Top 15 Reasons Why You Should Never Self-Host Your Videos

Self Hosting Video

When deciding how to host and share your business videos, you have a variety of options. These include utilizing free platforms such as YouTube, opting for paid software, or hosting your own videos on your website.

Many businesses feel that self-hosting their video content is the best option for them, giving them a greater amount of control over their content without worrying about playing by a platform’s rules.

However, self-hosting video content isn’t always the best, easiest, or most economical option for many businesses.

In this article, we’ll explore a little more about self-hosting video content, examine some reasons why self-hosting is not the best option for many companies, and look at some premium, private video hosting platforms that provide exceptional service to businesses.  

Table of Contents

  • What is Self Video Hosting?
  • Benefits of Self Hosting Videos
  • 15 Reasons Self-Hosting Video is a Bad Idea
  • The 10 Top Self Hosting Video Platform Alternatives
  • Conclusion

What is Self Video Hosting?

Self-hosting your video content means that, not only do you create the video content yourself, but you also manage the infrastructure to store the videos, post them online, and promote them to your audience.

Hosting your own videos requires a massive amount of time, money, and knowledge, as you need to maintain ample storage for all the video content, as well as protect the videos from illegal access.

Benefits of Self Hosting Videos

Self Hosting Video
Self-hosting video content is attractive to businesses that want control over their videos.

Self-hosting video, when done correctly, provides businesses with a variety of benefits, including:

  • A higher degree of control over how your content is used: Depending on the third-party hosting setup you select, your video content — and how that content is used — can become the property of the platform you utilize. Self-hosting allows you to maintain complete control over your videos and how they are shared.
  • More control over how your videos look: Some third-party hosting platforms, such as YouTube or Facebook, do not offer the option to remove their branding. Businesses that want to be able to completely brand their own video content may elect to self-host.
  • Drive more traffic to your sites: When you host your own videos and embed that content on your website, you’re making sure that anyone who watches your content stays on your website instead of being sent to a different website.

While these benefits, for many businesses, are enough reason to go to the difficulty and expense of self-hosting video content, many find that the drawbacks don’t outweigh the positives enough.

15 Reasons Self-Hosting Video is a Bad Idea

Hosting your own video content can provide you with a great deal of control over your content and how it is presented.

However, it also can be an incredible headache and an expensive venture, making it less appealing to smaller businesses than it would be for larger enterprises with a lot of content.

When considering whether or not to host your own video content, here are 15 reasons you may find self-hosting your video is a bad idea:

1. Your Server’s Bandwidth

video bandwidth
Most internet providers limit the bandwidth individual websites receive on a server.

Video files can easily be large in size, typically clocking in at more than 100 MB.

If you host multiple large videos and have a few dozen people all trying to watch the same video at a time, it can put quite a strain on the bandwidth allocated to you by your internet provider.

Your provider gives each live streaming server a specific amount of bandwidth and resources, using average traffic rates that do not include streaming large media files to multiple viewers at the same time when calculating that number. If your servers are sent too many requests for a single large file, you quickly will exceed the limits of the server on which your site is hosted and bring your website to a screeching halt.

2. Limits on File Size and Storage Space

In some cases, your server bandwidth limits will be the least of your problems, as you won’t even be able to upload your videos to your server in the first place.

To keep demands on shared servers low, many web providers limit the file size individual users can upload, often 50 MB or less. If a video file is, at minimum, 100 MB, that means you won’t be able to upload even a single video file without paying extra or finding an alternative. 

In addition to simply being unable to upload files due to limits, self-hosting your video means backing up your website and its contents take much longer.

This limits the number of times your host can backup your website, making it more vulnerable to crashes and hacking, and increases the chances that some of the data you need to be backed up becomes corrupted.

3. Longer Page Load Times

page loading
Large embedded videos can slow down page loading, chasing away viewers.

Embedding your video content on your website pages means that each individual page with a video will take longer to load.

Because your pages are sending more data from the server to end-users, that’s more that needs to get from Point A to Point B, and there’s more risk of a bad internet connection causing a page to load slowly.

And, when website pages load too slowly, users get frustrated and abandon their view, costing you visitors and, potentially, money.

4. No Single Standard File Format

While many video players are moving toward an HTML5 format, there is no standardized file format prescribed for all browsers.

