Video content is taking a good amount of space in the web traffic market. A pleasant weather, a hot cup of coffee and a series of videos playing or picture this; you’re working while playing a music video. Everyone watches videos, whether live or on-demand, for personal or business purposes. According to a survey, 80% of marketing professionals believe streaming videos is vital to the business world. This shows the importance of having a good video hosting platform.
This blog will cover why we need to host large video files on a separate platform, the types of video hosting platforms, and the options available free and paid. Before that let us look at the definition of video hosting.
What is Video Hosting?
Video hosting can be defined in simple terms as:
“Video hosting is a modern approach to upload, stream, manage and share high-quality videos with your target audience over the internet.”
Video hosting usually involves uploading your video on a separate video platform (e.g. YouTube). Your viewers can then access the video by visiting the host website directly , or they can view the video through an embed code added to your website. But why host on a separate platform?
Why Host Large Video Files on a Separate Platform?
Even though you have a virtual machine or a dedicated server, video can still be a significant load on the server. A video file can be cached on the website server, where you can embed them. Since videos vary in size, caching them on the website server will make the playback experience poor. The video will take time to load and require strong bandwidth to do so. Buffering is then endless, which can be annoying.
But a video file in a video hosting platform works differently. You can embed video directly from the platform. The video hosting platform will let you create multiple renditions, which means your video content will be played with respect to the available bandwidth across all devices.
One single video can exceed your bandwidth plan when cached on the website server. So, a better approach would be using third party hosting platform. The hosting, storage and computing market in 2021 is expected to cost around 162.8 billion US dollars. These vendors are constantly innovating to make the video playback experience better, and opting for them is a good idea.
How Can You Host Large Video Files?
If you need to host short 2-minute advertisement videos (in MBs), then hosting and streaming them is less of a concern. However, if you have long documentaries, movie files, surveillance footage or any sort of lengthy high-quality videos, then we are looking at file sizes in GBs.
Hosting large video files is not just easy and some of the issues you might face are as follows:
- Your video might be in GBs, but your viewer’s bandwidth may not support such large files and they’ll be stuck with buffering issues. Your videos need to be compressed and transcoded into playable formats.
- Video consumes storage and over time as videos pile up, it’ll cost you a hefty sum. You need to store your videos on intelligent cloud storage where less frequently used videos are moved to archives to optimize your costs.
- If you have bulk of data in GBs (or even TBs), and you need to migrate them to the cloud, the uploading process can be time consuming. You need the right uploading tools or cloud migration services to ease the process for you.
- Flexibility and scalability is important! You might want to upload and stream your videos on a website today. But, you might want to monetize them tomorrow. You may be interested in using AI to harness insights from them or archive them when need be. You need a video hosting service that lets you store videos and integrate it with different other applications to help you get more from your videos.
Read More | How to Host A Video on Your Website? or not
The answer lies in video hosting platforms. And not just any platform, but the ones that are designed for handling large video files. You need to look for a platform that allows you to store videos on any cloud storage (Azure, AWS, or even on your premise), transcode the video, and utilize the leading industry technologies (like HLS, P2P and adaptive bitrate streaming) to make them readily playable for your users when they need to watch them. These should also easily integrate with various IT applications to help you get more from your videos.
Premium Options for Video Hosting
VIDIZMO is a Gartner-recognized enterprise video hosting platform that lets you host in a very secure manner. It protects your data at every state from uploading to playback. At rest, in transit or in use. With cybersecurity threats increasing every day, videos need to be encrypted with the latest technologies such as AES, TLS, with the option to use DRM. It integrates with centralized identity and access management for fast and one set of credentials single sign-on facility to improve enterprise security.
Based on your organizational needs, you can host data on the data centers of your choice. Be it VIDIZMO’s own cloud, Azure government data centers or AWS data centers which are highly secure on their own. They have flexible deployment as well. You can deploy on Saas-shared cloud, on-premises, cloud or hybrid.
VIDIZMO meets the necessary security compliances such as GDPR, HIPAA, FISC and many more. The platform caters to both internal and external audiences. VIDIZMO also provide private video hosting, where you can stream a video to internal employees, (Such as an onboarding video) to a limited group with limited sharing, add interactivity like quiz and feedback to increase performance and analyze them thoroughly.
