In my last post, I looked at the benefits of using an online video platform (OVP) as an alternative to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo AKA the Big Three. Read that post here. But, as with any decision, you need to consider both sides. Here are the drawbacks of using an OVP.
Just because you’re paying for it, it doesn’t mean it’s any good. YouTube and Vimeo are tried and tested, and to their credit, are mostly reliable. If the user tries to watch your content and can’t because it doesn’t load or buffer then that user has had a bad experience of your organisation. And rather than blaming YouTube or Vimeo, they blame you. A service provider that you can trust is vital.
Mobile video traffic grew to 55% of total mobile data traffic at the end of 2014. The chances of someone watching your video content on a smartphone or tablet are only going up, so the OVP needs to work just as well on smartphones and tablets as it does on a desktop. On most occasions, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook are reliable to play on mobile devices - and your OVP needs to be too.
As I mentioned in my previous post, YouTube and Facebook are free because they generate the bulk of their revenue through advertising space. For a more sophisticated player, it will need a budget. It won’t be a huge amount, but it could be more than you expected if you were planning to use free services like YouTube.
But do the maths: if the content delivers the returns you’re aiming for, then an OVP would be a worthwhile expense. And OVPs are usually more affordable than you think.
Google, the world’s biggest search engine, owns YouTube, the world’s second biggest search engine. It’s no surprise then that Google will prioritise videos uploaded to YouTube over other OVPs, which can be a real sucker punch if you want your video to reach a wider audience.
That said, video content can be uploaded to both an OVP and YouTube. YouTube is a powerful social network so it’s worth maintaining a presence on there. Through SEO know-how, you can optimise the page with the video embedded on it, making sure it can be found on the search engines while also having an engaging YouTube channel. Some OVPs like Buto TV allow you to publish seamlessly to both their platform and YouTube.
YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook have been around for a while now and so people are familiar with how they work. If it’s already taken time and training to learn how to use these platforms, then an OVP will have its own quirks and features to get used to.
So, to summarise, here are the benefits and drawbacks of an OVP:
The video platform industry is constantly evolving with new features and technologies emerging all the time, like this multi-angle video experiment. There are factors that haven’t been touched on in this post, like the difference between an OVP and an EVP, or whether to do it yourself, pay for a software-as-a-service or focus on user-generated content websites.
With a myriad of video platforms available, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, with a robust content strategy, making a decision about how to reach your audience shouldn’t be difficult when you have a clear set of goals. Deciding whether to use an OVP will be a part of that.
What is streaming? - "A high-level view of streaming media technology, history, and the online video market landscape". A few years old now, but still a helpful read.
OVP or EVP, what's the difference? - I mentioned that OVP is falling out of favour as a term. Some platforms now prefer "Enterprise Video Platform" - find out why.
And here are some well-known video platforms with details of what they offer: