Press Release London UK. March 14, 2011

Online Businesses and eCommerce Sites need customizable, secure and reliable web video hosting that protects their content and branding

“As online video is the most powerful marketing tool in the 21st Century, it is very risky to compromise your content by using free online host sites like YouTube,” says top online video marketing strategist, Stephen McCluskey, CEO of vzaar. “Businesses need customizable, secure and reliable web video hosting that protects their content and branding.”

He is appalled by how many businesses are destroying their reputation by publishing video of poor quality on their websites: the loop often stutters or stops, the image is embedded with garish logos from the hosting site, surrounded by advertising (often from competitors!), and the video is often confined to a limited file size, player dimensions and duration.

“YouTube is a good way to get started with online video to promote your business, products and services,” says Mr. McCluskey. “However, if you want a truly professional look and feel, with reliable high quality delivery and the ability to track who sees your video and control what they do with it, you need to migrate to a powerful, secure and dependable online video platform.”

James Orr, vice president of an Internet video channel for high-end cigars and wines (www.jamessuckling.com), is one of the converts who opted for the vzaar platform after initially considering using YouTube. “Our business has a specific audience, starved for exclusive content. We decided to build and launch a video-based subscription media site aimed at that demographic. YouTube does not offer that capability,” says Mr. Orr. vzaar was his platform of choice because it “offers more flexibility and control over our content, and is of consistent high quality, with highly responsive tech support”.

Another vzaar client, Bryan Pate – co-president of ElliptiGO, also rejected YouTube. “We started with YouTube but quickly learned that the only way to get the slick, cool look and feel that we needed to promote our brand was to use a professional hosting platform,” says Mr. Pate, who is now the happy owner of a customized vzaar video player.

“We carefully researched YouTube and what it could offer. Instead we chose to use vzaar because it enabled us to track who watches our videos and control who “borrows” them,” says Cathy Aggelopoulos, CEO of SnorkelingOnline. “The SEO (search engine marketing) is in our control and we can brand our own videos. There are no outside company names on our videos but SnorkelingOnline.”

According to Cindy Vanegas, Executive Producer for Shoes.tv, “When it comes to showcasing our video on our site, vzaar is the platform we utilize. vzaar provides the timely analytics that allow us to determine the effectiveness of our video initiatives. vzaar also offers an easy-to-use interface that can be learned by anyone on the staff and it allows us to mobilize our videos via i-Tunes using video podcasts.”

The vzaar video platform allows for total control and ownership of a business’s online video material, and unlike in the public domain on a site like YouTube, their videos can not be reproduced or prepared for derivative works. Here is an excerpt from the YouTube Terms and Conditions “The Service may include hyperlinks to other web sites that are not owned or controlled by YouTube. YouTube has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites”

Businesses not subscribing to a video platform like vzaar are giving away exclusive rights to their content, exposing themselves to abuse of their material as well as missing out on a professional looking, high quality video player for their website.

About vzaar
vzaar is an online video hosting service for businesses with video content they need published online. Unlike other free services, this premium service offers its customers complete control and ownership of their content. The company has positioned itself as a professional video hosting service providing a low cost service with an easy to use interface and serves about over 1,500 companies worldwide.

Founded in 2007, vzaar has its Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. For more information visit https://vzaar.com

US Press Contact
Mark Shapiro
SRS Tech PR
mshapiro@srs-techpr.com
1 619 249 7742

UK Press Contact
Richard Hillgrove
Hillgrove PR
Richard.Hillgrove@hillgrovepr.com
+44 (0) 20 7482 8857

When I’m not wearing my [vzaar](https://vzaar.com) hat, it’s photography, where I concentrate my enthusiasm and attention. So how come I’m writing about video then?
Photography had undergone a huge shift in the last 6-8 years: the emergence of digital technology transformed photography from an expensive and elitist craft to the toy of the masses. Taking pictures became suddenly much easier and cheaper which soon resulted in an abundance of photos – just take a look at [Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=vzaar&m=text), where millions of photos are uploaded every day.
The new paradigm changed the face of the business and the emergence of new platforms, like the internet, created new opportunities, though many photographers weren’t delighted by the new horizons digital opened up.
Last August, almost simultaneously, Canon and Nikon introduced two new DSLR cameras that were capable of recording HD video. To showcase the capabilities of the camera bodies, both companies hired a renowned photographer, Vincent Laforet and Chase Jarvis, respectively, and they created amazing videos with the new technology.

You could ask, why DSLRs with HD are such an enticing things for photographers. The reason is that it allows you to use your existing lenses and thus create effects, find angles, use techniques, that would normally require a professional video camera.
The effects of this shift is still unclear and there are implications on many levels that we even might not be aware of at the moment. For example, as Vincent Laforet pointed out in a blogpost, what happens at a major sports event, if a photographer records and broadcasts HD video, even though he doesn’t own the TV rights. Beforehand, this wasn’t an issue, as the two fields were separated technologically.
Right now, photographers can still ignore video and stick to still pictures only – like analogue remained dominant for a long time when digital came into existence. But it is here and it’s getting more and more important and we all need to figure out how it will the current paradigm.
In the meantime, I started to think about selling one my Canon bodies to buy a video-capable one and start to experiment with it. Because this new world will be here sooner than we would think.

