If you are planning to setup a private membership website, probably, this is your major concern. Where should you host your videos securely? How do you ensure that you do not lose a lot of money? Have you found your answers yet?
My friend David Merrill asked me a few questions when he was setting up his WhirlWindSuccess.com and I noticed that not much comprehensive information is available for people starting out.
That’s when I decided that I need to write about this.
Does Your Membership Website Offer Video Content?
Not every membership website is a video website. If you do not have video content to offer to your private members, probably this won’t be of much help to you.
However, if you are planning to offer video content such as webinar recordings, special training videos created for members and interview recordings which only your private members can access, this is going to help you choose the best video hosting solution for you.
Why Self-Hosting Your Videos Isn’t A Great Idea
You might have thought of the idea of hosting your videos on your server at some point. Well, that isn’t a good idea and here is why:
Your server bandwidth may cause trouble.
Your video may not play properly for your visitors (slow, long buffering, may not load at all etc.)
Your web host may have storage limitations and your videos can pretty quickly consume it all.
You will need to have multiple versions of your videos because different browsers need different formats. That multiplies the need for storage on your server dramatically.
Too much work to make it work even if you are hosting public videos. If you plan to host some premium video content, you also need to concern yourself about piracy which adds to the pain even further.
Why go through all that pain if you can avoid it all with a little investment of money and hosting your videos with a hosting service that specializes in video hosting only? Wouldn’t that allow you to focus on your business while all these headaches are out of your way?
I teach the same thing to serious entrepreneurs with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Why host, manage and struggle with mundane tasks of maintaining your WordPress when you can have a premium hosting service like Krishna World Wide Host take care of all that for you while you can focus your energy on your main business?
Special Video Hosting Need For Your Membership Site
When you are offering a premium service to your private members, you need to make sure that your private members have access to something that others don’t, right?
If that isn’t the case then people aren’t going to buy into your membership program. And that is why when you are offering videos to your private members, you do not want to host with Youtube.
A lot of people who do Google Hangout On Air shows, record their shows live and when done, download the video and then delete it from Youtube to only offer to their private members. I am guessing, probably you would have done a few of those videos as well.
Now, you need a solution that allows you to host your videos securely and efficiently so that your members can watch them on your website only and nobody can steal your content. That’s the basic need, isn’t it?
In addition, there are some good-to-have features that you will take if they are available. For example, you will take advantage of the features if:
- Your video hosting provider allows you to put a call to action within your video itself.
- You can customize your video player to match your website’s theme.
- You are able to password protect your videos so only people with the password can watch.
- Your video hosting provider gives you analytics around your videos.
…and so on.
Premium Video Hosting Service Providers
If you are setting up a membership website, you definitely do not want to use any free video hosting service such as Youtube or Vimeo’s free version. Therefore, I am not even going to talk about those services in this post.
Here are some of the and reliable video hosting services you may want to consider for your membership websites:
1. Amazon S3
Amazon S3 is the most popular cloud based hosting solution where you can host your videos and then use S3 FlowShield for streaming. It’s affordable, secure and fast.
Now, when you are new to video hosting (or not so excited about dealing with the nitty-gritty of technicalities), you will find the Amazon S3 setup pretty intimidating (when compared with some of the other solutions.)
2. Vimeo Pro
Vimeo is my favorite solution, even the free hosting space for hosting is much cleaner than Youtube where they will not insert their advertisements in your videos. No clutter, unlike Youtube!
However things get real simple, cleaner and more pleasant when you choose Vimeo Pro for your professional quality video hosting.
Vimeo Pro videos don’t show up within the regular Vimeo site videos unless you configure them to be made available to the general public (and they are not commercial videos). With Vimeo Pro, you can host commercial content for up to 50GB of upload space, unlimited on-site plays, and up to 250k embed plays.
When it comes to protecting your videos, security is awesome where Vimeo Pro also lets you lock down your videos to play only on a domain you specify. For membership websites, isn’t that what you want to happen?
