There are three main reasons why you’d want to consider hosting your videos somewhere else alongside YouTube:
- You might want to take advantage of another platform’s audience.
- You might want to provide a seamless, ad-free watching experience for your viewers.
- You might need more advanced features for video editing, collaboration, hosting, marketing, building an audience, analytics, privatization, live streaming, etc.
YouTube has some shortcomings. Because of its freebie business model, YouTube favors its own growth rather than the creators’, and might show irrelevant ads within videos (to increase its own revenue) and recommend a whole lot of competitor videos (to keep viewers on the platform).
It also prioritizes user engagement over more important metrics such as usefulness: videos that keep the viewers the longest on the platform get more exposure — a favorable opportunity for simplistic entertainment videos.
This is not to say YouTube alternatives are all free of these flaws.
Some of them are just the washed-down versions of YouTube, without its powerful user base and useful features.
However, for people interested in having more control over their videos, and more advanced business features to achieve their own goals rather than help YouTube grow, there are some useful alternatives.
Vimeo is probably the most popular YouTube alternative.
It offers pretty much the same general features as YouTube: creators can upload videos and optimize them for maximum visibility, viewers can search for videos on any topic and watch them for free.
Unlike YouTube which is completely free for creators, Vimeo is a premium hosting platform.
They offer a free basic plan with extremely limited storage (500 MB per week), but serious creators need to pay for more storage and other premium features.
Vimeo’s paid plans are Vimeo Plus ($7/month), Vimeo Pro ($20/month), Vimeo Premium ($75/month), and Vimeo Enterprise. The most noticeable difference between these plans is the amount of storage dedicated to your account.
Vimeo Plus gives you 5 GB/week (limited to 250GB every year) and costs $7 per month, billed annually. Plus if you’re interested in live streaming, you need to subscribe to Premium or Enterprise plans.
Some of the features you could get with a Vimeo premium plan are:
- Video production tools for creating, editing and uploading unlimited videos (with templates)
- No ads in the videos.
- Video conversion features for maximum quality.
- Player customization (anything from play bar controls and colors to what happens after your video plays).
- Privacy controls in different levels such as password protection, private links, domain-level privacy (i.e. which sites can embed your video), etc.
- Team collaboration features (Pro or higher plans).
- Distribution and marketing features such as publishing natively on social media platforms. With the Premium plan you can have access to some nifty marketing tools such as lead capturing, integrating with third-party apps (such as your email marketing platform or project management tools), or adding cards with links in them within the videos.
- Advanced analytics.
- Selling videos through Vimeo on-demand (Pro and higher plans) or OTT .
- Premium support (email for Plus and Pro plans, and Live for Premium and Enterprise plans).
Wistia is a video and podcast hosting platform that has no pre-built audience, unlike YouTube or Vimeo.
It’s not a video library of sorts in which people can find the videos they’re looking for.
So you can only host your videos on it. But if you’re interested in a comprehensive video marketing strategy to grow your business, Wistia is a better option than YouTube or Vimeo.
It’s packed with numerous marketing-related and business growth features.
Wistia comes with a free plan which is limited to 3 videos or podcasts.
To upload more than 3 videos you need to choose the “Pro plan” priced at $99 per month.
“Pro” comes with 10 videos and podcasts but you can make additional videos or podcasts for 25 cents per month for each additional video or audio file.
So if you need to host 14 videos or podcasts on Wistia, you need to pay $100 per month (10 free videos + $1 for 4 additional videos).
Wistia is built for marketers so it has features that make it ideal for business growth. Here are some:
- Advanced lead generation. Using Wistia Turnstile email collector, you can collect emails right from your videos and send them directly to your email marketing platform.
- Great integration with other tools. This makes it possible for marketers to use their videos for lead generation and nurturing. Wistia could integrate with your email marketing platform, CRM, content management systems, your Google Ads account for retargeting campaigns, Zendesk customer support, and a bunch of other marketing tools.
- Superb analytics is Wistia’s distinguishing feature. It shows you different video stats (engagement graphs, viewer tracking, video heatmaps, etc.), and social stats (number of shares, likes, and comments).
- Powerful embedding and sharing. You can easily embed your media (or your whole channel) on your site and set your preferred privacy settings (for gated content for example).
- A/B testing to test different aspects of your videos such as thumbnails, video design, CTAs within videos, etc.
- Podcast support. Wistia is a platform that supports podcast production so you won’t need to buy a separate podcasting platform.
- Video player customization to make sure Wistia’s player looks consistent with your brand.
- Channels with email notifications. Wistia’s channels make it possible for you to host multiple videos or podcasts in one particular library and add subscribers to it. You can easily customize your library and give it a branded URL.
- Superb customer support. As a B2B Saas product, Wistia has great customer support that could help you in any phase of your journey.
As a video hosting platform for business growth, SproutVideo has lots of marketing/team collaboration features.
All plans include 500 GB of bandwidth and 500 GB of storage, but you can pay for additional bandwidth/storage.
Sproutvideo has flexible pricing options.
You start with a 30-day free trial and then choose a plan that best suits your needs.
