YouTube or S3 For Videos on My WP Site?

23 replies
I thought I heard somewhere that it was better to NOT use an embedded YouTube video in a blog article, but rather that one should self-host the vid. I just don't remember the reasons why this is so...if it is, in fact, so.

What is the prevailing wisdom?

Thanks.

Ken
#site #videos #youtube
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    1. Youtube videos link back to youtube and can be traffic leaks. A click on an embedded youtube video can lead them to youtube... and hours of distractions ;-)

    2. Youtube videos do not always load fast and sometimes have buffer problems.

    3. If you self host your video you can choose the bit rate and quality. This allows you to perfectly optimize the delivery of your video.

    4. Never embed multiple youtube videos directly on the same page. If you use multiple youtube videos use dhtml popup layers and make sure that they actually close when they are closed and are not just invisible continuing to load in the background. This can cause the visitors connection to bog down.

    Now, having said that... a lot of high profile launches have used youtube to host their direct response videos... including, most recently the Main Street Marketing launch that did it in an interesting way using the YT api and NOT showing the traditional player and NOT linking back to YT. I am not sure if this was a hack to use YT as a host or a traditional API integration allowed by YT TOS. It was interesting though.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenTheriot
      Thanks Josh. Makes sense. I put the vid (which is HD web-optimized) on Amazon S3, and tried using JW Player on my article as the player, but it is taking forever to load. Is there a way to fiddle with it in S3 to make it faster? Or will I just have to re-render it at a smaller size, do you think? He video is here: Audio For Videos – Do Not Let Bad Sound Ruin Great Video

      Thanks!!

      Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author SB274
    Yeah I have heard that before as well. I think the main argument is that you have full control over your self hosted vids, where as putting videos on you tube makes them freely available to the public and sharable...but there is also the feature on you tube where you can "unlist" your video - so I'm not exactly sure... good question
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    S3 has little to do with how fast your video loads or does not load...

    The only thing you can do on S3 to make a video load faster is create a cloud distribution on cloud front to put it on the Amazon CDN so that it is distributed to more locations globally for faster availability...

    But the situation you describe is only because of a few reasons that have to do with the video and the player and NOT s3.

    First of all... there is no such thing as "HD optimized" when it comes to optimizing delivery on the web. That is just a fancy term that someone made up to pretend that they are somehow optimizing your video for you. Generally that term would refer to an encoding process that keeps the highest resolution for HD video...

    And that is NOT what you want when publshing for the web because that means that your video is actually NOT optimized for web distribution... in fact just the opposite. Its optimized for visual consumption in HD intead.

    What you want to do is encode your video at a low enough bit rate that you reduce buffer time and buffer stutter issues with your target market.

    The rule of thumb is to NEVER encode a video for the web at over 500kbps (video and audio bit rates combined) and if you can optimize it so that it is 256kbps or less instead (video and audio bit rates combined.

    Next select a player provides you buffer controls and set your buffer settings to 5 seconds or less... but for that to be effective you must encode your video at an optimized bit rate as explained. If you do not have a player that allows you to set the buffer time, get one.

    If you do not have a video encoder that allows you to fine tune the bit rates at which you encode... get one.

    If you want to know how to optimize every aspect of your video publishing online... join our Optimize Your Video training site.
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    • Profile picture of the author genietoast
      I've never tried the S3 thing, but I have saved unlisted You Tube videos.

      Unlisted videos can be seen by more than the 26 people that private You Tube videos allow. Unlisted videos aren't crawled or indexed on the search engine either.

      You can still embed them onto your blogs, and if you want to make a particular blog page private, you can. It's preferred.

      Don't provide a link leading back to your unlisted video on You Tube itself because readers will be distracted by the suggested videos on the side bar.

      So embedding your unlisted You Tube video can minimize leaks,

      But...

      Just keep in mind that the title on the video itself is clickable and can lead people back to You Tube.

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    • Profile picture of the author KenTheriot
      Thanks Josh!

      I used the Vegas Pro "Internet 16:9 HD 30p" template, which says "Use this setting to create a high definition file suitable for uploading to Internet video sites such as YouTube." I'm re-rendering it to better match what you said. Also, JW Player (the licensed version anyway) does allow control over buffer settings.

      I will check out your site. Thanks again!

      Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author NikkiDelgado
    Youtube videos can be great and often load fast.
    You save on your bandwidth and disk space as they are ebedded and hosted somewhere else.
    You can also build up your backlinks by using Youtube videos on your site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by NikkiDelgado View Post

      Youtube videos can be great and often load fast.
      You save on your bandwidth and disk space as they are ebedded and hosted somewhere else.
      You can also build up your backlinks by using Youtube videos on your site.
      Don't fool your self... youtube videos are some of the slowest loading and buffer stutter ridden videos out there. Don't think that your experience watching a youtube video is indicative of the rest of the market.

      There are many reasons for this... but its endlessly frustrating watching youtube videos embedded on a website on my iPad for example. I have a 10meg cable connection at home and my ipad, connected wirelessly, testing at 10meg down on speedtest.net... watches Youtube videos buffer stop buffer stop and take forever to load.

      Its so frustrating that I often just skip the video alltogether.

      One benefit is that they automatically render in html5... but since their delivery system sucks so bad I cannot watch unless I am lucky enough to be able to turn off the HD and see one in the lowest def... it just never works.

      The key is that if you want to reach the widest market possible and if you are publishing direct response videos you want FULL control over buffer times, hosting, bit rates etc. to optimize the entire process.

      The rule of thumb is to encode your video at a bit rate that is slightly lower than the average bit rate of your average target market. If you are targeting the US market then this is 256kbps because many rural broadband connections are that slow... even commercially available connections such as hotel and various hot spots can be well under 1mb in speed.

      With youtube, unless you are watching on their site, in a standard flash enabled browser where you can select the quality they are often rendering videos above 500kbps or sometimes defaulting to HQ (which often happens in the iPad.

      It just comes down to what your goal is... if your goal is to publish a direct response video displayed on your website that loads the fastest to get the highest possible response and consumption... then you should host it your self and seek that high level of control.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
    I'd like to suggest a third alternative - Vimeo. You pay $10 a month, and the player embedding options are incredible - you get to select what you want and don't want to show so people won't be able to leave your site, and you also get to put a clickable link to your site at the end of the video if you wish.
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  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    Has anybody had any success with TubeMogul? I agree that sometimes YouTube videos load slower when there's a lot of traffic going to it. I've seen it happen when Yahoo! articles with YouTube videos reach the front page.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marty S
      After producing about 400 videos and using every hosting option available over the last 5 or 6 years I have come to the conclusion that unless you are serving videos for a PAID membership area, Youtube is the easiest and most reliable video server to use, not to mention the widest reach to ALL devices.

      Notwithstanding the position Josh has detailed here, since moving most of my videos to Youtube I have eliminated complaints about slow serving or no-serving videos that were either on my host or other. When self hosting, (especially shared) I think it is a given that you WILL get complaints about slow serving videos. S3 on the other hand has always been very reliable for me too.

      I have never looked into bit rate or any other details, because all I need to know is that Youtube serves my videos in HD, with an array of sizing options and the quality is outstanding. My list also has a strong European base and like I said, ZERO complaints since I stopped self hosting. I have come to look at self-hosting as a last resort, however, my demands for video might not be as complex as others that Josh may be trying to help here.

      I have on several occasions released a video and sent out an email to promote it and have had 5,000+ HD views on the same day on Youtube. FREE. I just can't be bothered to try and look for a better solution than that.

      And yes, as mentioned above, use the UNLISTED feature for those videos which you only want to direct traffic to. This is perfect for an auto-responder series and I have 5 or 6 using this very feature.

      One more thing about the link-back to Youtube. I never worry about it because if your video content cannot hold your viewers attention for the duration of your video, guess what? They are not buying from you and they are not signing up with you anyway. Your video wasn't good enough to begin with. Think about it next time you are watching a video. If the content is valuable, you are glued to it, and eager for the CTA. Personally, I welcome any viewers scouting other competitors' videos because I know if they are buyers, they will come back to mine for quality and value.

      In addition, never forget the value of having YOUR videos show up in related content on Youtube. That is one of the most under-rated sources of NEW leads to your content, that even if you do decide to self-host or S3, then you should also have a copy on Youtube as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnsIsotopes
        Originally Posted by Marty S View Post

        Notwithstanding the position Josh has detailed here, since moving most of my videos to Youtube I have eliminated complaints about slow serving or no-serving videos that were either on my host or other. When self hosting, (especially shared) I think it is a given that you WILL get complaints about slow serving videos. S3 on the other hand has always been very reliable for me too.
        Youtube does seem to be the authority on how to deliver videos, being the King of Vids... & now being owned by Google, who seem to do things ahead of the curve, I find it hard to believe that anyone could outdo them.

