Question: Are there video platforms on the market beside YouTube that marketers can use?
Answer: Absolutely. While YouTube is the most well-known free online video platform, it is by no means the only one. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. While YouTube is free to use, it does not give content owners as much control over their content. Part of the popularity of YouTube has been the fact that it is free, but many companies would rather pay to use a platform that gives them complete control.
The great thing about online video is that you don't need to spend a lot of money to use the technology. Video platforms handle nearly all the pieces of the video ecosystem and, once you upload your content, these platforms will encode your video, store it, deliver it and let you manage it. Most of the platforms also give you a lot of control over the playback of the video with customized player controls, the ability to syndicate content and a whole host of other functionality.
Any good online video platform service will also give you the ability to measure and track the success of your videos and how to turn those measurements into actionable business intelligence. Vendors can also show you examples of what you can do to make your video more of a targeted, personalized experience and discuss with you why you should make the effort.
Platform providers such as Brightcove, Kyte, Sorenson Media and Twistage have packages that start at $99 a month and are very affordable. You can find a detailed review of many of the leading online video platform providers by going to http://bit.ly/c1aWoT.
Dan Rayburn is exec-VP of Streaming-Media.com, a media company for the streaming media industry, and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a business research and consulting firm.