This means that one user’s browser or device may play MP4 videos, but not videos in WebM or Ogg formats. And another may play Ogg and WebM formats, but not MP4 videos.

Because of this, self-hosting your own video means you must have three separate videos uploaded — one in .mp4, one in .ogv, and one in .webm — in order to ensure that your videos will be playable on all major browsers. This complicates your video upload strategy, while also, at minimum, tripling the amount of bandwidth and server space you must utilize for one video.

5. Video That’s Slow to Load

If your video is hosted on a single server, that means all queries for your content are sent to the same place. So, if you have a dozen users attempting to watch the same video, that’s 12 individual queries sent to one server.

This creates a bottleneck on your server’s bandwidth, meaning someone is going to fall victim to a slow-loading, laggy video.

6. Much More Work for You

work from home
Tackling all the tasks that are required of self-hosting video means a lot more work on your shoulders.

With users watching videos on a variety of different devices and using different browsers, that means video files must be playable in all those formats.

For viewers watching on desktop or laptop computers using high-speed internet, you need to serve a large file so they can watch it full-screen without compromising quality. For this, you need to upload a file in 1080p or 720p at a high streaming bitrate.

Users who wish to watch your videos on mobile devices, need to offer a smaller, lower-resolution version that is suited for smaller screens and slower internet connections.

In addition, because there are multiple browsers, you also must upload different file types, with individual files in each format.

Once all is said and done, you could easily have to create a handful of versions of the same video, decreasing server space and costing you money.

7. Multiple Video Players

To play video on your website, you will need to install a video player. These web software solutions automatically detect which device is requesting a video and that device’s connection speed, serving up the correct version of your content to the user.

There are dozens of video players available on the internet, and you’ll need to research and choose which one will work best for your site’s needs. This task can be daunting if you don’t really know a lot about video players, or your website, meaning you either have to spend the time brushing up on the subject or you have to pay someone to make the decision for you.

8. Clunky Code

video hosting embed code
Self-hosting video means inserting code into your website for every version of a video you upload.

And once you choose a video player, you need to embed its code into your website using a plugin or other method.

In order for these players to work properly, you need to create a piece of code that tells the video player which formats you’ve created and where on the server they are located. This takes time and effort and, as with any code, one wrong letter or number and can break the whole thing.

9. Increased Costs

Hosting your own videos means you’re handling a lot of extra tasks and data that you might otherwise handoff to a third-party platform.

When creating and uploading your videos, you have to convert one video into multiple file sizes and formats. This takes time and knowledge, costing money either for you to tackle these tasks yourself or for you to pay someone to do them for you.

Additionally, all those extra versions of one video take up a lot of server space and bandwidth, meaning you may have to pay extra in order to continue using your current web host.

For many small and medium-sized businesses, these costs quickly balloon out of control and make creating videos less appealing from a business standpoint.

10. Multiple Video Conversions

Creating multiple file sizes and formats means you have to take your one finished video and convert it multiple times.

This requires extra time and special software and also creates the risk that your video will become corrupted during the conversion process. 

11. Decreased Traffic

video website traffic
Self-hosting may cost you some valuable visitors, decreasing your videos’ success.

If you’re used to hosting your video using a third-party platform, chances are your video traffic got some measure of the boost from the platform’s own promotion.

Having your video pop up in users’ related video suggestions meant more eyes on your videos and, in turn, could mean more money for your business.

By moving all your video away from these platforms and hosting it on your site, you are more reliant upon people arriving on your website and only your website for video views. This could cause your views to decrease significantly.

12. More Complicated

Managing all the individual tasks of creating, uploading, hosting, and promoting your video content just increases the complexity of your whole operation.

And, unless you have someone on your team with knowledge of every piece of that process, you either will have to spend time to learn to fill in the gaps or pay an outside person to handle the tasks you can’t perform.

13. Risk of Piracy

website security and piracy
Hosting your own video without proper security measures could lead to your content being stolen.

Your video content is valuable to your business. And if it’s valuable to you, that means someone, somewhere, may be willing to steal it in order to make some money.

Hosting your own videos leaves you more open to potential nefarious downloads if your security isn’t air-tight.

14. Decreased Promotional Options

Driving new users to your videos can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. 

When you’re self-hosting your video content, that battle becomes a little more difficult, as you no longer have some of the built-in promotional options afforded by some third-party platforms. 

Rather than having your videos potentially show up in a suggested watch list, you are in charge of drawing every visitor to your website and showing them your videos.

