The Definitive Guide to Online Video Hosting Pricing and Costs in 2021

video hosting costs

Businesses are using video content for all sorts of purposes in business. In fact, 80% of marketing professionals say that video content is becoming more important in this arena. It is used for sales, marketing, training, virtual event hosting, and more. 

Broadcasters use video hosting to store and deliver their content. Naturally, this comes with a cost.

In this article, we’re covering everything broadcasters need to know about online video hosting costs. We will talk about video hosting in general before we compare the pricing of specific video hosting platforms. We will discuss some additional broadcasting costs before we look at a few video-hosting use cases.

Table of Contents

  • What is Online Video Hosting? 
  • The Different Types of Hosting 
  • Public vs. Private Video Hosting
  • Top 10 Hosting Platforms: Video Hosting Cost Comparison
  • Video Hosting in Action: Dacast Case Studies
  • Final Thoughts

What is Online Video Hosting?

streaming video hosting for business
Video hosting platforms let you store videos on servers to allow for better quality content.

Online video hosting refers to storing video content to be delivered through a user-facing online video player. This is done on a platform that lets you upload, manage, and deliver your videos online. 

While it seems pretty straight-forward, it’s important to note that not all online video hosting platforms are created equal. Great hosting platforms will let you upload in different formats and will make your videos available around the world. Others will limit your video content by format, size requirement, and video reach. 

There are free, public video hosting platforms, like YouTube and Dailymotion, that are effective for beginner broadcasters. Unfortunately, these platforms have limitations on privacy, monetization, rights to content, and more, which make them less than ideal for professional broadcasting.

That’s where professional video hosting tools come into play. These are often equipped with advanced streaming platform features that provide a more professional broadcasting experience

The History of Video Hosting

hosting videos online
While streaming videos online may seem like a relatively new trend, it’s been happening for nearly 30 years.

While details are a bit foggy on which video is the first that was streamed on the internet, there’s one that reached viral fame. 

In 1991, at the University of Cambridge in England, there was a coffee pot. Engineers would travel to the break room to find that the coffee pot had already been emptied by other employees’ mugs. To help alleviate this stress, a camera was set up across from the coffee pot. All computers on the office network were able to tap into the coffee pot stream to see if there was any brewing.

In the years to come more technology advancements happened which ended up with online video hosting: 

  • Late 1990’s – The rise of broadband internet and GIFs.
  • Late 1990’s – Flash Video allowed businesses to display short videos online.
  • Feb 14th, 2006 – The birth of YouTube. The beginning of video online hosting.

The Different Types of Hosting 

Are you looking to stream video online or are you looking to host video-on-demand content?

There are two types of video hosting: live and on-demand.

Live video streaming is a powerful tool for businesses. It provides real-time coverage of events and activities, which allows brands to connect with their audience in an almost-lifelike way. 53% of enterprises are streaming or broadcasting live video in their organization at least once a week, with 29% using it daily. 

Some professional hosting platforms offer complete live streaming solutions that are suitable for professional use. This is a great option for businesses that want to broadcast events, church services, sporting events, and beyond.

Video on demand (VOD) is a type of streaming that allows viewers to access the content at their convenience. This is the streaming model that Netflix uses. This type of video content has fewer technical requirements and isn’t as complex as live streaming since any issues that come up can be fixed before the video is played.

VOD has become increasingly popular with more than 39.3 million people canceling their cable subscriptions in 2019 to focus on digital content.

Public Versus Private Video Hosting 

private online video hosting
Businesses require security during video hosting, which is something a public platform cannot provide fully.

As we mentioned, free public video hosting platforms tend to come with some limitations that make them unsuitable for professional use. YouTube is an example of one of these public platforms. 

Anyone can create a channel, upload video content, and share it with the internet. More than 500 hours of fresh video is uploaded by Youtube creators a minute. While YouTube is an online video hosting platform full of creators, it doesn’t focus on safety and security. There is no security for the type of content allowed on the site.

A private online video hosting service provides a solution to businesses. The benefits of private hosting are centered around delivering videos to the viewers. 

