There is no denying that people find tremendous value in the most dominant video hosting platform YouTube. Ever since its entry in 2005, YouTube has engaged in full blown confrontations with popular video hosting platforms such as Vimeo and budding platforms and eventually reduced most of them to pointless also-rans. Not astonishingly, many video hosting startups had an early exodus due to the sheer power of YouTube.   In 2015, YouTubers were uploading nearly 500 hours of content every minute. Today, YouTube is hero-worshipped by its ever growing active billion users who upload more than 750 hours of content every minute. While these numbers are absolutely overwhelming, what’s surprising is the fact that YouTube is actually a platform meant for entertainment. That businesses do not rely much on YouTube remains a point to ponder. More often than not, businesses rely on YouTube alternatives.

Given the hype surrounding YouTube, often one doesn’t pay attention to its drawbacks. Let me not dodge the question- Are there any drawbacks? Of course, there are a few serious drawbacks.

Perception:

For all intents and purposes, YouTube is considered an entertainment platform. Many brand managers advice content marketers to remove old videos from YouTube as such videos might not convey the latest message. If brands rely only on YouTube for content marketing, brand dilution becomes a ground reality. The scope of YouTube for businesses is limited and overshooting the frontiers to execute video marketing strategy may have major implications.

Professionalism:

YouTube lacks seriousness because it is a video hosting platform meant for entertainment. Possibilities of embarrassment are very high. For instance, if you are playing a professional presentation before your potential investors and in the suggested videos, if your competitor’s presentation gets listed, it will be a scathing embarrassment. Just imagine if the “Watch Next” section suggests an NSFW video. I don’t think any of your investors will be open to any further rapprochement.

Advertisements:

Two threads – Perception and Professionalism are clear. Coming to advertisements, YouTube has made advertisements with timeline less than 30 seconds un-skippable. In other words, you should wait for a few precious seconds before switching to the next video. If you are presenting your 2-minute investor pitch before a panel of investors, how annoying can advertisements get? Not only do advertisements hinder business relationships but also ruin important business events. 

YouTube is Public:

Yes, YouTube is public and literally, anybody can watch your videos. Moreover, YouTube doesn’t require its audiences to sign in so as to view the content. However, it is mandatory for users to sign in if the content is sensitive. If small kids watch objectionable material without parental guidance, who is to be blamed? If your venture is associated with adult products, complications are simply too many to be ignored.

Limited Customization:

As far as video player customizations are concerned, options are limited. You can choose a template design of your choice, but to say YouTube is rich in design is an absolute farce. Moreover, you cannot tweak the YouTube logo from its video player. This certainly asserts that custom branding prospects are missing in YouTube’s scheme of things.

Copyright Infringements:

Privacy invasion and copyright infringements are extremely common on YouTube.

In the light of all the disadvantages mentioned above, it is important to take a look at the following alternatives to YouTube:

Vimeo:

Vimeo

Vimeo is an alternative to YouTube and largely caters to artists. It reaches more than one hundred million audiences every month. While corporate promotional content is strictly forbidden for free accounts, premium account holders can do away with such restrictions. Vimeo is doing everything right to show its dominance and magnanimity in the community of artists. People who pursue a career in music, dance, cinematography, photography etc., can be labeled as artists. In other words, people who engage in creative work come under the broad umbrella of ‘artists’.

Vimeo has a lot of advantages. I would like to compare the bit-rates of YouTube and Vimeo. It is noteworthy to mention that Vimeo uses higher bit rate than YouTube. Vimeo is also known to support 4K quality videos and users have a choice of selecting their own thumbnails for their respective videos. Many competitors and leading platforms have extreme limitations when it comes to thumbnails.

Vimeo – Types of Accounts:

There are three types of accounts in Vimeo: Free, Plus and Pro. Free account holders are given 500MB disk storage per week. There is also a restriction on the number of videos that can be uploaded per day and the number stands at 10. Of course, users have enough access privileges to create a restricted number of channels and albums.

Plus account is a premium account and its features can be availed for $59.95 per year. Plus account holders are given 5GB disk storage per week. In other words, nearly 250GB disk storage per week is given to Plus account holders. Plus accounts have advanced analytics and support feature. Typically, conversions for videos uploaded through this type of account are higher and much better than those of free accounts.

