If you take a moment to think what Internet content has drawn your attention for longer than 30 seconds last week, I can bet that videos win. No matter if we’re talking about the latest global event, Oscar ceremony broadcast, or Lion King-ing.
Once you record the video content you’re fond of, the only thing left before a complete success is to choose the proper hosting service to reach your perfect audience.
Not so long ago, the choice practically didn’t exist – any form of a video recording had to be broadcasted on TV or in the cinema. Now, the Internet has changed this hierarchy and you don’t have to be a movie company’s employee or buy a TV commercial to let you become a recognizable video creator.
Did you know that 18-34 year-olds spend more time watching Internet videos than TV? Taking this into account, it’s good to know where to host your own video content to be watched by numbers and numbers of viewers. A selection of video hosting websites that are at your service!
There are no Internet users who wouldn’t come across this global Internet broadcasting network. Found in 2005, only after 6 months it was purchased by Google and became the flagship product of the company.
Looking at the volumes of presented content, YouTube obviously wins this category. Every minute, 100 hours of video materials are uploaded to the portal, viewed by a billion unique users monthly.
Video hosting on YouTube is completely free – you pay neither for the disk space on the servers nor for HD quality display of your content. The only obstacle you will come across is the limited time of uploaded videos (up to 15 minutes), but this one’s easy to omit with a few simple tricks. YouTube also offers dozens of tools to improve the quality of broadcasted video content: adding soundtracks, subtitling, or video edition.
Even though Vimeo exists longer than YouTube, it gathers 10 times less unique users monthly, which sums up to 100 million.
Thanks to its position on the video hosting market and a little less cramped service space, Vimeo is a perfect option for artists and creative industry employees to present their portfolios.
Vimeo also offers a free account, although there are many more limitations compared to YouTube. For example, a free account gives you access to 500 MB of disk space, lets you upload 10 videos daily and only 1 HD video weekly. That makes a significant difference if HD quality content is a priority for you, or your business demands uploading more than 10 videos daily.
Also, when you take the upload queue into account (sometimes it takes hours!), the free Vimeo account looks not-so-user-friendly. However, you can upgrade to a Plus or PRO account and pay 59.95$ or 199$ annual fee for more upload options. For some businesses, this small investment might bring a multiplied profit.
That’s the newest service among the most popular video hosting sites – the first file was uploaded in 2006. Before I get down to the details, you should know that working with Wistia demands a budget in the beginning – it offers very limited free account options (3 uploads and 5GB transfer monthly).
The feature that distinguishes Wistia is that the file size you upload doesn’t really matter – the thing that counts is the traffic generated by viewers. In a nutshell – the more popular your videos are, the higher account fee you need to pay (from 25$ to 300$ monthly).
If you can afford an expense like this, you’ll be happy to find out about other options Wistia offers. The selection is quite impressive. You can use advanced privacy settings or SEO tools, personalize the player layout, collect emails thanks to a built-in web form. One of the most interesting features includes behavioral website analytics based on heatmaps, or special call to action buttons.
Compared to all previous portals, Vzaar looks pretty humble with their portfolio of 1500 companies. But the thing that distinguishes Vzaar among competitors is the brands included, such as IBM or Bench.
Vzaar doesn’t offer a free account, only a 30-day free trial during which you can enjoy a 5GB data transfer and uploading up to 50 video files. If you want to get more from Vzaar, the upgrade options after 30 days vary from $30 to $500/month.
Just like other video hosting sites, Vzaar includes a vast choice of extra features to help you achieve your goals. You can, for example, edit the player layout in its smallest details. Thanks to advanced website analytics, the service lets you find out much useful information about your viewers.
A new player to take into consideration is Cincopa. They also offer a free period trial and the upgrade options are $9.95 – $99 a month. But the feature that distinguishes Cincopa from the other video hosting companies is the huge variety of beautiful skins they offer, more than a hundred, without programming. And pretty original skins I must add, such as the video Timeline one, where you can define the content in specific time frames, which makes it a useful tool allowing the users to go directly to the part of the video that interests them most.
Also, for marketing and sales teams, Cincopa offers an extra something: their analytic dashboard makes it easy to analyze a single user behavior, tracking engagement and campaign conversions, as well as understand user trends, all in an automated fashion.
Making a choice
One of the most interesting options offered both by Wistia and Vzaar is the possibility to change the video file under a particular link. Making mistakes is a human thing and if you accidentally upload a video with any sort of error, then replacing it on every single page you embedded it takes ages. When you can replace the video at the source link, the update will appear on other pages automatically. Unfortunately, neither YouTube nor Vimeo offers such a convenient feature.
When it comes to free solutions, YouTube will remain the leading option in the nearest future. Speaking of paid platforms, the choice doesn’t seem so obvious, as Wistia and Vimeo offer an equally appealing set of tools and vary only in details. It’s simple: something like a perfect solution for all businesses doesn’t exist. The most reasonable solution would be to use each of the platforms for 30 days – looking at the free trial periods available. After thorough testing, the choice will be much easier.
What is your experience with video hosting for business?