Free Video Hosting: YouTube Is Not The Only Platform [Full Review]
Whether you need a video hosting for live streaming, video sharing, views, and engagement, or simply storage, knowing how to choose the right fit is going to save you time and money.
The first platform to upload, watch and download videos that come to mind is YouTube. Its ease of use, link building, and traffic potential are hard to beat. But clearly, it’s not the only option to generate traffic to your website, grow your followers on social media, and promote your most recent filmings.
In this blog post, we will compare the pros and cons of the top 6 free video hosting websites to make the choice easy for you.
Without further ado, let’s pick the best video hosting service for you.
Opening the top 10 video hosting services is YouTube.
Best free video hosting for creators and vloggers
Although all-mighty, YouTube, the world’s largest online video sharing platform is home to 500+ million YouTube creators, has given its place to other video hosting platforms over the years.
Despite the growing popularity of Vimeo, Daily Motion, and other similar platforms, hundreds of blog posts feature YouTube as the best free video hosting platform for creators. With over 2 billion monthly users and more than 10 000 videos in YouTube Spaces, it is easy to see why.
But is it really the best free video hosting service? We’ve researched ourselves. Below are the biggest pros and cons of hosting your video on YouTube.
✔️ Unlimited Video Hosting at zero cost
Verified accounts can upload videos up to 128 GB in size. The maximum video duration is 12 hours.
You may keep your videos private by setting your account to private or allow access to friends through the link (unlisting a video). Other videos are public by default.
✔️ Like-minded people
Because of its social aspect, YouTube is just a viral video content platform, but a community of social change driven, ambitious and creative individuals.
✔️ Additional Income Source
Upload a video regularly, grow your YouTube channel, and monetize views and engagement with YouTube Ads.
✔️ YouTube Creator Benefits
Once you’ve reached a certain number of channel subscribers you are entitled to Creator level Benefits (Graphite, Opal, Bronze, Silver, and Up) and Creator Awards.
More on creator benefits here.
✔️ Countless App and Platform Integrations
Embed your videos on various websites, engage with subscribers through Discord, Fundo, StreamElements, etc. Everything to enhance the creator’s experience.
✔️ Advanced Analytics
From the geographic location, age/gender distribution, to top videos, playlists, playback, watch time – YouTube offers detailed audience insights.
❌ Video Length Limitations
From the start, you will not be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. Verifying an account you will extend the initial video length.
❌ Pervasive Ads
The ads are played before a video starts, both annoying and distracting viewers from videos.
❌ Unreliable User Support
Lack of support. It’s difficult to speak to YouTube customer service if you have any questions.
❌ Risk of Losing Video Content
Full dependence on YouTube hosting. If your content is found violating the Policy, your channel gets shut.
Best professional video hosting for course creators and filmmakers
Incredibly easy to use, Vimeo is a reliable ad-free open video platform that allows filmmakers to host, share, and sell quality videos no matter location and budget. Launched in 2004, it has grown 150 million times, the size of Vimeo creators as of 2020. The platform has both free and paid plans maximizing user experience with live streaming, adding the logo, and live Q&A and polls on a Vimeo Premium. The number of monthly video views on Vimeo hits up a hard 715 million, putting next to free video industries giant – YouTube.
✔️ Easy to Set Up an Account, Add, and Organize Videos
Creating a free Vimeo account takes no more than a minute with just an email and password. When uploading videos you can create different folders, referred to as showcases, to keep them organized (similar to YouTube playlists).
✔️ Easy to Embed and Customize
Much like its competitor YouTube, Vimeo allows videos to be embedded into websites. Player size, text, and play bar colors can be modified through the code. You may show or hide your portrait, byline, and video title in the player.
✔️ Various Video Privacy Options
Besides making videos available to everyone and just the creator, they can be password protected and shown only to people you follow.
✔️ Sufficient Video Uploads per Day
Even Vimeo Basic members have the ability to upload up to 10 videos per day.
✔️ Ad-free Video Sharing Platform
Vimeo at its basic does not support pre-roll, post-roll, or overlay banner ads. Note, however, banner ads appear on their pages.
