None of us can accurately predict the future, but if we could, it’s probably safe to take a bet that video marketing will continue to grow. The numbers are already skyrocketing, with 93% of businesses surveyed placing importance on video.
One of the first tasks on your journey to video stardom is to choose your platform. And this is where we can help. We’ve compiled a list of the best video hosting platforms today.
You’ve probably heard of one or two, but it’s worth getting to know each platform on our list to help your business find the perfect match. Read on to find out more.
What Is Video Hosting?
Video files take up lots of space, so you don’t want them stored on internal servers, both from a security perspective and a cost perspective. That’s why most companies opt to keep their video files on the cloud, and the most common route for this is video hosting.
Video hosting means uploading your video content to a third-party site and using that website to stream your video content to your audience.
Providers do this securely, so you’ll need a registered account. You’ll probably pay a monthly charge (what you pay will depend on the provider and your usage).
You can also use embed technology to add video content from the hosting platform to your website or any other online space where you wish to share your video content, such as on social media.
Why Should You Use Video Hosting?
Watching videos online might feel like a seamless, convenient experience nowadays. But it wasn’t so long ago that bandwidth issues made video viewing slow and cumbersome.
Technology has advanced, and many people have access to good quality broadband. However, you still want to ensure you give your audience and customers the best possible experience.
That means high-quality video streamed online without breaks or errors and video that is available for them to consume 24/7. That’s why companies choose their preferred video host.
You don’t want to be calling out an infrastructure engineer at 1 am to figure out why your audience can’t access your videos!
If your server goes down, your audience has an issue. If a hosting company’s server goes down, they’ll always have sophisticated backup systems to avoid downtime.
You also need access to ensure that only the right people can upload, edit and view your video content.
That means you must store your content somewhere that offers robust and state-of-the-art security. Companies have millions (sometimes billions) of dollars behind them to help make their video hosting platforms highly secure.
Using that technology for your video content makes perfect sense instead of reinventing the wheel.
It’s More Than the Technology – It’s Marketing Too
From a marketing perspective, there are also lots of tangible benefits from using video hosting.
That’s because many of the platforms offer tools to help you promote your video content. If video is part of your content marketing strategy, having access to these promotional tools will help you grow your audience.
Finally, don’t forget that one of the main reasons businesses invest in any tech solution – whether video hosting or anything else – is because it allows them to set up integration between different software platforms.
That will help you develop a more streamlined marketing and content strategy for your business, ultimately saving you money and boosting your profits.
What Features Should You Look for in a Video Hosting Provider?
With video hosting, what’s right for one business may not suit you.
So before you examine options, it’s worth taking some time to prioritize what features are important to you. Here are some things to look out for in the best video host:
Most video hosting sites offer fantastic viewing quality. But there are still differences to be found between platforms. And some videos will need better images than others.
For example, let’s assume you intend to speak in front of the camera. In that case, the image might not be as important as if you are using video to show delicate and detailed images such as paintings.
Separate from viewing quality, you might want to consider technical features that give your audience a more impressive experience. In this category, you’ll look for things such as the play, rewind, and fast-forward controls.
It’s not only the functionality here that viewers will value but how useable the controls are too.
Some platforms offer advertising and the opportunity to use that as a revenue stream. That may suit some businesses but not others.
For example, suppose you are a new entrepreneur. In that case, that might be a valuable extra revenue stream while getting your business set up and running.
Only you know what’s right for your business. Ensure you understand what advertising model is in place for the video hosting provider and whether that aligns with your business goals.
Perhaps you want to use video as a marketing tool. In this case, you’ll need insight into how many people view your videos.
You’ll also want other information, such as their demographics and interaction with the content (e.g., if they watch to the end and share the video with friends).
That’s why you need to examine each platform’s analytics tools for its content creators. Most will have some form of analytics, so you’ll need to explore the small print to work out which tool offers the data your business needs.
Each hosting company will have a different pricing model, but most big providers have scaled pricing. That means big enterprise customers with hundreds of videos will pay more.
The best way to compare and contrast is to determine your likely usage: how much content you’ll produce per month and how many people will be viewing that content.
Don’t forget that many platforms also have a free package that could be suitable if you have minimal or flexible video requirements.
Review your current IT platforms, including internal business software and internet services and tools. Are any of them critical to your video needs? If so, you might want to evaluate video hosting solutions with pre-existing integrations.
