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The 10 Best Video Hosting Solutions to Consider in 2021 (Free vs. Paid)

As one of the biggest marketing trends in 2019, video alone will account for over 82% of all internet traffic by 2021, according to industry forecasts. The problem for your server, however, is that video content is much heavier than text-based content and places a heavy load on your website's servers.

This is why a video hosting site or service is part of a modern content marketing strategy. You need to be able to upload high quality videos and share them with your audience without causing server lag or website downtime.

In this article, we'll cover the ten best video hosting websites for business and help you find the right solution for your needs.

Before we look at each one, let's talk to the elephant in the room ...

Is it better to host my own videos or use a video hosting site?

Even if you have a special server or a dedicated computer, even with little data traffic, video can be a significant load on the server.

A normal webpage with pictures should typically be less than a few megabytes, while a single 720p video is generally over 100 megabytes.

Only ten visitors who watch a minute of HD video require one gigabyte of server bandwidth. With the same bandwidth, you could get a thousand or more visitors to a text and image-based page.

Since web hosting plans often restrict bandwidth, a single video can be enough to exceed your limits in a matter of days. That is why it is usually better to use a third-party video platform.

The 10 Best Video Hosting Platforms in 2021

Free video hosting options

Many of you are probably looking for the answer to the following question:

Where can I host my videos for free?

Below, we explore in depth the pros and cons of YouTube and other free video hosting alternatives.

1. YouTube

YouTube homepage

YouTube is by far the largest video website on the internet. With 1.9 billion logged-in users active on the site every month, nobody comes close to getting close to it.

But that doesn't mean it's the best option when it comes to hosting your videos online.

It's hard for a content creator to go wrong if they can reach huge audiences through YouTube recommendations and search (Here's How to Improve Your YouTube SEO).

There is no limit on data storage or bandwidth, and individual videos of up to 128 gigabytes can be uploaded. You can also earn a percentage of the advertising revenue generated by your videos.

But if you're a company, the story is different, with a tired, branded iframe player as the only choice you have for embedding video on your website.

YouTube videos can be an integral part of your content marketing strategy, but it's not the optimal choice for hosting course videos or testimonials.

Let's dig deep into the details of their video guidelines and other pros and cons.

YouTube's video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Minimum size: 240p (426 x 240).
  • maximum size: 4K (3840 x 2160).
  • Aspect ratio: 16: 9 (automatically adds a black frame for 4: 3 videos).
  • Maximum file size: 128 GB.
  • Maximum video length: 12 hours.
  • Total file storage: Unlimited.
  • Accepted video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP and WebM.

Pros

  • Free unlimited cloud storage for your video files
  • Industry-leading targeting opportunities with 1.9 billion users through YouTube search, referrals, and subscriptions.
  • Private and unindexed options remove the videos from the public area.
  • Can easily embed videos using custom iframe codes.

The most significant benefit of YouTube is that, with samples from over 100,000,000 subscribers, it is the most trusted place to build audience online.

Most popular YouTube channels, ranked by number of subscribers (Image source: Statista.com)

Unlimited cloud storage and the ability to upload individual 128GB video files of up to 12 hours are other great benefits. All of that for free.

Cons

  • Basic embedding options.
  • The ads will play automatically, even on commercial content embedded on your website.
  • Recommended videos appear at the end of each video (previously you could add? Rel = 0 to the end of the video url to prevent this from happening, but things have changed, that no longer works)
  • No download options without a third party service.
  • Potential copyright issues with following fair use rules.

When it comes to using YouTube as a video hosting platform, the biggest downside for a company looking to host professional-quality videos for embedding purposes is advertising.

Example of a YouTube ad

In the past it was possible to completely opt out of ads, but now the only option is to opt out of ads for just individual videos. And that can take a lot of time if you've already published a lot of videos.

And if that shouldn't be an obstacle for a few companies, there is still the risk of ending up showing the competitor's videos as recommendations.

Suitable for:

  • Content creators who want to build a target group on a social platform.
  • Companies that use video to bring more visitors to their website and want to reach new audiences through video.

Although we opted for a paid solution like Wistia, we also host some of our videos on our newly opened YouTube channel in order to reach a potentially large target group. Make sure you log in there!

2. Dailymotion

Dailymotion

Dailymotion is perhaps the most obvious YouTube competitor on this list, another video sharing platform. It claims to have more than 300 million users, with Dailymotion's top user the T-Series having nearly 90,000 followers:

Dailymotion top users

To put things in perspective, the T-Series channel has over 120 million subscribers on YouTube.

