As we pointed out in our post a few weeks ago, YouTube is a great tool for site owners when used properly. In order to help our users make the most of YouTube without any of the drawbacks, automatic YouTube conversions are included in every SmartVideo pricing tier.
How do the automatic YouTube conversions work?
Once you install SmartVideo on your site using our WordPress plugin or by simply pasting our snippet into your site's header, SmartVideo begins scanning for YouTube videos. Any videos found will be displayed in our clean, fast-loading SmartVideo player automatically, requiring no extra work on your part.
When a page with a video loads for the first time, it lets SmartVideo know to fetch that video, encode it, and store it on our network. From then on, the video is hosted on our global delivery network and served via our accelerated playback technology.
This means you can keep uploading your videos to YouTube and placing them on your site as SmartVideo will continuously look for new videos and convert them automatically.
Why not use YouTube alone?
If something is free, it's usually a safe bet that the one offering the product for free is making money one way or another. YouTube makes money off of you as a site owner by stuffing its player with overlays, recommended videos, and links designed to pull viewers away to YouTube. More viewers spending more time on YouTube's own website = more ad dollars for YouTube. The company also plasters its branding all over the player overpowering and overshadowing your own brand on your own site.
YouTube also loads its player with tracking analytics designed to gather information about your users. While most site owners are not worried about their users being followed by YouTube, they should be concerned with the effect the tracking analytics have on the playback experience. With all of the added weight to YouTube's player, the speed of the experience suffers.
Why use SmartVideo?
With SmartVideo, we've addressed all of the issues site owners face when using YouTube on their site.
SmartVideo cleans the clutter from the viewing experience, ridding the player of overlays, recommended videos, and links that pull viewers away. A clean player without traffic leaks means your visitors stay on your site longer. And, without YouTube's branding on the player, your visitors remain focused on your brand and content while on your site.
Speed is king. As you've probably read before, Amazon learned that every 100 milliseconds of delay led to a 1% decrease in sales. If a video takes too long to begin playback, viewers get bored and click away. If a video stalls-out and begins buffering during playback, a viewer watches far less video and is more likely to leave your site. SmartVideo begins playback 12x faster on average and buffers 8x less during playback than YouTube. This is due in part to the weight of YouTube's player as well as the proprietary video acceleration technology baked into SmartVideo's delivery.
To sum it up, SmartVideo helps keep your visitors on your site longer and focused on your brand, and makes them more likely to become customers by providing a clean, fast experience.