Video Podcasters Round-Up: Membership Video Options – Vimeo vs Wistia vs Amazon S3

Video Podcasters Round-Up: Membership Video Options – Vimeo vs Wistia vs Amazon S3

An ever more popular way to monetize your video podcast content is to have “membership” sections where fans pay a small fee for access to the archives and other exclusive content.

A major hurdle of doing so is to have streaming video available to your members while protecting that content from non-members.

I’ve been researching various methods of keeping video behind a pay-wall and have 3 options for you!

[toggle title=”Amazon S3″ state=”close” ]

Amazon’s service is known as S3.  The service provides a configurable amount of storage and monthly bandwidth and is by far the best service if you plan on offering digital downloads along with the streaming services.

My biggest complaint with S3 is you will have to also purchase a management system and video player from a third party such as Simple S3.

Another note is you may have to also learn to convert your video to a “web friendly” format if you management system does not include encoding.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Wistia” state=”close” ]

Wistia is a popular choice with the Internet Marketing crowd and offers a bunch of features for mail lists, embeds and other cool functions.

If you are not interested in collecting email addresses or pitching some sort of a product, Wistia probably isn’t a good fit.

The price point is a bit high.  The packages start at $20/month for 10 videos and 20 GB of space and unlimited bandwidth.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Vimeo” state=”close” ]

Full Disclosure:  I LOVE Vimeo.  I have never used a video service with such feature rich functions for the video podcaster.

You are able to upload 5 GB/week  which is great for a weekly video podcast and there are no bandwidth restrictions.

The over all power of a Vimeo account is amazing for the price point of $5/month.

For instance, have you ever uploaded a video to YouTube to only find out that the sound is off or you forgot to add something?  Then you have to delete the video, losing the analytic data.  Vimeo allows you to simply replace the video file.

You can also limit access to videos based on domain.  This means you can set the video so it will ONLY play on your website behind your paywall.  This will save you a bundle in membership video plugin costs.

All in all, I have found Vimeo to be the best solution for video podcasters.


Do you use another service for membership videos?   Let us know in the comment section!



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  1. Tom
    Tom 9 September, 2013, 05:51

    Hi Rob

    Can you explain why your graphic shows storage and bandwidth limits on S3?

    FYI – Amazon do have a video encoder

    On the Cost Per Video – is that hosting costs or viewing costs?

    A one gig file on Amazon would cost $.09 to host and $0.12 per view

    How did you arrive at $62.73?


    A Vimeo Plus user gets unlimited views .. but a Vimeo Pro user gets limited to 250,00 per annum… so I was wondering why someone would upgrade and live with the limit… is it to do with the ‘commercial use’ rule?.. or do the Plus videos have a link back to



    Reply this comment
    • Rob Davenport
      Rob Davenport Author 10 September, 2013, 11:59

      This post was in response to a few people asking about the differences of S3/Wistia and other services. To compare S3 to Wistia or Vimeo isn’t really fair because they really run a different service than the other 2.

      As for the prices, I used Amazon’s estimator tool to come up with those stats. I personally don’t use S3 and only have vague experience with it.



      The advantage of a pro account is you are able to link to downloadable files thus making them available via podcasts, media devices (IE Roku) and other instances where you would like to offer a downloadable file.

      Plus the commercial use, so you can have ads or infomericals on your channel.

      Thanks for the comment Tom 🙂

      Reply this comment
  2. Drew
    Drew 26 November, 2013, 09:34

    Hi Rob,

    How do you protect your Vimeo videos so only people who have paid for access can view them?



    Reply this comment
    • Rob Davenport
      Rob Davenport Author 26 November, 2013, 09:45

      Hi Drew!

      To do so you need to have a Vimeo Pro account (or else you aren’t allowed to make money from your videos). Go into the settings on the video and under ‘Privacy’ select “Hide from Vimeo”. Under “Where can this video be embedded” select “Only on sites I choose” and enter the domain you wish to offer the video for sale on.

      You will also want to go into the “Embed” settings and turn off all the options other than the ones you need. Make sure to “Create preset from these settings” so you can use them again.

      Hope that helped!


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