Videos have dominated the web for ages, and now video marketing is becoming a necessity for any business. 87 percent of online marketers create video content, while 51 percent of them tout videos as the content with the best ROI. Both marketers and consumers agree that video is here to stay.
As you plan your own video strategy, the first thing you'll want to consider is a video hosting site for your business. Once you've shot and edited your video, you'll need a place to upload and store it on the web. From your video hosting service, you'll be able to share it to your website, social media, and any other online platform.
Modern video hosting platforms have evolved from their beginnings as a piece of internet real estate for your videos. Now, they help you customize the look and feel of your video player, ensure your videos play smoothly across all devices and browsers, and provide marketing options from within your videos.
We tested dozens of video hosting sites, and these are the eight we recommend.
What Makes a Great Video Hosting Site?
The best video hosting sites offer a few make-or-break features that are essential for businesses:
An easy-to-use interface
Compatibility with all types of browsers and players, such as Flash and HTML5
Compatibility with mobile devices
Basic analytics tools to measure the impact of your videos
SEO tools to make your videos search-engine friendly
The ability to embed your videos on external websites
While those are the dealbreakers, we also considered other features, such as the option to customize your video player or automatically add closed captioning. At the end of the day, we were looking for apps that brought something unique to the table.
Note: We haven't included social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat in this list. Though these apps allow you to upload videos, this is merely an add-on feature, and not the core function of the app. That's not to say you shouldn't upload your marketing videos to these sites—just that they don't have the same flexibility as other options.
The 8 Best Video Hosting Sites for Business
YouTube (Web, Android, iOS) for its existing viewership and popularity
Vimeo (Web, Android, iOS) for collaboration on videos
Wistia (Web, Android, iOS) for video marketing
Brightcove (Web, Android, iOS) for quick player customization
Hippo Video (Web, Chrome, Microsoft, Windows, Mac) for sending bulk personalized videos
SproutVideo (Web, Android, iOS) for creating branded video websites
vooPlayer (Web, Android, iOS) for in-depth video analytics
Uscreen (Web, Android, iOS) for selling videos online
YouTube (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for its existing viewership and popularity
YouTube allows you to upload videos for free, and creators can even earn money for their content with its ad-supported monetization options. Thanks to its popularity—which means there's an existing audience built in—YouTube is often the default choice for business owners to host their videos. And it helps that its videos are given prime spots in Google search results.
Log in to the platform with your Google account. You can then launch a channel under your personal name or business name. Once you've customized your channel, you can start uploading videos: Click Create a video or post button at the top right of the homepage.
For many of the sites on this list, hosting is just the first step. But with YouTube, you have a built-in audience. So if you optimize your videos for search, you may not even need to embed them elsewhere. Of course, you still have the option to do so with a simple embed code. And you can even automate the process of promoting your videos using Zapier's YouTube integration, which lets you trigger workflows in other apps whenever you upload a video to YouTube.
One final feature worth mentioning: For videos in certain languages, YouTube offers automatic captions. Head to your published video, and click Edit > Subtitles and CC. If automatic captions for your video are available, you'll see them on the right of the video, where you can review them and make any necessary changes. If not, you can also add subtitles or captions manually.
YouTube Pricing: Free for uploading and hosting videos.
Vimeo (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for collaboration on videos
Vimeo began as a video sharing platform, similar to YouTube. And while the platform still allows users to post videos and follow their favorite creators, it also helps businesses customize video players, collaborate with their team, and access analytics and other marketing features.
Vimeo's most impressive feature is the effortless collaboration it facilitates: It allows creators to invite clients, team members, freelancers, and other collaborators to preview their private projects. And it offers different permission levels for each reviewer or collaborator, which you can change depending on the project.
Once you share a link to your video, reviewers can leave without even registering on the platform. Don't enjoy the music in a scene or think a particular dialogue could be snappier? Pause the video and leave a comment at the exact moment it's relevant. All comments are automatically saved and appear on one side for the creator's review. And each time a tweaked version of a video is uploaded, previous versions are saved, so collaborators can run through all the changes made in a video. Think of it as Google Docs for video.
You can automate your processes with Vimeo as well, using Zapier's Vimeo integration to automatically take actions in other apps whenever you upload a video to Vimeo.
