From communication to marketing, videos have become a fundamental part of business strategies. Post-pandemic, Google searches for online courses nearly grew 70 percent globally, covering students, corporate sectors to elderly. Everyone is learning something new each minute from videos. The increase in video popularity is attributed to the widespread availability of the internet and the number of mobile devices. Being the most engaging and versatile medium to share and consume information, the demand for video hosting and streaming platforms is booming.
Video content is consumed in various mediums like recreational videos, educational videos, training courses, social media, and more. This leads to the need for a place where these videos are uploaded and shared online. It is fulfilled by video hosting streaming platforms like YouTube. The platform offers a range of features, such as the ability to upload large amounts of video data, customize the video settings, add a layer of security to the videos, monetize the content, and much more. Some of the video hosting streaming services, like YouTube, are free and have limited features. On the other hand, paid platforms come with a range of features, more bandwidth and storage space, security features, and much more.
What is a video streaming hosting service?
According to Statista, in 2022, more than three billion internet users streamed or downloaded videos at least once per month. This figure is expected to keep increasing every year. With videos being the most popular and consumed content type, uploading them directly to your website takes a lot of hosting web resources. The problem with video content is their large file size as compared to text or image content which puts a heavy load on your website’s server. It not only impacts the site’s performance but is also not a cost-efficient way to manage video content.
Be it a small business using videos for marketing, individual creators, media, and eLearning platforms; you need a video platform that stores your videos on separate servers. You can upload videos on their platforms, share and easily add them to your website using an embed code. The services offered by such platforms is known as video streaming hosting service. Your uploaded content can be watched on the platform’s site or within an app or embedded on your external webpage within a video player provided by the platform.
How is Video Streaming different from Video Hosting?
Video hosting refers to the service of storing and hosting video content on a server. In contrast, video streaming refers to the delivery of that video content to a viewer over the internet in real time.
Video hosting involves uploading a video file to a server, which is then made available for viewing online. The viewer can watch the video by visiting a webpage where the video is embedded (using an iframe or video tag), or by downloading the video file directly from the server. Video hosting services typically allow users to upload and share their own videos and view and share videos from other users.
On the other hand, video streaming involves delivering the video content to the viewer in real time as it is being played. This is done by encoding the video into a stream of data that can be transmitted over the internet and using a smart HTML5 player that is able to decode and play the stream. Video streaming allows the viewer to watch the video as it is being transmitted rather than having to download the entire file before viewing it.
Overall, the main difference between video hosting and video streaming is the way in which the video content is delivered to the viewer. Video hosting involves storing the video on a server and delivering it to the viewer in a pre-recorded format. In contrast, video streaming involves delivering the video to the viewer in real-time as it is being played.
For security reasons, encryption over the video’s storage and playback is always advised. The video file is likely to be leaked during the upload or storage process and during the playback. To solve this issue, multi-DRM technology is used to encrypt the video before hosting. When the final playback request is placed, the decryption works through a dynamic key exchange mechanism with the key stored in hardware-level security black box called CDM.
Benefits of using video streaming hosting services
Video analytics is not just the number of views and traffic sources. A good video streaming hosting provider offers a detailed breakup of videos, such as which parts the viewer skipped or watched repeatedly. Some even offer heatmaps to optimize and make videos more engaging.
Making the content downloadable makes way for video piracy. When choosing a secure hosting streaming provider, the security of your videos is a major concern. The content should not be available for illegal downloads or unauthorized access. Hosting and secure video streaming platforms like VdoCipher, being direct partners with Google, use the highest level of security known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) to secure video content.
Video content is served in such a way that you can almost play immediately as the page where the video is embedded loads. Without having to download the entire video, the video plays with minimized buffering and delays.
Adaptive Bitrate Streaming
In times of streaming videos at poor internet connectivity, there are playback issues that ultimately affect the viewing experience. Most video streaming hosting services offer multiple video quality options so that the device automatically selects the best streaming bitrate as per available bandwidth.
Improved viewer experience
Video streaming hosting services make the video quality crisper, and videos are optimized for a top-notch viewing experience. The video player gives viewers more controls to play around with the video, like pause, rewind, and much more, which contributes to a positive viewing experience.
Control over your content
A free video streaming hosting service limits the control and right over the videos you upload. You rarely have control over how the content is distributed. A dedicated video streaming service gives control over your content, ad placements, monetization options, and more.
Professional video hosting streaming platforms give you plenty of options to customize your videos for optimized performance. The various customization options are inserting CTAs, adding links in the video, editing color, transparency, and theme of the player.
Key factors to consider in a video streaming hosting platform
- Storage and bandwidth – You should be aware of the number of videos you can upload and the storage space and bandwidth allotted to you.
