Somebody on the Warrior forum asked about hosting videos on Amazon S3, self-hosted or Youtube and was wondering about the best option. Some responses mentioned that Youtube is slow and suffers from poor quality and limited features. I must whole heartily disagree.
Answer: After producing about 400 videos and using every hosting option available over the last 5 or 6 years I have come to the conclusion that unless you are serving videos for a PAID membership area, Youtube is the easiest and most reliable video server to use.
Notwithstanding the position Josh has detailed here, since moving most of my videos to Youtube I have eliminated complaints about slow serving or no-serving videos that were either on my host or other. When self hosting, (especially shared) I think it is a given that you WILL get complaints about slow serving videos. S3 on the other hand has always been very reliable for me too.
I have never looked into bit rate or any other details, because all I need to know is that Youtube serves my videos in HD, with an array of sizing options and the quality is outstanding. My list also has a strong European base and like I said, ZERO complaints since I stopped self hosting. I have come to look at self-hosting as a last resort, however, my demands for video might not be as complex as others that Josh may be trying to help here.
I have on several occasions released a video and sent out an email to promote it and have had 5,000+ HD views on the same day on Youtube. FREE. I just can't be bothered to try and look for a better solution than that.
And yes, as mentioned above, use the UNLISTED feature for those videos which you only want to direct traffic to. This is perfect for an auto-responder series and I have 5 or 6 using this very feature.
One more thing about the link-back to Youtube. I never worry about it because if your video content cannot hold your viewers attention for the duration of your video, guess what? They are not buying from you and they are not signing up with you anyway. Your video wasn't good enough to begin with. Think about it next time you are watching a video. If the content is valuable, you are glued to it, and eager for the CTA. Personally, I welcome any viewers scouting other competitors' videos because I know if they are buyers, they will come back to mine for quality and value.
In addition, never forget the value of having YOUR videos show up in related content on Youtube. That is one of the most under-rated sources of NEW leads to your content, that even if you do decide to self-host or S3, then you should also have a copy on Youtube as well.