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Navigating Video Hosting Choices for African Online Publishers: YouTube vs. Own Video Players

 

General

In the digital era, African online publishers face a crucial decision: whether to use YouTube for video hosting or to rely on their own video players, such as JW Player. This choice significantly impacts how content is delivered, managed, and monetized. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each option is essential for publishers aiming to optimize their digital strategy.

 

Site Performance

YouTube: YouTube’s robust infrastructure ensures high-quality video streaming with minimal buffering. It automatically adjusts video quality based on the viewer’s internet speed, enhancing user experience. However, embedding YouTube videos can sometimes slow down page loading times due to additional scripts and resources.

 

Own Video Player: Using a custom video player like JW Player offers more control over the streaming quality and player features. It can be optimized for faster loading times, aligning with the website’s overall performance. However, the quality of video delivery largely depends on the publisher’s ability and willingness to pay for server capacity and network performance.

 

Costs of Use

YouTube: One of the biggest advantages of YouTube is that it’s free. It handles hosting and bandwidth costs, which can be significant for high-resolution video content. However, this comes with less control over the advertising content displayed alongside or within videos.

 

Own Video Player: Opting for a self-hosted video player involves initial setup costs and ongoing expenses for hosting and bandwidth. While this might be costlier, it offers greater control over the content and the opportunity to negotiate direct advertising deals.

 

Operational and Maintenance

YouTube: YouTube simplifies the operational aspect, handling all the technical maintenance, updates, and security. This ease of use is a significant advantage for publishers without extensive technical resources.

 

Own Video Player: Managing a self-hosted video player requires more technical know-how. Publishers must regularly update and maintain their video players and servers, which can be resource-intensive.

 

Copyrights and Infringements

 

YouTube:

Enhanced Copyright Protection with Advanced Monitoring Systems

 

Sophisticated Content ID System: As a publisher, YouTube’s advanced Content ID system offers a significant advantage, allowing for the automatic detection and management of copyright issues. This technology provides peace of mind that your intellectual property is being actively protected.

 

Automated Rights Management: The platform enables publishers to easily claim their content and set parameters on how it can be used, ensuring greater control over distribution and usage.

 

Reduced Risk of Infringement: With YouTube’s proactive monitoring, the likelihood of your content being misused or pirated is substantially lowered, safeguarding your creative output.

 

Streamlined Dispute Resolution: If your content is mistakenly flagged, YouTube offers a clear and efficient process for addressing these issues, minimizing disruptions to your content’s availability and your business operations.

content protection and content ID

Content Security and Monetization: Beyond protection, YouTube also provides avenues for monetizing your content, adding an economic incentive to the platform’s robust security measures. This feature is particularly beneficial for publishers looking to derive revenue from their digital assets.

 

Own Video Player: 

Full Control but Increased ResponsibilityComplete Control Over Content: Publishers have full authority over their content, including how it is presented and distributed.

 

Responsibility for Copyright Compliance: The onus of ensuring that all content is legally compliant falls entirely on the publisher. This includes monitoring and addressing copyright infringements.

 

No Automated Systems: Unlike YouTube, there are no automated systems in place to detect and manage copyright issues, which means publishers must manually handle these tasks.

 

Risk of Legal Challenges: Without the protective layer of a platform like YouTube, publishers might face direct legal challenges if they inadvertently host copyrighted material.

 

Flexibility in Management: Publishers can implement their own rules and guidelines for content, offering flexibility but also requiring a robust understanding of copyright laws.

 

Opting for YouTube over a personal video player offers publishers key advantages in copyright management and content protection. This choice, particularly with an experienced Content ID provider, balances minor control trade-offs with substantial benefits in protection, ease of management, and monetization opportunities. Thus, YouTube emerges as the preferable option for efficient and secure content distribution.

 

Monetization

YouTube: YouTube offers built-in monetization options, including ad revenue sharing. However, publishers have limited control over the types and placements of ads. A YouTube video is also able to monetise when playing outside of your own domain, e.g. YouTube itself, or shared on other platforms. For different sources of income for a YouTube channels also read our Blog: more sources of income than only advertising.

 

Own Video Player: Self-hosting allows publishers to fully control the monetization process, including direct ad sales and subscription models. This can potentially lead to higher revenue per video View, albeit with greater effort in sales and marketing. Also the video can only be monetised when viewed on your own domain, and is not able to monetise easily when shared online.

 

Conclusion

The decision between YouTube and a self-hosted video player  hinges on a balance between ease of use, control, and cost. YouTube offers a hassle-free, cost-effective solution with a potential global reach, ideal for publishers focusing on content rather than technical management. In contrast, a self-hosted player demands more resources but provides greater control over content, performance, and monetization. However, known use cases on the African Market have shown that self hosted video costs are significant and are mostly not covered by the extra ad revenue the videos can make.  African online publishers must weigh these factors against their specific needs, resources, and long-term digital strategy to make an informed choice.