The final battle:  Cloudflare Stream VS YouTube who's gonna win?

Video is always been a powerful medium for years but in the last period, even more. Always more people and companies use videos to engage audiences and sponsor products. In fact, one report from streaming media shows that by 2022 video viewing will account for 82% of all internet traffic accounting for more than 1% of global emissions. But if you run a business, you know how hard it is to create professional videos.

In addition, whether you need a video for social media, a website, or a TV commercial, you have a lot of different options and video platforms to choose from. Obviously, not all video platforms are the same. There are different types of video platforms that you can use for your different objectives and each platform have different pros and cons.

Today we will give a closer look at the differences between Cloudflare Stream and YouTube.



We all know that it is the largest and most popular platform for sharing videos on the internet nowadays. With an average of 2 billion people as active users, Youtube is always the first option to reach a large and global customer base.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option when it comes to hosting your videos online, or at least, it’s not for everyone. let’s see why.


If you are a content creator and you want to entertain your audiences some of the advantages of using Youtube can be:

  • SEO: (cause google tends to reward and showcase Youtube videos in search result first than others)
  • Visibility: Youtube it gives you a central channel to support all your videos and as we have already emphasized many times, it has a vast community and social network.
  • Storage and Bandwidth: With Youtube there are no limits to the data storage or bandwidth, and you can upload single videos of up to 128 gigabytes, completely free.
  • Editing and creating: Youtube can add customizable links to your videos, add music, and blur out faces or objects on your content, it also enables you to create videos from existing ones or from photos.
  • Quality of the videos: we cannot say that Youtube doesn’t provide quality videos, but we have to take into account that often Youtube tends to bet on the amount above the quality and this happens because of the large number of uploads that have every day, for this reason, it can often happens that Youtube compresses heavy uploaded videos, leading to a loss in video quality.


If instead, you are trying to upload a video on Youtube for your agency or for business purposes the use of this platform may is not the best option or the only one to rely on.

This is because if you create video content for your business or for an agency there are major complications to take into account, for example:

  1. One of the problems you might encounter on Youtube is that being such a popular platform also means having much more competition so it can be hard to stand out and to be found.
  2. Another problem could be that Youtube will suggest more videos for your viewers to watch and even while your video is playing they will be tempted by other videos suggestions that Youtube will propose to them. Even your competitor’s videos could appear right next to yours.
  3. If you want to embed a Youtube video on your website, remember that Youtube will show its logo on the video, with the risk of losing your visitors who, by clicking on the Youtube logo, will spend the rest of their time watching other videos on the platform forgetting your website and your products.


If you upload a video on Youtube, you need to be aware that ads will appear anywhere in your video. they can also interrupt your video at random points, bothering your audience by creating a bad user experience.

If in one hand advertisements can let you make more profit, giving the possibility at third-party service to upload their advertisements; on the other hand you can risk (as always happens) that people who come to watch your video are interrupted due to the continuous appearance of the ads. Always remember that the main objective of your videos is to entertain your audience or to sponsor one of your products for a possible sales conversion.

Cloudflare stream

Cloudflare Stream

Cloudflare, the well know CDN platform, has launched some time ago a specifically projected service for websites and apps that want to integrate hosting services and streaming videos activities, called Cloudflare Stream.

This extension has been created with the main idea of allowing these sites and apps to provide a more direct and significantly more simplified video service than any other on the market today, guaranteeing “the ease of use of Youtube with the power and control that you get only from tailor-made solutions”.


A new service that combines coding, global distribution, and a multimedia player into a single product.

Cloudflare Stream offers a connection that allows you to shoot a video, upload it to an endpoint API, and in seconds make it available globally for adaptive streaming via an embedded link.

In addition, you can benefit from advanced access control, a first-order technology that allows you to protect your videos easily and efficiently through:

  • Signed URLs: that show a time-limited token instead of the video URL. This token will expire soon after the user stops the streaming, leaving behind a useless URL.
  • HLS technology: used also by Youtube. Divides the video into small chunks making video downloading difficult
  • Whitelist only some domains: it limits streaming from one or more domains only. Thus preventing someone to take the link and paste it in any other location different from the whitelisted domains
  • Encryption / JWT: is a standardized access token according to RFC 7519 and allows secure data exchange between two parties (client and server)

All of Cloudflare’s network locations run the software needed to import and distribute videos without worrying about adding new computing instances, setting availability zones, or negotiating additional software licenses. The service include a professional, modern player where videos are smoothly streamed across the wide Cloudflare global network that connects 250 cities in more than 100 countries.


This service will let you upload your videos to your site without being worried about advertisements that could let run away your audiences.


Pricing is simplified: Cloudflare Stream is based on a special and convenient price with a charge that includes encoding, global delivery, and player.

CF stream charges you per:

  • minute stored (5$ for 1000 minutes) rather than per GB, because they allow 4K videos to be uploaded and they will create dozen of versions for all devices.
  • minute streamed (1$ per 1000 minutes streamed)

Keep in mind that usually, a typical video service could include multiple charges: from encoding companies for CPU usage based on length and quality of the video and the number of streaming formats it’s converted into; from ‘traditional CDNs’ that charge different rates for each region of the world based on the number of bytes delivered; and from player vendors charge at tiered levels based on the number of views.

With Cloudflare Stream instead, you will have the free player included and no additional fees to serve global users.

Now, if you want to integrate WordPress with Cloudflare video hosting service, you have to know that all those functionalities are not offered by CF out of the box, meaning that you need to have a coder to build up a coded solution to use them.
But if you want to try a well-made and easy-to-use plugin we will recommend to have a look at CF Power Tools, an efficient WordPress plugin that allows also to sign URLs and the top security functionalities that Cloudflare is offering, for WordPress!!

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