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Use a Video Sharing Site

Whether you want to reach people who watch video on their desktop computers at home or work, on their iPads on their living room couches, or on their iPhones wherever else they may be, the simplest way to publish video on the Internet is to upload it to a video sharing site.

The most popular video site, YouTube, may serve you well, but before you set up a YouTube channel, consider the benefits of using sites such as Vimeo, which provide more options and may better suit your video needs.

Here are a few reasons that you might choose one of these services instead of a CDN (content delivery network):

Video sharing sites offer many benefits:

  • Low price: Compared to CDNs, they’re free, or at least inexpensive, to use.

  • Ease of use: If these sites weren’t easy to use, millions of teenagers around the world couldn't share their deeply held convictions that homework is, like, totally unfair.

  • Delivery infrastructure: These hosting sites exist only to store and deliver video; they’ve spent millions (or more, in some cases) perfecting this technology. So, unlike with a CDN, when you use a video hosting service, the bandwidth costs and concerns are someone else’s problem.

  • Easy-to-share content: Your users can embed your videos on their sites, e-mail friends, leave comments, and post your videos to Facebook, for example.

  • Already existing traffic: These sites already have plenty of visitors, so you don’t have to go out of your way to do lots of search engine optimization (SEO) to get your video to appear in search engines.

And, here are some drawbacks of using video sharing sites:

  • Possible delivery of poor-quality videos: Because video sharing sites process many thousands of videos every day, they can’t pay much attention to the necessary details of making your project look its best. Common problems include artifacting (which makes solid backgrounds look like they’re sparkling) and audio warbling (where it sounds like a choir of baby robots is singing in the background).

  • Putting your ads into your content: If you’re trying to monetize your content by inserting your own ads or if your video is just a blatant commercial for your business (such as MLM marketing come-ons), certain sites may yank it.

  • Putting their ads into your content: While these sites may offer you free hosting, they still have to pay their bills. That means they may put ads in and around your content that detract from your user’s enjoyment of your videos.

  • A lack of control over whether your videos appear at all: Your content can be banned or taken down at any time, for any reason, solely at the site’s discretion. If another user or company (one of your competitors, perhaps?) complains that your videos violate copyright, decency, or other rules, the default response of most hosting sites is to just remove your content.

  • Lack of ownership control over your video: After uploading your content, you may no longer be the sole owner of the rights to control where, when, and how your video is displayed, packaged, advertised, or sold. Read the complete end user licensing agreement (EULA); don't just agree to it.

  • Limitations on video length: Video length is limited to the length that the video sharing site dictates (usually, 10 minutes or fewer).

  • Limited analytics: You probably don’t receive much data to gauge user engagement or to see which sections of a video are the most popular or which ones the audience fast-forwarded, for example.

  • Traffic level that benefits the video sharing site, not yours: Because your videos are hosted on the sharing site’s servers, the video sharing site benefits from the value of the traffic that comes from your site. (The value of your traffic might be higher search engine rankings and advertising opportunities.)

    However, traffic can cost you hosting and bandwidth fees. If you’re just getting started with video, using a video sharing site can help you build traffic without the fees. If your videos attract a growing audience, you may consider then moving your video hosting to a CDN in order to capitalize on that traffic.

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