When you think online video, you probably think Youtube…but every company that creates video content for the web should be aware of the pros and cons of “posting” vs. “hosting” their video. In other words, posting your video on a popular video sharing site (such as YouTube) differs from using a privately-hosted service. Optimum Productions, which specializes in video production, offers a hosting service because it can be a real necessity when YouTube is found not to be the best option. Wonder why?

YouTube, owned by Google, is the most popular video hosting platform out there (surprise, surprise). We’ll admit, it’s a great option for optimizing search engine results. But it also has disadvantages. Here are four potential issues to consider.

CON #1: Disruptive Ads

The first disadvantage to posting your video on YouTube is its tendency to surround your video with all sorts of ads. The last thing you want is a competitor’s ad popping up next to your video, or to the side where “related content” can distract your viewer and lead them away along a merry trail of breadcrumbs.

CON #2: Some Companies Block YouTube

A second problem with YouTube is that it’s blocked by “productivity software,” which many companies use to encourage employees to work rather than surf the web. Other popular websites, such as Facebook and Vimeo, are also blocked by productivity software.

If your company (or your prospect’s company) uses productivity software and your video is posted only on YouTube or Vimeo, your access will be blocked.

Using a private video host will allow you, your employees, and your clients to get behind the content filters so that your video is viewable at your office and everywhere internet is accessible. This is an important point to consider, especially if you or your company have just invested in producing a video and now want it to be viewed by as many people as possible.

CON #3: Unrelated or Competitive Distractions

A third problem with posting on YouTube is that, after your video is played, additional video suggestions pop up which often don’t relate to your product or service. Or worse, suggestions pop up for your competitors’ videos.

Even if you become a YouTube partner and “Related Videos” is replaced by “More From This Channel” options, it’s still very tempting for viewers to browse other videos instead of focus on your message. You know how easy it is to follow a rabbit’s trail of videos if you’ve ever spent time surfing on YouTube!

A private host gives you the ability to control where viewers go after they watch your video. There’s no content for them to explore except yours, and they’re on your website – as opposed to a site that they know can also provide the latest in cat videos. Your video presentation is much cleaner. When the video is done, your client isn’t led to unrelated videos or videos that advance your competitors’ messages.

CON #4: Almost No Viewer Data

To be honest, one of the biggest issues that any and all marketers should have with YouTube is its poor analytics. What this means is that you can’t tell hardly anything about whether your video was effective. The view counter can’t separate out attentive leads from people who stopped watching and clicked away in three seconds. As far as YouTube is concerned, those are all equal views.

How do you know which views in that total came from you editing the description at the bottom of the page? How do you know that twenty of those views weren’t just from Nana showing all of her friends what a great video you made? How do you know to dive deeper into a certain topic if you don’t know which sections got rewatched? If your video is on YouTube…then you can’t.

On the other end of the spectrum, many privately-hosted platforms can provide sophisticated analytics that offer a lot more data with which to measure the results of your hard work. Some platforms have heat-maps portraying viewer attention spans, and can differentiate between different devices or locations to give you a better idea about where your leads are coming from…just to name a few features.

What About DIY Hosting?

If you determine that YouTube isn’t the best option, you might wonder whether it’s worthwhile to try hosting the video on your own company server, since a private hosting service requires payment. Just be aware that “DIY” when it comes to hosting a video can get very complicated and problematic.

One complication is that you would want your video to be viewable on all the devices that people use out there, including Macs, PCs, iPads, Nooks, Kindles, iPhones, Androids…the list goes on. You would have to go through a lot of hassle to create all the different formats needed for your content to be viewable on all those different devices. A hosted server with specialized technology will automatically make your video viewable in a wide range of formats.

Another problem with hosting a video yourself is that you need a lot of bandwidth to avoid overloading your company server and crashing your website. Take a common scenario where 500 people in a large corporation want to view the new company video. That’s 500 people trying to download 100 megabytes at the same time.  The bandwidth on most servers can’t handle that kind of traffic.

Or consider a scenario in which a company tries self-hosting a video on its server and invites 2,000 business contacts to view its latest video. If enough people respond to the invitation and try to play your video at the same time, your server and your website could crash, causing serious repercussions for productivity and lost revenue.

These considerations explain why companies often find the additional fee of private hosting to be worthwhile. We hope this introduction to “posting” vs. “hosting” clarifies some of your options.