        I have found a site that lets you do your own vids & have tons of options to get around the traffic loss of Youtube. Not sure if I can post a link here, but I'll give it a shot... called Easy Video Player
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        • Profile picture of the author JJ Remington
          The single most serious drawback to YouTube (in my opinion) is their proclivity to suspend your account without notice and for no apparent reason. Of course, maintaining a backup account can usually mitigate the loss.

          So, let me chime in and suggest that viddler might also be considered.

          Regarding the YT api; no hack is necessary. YouTube has a very nice system laid out for anybody with a modicum of programing skills to use.

          I was (am) actually developing a product for a WSO here when suddenly last week I became aware that Mark Dulisse beat me to the punch! (you snooze, you lose!)

          If that isn't bad enough, he's giving it away for free. It's certainly not in my best interest to do this but I think it's worth a look at The Traffic Player by Mark Dulisse. He really did a nice job.
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          • Profile picture of the author Coby
            Originally Posted by JJ Remington View Post

            If that isn't bad enough, he's giving it away for free. It's certainly not in my best interest to do this but I think it's worth a look at The Traffic Player by Mark Dulisse. He really did a nice job.
            Holy Crap! That thing is awesome!!!! Exactly what I need! Thank you soooo much!

            This takes all the bad outta YT and keeps all the good... No more traffic leaks!
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          • Profile picture of the author InternetYogi
            JJ Remington

            The Traffic Player by Mark Dulisse

            They say if it looks to good to be true perhaps it is .

            YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

            If you use the Embeddable Player on your website, you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion or functionality of the Embeddable Player, including but not limited to links back to the YouTube website.

            I have a partner account with 10 k subscribers and I would say if you value your account that this could be a risk as it removes the link back to YT. So a violation of the TOS .
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          • Profile picture of the author paulie888
            Originally Posted by JJ Remington View Post

            The single most serious drawback to YouTube (in my opinion) is their proclivity to suspend your account without notice and for no apparent reason. Of course, maintaining a backup account can usually mitigate the loss.

            So, let me chime in and suggest that viddler might also be considered.

            Regarding the YT api; no hack is necessary. YouTube has a very nice system laid out for anybody with a modicum of programing skills to use.

            I was (am) actually developing a product for a WSO here when suddenly last week I became aware that Mark Dulisse beat me to the punch! (you snooze, you lose!)

            If that isn't bad enough, he's giving it away for free. It's certainly not in my best interest to do this but I think it's worth a look at The Traffic Player by Mark Dulisse. He really did a nice job.
            Thanks for sharing this plugin - it's awesome! It gives you so much control over the Youtube video on your WP site, and even removes the Youtube video info/logo and related links if you want! In addition, the video skin provided also looks pretty professional.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Split test self hosted vs youtube.

    See which one lines your pocket with more money and pick your own winner :-)

    For my clients its more about the player and the control... many want to do things you can't do with youtube hosted videos.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      Split test self hosted vs youtube.

      See which one lines your pocket with more money and pick your own winner :-)

      For my clients its more about the player and the control... many want to do things you can't do with youtube hosted videos.
      This is as big thing and alot of marketers are testing this at the moment.

      For me its better self hosted, and others on youtube. It think it depends on content FREE stuff, or you are plugging something and want people to buy it.

      we are finding mixed results, but josh is right test and measure everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Major Success
    Josh made some excellent points. I think that S3 & jwplayer would be an ideal setup for you
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    • Profile picture of the author KenTheriot
      Originally Posted by Major Success View Post

      Josh made some excellent points. I think that S3 & jwplayer would be an ideal setup for you
      MS - I am using that exact combination. I have the licensed version of JW Player and am trying to stream videos from S3, but it takes like 5 minutes to start playing once you click the "play" button on the player on my site! And this was for a video rendered at 256kbps and is only about 30MB in size (.MOV format).

      I still cannot figure out what I'm doing wrong. I am using WP with Thesis theme.

      Anyone have any ideas?

      Thanks.

      Ken
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      • Profile picture of the author InternetYogi
        Ken Go MP4 videos they are the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author paintbrush4u
    Josh, you comments are excellent value-add to this thread... I think I missed your site... can you let me know what was the site was "optimse your video training site?"

    Thx
    -PB
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Youtube can close your account at any time..

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
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