✔️ Vimeo Affiliate Program and Monetization
Want to get a Vimeo Pro or Vimeo Plus at no cost? Get your friends to sign up for Vimeo membership, get commissions, and afford your own membership. From then on, you may start selling some of your videos with Vimeo On Demand (creating a paywall), or a Tip Jar (asking viewers to donate).
❌ Vimeo Lacks the Search Engine Force that YouTube Commands
YouTube still is a powerhouse when it comes to SEO. Uploading a video on YouTube not only improves brand recognition but also the rankings.
❌ Limited Uploads
If you are uploading very large videos (event coverage, training, full interviews, etc) you will quickly rip through the weekly upload limits on the free and Pro tiers, requiring more expensive business level. You can upload up to 500 MB per week, up to 5GB per month.
❌ Either Private or Public
“Only people with the link can view video” is not available on a free membership.
More Vimeo stats are here.
Best free video hosting for platform partners
Coming at number five, Dailymotion has been around for quite the number of years since 2005. “A place where video-makers are free to share their world and connect with a passionate audience anywhere, anytime”, as Dailymotion describes itself has however received strong critics for countless ads and video uploads restrictions. Yet with nearly 250 million site visitors per month and free video hosting and video sharing, Dailymotion is just a smaller version of YouTube.
✔️ Free Partner Account
Let’s face it, not every platform backs up unpaid subscriptions. Dailymotion treats every creator as a partner allowing free and easy video sharing and video management. It allows to earn revenue from video s and embeds. Dailymotion verified partners may also use live stream feature.
✔️ Customizable Player
✔️ Monetization For Partners
There are two ways for monetization: video monetization and website monetization, both are from the ads. Uploading video and enabling monetization you will earn from the ads that appear before, during, or after your videos on Dailymotion. Embedding Dailymotion videos or the Dailymotion Widget on one of your sites, you earn revenue every time someone views an ad served on these videos.
✔️ Video Editing
Advanced video editing includes geoblocking, record date, assigned topics, publication date, monetization, subtitles, while basic allows modifying metadata (title, tags, description), language, and age limits.
✔️ Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth
Much like YouTube, Dailymotion is quite generous with its unlimited storage, and unlimited live streams and live concurrent viewers for verified members.
❌ General Video Limitations
To prevent spam, as Dailymotion explains, regular users can upload up to 10 videos per day, 2 hours of video per day, and 60 minutes videos of 2 GB limit and the quality of upload is limited to 1280 720p
❌ Limited Analytics
Many creators report somewhat limited analytics compared to YouTube. Despite providing an audience, monetization, and live streaming dashboards, export features, and multiple integrations Dailymotion analytics is not as nearly as good as that of YouTube.
❌ All-time Present Ads
That not hurts just viewers, but also your budget. Pervasive ads are the major reason why Dailymotion’s negative comments are flooding the web.
Learn more about Dailymotion features.
Best free video hosting for live stream entertainment
Even with dozens of worthy video platforms to host, share, and monetize your videos, it’s hard not to think of Twitch. For those who love gaming and esports, and are actually at it, Twitch is no stranger. One of the most popular live streaming video service with nearly 4(3.8)million unique broadcasters as of February 2020, according to Business of Apps, and 625 million site visitors.
As Amazon subsidiary, Twitch is now offering its Affiliates free hosting services. There’s as much pre-recorded content as live broadcasts today. But before you can make use of any hosting on Twitch you need to become an affiliate. Read a beginner-friendly How to become a Twitch Affiliate guide.
In fact, Twitch has an interesting Host mode feature that benefits creators for multiple reasons.
✔️ Twitch Host Feature Serves Creators Offline
That’s not just about hosting your own videos, but other creators as well. Using the Host mode allows creators to engage viewers even offline. It helps build connections by supporting other broadcast authors and chatting with them and demonstrating yourself to the audience (fans on your channel) from a new angle.
✔️ Reasonable Upload Requirements
Ranging from previous broadcasts to videos filmed fully offline and uploaded after editing, free hosting on Twitch tailored to accommodate streamers’ needs. You are allowed to upload up to 100 videos in a 24-hour span, quite a reasonable limit. No more than 5 simultaneous uploads are permitted.
✔️ Sufficient Sharing Options
There are multiple ways your videos can be shared off-Twitch. You may embed both Chat and Player from your live streaming, or embed just Player for videos and clips on your website, or share the links to other social media channels.
