Whether you use YouTube, Vimeo or your own video hosting there are pro’s and con’s to each choice and each is worthy of consideration. If you haven’t already considered what deeper implications this choice it holds, then read on.

Youtube Hosting

You can host your video on YouTube and stream it directly to you’re your site.

When you are hosting your video on YouTube, you get to have your own channel and you can edit the design a little too, however, the YouTube branding still remains in place. You can see the YouTube logo in the player even after you embed a video on your website.

YouTube is the most popular website for videos and millions of people browse through the content, more than on any other video hosting website so it has search (SEO) benefits. You can get your video sponsored and have it show up in the search results. But, so can your competitors.

The main benefit of using YouTube is its popularity and ease of use, even though uploading your video on YouTube results in a loss of quality and branding. If you upload a number of videos on YouTube, you can create a playlist and group them together.

Another good feature is the number of different tools that are available at your disposal. These tools are classified into three categories: Content management, Audience building and Money Making.

Vimeo

If you are uploading your videos onto Vimeo, you will benefit from quality and customisation. However, its best features are only available when you have a paid PRO account.

Not only will you get 2-pass encoding which makes your videos smoother to run over low bandwidth, but also more flexibility in managing the content and access to tools as well as priority upload options. However, this comes at a price too as you are limited to a maximum upload limit of 50 GB per year, and the videos shouldn’t exceed 5 GB each. Also, the views are capped at 250k. If you want to have more views or upload space, you will need to spend some more cash. Recently, Vimeo announced a new policy where it will not allow hosting of any gaming videos, the reason being they are longer to normal videos. It is also deleting any old gaming videos hosted on the site. In 2010, Vimeo rolled out a suite of advanced analytics features called Vimeo Plus Stats. It’s only available to Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO users.

Your Own Video Hosting

(or using a 3rd party managed service)

When you are uploading your videos via your own hosting server, you have to consider the bandwidth and the storage space. Normally video hosting service providers make up these costs through advertising. Another thing you would need to watch out for is the file format for your video. Not all players work with all the files, so you would need to adjust your video to the embeddable player. These days the .MOV and MP4 formats are safe bets. However, the good thing is that you have total control over your content. It’s always available and you don’t have to worry about the terms of use of a video hosting service. You can also customise almost all the aspects from player design to branding. However, this is a lengthy and laborious process, not to mention the technical expertise required.

The Verdict

It all depends on your needs as to which one of the three options you should choose

If you are alright with compromising on quality and want your video to have a wider audience, YouTube should be your natural choice. Even search engines seem to prefer it and show up YouTube results on top of their lists because it is accessed by more viewers.

However, if your main concern is with quality of the video, you should opt for Vimeo or self-hosting. Vimeo’s analytics tool seems to be regarded as better than YouTube’s. Vimeo and self-hosting will cost more, but… you are in control of what is seen on your site – and you’re competitors when get a sniff in.

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