Video has grown into one of the leading marketing and education tools of the last few years.
After all, entrepreneurs use video every day to host interview shows, create product breakdowns, impress mom, and put on live webinars, and so much more.
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, video has also become essential for businesses shifting to remote work, especially as a training and educational resource. As social distancing separates us from our team members, it’s vital to find a medium that can easily translate visual information regardless of where we are.
No matter how you’re using video in 2023, finding the optimal video hosting platform for your business is key. Because not all hosting sites are created equally.
We wrote this article to help you understand the core differences between some of the most popular video hosting sites (and then to watch them duke it out for your approval).
Here are the top video hosting sites in 2023 that we’ll cover in this post:
What is video hosting?
First things first: Video hosting sites provide a place for you to store, play back, and edit your video on the internet. Every video hosting service comes with a unique collection of features.
Some boast faster video load speeds.
Others offer robust video editing or conversion tools.
And as you’ll see below, some even offer marketing- and business-specific tools to make sure your video helps you achieve your professional goals.
Here are the top 7 video hosting sites (and what makes each one unique).
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, second only to YouTube’s parent company, Google (maybe you’ve heard of it?).
With YouTube, you’ll get free video hosting and opportunities to earn money from your videos through paid ads. You’ll also find a robust video search engine that makes it easy for strangers to discover your content.
Plus, the search capability of YouTube has made it popular for business owners looking to build a personal brand. By maintaining a regular presence on YouTube, some business owners have launched themselves into digital stardom.
Pros of YouTube
- Largest video host platform in the world
- Robust video search engine for people to organically find your content
- Advertising capability through Adsense
- Simple for users to subscribe for future content
- Easily embed YouTube videos on your site
- Unlimited storage
Top con of YouTube
- YouTube recommends other videos (read: competitors) during their pause screen, which can drive traffic away from your website or channel
Price: Starts at $49/month
Swarmify is a popular recent AppSumo deal. First off, it boasts remarkable video load speeds, with real-time YouTube-vs.-Swarmify speed comparisons on their site. (You can watch the infamous YouTube loading circle turn — meanwhile, Swarmify plays as soon as you click the button.)
Plus, while sites like YouTube promote other people’s content after each video (possibly driving people away from your site), Swarmify doesn’t. You no longer have to worry about customers being lured away from your site by silly cat videos.
Pros of using Swarmify
- Fast load speeds
- Unlimited bandwidth, encoding, and storage
- Distraction-free layout
- Advanced analytics
- Automated Vimeo and YouTube conversions
Top con of using Swarmify
- Without the AppSumo deal, it can be expensive for small businesses
Price: Freemium (paid plans start at $99/month)
Wistia helps viewers stay engaged with your video content. To begin, the white-label video player lets you customize it to match your brand image and identity. It’s a popular tool for video brand building, with built-in tools like heat maps to help you grow a following and engage regularly with your audience.
Next, Wistia boasts TV-quality video experiences. It’s both a platform builder and video hosting website.
Finally, Wistia’s video platform also considers SEO elements by injecting Schema.org mark-up onto your webpage. That way, your videos are indexed by Google. (Looking for more SEO help? We recommend checking out Tubics.)
Want to put some of your video content behind a digital gate for lead generation? You can configure videos so that interested viewers can only access your content by giving you their email address. It’s like a video lead magnet to grow your email list.
Pros of Wistia
- More control over your hosted content
- Easily grow a following
- White-label branding tools
- Put content behind digital gates
- Autoplay the next video on your channel
- In-depth analytics and reporting features
- Free account to start
Top con of Wistia
- After freemium, premium plans can be expensive
Price: Freemium (Paid version starts at $7/month)
As one of the most popular video-hosting sites in the world, Vimeo is a video editor and hosting site rolled into one. Use their Video Maker platform to start editing from scratch or choose from their many templates. You can add copy, images, and effects to achieve a more professional final product.
Plus, if you’re not into video editing, Vimeo connects you with an on-demand freelance video workforce. If you want someone to take your content to that next professional level, hire talent without leaving the site.
Pros of Vimeo
- Video editing
- On-demand video talent
- Live streaming
- Free plan available
- Team collaboration
- Video marketing tool suite
- Advanced analytics and reporting
Top con of Vimeo
- Most business features are not available in the free plan
Price: Starts at $24.99/month
SproutVideo is a video hosting platform built for businesses. It incorporates many features to help companies market their services while staying secure.
The platform also includes templates to let you build video-first websites. Instead of static images in your header, consider introducing site visitors to your organization via video.
Lastly, SproutVideo offers robust security, boasting password protection, single sign-on, and login protection.
Pros of SproutVideo
- Powerful security
- Video analytics
- Video marketing suite
- Create custom video playlists and video players
- Trusted by multiple Fortune 500 companies
- Build video sites with responsive, mobile-friendly layouts
Top con of SproutVideo
- Some reviews suggest a steep learning curve
Price: N/A (One source says prices begin at $99/month)
Brightcove helps you build your own streaming service.
Want to host fast-loading, high-definition videos on your site? With Brightcove, you’ll access features like live-streaming, fast load speeds, and a suite of video marketing tools. Meanwhile, its advertising options give you the ability to build a monetization strategy with your videos.