✔️ Automatic Adjustment
Twitch automatically adjusts the stream according to the speed of your internet connection. Pretty cool, hah?
✔️ Endless Developer Opportunities
It’s no secret most of Twitch users and streamers are tech-savvy folks. If you are the one, you would like Twitch Con Hackathon, Twitch extensions, and chatbots. Twitch says, not just upload videos, and live stream, but build and create yourself. And, of course, sell.
✔️ A Profit-friendly Video Platform
Earn not just through growing followers and profiting from subscriptions (for each follower the channel gains you get paid), but setting up donations, redeeming Twitch bits to cash, selling your merch, and getting companies to sponsor you.
✔️ Free Games and Other Bonus Items
Who wouldn’t want freebies?
❌ Inconclusive Support and Moderation
According to streamers reviews, it’s been hard to even get into contact with the helpdesk. Many claim their accounts got suspended for no reason.
❌ Limited Broadcasting
Broadcasting is limited to PC and console. But even then, you need third-party software to broadcast video from PC.
❌ Broadcasts Saved Temporarily
The maximum time past broadcasts are saved for is 60 days. Then, you have to either export them directly to YouTube, download to your PC, or turn into highlights that are saved forever on Twitch servers.
❌ No official AppleTV or Roku app
More on how to make money on Twitch.
Best free video hosting for social exposure and video sharing
Surprisingly enough, Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking site, champions free video hosting allowing everyone to simply upload a video, or live stream.
If your goal is to simply store your videos off-site without sharing them with the public, Facebook is a much less suitable option than the next on this list, Google Drive, since the very nature of Facebook is going social. That said, you can make an uploaded video private, visible only to your, or a group of selected individuals, through the settings.
The audience selector (works for any kind of Facebook post) allows you to share a video with friends, tagged groups, a particular person, or keep it private or public. With 2.45 billion active daily users, Facebook is the best free video-sharing platform for anyone.
✔️ Biggest Social Community
Again if the purpose of your video is to generate views as well as profit, there’s no better platform than Facebook to hit on both goals. Reportedly 81% of businesses prefer to share video content on Facebook.
✔️ A Discovery Platform
Not only marketers and sellers target Facebook. Consumers also exploring the brands on social platforms before making a purchase. Nearly half of all Facebook users are actively searching for products through Facebook’s News Feed, Pages, and Groups. When uploading a video directly to Facebook, it is displayed as full-image across the timeline and is auto-payed, resulting in more views and wider reach.
✔️ Maximum Video Duration is 240 Minutes in Length.
Film everything up to whooping 4 hours and then easily upload and share full-length videos through Facebook. And up to 10GB (!) per single file.
✔️ All Formats Supported
As any professional paid video sharing platform, Facebook supports multiple video formats across various platforms. Although MP4 or MOV are suggested, Avi Video, MPEG video, mobile video, QuickTime Movie, DVD video, and Windows Media Video formats can be uploaded.
✔️ Automatic HD Upload from PC
A video is automatically uploaded in HD from a computer. No adjustments are needed.
✔️ Easy Video Embed Option
Same as YouTube, Facebook is geared towards video embeds on multiple websites, thus allowing you to play your Facebook-hosted videos on blogs and other websites. Keep in mind that a video needs to be set to the public mode before enabling an embed. Otherwise, you won’t see an Embed option.
✔️ Customized Live Streaming
You can go live from PC, directly in the Group, or from your Facebook Page. You can also add certain effects to your Facebook Live video.
Eligible profiles and Pages can raise money by adding a donate button to a live video for a nonprofit fundraiser. All nonprofits will receive 100% of the money you raise.Facebook
✔️ Playlists Feature
Facebook allows creating as many playlists as you want.
✔️ Monetization is On
Monetization is available through a Branded Content or in-stream ads on your video.
More on Facebook video publishing options.
❌ Terrible Support
Or at least that’s what 2000+ people believe. Despite all cool entertainment, plenty of money-making opportunities, and free video hosting, account owners have little power over their accounts and receive little to no support, as for web reviews.
❌ Picky About Copyright Content
You will easily find your video blocked if licensed music is used.