You can buy additional space and plays as your needs grow. However, there are no limits on bandwidth usage. I think that Vimeo Pro is a perfect solution for a professional quality video hosting on membership websites.
If you already have MaxCDN working as a content delivery network for your websites (like I do), then you can also use MaxCDN’s push/VOD zones to distribute your videos.
For any website, you just need to setup a Pull Zone (for caching your scripts and images) and a VOD Zone for media streaming (both audio and video).
If you can’t figure out how to use VOD Zones, they have a very helpful customer support. Call them and they will help you set it up.
Once you have the video’s embed code ready, input that to the video player you are using to play the videos and you are ready to go.
Now, this experience is similar to using Amazon S3 so I wouldn’t recommend it to the beginners. You are better off going with some ready out-of-the-box solutions, such as Vimeo Pro.
SproutVideo is a premium class business video hosting solution. Along with hosting, they offer a number of features important to businesses.
Some of the features that SproutVideo offers include tight security options, SSL embeds, domain whitelisting, easily customizable video players, etc.
With SproutVideo, you also get video analytics which will show how many plays your videos get, where those plays are coming from, which of your videos are popular, etc.
SproutVideo also offers a free trial period. If you aren’t sure if they are the right solution for you, try them without risk and you will know if you like their video hosting service.
iPlayerHD is a high-definition hosting service, great for small businesses with its incredibly flexible pricing structure.
They give you a free trial period as well.
iPlayerHP allows you to choose whether videos are embeddable or not (or choose which domains can embed them), and doesn’t put any restriction on video length.
They have a feature-rich video hosting service with things like customizing your player, your branding options, putting a call to action etc. I like the way they have priced all these options making it very affordable for small businesses and scale up as business grows.
DataCast is another great option in the video hosting arena with their live streaming and broadcasting features.
According to their website, DaCast is a full-featured streaming service that provides everything broadcasters need. After a quick setup, the platform can be easily used to do high quality streaming to monetize video without having to be locked into any commitments.
They have options for you to sign up on their monthly pricing plans or, if you prefer, sign up on their ‘Pay As You Go’ plan. I think that is a great flexibility because depending on your custom needs, you have the ability to choose what gives you more value for the money.
Vzaar is a great professional video hosting platform as well and quite popular in the video hosting marketplace as well.
Vzaar’s initial trial offer is irresistible as well, offering a 1-month free trial with great features. Their pricing options are very flexible as well.
Vzaar includes a video player you can customize as you like with your design preferences. All videos are in high definition and you have full control of privacy options, domain controls etc.
You can choose if you want to set your videos to autoplay and loop among many other powerful features Vzaar offers.
With their ability to add call to action into your videos, integration tools for Ebay, embeddable video code (including HTTPS embed code), and integration with Google Analytics etc., it makes it a great choice for entrepreneurs as well.
Framesocket is a premium video hosting service with an awesome content delivery network designed specifically for developers.
What it means is, it is similar to Amazon S3 and it requires you to have some technical knowledge to deal with its APIs to make uploads etc. It has easily customizable video player, customizable channels, automated audience building tools, and mobile compatibility inbuilt as well.
While Framesocket gives unlimited flexibility, I would think that you may not feel comfortable working with their system unless you are a developer. Too many options means too many complexities to deal with for people looking for simplicity.
Oculu is another quality video hosting service you may want to check out. They have most features you would want to use on your membership website anyway.
Oculu also offers a free trial period. That means you can experience their service for free and decide if they are a good fit for you. No risk!
Their video management controls are incredibly easy to use, with a dashboard for customizing each individual video.
They offer multiple options to embed your video on other websites including standard embed, overlay, and light box videos. Oculu also offers tools to manage, measure, and optimize your video campaigns like many other services.
