I just read yet another rather ill-conceived article about YouTube and brands. What caught my attention this time was the shaky foundation of this particular argument. It was based around a pretty infographic that reflected survey-based, non-quantitative data.
Haven’t we been here before?
You shouldn't use YouTube because the analytics simply aren’t there. Not true.
You can’t put high quality video on YouTube. Not true either.
You can’t post videos longer than a couple of minutes on YouTube. Also not the case.
So, here’s the article’s argument (and forgive me for paraphrasing):
Get off YouTube—NOW. You can’t use YouTube because we hired a third party to do a survey and respondents said it buffered, therefore people will abandon brands.
Let’s consider the following key points:
Buffering is not a YouTube issue
It’s a service provider issue. Having spent years architecting and building service providers and their networks, I know the games providers play to control traffic. All video (except their own) is the bane of service providers. Did the survey look at Netflix, Amazon video, and Aereo? Can the respondents surveyed actually and effectively identify a hosted provided video that buffers? Likely not because there is limited, if any, hosting provider branding.
Brands are embracing YouTube at an astonishing rate
If YouTube had as many issues as the report cited, then why would brands be embracing the platform so enthusiastically—and with such remarkable ROI? Earlier this year, I co-authored one of the most comprehensive studies on YouTube usage among the world’s top 100 brands. In both our quantitative data collection and our qualitative work meeting with brands, never did Pixability hear a complaint on YouTube buffering.
YouTube is so much more than a hosting provider
YouTube is a social media platform. YouTube is a community. YouTube is an integrated advertising ecosystem. YouTube is brand safe. YouTube is constantly evolving. YouTube may not be perfect, but it continues to revolutionize how brands market online and offline.
Consumers now interact with brands in a variety of different ways
The data behind our Top 100 Brands on YouTube study showed that the number of YouTube discussions around a brand is significantly higher than YouTube discussions initiated by the brand itself. They're not mutually exclusive, but third-party content drives brand traffic. Sorry, hosting providers: you can't help here.
Pixability works with major brands and their agencies on video strategy, video content marketing, and video advertising. Both YouTube and hosted solutions are part of our mix. We make extensive use of software, big data, and YouTube-certified expertise to help brands succeed with video online. Our technology not only integrates with YouTube, but it also ties in with hosting providers and all major social media platforms. We think we have a pretty sound, quantitative, and experienced-base view of top brands and their use of video.
We’ve been doing this for a long time and we know the flaws and challenges of every platform that we use, whether it be YouTube or hosting. No single platform is perfect, but saying that YouTube has a buffering issue that will significantly affect brands and their following is simply absurd. The discussion around online video should be focused on content strategy, curation, and audience expansion—not on a buffering wheel gif. Brands are waking up to the YouTube revolution in record numbers.
Perhaps it’s time for hosting providers to do the same.