A great private video hosting platform makes it easy for the user. All formats are made compatible. These are crucial features for businesses that deal with the public’s money. 65% of enterprises say they live-streamed to multiple locations, which means security is of utmost importance to them.

If you’re a business owner who will be providing video for others in a professional setting, secure video hosting is the only answer.

With that in the open, let’s compare each of these video hosting options side-by-side.

PROS OF PRIVATE VIDEO HOSTING CONS OF PRIVATE VIDEO HOSTING
  • Easy video storage
  • Powerful content delivery  
  • Secure video hosting for speed, consistency, and privacy
  • Tools for monetization
  • reliable technical support 
  • Integrations with your existing business systems 
  • In-depth video analytics 
  • White-label and customizable 
  • Advanced features and capabilities cost more
PROS OF PUBLIC PLATFORMS  CONS OF PUBLIC PLATFORMS
  • Free
  • Easy to upload 
  • Used by millions of people
  • Great for hobby uploading
  • YouTube is full of ads
  • Public platforms lack options for branding and customization
  • Basic analytics 
  • Lack of privacy and security
  • Lack of customer support
  • Limited monetization
  • YouTube is also blocked in many schools, work buildings, and in more than 18 different countries in the world

Top 10 Hosting Platforms: Video Hosting Cost Comparison

Online Video Platform comparison
Take the time to consider which of the following platforms will work best for your company’s needs.

There are many online video hosting platforms on the market for businesses. It can be challenging to know which one to choose for your business needs. Let’s compare 10 of the major live streaming video and VOD video hosting platforms. We’ll discuss their main selling points as well as the costs associated with each.

If you’re looking for a more detailed comparison, please check out our professional video hosting platform comparison

1. Dacast

video hosting platform
Dacast offers secure video hosting and is the most easy-to-use online video platform available today.

Dacast’s flagship features include all-in-one streaming solutions for both VOD and live broadcasting. Our unified streaming solution is equipped with secure video hosting with 24/7 support. The majority of our users are agencies, education, online publishing, churches, and enterprises

At Dacast, we’re able to take video to the next level with our easy-to-use online video platform. This platform allows users to upload, monetize, and share videos seamlessly. Businesses are able to build workflows with video transcoding, live stream recording, and an all-device video player. 

Our video player is based on the award-winning THEOplayer technology. There are many great perks of this player including:

  • Custom player languages
  • Advanced video encoding with “Ingest Recipes
  • Live streaming DVR
  • Closed captions 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at our four video hosting pricing plans.

Starter Plan

The Starter plan costs $39/month and comes with 1,000 GB of bandwidth per month (1.2 TB / year) and 50 GB of storage. The plan is ideal for affordable streaming to small groups.

This plan includes all of Dacast’s basic features, including live streaming, on-demand video hosting, 24/7 customer support, unlimited concurrent viewers, full 1080p HD broadcasting,  mobile device support, secure video delivery, content scheduling, player customization, and more. 

Dacast’s Starter plan is best suited for businesses and organizations that are just getting into broadcasting.

Please check out our complete list of plan features to learn what the Developer plan has to offer.

Event Plan

The Event plan goes for $63/month and comes with 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage. This plan is best suited for broadcasters who want to host one-time or occasional live events

The Event plan includes all of the features included in the Starter plan and adds advanced & real-time analytics, M3U8 links, live countdown, a monetization paywall, and live & VOD playlists.

Scale Plan

As its name suggests, the Scale plan is built for businesses and organizations who are ready to take things to the next level. This plan costs $188/month when billed annually and includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage. 

This plan comes with all of the features of the Developer and Event plans, plus phone support, unlimited live channels, VOD chapter markers, advanced library management, and China delivery.

Custom Plans

If your needs exceed the resources available with the other three plans, Dacast is willing and able to provide you with a unique pricing package for high-volume plans of any size. Please contact us for custom pricing.

2. IBM Video

IBM Cloud Video is a video hosting platform from the IBM technology empire. This solution is geared towards enterprise use.

