YouTube vs Wistia: Why Should I Pay to Host My Videos? [Video]

Adam Stewart March 9, 2017


Youtube vs Wistia: Why Should I Pay to Host My Videos?

YouTube is completely free, and it’s the world’s biggest video platform. So, why should we pay for a hosting service like Wistia?

We hear this question from many businesses dipping their toe into video marketing.

There are many reasons why we became a Wistia customer and partner agency, which you can read about here, but to answer the question:

Wistia is designed exclusively to serve companies using video on their websites for inbound marketing, support, and sales.

YouTube, on the other hand, is designed to primarily serve companies doing large, brand-building campaigns.

Let's hear it straight from an embedded video.


Wistia vs YouTube: Features

Wistia Features

YouTube Features

No ads

Ads shown by default for all non-YouTube Red customers

Fully customizable player controls and colors

Standardized player design with no customization

Responsive embeds as standard

Additional work required to make embeds responsive

Video served at the highest quality your viewer’s connection is able to handle

Video quality determined by size of embed on page

Ability to replace and update videos

No replace video feature

Asynchronous JavaScript & iFrame embed options

iFrame embeds

Domain restrictions to control where your videos can be embedded

No restrictions on where the video can be embedded

Ranks in Google search for your website

Ranks in Google search for

Able to include SEO metadata on every page automatically with JSON-LD

No SEO metadata included with embeds

Real-time changes to embeds

Lag in accepting changes

Lead capture with Turnstile email collectors

No lead capture tools

Annotations and full-screen calls to action

Annotations and cards

Can link out to any destination of your choosing

Can only use annotations and cards to link out to one external website (once approved)

Share buttons share version of the video on your website

Share buttons share version of video on

Complete playback data for each viewer, with user-tracking, heatmaps, and ROI-tracking

Sampled and aggregated playback data only

Playback data passed automatically into Google Analytics as events

No Google Analytics integration


Integrations with Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, and Pardot

No way of getting playback data into CRM or marketing automation platforms

Can I use Wistia and YouTube Together?

For many companies, using both Wistia and YouTube can be the right way to go. Wistia is the ideal platform to deliver videos across your site, and YouTube can be a useful supplementary tool to help you increase brand awareness on the world’s second biggest search engine.

However, simply embedding YouTube videos on your site means you’re missing out on all of the superior tools and analytics that Wistia offers.

YouTube is more like a social network than a video hosting platform. As such, not all of your videos will necessarily make sense to a broader audience when they’re browsing on

Therefore, YouTube should be used strategically, as part of a wider video marketing strategy, but not just as a repository where all videos are held and hosted.

Ready to create your next video? Download this free checklist to make it easier.