January 5

Wistia vs. YouTube — Which Is Best for Small Business?


YouTube currently dominates video hosting and sharing services, but it may not be the best option for small businesses. It certainly has its advantages  such as its popularity, and ease of use.

However, Wistia is a worthy alternative that offers features that better serve businesses. So which is the right choice for your small business?

We will do a comparison between Wistia vs Vimeo as well but we will start with Wistia vs YouTube on this article. To understand the difference between Wistia and YouTube, let’s start by covering the main features and general uses of each.

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Wistia is a video marketing software with unique features that give you more control. You can create videos that fit your brand, get a closer look at viewer behavior, keep traffic on your page, and more.

Features of Wistia:

  • Customize the colors of the video player controls, and add company branding. You can even add your logo.
  • Get deeper analytics information. See who’s watching your video. When did they watch it? Did they stop the video before the end? Did they skip any parts? Did they rewatch any parts?
  • Include slides to collect information or give a call to action, right on the video.
  • Wistia encodes videos with Flash/HTML5 or the highest quality possible.
  • Coding in these videos helps improve SEO. It specifies which search engine queries the video should show in.
  • Keep traffic on your page with links that lead to your content.
  • There are no ads at the beginning of your video or suggested videos from competitors at the end of your video.

There are three plans to choose from: Free ($0), Pro ($99), and Advanced (contact Wistia for pricing). 

The Free plan offers:

  • Three videos or podcast episodes per month
  • All the standard features
  • One channel
  • Up to 250 subscribers

The Pro plan offers:

  • All the features of the free plan
  • 10 videos or podcast episodes per month
  • Customized branding on the video
  • Add as many video or audio files as you need

The Advanced plan offers:

  • Everything from the Pro plan
  • 100 videos or podcast episodes per month
  • Multiple channels
  • Unlimited subscribers
  • More comprehensive features


If you’ve been on the internet in the past fifteen years, you probably already know what YouTube is. It allows users to create and upload unlimited content with unlimited subscribers.

Features of YouTube:

  • It’s free to upload and watch videos.
  • To keep the site free, YouTube places ads before and during popular videos to bring in revenue.
  • It’s extremely popular, so it’s easy for your audience to use.
  • YouTube recommends your video at the end of similar videos to increase your audience reach. It also recommends your competitors’ videos at the end of your videos.
  • Viewers can comment on the video, sharing both positive and negative opinions.
  • YouTube is owned by Google, so your video is likely to show up as a thumbnail in search results.
  • Embed videos with the standard YouTube video player design.
  • YouTube Partners can add clickable links to external sites.

The popularity of YouTube and the fact that it’s free to use are the two major draws to this platform.

However, there are disadvantages if you’re uploading videos to YouTube and embedding them into your webpages.

You have no control over what the player looks like. You may advertise for your competitors (through recommended videos at the end of the video). You may drive traffic to YouTube instead of keeping it on your site.

Wistia vs. YouTube for Small Business

Small business owners likely think of YouTube first when creating video content. After all, it’s free, it’s familiar, and it’s one of the most widely-used options.

What they don’t realize is how YouTube uses creator content to bring in revenue for itself.

One of the biggest differences between Wistia and YouTube is that Wistia improves your video marketing strategy. They exist to help your page succeed.

YouTube, on the other hand, exists to help YouTube succeed. 

At the end of the day, YouTube is a business. Sure, it’s free to post videos, but they use those videos to bring in money for themselves.

They place ads in popular videos, the share links lead to a YouTube page, the video player has the YouTube logo, etc. 

If your goal is to get more subscribers and more attention onto a YouTube page, those issues are not a problem for you.

But if you are trying to get traffic to come to your page and stay on your page, this is not the best option.

When you’re weighing Wistia vs. YouTube for your business, consider what you will get back from each video hosting platform.

YouTube doesn’t have much to offer that Wistia can’t give you. But, Wistia offers additional features that YouTube does not.

If you’re trying to keep your budget to $0 per month, YouTube seems like the best choice. But, you can also use Wistia's free plan.

It only gets you three videos or podcast episodes, but that may be all you need. That’s nearly a video every week. So before you become overly concerned with the budget, consider how many videos you will post.

If you need more than three, you need the Pro package. It allows you to post ten videos and offers additional features. This paid plan costs $99 per month. That is a significant investment.

But, weigh it against the perks. You're buying an improved marketing strategy and a more effective SEO strategy. That investment may well be worth it.

Final Verdict

For uploading and hosting videos, both YouTube and Wistia are good options for small businesses. They each have advantages and setbacks.

YouTube is a perfectly acceptable video hosting service. It gets the job done, and it’s free.

But Wistia is ideal for those who want more than just a video hosting service. It’s for the businesses that also want lead generation and a great video marketing strategy.

Take the time to weigh your options. You may find that Wistia is a better fit for you.