Guide to Independent Video Hosting

A Hybrid Approach to Online Video

A Hybrid approach to online video embraces both external video services and self-hosting on our own websites.

Embedding Video Players

Embedding means you can profit from all the categorisation, navigation, social media sharing and other techniques you use to amplify your message and stay in touch with your viewers.  

An embedded video from Vimeo inside a webpage with menu, category tags,
search bar and links to buy the filmmaker's films.

Upload Video to Both Your Website and a Sharing Service

When uploading your videos to your own site, you may want to upload to YouTube as a back up. This could allow you to 'swap out' popular videos to prevent your bandwidth costs from being too high.

Upload Video to Multiple Services

If you are unable to host video on your own webspace, then you can decrease your dependence on any one video service by uploading video to many services or repositories. If you have time and a good internet connection, then you may choose to upload your videos to two or even more video-sharing sites.

This approach provides the advantage of reaching the audience of the different sites and allows you to have a more resilient presence for your videos. If your account is suspended on one service, you can direct your viewers to another.

Use Archive Services

There exist some archive services that allow you to upload video files. While these services may be limited in what they provide, they have proven to be a stable home for video content.

Internet Archive: Their website at is a repository for openly licensed material. They provide a basic embeddable player. You can also link to video files so they can appear on your site in your own HTML5 players. - Art and Music section

WikiCommons: Wikicommons allows you to upload videos in the open WebM or Ogg Theora formats up to 500mb in size. WikiCommons is linked to the Wikipedia foundation, which would seem to ensure that it is a solid archive in which to deposit your video work.  

Wiki Commons video pages

Display YouTube Videos in Your Own Player

The interface of the player of your uploaded videos and embedded players from external sites may look very different. It is possible to pipe in video from video services to be displayed in your own HTML5 players. 

MediaElement.js player playing a YouTube video inside an unbranded HTML5 player on
a self-hosted website

The details of this process are explained in other chapters of this guide and examples can be seen in these pages of the JW Player and MediaElement.js players.  

Aggregating Video from Multiple sources

You may be partnering with many other organisations who may also be creating videos that you wish to display.  

The project aggregates many videos on activism into one player with a playlist
and encourages others to embed this player into their own websites

The subject of aggregating videos is covered in another section of this guide.

Possible Pitfalls of a Hybrid Approach

Changing Interfaces: YouTube often changes their interface (called an API). This kind of hybrid approach might rely on this API.

Unreliable for Archives: If your organisation is seeking to use your online video-sharing space as an archive then using a free external service may not be appropriate.