website performing well. Also, content can be gated if you want to make certain assets exclusive.
Cincopa offers four plans: Startup ($9 per month), Plus ($25 per month), Corporate ($99 per month), and Agency/Enterprise $350 per month).
Give Your Videos a Home Online
While video file sizes are an inconvenience, they’re unavoidable. This makes online video a nuisance if you’re not equipped with the storage and bandwidth necessary. Plus, after going to the effort of producing high-quality videos for your brand, the last thing you want is to wrestle with your video hosting and publishing tools.
Luckily, there are enough dedicated video hosting solutions available that at least one can meet your needs — not just for hosting, but also for analytics, lead gen, and other perks to make your content management easier. As video becomes a cornerstone of your online strategy, so too should your video host.
Originally published Mar 8, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated June 14 2022
Video Pay Per View Hosting
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