Pro account is yet another premium account in Vimeo. It is costlier than a Plus account. At present, all the features of Pro account can be availed at $199 per year. Pro account holders each get disk storage of 20GB per week. Apart from super-fine advanced analytics and privacy settings, features such as VIP support and private links are also present. The logo of Vimeo video player can be tweaked and third party logo can be embedded.

Monetization:

Viewers can sit back and relax as all the three accounts have unlimited bandwidths with zero advertising. But that’s not the big story – the big question is How do video enthusiasts and entrepreneurs monetize this platform? Vimeo’s video on demand feature allows you to sell your videos or rent them out for premium prices. There are also provisions to generate coupon codes and bundle offers. There are several built-in options to enable file (audio and video) sharing as well.

Wistia:

Wistia

Wistia is another video hosting alternative to YouTube. It provides a conducive environment to choose a custom color that matches your brand. Challenges such as hosting own video content and creating a custom player are often in an uneasy embrace with users. This is where Wistia comes as a messiah and addresses any immediate concerns. You can handle multiple professional projects in Wistia. For instance, you can create a project, name it as per your discretion and group all the videos together. There is also a provision to tweak privacy settings of the videos.

To handle multiple projects, create separate folders. You can upload videos either from Google Drive or Dropbox to the corresponding folders. As an alternative, you can use Wistia’s built-in drag and drop feature. It is advised to drag the videos in a sequential order. You are at liberty to tweak their settings and set captions. It makes perfect sense to capture email addresses of audiences. Wistia has a provision for this as well. Not only does Wistia allow you to capture email addresses of viewers but also enables you to embed a link which redirects viewers to your site.

Wistia is a platform for professional video marketers. Its advanced analytics is like no other. It’s much applauded Heat Maps tool throws glorious insights wherein graphics portray how much of every video was watched and which parts were perceived interesting by audiences. Of course, it also provides insights on which parts of the video were skipped and re-watched. This advanced analytics tool is extremely valuable when it comes to planning and scheduling future productions. If you are looking to build a solid video strategy, you should definitely visit Wistia’s blog and video library.

Wistia – Types of Plans:

Following four types of plans are available in Wistia:

  • Free: This plan entails storage space for only 5 videos. Advanced features are absent.
  • Basic: This plan is available for $25 per month and entails storage space for 25 videos. This plan comes with a white-label video player.
  • Advanced: This plan costs your $50 per month. This plan entails storage space for as many as 50 videos. All advanced features are present.
  • Pro: This is the costliest of all four plans. This plan entails storage space for 500 videos and it costs you $100 per month. Needless to say, all advanced features can be leveraged with zero restrictions.   

Emerging and established enterprises usually have high storage space requirements. Hence, Wistia has dedicated enterprise plans starting from $300 per month. There is another pricing scheme based on the consumption of bandwidth.

As far as data usage is concerned, users are charged on a per GB basis. So how much do users of free, basic, advanced and pro pay? They pay 33 cents per GB. For enterprise plans, the payout per GB is much lower.

Monetization:

Monetization options in Wistia aren’t that attractive. Subscription based revenue model can be deployed besides Pay per View.

Vidyard:

Vidyard

Over the past few years, Vidyard has been portraying itself as the best YouTube alternative and rightly so.   Primarily built for content marketers, Vidyard is in the books of freelancers, small, mid-size and large enterprises. It is supported on web-based platforms and other operating systems such as Mac, Linux and Windows. Known for its unparalleled security and peerless configuration, Vidyard has a comprehensive analytics software suite integrated into it. One important leg of Vidyard’s analytics software which requires a special mention is – Behavioral Analytics. This module analyzes the behavior of users and throws insights on the same. All the video content can be shared to multiple social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in just a couple of clicks. Not so long ago, Business2Community applauded Vidyard for its custom branded video player.

Graphical user interface or video interface offered by Vidyard is pleasantly simple and the number of Call-to-Action features is simply limitless. There are 10 website colors available. Vidyard is working on this specific area with an aim to provide multiple choices. Also, there is a provision to conduct AB testing. You can thus determine which thumbnail works wonders and which doesn’t. Other noteworthy features include adaptive streaming, content syndication, and HTML5 support.

Pricing:

Pricing is customized and to a very large extent depends on the requirements of users. More often than not, businesses and large firms neatly fit in Vidyard’s scheme of things.

