Choosing between web video hosting services for your online video is like picking out a television: not only do aesthetics matter, but functionality and image quality are key. The right TV set can make your living room look elegant and brighten your whole viewing experience, while the wrong one just makes you want to get up and leave.
Spot the difference…
In the same way, your video hosting platform presents the first impression customers will have of your work, setting the tone for the whole story. Small, nearly invisible differences in your video hosting platform can have a dramatic effect. Some fundamental details to consider as you compare hosting services: picture quality, streaming speed, customization options like whether you can brand your own videos, content and editorial management, and monetization tools.
It’s important that the platform you choose matches the personality of your company, whether your brand is young and viral or experienced and steadfast. This is where your business comes in. Let’s take a trip down video hosting service lane.
YouTube: Ah, the old standby. And by standby we mean the one who invented the game, took the game to billions of users, and is so synonymous with virality that the game now plays itself. YouTube
streams fast and is excellent for SEO. But as tempting as that level of exposure sounds, there are certain features that YouTube doesn’t offer: it’s hard to customize your videos without paying a high fee or becoming a partner, and it is restrictive of what you can do with the video player on your website.
Vimeo: Youtube’s artsy cousin, the one who spent the summer in Europe and is suddenly too mature for cat fail videos and who mom wants you to be more like. A serious platform that offers high picture quality and a professional look. The pro-version offers strong analytics, but Vimeo’s streaming is slow, SEO is poor, and customization is expensive.
Wistia: Designed strictly for business, Wistia’s biggest selling point is user tracking, which allows companies to stalk you see exactly how individual users interact with their videos. Another unique feature is the ability to embed videos in email marketing campaigns through MailChimp. To sweeten the deal, Wistia offers a great internal content management system, fast streaming, good SEO, and useful tools for customization analytics.
Viddler: A professional service that specifically caters to business users who want to use online video for marketing purposes. Viddler is especially useful for building up your brand through video, and includes several business-friendly tools like analytics and monetization. However, drawbacks include mediocre image quality and streaming, and limited, clumsy customization. A solid starter kit, though — who doesn’t want a Viddler on their roof?
Brightcove: The Brightcove video “cloud” is the hardcore corporate option: it offers an extensive set of tools and features, from creating a “cove” of videos to implanting a video system on your website. If you have a strongly established brand and are looking for a rich, sophisticated interface to drive sales and showcase your material, this platform may be for you. But Brightcove is very inflexible, and at the end of the day image quality is not that great while streaming can be slow.
Is your head spinning? Ours too. But we’ll make it easy for you: for us, there’s a clear choice. Wistia is a winner because behind its friendly interface it excels on every count. Run by a small team, Wistia offers helpful customer service without compromising on the essentials: crystal-clear picture quality, fast streaming speed, flexible branding options, and tons of features that include helpful analytics to measure your success. So jump right in and you’ll be able to show off a sleek, seemingly effortless powerhouse video in no time.