Some interesting findings from [a report commissioned by TurnHere](http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/mmframe?prid=550308&attachid=1095022) * came to our attention this week. All in all it serves to reinforce that online video is going to be the number one marketing tactic in 2010 for businesses and agencies looking to expand the success of their online activities.
Some of the highlights include:
– 90.7% of respondents are likely (>50%) or highly-likely (>75%) to use online video in their marketing efforts in the next 12 months
– 57.3% of respondents have created branded video content for the Web while 38.7% have created editorial video content
– 40% of respondents have used video for product or service demos and 37.3% have used video for customer or employee testimonials
– Those that chose not to use online video cited cost (66.7%) and lack of clear ROI (33%) measures as the top two reasons
report
The results really point to a number of things that many of us in the industry have been working on for some time. First things first, it is clear that the cost of video production and video streaming needs to come down to make it initially attractive and then secondly implementable for businesses.
Continued development in analytics and the measurement of video needs to be made available to businesses although I think employers of video need to take some personal responsibility here given the number of tools (think [Google Analytics](http://www.google.com/analytics/)) that already reside online.
Finally it is not just product related videos that are the content of choice. With so many online sites selling services or simply access to information this really is the time of the talking head. At [vzaar](https://vzaar.com) we’ve witnessed that first hand with a sharp rise in businesses, parties, organisations and groups using video to disseminate messages, coaching and online tutorials. The sheer range of video types will only continue to expand.
Overall the report confirms that 2010 will be another huge year for online video and that businesses need to think quickly about their [ov](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OVGuide) strategy. Whereas before the question was *”**Have you considered video?**”*, today it very much has become *”**Are you ready for video?**”*
* *The survey participants are marketing decision makers at both brands and agencies ranging from small boutique firms to publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies.*


Although there has been much hype published on the internet on the merits of online video for commerce, there is little actual data to back it up. It’s a difficult task to report actual conversions rates using video versus not using video, as larger companies guard this type of data and are not willing to share.
We therefore decided to take on the task, and report on how a few small businesses that use online [product videos](https://vzaar.com/videos) were getting on. (The full report can be downloaded at the bottom of this post)
It is often the case in challenging economic conditions, such as these, the small business that usually falls. Not so for these four companies, who were kind enough to share with me some data and experiences, which provide some insight into how their businesses are responding to the addition of online video to their web stores.
[**Equip2clean**](http://equip2clean.co.uk), one of these companies, who started using video after being urged by eBay and Google keynote speeches at various trade shows, reported its best month of trading in February 2009, and attributes its success to the product videos they create.
Jonathan Paxton, the owner of this commercial cleaning equipment company comments.
“*Our eBay sales immediately doubled on the products we listed video with. Our Big advantage is that most of our cleaning products sell well on video – we actually show them in use cleaning – we don’t talk too much about technical specification – we just let the customer see what it can do.*”
Another company in the study, [**Diamond Jewellery United**](http://diamondjewelryunited.com) based in Antwerp Belgium, saw their sales increase by 65% four months after implementing product videos.
“*Nearly all major websites only place a picture of a model, therefore leaving the buyer not sure what they are getting until they actually receive the diamond, and therefore resulting in a average of 30% returns amongst online jewellers. We have found that our videos give the customers a good idea of what they will be getting and thus our return rates are about 12%*.” says Stephen Grunhut, the companies managing director.
Two other business in the study, [**Industry Recycles**](http://industryrecycles.com) who sell second-hand equipment, saw an increase in sales over 12 months by over 307%, and [**Yesil**,](http://yesil.co.uk) an online furniture website, saw a 50% increase in web traffic transferring to a rise of 30% in sales over the same period.
If you have any results you would like to share please do. We would like to hear them. We are also keen to hear of any challenges you faced with video production and what you did to overcome them as Stephen Grunhut has done in the report.
For the complete case study download here: case study small businesses selling online with video.pdf
Thanks again to [Equip2clean](http://equip2clean.co.uk) (UK), [Diamond Jewellery United ](http://diamondjewelryunited.com)(Belgium), [Industry Recycles ](http://industryrecycles.com)(USA) & [Yesil ](http://yesil.co.uk)(UK) for your time and data.

A new feature for us at vzaar, our Featured Business post allows us to share with you the success enjoyed to date by businesses who embrace video as a means to drive online sales.
So first up is [Silver level](http://www.vzaar.com/purchase/packages) vzaar seller [Diamond Jewelry United](http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Diamond-Jewelry-United) who sell under the guise of bestprices_ms on eBay.
Bestprices, a diamond seller based in Belgium, sell diamond jewellery on eBay using vzaar. The firm has been in the diamond business for forty years and started selling diamond jewellery two years ago. They started selling on eBay in 2007 but only started making serious inroads in January this year when they started listing items daily.


Steven Grunhut, Diamond Jewelry United

Listing hundreds of quality items a month, all of which carry video, they have no doubt that videos help them sell more. That’s because when it comes to selling precious, high value items inspiring confidence and trust is vital for attracting buyers. “*Although more people are buying diamond jewellery online every day*,’ says the Managing Director Steven Grunhut, “*it is still very risky as people are never 100% what they are getting because no 2 diamonds are alike*.”


As well as inspiring trust, Steven believes vzaar videos a have given him a critical edge because despite being relatively new to eBay he’s already successfully competing with established sellers. “*We have realized that there are hardly any online jewellers that are using this technology. When we started selling jewellery on eBay we had a tough time getting to the top, however once we started using vzaar our sales improved and within weeks we were competing with the top sellers in our category*.”
Bestprices integrate the videos into their HTML listing templates meaning that the video is prominent and attractively integrated to best effect: Steven claims that each video only take about 5 minutes to create and drop into their individual template. In order to show off the diamond jewellery, Bestprices have also invested in some new video equipment and special lighting, but as their superb videos and increased selling success testifies, it was well worth it.