With the emerging services of video hosting available, like YouTube, Vimeo, and Swarmify, choosing the right platform can be tough. This post will teach you a little about hosting videos online and help you choose the best hosting service for your site.
What is video hosting?
Video hosting, at present, is a common practice, as we can see there are millions of videos being hosted online today. Video Hosting allows you to upload and embed your video on any other website. Viewers or audiences can watch the content where you posted, or you may embed the video via an embed code on a website or any other social networking site.
Which service should be used?
If you’re simply looking to showcase some home videos of a barbeque night with karaoke at a relative’s place, free services like YouTube or Vimeo should be sufficient. However, if you run a business and are sensitive to details like branding, analytics, support and security, the best option for you is to look high and low into a premium hosting package.
Here are a few services worth checking out (both free and paid):
Pros: It’s impossible to think of free online video without thinking of YouTube. The name YouTube has become correlated with video searching, if you are looking for a song, clip, or meme, you are irrefutably going to “YouTube” it.
It is the world’s biggest free hosting video site for everyone. Verified accounts are permitted to upload videos up to 128 GB in size.
Anyone can search for your uploaded videos. You can keep it private, or you can hide it so that only people who have access to the link can view it. YouTube also gives a carte blanche for live streaming to the audience and later saves the video at the YouTuber’s channel. It’s easy to use, easy to share and embed videos and supports video in high definition (HD).
Cons: Embedded videos are branded with a YouTube logo. Videos link directly back to YouTube, and a playlist of “related” YouTube videos shows up once yours is complete. Upload times vary staggeringly which makes you wait for long until your video is live on the channel.
Pros: Vimeo is a great service with a clean user interface. Vimeo is known as a video platform for people serious about video. It earned this reputation as for a short period it was the only platform that provided truly high-quality video hosting services for free.
This made Vimeo a favorite for film-makers and animators. With a Vimeo free account, you can only upload 500MB per week, with a cap at 5 GB. There are four paid account levels: Plus, Pro, Business, and Premium. Each level increases your limit for uploading, it also adds up a few other features like customizable players for embedding into websites and social media.
Cons: Like YouTube, videos embedded using Vimeo are branded on the player bar. Upload times can be very substantial, but you can remove limitations by upgrading to their Premium plan for $75.00 per month, or $900.00 per year.
Pros: Wistia has proficient, unbranded players, great video analytics (for tracking viewership) and a feature called SEO Sitemap, which easily assists in making sure that the video posted is being available at the search engine results, like Google.
Cons: If you’re into a lot of fancy features, Wistia may not be the service for you. Starting at $79 per month, Wistia isn’t a cheap service at all, but if you run a business and looking for a solution that might help professionally then you might consider it. Initially, you can upload three videos for free. You’ll also have access to custom video tools and a branded player. The branding overlay goes away with the paid plans. These plans start at $99/month permits upload of a maximum of 10 videos. For every additional video, there's a payment of $0.25/month.
Pros: Brightcove has the most expansive hosting service on the market, currently. Custom styling, mobile support, distribution and advertising, Brightcove does it all. It is a strong contender for business and enterprise video hosting service.
Cons: Brightcove starts at $99 per month and goes up to $499 and beyond. According to popular opinion, they are getting perilously close to feature overload but ultimately everything depends on what you need.
Pros: Swarmify is designed to be a simple and cost effective option for video. It is clearly targeted at small and medium business owners looking for white label video. They provide the simplest installation of all of the paid options as they have a free plugin for WordPress to simplify configuration. They can import automatically from all of the major video platforms and provide simple unlimited billing. So no complex pricing here.
Cons: Pricing starts at $49 per month so this is not a good option if you are looking to host personal or hobbyist videos. Also, if your audience is primarily at YouTube then it may not make much sense to use a white label video hosting service even on your website.