Dailymotion video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Minimum size: 240p (426 x 240).
  • maximum size: 4K (3840 x 2160).
  • Aspect ratio: 16: 9 (automatically adds a black frame for 4: 3 videos).
  • Maximum file size: 2 GB.
  • Maximum video length: 1 hour.
  • Total file storage: Unlimited.
  • Accepted video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • Free unlimited video hosting.
  • Ability to have videos private and even password protected.
  • Some ways to target audience with less competition.

Compared to YouTube, the potential benefits of using Dailymotion as a host for videos are quite small.

There's less competition, so it may be easier to build an audience from scratch, but the potential for growth is much less.

Cons

  • Smaller total audience than YouTube.
  • Smaller maximum file sizes.
  • You cannot download your videos without a third-party service.
  • Ads will automatically play before, during, and after the videos.

As with YouTube, Dailymotion is funded through ads. One key difference is that they play ads regardless of the user's number of followers.

Example of Dailymotion ads

And you can only edit these settings if you have a partner account. It also has lower upload limits and similar problems embedding videos on your website.

Suitable for:

  • Content creators looking for a secondary sales channel

3. Vimeo

Vimeo

Unlike Dailymotion and YouTube, which are social video sharing platforms, Vimeo is a video hosting / collaboration suite aimed at professionals.

While Vimeo has a section for watching videos curated by people rather than algorithms, it has a specific audience. Vimeo is the go-to platform for creative professionals, so only certain types of videos tend to work well:

  • Original short films.
  • Original animations.
  • Indie music videos.
  • Extreme outdoor sports / nature videos.

If your videos don't fall into these categories, you will likely have a hard time attracting an audience on Vimeo.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Minimum size: 240p (426 x 240).
  • maximum size: 8K (8192 × 4320).
  • Aspect ratio: 16: 9 (automatically adds a black frame for 4: 3 videos).
  • Maximum file size: 500 MB for free users (up to 256 GB for professional users).
  • Maximum video length: limited by the file size.
  • Total file storage: 500 MB / week for free users (20 GB / week for professional users).
  • Accepted video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • No ads.
  • Discreet, customizable video embeds.
  • Create professional social media videos with Vimeo Create.
  • Promote your creative services on the platform.
  • Can enable video downloads.
  • Pro plans start at just $ 7 a month.

Vimeo is designed for professional use. No ads and customizable video embeds make it the perfect choice for website owners who want to include a video on their landing page.

The embedded video player is slim and fast, with no ads or forced recommendations. You can choose an answer or a fixed size and switch between autoplay or loops.

Options for embedding in Vimeo

Paying users can adjust their embed settings even further:

Customize the embedding

Vimeo is the best free option for webmasters who want to include professional video on their website.

Cons

  • Low upload limits with free accounts.
  • Limited audience.

The main downside to Vimeo is the upload limits for a free account and its relatively small audience.

If you're not a creative filmmaker, you'll have a hard time getting followers on the Vimeo platform.

Suitable for:

  • Creative professionals who want to share their work with an engaged audience and want to market their services.

4. Facebook

Facebook Watch

Facebook is the only platform that can compare in size to YouTube. In fact, it has a bigger audience with 2.45 billion monthly active users.

But Facebook is primarily a social media and messaging platform, not a video sharing platform.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Recommended sizes: 720p (1280 × 720) px to 1080p (1920 × 1080 px).
  • Supported aspect ratios: Landscape (16: 9), portrait (9:16), vertical (2: 3, 4: 5), square (1: 1).
  • Maximum file size: 4 GB.
  • Maximum video length: 2 hours.
  • Total file storage: Unlimited.
  • Accepted video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • Unlimited free video hosting.
  • Share the videos directly on Facebook.
  • Build an audience on the largest social media platform.

Adding videos to the timeline and Facebook Watch made Facebook one of the leading video distributors on the internet.

Billions of videos are viewed every week, and successful video makers have their videos posted directly to Facebook.

Smaller Facebook video makers seem to have better chances of getting videos viral and gaining an audience from scratch in 2020.

Cons

  • Ads will automatically play on all videos.
  • Very basic options for embedded players.
  • Lower video quality cap than other options.

The embedded player options for Facebook are minimal. It is only available in static form, with no autoplay or looping.

Facebook video player configurator

Also, it has lower video quality than alternatives and could automatically play ads before, during, and after the videos.

Suitable for:

  • Content creators who want to build an audience from the ground up.
  • Marketing experts who want to build brand awareness and create an audience for similar campaigns.

Premium video hosting

Below we cover the best premium video hosting options for businesses. From no frills, unbranded, high quality video hosting platforms to data-centric marketing solutions for businesses.

5. WordPress Video Hosting: Jetpack

Jetpack video hosting

Even if you installed the Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site, you might not know that they offer video hosting as part of their premium and professional plans.