Viddler started out as a free Video hosting platform (like Youtube) in 2006, with focus on personal video blogging. But, the site changed its focus to become a premium video hosting platform for its paying customers.
Now, with their enterprise focus, they offer their solution depending on your needs. Videos hosted with Viddler are HD quality, embeddable, and have all an enterprise may need. You need to contact them and work with their support to get a custom solution for your needs.
I wouldn’t go with them as a small business owner. But, they are worth a mention for being a popular name still due to their past.
When you are looking to setup a membership website where you want to stream videos, you need to have a premium video hosting setup for yourself. And speaking of that, if you are just getting started, Vimeo Pro is my favorite option to recommend.
However, if you need a few more features than Vimeo has and investing money in your infrastructure isn’t a challenge, you can consider any of these above excellent service providers.
Your Turn – Have A Question Or A Testimonial?
If you have a question about video hosting, you can post your question in the comments section below and you can get an answer from any of my awesome and experienced readers or from me.
If you have used any of these services and you have something to share about your experience, please use the comments section as well and add value to this post.
Please click here to go to the comment section and share your thoughts. Thank you kindly!
Great resources for video hosting, I tried MaxCDN from the above list and It’s my favorite too. Seems like I need to try some of them too.
Wow! So, you already have experience with MaxCDN approach to video hosting. How did that go? Are you still using it?
Actually purchased it on black friday, so got it in really cheap price. Used it for images and it worked really well without any hassle in the initial days.
Though due some technical issues I’m not using it.
Hi Kumar. Thank you for a very well researched summary of secure video hosting. Though I currently have no plans for this type of service I will bookmark this excellent presentation in case the need arises and will recommend your research to anyone I know who may benefit from it.
Thanks Paul. Appreciate your words of appreciation!
I do not have a video hosting need at this time as well. But I thought that I needed to do this as I do have plans to have my own membership website and so when I do, this will be handy 🙂
Have a great new week!
Hi Kumar and great job on the post. With everything these days needing to be extra secure a bullet point outline of resources to that end is very helpful. Video posting seems to be an ever-growing medium and keeping the medium safe, as much as possible, is always important.
True words Tim! With Google Hangout’s popularity, number of people doing videos has dramatically increased.
So yes, it’s important to keep a tab on what’s going around and then be prepared when the need arises!
Have a great week!
Hi Kumar- I use Wistia, which I do not see on your list 🙁 and I also use Amazon S3. I’m happy with both of them, but like Wistia so much better for my new membership site. I also use Google Hangouts on Air and stream them live to YouTube and then embed them on my Facebook page using 22Social. I am far from a techie, but I find all three of these to be very easy to use and valuable for my business. Nice summary. Will repost!
I did not put Wistia for only one reason and I hope you can help me understand:
Their monthly bandwidth seems to be very low and that means, if I have 3 videos of 30 minutes of more, my bandwidth consumption will be way more than they allow in their plans and that means if my usage is about 1TB, I will be spending a lot more money on a monthly basis over and above the subscription price. Isn’t that true?
Now that you are a happy customer there, why are you also using Amazon S3? I would love to know how you are using these two together.
You’ve got me convinced! This post brings to mind a famous quote about smart people knowing when to hire someone else to do work that is not their specialty. Obviously, I botched the quote, but you know. Leave it to the experts.
I appreciate that you tell us the difficulty levels of each of the options, that is useful to me. I want to know that I get the bells and whistles in a video host that I want.
Absolutely! Why take headache when someone is ready to take it for me at a reasonable price.
Ultimately it boils down to whether I want peace of mind or save a few bucks. 🙂
Hi Kumar Gauraw ,
You had posted very useful topic. I am anware about MaxCDN, can you explain me? I am waiting for your reply.
Thanx for sharing.!!!!!!
Explain you what?
Please Explain about MaxCDN ?
