Our sister site GizBuzz reported today that Viacom will be hosting and allowing embeds themselves, sidestepping YouTube’s increasingly important role in the distribution of online video.
I thought this would be a good time to outline some advantages and disadvantages to hosting remotely and hosting yourself.
|Metrics||Hosting yourself allows you a broad range of possibilities for capturing where your viewers come from. You can track individual hits on the file downloads and use GeoIP tools to figure out what markets your viewers come from.||Video sharing sites provide one metric – view counts. Theoretically, you could embed your video on a page at your site and use a statistics package such as Google Analytics to track all views of that page, however if someone clicks through to the video’s page you lose that viewer’s information.|
|Price||Hosting yourself isn’t cheap. Aside from paying the standard space and bandwidth fees, you’ll also have to have some extra cash on hand in case your video goes viral. If you hit “Evolution of Dance” levels, pay up!||Free!|
|Audience||When you host, it is harder to get to people. You can – and if you do it is better for you because you can more easily know who these people are. The problem is, however – people may not know about your site.||YouTube and its posse, on the other hand, have huge numbers of crazy folks from around the world who spend their days and nights entering random search terms and watching whatever they find. Much easier to target.|
What’s best? It depends on what you want – and who you are. Smaller producers may find luck with YouTube, Vimeo, and co., however if you have a respectable ranking at Google and a high hit count, you will probably enjoy the increased control you gain through self-hosting.