Unlimited video hosting is included in the Jetpack Premium plan for $ 19.95 / month (with a storage space limit of 2 TB) included.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Maximum file size: 2 GB (1 GB or less is recommended).
  • Maximum video length: limited by size.
  • Total file storage: Unlimited.
  • Accepted video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • Brandless, customizable embedded video player.
  • Unlimited video hosting.
  • Video statistics in your WordPress dashboard.

With Jetpack video blocks, videos can be perfectly embedded in your WordPress posts and pages.

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It has advanced options like autoplay, mute and loop. You can even hide all playback controls.

Embed options in Jetpack

Cons

  • It lacks the advanced features of other premium video hosting services.
  • No established audience to tap into.

The downside to Jetpack is that it doesn't have the advanced features of other premium options. The analytics are relatively simple and you can't include CTAs, collect leads, or edit the video.

Unlike YouTube or Facebook, it's not a free option, nor does it offer a built-in audience to make up for the downside.

Suitable for:

  • Operators of WordPress sites who already have a Premium Jetpack subscription.

6. Wistia

Wistia

Wistia is more of a digital marketing solution than a video hosting website. Sure, you can use it to upload your videos and embed them on the website, but that's not their main selling point.

Wistia offers advanced features such as embedding lead capture forms or other CTAs in the video player itself.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Maximum resolution: 4K (3840 × 2160 px).
  • Supported aspect ratios: Everyone, responsive player.
  • Maximum file size: 8 GB.
  • Maximum video length: 2 hours.
  • Total file storage: Up to 10 videos on the Pro Plan ($ 99 / month), $ 0.25 per month for each additional video.
  • Accepted video formats: .MP4 (recommended), .MOV, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • No ads.
  • 100% customizable embed player.
  • Highlight other videos from your channel (no external video recommendations).
  • Create custom audiences for Facebook / Instagram.
  • Capture leads from within the video.
  • Custom branding.
  • CRM integrations.

What makes Wistia unique is the fact that it meets the needs of digital marketers and data-driven businesses. It is also our preferred video hosting platform that hosts most of our videos (example: MyKinsta demo).

You can use videos on your website to generate a unique audience for remarketing campaigns. You can even capture leads and integrate the data with a CRM from your video player.

Wistia lead capture form

If you want to give your customers a personalized experience, Wistia is a great video hosting option.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • No own audience.

With $ 99 / month for just ten videos, Wistia is one of the most expensive options on this list. But for businesses and successful online businesses, it's only a minor addition to their marketing budget.

Suitable for:

  • Data-driven companies with personalized experiences.
  • Companies that rely on leads and long sales processes.
  • Experienced digital marketers.

7. vooPlayer

vooPlayer

vooPlayer is another advanced video hosting service aimed at marketers rather than hobbyists or personal vlogs.

It offers advanced video insights, helps you reach custom audiences, collects leads. It's a complete solution for integrating video marketing into your marketing and sales efforts.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Supported Sources: Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.
  • Maximum resolution: 4K (3840 × 2160 px).
  • Supported aspect ratios: Any, responsive player.
  • Maximum file size: No maximum size listed.
  • Total file storage: 25GB and 50GB of bandwidth on a $ 14 / month starting plan.
  • Accepted video formats: MP4 (recommended), Ogg, WebM, MOV, FLV (not recommended), etc.
  • Support 360 video

Pros

  • No ads.
  • Affordable.
  • Customizable branding.
  • Full control over the embedded video player.
  • Advanced video analysis and heat maps.
  • Capture leads with lead capture gates.
  • Get paid for video views with pay-per-view gates.
  • Organize competitions on video.
  • Audience Builder integrated with Google, Facebook, and Instagram Ads.

The vooPlayer offers a comprehensive toolbox to promote leads and sales through videos. You can fully customize the branding and video player and use it to grow your audience, capture leads, or even run contests for your viewers.

Get access to deeper insights with heat maps and advanced analytics and see how your users interact with different videos.

If your primary reason is video marketing and branding, vooPlayer should be on your shortlist.

Cons

With all of the added features, the vooPlayer can seem a little overwhelming to business owners with little experience in digital marketing.

Suitable for:

  • Data-driven companies with personalized experiences.
  • Companies that rely on leads and long sales processes.
  • Experienced digital marketers.

8. Brightcove

Brightcove

Brightcove is an enterprise video hosting solution that focuses on integration with other marketing automation tools and server-side ad serving.

