Online Video Streaming: Become A Media Mogul With ClickStream.TV
To say that online video is popular is the understatement of the decade. If you are involved in online marketing in any way, you constantly hear the drumbeat about the need to have video on your website. It isn’t optional any more, it is expected. Yadda yadda yadda.
What strikes me is looking back just five years, the quality of online video was so poor that we figured 30 seconds was the maximum anyone would want to watch it. The quality available today is fantastic and before long we’ll be able to watch 3D videos on our iPhones. No kidding! Toto, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore (apologies to our friends in Kansas for that).
So the obvious question is, how do you incorporate online video streaming into your website in meaningful ways? I’m going to introduce four very powerful ways to do so and one service we are impressed with that can do it all.
The most obvious application is on-demand video which a website visitor can watch when they visit your site. From messages from the president to product introductions, special events and instructional videos, there is really no limit to the possibilities. Your customers can view a video at their convenience, as many times as they like, without having to leave your website! Everyone can use this. Tip: autoplay is very annoying and research shows that many viewers will click off immediately if a video starts to play the moment they land on your site. Do not use autoplay.
If this is the only application you want to use video for, the simplest thing to do is put it on YouTube, then take the link and embed it in your web page. But there are some downsides and limitations to doing that. The only avenue to directly monetizing your YouTube video is limited to becoming a partner on YouTube and getting a part of ad revenue (not a slam dunk), making money on the traffic you generate off of YouTube viewers or becoming one of the chosen few who YouTube adds to their rental program (which is still in beta mode). Don’t count on getting rich doing this. You say you want to make more money with your videos? Then read on…
Sporting events, speeches, video conferences, webinars, church services, musical performances,dance recitals, etc. are all excellent applications for streaming live video to an audience, whether for a fee or for free. Imagine having people from around the planet join in as you present a webinar on your product or service. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Pay-to-watch videos offer your customers the ability to pay to view your videos. Training, continuing education, certifications, entertainment, instructional, special events, sports and live events are just a few examples. DVDs are going to be around for a while still, but more and more people are ready to skip this step and go straight to the content they want online. I frequently buy tutorial videos myself in order to learn a new piece of software or maybe a few new guitar licks. I have a friend that successfully sells magic tricks online this way. On one of my websites we sell on-demand videos about 10-to-1 over a physical DVD of the same video and we expect to see this trend accelerate. This is the future of the special interest video publishing business.
Mobile DeliveryThe mobile phone industry has shifted to increasingly powerful smart phones which can view streaming videowith astonishing clarity. A few years ago marketers thought smart phone users would watch the occasional short clip, but research shows that people are watching entire 30-minute streaming television shows and even full-lengthmovies on their phones. We are creating a society that is quite comfortable watching video on a small screen and which wants their information in the form of video rather than text. We are an instant gratification world so you’d better be able to serve it to mobile device users as well as laptop and desktop computers.
We are all deluged with email, so how is a marketer to stand out? Video, of course. Video email gives you the ability to deliver your message in a new, engaging and dynamic way rather than ask people to read it. Video email puts a face, voice and personality behind your message, whether to sell a product, ask for a donation, or give some kind of information.
How To Do It All
All of these exciting applications beg the question – how do I do all this? Bandwidth, platforms, media players, mobile devices, encoding… what does all of this mean and how much is it going to cost? Don’t despair.
One answer we found is ClickStreamTV.com. ClickStreamTV makes it possible to stream video on your website without having any sophisticated Internet knowledge or the help of a dedicated IT staff. Heck, they make it as easy as it can get. Think of the possibilities for your business when you start to stream either live or on-demand video directly on from your website WITHOUT embedding a player or utilizing non-professional methods such as YouTube.
ClickStreamTV.com allows you to design your own interface to sell pay-to-watch videos and control for how long or how many times a customer can view your videos. You can even create instant trailers by allowing the viewer to see a certain length of a video. This type of control and interface is exactly what we need as video information publishers.
One of the strongest selling points for me is that you can upload a video in any format – Quicktime, Flash, AVI, Windows Media – and it will encode into all of the other formats for you and serve it up in the appropriate format and speed for whatever device connects to it. People can view your videos regardless of whether they are using a PC, Mac, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, Android or other device, and you don’t have to do anything extra to accomplish this.
ClickStreamTV.com even includes a statistics feature allowing you to thoroughly track what videos on your site are being viewed, by whom, and for how long, enabling you to continually fine tune your efforts for the best possible results
I discovered ClickStreamTV.com at Streaming Media West. There was a headache-inducing range of content delivery networks exhibiting at Streaming Media West, but many were catering to large corporate clients, with prices beyond the reach of most smaller companies. ClickStreamTV.com not only offered a wide range of services that I can really use, but their prices are well within my budget, starting at just $59.00 per month, and I can use every single function they offer.
I’ll be writing more as I get more hands-on experience with each component. In the meantime you can check them out for yourself at ClickStreamTV.com*.
*I’m so excited about this program, that I became an affiliate for them so if you click on the link and sign up, I’ll get credit on my account.