The US Department of State trusts our security for internal hosting of on-demand videos. Read More of This Story
Not only that, you can do much more than just hosting your videos. You can brand videos to compliment your organization, create user groups and roles to segregate your content, manage your videos through online content library via playlist, categories and collection or with the help of AI smart search, surf through translation and transcription in any language.
Brightcove is another premium option. Mostly designed to cater to external audiences only, unlike VIDIZMO, which caters to both external and internal audiences. If you want to stream video internally, let’s say an onboarding video, you’ll end up finding limited capabilities in Brightcove.
However, it does provide customizable video hosting options with monetization and advertising, mobile optimization, branding features and analytics. According to the reviews on TrustRadius, Brightcove apparently has hard to navigate User Interface, and their pricing is not very clear, so you need to contact them to find out the pricing.
Third in the list for premium options is Wistia. A digital marketing solution rather than just a simple video hosting platform. Sure, you can upload videos and embed them on your site with a branded video player; however, the bandwidth is limited to 200 GB and storage at 25 videos. Paid plans get an unbranded video player, but Wistia provides advanced analytics, heat mapping, email capture forms, and more. You can integrate it with CRM. Good part? There are no ads to be displayed. According to reviews, it doesn’t provide deeper SEO capabilities.
The downside of Wistia is when you exceed the amount of bandwidth, Wistia can charge you more, therefore, exceeding your budget. So, if you want a reasonable hosting option, Wistia might not be the one.
Last on the premium list is Panopto. Panopto let you host internal videos securely. You can upload and share large video files with limited audience as well. You can set viewing permissions as well as downloading permission, integrate with SSO identity management system. You can host videos on cloud or any other data center of your choice.
However, Panopto is more focused on educational industry meaning it is not for every end-to-end enterprise use case. Moreover, the analytic tool reported by a user is challenging to use.
Free Options for Video Hosting
Premium options enable you to host video, but they provide additional capabilities to give users an utmost, seamless video hosting and playback experience. Now, if you want to host your video for free, you can do that with the following platforms.
YouTube is a popular video-sharing website with 2.3 billion active users recorded in 2020. It has free unlimited cloud storage for your videos; however, it doesn’t make it the best option for hosting your videos. It’s free, yes, and you can easily embed the videos using custom iframe codes. While you don’t have to worry about the bandwidth and file size as they are unlimited, but videos should be shorter than 15 minutes unless you’re a partner. Moreover, ads showing either at the start or overlay can be annoying!
The main downfall of YouTube is when the video is uploaded, the platform takes ownership and rights to redistribute your content. Everyone wants to have rights to their own content. Furthermore, if you’re a business, you don’t want a branded iframe player with little to no enhanced capabilities. Nevertheless, you can opt for YouTube to reach a larger audience and have simple organizational requirements.
Unlike YouTube, Vimeo is a video hosting/collaboration platform for professionals. Ad-free videos by default. They offer customizable video embeds, and they are cross-device compatible. Another pro is that no limitation on bandwidth, duration, and file size. Moreover, the embedded player is sleek as compared to YouTube that doesn’t include forced ads or recommendations. You can also choose your embed player specification like responsive or fix size, toggle loops or autoplay. If you’re a paying customer, you can further customize their embed settings.
Users can also create professional social media videos with Vimeo Create and advertise their creative services on the platform. Like the premium option, it lacks major video capabilities but is suitable for creative professionals to share their work and engage with the audience by marketing their services.
Read more about Vimeo and it’s alternatives.
Dailymotion, known as another video sharing platform that offers both free and paid accounts and partner programs that offer increased exposure and ad revenue. Unfortunately, videos are not ad-free as compared to Vimeo. It does provide free unlimited video hosting with options to make videos private and even password-protected. Even though bandwidth and storage are unlimited, but the file size isn’t. It allows 2GB, and videos can’t be longer than 60 minutes.
If you compared it to the premium option, video analytics provided by VIDIZMO gives you much deeper insights, and in Dailymotion, the video analytics are limited. Furthermore, you can’t download videos without a third-party service.
Summing it up
There are multiple options to choose from for hosting large video files. You can either opt for free video hosting platform if you’re organizational requirements are simple or if you have complex requirements and not only want to host but do much more like getting deeper insights, making the video portal your very own or adding interactivity to engage with audiences, then feel free to opt for the premium option. In order to identify the right option, you need to first identify your organization's priorities.
Read More on Problems Faced With Hosting Large Video Files