A lot of people would tell you not to host your membership or product tutorial videos on YouTube because they are open to theft and other non-paying people may see them but I am here to argue that there are benefits to putting your videos on YouTube.
Firstly, the hosting is free, there is no cost associated to having the videos on YouTube and you embed the videos on your own site so you can keep people on your site and bandwidth costs down.
It is the bandwidth costs that I want you to think about, many marketers put their videos on Amazon’s storage known as Amazon S3 which comes with a small cost. I have known people develop products and then host their training videos on Amazon S3 only to have their product ‘hacked’ and the login details placed on forums and other websites which resulted in a lot, and I do mean a lot, of people going to that product and watching the videos.
Technically the product was stolen by thousands of people, those thousands all flocked to the site over a short period of time which used up a lot of bandwidth and data resulting in the product owner getting a bill bigger than he expected. Not only that, but the hosting cost for some product owners was more than the amount they earned from selling the product.
If the product was just a low $12-20 product they were promoting on affiliate networks like JVZoo then they would be paying out 50-75% of the revenue to other people who promoted the product for them. So if sales were low, sales had to be split with affiliates and the product was shared on dodgy forums with thousands of non-paying visitors using up a lot of bandwidth then you can see why some of these guys actually lost money.
There are a lot of dodgy and unfair people around who will happily rip you off and share your products with others illegally. This can have a huge cost, not only in bandwidth and hosting costs but it is twofold because you lose revenue from sales.
You do not have any of these issues with YouTube, yes people may still hack your site and manage to share your product but it will not cost you more if it happens.
If you wanted to run a membership site and was using WordPress, a cool plugin like S2 Member will lock your site down and the videos that you add to YouTube can be set to ‘unlisted’ which means that your video is not visible to anyone on YouTube other than yourself but it allows them to be embedded on your site meaning that your paying members can watch them.
Depending on what your niche or industry is, when a video needs to be replaced with a newer updated version the older ones can be set to ‘Public’ on YouTube meaning that YouTube users looking for certain videos might come across yours and learn more about you and your membership.
You could re make a new video each week and then release the older version to the public so you are also building up a presence on YouTube and a library of videos. If you assign an AdSense account to your YouTube channel you might even earn some extra dollars in revenue from those public videos.
Normally the ‘Unlisted’ videos that you embed on your membership would be set to not show ads but if you allowed all of your ‘unlisted’ videos to show ads, then any that were shared illegally could possibly make you money. That is a lot different than actually losing money from your videos hosted on Amazon S3 if they were stolen and shared.
It does take a lot of views to generate a lot of money on YouTube via their AdSense system but some is still better than you losing money due to theft.
The other great thing about YouTube is that if you have an account which is verified, is in ‘good standing’ and you have at least 1000 subscribers then you can set up your videos so that you get paid when people watch them or pay a subscription to access your channels.
I cannot say how good the system is or if many YouTubers are likely to pay to watch your videos on YouTube itself but it is an option. I personally believe that having a separate website where you embed the videos along with other content which people pay to access is a better method.
But, this is the mobile generation and people use apps to access social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, they no longer go to them via internet browsers like they once did so accessing YouTube for many is a lot easier than going to a website so maybe the paid YouTube option would work better for you.
As you will see below, popular TV shows are available to watch for a small price via YouTube and Google Play.
These are well known and established media companies, TV personalities and broadcasting companies selling their shows but it is possible to create something that people want to watch and would pay for. The possibility is there.
As always if you have a plan in place then you can make it work better for you, again it depends on what niche or industry you work in. Some industries might require new videos being made each week meaning that videos that were once locked behind the membership wall can go live once they are old but still good enough to be seen but some industries might not need so many updates.
Whatever type of membership you want to run there are advantages to hosting your videos on YouTube, it might not be for you but I would not dismiss it straight away. Think long and hard about it, theft is an issue online, it happens but at the same time, many people worry about it more than what actually happens in reality.
YouTube might be a better and cheaper alternative but remember, a membership has its value not only in the content you can access but the content still yet to come and if someone has paid for a month and bookmarked all of your video links or downloaded the videos using one of the many YouTube downloader tools then cancelled their membership… they will not get access to the new stuff so they usually lose out on more than what they actually gain.