Do you remember when you watched your first video on the Internet? Perhaps it was on YouTube? Unless you were living under a rock, it was sometime in 2005, the year YouTube first showed up on the radar and quickly became the number two website in the world, second only to Google.
YouTube has countless views everyday and oodles of revenue from all that advertising you see in most videos. Yet YouTube continues to be a money pit for Google and parent, Alphabet, Inc. It may not be important to us that YouTube loses money, but Google cares a lot. They do all they can to increase revenue and advertising is their primary revenue source. Ads in video, display ads, ads in search. But its the ad revenue from videos that display on the YouTube domain where most of their money is earned. You can bet they do what it takes to get folks moved from other domains to YouTube.com.
The image above is a screen capture taken from a YouTube video embedded on a typical webpage. The control bar is the same control bar you see on just about every YouTube embedded video. Notice the ever present YouTube logo/link.
While it is true you can disable ads in your embedded videos, you cannot remove the YouTube logo/link you see at the bottom of the player. The reason is simple: To earn revenue, YouTube needs to get traffic to their domain where they can run their ads. So, one simple click on that YouTube logo and the traffic you worked hard to get to your site walks out the door heading straight for YouTube. And, while your video is front and center, that page likely contains competitor videos tagged just like yours. Your traffic may never return.
If you’re like me, you probably have a bit of IADD – Internet Attention Deficit Disorder – which is a result of a never ending, all day long barrage of information, texts, emails, more information, more texts, more emails. So adding distraction to your own website makes no sense.
So then I would ask a simple question “Why risk losing site traffic that you worked your butt off to obtain just to save a few dollars by not using a private video hosting platform?”
What is the true cost of YouTube?
We all work day and night in an attempt to stand above the crowd, to be audible in a very noisy world. It’s tough out there folks and we need to stay on top of our game if we are to succeed. We need lots of traffic landing on our webpages because only a fraction of that traffic will convert. Once on our sites, we must do all we can to keep visitors on our sites because we can never be sure they will return.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
My best advice? Use YouTube to drive traffic to your website. Use an ad-free, private video hosting platform to keep it there. There are many good business video hosting platforms from which to choose. The small fee you’ll pay every month pales in comparison to the much greater cost of losing a potential customer who was lured away by YouTube.
While there are other reasons to use a private video hosting platform, including robust features not found on YouTube, your primary motivation should be to protect the traffic you’ve worked so hard to obtain. That should be reason enough.
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