Serving Your Own Video Content Versus Alternative Methods

Posting a video on the Internet for free or for a fee is a great way to share content and generate revenue. You could host your videos yourself, but video-sharing websites offer strong advantages that can’t be overlooked. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages to Self Hosting:

  • Flexibility. Hosting your own videos allows you better control of how frequently you add a video and how quickly it is made available for purchase and download. It also allows you to more quickly delete and replace a slow selling video or change the price structure or the description.
  • Capture Attention. You can add written content on your own web page where the video is displayed that may not be available from a separate video hosting company like YouTube for example. As a result of the text you add, visitors may linger for a while as they read your content and watch your video. On the contrary, YouTube and other video streaming companies, may advertise other videos on your page. As a result, your video is competing for the audience’s attention.
  • Capture traffic directly. Visitors will come to your site directly from the search engines or from your inbound links. This is not so with YouTube and other video hosting companies. Although your video may rank high with the search engine, the URL belongs to the hosting site, not your site’s URL. When users click on the link, they will arrive at a URL that is not yours to watch your video. And only if they like the particular content will they search for your website.
  • Increased Visibility. Video content helps to optimize a website for the search engines. The more you share educational and informative videos, the better ranking your site receives from the search engines. Thus, users who are looking for specific information will find your videos more easily. Over time, your videos will gain popularity and receive an increase in traffic. When this happens, the search engines will see your content as authoritative, and rank your site higher in the search results.
Despite the advantages, hosting your video also presents disadvantages.

Disadvantages to Self Hosting:

  • Streaming video requires a large amount of bandwidth, fast processors, and lots of hard disc storage. It also requires a constant and very high speed connection to the web. When your website traffic increases due to popularity, you will need to increase your speed, storage and bandwidth. This is to make sure visitors are able to download and stream videos fast and without interruption. Speed, storage and bandwidth are expensive and unless you are selling lots of video streaming and downloads, you may not be able to afford the monthly expense.
  • Hosting your own streaming video requires advanced technical skills. You will need great expertise in hardware and the software to create a web streaming environment and to perform constant trouble shooting. Remember, your customers want a trouble free experience in viewing your videos, they won’t be very accommodating with hardware and software interruptions. In order to attract and maintain an audience, you will need to present your videos in an appealing way. This requires skills in scripting languages also. You will also need expertise in encoding your videos to run quickly and look good on the web.
  • Startup capital is huge. While there are inexpensive shared hosting plans readily available, most will not give you the speed, bandwidth and reliability you will need to operate a successful streaming video business. Owning and managing your own web servers and writing and implementing your own software can be very expensive. Plan on investing a minimum of one year’s revenue in startup.
  • Takes time to increase traffic. Self hosting takes a lot of time to attract an audience. Much time and effort is spent building inbound and outbound links to attract the search engines. Meanwhile, posting your videos on an existing video site will increase the opportunity to gain traffic more quickly.

Your decision to host and serve your video depends on what you want to achieve.