However, you can also look to third-party integration tools like Zapier to bridge that gap if there aren’t any integrations for your preferred hosting provider.
Finally, you’ll want to consider security. Your content is valuable, and you don’t want it getting into the wrong hands, so you’ll want a place that will allow you to upload that content securely.
But you might also have content that you want to restrict (for example, a premium training video that your customers need to pay to watch).
So you’ll want to find a solution that gives you the security and gatekeeping you need to help you monetize your content.
The Best Video Hosting Sites in 2022
Now it’s time to reveal the top video hosting providers. And in 2022, you’ve lots of great options from which to choose.
Here’s our list of the best on the market and their pros and cons. This list is in no particular order but should offer you an oversight of the platform that’s likely the best fit for you.
Let’s start with the most well-known name on the list: YouTube. It’s a true giant on the internet, worth $180 billion at the last count.
Can you guess how many YouTube videos people watch around the world per day? The answer is a colossal 5 billion. Here are some of the pluses and negatives of this market leader:
The most relevant fact about YouTube is that it is a free platform for creators and viewers. However, that does mean it comes with advertising as part of the viewer experience.
One of the aspects people love about YouTube is that you have an immediate audience for your content.
It doesn’t stop you from marketing your videos, but YouTube’s massive audience can find them whenever they like. And that offers enormous potential. A hit video can pull in hundreds of thousands of viewers if it’s good enough.
If you want to use video to get more website traffic, there are a couple of features on YouTube that you need to know.
First, your video might have ads from a competitor, which could slow your brand engagement. Second, you might have noticed that when videos play on YouTube, they automatically start playing another video once that one ends.
That can be something of a hindrance for a company, as adding your website link to the end of a video is usually a highly effective way to generate traffic. Still, you might miss that opportunity if someone lets the next video run automatically.
You might be surprised to learn that Vimeo has been around for 18 years, so it’s a veteran in the world of tech platforms. It has over 200 million people who consume videos on the site each month, and 1.6 video publishers signed up for its video hosting service.
Suppose you are concerned about putting your videos on an ad-based video hosting site like YouTube. In that case, Vimeo is an excellent option to explore. It’s ad-free.
As a subscriber, you’ll pay for the service. But the quality is excellent, so it’s a popular option for businesses. The subscription model filters out the lowest quality videos you see on free platforms.
Vimeo has excellent analytics tools to give daily insights into your videos’ performance. And as a creator, they allow you to customize your channel to help you build a brand on the site.
Vimeo isn’t free. It is a subscription service, so that might not be the best model for content creators just starting who want to keep costs low.
However, their starter account is around $10 a month, so it’s not prohibitively expensive, even for a small business.
Vimeo also gets less traffic than YouTube and doesn’t perform as well in SEO rankings on Google. That’s a significant factor to consider if you intend to use video as a marketing tool.
While the lack of ads might be a plus point for many, it does limit your opportunity to monetize your videos.
Suppose you are lucky enough to publish a video with thousands of daily views. In that case, ads are a sizeable revenue stream you won’t want to miss.
Another tech start-up from way back in 2006, Wistia, has grown into a formidable video hosting platform.
They pitch themselves as a platform suitable for small and large enterprise-level businesses and offer their subscribers various video publishing tools.
Here are a few arguments for why you should consider Wistia, plus a few disadvantages of the platform.
Wistia heavily focuses on the business market and designing a platform that meets their needs. So the marketing tools within Wistia are sophisticated and designed to help you promote your content to your audience.
That includes features such as engagement tools. These allow you to quickly add CTAs (call-to-actions) on your videos and generate leads with an email signup feature on your marketing videos.
Wistia also offers excellent analytics and integrations with third-party tools. That’s ideal if you are a big company that needs to automate your video marketing online.
Are there drawbacks to choosing Wistia? Let’s briefly examine why you might not choose this platform.
Firstly, you can search Wistia for content, meaning people won’t discover your videos by browsing the website.
The cost of the platform is also worth a mention.
While they have a free starter platform, you will need to pay a monthly fee if you want to use it correctly for your business marketing. The prices are $19, $79, and $319, depending on your chosen package.
Brightcove is an award-winning video hosting platform with big brand names on its client list, including the BBC and Adobe.
Brightcove started in 2004 and, since then, has flourished into a big, professional, and cutting-edge technology provider with video at the forefront of its offers.