- APIs – to help integrate and access third-party services and tools. APIs ease video management, enable auto video upload, add interactive features to the player, customize design, and more.
- Video security – includes secure video streaming and hosting. Security measures include DRM encryption, domain restrictions, password protection and geo-restrictions.
- Adaptive Video quality – video player must be able to provide multiple video quality options on the player so as to switch the video quality as per internet connectivity automatically.
- Multiple file format support – capabilities to convert a video file into the best resolution formats as per playback device type.
- Video upload specifications – video file size, min and max dimensions, video duration, file formats, and total file storage.
- Monetization options – availability to monetize your videos. If so, then what are the criteria or minimum requirements to monetize?
- Video analytics – video parameters such as the number of real-time visitors, traffic source, conversion rate, view time, and other engagement metrics in a proper dashboard.
- CDN-based content delivery – video served via CDN have minimum buffering and latency. The content is available uninterruptedly, even during peak traffic surges.
Types of hosting for video streaming
Free Video hosting – Free video hosting typically offers basic features, limitations on the number of video uploads, and may even include advertisements. It is a good option for those who are just starting and have limited resources. These free hosting platforms have limited security measures in place to protect your videos from piracy. YouTube is one such example.
Paid Video hosting – Paid hosting services, on the other hand, offer a wider range of features and often do not have video upload limitations or included advertisements. You get advanced hosting and streaming features such as video analytics, player customization, support for higher video resolution, and much more. Platforms like VdoCipher offer secure Hollywood Grade DRM Encrypted video hosting to protect your videos from illegal downloads and piracy.
Self-hosted videos – In self-hosting, videos are uploaded and hosted to your website or some rented webspace. Self-hosting requires more work on your part and involves technical implementations. Apart from this, it can be more costly, not scalable, prone to security risks, and impacts the website’s load time.
Best Web Hosting for Video Streaming
Using Google Widevine and Apple Fairplay DRM, VdoCipher offers secure video hosting and streaming with Hollywood Grade DRM Encryption. Trusted by over 2500 customers across 120 countries, videos streamed via Vdocipher cannot be downloaded using any internet plugin or software.
VdoCipher provides multiple ways to embed videos (API, iFrame, and Script) on a website where you can monetize your video content. VdoCipher WordPress Plugin makes the complete video embedding process easy and fast and supports the most popular WordPress LMS. We use Global AWS Cloud Infrastructure which are compatible with all major web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Users get AWS-powered server, transcoding & CDN infrastructure to ensure a smooth playback experience.
Apart from the highest level of DRM video security, other key features include dynamic Watermarking, secure offline downloads in Android, geo-restrictions, CDN-based delivery, smart HTML5 video player, video APIs, plugins for WordPress and Moodle, and much more.
- Google Widevine and Apple FairPlay DRM Encryption
- Secure Offline Downloads in Apps
- Dynamic watermarking
- Screen Capture block in Android and iOS Native app
- Smart HTML5 Video Player
- Amazon AWS Server + CDN
- Google SafetyNet for App-Based Security
- Affordable pricing. No hidden costs
- Ready to use VdoCipher plugin
- Adaptive bitrate streaming to minimize bandwidth usage
- IP-based Geo-Restrictions
- Easy to use Dashboard to upload and edit videos
YouTube is by far the most popular streaming platform in the world with over 2.6 billion users worldwide as of 2022. With more than 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, YouTube continues to grow as a video streaming and hosting platform. Everyone knows YouTube is free and actually used as a search engine by millions of people across the globe.
With increased chances of going viral to increasing brand awareness and monetization options, YouTube has a cluster of features. But for businesses, there are some challenges. Once the content is uploaded on YouTube, it somewhat does not belong to you. If you embed the video from YouTube onto your site, you’re losing some of the SEO value of your video and video security is a big concern.
- By default, you can upload videos that are up to 15 minutes long. Verified accounts can upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
- The maximum file size you can upload is 256 GB or 12 hours, whichever is less. Videos can be compressed using H.264 Codec encoding.
- It’s free
- Multiple monetization options
- Private and unlisted video options
- Easy video embed
- Large audience base
- YouTube’s free version contains ads that disturb the viewing experience
- Potential copyright issues
- Fewer customization options
- Suggested videos
Wistia is a video streaming and hosting service to host and analyze your videos in one place. Trusted by brands for video marketing, wistia comes with all the necessary marketing tools to promote and manage your videos.
It includes a variety of features like engagement graphs, video heatmaps, lead generation tools, and viewer-based tracking. Another feature of wistia worth noting is the A/B testing to simultaneously compare two videos. Other notable features of wistia include a custom video player, built-in social sharing, video SEO, and native Facebook/Google Integration.