❌ No to Multiple Streams
On Facebook, you cannot broadcast multiple streams simultaneously as you do on Twitch.
Best all-in-one free cloud hosting for Google accounts
For regular Google Drive users, there is another useful feature – free video hosting. Yes, that’s not only Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but also remote storage, video editing, and file synchronization. Not a video-specific, Google Drive manages to score above competitors for its functionality and intuitive interface. Although it does lack monetization that other video platforms like YouTube or Twitch have, with all-formats accepted and unlimited bandwidth at zero cost Google Drive well suits in-house video sharing, or as a personal video storage manager.
Google Drive Pros
✔️ Unlimited Size of a Video
You may upload a video of any length as long as you have free space on your Google account.
✔️ All Formats Supported
✔️ Device Compatibility
Get access from multiple devices to your video files. Users don’t depend on operating systems and may access on computers, smartphones, and tablets.
✔️ Offline Mode
One of the most valuable features of Google Drive is its offline access to the document. Knowing you are going to be offline, you can make it available offline through the settings.
✔️ Team Sharing and Collaboration
You may ask other team members or friends to work on your files, or simply share a video to watch. You can decide to open access to anyone with the link to edit, comment, or just view. Videos can be sorted into named folders which also can be shared with others.
✔️ Downloads Can Be Both Disabled and Enabled
If you don’t want the person you share a link to a video you may easily disable download option in the settings, allowing just to watch it.
✔️ Automatic Conversion to a YouTube Video
Adding a video of applicable format to Google Drive will automatically convert it into a YouTube video that you can embed, or paste the link on social media and other websites afterward.
✔️ All-in-One Hosting
Allows all the files to be stored in one place, the Docs, Sheets, Slides, photos, videos separately or in a single folder relevant to a project, for example.
✔️ Affordable Paid Plans, Great for Businesses with G Suite
When you run out of space with free 15 GB, you can upgrade it up to 1 TB at just $9.99/month, or less, up to 100GB at $1.99/month.
✔️ Zero Risks of Account Termination
While it is quite the case with other video platforms and social media sites, like YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook, you will get access to your media files on Google Drive any time you want.
Google Drive Cons
❌ Internet Access Dependence
As other video platforms, videos are only available for uploads, downloads, or plays online. Unless you have downloaded them.The slower the speed, the slower the upload.
❌ Only for Google Account Users
No account – no free video hosting, and cloud storage. Files, however, can be shared with non-Google account holders.
❌ 15 GB of Free Storage
Yes, yes, that’s not fully operational storage if you happen to be a heavy filmmaker. But at just $1.99/month you can push the limits up to 100GB.
❌ No Monetization
Unless you sell videos to your team members or friends 😀, there is no direct monetization within your Google Drive. Yet you can embed promotional videos on your blogs and still earn revenue.
❌ Clearly, No Live Streaming
Although traditional live streaming experience like the one you have on Twitch, for example, is not available within the Google Drive free account, you still can live stream team meetings with the G Suite Enterprise (business) account through Google Meet video conference features.
Because everything comes with a price there are always negatives of free video hosting. Sometimes it is video format restrictions or file size; the other times account suspension or termination makes you lose all your media files. Also depending on what the goal of free video hosting is you may choose platforms more geared towards video sharing and audience reach rather than just a storage place. Platforms like Facebook or Twitch alongside a few others offer live broadcasting and not just uploading pre-recorded videos.
Before trying any video hosting service, no matter free or a paid one, it is important to consider the three key factors of hosting your video off-site:
- The size and the scale of the uploads and their formats
- If monetization is a priority or simply storage
- Security and control over video files hosted
You may also want to know whether the platform or service offers an in-app video editing if you plan to edit after you have uploaded a video. Looking at possible app integrations and video content migration is important for video professionals who rely on video hosting as a part of their video production process.
Another way to ensure the best fit for your needs is by checking out the following basic features of video hosting:
- Video creation and editing tools
- Video players and playlists
- Video sharing options
- Analytics reports and file management
- Personal data and content security
- Integrations with third-party tools
- Pricing and plans
Now, tell us in the comments below what was your experience with any of the free video hosting services listed in this post? Are you considering to switch from a free plan to a paid one, or explore a new video hosting provider?
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