Vimeo Pricing: From $7/month (billed annually) for the Plus plan that includes 5GB per week, single user, player customization, social distribution, unlimited bandwidth, and private link-sharing.
Wistia (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for video marketing
Wistia is packed with marketing features that help businesses track a video's progress, collect leads, and get the best ROI on their content.
One of its flagship features is Wistia's Turnstile email collector, which helps you generate email leads. Here's how it works: Create an email collector form in Wistia with the information you wish to collect, and add it at any point in your video. In order to watch further, a viewer must fill in their details (unless you set it to allow them to skip a Turnstile). Once a viewer enters their information, they are added to your email list using Wistia's email marketing integrations, including platforms such as Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact.
If you don't want to add a Turnstile to your videos, Wistia still offers other standard features for marketing. You can use annotation links to guide viewers to a website of your choice. These links appear on the upper right corner of your video, for as long as you like, without disrupting a viewer's experience. You can also add a call-to-action or link to another video or web page at the end of a video. And tying it all together is the Stats page that lets you gauge the performance of each of your videos at a glance: Every action a viewer takes, be it clicking a link or filling a form, is recorded on this page.
Wistia helps your videos rank in Google search results, with links to your own website (vs. to YouTube or another platform). All you need to do is add a title, description, thumbnail, and tags while uploading your videos to Wistia. Then, when you embed these videos on your website with an embed code, Wistia automatically adds this information to your page's header, helping your website rank better in Google search results. To give your videos an added SEO boost, Wistia recommends adding transcripts to your videos as well.
Wistia's Zapier integration allows you to trigger actions in 1,000+ other apps whenever new videos are uploaded or users take certain actions on your videos. Or you can automatically create an embed code and send it to the app of your choice whenever you upload a new video.
Wistia Pricing: Free for three videos and standard features such as a fully customizable player, lead generation tools, video analytics, and unlimited users; from $99/month for the Pro plan that includes standard features, ten free videos, and no Wistia branding.
Brightcove (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for quick player customization
Brightcove offers simple video player customization options to change the look and feel of your player. It allows you to add your company's name, logo, links, and colors to your video player, and even create different player templates depending on the project.
As you start customizing a new player for your videos, you'll enter a player name, plus a short description and player dimensions. Much of the customization you'll make in a video player will be done in the Styling tab. Select whether you want to display the name and description for all your videos. Next, choose a shape, color, and position for your player's buttons. You can also display your logo in the player and add a link to it, if you want.
Once you're satisfied with the changes you've made, you'll move on to Playback options. You can select whether you want your videos to start automatically once the player loads, and if you want to preload videos before playback. To ensure your videos are shared far and wide, you might also want to add social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Pinterest. These will appear in the top-right corner of your player. At the end of your videos, you can add a custom URL or display social media buttons. Review your changes in Preview mode, and then click Publish. Once your player is live, you can easily upload videos and embed them to your website using an iframe code.
Brightcove Pricing: From $199/month for the Starter plan that includes 50 videos, two users, and up to 100,000 plays.
Hippo Video (Web, Chrome, Microsoft, Windows, Mac)
Best video hosting site for sending bulk personalized videos
Hippo Video is a video hosting app that also allows you to send bulk personalized videos to your audience. You can create videos with each prospect's name, email, company name, and more—and then send them to as many prospects as you like, all at once.
There are two parts to sending bulk personalized videos: creating a video in the app and sending it to your prospects via Gmail. To create a personalized video in Hippo Video, click the Personalize button within the editing options next to your video. You'll be greeted with a new screen with an option to Add Text at any point in your video. Click on the button, and enter your message. Let's say you want to begin with "Hi, [first name of your prospect]." Type "Hi," in the text box, and then click the Merge Fields button, which will allow you to add different details about your prospect, such as first name, last name, email, title, company name, and state. You can also customize the color, size, and font of your text.
Now, it's time to send your video. The Hippo Video Chrome extension lets you send your personalized video using Gmail: Once you've downloaded the extension, you'll see a dropdown arrow next to the Compose button in Gmail, which contains the Video Campaign option and opens up a new email window.
First, you'll have to import a list of contacts you want to send your video to, using a spreadsheet with the merge fields you added in your video. Let's say you added the fields for first name and last name. Create a spreadsheet with columns for first name, last name, and email, and enter your recipients' information.
