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

By Harmonie Duhamel

31 Min Read

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Harmonie Duhamel

Harmonie is a Senior digital marketer with over 6 years in the Tech Industry. She has a strong marketing and sales background and loves to work in multilingual environments.

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      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-hosted 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-hosted 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 host 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 host video 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-hosted 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 that self-hosted video is a bad idea:

      1. Your Server’s Bandwidth

      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 self-hosted video 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 self-hosted video 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

      self hosted video platform
      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 self-hosted video 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 self-hosted video server’s bandwidth, meaning someone is going to fall victim to a slow-loading, laggy video.

      6. Much More Work for You

      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 video 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 self-hosted server space and costing you money.

      7. Multiple Video Players

      html5 video player
      By using HTML5, developers no longer worry about which browser or which extension their visitors use.

      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

      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 self-hosted video 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 hand off to a third-party self-hosted video 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

      host your own videos
      Self-hosting your own videos 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 self-hosted video 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

      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

      Streaming 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 the content many businesses require.

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

      1. Dacast

      online video platform
      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

      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:

      2. Kaltura

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

      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

      brightcove video cloud
      Brightcove offers multiple software integrations for maximum customization. Source: Brightcove

      Company Background

      Brightcove offers an online video platform for 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

      professional video hosting vidyard 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 hosting 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

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

      5. IBM Video Cloud

      ibm vod cloud software
      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 Video provides both cloud 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
      Wistia’s hosting platform provides white-label streaming suitable for broadcasters. Source: Wistia

      Company Background

      Wistia allows users to add their own logos and branding for exceptional customization options. It provides “TV quality” video hosting 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
      • Video management and collaboration

      7. Vimeo Livestream

      Livestream video platform
      Livestream is designed for broadcasters and is considered a well-respected platform. Source: Vimeo

      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

      • Corporate and live conferences
      • Houses of worship video hosting
      • Brand and agency solutions
      • Live event streaming
      • Sports live streaming

      8. JW Player

      JWPlayer video hosting solution
      JW Player provides streaming solutions for consumers on a budget. Source: JWPlayer

      Company Background

      JWPlayer 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

      JWPlayer 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

      • Video hosting for publishers
      • Fitness class video streaming
      • Online course video solutions
      • A streaming platform for film and TV producers

      9. Panopto

      Panopto Online Video Hosting
      One of the leading platforms for education, Panopto offers advanced security features. Source: Panopto

      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

      • Enterprise video platform
      • Streaming video for education
      • Live stream recording

      10. SproutVideo

      sprout video hosting platform
      SproutVideo provides live and on-demand video hosting for a variety of budgets. Source: SproutVideo

      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

      • Video streaming for marketing
      • Live stream video sites
      • Video management and collaboration solutions

      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

      For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you can also join our LinkedIn group. This group offers a professional environment to network with industry insiders and connect with streaming professionals.

      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!

      author avatar

      Harmonie Duhamel

      Harmonie is a Senior digital marketer with over 6 years in the Tech Industry. She has a strong marketing and sales background and loves to work in multilingual environments.

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