Before a video can be posted (embedded) on a website or blog it needs to be hosted in a location with Internet access.

Delivering video over the Internet is very different from traditional over the air broadcasting.  In the case of broadcast video, the transmission system is unaffected by the number of viewers that tune in.  The program is simply available in the air for anyone.  There is no additional cost of delivery regardless of audience size.

Online video is very different.  There is a cost associated with sending data through a network.    The more viewers there are, the more data is transferred, and the higher the cost of delivery – which is ultimately carried by the content distributor.   So, it makes a huge difference if one viewer watches the video or millions do.  Not only do delivery costs increase with viewership, the host server may not have the capacity to deal with providing services to large numbers of viewers at the same time.

Regardless of the hosting method, for optimum delivery it’s important to use a Content Delivery Network, or CDN.  (See Marketing Moves to Online Video).  Using a CDN will greatly reduce the jerkiness, delays and buffering that often come with online videos.  Many CDN’s will gladly host your videos too, but the user inferface may be complicated.  CDN’s charge a minimum fee for delivery and hosting.

In general terms, the video producer has three options for posting videos: self-hosting, ‘viral’ hosting, and online video platform hosting.


It’s possible to locate your videos on your web server, however that option may be undesirable for two reasons:

  1. If you are like many small businesses, chances are your website hosting plan will not have enough bandwidth to handle lots of videos being watched by lots of people.  And that’s the goal, right?
  2. If you are hosting directly and not using a CDN, viewers can expect a substandard viewing experience.  Not the goal.

Organizations that are large enough to host and deliver videos from their own servers through a CDN may be an exception to this rule.  They may also choose to host ‘in-house’ videos on their own internal network.  Examples would training videos, video newsletters, and other forms of corporate communication.

For those organizations, Viewcast is a company that provides software that can be loaded on to the host server to manage the loading and distribution of online video.


You Tube is an excellent example of viral hosting.   The biggest advantages of YouTube are that it’s free, delivers through its own CDN, and is the second most popular search engine.  Videos placed on YouTube can be searched for and widely viewed by the public at no cost to the creator regardless of the number of viewers.  And what business wouldn’t want their promotional messages to become ‘viral’ and be viewed by thousands, if not millions of viewers?


An online video platform (OVP) is a service you pay for that can host your videos on line and deliver them through a CDN.  So basically, you get the advantages of CDN delivery, with an easy to use  video management system – and it’s all cloud based, so you don’t have to host anything yourself.

With an OVP, you have control over the look and branding of  your videos, and you can control access to them.  It’s also possible to have your videos pushed out to YouTube so you can get the best of both worlds.   In addition, OVP’s offer deep analytics of your videos – where they are viewed, by whom, for how long, and more.  A good hosting service with an entry level price tag is Brightcove.

Popular OVP’s in alphabetical order are: Brightcove, KalturaKickAppsKyteLimelight,  MagnifyOoyala, the Platform,  RealGravity, and Sorenson 360.


We recommend (and use ourselves) a two tiered approach to hosting videos:

1. YouTube for your marketing videos, the ones you want the public to see and even discover – and hopefully become viral.

2. An OVP for videos you want to restrict access to, or for which you would like deep analytics. (We use Brightcove).

Once videos are hosted, they can be embedded into your website, blog, and social network.

Rick Dearborn is President of MarketVid.