Why Not YouTube?

by Dan Karlin,  Last updated: May 30, 2018 at 9:21 am 

For anyone trying to build an audience for their video content, YouTube and other free video hosting sites are an easy way to get started.  YouTube is the biggest player in the free hosting space, but there are plenty of other options out there.  In the U.S., DailyMotion, Facebook, Vimeo, and Wistia are all major players, and pretty much anywhere on the planet there is a free video hosting service of some sort available.

These sites all have a few things in common that make them attractive to individuals or companies that want to make their content available, but I’ll use YouTube as an example.  First off, it’s completely free to get started.  You can upload your videos, do some light editing, and get your content out immediately.  You don’t have to worry about paying for servers, bandwidth, or data delivery.  YouTube has hundreds of millions of unique visitors every month, giving you a gigantic potential audience and a revenue stream through advertising.

With all these benefits, why would anyone want to host their own video solution?

Ultimately, these “free” video solutions have a few hidden costs, to both your direct revenue stream and to your branding.  Essentially, the more successful your content becomes, the more money you’re leaving on the table.  YouTube doesn’t publish detailed revenue-sharing information, but according to several sources they average somewhere around $1,000 paid to the content creator for every 1,000,000 views.  Looked at from another angle, Facebook publishes their revenue-sharing rate and they keep a full 45% of all ad revenue with the rest going to the content owner.  In either case even a very popular video or stream doesn’t guarantee a giant payday from these industry giants.

Beyond the direct revenue impact, there are marketing and branding opportunities that are lost when you go with “free” video hosting.  First, you don’t get to pick what ads are displayed to your viewers or how those ads are delivered.  Viewers may be getting unwanted pop-ups, in-video displays that may obscure your content while it’s played, and the ads themselves may be for companies you don’t want associated with your brand.  Secondly, with any free hosting solution, you’re buying into that company’s revenue model.

With your own solution you get to decide how the video player operates, total control on viewing experience, and what you want your revenue model to be.  With your own solution you set the relationship between you and your viewers.  Want to sell your own ads or sponsorships?  Want no ads at all and to charge for a subscription?  Moving away from free hosting gives you new options.

Hosting your content on your own site means all the traffic you generate is going to your site and you can help guide your viewers to the next thing (video, product, article, etc.)  Audience attention can drive a business, and keeping your audience on your site can have a direct impact on your bottom line.  In contrast, YouTube recommendations are setup to maximize YouTube’s brand and increase the time spent on YouTube.

With all these factors, why don’t more companies host their own solutions?  There are a few reasons for this, but in many cases companies don’t have the expertise to know what they can do given their scale and how to get up and running.  Onwards Media Group talks to companies in this situation all the time.  With Onwards Pro you can get your own branded video platform up and running very quickly at low start up cost.  If you’re interested in finding out more let us know

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