Website Videos: To Embed or Self-Host

We’ve discussed many times the importance of proper production and distribution of your video, but one of the questions that comes us from our clients is whether they should embed their content from YouTube or Vimeo, or whether to self-host. Embed or self host? There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

Advantages of Embedding

One key advantage to embedded video is its effectiveness for Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Hundreds of thousands of people visit YouTube every second, and it is one of the highest-ranking websites anywhere on the web. Embedding your business video will help you grow your audience and increase your potential for click-throughs from YouTube.Vimeo is another great video platform that many businesses prefer. Though it doesn’t have the viewership of YouTube, Top Pup Media embeds all of our videos on this site through Vimeo due to its fast load times and high quality playback. It is a very reliable platform providing high quality streaming. It also allows us to customize players so we can provide branded video playback.

Disadvantages of Embedding

There are some limits to what YouTube will allow you do; some professionals feel that there are too many restrictions on how you can display your media. YouTube restricts the thumbnail that you can use to three options so if you produced an important graphic to act as the thumbnail, they may not permit you to use it.The inclusion of advertising (which may in some cases be your competitors with whom you would rather not share a platform) and the absence of customer support are often cited as business reasons to avoid YouTube. Another issue with embedding the playback start times. For YouTube embedded videos, there may be a lag between when play is pressed and when the video starts. In our experience, Vimeo tends to start faster than YouTube, which is why we use it exclusively.

Advantages of Self-Hosting

Some businesses like the flexibility of hosting videos on their own website; the business retains full control over the content and how it is presented. Nobody may censor it or ban it, and you are not at risk of losing your content or being banned if you are subject to a DMCA claim.It also means that all traffic going to your video will register as hits on your site and improve your rankings, rather than that of a third party host; neither will your audience being expected to put up with annoying pop ups or advertisements – as is the case with YouTube.

Disadvantages of Self-Hosting

The major downside of self-hosting is cost: firstly, the financial cost of hosting the content on the domain can be expensive for videos which, by their nature, take up a lot of space. The more videos you put up, the more space you need, the more expensive it gets. Secondly, there is the cost in bandwidth. The more people watch your video, the more you will need. Video playback will get slower if you don’t have enough bandwidth of CPU power to stream the videos. If nobody is watching your videos because they give up due to lag, you’ve wasted a lot of effort and money.

Embedded Samples

This is the Top Pup Media demo reel embedded from YouTube:

This is the Top Pup Media demo reel embedded from Vimeo:

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