YouTube is the dominant video platform in the world today. However, it’s not right for everyone. Businesses often choose professional video hosting platforms instead.
This article will examine enterprise video hosting platforms vs. YouTube. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each.
If you want to cut to the chase, here is our conclusion: YouTube is useful for some businesses, but woefully inadequate for others.
Let’s back up this claim with some explanation.
Table of Contents
- What is an Enterprise Video Hosting Platform?
- Differences Between YouTube and Enterprise Video Platforms
- Why Businesses Choose Professional Hosts
- Comparison of Popular Video Hosting Platforms
What is an Enterprise Video Hosting Platform?
Enterprise video platforms are designed to support the specific video needs of businesses. The aim is to make the process of encoding, uploading, managing, customizing and delivering video content simple and frictionless. Online video platforms take on the heavy lifting. This enables businesses to focus on their core objective: creating engaging content for their audiences.
I often describe an online video platform as being like a Swiss Army Knife for video. These platforms provide a wide range of tools that can be used for all sorts of different projects. They often support VOD (video-on-demand) and live streaming. In a business setting, the most common uses of live streaming are internal meetings, conference keynotes, and internal updates or announcements.
Differences Between YouTube and Enterprise Video Platforms
One question we get asked a lot is: why should I not just use YouTube for everything? YouTube is flexible, popular, and free. It’s a good platform for getting public-facing videos in front of a big audience.
Many of our clients do successfully use YouTube. It’s a powerful vehicle for getting leads into the top of the funnel. That’s true whether you’re delivering online training or free content to promote subscription services. However, the days of actually earning a living from advertising revenues on YouTube are over. For all but a tiny fraction of the top content creators and vlogger personalities, YouTube isn’t profitable. The market is simply overwhelmed.
Why YouTube Isn’t Good Enough for Businesses
This lack of good monetization options is a major drawback for YouTube. However, there are other issues. Here are a few of them.
- Content Rights: Once you publish your video content on YouTube, you give YouTube partial rights to your content.
- Piracy: Software for downloading videos from YouTube is easily available. Security firms are measuring an increase in piracy and other digital attacks every year. Digital TV Research estimates that by 2022, piracy will cost businesses $52 billion a year.
- Ads: Whether someone watches a video on YouTube or via an embedded players on site, YouTube will show ads. This distracts your viewers and draw them away from your business content.
- No Recourse: Another challenge with YouTube is that you are helpless when faced with changes to their corporate policy. Content rules can change at anytime. On top of this, government policy towards YouTube itself can change at any time.
- Poor Analytics: You will learn very little about your visitors’ behavior and interaction with your content
- Blocked in China: For the foreseeable future YouTube is not a channel you can use to promote your video content in China. It is banned, alongside many video platforms.
- Limited Customization: YouTube provides limited branding and customization tools. This can negatively impact the perception of your brand and the viewer’s experience.
- No Tech Support: If you run into an issue with your videos on YouTube, don’t hold your breath waiting for help. There is no access to an account manager and responsive phone or email support is non-existent.
- No Secure Download Links.
- No Audio-Only Support.
Your content is valuable. And you need to protect it. That’s the basis of a video business. YouTube makes video success difficult. It’s just not built for professional content.
Why Businesses Choose Professional Hosts
Businesses want to attract viewers to their own websites to take advantage of superior margins from advertising or subscriptions.
Therefore, these businesses should opt for an enterprise online video platform that is designed and optimized for this kind of use. Some of the benefits of selecting an enterprise video platform route include:
- Greater Control and Security: Professional OVPs offers an abundance of security options that YouTube lacks. These may include encrypted streaming, domain control, and password protection.
- Intelligent video management: An enterprise video platform makes light work of managing libraries of hundreds or thousands of videos. Powerful management features including categorization, labels and playlists, allow you to organize your videos in a way that works for you.
- In China playback: For publishers and eLearning organizations that want to target Chinese audiences or students, YouTube is not an option. An enterprise video platform like vzaar can deliver reliably smooth, high-quality playback in China.
- Customize Branding: Brand the video player so viewers know every video watched is yours. Add your logo, choose colors, and add text to create the look you want.
- 24/7 Tech Support: You need to connect with real humans to get your issues resolved quickly. Consequently, a good professional OVP should offer video experts 24/7 to provide support and guidance.
Comparison of Popular Video Hosting Platforms
Not all video hosting platforms are created equal. In fact, there are significant differences between different video hosting platforms. Unfortunately, We don’t have space for a full video hosting platform comparison here. However, we can provide some highlights for a number of popular video platforms.
The first platform in our comparison is vzaar, our own business video hosting platform. Vzaar was originally launched in 2007. We provide video on-demand and live streaming services to businesses. The platform serves several thousand customers. These range from small educational businesses to large OTT enterprises. Features and characteristics of the vzaar platform include:
- Robust monetization
- Integrated CTAs and email capture
- DRM and other security features
- Cloud transcoding and multi-bitrate delivery
- 24/7 support
- Customizable branding
- Easy-to-use platform
- API access
- Class-leading in-China playback
- 24/7 tech support
- Plans starting at $209/month for 1 TB bandwidth and 1 TB storage
Wistia is another business video hosting platform. Originally founded in 2006, Wistia now focuses on businesses that use their video for marketing purposes. They provide a range of integrations and CRM- tools for monetizations. Characteristics of the Wistia platform include:
- Customizable white-label video player
- Advanced, class-leading analytics
- Lead generation tools
- Custom video websites (“Wistia Channels”)
- A/B video testing available on custom-priced “Advanced” plans
- A free plan is available for 3 videos, but Pro plans start at $99/month. There is an additional cost for each video beyond 10.
- Does not include live streaming functionality
The third video platform we’ll look at here is Vimeo. Vimeo was originally launched in 2004. Since, they have catered largely to the creative professional market. However, they have increasingly moved towards business video hosting. Vimeo acquired Livestream in 2017. Afterwards, they launched their latest business-oriented plan with live streaming functionality. Here are a few of the characteristics of the Vimeo video hosting platform:
- Includes pay-per-view monetization
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Customizable branding
- Easy-to-use platform
- Limited security options
- Live streaming starts at $75/month
- Advertising support and API access are not included except on custom plans costing more than $500/month
Business video hosting platforms have a lot to offer for the Enterprise user. Hopefully, this article has introduced you to this issue. Consumer-grade platforms like YouTube and Facebook work for some poeple. But the tools professionals use are much more powerful.
We believe that video hosting platforms such as vzaar offer a clear value proposition for businesses. But you don’t just have to take our word for it. Check out our case studies for more. And know that thousands of other businesses have chosen vzaar as their video hosting platform.
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