IBM’s target market is live events, corporate communication, marketing, media, and entertainment. 

  • Offers both live streaming and video on demand. 
  • The pricing costs on a monthly basis to host with IBM Video are between $99-$999.

Some notable features include OTT streaming, powerful content delivery, reliable customer support, audience engagement tools, and basic privacy features. 

Here is a breakdown of IBM Cloud Video’s video hosting pricing plans.

Silver

IBM Cloud Video’s Silver plan starts at $99/month. Besides the free trial, this is the most basic plan they have to offer.

This plan includes 100 viewer hours, 5 channels, 1 TB of video storage, HD transcoding (up to 720p), video embed control, channel password protection, channel customization, live polling, CTAs, and phone support.

Gold

The Gold plan is a step up from the Silver plan and includes all the same features. However, it starts at $499/month and bumps viewer hours to 2,000, 10 channels, and 2 TB of video storage.

Platinum

As the Gold plan, the Platinum plan is the most inclusive plan and includes all features as the Silver and Gold. It costs $999/month and includes 5,000 viewer hours, 20 channels, and 5 TB of video storage.

Custom

If your needs exceed what’s provided with the three standard plans, IBM Cloud Video is able to create custom plans with the features and tools that fit your needs.

3. Kaltura 

kaltura streaming solution
Kaltura offers a wide array of video solutions with users from around the globe.

Kaltura’s flagship features include content suggestions with AI and machine learning and engagement tools like in-video quizzes, polls, forms, and video shoring. Kaltura’s target market is businesses, education, cloud TV, and video platforms as a service. 

This video hosting platform supports both live and on-demand streaming. 

Kaltura offers customized plans for Learning & Development, Communication & Collaboration, and Marketing & Sales. These plans are built around each company or organization’s streaming needs. Kaltura does not publish information on costs for each plan beyond credit allotments.

These custom video hosting pricing plans offer a pay-as-you-go streaming structure and set credit allotments to redeem or bandwidth and feature integrations. Pay-as-you-go packages are billed monthly and larger plans are billed annually. Credits can be purchased in $6000 increments and are discounted when you spend a larger amount.

The credit packages are structured as follows:

  • 10% discount on $6000 in credits, making the annual payment $5400
  • 12% discount on $12,000 in credits, making the annual payment $10,650
  • 20% discount on $24,000 in credits, making the annual payment $19,200
  • 25% discount on $60,000 in credits, making the annual payment $45,000
  • 30% discount on $90,000 in credits, making the annual payment $63,000
  • 35% discount on $120,000 in credits, making the annual payment $78,000

For annual credit allotments of $150,000 or more, broadcasters can contact the Kaltura sales team for custom plans.

Setup costs are built into each unique video hosting pricing plan. Kaltura also offers a free trial, so you can try the platform before you make any sort of commitment.

4. Wistia

Wistia is a VOD-only hosting platform which means that this software does not support live streaming.

This platform’s flagship feature is its Soapbox tool. It’s a tool to record, edit, and share videos. Their target market is service providers. 

Let’s take a look at Wistia’s on-demand video hosting pricing plans.

Free

Wistia’s Free plan is for new broadcasters who are still learning the ropes. Since it is free, this plan comes with standard features but also strict limitations.

Users with the Free plan can only host 3 videos or podcasts to embed anywhere, 1 channel to share via public Wistia link, and caps channel subscribers 250. Free users also do not have the ability to remove Wistia’s branding from their videos.

Pro

The Pro plan from Wistia costs $99/month and allows users to embed 10 videos or podcasts anywhere they’d like. Pro also comes with 1 channel to share via public Wistia link, and caps channel subscribers 250 (with email notifications), but allows for your own branding on the video player. This plan also gives users the option to add additional videos or audio files for $.25/month.

Advanced

Wistia’s Advanced plans are all custom priced and they unlock 100 videos, premium integrations, advanced support, and Facebook and Google integrations.

5. Brightcove

brightcove hosting solution
One of Brightcove’s best features is its multi-bitrate streaming and hosting capabilities.

