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Why pay for streaming when YouTube is free?

We are often asked why people should pay us for hosting streaming video when YouTube is free. It used to be easy to answer because the quality was so poor on YouTube but that’s not so clear cut any more.

There are three main issues:

1. Unlike PlanetStream, YouTube give no guarantee of service or the quality of playback and it can deteriorate quite badly at busy times. So for professional users there is always the risk that a key visitor to your website could receive a poor impression of you.

2. Because YouTube is free they add their branding and their advertising to your video. This detracts from your image and dilutes your message. It’s a bit like finding a professional person with an AOL email address. It makes you look amateurish and even cheap-skate.

3. Most importantly at the end of your video they add links to “similar” content. At worst this could be links to your competitors but even if it’s complementary content it can distract your visitor away from your message.

We did a bit of a survey recently and got the following comment from a third party on a YouTube video embedded in a client’s home page:

“I just watched the video that was on the link that you sent and then at the end saw a picture of a helicopter, clicked it and watched a Royal Air Force video and then a Sony Television advert, then someone doing tricks with a football and then … all on the home page of their website which really distracted me from their services. I didn’t end up reading any of the content on the page…”

When you consider that hosting your videos “properly” costs as little as £10 per month you don’t need the above to happen very often to make that seem cheap.

At the end of the day there can only be one reason why YouTube is free. That is so that Google can derive benefit from your using it. Fair enough but don’t you want to control how your videos are presented? To try PlanetStream’s service for free (limited timescale though) call us on 01905 672593 and see the difference.

Oliver Burt

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