With over 1.9 billion active users each month, YouTube is by far the world’s largest online video platform. And because of its popularity, it’s the first place people often go to host their public and private video content.
For businesses, though, hosting internal-facing videos (e.g. employee training videos, knowledge-sharing videos from subject matter experts, and internal corporate communications) on YouTube can put the organization at risk.
For example, posting videos to YouTube cedes a business’ intellectual property rights of the content to YouTube. In addition, there is currently no way to post videos to YouTube in a way that enables the videos to be shared securely at scale. Read on to learn about these and other consequences of posting internal business videos to YouTube, and how Panopto’s enterprise video platform provides a better alternative for hosting and sharing your company’s videos.
YouTube’s popularity as a video hosting platform can be attributed to many factors, but key among them is simply that YouTube is free to use. There is a catch, however, in YouTube’s Terms of Service. The text below is excerpted directly from YouTube’s Terms of Service:
“…[B]y submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service.”
In other words, you hand over your company’s intellectual property rights every time you upload a video to YouTube, whether the video is shared publicly or posted as either Unlisted or Private. Is your company comfortable signing away the rights to your internal training videos, explainer videos from experts, executive communications, and corporate event videos just to save on video hosting?
By contrast, with Panopto’s video platform, you always maintain control of your intellectual property. All videos uploaded to Panopto are contractually yours, and you are free to package them up and export them should you ever choose to move to a different platform.
On YouTube, your options for secure video hosting are extremely limited. Setting videos as Unlisted lets you share them with as many viewers as you’d like, but should that link be shared more broadly (either intentionally or accidentally), there won’t be any way for you to prevent your company’s sensitive video content from being viewed by the wrong people. And you may never know that it happened. Alternatively, you can choose to set your videos as Private and restrict access only to specific viewers, but then you can only share that video with a maximum of 50 people.
By contrast, Panopto’s secure video platform puts you in control, making it easy to ensure that your videos shared only with the audiences you intend — whether that’s everyone in the world, everyone in the company, everyone on the team, or just one specific person.
And unlike YouTube, your videos are private by default in Panopto. Single sign-on (SSO) support makes it easy to authenticate users and to manage viewing permissions at scale in Panopto. Administrators can even set approval workflows to ensure that content creators only share the video content that has been deemed acceptable by company standards or approved as consistent with company branding.
When you search for videos on YouTube, you aren’t able to search the actual content within the videos. Instead, you can only search for information about that video called metadata (e.g. titles, descriptions, and tags). This traditional approach to video search might work well enough for the typical 3-minute YouTube video, but for the longer, more in-depth videos that most businesses produce, metadata-based search simply can’t go deep enough to help your employees find the information they’re looking for.
By contrast, Panopto helps you search the actual content within your videos the same way you can press “control+F” to search inside the content of a document. Panopto’s video search engine, called SmartSearch, indexes every word spoken by a presenter or shown on-screen, enabling your teams to instantly find and fast-forward to any relevant moment in your recordings. SmartSearch automatically indexes every video uploaded into your library—even those recordings you didn’t create with Panopto.
SmartSearch will enable your people to rely on your videos as on-demand references. Forrester called it “the best support for video search.”
Try SmartSearch in Panopto for yourself:
Click this link, then in the search bar under the presenter video type “our value proposition” and press enter. Click on the first search result. You should hear the presenter say, “Okay, so what’s our value proposition?”
With the ability to search inside your videos, your workforce can find and jump to that exact spot in the video where a topic is discussed in seconds.
In order to keep YouTube free, the video platform serves up advertising at the start of videos in pre-rolls ads, within the video landing page, and in recommended videos that may autoplay when a video ends. The platform also aims to keep people on their platform as long as possible by serving up related content.
As a result, your viewers are likely to be distracted with advertising you can’t control and other video content that isn’t yours. This applies both to video viewed directly on YouTube, and video hosted on YouTube that is embedded in your internal websites.
Beyond a simple distraction, YouTube’s algorithms may suggest content that you don’t want your audience to see, such as videos from your competitors or factually inaccurate user-generated content about your brand. Hosting corporate videos on YouTube opens up a rabbit hole for viewers that may present conflicting information, fringe ideas, and misinformation that can be more than a distraction — it can be damaging to your brand and perception.
With Panopto, you get an ad-free video platform that makes it easy to share and search your videos and only contains your company’s video content. You’re in control of the playback experience for all of your video-based training, tutorials, and communications, so you never have to worry about questionable external content getting in the way of important information or communications.
YouTube’s support for custom branding is quite limited. While it’s possible to add a profile picture and banner image to your YouTube channel, for most viewers, it will still be clear that they’re watching your video on YouTube.
By contrast, Panopto’s video platform lets you customize the look of your video library, the interactive video player, and the embeddable video players. This enables you to reflect your brand identity on the video playback experience, and your viewers to feel like they’ve never left your company’s site.
While YouTube does provide a great deal of interesting data about your viewers, it only does so in aggregate. If you need to know whether an employee has watched your recording — or whether they’ve watched the entire video — YouTube can’t tell you. That’s a serious problem if you expect to use video to share important internal communications or compliance training videos.
Panopto’s video platform, by contrast, provides comprehensive video analytics for your entire library as well as individual departments, playlists, videos, and users. That means you’ll be able to see which employees have watched which videos, as well as whether or not they finished watching. Panopto also provides analytics on viewer engagement, highlighting topics of interest or confusion. And Panopto includes support for in-video quizzing, so your instructors can build in comprehension checks during playback to help ensure viewers are following along.
Between quizzing and analytics, Panopto can provide valuable insights to stakeholders at every level of your organization, and can also help video content creators understand how your viewers engage with their materials so they can make improvements over time.
Aside from basic self-help content and community discussion forums, YouTube doesn’t provide support for technical video challenges you may encounter. Whether it’s playback problems on particular devices or accessibility troubleshooting, if you’re using YouTube to host important corporate video content, you’re on your own if something goes wrong.
With Panopto’s video platform, you can get access to 24/7 customer support from real engineers who can help you overcome your challenges and answer just about any question. What’s more, Panopto also includes integrations with many of the apps and services that your organization already uses, and provides developer APIs that enable custom-built integrations and automation for your video content.