Brightcove’s flagship feature is their powerful platform for video and migration. This platform also provides a reliable content management system, ads management, and video analytics. Their target market is publishers, broadcasters, marketers, and sports.

Brightcove offers live streaming and VOD hosting plans for Marketing, Enterprise Comms, and Monetization. 

No pricing information is listed on the Brightcove website, so prospective users should contact the Brightcove sales team directly for additional details. 

However, they have posted quite a bit of information about how their streaming packages are structured. Let’s take a look at Brightcove’s video hosting pricing plans.

Enterprise Comms and Marketing

Enterprise Comms and Marketing plans come in the following tiers:

  • Starter:
    • 50 or 200 videos
    • Up to 100,000 plays with no overages
    • 2 or 5 users
    • 1 video portal
    • 3 social destinations
  • Enterprise:
    • Unlimited videos
    • 100,000+ plays with no overages
    • 10+ users
    • Unlimited video portal
    • 12+ social destinations

Marketing also offers a Professional plan that offers the following:

  • Unlimited videos
  • 100,000+ plays with no overages
  • 10+ users
  • Unlimited video portal
  • 6+ social destinations

There are some feature limitations on the starter and professional plans.

Monetization

Brightcove’s monetization pricing plans are entirely customized.

6. Livestream

Vimeo offers several streaming plans for consumer-grade use, but their professional-grade plans with live streaming capabilities are sold through Livestream, a platform that they acquired a few years back 

Under Livestream, Vimeo offers three main video hosting pricing plans. Let’s take a look at a breakdown of what each offers.

Vimeo Premium

Their Premium plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This plan is their best option for professional broadcasting, as it includes privacy and security features, powerful analytics, a white-label video player, and more.

This plan runs at $75/month.

Vimeo Enterprise

The Enterprise video hosting plan includes everything that the Premium plan includes, plus a larger storage capacity, live stream recording, eCDN, video API access, multiple simultaneous streams, and Q&A moderation.

Enterprise plans are custom priced.

Vimeo OTT

This OTT-specific pricing package comes with the Vimeo.com relationship. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.

Livestream offers two OTT plans:

  • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
  • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month

7. Muvi

Muvi video hosting platform
Muvi is one of the world’s only all-in-one OTT platforms.

Muvi’s flagship feature is that they’re an all-in-one OTT platform that allows for live streaming, audio streaming, and VOD. Their target market is content services. 

Muvi offers five video hosting pricing plans. Before we dive into our comparison, it is important to point out that each plan costs an additional $299 to $499/month in-app fees. There are also additional costs for bandwidth and storage.

With that said, let’s take a look at Muvi’s plans.

Standard 

Muvi’s Standard plan is $399/month. It supports 2000 concurrent viewers, 1 TB of storage and bandwidth per month, 1000 API calls per month, 2 admin accounts, and a shared CDN.

Professional 

Muvi’s Professional plan is $1499/month. It supports 10,000 concurrent viewers, 2 TB of storage and bandwidth per month, 5000 API calls per month, 10 admin accounts, and private CDN.

Enterprise 

Muvi’s Enterprise plan is $3900/month. It supports 50,000 concurrent viewers, 5 TB of storage and bandwidth per month, 10,000 API calls per month, 10 admin accounts, and private CDN.

Ultimate

Muvi’s Enterprise plan is $8900/month. It supports unlimited concurrent viewers, 10 TB of storage and bandwidth per month, unlimited API calls, unlimited admin accounts, and private CDN.

Black

Muvi’s Black plans are custom built with custom pricing to meet each user’s needs. Please contact the Muvi sales team for additional information.

8. JW Player 

JW Player has three pricing plans: Trial, Starter, and Enterprise.

Trial

Trial plans have access to all of JW Player’s powerful features for 30 days. Trial broadcasters are allotted 25 GB for hosting and 75 GB for streaming so they can get a look at how the platform works in action.

Starter

Starter plans start at $10/month, and they come with 150 GB for hosting and 500 GB for streaming.

