The rise in the popularity of video has naturally sparked the creation of numerous video hosting platforms. After all, we need somewhere to upload all this interesting visual content.
But which platform should you choose? We’ve rounded up several below that you can check out — complete with recommendations from current and past users.
Best video hosting platforms
- Start a screen recording tool.
- Record the video.
- Download the file.
- Upload the file to a video host.
- Share a link to the video.
Owned by Google, YouTube is one of the largest video hosting platforms in the world. In the U.S. alone, it has an impressive 90 percent reach among American internet users. By comparison, Facebook and Instagram have 60 percent and 35 percent reach, respectively.
YouTube is a favorite of John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility. He says YouTube has excellent reach, generally good features, and fast upload times. “In addition, it’s the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google itself, making it prime real estate for ranking your videos and getting them seen.”
However, YouTube isn’t without its drawbacks. Lincoln says YouTube can cut down the number of people who actually visit your site because viewers tend to stay on the platform. “Also, if you opt in to linking to your site, YouTube runs ads on your videos, interrupting the viewing experience. Despite these aspects, it’s still my first pick for a video hosting platform.”
Another popular video hosting platform is Vimeo, which boasts 715 million monthly views. Courtney Keene, director of operations at MyRoofingPal, has tried several different video hosting solutions over the years for her company. She started with Vimeo, mainly because it’s a free solution that offers unlimited bandwidth and fairly generous storage, even for free accounts. “Staying within that storage allotment (and max upload size, specifically) allowed us to host ad-free videos, which was important.”
The downside? Keene says the main issue was Vimeo’s analytics: “Overall, the analytics were decent, but they weren’t as detailed as we wanted.”
To remedy the need for greater analytics, Keene switched to Wistia, a video hosting platform that’s often pitted against YouTube and Vimeo in side-by-side comparisons. Wistia has a limited free plan but is mainly a paid service. However, Keene finds the information and capabilities she pays for invaluable.
“The platform has enabled us to see how viewers engage with videos, their viewing history, and what they clicked on after our video. It’s even integrated with our mailing list provider so we can send videos directly to subscribers,” she says.
Lincoln has a similar appreciation for Wistia. While he maintains that YouTube is his number-one pick, he finds Wistia’s interface to be cleaner, which can impact his decision about where to host certain videos. “I generally use Wistia if I care less about distribution and more about appearance and the greater likelihood of a viewer watching on my site (instead of the platform).”
If your focus is monetization, you can also try Uscreen, an all-in-one video distribution platform that enables you to monetize your content by creating subscription-based videos on demand. For a monthly fee, you get a video hosting platform that allows you to upload videos, create a branded app, and use subscriptions to sell access to your content.
“This is ideal for media companies who want a professional platform that can be used to distribute content over platforms like Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku,” explains Bruce Hogan, CEO of SoftwarePundit.
Technical users like Blake Sutton, senior electrical and software engineer at Electrical Knowledge, recommend Loom for instructing users on how to accomplish tasks involving a digital device. “This is the best platform for creating and sharing screen-based tutorials, whether it’s on a laptop or a smartphone.”
Sutton notes how his old workflow consisted of multiple steps:
“Now I can just press a button, select the area of my screen I want to record, record my video, and send it — within seconds,” Sutton explains.
Loom’s added benefits: You can password-protect videos, trim them, or enable and disable the download option for viewers. “Overall,” Sutton says, “Loom is a quick and efficient way to upload and host your screen-based how-to videos.”