15. Varying Video Quality

video bitrate quality
Converting and hosting your own videos can mean your viewers are subjected to varying video quality, leading to a bad experience for some.

The video conversion process varies from conversion platform to conversion platform. This leaves you with video files that, potentially, don’t play well on certain browsers or devices.

Converting all your video formats on your own can net you video files that look grainy or low-quality on one browser, but that look great on another. Getting the files to all look as they should on every device and in every browser requires endless fiddling with conversion settings and checking and re-checking each individual format and file size for quality.

The 10 Top Self Hosting Video Platform Alternatives

To avoid many of the issues that come with self-hosting their own video, business owners trust paid video hosting platforms that offer both the convenience of third-party video hosting and the control over their content many businesses require.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular private video hosting platforms for businesses:

1. Dacast

Video Hosting Platform for Live Streaming
Dacast provides top-notch video hosting at reasonable prices.

Company Background

Offering the premium features that come with professional video hosting but at prices many small and medium-sized businesses can afford, Dacast is designed for both business professionals and enterprise users.

The platform is fairly easy for all skill levels to use, but there is a bit of a learning curve when exploring all the features on offer.

Basic Functionality

Dacast provides advanced security and distribution tools paired with exceptional customer support.

Key Features

Pros

  • Support for mobile device streaming
  • Tiered pricing with plans for all budgets
  • Packages for live streaming and VOD
  • Unlimited viewers and live channels
  • Live stream recording
  • Always-available customer support

Cons

  • Learning all the advanced features can take time and research

Pricing

Dacast offers multiple pricing plans, including:

  • Starter Plan: 1,000 GB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage for $39/month
  • Event Plan: 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage for $63/month
  • Scale Plan: 24 TB of bandwidth annually and 1 TB of storage for $188/month

Businesses that require solutions that support higher volumes can request customized pricing.

Best Use Cases

Dacast is well-suited for:

  • Live event streaming
  • Enterprise video
  • Video on demand hosting
  • Marketing video hosting
  • Streaming video for education

2. Kaltura

kaltura business video hosting
Kaltura offers specialized streaming services perfect for educational institutions.

Company Profile

Kaltura, based in Israel, provides a wide range of specialized live video and VOD streaming services suitable for educational institutions.

Basic Functionality

Kaltura is great for online and in-person training, such as webinars.

Key Features

  • Video looping available
  • Advanced security features, including password protection, encryption, and watermarking
  • Customized monetization options
  • Cloud TV service
  • Closed captioning available

Pros

  • Upload multiple videos with bulk upload
  • Multiple options for monetization
  • Easily accessible for viewers

Cons

  • No China delivery
  • Slow upload and video processing
  • Users must provide their own CDN, increasing cost and complexity

Pricing

Kaltura’s pricing is based on the individual use of bandwidth and features. There are both annual plans and pay-as-you-go pricing available, with annual plans starting at $5,400.

Best Use Cases

  • Streaming video for education
  • Marketing video hosting
  • Live event streaming
  • Streaming video for sales
  • Enterprise video hosting

3. Brightcove

Video Hosting Cloud Software
Brightcove offers multiple software integrations for maximum customization.

Company Background

Brightcove offers video hosting that’s designed for video monetization and marketing purposes, boasting thousands of users in more than 70 countries.

They provide top-notch video technology and wide-ranging integrations so you can customize your favorite marketing, communications, or advertising software to meet your needs.

Basic Functionality

Providing both video cloud and video player capabilities, Brightcove easily integrates with marketing and advertising campaigns.

Key Features

  • Variety of app integrations
  • Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services
  • Customized options for video monetization and advertising
  • TV Everywhere (TVE) streaming services
  • Offers both live event and 24/7 streaming

Pros

  • Customizable privacy and security settings
  • Powerful editing tools
  • Simple user interface
  • Easily configure permissions to suit multiple users

Cons

  • Limited reporting options
  • No China delivery
  • A steep learning curve to fully utilize all features
  • Around-the-clock support costs extra

Pricing

There are several pricing plans available with Brightcove, including:

  • Starter: Includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2 to 5 users
  • Professional: Unlimited video uploads, 100,000+ plays, no overage plays, and 10+ users
  • Enterprise: Unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, no overage plays, 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

Because Brightcove does not publish its pricing online, contact them directly to receive a quote.