Thanks for reply
Kumar, you are talking about an area that i have no knowledge of whatsoever, but I am learning new things every day and when the time comes that I may be interested in Video Hosting, I will know who to call. Thanks for writing about things I might never hear about otherwise.
Awesome Lenie 🙂 There is always a first time for everything!
Now you know a bit about video hosting and so when the time comes, you will know that you know about it already 🙂
Have a great day!
I think these are very popular video shoting sites but I would have to try them.
This is a great resource of video hosting solutions for those interested in private membership sites. Though presently I do not have any such requirements or plans, I’m going to bookmark this post for reference.
Meanwhile, I totally agree with your reasons for why self-hosting the videos is not a great idea, even the podcasts for that matter, sin’t it? Recently I had the podcast interview of Yaro Starak, but I hosted it on my own server because I’m not planning to have more of such podcasts if possible, but if I do, then it’s wise to seek a professional host for all the reasons you mention here.
Thank you for sharing these services and have a great week ahead! 🙂
Adrienne had the same question. Yes, we should host podcasts also with a third party service or use MAXCDN for it if the bandwidth allows.
Did you host Yaro’s interview on NAXCDN or used it locally?
If you did not, may be this is a good little project to test out how it goes when you use MAXCDN for hosting your media 🙂
Yes Kumar, I did host it locally and would try to use MaxCDN for the future podcast, whenever it is.
Thanks for your suggestion. 🙂
Its a lot of info about video hosting, Hope to try it some day,
This is a very timely post for me! A group of us just produced a writer’s conference and plan to sell the vidoes on line. I’ll pass this on to the folks that re handling the tech nd logistics! Thanks!
Awesome Jacqeline! Glad to know you found it helpful and timely as well 🙂
All the best and have a great weekend!
Yes your friend and mine..David Merrill (my husband) had come to you because we were building our membership site. David did take the reins on this one and he was banging his head against the wall trying to figure out how to host videos on this site.
Nothing worked UNTIL….he came to you! Now, with your knowledge and expertise, you have made it all work by using Krishna World Wide Hosting. Plus you were ALWAYS there to help us through even the most simple questions we had.
We are now just about to launch that membership site probably this week. David and I are so grateful for your hosting service that I cannot find the words to express it. It is the best choice we have made on our membership site and on my blog.
When having a membership site, one needs to have things running smoothly. You have provided that service to us!
For those that are trying to build a membership site and for those who are serious about their blogs, I highly recommend using your services.
It is very humbling to hear these words of appreciation coming from you. I am glad you are happy with my services. Thank you for being a valued customer!
I’m glad you wrote about this and I have a question as well.
As you know I’m creating a product myself but it’s not going to be your typical membership site with video tutorials. It’s more of me sharing my story and really digging down deep into what I know. It’s going to be the written word and from time to time possibly some screen shots. Because of that, I’m thinking of also including audios for those who would prefer to listen instead of read.
Most of the people I’ve spoken with use Amazon’s service for hosting their videos for their membership sites but would you recommend that one also for audios? Which of these services would you say would be the best for that?
I’ve only heard of four of these and I’m sure there are a lot of these types of services but I would hate to go with one that doesn’t have a proven track record.
Thanks for sharing this with us Kumar and I look forward to hearing your opinion.
For audio podcasts, I still do not recommend hosting your audio on your own server because you still run the same risks as with video hosting.
Although I may do another post about Audio hosting in future, I will highly recommend http://www.libsyn.com/ not because I have used them but because I know Pat Flynn of SmartPasssiveIncome.com uses their service and also recommends that. He is very credible and knows what he is doing. So, I will recommend you to check them out.
All the best for your new product and if you need any help, please do let me know.
Thank you for your reviews. I know I need to be thinking about this for my forthcoming membership site. Very timely and I am glad that you did my research for me!
Hi Beth! Glad to know it was helpful for you as well. If you face any challenge when you get to it, please feel free to ask any additional questions.
Good luck to you!