- Max file size – 8GB
- Bitrate – 5000 – 10000 kbps
- Max video length – 2 hours
- Max length of a live event hosted with Wistia live – 4 hours
- Customizable video player
- CRM integrations
- Marketing automation integrations
- Advanced analytics
- Soapbox chrome extension to record and edit videos directly from the browser. Sold separately.
- More expensive than direct competitors
- Limited third-party integrations
- Pricing based on the number of videos included
SproutVideo offers video hosting service to businesses with features like video marketing, player, video seo, analytic tools, video website templates with built-in SEO, and engagement tracking. Additionally, SproutVideo offers collaboration and sharing tools along with audience building, lead capture forms, and advanced video analytics.
Max file size – 100GB. If uploading via API, the max video size is 5GB.
- Custom playlists
- Advanced video analytics
- Lead capture
- Playback caching is slow, causing the player to pause during playback.
- Plugin Support is not too Extensive
- Not enough personalization
Spotlightr is a video hosting solution with a suite of marketing tools to help businesses grow their videos. The videos seamlessly stream across multiple social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, and more. Including basic HLS encryption, Spotlightr offers features like domain restrictions, in-app recording, analytics, and customizable branding.
Recommendations for video upload to Spotlightr for web
- MP4 format codec: H.264
- Frame Rate: 24, 25, or 30
- Frame Size / Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
- Bitrate: 5,000 kbit/s (5 Mbps) for 720p | 8000 kbit/s (8 Mbps) for 1080p
- Social sharing
- Player customization
- Marketing automation
- Range of integrations
- Buffering of some embedded videos
- Storage limits are a bit restricting
- Some quirks to the UI such as folder organization
IBM Video Streaming
IBM offers end-to-end, scalable cloud-based video service for live and on-demand video content. The platform is majorly used for public service virtual conferencing, recreational activities, employee training, and commercial and government proceedings.
The key features include HD Live broadcasting, integrated QoS features, mobile compatible player, Multi-CDNs, broadcast recordings, a customizable channel page, and more.
- Integration with the live platform such as Zoom
- video management system back-end is good
- Multiple channels for streaming
- Great interface for viewers
- Built-in user management
- Renewal process is not that easy
- The download speed can be faster
- Limited video statistics
Launched in 2005, Dailymotion is a video sharing platform where users can browser, upload, and share videos. With localization in 20 languages across 35 countries, Dailymotion is a trusted name to host premium video content.
The several benefits offered by Dailymotion include global audience reach, a revenue share monetization program, a fully accessible video player, live streaming, advanced video analytics, content management, and much more.
|User & Starters||Advanced|
|Video size||4 Go per file maximum||64 Go|
|Content duration||2 hours per file maximum||Unlimited|
|Upload Volume||15 videos uploaded per day||96 videos uploaded per day|
|Total Duration||10 hours of content uploaded per day||Unlimited|
- Ad monetization with a lot of flexibility
- Ease of video upload and management
- Multi-device compatibility
- Social sharing
- Ads auto plate before, after and during video playback
- Performance can be improved
- High load time compared to other platforms
- Basic HLS encryption for video delivery
How to choose a video hosting platform for my needs?
The various factors to consider include the type of content you wish to share, whether the videos are monetizable or not, the features you need, the number of videos you wish to upload, video security, pricing, and more.
How do video hosting and streaming services work?
When a video is uploaded to a hosting platform, it is stored on the server, and data is served via the internet. When a viewer makes a playback request, the video is accessed via the browser or dedicated app and streamed as soon as the request is made in real time.
Can videos on a video hosting platform be monetizable?
Platforms like YouTube offer monetization options through advertising. Different platforms have various criteria to meet the monetization requirements. YouTube for instance requires 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months to meet the Partner Program requirements.
How to protect videos from illegal downloads or unauthorized sharing?
- Use a hosting platform offering robust security features
- Platforms like VdoCipher offer Digital Right Management (DRM) to secure your videos with Hollywood Grade encryption technology
- Add dynamic watermarking to establish brand identity and discourage video sharing
- If possible, make your videos limited to certain users or groups using the privacy settings.
What are some of the popular video hosting platforms?
YouTube, VdoCipher, and Dailymotion are some of the most reliable video hosting services.
Supercharge Your Business with Videos
At VdoCipher we maintain the strongest content protection for videos. We also work extremely hard to deliver the best viewer experience. We'd love to hear from you, and help boost your video streaming business.
Jyoti began her career as a software engineer in HCL with UNHCR as a client. She started evolving her technical and documentation writing skills to become a full-time Content Marketer at VdoCipher.