Best Use Cases

4. Vidyard

Vidyard video hosting platform
Vidyard provides an all-in-one video platform suitable for marketing, sales, and corporate communications teams. Source: Vidyard

Company Background

Vidyard is an all-in-one video streaming platform aimed at marketing, sales, and corporate communications teams. Their goal is to offer professional content distribution for businesses.

Basic Functionality

Vidyard wants to help marketing, sales, and corporate communications teams turn their viewers into customers.

Key Features

  • Interactive playback
  • Custom pages for video sharing
  • Video personalization and creation options
  • Customized security controls
  • Built-in SEO tools and video analytics

Pros

  • Active user support community
  • In-depth analytics and data reporting
  • A broad range of features available
  • Exceptional customer service

Cons

  • Mixed customer reviews
  • No China delivery
  • Backend is not user-friendly

Pricing

Vidyard prices its platform based on whether it will be used for marketing, sales, or corporate communications.

There are four tiers of pricing plans, split between two categories: Individual and Teams. Plans are billed annually and include:

  • Individual: 
    • Free: $0/month
    • Pro: $15/month
  • Teams:
    • Teams: $300/month
    • Business: $1,250/month

Best Use Cases

5. IBM Video Cloud

ibm cloud video online video platform
IBM offers a well-known name and reliable streaming in is an end-to-end solution, ideally suited for live or on-demand content. Source: IBM Cloud Video

Company Background

IBM Cloud Video, previously known as UStream, is one of the most recognizable names in video streaming. It offers reliable streaming options but costs more than other similarly outfitted options.

Basic Functionality

IBM Cloud Video provides both live streaming and cloud video hosting services.

Key Features

  • Reliable streaming
  • Exceptional customer support
  • Video delivery via an internal VOD server

Pros

  • Well-suited for larger businesses
  • Powerful features make it great for broadcasters
  • Reliable streaming service
  • Outstanding customer support

Cons

  • No monetization customization options
  • API access is only available with expensive custom plans
  • Doesn’t use a CDN

Pricing

IBM offers pricing plans that range from $99 to $999 monthly and that include the following:

  • Silver: $99/month
  • Gold: $499/month
  • Platinum: $999/month
  • Custom: Contact IBM Cloud Video for pricing on custom plans.

6. Wistia

Wistia Video Hosting Software
Wistia’s hosting platform provides white-label streaming suitable for broadcasters.

Company Background

Wistia allows users to add their own logos and branding for exceptional customization options. It provides “TV-quality” streaming and is ideal for broadcasters.

Basic Functionality

Wistia is suited for the creation, management, and streaming of video content for marketing purposes.

Key Features

  • Ad-free
  • Customizable video player
  • SEO features and video analytics
  • Interactive video tools
  • CRM integrations available, making it ideal for marketing and sales teams

Pros

  • No ads are shown to users
  • Custom branding options
  • Built-in analytics
  • Top-notch customer service

Cons

  • Clunky customization options
  • No China delivery

Pricing

Wistia offers three tiers of pricing plans, including:

  • Free: $0/month
  • Pro: $99/month
  • Advanced: These plans are custom-priced, so contact Wistia for more information.

Best Use Cases

  • Enterprise video hosting
  • Marketing video hosting
  • Live event streaming
  • Streaming video for sales

7. Vimeo Livestream

Vimeo Livestream Video Hosting
Livestream is designed for broadcasters and is considered a well-respected platform.

Company Background

Purchased by Vimeo in 2017, Livestream is designed for professionals looking for an all-in-one platform for business video streaming.

Basic Functionality

Livestream offers streaming, management, and monitoring of video content in one platform, with marketing, video management analytics, and live streaming capabilities included.

Key Features

  • Extra marketing capabilities
  • Tools promoting audience interaction
  • Multiple security features

Pros

  • Works with YouTube for broader distribution
  • Ease of use for both users and viewers
  • Detailed video analytics
  • Exceptional security features

Cons

  • Streaming pauses frequently for software updates
  • No China delivery
  • Limited CDN capabilities

Pricing

Livestream offers three pricing plans, including:

  • Vimeo Premium: For $75 per month, this plan includes both live streaming and VOD support. This tier is suited for professional broadcasting.
  • Vimeo Enterprise: This tier offers white-label service, monetization, video API access, branding control, and added security features. Enterprise plans are custom-priced.
  • Vimeo OTT: This OTT-specific pricing package comes with a Vimeo.com relationship. It includes everything you need to begin and grow a web-based OTT channel. Starter pricing begins at $1 per subscriber per month, and growth pricing begins at $500 per month.