It is a scalable solution used by large publications and 50% of all Fortune 500 companies.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Maximum resolution: No.
  • Supported aspect ratios: Everyone, responsive player.
  • Maximum file size: No maximum size, tested up to 100 GB with no problems.
  • Total file storage: Based on the plan.
  • Accepted video formats: .MP4, .MOV, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • Manage and sell your own video ad inventory.
  • Live stream directly to your website / application.
  • Business-friendly content management system.
  • Advanced marketing automation integration.

Brightcove is a true enterprise solution, helping companies embed video at scale in their marketing and communications. For publishers, it offers an extended server-side ad insert that can be integrated into the main DSP solutions.

Cons

Brightcove plans start at $ 199 / month and usually require annual contracts. Because the platform is designed for business, it can be complex and difficult to use for small businesses and sole proprietorships.

Suitable for:

  • Companies looking to incorporate digital video into their marketing efforts.

9. SproutVideo

SproutVideo

SproutVideo is another video hosting platform for businesses.

It provides tools for sharing and collaboration, as well as forms for capturing leads, building audiences, and advanced video analytics.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Maximum resolution: No.
  • Supported aspect ratios: Everyone, responsive player.
  • Maximum file size: Up to 100 GB.
  • Maximum video length: Unlimited.
  • Total file storage: 500GB with 500GB bandwidth ($ 24.99 / month seed plan).
  • Accepted video formats: .MP4, .MOV, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP, etc.

Pros

  • Capture leads from within the video.
  • Get deeper insights with advanced video analytics.
  • Track the edits with audit logs.
  • Role-based permissions.
  • Create unlimited unique video players.
  • Custom playlists.

You can use their online creator to create unlimited unique video players. This feature allows you to match each video player with specific pages on your website for seamless integration.

Create custom playlists to create an engaging trip for your customers. It also provides lead capture and audience creation tools to aid your digital marketing efforts.

Cons

  • Complexity.
  • No platform audience.

With the Seed Plan offering the majority of the essential marketing features for $ 25 / month, SproutVideo is a viable option for small businesses and the self-employed.

But like the vooPlayer and Wistia, it doesn't have an audience of its own, and the additional features can be challenging for inexperienced users.

Suitable for:

  • Companies that rely on leads and long sales processes.
  • Experienced digital marketers.

10. Uscreen

Unscreen

Uscreen is a little different from the other options on this list. It is a VOD or digital video course platform that educators can use to make money from their online videos.

Some of you may be looking for a video hosting service for precisely this reason.

Video upload guidelines and specifications

  • Maximum resolution: 1080p (1920 × 1080 px).
  • Accepted video formats: MP4.

Pros:

  • Create, organize and sell video courses online.
  • Integration with OTT apps on mobile phones and smart TVs.
  • Individual pricing models.
  • Fast HD video hosting included in the platform.

For some, Uscreen might be a better option than regular WordPress membership plugins or LMS to create a gated video course since the video hosting is part of the service.

Cons:

While the solution makes it easy to schedule, upload, manage, and sell an online video course, it is slightly more expensive than the alternative.

The basic plan starts at $ 99 / month, with a limit of 300 subscribers.

Suitable for:

  • Educators and business owners planning to publish a video course

What's the Best Video Hosting Solution?

The best video hosting provider depends on your video hosting and business needs.

Do you want to seamlessly integrate ad-free videos into your WordPress site? Then Vimeo, with its customizable player and affordable monthly plan, is probably the way to go. If you're a paid Jetpack subscriber, you can get the most out of it for your video needs too.

Do you want in-depth analytics, personalization, and lead capture options? Wistia and vooPlayer bring that along.

Brightcove is the best option for businesses and Uscreen is the best option for hosting an online video course.

If you want to reach new audiences with video content at its best, YouTube and Facebook are the best options.

There isn't just one right answer to this question. As always, it depends on the goals you want to achieve with video and your budget of course.

Videos are taking over the internet as they are a great way to connect with your target audience! The problem: hosting videos on your website isn't the best option. Solution: video hosting platforms. Check out the best here! 📺👩🏻‍🎤Click to Tweet

Summary

There are many ways to host videos on the internet.

YouTube is the first choice for the majority of video makers, but it has many disadvantages for businesses. The embed option may look unprofessional, and your competitors may advertise in it.

Vimeo is a great, affordable option with a sleek, customizable player and a dedicated audience of professional creatives.

Other paid options like Wistia, Brightcove and vooPlayer offer you analytics, insights and the ability to capture leads directly from the video player.

To find the right option for your business, you need to set your priorities.

A smart approach would be to combine different platforms in your strategy. You could choose a paid solution for hosting your videos that gives you full control over them while taking advantage of free video sharing platforms - like YouTube or Facebook - as a way to grow your reach organically.

Now is your turn: have you ever tried a video hosting platform for your videos? What's your preferred option? Let us know in the comments!


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