Get Adobe Flash player
by Ben Darby C Back to basics Finding the right online video solution hoosing the right online video platform is crucial to having a successful online video strategy. It’s not just a platform that enables your audience to access your content, it’s also a device that you can use to measure the success and learn more about your audience to build a community and increase engagement. Content owners frequently ask about the benefits of StreamMP over video hosting sites such as YouTube, but I must first explain that although they serve some similar requirements they are two quite different platforms. YouTube by nature was born to serve the user generated content network. Today it has become arguably the most efficient tool for Joe Public to upload, share and distribute media content with a global community, whereas StreamMP is a customisable media management platform controlled independently by its user. Not only does the content owner manage their content via StreamMP, but they can also control the distribution and manage their own online community. This brings us on to the first component that sets these two platforms apart. 48 hours of content are uploaded to the YouTube community every minute, contributing to a staggering 8 years of content every day. Content owners that hope to benefit from YouTube would be aware that although they may have their own channel, their content becomes no more unique, specialised or customised as the billions of clips that inhabit the entire community. This can also become problematic for content owners who want to increase web traffic, as YouTube benefits from the video hits. StreamMP holds the advantage here as the player can be embed within your site and does not divert back to a video hosting website. The player is also customisable enabling the opportunity for the content owner to brand the players face, features and functionality to match the brand. If a content owner takes branding, web traffic and audience figures seriously, then monetisation and other advertising options would most likely be the next step forward. Video hosting websites as well as YouTube really do take the wheel from the content owner here. Not only has it become increasingly difficult to secure monetisation within YouTube, but the adverts that appear on your content will be non-consented, as will the ads that appear as thumbnails alongside the player, 36 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE or amongst your competitor’s thumbnails who may be releasing content on a similar subject. Therefore there is a lot more to be gained through managing and dictating your own commercial affairs, especially if you are working within a competitive environment or simply want to take advantage of more advertising opportunities. The third distinguishing component and possibly the most important is the access to analytics and statistical data. Only by having access to relevant, current and comprehensive analytics can a content owner reflect on their online video strategy and implement fundamental changes that work with the habits and attitudes of their audiences. This year YouTube added a very basic analytics function giving users access to the number of views over time as well as couple of other statistics such as “likes” and “dislikes”, analytical data that would most probably fall short of the requirements of even the smaller content owner today. In comparison this is where StreamMP really wears the crown, giving access to detailed statistics covering location, average viewing time, player impressions ratio as well as content drop off statistics that paint a clearer picture of your audience. The truth is that when it comes to the components that help drive an online video strategy, YouTube lacks the support and opportunity that aids development. There is however an important reason for this and one that is often forgotten. YouTube and similar rival video hosting sites have never hid the fact that they are primarily a C2C service. It works as a very democratic community that restricts commercial individualism, something that is absolutely critical to a content owner who is distributing online. I would always recommend the use of a YouTube channel for SEO purposes, as it’s always a great idea to duplicate content on multiple platforms to simply increase online presence. But when it comes to utilising your content with the desire to build audiences and enhance engagement, choose a media platform that can represent your brand and better still, choose a media platform that can represent your audience through great statistics and detailed analytics. Ben Darby is the Communications and Marketing Manager for Stream UK, a leading streaming solutions provider. Previously working within Television PR, he has also worked as an advertising consultant for businesses and brands within the UK, where he learnt firsthand the fundamental stages between production and consumer impact