Mar 12, 2024

3 Reasons Why Self-Hosting Video Can Cost You More Than You Bargained For

Online videos are an integral tool for engaging audiences in today’s communication landscape. However, many businesses are tempted to self-host their video content to save costs. While this may seem like an effective alternative when calculating the price of hosting platforms, there are hidden expenses that can quickly add up. Today we'll explore three reasons why self-hosting video can end up costing you a fortune.

Hardware Cost and Scalability

One of the primary expenses associated with self-hosting video content is the hardware infrastructure required to store and deliver videos to your audience. Building and maintaining a robust server infrastructure capable of handling high-quality video streaming and transcoding can be prohibitively expensive. From storage servers, CPU racks and cooling systems, to content delivery networks (CDNs) and network infrastructure, the initial setup costs alone can outright eliminate your budget.

Furthermore, scalability becomes a major concern as your video library grows and your audience expands. Scaling up your infrastructure to accommodate increasing bandwidth and storage demands requires additional investments in hardware and software systems. The location of your server must also be considered, as having to move your hardware installation to upscale will cause great issues and larger storage facilities can be blatantly expensive.

Energy Bill and Ongoing Charges

In addition to the upfront hardware costs, self-hosting video content also incurs ongoing expenses in the form of energy bills, maintenance fees and possibly rent. Running and cooling servers 24/7 consumes a considerable amount of energy, resulting in high electricity bills that can quickly eat into your budget. Moreover, maintaining and updating server hardware requires skilled IT personnel and continuous hardware improvements and optimizations, further adding to the operational costs.

Self-hosting video content often entails licensing fees for video encoding software, security protocols, and other essential components. Trying to mitigate the licensing costs will mean you will need to develop and build your own infrastructure, which is far more complicated and costly.

Full-Time Experts

Briefly mentioned in the previous section, full-time IT experts will need to manage and maintain your server infrastructure as issues will arise that require ongoing maintenance and testing. From network administrators to system engineers, employing a team of skilled professionals to monitor and troubleshoot your system is essential for ensuring optimal performance and uptime, essentially keeping your service alive.

Hiring and retaining qualified IT personnel is expensive, especially in today's competitive job market. Moreover, the constant need for ongoing training and certifications to keep pace with evolving technologies further adds to the overhead costs. In contrast, opting for a third-party video hosting solution eliminates the need for in-house expertise, allowing you to focus on your core business activities without worrying about server maintenance and management.


While self-hosting video content may seem like a cost-effective solution on the surface, the expenses associated with system infrastructure, ongoing costs, and IT specialists can quickly add up. By opting for a third-party video hosting solution like Viostream, businesses can avoid these challenges and enjoy the benefits of a scalable, reliable, and cost-effective video delivery platform.

Have a chat with one of Viostream’s experts to learn how you can save money while improving your video delivery experience.

Stuart Auld
Stuart Auld (Head of Infrastructure) is a multi-disciplinary engineer with broad-ranging experience at executive level delivering operational best practice across customer engagement, technology, change management and process improvement.
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