We believe that a major key to success on the Internet, particularly the mobile Internet, is User Experience (UX).
We also believe that the wheel doesn't need to be reinvented every day.
Embedded audio and video are part of that user experience, and there are more video hosting services than digits on the average human's limbs. Below are explanations on why we recommend using services such as Youtube and Vimeo to share videos.
1. Server Bandwidth and Storage
High Definition and Ultra-High Definition (4K) video take up massive amounts of storage space. Thirty seconds of 1080p playback alone can use more than 200 megabytes of storage! That typically works out to be more than a website's HTML and Images combined.
Additionally, it takes a very high-end connection to the Internet (or multiple connections) to deliver this video to viewers at a speed that makes the video instantly watchable. If a video needs to buffer before or during playback, it will end up losing viewers.
2. There is No Single Video Format that Satisfies All Web Browsers
The wonderful folks at Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, and Google have all done a wonderful job making their respective browsers capable of audio and video playback, but unfortunately they can't agree on what format is the best.
One could upload and embed your MP4 or MOV file and embed it within your website, but that will most likely only satisfy a hypothetical 34% of the users visiting that page. In order to ensure the video can be viewed by the highest percentage of visitors possible, there are a minimum of three different video formats that must be created and uploaded. Looking at the first item in this list, the storage space required for this video was just tripled.
3. Increased SEO Presence
Youtube is the most popular video hosting platform in the world. People around the world flock to Youtube for product reviews, tutorials, entertainment, and more. Uploading a video as a publicly-indexed video can only increase a company's visibility and reach. This applies to other services such as Vimeo as well.
These services even let the content creator set a custom title, description, and category tags to help ensure that it will appear in relevant search results.
Also, since they're owned by Google, Google includes Youtube video results within its search results.
Subscribers, views, likes, and comments are free, standard features from Youtube, Vimeo, and other services. These turn into crunchable numbers for the ROI on a marketing investment, or valuable feedback on a product, webinar, or announcement. There are also subscription-based video hosting services that offering even more comprehensive analytics.
5. Interoperability (Youtube and Vimeo)
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter both allow for Youtube and Vimeo videos that are included in a users' posts to be opened in an inline fashion. The users don't need to open a new browser tab or window, or leave a mobile application, to view the linked video.
We here at Savvior have been in the business of building solutions for our clients for nearly two decades. If none of the recommended services fit what a client is looking for, then we will either find one that does or discuss what a customized solution would entail.
Youtube has alway been our primary suggestion for video hosting, with Vimeo following behind. Youtube may not be brandable experience, but the potential exposure they can generate a company is invaluable. Both of these services also feature close captioning for videos to assist those users who may be hearing-impaired or not have access (or desire to use) speakers or a headset. Savvior CMS has been optimized to work in a user-friendly fashion with Youtube.
For brandable, ad-free experiences, we recommend Vimeo Plus, or alternatively Wistia and vzaar. These offer advanced integration with native iOS and Android applications, marketing tools, and can integrate with other services such as Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and more.
Of course, for customized experience or specialized integration, we tend to lean towards Amazon Web Services (S3) for video hosting, with a video player developed in-house at Savvior.
The bottom line
Hosting your own videos has the potential to be both more expensive and a negative impact your user experience. In turn, this can lower your traffic and exposure and reduces ROI. For these reasons and more, we strongly suggest using a video hosting service rather than a customized solution.