Well, that certainly can answer lots of question for those of us who are self-hosting. Of course most of it is kind of above my head, but I’m sure it’s a post I could go back too later.
Great info 🙂
Hmmm… That’s okay if you don’t yet need it. However, whenever (and if you ever) need this info, we will talk about t then 🙂
A quite informative post here, Kumar. It’s sad that information on this is pretty scarce. I haven’t used any of the services above; however, I am pretty excited about the options you provided.
When I need secured video hosting, I’ll be knocking on Amazon’s door first.
Amazon is a good choice.do let me know how does it go when you get to it.
Thank you for dropping by and have a great week!
Sure, Kumar, I will. Hopefully, this should not also take time to materialize – as it is an ongoing project.
Do enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Kumar- You gave some great sites and information about secure video hosting. I haven’t gotten into doing this yet. I would think that since I am on my on server at Rackspace, I should have enough bandwidth to host it from my website.
Even if you are having your own server, hosting your videos and audits on the same server where you host your website, isn’t recommended.
However, you know your traffic and your video size. So, you can make the best decision based on your situation 🙂
Well, I must admit, most of this is all new to me. Never gave it a thought as I don’t usually do videos. Kinda shy about that although I’ve been told consistently that video gets better video results. This was certainly educational. I would have never thought about security of my videos and where they get stored. It’s great that you shared various places where we can securely store our videos.
Thanks. I’ll investigate a little more and think about doing more videos! 🙂
Have a great week,
Of course Barbara! I am not hosting any videos yet either but I do have plans.
So, just as you said, this knowledge will be helpful in my case when I am getting started on that track. Meanwhile, let’s help everybody else who is ready to march on!
Hi Kumar, Great resources of Video web hosting. I love to read this post. I learned a new thing in this post. I appreciate you for hard work. thanks Kumar sharing useful post with us.
You’ve always got great information, Kumar. I’m so glad to be hosting our membership site with your managed hosting plan because issues like this always come up. I really appreciate your responsive solutions to these challenges.
As for the videos, I’ve decided to use S3 as you suggested. Is Flowshield part of S3, or is it something different that I need to set up? As for streaming, I’ve been migrating my S3 videos to EVP (Easy Video Player) which generates embed code.
My question is this? Doesn’t a video embedded on my site use just as much bandwidth regardless of where it is stored, ie., S3, Vimeo or whatever?
Thanks for all your help, and the great catalog of options you’ve listed in this post.
Flowshield isn’t part of Amazon S3. You will have to set it up as an additional layer. It is a streaming service intended to help save bandwidth and it doesn’t seem like Amazon owns it.
About your question about bandwidth. A video hosted on Vimeo will consume Vimeo’s bandwidth, not your server’s. Bandwidth is basically the amount of data transferred between your server and the viewer’s machine. When a youtube video embeded on your website plays, the data is being transferred between Youtube and your viewer’s browser. Your server isn’t playing the video.
If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Another great research. I really liked this post about secure video hosting. Though I am not in situation or thinking about this , but I have copied your blog address in my list, no one knows when you need something.
I have heard about Vimeo Pro but rest I am totally unaware.
Thank you for another informative post.
Thanks for the share. The list is nice but I see that it lacks the free video hosting websites, which most of the users would prefer to use 🙂 I would highly recommend either blip.tv or videobam.com , which I use myself.
Another solution which one can try out is vdocipher.com It is a video hosting service providing security through proprietary encrypted streaming technology. Most of the sites mentioned use RTMP streaming for security that can be downloaded using some downloaders . Moreover it does not allow buffering which create problem at low internet speeds. Along with encrypted streaming and dynamic watermarking for high security , vdocipher provides video analytics, bulk uploads, buffer retention for minimal bandwidth usage, streaming through top tier CDN and pay-per-use pricing at most affordable rates. It also provides wordpress plugins to help its customers quickly launch a membership site. I should mention here that I myself work for vdocipher.com