Videos are increasingly popular online, whether they're short viral clips on TikTok, stories on Instagram, or in-depth video essays on YouTube. While social video platforms like these are great for content creators and influencers, businesses looking to share a sales demo or how-to tutorial have different needs. Still, the benefits of video are much the same: it can humanize you and your product, engage your customers, and build brand loyalty.
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—your own website isn't the place unless you have a development team prepared to handle a lot of awkward optimizing. With your videos hosted on a dedicated video hosting service, you'll be able to embed them on your website and share them to social media and any other online platforms.
Modern video hosting platforms have evolved from their beginnings as a simple 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.
I tested dozens of video hosting sites, and these are the five I recommend.
The best video hosting platforms for business
YouTube for its existing viewership
Vimeo for collaboration on videos
Wistia for video marketing
Spotlightr for quizzing your audience
Uscreen for video monetization
What makes the best video hosting service?
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I've been producing, editing, and sharing videos for more than a decade as part of my career as a tech writer. For me, the most important part of any video workflow—including hosting—is that it's user-friendly and consistent. Overly complex tools aren't necessary for most situations.
In addition to that aspect, the best online video hosting services offer a few make-or-break features that are essential for businesses:
Basic analytics tools to measure how many people see your videos, and whether or not they're your target customers
SEO tools to make your videos search-engine friendly
The ability to embed your videos on external websites—including your own
A focus on business needs, not just the needs of independent content creators
While those are the dealbreakers, I also considered other features, such as the option to customize your video player or automatically add closed captioning. At the end of the day, I was looking for a business video platform that offered the kind of complete package a business needs.
Because video is so popular online, I had to draw a couple of hard lines. I haven't included video platforms that primarily support live streaming or social media apps such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat in this list. Yes, these apps allow you to upload and host videos, but that's 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.
I also excluded software like Brightcove that offer more robust, advanced video capabilities (like video communications, digital content management, and virtual events) because those apps can be overwhelming if you're just looking to host and share a video. Similarly, apps like Dailymotion—that are primarily for content publishers—also didn't make the cut.
Finally, I haven't included any bad apps. As ridiculous as that sounds, some of the apps I tested were just unpleasant to use, so even if they technically had all the features I was looking for, I didn't include them.
I tested each app by uploading and customizing a video to get a feel for the general user experience, as well as checking out any headline features. After spending time with each app, I also researched it to make sure it had a good track record hosting videos—this isn't the kind of service you want to suddenly stop working.
Best video platform for free video hosting and an existing viewership
YouTube (Web, Android, iOS)
YouTube allows you to upload videos for free, and creators can even earn money for their content through ads, channel memberships, merch shelf, Super Chat and Super Stickers, and YouTube Premium views. Thanks to its popularity and built-in audience—it has well over 120 million active users per day—YouTube is often the default choice for business owners to host their videos. And it helps that its videos are often given prime spots in Google search results.
YouTube Studio is where you'll manage all your channel and video details. Log in with your Google account and launch a channel under your personal name or business name. Once you've customized your channel, you can start uploading videos. You can add subtitles, an end screen to promote related content, or cards to highlight content during your video.
If you're more concerned with getting your videos in front of the right people than just embedding them on your website, YouTube is a great option. You have a built-in audience of millions of people already interested in video content. So if you optimize your videos for search or encourage fans to get notifications when you add a new video to your channel, you may be able to build a native audience. Of course, you still have the option to add the videos to your website with a simple embed code—but every YouTube video embedded on an external website looks like a YouTube video.
Also, if you intend to monetize your YouTube videos using ads, you won't have control over exactly what companies get associated with your brand. Unless you take particular steps to block them, for example, a competitor could advertise on your video. You're also at the mercy of Google's content moderation policies and will have no access to customer support. For these reasons, while YouTube can be a great place to host certain videos you want an audience to discover—and even be a reasonable default—it may not be the right choice for all your video needs. But then, there's nothing stopping you using a different service in addition to YouTube.
YouTube also integrates with Zapier, helping you automate marketing and promotional activities for your videos. These pre-made workflows can get you started, or you can build your own workflow, connecting YouTube to thousands of other apps.
Send new YouTube videos in a channel to a Facebook Page
YouTube pricing: Free for uploading and hosting videos.
