The 9 Best Streaming Video Hosting Services

video on demand (VOD)

Did you know that 59% of executives have reported that they’d rather consume information in a video than by reading the text?

People have turned to streaming video hosting services for news, entertainment, sports and more so it makes sense that this trend has carried over into the professional realm. Overall, computer users spend one-third of all online activity watching video. 

Research has shown that the percent of screen time spent on video consumption is growing quickly.  Businesses and other organizations are taking advantage of this trend by streaming video content of their own. In order to produce this content, streaming video hosting services are a must.

Unlike free consumer-grade platforms, dedicated professional platforms offer easy-of-use, feature-rich plans, secure video upload, CDN access, tech support and much more. 

The most valuable perk of going with a paid service vs. a free one? You have more control over the video content that you broadcast.

Table of Contents:

  • What is Video Hosting?
  • Drawbacks Associated with Free Streaming Video Hosting Solutions
  • Key Features for Pro Streaming Video Hosting Services
  • Review and Comparison of the Top 9 Streaming Video Hosting Services
  • Conclusion

What is Video Hosting?

Videos can be a pain to share, especially when you want to maintain their quality. Video hosting platforms offer a solution to this problem.

Video hosting provides a platform for you to share videos internally. Some video hosting solutions offer a multitude of features related to video production, including tools for editing, monetization, SEO, video analytics and more.

To take this a step further, streaming video hosting is a type of video hosting that has streaming capabilities. This is what allows you to broadcast your videos to your audience.

While there is a plethora of free streaming video hosting solutions, many offer restricted versions of these excellent features. 

Businesses and professional broadcasters are better off choosing a paid streaming video hosting services to reach their audiences.

Drawbacks Associated with Free Streaming Video Hosting Solutions

streaming video hosting solutions
Why should you choose a paid solution over the multitude of free streaming video hosting solutions?

Many private individuals use free streaming video hosting services. The most popular of these is YouTube. However, these services simply aren’t suitable for businesses. Most consumer-grade services don’t offer the most streaming features necessary for professional or OTT users.

The drawbacks of free streaming video hosting solutions include:

  • Host (not broadcaster) has rights to all content
  • Branded (not white-label service)
  • No control over ads (whether or not you want ads to appear on your video content)
  • Limited or no customer service/tech support (crucial during live broadcasts)
  • Limited or no monetization options
  • Lack of feature-rich capabilities for high-quality streaming
  • Limited security options (e.g. secure video upload)
  • Limited integration / API options

With that context in mind, this article centers on professional streaming video hosting services, like Dacast. In fact, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Some companies are reporting triple-digit returns on their video investments.

You are better off streaming with paid alternatives that offer white-label service that gives you brand, control and monetize your video in a truly professional manner.

Key features for pro streaming video hosting services

streaming video hosting for business
We’ve done some digging to find the best streaming video hosting services.

Before our online video platform comparison, let’s first enumerate the specific features we’ll compare below.

Security:

Piracy costs the U.S. economy more than $20 billion per year. In an effort to combat this reality, we’ll compare security features for each platform we review.

Monetization:

Worldwide OTT revenue was roughly $46.5 billion in 2017. That number is expected to rise to $83.4 billion by 2022. Therefore, any streaming video hosting services should include monetization tools.

CDN provider:

A full 63 percent of live stream viewers in 2017 cited buffering issues as the most serious problem they encounter. Furthermore, that figure actually represents an increase from the previous year. CDNs help to resolve latency and buffering by eliminating bottlenecks in the system for the distribution of videos. (If you’re looking to do China video hosting, for example, make sure your chosen OVP supports this as well.)

API access:

Forbes called 2017 “the year of the API economy.” APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, allow you to build custom apps, video platforms, workflows, and integrations. These are key for many businesses to make the best use of a video streaming platform.

Pricing:

Whether you have a fixed or infinite budget, the cost is always a factor when choosing among streaming video hosting solutions. We’ll provide basic pricing plan details for each platform below. Costs can vary widely platform to platform, as can the features included at each plan level.

Top 9 Streaming Video Hosting Services

Here are the top nine video hosting services that are equipped with the features that your business needs to broadcast professional-grade video content.

9. Vidyard

vidyard video hosting solution
Vidyard’s hosting solution is changing the way businesses connect through video.