Brightcove integrates with many popular marketing platforms like HubSpot and Marketo. It’s also compatible with popular CMSes like WordPress and Drupal. You can upload video analytics from Brightcove to your CRM, for example, to get a better understanding of your customers.
Pros of Brightcove
- OTT experiences
- Live streaming
- Run ads on your videos
- Video analytics
- Fast video load speeds
- Video marketing tools and integrations
Top con of Brightcove
- Multiple users complain about search feature and inflexible reporting
Dailymotion, like YouTube, is a video search engine and entertainment site where viewers can watch video after recommended video. Unlike the other platforms, Dailymotion has the appearance and feel of a news site. Instead of articles, the platform displays a collection of today’s biggest video stories, including the news, most popular videos, and sports.
In terms of features, Dailymotion offers livestream, on-demand video, and standard video hosting. People can find and follow your channel to stay up-to-date on your latest content.
Most of all, Dailymotion is very straightforward. It uses minimal structuring features, making it clean and simple for you to upload and begin sharing your content.
Pros of Dailymotion
- Simple video uploading and hosting
- Videos are searchable and have the opportunity to go viral or get featured on the platform
- Advertising available (monetize your content)
- Fans can follow your channel
- Connect your social media channels
- Basic video metrics
Cons of Dailymotion
- The site feels clunkier and slower than YouTube
Price: Freemium (Paid version starts at $9.99/month)
Cincopa is a robust image, video, podcast, and media hosting platform that lets you manage your digital assets with ease. Choose from slick video player designs, navigate a user-friendly interface, and create video channels in just a few clicks.
When it comes to features, Cincopa excels when it comes to viewer engagement and lead gen. You can add annotations and CTAs, use your own branding, and organize your videos into chapters and forms. Plus, with advanced analytics, insights, and heatmaps, you’ll know exactly who’s watching your videos, when, and where.
Cincopa is super intuitive and focused on growing your business through video.
Pros of Cincopa
- Easy video uploading, management, and embedding
- Use your own branding
- Add annotations and CTAs
- Enhanced analytics, metrics and insights, with heatmaps
- Searchable videos
- Asset categorization, sharing, and a fully-stocked library
- Metadata management
- Create video channels in just a few clicks
Cons of Cincopa
- File storage limits might be an issue, depending on how much media you have
Price: Pricing is based on bandwidth, storage requirements and starts from $149/year.
VdoCipher lets ed-tech and media sites play videos on their platforms in the most secure and smooth manner. A combination of Hollywood standard DRM encryption (Digital Rights Management), viewer-specific watermarking, and licensing technologies ensures that videos can’t be downloaded or shared illegally from a video platform.
Platform owners can use VdoCipher on their own website or app. The complete packaged offering includes Global Amazon AWS CDN server hosting, smart video player, analytics dashboard, WordPress plugin, and APIs to manage videos.
Pros of VdoCipher
- High Security via DRM encryption directly licensed from Google
- Easy Integration via Iframe, WordPress Plugin, APIs
- User based watermark on player
- Offline secure playback integration in Android.
- Dashboard for video management and analytics
- APIs to automate all enterprise workflows
- AWS backed Global CDN infrastructure
Cons of VdoCipher
- Pricing is not on the lower side
How to pick the right video hosting site
For this article, I tried to showcase the functionality and features that makes each of the above video hosting sites unique. But one of the biggest and most obvious differentiators is cost. An entrepreneur who’s willing to pay for video hosting may have different priorities than the person looking for a free hosting solution.
If you’re in the market for a video hosting solution, here are my top picks by pricing model:
- Top free video hosting site: YouTube — the built-in search engine makes YouTube a popular place to build a personal following, manage videos for free, and possibly make an income through advertising. Plus, everyone knows YouTube.
- Top freemium video hosting site: Vimeo — Vimeo offers the best of both worlds. Budget-strapped entrepreneurs can host their videos for free on a trusted platform. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs willing to invest more in their videos can access editing tools and an on-demand editing team, at a fairly low monthly cost.
- Top paid video hosting site: Swarmify — With the $69 lifetime deal, Swarmify is impossible to beat. Give your business faster video load speeds, fewer audience distractions, unlimited bandwidth, and actionable analytics.
At the end of the day, picking the best video hosting sites starts by defining your video creation goals. Are you more focused on marketing or brand building? Would you like the opportunity to livestream or run ads?
If you’re still unsure after a little soul searching, try some of the freemium video hosting sites. Click around to see if you like the user interface, foundational tools, and customer experience. It’s also worth mentioning that many of the sites that don’t offer a freemium pricing structure do offer a free trial.
Be sure to test multiple tools until you find the right fit.
Finding the right video hosting tool is the immediate big decision that simplifies many future decisions.
Give yourself the right tools to build a brand, showcase your product, or offer distraction-free content on your website.
Just as a reminder: We do have a lifetime deal on Swarmify. If you’d like your video to load at lightning speeds and not nudge visitors away from your site with video recommendations, learn more about the deal while it lasts.
Do you use one of the hosting sites mentioned above? What do you love about it? Tell us in the comments.