If you're looking for a YouTube alternative, check out Streamable. It's similarly easy-to-use and offers mostly hassle-free video embedding.
Best video hosting service for collaboration
Vimeo (Web, Android, iOS)
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 has business-focused features like team collaboration, analytics and marketing features, and a (lightly) customizable embedded video player.
If you work with other people, 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 comments 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, who can respond right inside the video from any device. If you prefer to communicate ideas and feedback visually, use Vimeo Record to record your screen, webcam, or both and share the clip with others on your team. 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.
Is Vimeo the right video hosting for your business? Maybe. Its collaboration features certainly make it useful for creating and editing videos, and its customizable player means you can embed its videos on your website without a Vimeo logo. The lack of ads for videos uploaded by paid subscribers and a few other features certainly make it more business-friendly by default than YouTube—though without the built-in audience.
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. Here are some examples.
Send new Slack messages for new videos on your Vimeo account
Add new rows on Google Sheets for new videos you upload to Vimeo
Vimeo pricing: Free for Vimeo Basic; $25/month (billed annually) for the Standard plan that includes version history, review and approval features, and private team projects.
Best video hosting service 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 leads by getting people to enter their email address before they can play your video. You can add the form at any point in your video—so you can get them engaged before hitting them with the marketing pitch—and customize the text to suit your needs. Once a viewer enters their information, they're 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 powerful marketing features. 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.
It's important to note that Wistia's marketing features are only available when you embed them in a webpage, marketing email, or the like. If you export your videos to social media, you'll lose any customizations, Turnstiles, or other marketing features.
Wistia's Zapier integration allows you to trigger actions in thousands of 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.
Automatically upload videos to Wistia from Google Drive
Wistia pricing: Free for 10 videos and standard features such as a fully customizable player and basic video analytics; from $24/month for the Plus plan that includes lead generation tools, 20 videos, and no Wistia branding.
Best video hosting platform for quizzing your audience
If you're looking for a deep dive into your videos' performance, including who views them, where, and for how long, Spotlightr (formerly vooPlayer) gives you all the data you need. The platform offers numerous reports based on viewer location, engagement, play rate, conversion, and completion.
One of the most impressive features is Spotlightr's quizzes, which let you overlay and stop videos with interactive questions that can collect marketing information, as well as assess how well anyone learning from your videos is doing. You can also create custom overlays that link to other videos, offer coupons, or otherwise engage your audience. Similarly, at the end of a video, you can automatically send viewers to a landing page or another video, or show an end card with anything you want.
Spotlightr price: From $9/month for the Spark plan that includes 25 videos, a brandable player, and hybrid hosting. Quizzes are available on the Polaris plan at $49/month.
Best video hosting site for subscription videos
Uscreen is a little different from the other apps on this list. Instead of allowing you to host videos somewhere, so you can embed them on your website or share them on social media, it enables you to monetize your video content by selling it or even creating a Netflix-like premium subscription service. While not the best option for general video hosting, it's perfect if you have a small business—like a yoga studio or gym, or some kind of craft shop—and want to monetize instructional videos. It's kind of like Shopify, but specifically designed for video content.
This means getting set up with Uscreen takes a bit of time. Not only do you have to upload your videos, but you need to create a website (from one of the included themes), configure your subscription or payment plan, link it to a payment processor like Stripe, and do lots more before launch. It's a lot, but the interface is easy to use, there are great tutorials, and you get a one-to-one onboarding call as part of any plan.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is that you can create your own iOS, Android, and TV apps using Uscreen—though only on the "contact for pricing" plan. It's not a feature that most businesses are likely to need, but if your cooking courses or whatever subscription you're selling takes off, the option is there.
Uscreen also integrates with Zapier so you can automatically add new UScreen customers to to your marketing automation software or add new eCommerce customers to Uscreen, among endless other options.
Uscreen pricing: From $79/month (billed annually) plus $0.50/subscriber/month for the Basic plan, which includes a customizable website and 50 hours of video storage.
What are the best video hosting platforms for business?
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 video hosting 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.
This article was originally published in March 2019 by Farheen Gani and has also had contributions from Emily Esposito. The most recent update was in December 2022.