Choosing the right video host can make a major difference in the user experience
Video is among the most engaging content formats there is. It makes sense for website owners to use video for attracting website visitors, generating leads, and boosting conversions.
But even if you have a dedicated server or sophisticated virtual machine software, uploading video directly to your website can drag down the user experience. Modest spikes in traffic can throttle bandwidth, increase page load time, and hurt your SEO rankings.
That’s why most video-centric websites rely on third-party hosting solutions. Video hosting providers have the infrastructure to securely host and display high-quality video content quickly.
10 Most Popular Video Sites to Embed Your Videos
There are dozens of video hosting platforms out there, and each one is unique. To find the right host for your video content, you need to examine your website and traffic expectations. Certain hosts offer valuable features that can help you monetize your website more effectively. Others are attractive simply because they are popular and free.
The first five entrants on this list will include free and freemium video hosting services. The final five will consist of premium hosting services that charge a subscription.
YouTube is by far the largest video sharing and hosting website in the world. YouTube offers content creators access to a huge built-in audience, has no data storage limits, and charges no fees for content creators. In fact, it pays popular content creators a portion of the ad revenue their videos generate.
However, while YouTube is undoubtedly popular, it’s hard to make a case for it being the best video site for embedding your videos. YouTube users only have access to a single, branded iframe player for embedded content. Viewers who click on that player end up on YouTube – not your website – and continue consuming content there.
This makes YouTube problematic for content creators who want to host educational courses or testimonials. It’s certainly a useful video host for influencers who appeal to a wide audience, but little else.
Dailymotion is a YouTube competitor that offers free unlimited video hosting to content creators. While it has a smaller audience size than YouTube, it also has less competition for content – which can be a good thing for certain creators.
Like YouTube, Dailymotion supports itself using ads. Unlike YouTube, it plays ads regardless of the size of the content creator’s following. This means even a small, niche video will serve ads.
Dailymotion does offer some advantages as a free hosting solution for embedding videos. For example, developer users can modify the embedded Dailymotion player’s color scheme and logo. This means your website’s video player can match your brand identity. Dailymotion also offers slightly better viewer analytics than YouTube does – but not enough to truly stand out.
Facebook is a social networking platform that includes, among other things, a video hosting solution with a built-in audience bigger than YouTube’s. While Facebook can host videos for free, it still focuses more on social media and messaging than on video hosting and marketing.
For example, it offers only the most basic embedded player options to content creators. This is because Facebook, like most free video hosting solutions, is interested in getting viewers to stay on its own domain. Helping website owners keep traffic on their own domains (and off of Facebook) simply isn’t in its interest.
Additionally, Facebook has a lower video quality cap than most other options. In general, Facebook seems geared towards personal use, rather than embedding videos on external websites. It’s a popular option, but not a wise one.
Vimeo is unlike the other free video hosting solutions on this list. While YouTube, Dailymotion, and Facebook are social video-sharing platforms, Vimeo is a collaboration suite that targets creative professionals. This is why there are so many original short films, animations, and indie music videos, and extreme sports content on Vimeo.
Vimeo understands that creative professionals want to display their work on their own websites, so it offers a number of discrete, customizable video embedding options. Helpfully, it serves no ads to viewers, and enables video downloads.
However, there is a catch. Getting the most out of Vimeo requires paying for a pro plan. Free account holders have a low upload limit and relatively low chances of reaching an audience through Vimeo.
Cincopa is the answer to data-driven marketing using video content. The video hosting platform’s data capture and analytics service is among the most comprehensive on this list. Content creators can integrate individual video analytics data with their customer relationship management (CRM) tool, enabling scalable marketing automation on-demand.
While Cincopa offers no built-in audience, its analytics capabilities make it a valuable choice for any business that uses digital marketing to generate leads and conversions. Like Wistia, it supports embedded lead capture forms and in-video calls-to-action. Unlike Wisita, it supports these features for live-streamed video, too.
Cincopa also operates as a fully-featured digital asset management (DAM) solution ideal for publishers who need to manage large volumes of content. If your content pipeline involves a complex series of permissions and approvals before going live, Cincopa’s built-in DAM capabilities will streamline the creative process across the board.
Wistia aims its software at digital marketers who use video to generate leads. Video hosting services are part of what it offers, but are not an integral element. Wistia’s main selling point is embedding lead capture forms and other calls-to-action into its video players, which are fully customizable. However, Wistia does not support live streaming.
This makes Wistia an appealing option for digital marketing experts who want to capture leads using video content. It allows content creators to filter out external video recommendations, which keeps traffic on your website.
While Wistia’s digital marketing initiatives are valuable, it fails to deliver in one important category – viewer analytics. Building an automated marketing system on video analytics requires highly granular, individualized data, which Wistia struggles to provide.
7. Jetpack for WordPress
Jetpack is a free WordPress plugin that offers video hosting as part of its premium and professional plans. Jetpack is unique because it is actually an all-in-one toolkit for improving WordPress websites in multiple ways – including video hosting.
Jetpack enables WordPress website owners to improve the security and speed of their WordPress sites. It secures login pages from brute force cyberattacks, makes pages load faster using a purpose-built content delivery network (CDN), and includes solutions for automatic social sharing.
Premium and professional subscribers can enjoy unlimited video hosting on Jetpack, making it a useful tool for WordPress website owners who want to embed videos online. However, it is not the only WordPress-compatible video hosting solution out there, and it is not built specifically for this purpose alone.
Brightcove is an enterprise video hosting platform favored by major corporations, public institutions, and Fortune 500 companies. It supports almost all of the technologies that other video hosting platforms offer to users, and native integrations with all of the technologies that enterprises routinely use to manage and monetize video content.
Brightcove includes an enterprise-friendly content management system with advanced marketing automation integrations. This enables content creators to live stream directly to their websites and apps, and broadcast content across multiple channels simultaneously.
However, enterprise video content management comes at enterprise costs. It also assumes you have enterprise-level technical expertise, and a team of marketers ready to create and deploy content to meet your business goals.
SproutVIdeo is a business video hosting platform that aims to offer enterprise-level features without requiring large-scale access to expertise and resources. It enables content creators to design an unlimited number of unique video players, which means you can match each player to its web page seamlessly.
This means creative SproutVideo users can create an engaging customer journey. You can even incorporate lead capture and audience segmentation tools to your digital marketing approach.
The only major downside to using SproutVideo is its complexity. Bringing enterprise-level features to small businesses and entrepreneurs involves a considerable learning curve.
Uscreen is a digital video course platform that enables content creators to monetize their courses. This sets it apart from some of the other entrants on this list, since it monetizes content directly from viewers who pay to view your content.
This can be very useful for the e-learning professionals Uscreen’s marketing specifically targets. It’s not well-suited to digital marketing, influencer content, or many other types of content. It doesn’t feature in-depth marketing analytics or role-based permissions the way some other entrants on this list do, for instance.
However, Uscreen does support embedding and even integrates with over-the-top (OTT) apps for mobile devices and smart TVs. This can make it an interesting choice for educators and business owners who focus on monetizing video content directly.
Which is the Best Video Hosting Solution For Me?
Every single one of the video hosting platforms mentioned above has a specific use case in mind. Each one is designed to meet the needs of a particular type of content creator. To find the best video hosting solution for your needs, you must carefully examine the features and capabilities that you value most.