So you have created a brand new video for your product or your company? The excitement is through the roof! But now, people need to watch it. Although Youtube is the go-to platform for videos, there are a lot of options out there that are worth looking at to make sure you position yourself and your video, in the best way possible. And if you are still working on your video, there are some great options for sharing versions and collaborating within your team. Let’s look at some pros and cons of some of the most popular platforms out there for hosting videos.

Youtube

Pros:

  • It is definitely the most popular video hosting site in the world. For businesses, it performs extremely well. It has more traffic than any other video site on the internet. (And more than most websites period!) Check out some of their stats.
  • Creating a channel on Youtube is very easy and provides a clear place to send your audience, as well as something to which they can subscribe.
  • Playlists offer a defined path of videos to have your audience watch. Which is great if your videos can pique their interest within the first 5 seconds or so, since they autoplay one after the other.
  • Youtube promises high performance, so videos load quickly for your audience.
  • The resolution of your video can range all the way up to 4K, otherwise known as UHD, which looks great!
  • You can monetize your videos with ads. Good for you, can be bad for your viewer. See cons.

Cons

  • Youtube is so popular, that it is getting a little oversaturated. There is so much content uploaded each minute, that is can be hard to be noticed.
  • While promising high performance is a good thing, the downside to that is that Youtube’s quality may not be as good all of the time. They will make sure your viewers see your videos fast, over seeing it in high quality. Keep in mind though, that with most high speed connections, this isn’t a big problem.
  • Ads. Lots and lots of ads all over the place.

Vimeo

Pros

  • The standard for high quality video on the web. Vimeo markets itself towards video producers (like us), because they keep the video quality high.
  • No ads so your content is front and center for your viewer.
  • You can replace videos with updated versions.
  • For the paid accounts, you have great privacy controls. You can password protect videos, enable private “review” pages, and hide it from Vimeo, but make it available for embedding on your own site or elsewhere. Vimeo is very popular for embedding for that very reason.
  • You can also monetize on Vimeo. For “free” videos, they have a “Tip Jar”, and they also have a Video On Demand section.
  • You can select whether or not users can download versions of your video.
  • And the most important reason… Vimeo is what we use!

Cons

  • Vimeo is late to the 4K game. It is being tested at this moment, so hopefully we will see it soon.
  • To do much with Vimeo, you need one of their paid accounts. The free ones are great for a video once in awhile, but is very limiting if you do any normal amount even.
  • The videos default to 720P, which seems a little bit like an old standard at this point. You can upgrade each video to 1080P, but by default, it plays back at 720P.

Wistia

Pros

  • Wistia is a great collaboration space. In addition to hosting video, you can upload all kinds of assets to a project. So if you need to send someone an image or video clip, you can do so right in Wistia.
  • Nicely organized workspace, where you can create sections and easily view many videos and assets on one page.

Cons

  • I haven’t been hugely impressed with the video quality on Wistia, so I don’t recommend it for hosting video you want your audience to see.
  • The pricing structure is confusing. You pay for a certain amount of storage at any given time, and when you need more, you either pay more, or have to delete media that is on your account to free up space. And you are limited with how many playbacks you can get, so don’t go viral on Wistia!

Sprout Video

Pros

  • One con I have yet to mention for all of the preceding platforms, is that when you host a video with them, and then embed it on your own site, you can easily tell which platform is being used because of the graphics and buttons. And although you can tweak some of the platforms’ embed look, you can always tell. This is where Sprout Video comes in. You technically host the video with Sprout Video, and then you and your web developers can integrate it as if you were self-hosting. They take care of generating all of the necessary file types and they make sure it will play back well, and all you (or your web developer) has to do is drop it into your site. This gives you total control over how it looks and feels. And it is not embedded, it is a video within your actual site.
  • Beautiful and modern interface. Very easy to navigate and work with.

Cons

  • Similarly confusing pricing structure to Wistia. Based on how much you pay, you get limited storage and playbacks. The storage is easy to figure out, but playbacks can be tough and can vary. Again, the best place to go viral is Youtube.

Self-Host

Pros

  • You are in the driver’s seat and in full control and aren’t tied to any service!
  • Your own branding on videos on your site.
  • Videos are not embedded, but directly placed on your site. (Similar to Sprout Video)

Cons

  • A lot of cons to this one. This is something only a seasoned web developer could implement, and even a lot of them don’t want to deal with it.
  • You have to stay on top of so many things to make sure your video can be played back on all devices. It can be a full time job.
  • It takes a lot of time to create all of the versions needed as each browser and platform needs different ones. This is something all of the previously mentioned platforms take care of in the background.
  • You are responsible if your video isn’t working. If it is broken, it is on you.
  • Basically, this one takes a lot of work, and very few companies go this route. I would not recommend it when there are so many great options out there.

So that is a handful of my favorite platforms we have used. Go through and see what is best for you. If you need to get content out their for the world to see, Youtube may be the best. If you are a creative professional and quality and community are important to you, Vimeo is great. And for collaborating on a projects, Wistia holds up very well.

Please comment and let us know if you have any thoughts or questions!