You can publish, host and distribute video on the web for free at many sites. Even long-format videos. But take away the picture and try to publish just the audio (eg, as a podcast) and you’ll have a much more difficult time finding free hosting. Not that it’s not out there (eg, at Podango, to whom I’m an advisor), but it’s nowhere nearly as common. And whereas there are many fee-based publishing options for audio-only podcasters, almost no one charges to host videos any more except at the high end. Why? I imagine it’s because of (a) the continued buzz surrounding the purchase of YouTube by Google, (b) the current use of player-based branding by the video hosting companies, and (c) long-term potential for advertising in videos.
Note that if you don’t even have audio and just want to host a simple web site, it’s even more likely that you’ll pay.