So you want to start putting your videos online for the world to see.
There are other platforms besides YouTube.
Let's dive in here and have a look.

The early days of video hosting

In the early days of the internet we didn’t have just great streaming service as YouTube and Vimeo. The early days were more about flash files that were embedded into your website. This meant that your viewers had to wait until the video had loaded almost in its entirety before they could start playing it. Then of course if your viewers didn’t have flash player installed on their internet browser they could not even play your video.

We seem to take for granted these days that we can simply watch any of the 300 hours of video that are uploaded to YouTube every minute. But it’s no small feat that the top video streaming services out there have worked very hard over a number of years to continually perfect the way videos can be seen online. Today watching videos on all devices with almost no load time is just accepted as the norm.

Video style

Where you place your videos online really comes down to a decision you need to make first. And that is what do you want to achieve from your video?

Do you want to just upload a shaky video of you sprucing your product from the convenience of your phone? And yes there is a place for that type of reality-style shooting in the marketplace for example see the video from Tribe here. It comes across as authentic, real and heartfelt.

YouTube

Let’s start with the biggest player, YouTube.
If you are planning to show your content to an audience you may not want to have advertisements pop up before, during and after your video delivers it’s carefully crafted message. If you choose to enable monetisation on your YouTube channel then advertisements will pop up throughout your videos duration. For this reason the YouTube platform, in general, can come across as a bit amateur-looking. Saying that it is a great way to have your brand seen by the world as it is a massive search engine only second in line to its parent company Google. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YoutTube every single day.

YouTube is free to use so it is a valuable video streaming service for businesses and consumers alike. Being the 2nd largest search engine in the world there is no question that it makes good business sense to have your content on the platform for the world to see.

YouTube also has its Premium service. YouTube Premium is a paid membership that gives you an enhanced, uninterrupted experience across YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube Gaming.
YouTube Red benefits:

  • Ad-free videos: Watch videos without interruptions
  • Download: Save videos and songs on your mobile device to watch offline
  • Background play: Keep videos or music playing when using other apps or when your screen’s off
  • Audio mode: Listen to audio only on the YouTube Music app
  • Google Play Music subscription: Included at no additional cost.

What’s included with YouTube Premium?

YouTube

Ad-free videos: Watch millions of videos uninterrupted by ads. Learn more
Download videos to watch offline: Save videos and playlists on mobile devices and play them offline• Play in the background: Keep videos playing when using other apps or when your screen is off

YouTube Music

Easily explore the world of music with the new and improved YouTube Music app• Ad-free music: Listen to millions of songs uninterrupted by ads• Download music to listen offline: Save music and playlists in the YouTube Music app and listen offline• Play in the background: Keep music playing when using other apps or when your screen is off

YouTube Kids

Ad-free and offline play in the YouTube Kids app

Google Play Music

Included at no additional cost for selected countries. Click here to see whether Google Play Music is available in your country.

Source: YouTube

YouTube Live Streaming

If live streaming is what you’re after then YouTube does offer a live streaming service.

Some of the benefits of YouTube Live streaming are;

  • Live chat
  • Monetisation through the Superchat function

*minimum subscriber counts apply to enable superchat.

YouTube Superchat

YouTube Superchat is one way of monetising your live streaming video content.

YouTube Channel Memberships

YouTube also offers channel memberships.

Channel memberships allow viewers to join your channel through monthly payments and get members-only perks like badges, emoji, and other goods. If you’re eligible, these are the policies and guidelines will help steer you out of trouble.

Channel memberships do have minimum requirements.

  • Your channel must have more than 30,000 subscribers
    • Gaming channels must have more than 1,000 subscribers
  • Your channel is in the YouTube Partner Program
  • You’re over 18 years old
  • You’re located in one of the available locations
  • Your channel is not set as made for kids
  • Your channel does not have a significant number of ineligible videos
    • Videos set as made for kids, or videos with music claims are considered ineligible
  • You (and your MCN) have agreed to and are complying with YouTube’s terms and policies (including the relevant Commerce Product Addendum)

Source: Google.

Vimeo

Coming in at a close 2nd in popularity behind YouTube is Vimeo. Vimeo is a great channel for streaming your video content.