Starter plans come with very limited feature offerings. This plan is only equipped with basic streaming features and does not include monetization support, video analytics, simulcasting to social media, live event streaming support

Enterprise

Enterprise video hosting pricing plans are totally customizable in terms of both pricing and advanced feature access. Contact JW Player for more information.

9. Vidyard 

Vidyard video hosting platform
Vidyard is a video hosting platform aimed at marketing and sales professionals.

Vidyard is software that supports video hosting and video creation. The primary solutions from Vidyard are geared towards finance, SaaS, telecommunications, and educational businesses and organizations. Some notable features are video analytics, customization, and video sharing.

This platform splits its pricing into options for Individuals and Teams.

Individuals

  • Free – $0/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and creation
    • 1 user
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 5 video embeds
    • Minimal feature access
  • Pro – $15/month
    • Unlimited video creation
    • 1 user
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 20 video embeds
    • Fair feature access

Teams

  • Teams – $300/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and  creation
    • 3+ users
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 50 video embeds
    • Great features access
  • Business – $1200/month
    • Unlimited video uploads, hosting, and  creation
    • 5+ users
    • Video recording up to 1 hour
    • 100 video embeds
    • Full access to advanced features

10. Wowza

Wowza is a notable video hosting platform that offers two streaming products: the Wowza Streaming Cloud and Wowza Streaming Engine. This platform is known for OTT delivery, low latency live streaming, and VOD hosting.

Both of Wowza’s products are available in different pricing plans. Let’s check them out.

Wowza Streaming Cloud 

Wowza Streaming Cloud is a service that comes in the following plans:

  • One Time – $149
    • One month of streaming
    • Meant for one-time events
    • 15 live streaming hours
    • 500 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Pay-as-You-Go – $25/month
    • Flexible pricing model 
  • Basic – $85/month
    • 180 live streaming hours
    • 6000 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Plus – $425/month
    • 1200 live streaming hours
    • 60,000 viewing hours (in 720p)
  • Enterprise – custom pricing
    • Enterprise plans are built to meet your streaming needs

All of these plans (other than One Time) are billed annually and have full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

We recommend checking out the bandwidth calculator from Wowza to see which plan suits your streaming needs.

Wowza Streaming Engine 

Wowza Streaming Engines is a software and it comes in the following plans: 

  • Basic – $125/month 
    • $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • 48 hour support response time
  • Business – $245/month 
    • $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • 8 hour support response time
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions
    • Features offerings are custom on this plan
    • Includes  24/7 support

Additional Costs Associated with Professional Broadcasting

In addition to video hosting costs, there are a few other expenses that come with professional broadcasting. Just like there is no single answer to how much video hosting costs, there is no set price for the additional expenses.

How much you invest in video streaming will depend on what you hope to achieve. That said, let’s go over a few things that you should keep in mind as you create your video streaming budget.

Bandwidth

Some video hosting platforms come with a limited amount of bandwidth for streaming in each plan. This means that you’ll have to purchase additional bandwidth if your streaming needs exceed what you originally paid for.

We recommend crunching some numbers in our bandwidth calculator to get an idea of how much bandwidth you need for your intended streaming.

Equipment

Video content can be captured on a basic webcam in an office or with a whole camera crew in a professional studio. It all comes down to determining what is appropriate for your specific use case.

If you are broadcasting a television-grade sporting event that viewers are paying for, a professional-grade camera with the proper stabilizing equipment is appropriate. On the flip side, if you are streaming a lecture for remote learning, a more basic setup will suffice.

Professional cameras can range from under $1000 to several thousand dollars, and decent webcams can be purchased for under $100.

Most streams can be taken to the next level with the purchase of an external mic. This could be a lapel mic or a handheld one. Each of these can be purchased for under $100.

Beyond capture equipment, tripods, gimbals, and lighting tools are other options to consider.

Encoder

Most video hosting platforms will require support from a non-native encoder, especially if you are live streaming. This tool is designed to convert the RAW digital files that your camera captures into digital files that can be easily streamed over the internet. 

Broadcasters have the option to choose between a hardware or software encoder. Hardware encoders are dedicated devices that can run without a computer. They are a bit more expensive than software alternatives, but they are generally more reliable and powerful.

