We’ve all seen the stats. YouTube has over a billion users worldwide and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. It’s definitely the silverback in the online video rainforest. But it’s not the only video player on the market and it does have its limitations. What’s more, it may not be the right player for your business and it may not suit your marketing or content needs.

In this blog, we’re taking a look at the hosted video player market which we’ve broken down into five areas: social; corporate; creative, internal and interactive.

Social

YouTube and Facebook are the main players in this area. These platforms are simply the best way to get your content seen and shared as the potential audience is millions of viewers worldwide. They’re free and they’re very easy to use. However, their huge success is part of their weakness. There’s just so much content being uploaded daily that it’s getting harder and harder to cut though the noise and get content seen. For brands, organic viewing appears to be wilting and many of them are now paying to get their videos viewed. Also, the audience data that you get back from these players tend to be limited.

Corporate

These players include Ooyala, Brightcove and Vzaar. The great strength of these compared to the social players is that you can control the advertising and, if you’re a content creator, you get to keep all of the revenue. You also get more control of the viewer data. If you put an email gate on your content, you can use it to create a database of users that you can market directly to. The downside of the corporate area is that it’s much harder for viewers to stumble across your content. So you may well have to advertise to encourage viewers to visit your website and view your content. Also, these services don’t come free of charge.

Creative

Vimeo is much loved by the creative community and you can see why. In comparison to YouTube, there are no pre-roll ads, the video player can be customised and branded and it tends to value quality over quantity. On the downside, Vimeo charges for its hosting services and analytics but it’s not as expensive as most corporate players.

Internal

Many companies find video a great way to communicate corporate messages internally to their employees. It works especially well when a company has many staff members in offices around the world. Specialist players in this area include Qumu. Obviously they are for internal use only so they have to be secure, safe and private.

Interactive

This is the new kid on the hosting block and it’s an area that includes the likes of Vidyard, Wirewax, Rapt and I-VDO. Their core strength is they gather deep levels of audience data (location, device it’s being viewed on, responses to questions etc) at the same time as offering a range of interactive functions services designed to engage users. Interactive players are particularly attractive to B2B companies who are more interested in analytics than garnering a mass audience.

In Conclusion

Ultimately they’ve all got their own strengths and weaknesses. If you want to reach a mass audience, YouTube and Facebook remain the best options. Just be sure to use ‘call to actions’ to drive viewers to your website. But if it’s that all important audience data that you crave – despite having to pay for their services – we believe you should consider alternatives such as corporate or interactive video players.

If you want to discuss your video strategy and the many options available for hosting, producing and distributing content, then do get in touch, our experts are always happy to help.

(This post first appeared on TheNewsMarket’s parent company’s site: DMA Media)

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