The Top Video Host Websites & YouTube Alternatives

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You’ve no doubt found your way to this page because you’re looking for a video host and streaming service that is not YouTube. With so many YouTube alternatives available, it’s important to choose the video hosting and streaming service that fits your unique needs as a business. 

Before we get into the top video hosting providers, you’ll want to understand what you need to get in return for your subscription fee. Or, jump directly to the top hosting provider list

What Do You Need From Your Video Host?

Each video hosting service is a bit different. Some offer more customization features, while others focus on allowing video monetization via ads or subscriptions, while still others focus on improving the video experience with advanced artificial intelligence. With this in mind, it makes sense to determine your video needs before you choose a video hosting and streaming service provider. 

A Fast Content Delivery Network

Perhaps the most important part of a video hosting service is their Content Delivery Network, or CDN. Put simply, a CDN is a system that copies your video content onto video-optimized servers around the world. With a CDN, your video will start laying faster and in most cases, remove the need for buffering or waiting for the video to load. 

Some CDNs will take a source video and make multiple different versions of your video that are optimized for different video watching situations. This way, a user visiting your website from their phone while on a cellular connection will be sent a small, fast loading video, while a user on a desktop computer with a fast broadband connection will be sent a larger, higher quality video since their setup can handle more data and higher resolution video. 

Complete Video Player Customization

The default video player style is rarely right for your website. Perhaps you want your video to autoplay like a GIF image within the body of your web page, or maybe you want it to play behind text at the top of your page. Perhaps you just want a traditional video player that matches the colors of your website. Whatever your unique needs are, make sure your intended video host offers these customization options before moving forward. 

Player Customization

Don’t worry, most video hosts offer customization options for their video player. There are a wide range of customization options available, including the main color of your player, muting sounds for autoplay, autoplay, looping of content, show or hide playback controls, size of play button and more. 

Integrated Video Previews

Videos can appear on your web page in multiple different ways. For videos that do not autoplay on page load, at the bare minimum, you’ll want to at least include a thumbnail image shown before the user clicks to play the video. This thumbnail image should be used to entice a play. If you’d like to learn more about how to create an engaging video thumbnail, take a look at this blog post

LucidVideo Automated Preview Thumbnails

Some video hosting providers offer more advanced video previews, including shorter animated video previews, and intelligently created video previews. These more advanced video previews can give your viewer an idea of what the video contains, helping increase video play rates and user engagement. If increasing video views is important to you, make sure your video host offers more than static video thumbnails. 

Next Video Suggestions & Recommendations

When a user is done watching your video, what do you want them to do? The main problem with using YouTube as your video provider is that YouTube will show next video recommendations at the completion of your video, and you have no control over what they include as suggestions. YouTube next video suggestions will typically take a user away from your website, which is something you probably want to avoid. 

Lucidvideo Next Video Recommendations

Some video hosting providers, like LucidVideo, will offer up next video suggestions at the end of your video as well. Unlike YouTube, these video recommendations will only be for videos from your website, and they will never send a user away from your website. These next video suggestions are perfect for increasing both video videos and user engagement on your website, which are two very important KPIs for most content marketers. 

Monetization

Does your website need to earn money from its videos? If so, be sure that your video hosting services offers monetization options for your videos. These options include traditional ads, like you would see on YouTube, pay-per-view tools that allow you to earn money based on each video play, and subscription services that allow users to pay once and watch as many videos as they like during their subscription period. 

Calls To Action

If the videos on your page are designed to drive a conversion, it makes sense to choose a video provider that offers calls to action on your video. For example, let’s say your video is placed at the top of a landing page. The goal of this landing page is to have someone sign up for your newsletter. Instead of hoping they will watch your video then scroll down to fill out a sign up form, some video hosts will allow you to add a sign up form atop the video, helping increase conversion rates. 

Call To Action

Other calls to action include adding an item to the cart for an ecommerce site, and filling out a contact form to get more information on most any other website. 

Easy Sharing

Videos are the most shared thing on the internet. In fact video generates 1200% more shares than both images or text. If your video strategy involves sharing, it is important to make sure that your video host offers easy sharing to make the process as simple as possible. After all, you want to remove as many obstacles as possible to sharing, helping you increase share rates. 

Wistia Video Sharing Preferences
Wistia’s Video Privacy and Sharing Settings

Built-In Live Streaming

If you are a live streamer, you’ll obviously need a provider that offers live streaming as part of their feature set. There’s really not a lot more to say about this, other than you probably want to choose a video provider that will record your live streams so that you can play them back on demand at a later time. 

Search Engine Optimized Video

Google has been giving video a prominent position on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for quite some time now. So much so that adding video to a web page can significantly improve SERP positioning, when done with SEO in mind. It gets even better, as videos on the SERP get significantly more screen real estate than text-based search results, which results in an increase in click through rates. 

Learn more in our Video SEO blog post

Detailed Analytics

Most content marketers will agree that there’s no such thing as too much data. (Though gaining insight from your data is another story.) Be sure that your video hosting and streaming provider offers a strong analytics suite that you can use to gain insight from user interactions with your video. 

Video Analytics
Brightcove Video Analytics Example

You’ll want to track several video KPIs, including view count, play rate, engagement rate, social sharing, click-through rate, and conversion rate. With these KPIs you can uncover poorly performing videos, and uncover why other videos perform exceptionally well. 

Private Video

Controlling who can see and play a video can be an important part of a website. If this is the case for you, be sure that your streaming service provider offers private, access-controlled video. Access may be granted with a password, only to those that are logged into your website, or only visible to people with a direct link, to name a few. 

