The Danger of Depending on YouTube - Take Control of Your Video Distribution

Many content owners and creators get their start on free video distribution platforms like YouTube. They are easy to set up and provide a steady stream of viewer traffic— these websites are a no-brainer for content creators trying to build their brand and audience. Yet, once they have established a sizable audience and content library of their own, do content owners put their business at risk by continuing to be dependant on another company’s platform?

We live in an age of digital sharecropping and many content owners are growing their video businesses on someone else's land. You do all the hard work of creating premium content and the platform that hosts your content reaps the benefits, keeps half of your profits, and controls your audience.

Content owners put themselves at risk if they put all their eggs in a single platform’s basket. They surrender control over their content, audience, and revenue and allow the platform to dictate all the terms. For example, Youtube has started to strictly enforce its advertiser-friendly content standards and as a result, many content creators’ advertising revenue is being compromised because YouTube pulled their ads.

It is critical for content owners to be independent and distribute their content across multiple channels, including platforms that they own and operate, for several reasons.

More Ways to Make Money

You have more opportunities to make money by streaming your content across multiple channels such as YouTube, your website, and your custom OTT apps. By using a strategic hybrid revenue model, content owners can create additional revenue streams from their content.

For example, YouTube and your embedded video player provide advertising-based (AVOD) revenue, in addition to subscription-based (SVOD) revenue through your OTT app. If you host a live stream event,  charge a one-time fee to participate and add some transactional (TVOD) revenue to the mix. The opportunities are endless and custom to your business.

Get the guide to choosing the best monetization model for your business, here >>.

Gain Control

Lacking control over your content, revenue and audience are the biggest risks of depending on a platform that you don’t own. When you have the independence to stream your content on your owned & operated site and OTT platforms, you lose the middleman dictating the terms. You’re not forced sacrifice significant portions of your revenue, you keep ownership rights over your content and you control the message to your audience.

Marketing Opportunities

Although it’s critical to be independent of platforms like YouTube, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to take advantage of them. Smart content owners leverage YouTube for marketing purposes, using it as a tool for gaining new users and then redirecting them to a subscription OTT app or website where they have more control.

There is a reason that many content owners end up taking the path of least resistance and rely on a platform like YouTube do the heavy lifting, doing it on your own is a lot of work. It’s a full-time job to manage and distribute content to a single platform, the thought of adding additional endpoints is overwhelming. OTT video distribution platforms, like Zype, can ease the burdens of running a video business by providing an easy way to manage, distribute and monetize content all in one place.

As they say, without risks, there are no rewards. There are always risks when building your own OTT platform and launching a video business, but the potential rewards make it worth it. It’s far more dangerous to continue to build your business on a platform you don’t own or control

Editor's Note : This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated with additional video content.