Published on December 29th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
Top 4 Best Video Hosting Sites and How To Choose Your video Hosting Solution
It’s no secret that video content is now everywhere, and is still expected to continue growing. By 2021, it is expected that 82% of all internet traffic will come from video streaming, and so if you haven’t already, there hasn’t been a better time to start video marketing or to start your own on-demand or linear TV channel.
A key challenge in distributing video content, however, is that video content is much more data-heavy compared to text and even audio content. So, storing and distributing video content, especially high-quality ones without any latency or lag can be a complex challenge.
This is where video hosting sites come in.
Video hosting, in a nutshell, is a site where you can store, playback, and to some extent, edit your video on the internet. Different video hosting sites can offer different sets of features: some might offer faster load speeds, some might offer versatile conversion or editing tools, and some others might provide the ability to embed a video player to stream your video content.
Video hosting is necessary because video files are large. Thus, storing your video directly on your website is generally not preferred since it can eat your storage space and bandwidth. Not only will this burden your site and cause slowdown, it might also affect the video playback with errors and lower playback quality, especially on mobile devices.
Remember that most people today now consume video content on mobile devices. The thing is, different devices might prefer different image resolutions, and depending on the available bandwidth speed, might prefer certain video quality.
A possible solution is to use a video player that can play different video resolution sizes and quality, but this would mean saving different versions of your video in advance, which can be: 1) time-consuming and confusing and 2) eats a lot of valuable storage space.
The video hosting sites will eliminate this issue, and typically they will provide an embed code so that you can put a responsive video player on your website or app. The video hosting sites would take care of delivering different video sizes and quality options depending on the viewer’s device and available bandwidth.
As discussed, hosting your video yourself on your server is definitely an option, so it will eliminate the need to embed the video player when you want to share your video. Above, we have discussed how a video hosting site can provide us with an easier time to deliver different video qualities depending on the viewer’s needs, but that’s not the only advantage you’ll get.
In general, here are the advantages of using third-party video hosting sites rather than hosting your video yourself.
- Easier, more intuitive process. You can upload and store your video without understanding anything about programming. The technicalities of self-hosting can be quite complex, and a video hosting site will make it easier.
- Good video hosting sites are compatible with most CMS platforms so you can easily embed the video player.
- Most hosting sites also offer analytics and tracking features, so you can easily track and monitor the performance of your video content
Even when your site/server can handle the upload, your site’s loading speed may still suffer, and as discussed, you’ll have to account for different sizes and quality options of the video content to accommodate the viewer’s needs.
As we have mentioned, different video hosting sites may offer different sets of features and advantages.
So, how should you choose between these different options?
First, the best approach is to figure out your needs, and to be exact, the objective(s) of your video content creation. Here are some common objectives you might want to consider:
- Regularly publish 3 videos every week
- Produce videos to accomplish certain marketing goals (i.e. build brand awareness)
- Generate x number of viewers in 6 months
And so on. The next step is to figure out the necessary requirements to achieve these objectives, and you can ask these key questions to figure out these requirements:
- What type of audience is this video being made for?
- What is the type of the video content? (i.e. interviews, action-oriented, etc)
- Do you have a specific feel to pursue according to your brand guidelines and/or objective?
- Do you need music and/or audio voice over?
- Where will you publish the video?
- Will you need graphics/animation in the video?
Based on the answers to these questions, you can consider the following factors:
- Security: above anything else, check whether the video hosting site provides secure encryption and restriction to content.
- Ease of use: pretty self-explanatory, the easier it is to use the platform, the better. It should be easy enough to upload your videos, make the necessary edits (layouts, resolutions,etc.), and embed the player on your site. On the other hand, viewers should find it easy enough to use the player.
- Analytics: a detailed analytics dashboard is preferred so you can easily monitor the performance of your videos and make the required adjustment.
- Monetization options: if you plan to monetize your videos, then you should make sure your video hosting provides you with the desired hosting option.
- Customization: you should look for video hosting sites that offer white-label service (completely customizable) for branding purposes.
- Scale: Check how the platform is hosted and whether it can reliably distribute videos outside of the U.S. Also, not all platforms offer the ability to stream videos for viewers in China, which is becoming increasingly important considering the size of the Chinese market.
Viloud is an advanced live streaming platform, offering an easy and versatile way to upload videos to the cloud. Aside from the standard features offered by most video hosting platforms, Viloud also offers some unique features:
- You can upload multiple videos simultaneously, even if you are using different formats/resolutions. Viloud accepts all major file formats without any restrictions in length/filesize.
- Automatically encode the video to an adaptive bitrate to allow optimal delivery for any devices/screen sizes/bandwidth
- Global CDN ensuring viewers get served by the closest possible server to minimize buffering and latency
- Viloud is also a full-fledged video platform allowing anyone to create linear and on-demand TV channels and embed the player on any website or app
Premium plans start at $12/month for 30 minutes storage and/or 2,500 viewed per month, 5 channels and 200 video links. The most expensive plan is $199/month, allowing 1,500 minutes stored, 100k minutes viewed, and unlimited channels/video links.
Vimeo is an online video platform that launched in 2004, and it used to be one of the most popular video-sharing platforms alongside YouTube. In 2017 Vimeo was acquired by Livestream, and now is focusing on the B2B market with its OTT video hosting services.
A key downside, however, is that while Vimeo does offer a live streaming platform in the form of Vimeo Live, it is priced separately from the on-demand video hosting service, so you won’t get both unless you pay more. Also, the live linear (24/7 linear streaming) feature is only available in its highest-priced custom plan.
Vimeo’s plans start at $7/month for 250 GB/year and basic features like player customization and social shares. The most expensive plan is $75/month where you get 71TB total storage, unlimited live viewers, and the ability to live stream to multiple destinations.
Brightcove is a video hosting platform that supports both on-demand and live streaming video hosting. It does offer some great features like a handy analytics tool, video portal, MAP/CERM integrations, video portal, and a monetization management platform.
However, full OTT solutions and monetization are only available on custom plans according to your needs.
You must contact Brightcove directly to get a quote for the custom plan.
Wistia is another video hosting platform, but at the moment doesn’t offer a live video streaming feature.
It does, however, support on-demand video hosting with a focus on analytics. A unique feature is its advanced heat maps feature where you can analyze the performance of each segment of your video.
Wistia does offer white-label custom branding, and you can add a CTA/lead capture form. We can say that Wistia is more focused on video marketing and performance-based analytics.
Wistia has a free plan allowing 3 free videos (with Wistia branding). The premium ‘Pro’ plan is a little bit expensive, starting at $99/month for 10 free videos and custom branding.
Video hosting sites or platforms are an essential aspect for video content broadcasting, for both on-demand and live-streaming video content. While different video hosting solutions offer their unique sets of features, the best approach in choosing one is to first figure out your video broadcasting objectives and the key requirements you might need.
If you are currently considering between different video hosting sites, we’d recommend Viloud due to its versatile set of features and affordable price. Viloud also operates a secure and reliable CDN, allowing the platform to distribute videos to your audience faster with minimum buffering.
Photo by nicolas perez on Unsplash