Choosing the Best Video Hosting Platform for Your Business

Picture-Hundreds of YouTube Alternatives

There are hundreds of online video sharing sites other than YouTube and the list is only getting bigger. Some of these websites are content restrictive, non-commercial or category specific, while others are not.  Additionally, there are a number of higher level video sharing platforms that offer capabilities beyond externally linking to a video and embedding it on your website. Depending on your company’s size and needs, there are a wide range of available features and cost structures.  It is important for any business to consider each option carefully and choose the cloud video hosting platform that best suits them.

 

Here is a breakdown of a few of the most popular platforms:

$$$          HIGH-END HOSTING

Sproutvideo, Oculu, Brightcove, Wista, Vzaar, and Viddler are known for their large storage space, specialized video uploading and high-bandwidth packages.  Most of these services can be great for larger companies.  You can customize the player to suit your branding, logo, and styles as well as access great tools for development and customer support.  It is important though to keep in mind that unless you are a non-profit company (some offer reduced fees) the cost of the services per month might be a burden on your overall web budget.

 

$-$$         MID-LEVEL HOSTING

Vidyard offers a Pay as you Go Plan at $5 a video per month with certain viewing limitations along with more structured professional plans ranging up to $499 per month.  They offer basic social media integration as well as some simple customization. However, the more uploads you have the more it’s going to cost.

Vimeo Pro is a new trend in offering businesses an affordable account at $199 a year.  Up until recently Vimeo was a non-commercial only provider. Vimeo Pro features unlimited uploads, a quota of 250,000 Hi-definition video plays, advanced video statistics, and a customizable video player with branding options.  This may be a good place to start for the small business that doesn’t want to invest too much in bells and whistles, but doesn’t want to get lost in all the other businesses out there, the low-quality user-channels and content, or the rude and sometimes vulgar comments.

 

FREE       LOW-END HOSTING

If you don’t require extra features like the customization of a player and your only goals are embedding your video on your own website, or reaching a wide and often undefined demographic, there are options for your business that don’t require monthly fees.   YouTube is the most widely known free option.  YouTube allows for basic metrics such as what led your customers to your video and overall plays as well as allowing you to set up a channel and background wallpaper for collections of videos. Other popular free alternatives include Facebook Video, Flickr, and even Twitter’s new Vine video hosting service.

 

Ø/$/?       SELF HOSTING

When budgeting for digital media and video production costs a self-hosted approach should be considered as a viable alternative. This was mentioned in last week’s article What to Do with Quality Video Produced by Fox Learning Systems.  By self-hosting, you only pay a onetime setup cost instead of being charged monthly fees by a third-party provider.  The amount you want to put into self-hosting is flexible. You pay for the features you need and you only have to pay for it once.