Where You Should Host Videos Online

There are a lot of different places online to host your videos.

In this video I walkthrough five different video hosts. I explain why you'd want to host on a free site like YouTube, give you the two best options for private video hosting, explain why iTunes video podcasts are an untapped market, and cover why video analytics and privacy are important factors in your decision. 

Watch the video above, on YouTube, or via iTunes.


Written Summary

1. YouTube

YouTube is where you have to be putting your public videos. It is where the audience is, how they can find you, and consume your videos the easiest.

  • Free option
  • Where most people go to watch videos
  • 2nd largest search engine
  • You can grow a channel with a trailer, subscribers, playlists, etc.
  • Monetize with enough views
  • Con: YouTube could shut you down at anytime
  • Con: Lose viewers in the rabbit hole of cat videos and epic fails

2. Vimeo

Vimeo is best for filmmakers that are building a portfolio, try to sell their films, collaborate with others, and don't want to deal with ads.

  • Video for "artists" like filmmakers and animators
  • Paid option gives more space and branded pages
  • Can sell access to videos
  • Better quality comments
  • Follow "staff picks" for inspiration
  • Con: Shows up in Google searches, but not YouTube searches
  • Con: Channels aren't the best for viewing playlists, converting subscribers, etc.

3. Wistia

Wistia is best for private videos that are within paid or free courses and placing individual public videos on specific opt-in pages of your site.

  • The best private video hosting option
  • Have used it for my course videos and at Fizzle.co
  • Best video stats and analytics available
  • Can link specific users/customers to watch they've viewed
  • Customizable, unbranded embeddable video player
  • Turnstile feature allows for capturing email addresses
  • Easy to create video SEO sitemaps
  • Simple domain restrictions for where videos can be posted
  • Chapter markers, closed captioning and more
  • Best customer service
  • Con: No public search on Wistia for people to find your videos organically.
  • Con: No channels with playlists or the ability for people to subscribe.

4. iTunes Video Podcast

If you're already making videos for another platform like YouTube, reach a larger audience by putting them on iTunes too.

  • Not a lot of people hosting their videos in podcast form yet, but the audience is there
  • The two best hosts are Libsyn and Podbean
  • I went with Podbean because they had an unlimited video plan for $25/mo
  • You can choose categories for your video podcast just like an audio one
  • People can subscribe and have it automatically downloaded
  • With just a couple hundred downloads you can show up in overall New & Noteworthy
  • 8 Weeks of exposure in N&N can help build momentum & an audience
  • Con: You'll need to export a specific version of your videos for iTunes that is a smaller file size, which means lower quality

5. Self-Hosting on Amazon S3

Self-hosting on Amazon S3 is best for back-up copies, but not for letting people watch from. Only use self-hosted as a back-up for your videos on another platform. It can get expensive and complicated to stream from S3 to your site.

  • Amazon S3 with a custom player
  • Has the best privacy and control
  • Good place to keep back-ups of all your finished videos in case something happens to your host's copy.
  • Con: Can get expensive
  • Con: No good way to collect stats
  • Con: No automatic bandwidth/quality changes