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Beyond YouTube- Hosting Video Online

Anyone can host a video clip on their website- for free. So why would you pay to do it?

In some cases it's simply a matter of professional presentation. For the same reason you might need professionally designed and printed business cards rather than printed on a vending machine in the mall, or a promotional video produced by a video production company rather than doing it yourself with a handycam and i-Movie, how you present your video message will say something about where you perceive your business is positioned in the market place.

This is especially true for business created around e-commerce- online training providers, online marketing and sales sites such as real estate agents and so on, or even large corporates with intranet training and internal communication. For one thing there's a reason YouTube clips usually load and play fast- they're very low quality and play at a relatively small and preset screen size. That may be an important consideration when you have important information to show or simply want to deliver your video in the best possible quality your audience can down load (we're quality video producers so we certainly do- even if the bandwidth available to many Kiwi's precludes this... but that's a whole other story).

When Screentime was looking at presenting our work on our website there were a number of reasons why just uploading them to YouTube and pasting the player code into our pages wasn't the best option- even if the eventual approach meant an additional $500 a month on our communications budget. For a start, we needed to have the most flexible, fast and professional looking player- one that represented the quality we espouse and that presented our product in the best available way. We also wanted to be able to preview and present work to clients and potential clients without restrictions on file size, display size and speed- showcasing not only our work but the online delivery possibilities available.

Some other considerations when choosing how to deliver video from your website include:

- Onshore or Offshore Hosting: Hosting your content on dedicated video streaming servers outside New Zealand usually means they download faster to more viewers- certainly any overseas viewers with faster download speeds. In other words, the delivery speed at the viewer’s end is unaffected by local upload speed.

- Players: what sort of player do you require? Does it need to automatically check the viewer's download speed so that it can play the appropriate low, medium or high quality clip? Does it need to match the colour scheme or branding of your site? Does it need to be scalable to full screen? Do you need a multi-player to access and play a number of clips?

- Ease of uploading: Do you have the tools and expertise to get your video content uploaded and converted- or do you require a host or service which can do this for you online?

Having recently thoroughly researched this issue for our own purposes- you can see our resulting online show reel here
we're happy to share this information and our experience with business people who are considering online video delivery.

We're also now able to offer video playback and hosting through our own account, so contact Steve if you'd like to know more.