Understanding the risks of public video hosting vs your own secure video platform

In recent years, businesses have become increasingly reliant on video – whether for operational use, internal communications and/or brand promotion. As a result, the processes and technology used to manage and distribute these increasing volumes of video is becoming a crucial issue. Likewise, the subjects of security and speed of delivery have also led media companies, who’ve long been tackling these problems of media management, to reconsider their incumbent strategies and where their content lives. Whether you think your organisation has yet found an effective way to securely organise and give access to this content, this ongoing challenge is certainly much higher up on the agenda of most businesses than it was previously – and rightly so.

In terms of providing access to content to internal and external stakeholders, over 79% of websites are using third party solutions to host their content rather than hosting it themselves. In the great majority of cases this is utilising either YouTube or Vimeo. For many, this might seem sufficient when simply hosting a handful of purpose-built embedded videos – after all, it is free - but there are implications when uploading, hosting and distributing all content in this way that will make it unsuitable for many organisations across Business, Media and Sport sectors.

So, if you thought using open hosts was the answer to managing all your media and delivering content quickly and securely to stakeholders, here are 4 key reasons you should reconsider:

  • Content security isn’t guaranteed - Paramount for all businesses with valuable and/or sensitive content – how protected is my content? The definitive answer is that using a platform like YouTube adds risk for a few reasons. The main one being that, from a technical standpoint, it delivers content to audiences through progressive downloads which effectively stores the media file in the viewers cache leaving it susceptible to theft through 3rd party tools. Through your own managed platform, you can have the granular control you should expect - choosing who sees and downloads what. Crucially, you have the ability to revoke user access and permissions at any time.


  • Finding your content can take time – Beyond searching the title and descriptions, free video hosting platforms don’t provide thorough media discovery tools to locate certain moments within longer length files. You are often only able to search title, author or even description. If you have a large collection and/or need to find specific content quickly, a more sophisticated media management platform is needed – enabling you to save time looking for content so you don’t miss out on further opportunities to call upon it.


  • You can’t provide a controlled brand experience – Self-hosted content allows you to create a fully branded shop-window of content for permitted stakeholders to view rather than just experiencing your content through the wider brand of whichever public platform you chose. It also allows you to definitively rule out any exposure your audience has to competitor and/or negative messaging as there is no built in advertising or related content links and you can approve comments before they are published for all to see.

  • Low quality video limits reuse of footage – Many of the most popular video platforms will not store your high-resolution master files. Over 400 hours of footage are uploaded to YouTube every single minute, and when users upload the content, the platform then has to process it before it can be displayed. Therefore, they limit the size and bitrate - creating a low-resolution proxy, which takes less time to process, and discarding your original file, leaving you to additionally store the master files elsewhere. A self-hosted media library will display proxies for online viewing but will also store the master quality files, enabling creative teams to reuse footage in order to save money and time on future productions.

Imagen provides secure media management and distribution software to leading organisations across Enterprise, Media and Sport sectors. Delivering a trusted and intuitive platform built over 20 years to improve media operations efficiencies, facilitate revenue generation, and/or protect and provide access to valuable assets for future consumption.

To find out how Imagen helps solve your media management and security issues, request a demo or get in touch.

For a full list of the shortcomings when using YouTube for business video, click here.

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