They have four premium plans: Seed ($24.99/month), Sprout ($59.99/month), Tree ($199.99/month), and Forest ($499.99/month).
All of their plans come with their core features, analytics and engagement data, and email/live chat support.
Their base plan is limited to 3 team members while other plans can have +5 team members collaborating with each other.
Sptoutvideo offers amazing features for the price you pay. Some of these features are:
- Customizable player to make sure it’s consistent with your brand.
- Three kinds of embed codes: responsive inline embed codes, lightbox (pop-up overlay) embed code, and email embed codes for campaigns.
- Privacy control features. Private videos, password protection, access restrictions based on specific URLs, IP address, and/or geographic location.
- Video marketing suite including video SEO, lead capturing features, integration with other business tools such as Zapier, Hubspot, MailChimp, CTAs within videos, social sharing tools, video landing pages, etc. to increase the effectiveness of your marketing videos.
- Video hub. Easily include your videos in a hub and make it public or accessible to your target audience.
- Live streaming is available in all plans, so you won’t have to pay extra just for live streaming.
- Detailed analytics and heatmaps, for a better understanding of your audience.
- Great collaboration features such as role-based permissions, bulk uploading, audit log of activity, and more.
Vidyard is another video hosting platform for business growth. It’s ideal for recording and sharing video presentations, be it for marketing/sales purposes, reporting to clients, or for employee engagement and training.
All their plans come with unlimited recordings and uploads and other useful features.
Vidyard offers unlimited recording and hosting in all its plans (even the free plan). But that doesn’t mean you can embed your videos an unlimited number of times.
Even with their Business plan ($1250/month), you get to have 100 embeds on your sites. There are no limits on video-sharing though.
Vidyard has 3 premium subscription options, Pro ($15/mo), Teams ($300/mo), and Business ($1250/mo).
The “Pro” option has some major disadvantages such as limited embedding (20 actually), basic video analytics (number of views, who viewed your videos and for how long), and the fact that you can’t add any team members (it’s limited to only 1 user).
So if you need more embeds, more granular analytics, or more team members, you need to go with the “Teams” option.
It seems that Vidyard is built for recording and sharing presentation videos (although you can use it for other purposes).
Its unlimited hosting makes it possible for you to create as many videos as you want for your marketing/sales/training purposes. Some of its handy features are:
- Unlimited bandwidth for unlimited videos and unlimited sharing.
- Great recording features. Webcam recording and screen recording with lots of features for creating personalized sales and training videos.
- Browser extension for easy recording. Simply click on Vidyard’s icon in your browser and start recording through your webcam or record your screen.
- Integration with sales and marketing tools. Easily integrate Vidyard features with your favorite sales tool to increase your campaigns’ effectiveness.
- On-page replies. It’s possible for viewers to leave a public reply on your video.
- Customize video sharing pages. Without having to embed videos anywhere (because there’s a limit on it), you can customize your video’s landing page to make it consistent with your brand.
- Notifications. Get notified when your video is watched, a handy feature for when you’re sharing videos for email marketing campaigns.
- Video hubs. Collect your videos in a particular page and make it public or accessible only internally.
- Call to actions in your videos. Add buttons, CTAs, or email forms to your videos for lead nurturing purposes.
- CTA analytics. In their high-end plans, you can have access to your CTAs analytics in order to optimize them for future use.
Viewed is a platform that promises to be the YouTube of email because it allows you to play videos automatically within the email.
This SaaS platform can host all kinds of videos to be sent by email without the need to use attachments or YouTube links.
With Viewed your recipients will be able to start watching the video as soon as they open the email, as it has software that recognizes in real time the email provider, operating system and device used by the recipient when opening the email to deliver the video format that is compatible, improving the deliverability rate.
With the Free Plan that this platform offers, you can start sending videos through email at no cost and for unlimited time.
6. Streaming Video Provider
Streaming Video Provider is a flexible video hosting and live streaming solution. It offers strong video monetization features through which you can rent/sell videos, offer subscriptions, create tickets, etc.
Streaming Video Provider pricing:
Streaming Video Provider offers a 15-day free trial for all its plans so you get to try their full features before paying for them.
They also have a price match guarantee policy, that is you can get a discounted price if you can convince them that there’s a cheaper platform offering their exact services.
You can send them the link to the pricing plans of a particular hosting platform and ask them to price match it with one of their own plans.
They have three pricing plans: Plus ($39/month), Pro ($99/month), and Premium ($399/month). You’ll get a %15 discount on their yearly plan and a %30 discount with their 2-year plan.
All their plans come with core features including password protection, private link sharing, full analytics and heatmaps, a global CDN network that allows you to stream anywhere in the world (China included), a customizable video player, a media management panel, etc.
Streaming Video Provider features:
Streaming Video Provider seems to be ideal for creators. Their restriction and monetization features make it easy for video creators to grow their audience and generate revenue with their videos.
- Live streaming available for Pro and Premium plans.
- Ad-on store through which you can purchase additional storage space.
- Strong monetization features (pay per view streaming). You can set up payment gateways right in the videos or set up your own video hub with various subscription options in order to sell your videos or live streams.