Best Use Cases

  • Marketing video hosting
  • Live event streaming

8. JW Player

JWPlayer video hosting platform
JW Player provides streaming solutions for consumers on a budget.

Company Background

JW Player originally shared some of its code with the early YouTube video player. Now, it offers VOD hosting and live streaming at affordable prices, with limited features. It is best suited for those on a tight budget who don’t mind trading limited capability for low prices.

Basic Functionality

JW Player offers low prices and superior customer services to those willing to trade high-tech features and services.

Key Features

  • Video analytics options
  • Designed for various-sized organizations
  • Video distribution management
  • Tokenized access and DRM support
  • Ad optimization available

Pros

  • Easy-to-use user interface
  • Auto-converted video for playing on different devices
  • Affordable plans
  • Advertising monetization integrations
  • Exceptional customer service and sales support

Cons

  • No API for live streaming
  • No closed captioning or screen sharing options
  • No China delivery
  • Limit of 5 hours on live event streaming
  • Monetization customization options unavailable

Pricing

JW Player offers three pricing plan tiers, including:

  • 30-day free trial: Includes full API and SDK access and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
  • Starter plan: Includes an HTML5 video player and video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 50 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month for $10 monthly, billed annually.
  • Enterprise plan: These plans are custom-priced and are designed for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, where the lower-tiered plans only support VOD.

Best Use Cases

  • Marketing video hosting
  • Streaming video for sales
  • Enterprise video hosting

9. Panopto

Panopto video platform for education
One of the leading platforms for education, Panopto offers advanced security features.

Company Background

Panopto was designed to serve universities and other large institutions and is considered one of the most comprehensive at all plan levels.

Basic Functionality

Panopto is one of the leading educational content streaming platforms, making it ideal for universities and large institutions.

Key Features

  • Advanced security features, including private video labeling
  • API access
  • Lecture capture features
  • White-label capability

Pros

  • Customizable security features
  • Lecture-capture and video-search software
  • White-label streaming
  • Video analytics available
  • Document indexing and full-text search

Cons

  • No SEO management
  • No image editors
  • No version control
  • Customizable templates not available
  • No monetization customization

Pricing

Panopto offers three pricing packages, including:

  • Basic: Free
  • Pro: $14.99/month
  • Enterprise: Contact Panopto for custom pricing

Best Use Cases

  • Streaming video for education

10. SproutVideo

Sprout Video hosting platform
SproutVideo provides live and on-demand video hosting for a variety of budgets.

Company Background

SproutVideo offers live and on-demand video hosting with plans suited for all budgets and needs.

Basic Functionality

SproutVideo is suited for broadcasters looking for an all-in-one platform that provides live and VOD streaming options.

Key Features

  • Live chat support at all plan levels
  • Customizable privacy and security features
  • API access

Pros

  • Plans available for all budgets and business needs
  • Detailed video analytics reporting
  • A broad range of customization available

Cons

  • Buffering due to slow playback caching
  • Limited storage options
  • Sub-par video SEO tools

Pricing

SproutVideo has four pricing plans, including:

  • Seed: $24.99/month
  • Sprout: $59.99/month
  • Tree: $199.99/month
  • Forest: $499.99/month

Best Use Cases

  • Enterprise video streaming
  • Live video streaming
  • On-demand video hosting

Conclusion

As businesses increasingly seek to maintain control over their video content, many are turning to self-hosting their videos. However, hosting your own video content adds multiple layers of complexity and expense that many teams aren’t equipped to handle.

Instead of self-hosting your video content, find the best online video hosting solution to meet your needs, at a price that you can afford.

With Dacast, you get all the premium video hosting features you need to make your business video shine without the hassle and expense of many other options. 

Ready to give it a try? You get access to everything the platform has to offer without signing a long-term contract, paying expensive start-up fees, or even handing over your credit card information.

Try our 30-day free trial to test all the Dacast features, including our security tools, today. No credit card required.

GET STARTED FOR FREE  

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Thanks for reading, good luck with your video hosting initiatives. For more information or any other questions, please post your comments below or contact us if we can assist you in any way!

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