Private Video Host

List Of Top Video Host Websites

YouTube is far from the only video hosting service. There is a large and healthy list of hosting providers that offer as much, if not more than YouTube when it comes to video features and customization abilities. The list includes smaller, artificial intelligence based startups like LucidVideo, to giant market leaders such as Vimeo. 

These YouTube competitors include the aforementioned Vimeo and LucidVideo, as well as other providers such as Wistia, Brightcove, JW Player, Swarmify, DaCast, StreamingVideoProvider, SproutVideo and Vidyard.

Vimeo – The #2 Video Host

Vimeo is the undisputed #2 video host and streaming provider today, falling behind only YouTube when it comes to user count. Vimeo has been around since about the same time as YouTube, and over the years has become a polished and feature rich video platform. 

Vimeo Video Host

With all this polish and the long list features, comes a premium price. While Vimeo offers a free tier, it is quite limited and will not be useful for anyone serious about video. 

Vimeo Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
✓ Video Suggestions & Recommendations (No intelligence behind the suggestions)
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
SEO (only on Vimeo’s site, not your own)
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video

LucidVideo – AI-Enhanced Video Host

LucidVideo is relatively new to the video hosting industry. Instead of trying to compete directly against established business video market leaders such as Vimeo, LucidVideo stands out with its artificial-intelligence based video previews and content recommendations, to name a few of its AI-enhanced features. 

LucidVideo’s Social Shared Watching Feature

LucidVideo was built for content managers that want to get the most out of their videos. It was designed from the beginning to enhance your website with complete video SEO, improved user engagement, and increased KPIs such as video views.  

LucidVideo Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
✓ Video Previews (AI Enhanced)
✓ Video Suggestions & Recommendations (AI Enhanced)
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video

Wistia – Video Hosting for Business

Wistia is another long-lived video host service. Unlike YouTube which focuses on the social nature of video, Wistia is built for business. The company focuses on offering a fully customizable video player that may be enhanced with CTAs, email collections forms, links to other pages and more.

Wistia Video Channel

Wistia also offers live streaming and subscription/channel tools to keep all of your content in one place and to keep followers informed of new video releases. 

Wistia Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video

Brightcove – All The Video Host Bells & Whistles

Brightcove is focused on helping big brands with their video needs. Brightcove has a wide range of customers, including media broadcasting companies, corporate websites and live streamers. 

Sample Brightcove Embed Options

Brightcove is a much more complex tool when compared to more focused video hosts such as LucidVideo. The company offers many different product suites and add-ons, in addition to their essential video tools. 

Brightcove Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video

JW Player – Full Featured Video Host

JW Player started life as an open source streaming video player. As its popularity grew, the company created more business-focused offerings that include video hosting and streaming services that are backed by multiple CDNs.

JW Player Video Player Customization

JWPlayer offers more than just a video player. In addition to the aforementioned hosting/streaming service, JW Player also allows users to customize the video player, monetize videos, lifestream, analyze video data and make video recommendations.

JW Player Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
✓ Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video  

Swarmify – Fast Video Hosting and Streaming

Swarmify is another relative newcomer to the video market. The company focuses on providing a fast streaming video player for its clients, naming itself “the world’s fastest video hosting.”

Swarmify Video Host & Streaming Service

In addition to a copy and paste video embed process, Swarmify also offers a native WordPress plugin. So if you’re a WordPress user, Swarmify is worth considering.  

Swarmify Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
Live Streaming
SEO 
✓ Analytics (Offloaded to Google Analytics)
Private Video  

DaCast – CUstomizable Video Host

DaCast is another full service video hosting and streaming service. Built atop a custom HTML 5 video player and worldwide CDN, DaCast is focused on providing an online video platform for businesses, religious organizations, and government. 

DaCast video for business

In addition to storing and streaming pre-made videos, DaCast offers live event streaming, Video On Demand (VOD), a paywall, and other monetization features. DaCast also offers streaming services and VOD to China. 

DaCast Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
SEO 
✓ Analytics (Offloaded to Google Analytics)
✓ Private Video  

StreamingVideoProvider – The Name Says It All

As the name suggests, StreamingVideoProvider offers its customers a streaming video service. The company guarantees that they offer the lowest priced video solution available. 

Streaming Video Provider Offerings

StreamingVideoProvider’s services include hosting, Pay-Per-View or VOD, live streaming, channels, and full branding customization. 

StreamingVideoProvider Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video  

SproutVideo – Business-First Video Host

SproutVideo bills itself as the “best video hosting platform for business.” The company offers multiple embed options and integrates with platforms such as Shopify, WordPress and Squarespace. 

SproutVideo Example

SproutVideo offers a wide range of video-focused features, including in-player CTAs and lead capture forms, video SEO, email embeds and more. 

SproutVideo Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video  

Vidyard – Improves Virtual Selling

Last but not least is Vidyard. This hosting and streaming service is focused on helping improve the virtual selling process with videos. 

Video Host and Streaming Service

Vidyard offers video creation help, video hosting/streaming, private video, integration with sale tools such as Salesforce and Marketo, export to email, CTAs, SEO, automated transcription, analytics, social sharing and more. 

Vidyard Offers:
✓ CDN
✓ Video Player Customization
Video Previews
Video Suggestions & Recommendations
✓ Monetization
✓ Calls To Action
✓ Sharing
✓ Live Streaming
✓ SEO 
✓ Analytics
✓ Private Video  

In conclusion… 

We hope that you found this article helpful in your search for a streaming video host service and YouTube alternative As you can see, there are many options out there, with each having its own unique mix of features and benefits. To sum it all up, make sure that you choose your video host based on what they can offer your business. 

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