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Give Your Online Video Content A Push By Hosting It At Right Places

Online video is booming but at the same time decentralization is also rapid. Find the right platform to host your video

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Gone are the days where online video to most people meant YouTube. Today, one has several options depending on the quality and quantity of the video that users demand. A rich bank of engaging video content and an audience that fits your requirement are the two ends of your online video content strategy. The bridge that connects the two is a robust mix of online video platforms. Let us learn about the things that an advertiser/marketer must take into account to amplify video content by leveraging various video platforms.

First things first, what is an online video platform?
Wikipedia says: It is a productized-service that enables users to upload, convert, store and play back video content on the Internet, often via a structured, scalable solution that can be monetized.

Let’s simplify this: Your online video content needs to find a home on the world wide web so people from every corner of the world can access it. This very place that stores and serves your content’s files up to the Internet is called Online Video Platform (OVP).

The multiple kinds of OVP:

Ad-supported Video on Demand
AVoD provides consumers free-to-access content in exchange for viewing ads. AVoD video tends to be shorter in length and less often premium. Example: Youtube, Dailymotion

Subscription Video on Demand
SVoD includes streaming services that allow subscribers to watch as much content as they want in exchange for a recurring fee, typically monthly and/or annually. Example: Netflix, Hulu

Transactional Video on Demand
TVoD enables customers to pay for each individual video on demand program. Example: iTunes, Film4oD, Distrify

There are two categories to TVOD:
Electronic Sell Through (EST): It is the digital sale of the online video for unlimited viewing in exchange for a transactional fee. Some call it Download to Own (DTO) too.

Download to Rent (DTR): It is the digital rental of online video for a limited period of time in exchange for a transactional fee.

Every OVP has its pros and cons. Let’s delve deeper.

With about 450 million unique global visitors every month, YouTube is the largest OVP, hence offers a huge potential audience. Also, keep in mind that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and a massive social networking site.

Uploading content onto the YouTube is as simple a process, as is sharing the content across social media platforms. The part that it is free, makes it perfect for small and medium-size businesses.

It has certain limitations too. It comes with limited amount of customization, has a significant amount of advertising and other video content (posing as a competitor to your content).

The quality of video on Vimeo tends to be higher. Hence your content is appreciated by an audience that prefers quality to quantity. Since it is more of a niche offering, your videos won’t get the level of exposure that YouTube can offer. But it does receive 70 million unique visitors per month, which is significant enough.

Vimeo isn’t free. It has reasonably priced business packages, so it can maintain the overall content standard. If a video uploaded to Vimeo is of high enough quality, it can be promoted to the front page and receive a gigantic audience. This is probably the best alternative to YouTube.

One important aspect of that you must remember about Vimeo is that is not a monetizable platform for the content owner. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo does not share any advertising revenue with the owner of the content. So, the ideal use of Vimeo is to showcase your video to the world in the best possible quality and experience and not to make money.

Brightcove, a commercial OVP, is a robust global hosting and serving option used by many Fortune 10 companies. Its servers are fast and it boasts of live-streaming capabilities. This OVP is highly customizable for brand representation and supports plug-ins. It also helps you analyze video performance and usage metrics.

Brightcove comes at a cost, which relates to individual requirements. With its initial 30-day free trial, one can take a judicious decision. OVPs like Brightcove are the right choice if you plan to host all your video content through such services and make a product/platform of your own. This can get expensive unless you have another business model in place through this product.

Vine, Instagram Video, Twitter Video
The micro video length (6, 15 or 30 seconds) of these platforms makes the content very easy to consume, engage with and share. The content has to be extremely impactful to stand out on these platforms. It works best for gags, stunning visuals, a mind-bending illusion, a piece of stop-motion animation or a DIY. This sort of video and such OVPs is mainly for social engagement and branding. A monetizing model can be figured out through direct advertising once you have a massive follower-base who is ready to explore all of your new updates.

Which is the one that works for you?

There is no one right answer. This decision solely depends on the requirements of your business, budget and time constraints. A service like YouTube allows you to upload your content at no cost. But if your audience seeks great quality or wants to interact with your brand, it might not be the best choice. Brightcove gives many customization options, but requires you to have a substantial budget. Self-hosting with a product like JW Player gives you lots of control but can be more time consuming and have streaming issues.

This is how you can go about deciding to enjoy the best value for your business:

Firstly, choose one or two primary platforms. They are the ones that give you the strongest opportunity for audience discoverability and reach, plus content monetisation and protection.

Additionally, you can identify other platforms for purposes like: syndicating the content to existing Subscription-based video platforms like Netflix etc who sometimes pay content owners a licensing fee to host the content as part of their library.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Rama Krishna Veerapaneni

Managing Director at Whacked Out Media

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