Import this spreadsheet to your Gmail using the Import Contacts function, and Hippo Video will pull the necessary information for each recipient. Compose your message, and attach the video you created in the app. If you wish to use merge fields anywhere in your email subject or email, type
#, and you'll see the merge fields options. Once you've entered all the information, click Send via Hippo Video, and that's that. Not the simplest process in the world, but it gets you the personalization you want.
Hippo Video Price: Free for three hosted videos, lead generation, and basic reports; from $49/month for the Starter plan that includes video SEO, customizable video player, and in-video annotations.
SproutVideo (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for creating branded video websites
SproutVideo helps businesses create basic websites around their video content. These websites can be used to showcase your portfolio, share tutorials with your team, or share free video content with your audience.
You'll pick from five available themes and then enter your site name and logo. If you already own a domain name, you can use that for your site. The Settings tab allows you to tweak theme colors, select a featured video for your website, decide what order to display your videos in, select how many videos display per page, and choose whether videos should autoplay. You can also add an About and Contact page to your website along with social sharing buttons.
The videos you upload to your SproutVideo account appear automatically on your website, depending on the permissions you set for them. By default, all videos on SproutVideo are login protected, which means visitors need to log in to your website to view them. You can also choose to password protect certain videos, set them as private, or leave them open for public viewing. And, of course, the platform still allows you to embed videos to an external webpage—embedded videos will be visible to the public, no matter what their permission level is on SproutVideo.
SproutVideo Price: From $59.99/month for the Sprout plan that includes analytics, video marketing, video websites, and 125 login protected viewers.
vooPlayer (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for in-depth video analytics
If you're looking for a deep dive into your videos' performance, including who views them, where, and for how long, vooPlayer gives you all the data you need. The platform offers numerous reports based on viewer location, engagement, play rate, conversion, and completion.
Engagement graphs help you keep tabs on viewing trends, such as drop-offs, re-watches, and interactions with your videos. Each time your video is played, you'll see which parts most interest your audience and points at which they lose interest. You'll also find the location of your audience, date of video viewing, and devices your videos were most watched on. These analytics are available for a specific video or for all your content together.
Another way you can harness the power of analytics in vooPlayer is A/B testing, which lets you pit two videos against each other and compare their performance on metrics such as engagement, play rate, social activity, and leads. Find out which video does better on all these counts—content of the video, opt-in boxes, and poster images, too. To create a new A/B test, click New A/B Test, and select the videos you wish to test, the metrics, and an end period for your test (either on a particular date or after a given number of views). Once a test is over, vooPlayer presents you with the winning video. The data for each video is available under the Analytics section.
vooPlayer Price: Free for five videos, 1GB storage, and branded player; from $14/month (billed annually) for the Startup plan that includes unlimited videos, no branding, and live chat support.
Uscreen (Web, Android, iOS)
Best video hosting site for selling videos online
Uscreen lets you monetize your video content without subjecting your viewers to ads. For a flat monthly fee, you can set up a subscription or membership site to sell an online course or launch a training program.
To set up your video platform, you'll first create an SEO-optimized video website using various ready-to-use themes. If you have a domain name, feel free to use it. Uscreen's easy-to-interface lets you quickly set up a storefront and upload videos, plus supporting content such as documents, guides, presentations, and images. Next, you have the option to set up a subscription plan for users or sell your content for a flat fee. You can also release content for free. The platform helps you process payments securely with credit cards, Stripe, and PayPal.
Uscreen also offers additional support in the form of email marketing, sales reports, and subscriber analytics to help you gauge the performance of your video-on-demand service. And with Zapier's Uscreen integration, you can automate workflows based on orders, customers, subscriptions, video views, and more.
Uscreen Price: From $99/month (billed annually) for the Basic plan that includes unlimited streaming, one storefront, 300 total users, basic analytics and marketing, and payments via credit card and PayPal.
Ultimately, the best video hosting site for your business will depend on your unique needs. If you're looking to earn money from your videos, opt for a service that supports ads or lets you set up a subscription plan. If promoting your business is your main goal, you might look for a service with robust marketing and analytics tools. The most important thing is that you're getting your videos in front of the people you want to see them.