Company Background:

Vidyard is an all-in-one video platform built for businesses. They offer three major packages: marketing, sales, and corporate communications. Vidyard’s services are meant to help businesses put out their videos in a professional manner and to help them take advantage of being a business operating in a growingly digital world.

Basic Functionality:

Vidyard is a great solution for streaming videos for marketing, sales, and corporate communications purposes. Their mission is to help their users turn viewers into customers.

Key Features:

  • Video hosting
  • Interactive playback experiences
  • Video SEO
  • Video personalization and creation
  • Video for email
  • Drive next steps
  • Video playlists
  • Custom video-sharing pages
  • Video analytics and notifications
  • Video hubs
  • Security controls

Pros:

  • Great analytics and data reports
  • Customer service
  • Wide variety of features
  • Robust user community

Cons:

  • Backend not user friendly
  • Inconsistently positive user experience

Pricing:

There are a few ways to break down Vidyard’s pricing. They have three main umbrellas that their services fall under based on the user’s purpose for using video streaming.

The first is Marketing. The five Marketing packages include Free Forever which is totally free, the Pro package for $15/month, the Starter package for $150/month, the Plus package which is $850/month and the Enterprise package which has custom pricing.

The Sales packages also include the complimentary Free Forever package, the Pro package which costs $15/month, the Starter which is $80/month and their custom priced Enterprise package.

The Corporate Communications packages are all priced on a case-by-case basis.

Best Use Cases:

  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

8. Brightcove

brightcove video hosting solution
With Brightcove’s video cloud, enterprise customers can create beautiful video experiences that inspire, engage, educate and entertain

Company Background:

Brightcove was designed for both monetization and marketing. They have been in the video hosting arena since 2004, so they bring nearly two decades of experience, trial, and error to the table.

They are truly global with thousands of users in over 70 different countries. Brightcove is perfect for users who are looking for state-of-the-art video technology and capabilities to integrate with their favorite marketing, communications, and ad software.

Basic Functionality:

Brightcove is a video marketing and enterprise video suite, designed to work smoothly in all of your marketing and ad campaigns. It also has video cloud and video player capabilities. 

Key Features:

  • Video monetization and advertising
  • Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming services
  • TV Everywhere (TVE) streaming services
  • Live event and 24/7 streaming
  • Dozens of useful app integrations

Pros:

  • Powerful privacy and security settings
  • Comprehensive editing tools
  • Permissions configuration
  • Useful integrations
  • Customer support
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Reporting is limited
  • Users are required to pay for 24/7 support
  • Requires a bit of a learning curve

Pricing:

All Brightcove pricing packages are custom priced. Please contact them for a free quote.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Streaming Sports
  • Live Event Streaming
  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

7. Wistia

wistia streaming video hosting
Wistia is a top-of-the-line video hosting service with an equally hefty price tag.

Company Background:

Wistia is a “TV-quality” streaming video hosting service that is designed for broadcasters who want to grow. It is equipped with custom players that allow you to add your logos and branding.

It is perfect for marketing, as their CTAs, annotation links and email features happen to be among their top-selling points.

Basic Functionality:

Wistia’s basic functionality is creation, management, and streaming of video content that is shared for marketing purposes.

Key Features:

  • Management and embedding
  • Custom video layer
  • Interactive video tools
  • Ad-free experience
  • Channels
  • “Up Next” feature
  • Reach and retarget
  • Subscribers
  • CRM integrations
  • Video analytics
  • SEO

Pros:

  • Custom branding
  • Insightful analytics
  • Variety of different call to actions
  • Automated video SEO
  • No ads on user videos
  • Customer service

Cons:

  • Some road bumps with customization options

Pricing:

Wistia has three pricing plan tiers. The most basic package is free. They also have a Pro package that goes for $99/month and an Advanced Package that has custom pricing.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

6. JW Player

jw player streaming video hosting
JW Player had a role in the creation and development of Youtube.

Company Background:

JW Player was originally a video player. However, the platform has since evolved to include VOD hosting, and live streaming. While JW is a solid platform and a great video player, it has a few noteworthy drawbacks.

JW Player is priced very low, so it is worth the investment if you can make do with extremely limited capabilities. 

Basic Functionality:

JW Player is a live streaming service with extremely limited services and capabilities. However, it is known for its low price points and magnificent customer service.