Monetization:

If you are looking to spread awareness about your brand, Vidyard is definitely one of the best alternatives to Youtube. This might come as an unpleasant surprise but monetization options are almost nil. You cannot make sales based on Pay per View scheme. Also, there are no provisions to start a dedicated subscription-based revenue model. For marketing and sales efforts, Vidyard is the go-to platform. For monetization, Vidyard is simply not conducive.

Brightcove:

Brightcove

It is difficult to find a single phrase that explains the brilliance of Brightcove. This alternative of YouTube has been in the business since 2004. In other words, it is much older than YouTube and has been a leader in the enterprise video hosting market. Apart from providing rock solid hosting to fortune 10 companies, Brightcove has become dominant in high-end market as well. Brightcove supports the following two types of live streaming

  1. Ad-free live streaming
  2. Ad-supported live streaming

Vidyard lacks monetization features. On the other hand, Brightcove has a veritable array of monetization features. Brightcove is used not only by big enterprises but also by publishers and broadcasters. Its popularity among content marketers requires a special mention. Intent and focus of users vary and hence, Brightcove video solutions are compartmentalized into two broad categories: Media and Brands

This platform is devised to enhance the quality of playback experience. Known for its social sharing features which lead to better conversions and capture, Brightcove has an assortment of proven growth hacking features such as video library manager, hybrid digital TV, behavioral analytics, transcoder etc. This suite of video hosting solutions is supported on Android, iOS and web-based platforms.

Pricing:

Its pricing model is quote based. In other words, you are charged as per your requirement of features. And yes, talk to a representative of Brightcove for any doubts. Before opting for any package, use their 30-day free trial.

Monetization:

Brightcove supports a wide assortment of monetization solutions such as advertising, pay per view and video subscriptions. Thanks to advanced client interaction, sponsors keep hitting your venture. You can monetize your videos across various social networking platforms and embedded websites.

SproutVideo:

SproutVideo

This professional video hosting solution offers a 14-day trial period. You can try their tons of features which facilitate lead generation and engagement tracking. Lead generation is accelerated through call-to-action buttons which elicit email-addresses of intended target audiences. Thanks to advanced analytics and heat maps, video engagement data, and data related to geo-tracking can be obtained. By the way, HTML5 video playback is supported. As far as privacy options are concerned, there are enough features. You can have all your videos password protected. Apart from public visibility mode, private visibility mode is also present. For each and every video, you are at liberty to set multiple logins. Be informed that videos are set to private by default. Other notable features include HD video support, custom video players, and a comprehensive API.

Pricing:

There are five different types of pricing plans:

Plan

Price

Bandwidth

Storage

Overage

Sprout

$25 

150GB

100GB

$1 / GB

Sampling

$50

300GB

400GB

$0.80 / GB

Tree

$100

600GB

800GB

$0.60 / GB

Grove

$200

1200GB

1600GB

$0.40 / GB

Forest

$400

2400GB

3200GB

$0.20 / GB

   

Monetization:      

This platform doesn’t have many enticing monetization features. However, this video hosting platform can be integrated with other e-commerce platforms and advertising networks.   

All the aforementioned YouTube alternative sites are good. But however, none of the platforms is complete and perfect. For instance, monetization features in certain platforms are absent while in other platforms, disk storage costs and hosting costs are soaring and not affordable. And truth be told, your video hosting platform cannot be a crowd puller unless it looks like YouTube. Building sites like YouTube are possible only through turnkey video Content Management System (CMS).

StreamTube

StreamTube is a killer turnkey software aesthetically designed to build video streaming sites like YouTube. In other words, this CMS helps you build YouTube clone sites. This comes with a host of advantages i.e., you are the master of your site. You can deftly manage your own videos. Monetization channels such as advertisements, dynamic subscription plans, Pay per View, Pay per Video etc., can be implemented. To strengthen bonds with businesses, there are a plenty of growth hacking features as well. In all likelihood, you can savor the company of sponsors and make your venture simply stunning and stellar.

Other features such as advanced analytics, transcoding and customization are priceless and are very much inherently built-in. If your venture is strewn with obstacles, issues, and doubts, the support staff of StreamHash will address them immediately. They will bring a dose of assistance and warmth. Head on to StreamTube now to know more about this CMS features.

Let us know your thoughts by dropping a line or two in the comments section. We would love to hear from you. Subscribe to our newsletter and keep watching this space for insights on video hosting and YouTube alternative applications. Our best wishes are with you and your video hosting venture. Cheers!

 

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