You need to know some advantages and disadvantages of choosing Brightcove for video hosting.
Brightcove has a somewhat sophisticated and flexible way of monetizing content, such as building advanced pricing models for your video content (such as free trials and subscriptions).
That technology could be helpful for businesses looking at video as a primary revenue source.
The hosting infrastructure for Brightcove is also industry-leading, meaning that they have high rates of uptime (99.99%).
If video is critical to your business operations and you need reliability, it’s worth remembering that figure. Few other hosting companies will boast the same performance.
As with any video hosting site, Brightcove does have some potential disadvantages.
One common comment among users is their analytics and reporting area is challenging to set up and establish if you need custom reporting for your videos.
Since analytics are a crucial part of marketing, that might slow your progress if you use video to promote and advertise your business.
Spotlightr is a small business video hosting platform that allows companies to upload, manage and publish videos to an audience. It’s a Florida-based company first founded in 2011.
While it’s not as well-known as some of the household names on our list, like YouTube, it has some exciting features and advantages that could make it the right platform for you. Let’s examine some of Spotlightr’s strengths and weaknesses.
Spotlightr has state-of-the-art encryption, meaning you can rest assured your videos are in safe hands when uploading and sharing with others.
It’s also a fast video player to give your audience a great viewing experience. If you want to build a brand, it’s also worth noting that the video player is fully customizable.
If you need data, customers of Spotlightr have plenty of positive things to say about their analytics suite. That means you can continue to grow your audience effectively.
No tool is perfect, so we’ve looked at what customers have to say about some of the downsides of Spotlightr.
As with other enterprise tools, the first thing that comes up is the cost. This platform is another that doesn’t go for the free, YouTube-style financial model and charges monthly fees.
However, prices range from $7 to $40 a month, so the lower end is within reach of small businesses.
The other downside that some customers mention is that the user interface can be confusing.
SproutVideo was an obvious contender for our list of best hosting platforms with a pitch aimed at the business world.
SproutVideo is a New York-based company that’s been around since 2010. It sits at the more premium, enterprise-level end of the video hosting market.
Here are some notable advantages (and disadvantages) when using SproutVideo over similar hosting platforms.
SproutVideo offers a flexible platform for customers, allowing them to upload videos in any format. It has plenty of integrations to third-party software to help you develop a custom, fast and efficient video solution for your business.
Customers also find the platform highly usable, a great advantage as people tend to use more features they’ve already paid for when an interface is simple to understand.
One thing that stands out from online reviews is that their clients score SproutVideo high for customer service. If you want a business that helps you get started and is responsive to issues, that will be a big plus point.
Some users have commented on their mobile video upload facility and how effectively it processes large files.
Another comment that comes up with a few customers is that pricing gets high when you start to use more capacity. So if you plan to upload hundreds of videos, keep that in mind.
The pricing for the platform currently ranges from $24.99 per month to $499.99. Hence, it falls into the higher price bracket than other hosting platforms.
Our final video hosting company to make it onto our best of the list is a provider called Dailymotion. Dailymotion is a French-based company that launched in Paris back in 2005.
Since then, it’s become one of the market leaders in video hosting. As with YouTube, Dailymotion provides a free platform and advertising revenue model. Here is some information on this platform’s pros and cons.
Dailymotion places a lot of emphasis on the viewer’s watching experience, which means they provide advanced technology to allow views a fast, easy-to-use video interface.
So if you want a premium video experience for your customers, add this platform to your shortlist.
Sticking with the audience-friendly theme, Dailymotion also allows viewers to customize the player and the video provider.
They offer live streaming, including an all-important 24/7 support team to assist when you’re running that critical marketing event.
Not all users love the ad format on this platform; some find it interrupts their viewing experience. And as with other free platforms like YouTube, some users believe this waters down the quality of the videos on offer from the platform.
Another negative mentioned by a few customers is that some of the platforms feel a little dated compared to rivals.
The Best Video Hosting Sites: Next Steps
We hope you enjoyed our review of the best video hosting sites on the market. As you can see, each platform has vast differences, and all have their strengths and advantages. Whatever you need, you should have a great chance of finding the perfect fit for your business.
Are you in the process of starting a business? Then before you choose your tools and technology, book a free consultation with us. We can help you get your new company operating in Dubai. Call us now!