Key Features:

  • Tokenized access and DRM support
  • Designed for firms of all sizes
  • Powerful analytics
  • Ad optimization
  • Video distribution management

Pros:

  • Integrations for advertising monetization
  • Auto converts video for different devices
  • Simple user interface
  • Very affordable
  • Great customer service
  • Excellent sales support

Cons:

  • Live streaming via API is currently not supported
  • Live events are limited to 5 hours duration
  • Does not support subscriptions or pay-per-view
  • No closed captioning
  • No screen sharing 
  • Uses an internal server network for content delivery

Pricing:

JW Player pricing plans start at $5/month. That basic plan, however, does not include live streaming. Live video is included starting at $50/month. Custom Enterprise plans are available as well.

Best Use Cases:

  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

Next, let’s review another OVP, JW Player. JW Player, as the name implies, was originally a video player. However, the platform has since evolved to include VOD hosting, and, more recently, live streaming. While JW is a solid platform (and a great video player), it has a few noteworthy drawbacks. For example, live events are limited to 5 hours duration.

Security – Security features with JW Player include tokenized access and DRM support.

Monetization – JW Player integrates tools for advertising monetization. However, it does not support subscriptions or pay-per-view.

CDN solution – This platform uses an internal server network for content delivery, instead of a powerful CDN.

API access – Various APIs are available. Note that live streaming via API is currently not supported.

Price – JW Player plans start at $5/month. That basic plan, however, does not include live streaming. Live video is included starting at $50/month. Custom Enterprise plans are available as well.

5. Kaltura

kaltura vpaas online video hosting platform
Kaltura is known for its Cloud Hosting and TV capabilities.

Company Background:

Kaltura is an Israeli video hosting service that serves clients around the world.

Like other streaming video hosting services, Kaltura supports both live video and VOD. However, it does have some differences from other platforms as well. For example, Kaltura offers a unique ecosystem of services aimed at large institutions like universities. 

Basic Functionality:

Kaltura’s main service is video management. It is most commonly used for educational purposes for both employees and students in schools.

It is perfect for online and in-person training. Many use Kaltura to host webinars.

Key Features:

  • Various security features for the Kaltura OVP include password protection, encryption, and watermarking
  • Three main options for monetizing OTT video: advertising, subscriptions and one-time transactions
  • Cloud TV service
  • Video looping capabilities
  • Closed captioning for accessibility 

Pros:

  • Several monetization options
  • Popular for both internal business use and education use
  • Easily accessible for viewers
  • Allows bulk uploading

Cons:

  • “Bring-your-own CDN” platform, which entails additional cost and complexity
  • Slow uploading and processing 
  • Requires a bit of a learning curve

Pricing:

Basic monthly pricing plans start at $1000/month. Kaltura also offers pay-as-you-go pricing, based on bandwidth, features required, etc.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

4. Vimeo Live

 

vimeo live streaming video hosting
Vimeo was once simply a video on demand company, but when they acquired Livestream in 2017, they were able to expand into the live streaming space and video hosting.

Company Background:

Vimeo has long offered a video-on-demand service focused on the artist and creative market. However, in 2017 the company acquired Livestream and launched its own live streaming solution. 

Vimeo Live and Livestream (Vimeo) offer services that are independent of one another.

Basic Functionality:

Vimeo Live is a totally inclusive streaming video hosting service that covers every base from video players to live streaming services, collaboration tools to distribution and marketing, monetization to analytics and more.

Key Features:

Vimeo Live is a one-stop-shop for all of your video streaming needs. However, this convenience comes with a hefty price tag. As you add services to your plan, the price adds up quickly.

Pros:

  • Unlimited events and viewers
  • No ads
  • Sleek and professional appearance 
  • Thoroughly detailed analytics
  • Easy to use
  • Pay-per-view option
  • Basic privacy settings

Cons:

  • Extra fees for monetization
  • Reported issues in regards to distribution due to connection issues on an internal server
  • Generates less traffic than competing sites

Pricing:

Pricing plans start at $75/month. For more advanced features, an $800/month business plan is available, as well as custom plans.

Advanced security features are available with plans at $800/month and up.

Vimeo Live’s streaming video hosting service includes APIs starting at $800/month.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

3. Livestream (Vimeo)

livestream live streaming video hosting
Livestream, owned by Vimeo, is an excellent streaming service for businesses that need extra marketing support.

Company Background:

Livestream is a longtime competitor in this industry and has both strengths and drawbacks to consider. 

As mentioned above, Vimeo purchased Livestream in 2017. Since then, the companies merged their services under Livestream (Vimeo), which is different from Vimeo Live.