- Secured and private streaming for Pro and Premium plans to make sure your videos are limited to the people who have paid/subscribed to your plans.
- Team collaboration features for Pro and Premium plans.
- API access for integration with third-party platforms.
- Multistreaming on different platforms such as social media platforms or customer websites at the same time.
If you’re looking for a cheap video hosting platform for your WordPress website, look no further than Jetpack’s Videopress.
It’s a plugin that allows you to include videos on your WordPress website without having to host them on your own.
Jetpack’s pricing and features:
Jetpack has straightforward pricing for its video hosting solution.
For $4.77/month paid yearly, you can have 1TB of storage to host your videos on, a built-in WordPress video editor, an ad-free player which could be customized to represent your brand, and unlimited team members.
You can also have access to Videopress by purchasing their “Complete” plan priced at $47.97/per month, paid yearly.
Obviously, Jetpack’s Videopress is designed as a simple video hosting solution so you won’t get the advanced options (such as detailed analytics, CTAs within the videos, integrations, etc.) that other premium video hosting solutions offer.
Streamable is a simple and cheap video hosting solution. Unlike Jetpack, it’s not limited to your WordPress website — you can upload your videos there and embed them anywhere you like.
Streamable pricing and features:
Streamable is an ad-supported free video hosting platform. That is you can upload and share/embed a video for free but you’re limited to a 250 MB/10 min limit per video (kept only for 90 days), and ads will be shown next to your videos when they’re shared.
By upgrading to their “Professional plan” for $12.99/month, you get 2 TB of cloud storage, you can keep your videos forever, ads are removed, and you won’t have any limits on video size/length.
The features in Streamable are quite simple and straightforward.
You can only host and share/embed videos using their platform for the price you pay, and can’t expect any of the features mentioned in more premium (and expensive) tools.
Among the platforms mentioned above, DailyMotion has the most resemblance to YouTube in terms of business model and target audience. It’s a free video-hosting platform that makes money primarily by showing ads during your videos.
They claim to have 300 million monthly active users and 2 billion monthly views.
You can upload an unlimited number of videos on their platform for free and take advantage of their audience.
You can also embed your videos anywhere you like using their embedding features.
It seems that DailyMotion doesn’t have anything more than what YouTube has to offer, so if you’re already using YouTube, you might want to use DailyMotion as a secondary platform to drive more engagement to your videos.
10. Social media platforms
Social media platforms provide you with the option to host your videos for free.
They should not be considered video hosting platforms because they lack many of the features that higher-end hosting platforms offer such as higher quality, detailed analytics, marketing tools, unbranded players, etc. However, they have their own audience, a huge audience in fact. So if you’re interested in building an audience base, social media platforms could help a lot.
Facebook has 3.51 billion monthly active users making it an ideal platform to grow your audience alongside YouTube.
Facebook Watch is a free video streaming service that shows videos in a feed based on your possible preferences (entertainment videos mostly).
You can’t upload your videos to Facebook Watch directly but once Facebook’s algorithm decides that your videos are targeted at a broad audience, you might have a better chance of being shown there.
You need to upload your videos to your Facebook page and not your personal page to be considered for Facebook Watch.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of Facebook video marketing features, you can invest in any of the following 5 video types.
In all of these videos, you can choose between a dropdown of objectives (like brand awareness or conversion) and calls to action (like “buy now” or “learn more”).
- Facebook feed videos: video ads that are shown in people’s newsfeed and are identified as ads.
- Video stories: 15-second (or less) vertical videos that are shown in the stories section.
- Instant articles: Videos can be included within Instant Articles to enhance the storytelling experience.
- In-stream videos: video ads shown during live streams.
- Marketplace videos: use videos in Facebook Marketplace to sell your goods and services.
There are 4 kinds of videos you can upload on Instagram:
- Instagram video: typical videos you can upload from your device.
- Stories: videos that vanish after 24 hours.
- Reels: 15-30-second clips
- Live: Live videos people can interact with
Just like YouTube and Facebook, Instagram is a great platform to build and grow an audience. The key to a successful Instagram video strategy is keeping your videos relevant and entertaining.
B2B videos found new traction ever since LinkedIn started supporting them.
You can now increase awareness about your B2B business by creating business videos easily using LinkedIn’s video tools.
Native videos get more engagement on Linkedin and get shared more frequently compared to other formats.
Video ads are quite popular on LinkedIn as well. While native videos are limited to 10 minutes, video ads can run for 30 minutes, a fact that gives you more freedom to explain your products’ benefits.
YouTube’s huge audience base, its Google SERPs dominance, and its freemium business model make it an indispensable part of every video marketing strategy.
YouTube is ideal for increasing awareness and building an audience base at the same time.
However, since YouTube prioritizes its own growth over its users’ growth, you might have less control over your video strategy.
If you need premium features such as ad-free viewership experience, video player customization, advanced marketing solutions, privacy controls, collaboration features, self-hosted video hubs, advanced live streaming, customer support, etc. you need to consider using premium video hosting platforms.
Hopefully, the different platforms and tools reviewed in this post can help you decide on a suitable solution for your video marketing strategy.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.