Software encoders are programs that run on your computer. As we mentioned, they are the cheaper alternative which makes them ideal for broadcasters who are still getting the hang of things. Some options, like OBS Studio, are free. 

We recommend taking a look at our software vs. hardware encoder comparison guide for more information to help you decide which is right for you.

Website 

The purpose of private video hosting is to display your content in a video player that can be embedded in your website or app. In order to do so, you will need to have a website designed and developed. A website hosting subscription is also a recurring cost to consider. 

However, some platforms offer tools for creating user-facing video galleries at no extra cost. Dacast’s Expo video portals allow broadcasters to launch their videos without developing a separate site. 

Which way you go will depend on the purpose of your videos and your streaming goals, but this is something to keep in mind as you develop your budget.

Labor

Depending on the scale of your streaming operations, you may need to add some specialists to your team or hire contractors for support along the way. Smaller operations may need minimal support with live streaming setup and workflow optimizations. On the other hand, businesses with larger operations may need to hire camera operators, mixers, video editors, and more.

Video Hosting in Action: Dacast Case Studies

video codecs
Every industry has different video needs. Consider your top three needs when it comes to content.

There are different options available on different platforms depending on your business and your goals for online video hosting. In this section, we’re taking a look at Dacast’s core use offerings:

1. Enterprise Hosting

Enterprise hosting is great for businesses looking to engage the workforce. From internal communications to live corporate events, enterprise hosting has tools that will help any business looking to streamline its workflow.

Dacast assists GoggleOutlet.com in providing live and VOD streaming used in their product marketing efforts. 

Read the full enterprise video hosting case study, here.

2. Media Agency Hosting

Media companies and agencies hosting is a great way to make an impression with clients. Stream live and record your events, host your video library, and share content on your website. This can all be done through one platform. 

Dacast assists 1545 Media by providing them with a dependable and affordable platform. 1545 Media provides clients with live streaming and short video marketing for clients. This case study shows how this media company faced the obstacle of a high entry cost for streaming. 

You can read the full media agency hosting case study, here

3. Sports Streaming

Streaming live sporting events often require high-performance delivery and monetization tools to make your broadcast a success.

Dacast assists Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV) in providing local programming to online viewers. This case study shows how the network uses the Dacast online video hosting platform to offer sports to their viewers with pay-per-view options. 

You can read the full sports streaming case study, here.

4. Education and eLearning Hosting

If you’re looking to host educational video or steam e-learning videos, there’s a platform for you. The most important thing to look for is a secure video hosting solution to ensure videos are being seen by members only.

Dacast assists Hemingway Elementary School in providing live broadcasting to more than 400 children in a closed network every day. They depend on the secure embed live video stream features to bring content to students and faculty.

You can read the full education video hosting case study, here.

5. Church Video Hosting

Engage your audience with live streaming. Dacast offers ad-free and secure streaming solutions that are ideal for churches and houses of worship who want to boost their virtual attendance.

Dacast assists Christ’s Commission Fellowship in providing live and VOD broadcasting worldwide. Their videos are broadcasted to 85 different countries using the CDN approach of Dacast. CCF’s videos on demand were watched over 86,000 times by almost 34,000 unique visitors.

You can read the full church streaming case study, here.

Final Thoughts

Live streaming video viewers are watching more live videos as compared to last year, which means that now is the time to get into online video.

Video hosting is essential to managing and delivering high-quality video content, and like most other valuable tools for business, it comes with a cost. We hope that this post has answered all of your questions about video hosting costs.

Our video hosting price comparison should be a good place to start as your search for the best video hosting platform. We recommend taking advantage of free trials in order to help you find the platform that suits all of your broadcasting needs.

If you’re interested in Dacast, we offer a free 30-day trial of our services. It’s an easy sign-up with no credit card details required. This trial will help determine if Dacast is the right hosting platform for you. 

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If you’d like to speak to someone, we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can call 1-855-896-9300 at any time because we offer 24/7 support.

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