Basic Functionality:

The main services of Livestream include marketing, video management analytics and lifestreaming. It is great for professionals who are looking for an all-in-one platform to stream, manage and monitor their videos.

Key Features:

In addition to its primary video services, Livestream is known for its excellent security, audience interaction and additional marketing capabilities.

Livestream is slightly more expensive than Vimeo Live.

Pros:

  • Works directly with Youtube
  • Easy-to-use for both users and viewer
  • Detailed analytics
  • Top-notch security

Cons:

Pricing:

Livestream pricing plans start at $75/month and range to $999/month and up. Only the $999+ plans include access to most professional features. 

Basic security and privacy features are included with the plans that cost $75/month. Advanced features are only available with the most inclusive plans.

Video APIs, advertising and other monetization options come only with the $999/month and up plans.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Marketing Video Hosting

2. IBM Cloud Video

ibm cloud video online video platform
IBM Cloud Video, one of the pioneers of Cloud Computing, has a video hosting and streaming platform which is great for monetization and marketing.

Company Background:

IBM Cloud Video, formerly known as UStream is known as one of the most reliable streaming video services. It is a capable live streaming and VOD platform, IBM Cloud Video, but it is also quite expensive relative to the features it provides.

Basic Functionality:

The purpose of IBM Cloud Video is to provide live streaming and video-on-demand services. 

Key Features:

IBM Cloud Video is known for its reliable platform and stellar customer support.

Something that makes IBM Cloud Video different from other streaming video services is that it delivers videos via an internal server. While this method works for some, others do not prefer this.

Pros:

  • Reliable platform
  • Suitable for larger businesses
  • Excellent customer support
  • Equipped with powerful features for broadcasters

Cons:

  • No monetization tools
  • Does not use a CDN
  • Access to the platform via APIs is only available on custom-priced “Media and Enterprise Plans”

Pricing:

Pricing plans range from $99/month to $999 per month. Custom pricing plans are available for larger businesses. 

Password protection costs $99/month and up. The $499/month plan adds embed restrictions. The $999/month plan includes full embed controls and a private channel URL.

Best Use Cases:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Streaming Video for Sales
  • Enterprise Video Hosting
  • Marketing Video Hosting

1. Dacast

dacast live streaming video hosting
Dacast is a powerful web video platform that was designed for professionals.

Company Background:

Dacast offers a wide range of professional features and Akamai CDN delivery at affordable, competitive prices. Dacast is a robust streaming solution that was designed for business professionals and enterprise.

Since it has so many wonderful features, it may take a minute to learn the platform, but we’re confident that you’ll be a Dacast pro in no time. 

Basic Functionality:

Dacast is a streaming platform for broadcasters that want to process and stream their videos with top-notch security, monetization, and professional distribution tools.

Key Features:

  • Uses the Akamai CDN to distribute all content 
  • Password protection
  • Embed restrictions
  • IP address/geographic restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery 
  • Tokenized security
  • SSL payment protection

Pros:

  • Common monetization options (advertising, pay-per-view, and subscriptions)
  • Top of the line security
  • Full API access to the Dacast platform comes with plans at $125+/month

Cons:

  • Has a little bit of a learning curve

Pricing:

After a 30 day trial, Dacast offers an introductory plan for $19/month. Most professional users opt for the $125/month plan, which offers more bandwidth and all pro features. 

Larger and custom plans are also available. More details are available on the Dacast pricing page.

Best Use Cases:

Conclusion

live streaming video hosting
Video streaming is growing, and it only makes sense to reap the benefits of rapid growth.

Since video streaming is ever-growing, it is wise for businesses to jump on board when it makes sense. Video content is a magnificent way to reach your audience in both product and service-based industries.

These nine streaming video hosting services come with their own sets of benefits and packages. Once you determine your business’s goals, needs and budget, choosing the perfect video hosting service will be a breeze.

We hope that this article has educated you about the best steaming video hosting services on the market today. And remember — it’s worth taking the time to review and compare your options and needs before committing to a platform.

Ready to start broadcasting live today? You can take advantage of Dacast’s streaming video hosting services with our 30-day free trial (no credit card required). Just click the button below to sign up. We’ll have you up and streaming in a matter of minutes!

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Any questions or feedback about this streaming video hosting services review? Let us know in the comment section down below! We love to hear from our readers, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your broadcasts.

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