Vimeo sets itself apart from YouTube by offering different plans to suit different creators and business models. Below are the Vimeo plans as of the time of writing this blog. their plans range in price from free up to $55 AUD per month

Vimeo pricing plans

Vimeo on demand (Pay Per View)

Vimeo also has its Vimeo on-demand service that allows you to sell your videos to the world. Yes, that’s right. If you think your video is something that people will pay for then you can charge a fee to watch it. Vimeo will keep 10% and you keep 90%. This might be a better option to earn money from your videos compared to waiting for YouTube Adsense money which is around $1 USD per 1000 plays.

Vimeo OTT (Subscriptions)

Vimeo also offers a subscription service. Vimeo OTT

This model is mostly commonly referred to as “The Netflix Model”.

Vimeo boasts the following features in it’s OTT service;

  • Simple pricing that scales from 1 subscriber to 1M+.
  • Go global in every market, language, and currency.
  • No hidden bandwidth fees for growing too fast.
  • Full control of your subscriber data and brand. Forever!

Subscription services are a great way for you to secure your income. See our article on building a subscription income here. But be warned, if you offer a video subscription service you must be uploading regular content that offers value to your viewers. If there is no value in your content for the viewer they will disable their subscriptions very quickly.

Vimeo OTT

Vimeo Live Streaming

Vimeo offers a live streaming option as part of their premium plan.

This service has some impressive features like;

Everything in the business plan Business +
  • Unlimited live events
  • Live stream to multiple destinations
  • Live Q&A, graphics and polls
  • Audience chat
  • Customizable video templates
  • Unlimited bandwidth in the Vimeo player
  • 4K & HDR support
  • No ads before, after, or on your video
  • Add custom colors and logos
  • Embed anywhere
  • Customize colors & components
  • Add video chapters
  • Publish natively to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter & Pinterest
  • Custom cards & calls-to-action in the player
  • Collect email addresses in the player
  • Marketing software integrations
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Social stats
  • Custom reports
  • Engagement & duration graphs
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Up to 1080p streaming

But…

At the time of writing this article, I could not manage to speak with the people at Vimeo in order to test the Vimeo OTT or Vimeo Live Streaming service. The closest I got to was speaking with a Vimeo Sales rep over a Skype call. The sales rep offered to take me through a demonstration session but never answered my repeated follow up emails. I have heard this lack of communication issue from many of my subscribers too.

A Vimeo success story

Here’s a case study from Adriene Mishler who started offering free videos on youTube, and has since grown her fan base on YouTube to over two million subscribers. After finding success with selling a Yoga With Adriene video series, she and her team launched a subscription service under her motto, “Find What Feels Good.” Learn how this small yoga business went from YouTube channel to successful subscription business.

Wistia

Wistia is another great video streaming service. Wistia is more aimed at the educational market.

Wistia is aimed strongly towards the business and education sector. With its powerful options and data analysis, you can extract the most from your video campaign.

One of Wistias greatest tools is the engagement graph tool that shows you when people are dropping off fro your video and thus giving you the tools you need to perhaps re-edit your video based around the parts that are obviously not interesting to your viewers.

Wistia offers competitive pricing ranging from free up to a customised price made to order.

Wistia also offers their Soapbox product. Soapbox is a video recording service that allows to to record your computer screen and record your face from your webcam at the same time. Its a Google Chrome browser extension and is a great tool for someone who doesn’t want to invest in a traditional 3 point lighting, video camera and microphone set up.

Wistia also offers their Turnstile product. A very useful feature that allows you to request an email collection right inside your video. This is a fantastic feature that the other providers do not offer. Wistias Turnstile feature allows you to collect an email address before the viewer can play your video, now that a powerful marketing feature. Think about someone like Casey Neistat who can have millions of views on a single video. Now he can collect millions of email addresses for later marketing purposes.
From Wistias site “Turnstile lets you collect emails and names from the visitors who watch your videos across your website, and on Twitter too. It’s a clean form that can appear at any time during your video, and will work on any and all devices”.

Summary

All these companies offer a great streaming service that will showcase your product to your customers eyes. You just need to decide if you need a basic video hosting model or something with more features like pay per view or subscription. For more info check out the link below to a great article on the 5 best YouTube alternatives.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The 5 Best YouTube Alternatives