As you probably already know, when you place a SmartVideo tag on your site, our system intelligently fetches, encodes, and stores your video on our global delivery network. The original video file you stored is unused after this process takes place the first time. Instead, the video is hosted on our global delivery network and delivered to your website's visitors via our accelerated playback technology.
Long story short, your original file is only used once at the beginning of the process to tell SmartVideo which file to fetch and store on our network.
That's great, but where should I initially store my videos?
Glad you asked 😉
Here are a couple of recommendations:
Yeah, you read that right. We recommend using YouTube. But hear us out... YouTube allows unlimited uploads, up to 128GB or 12 hours per upload, for free. The costs normally associated with using YouTube for your videos (a slow-loading player, chock-full of tracking analytics, recommended videos, ads, and YouTube's branding) are mitigated by SmartVideo. Using YouTube for storing your videos is truly free when combined with a SmartVideo account.
If for whatever reason you are unable to take advantage of YouTube's free storage or want more control and privacy for your files, we recommend setting up an Amazon S3 bucket. Amazon S3 is an expensive option for streaming videos on your site, but just as with YouTube, SmartVideo mitigates those costs. As discussed earlier, SmartVideo only fetches your original file once, delivering the file from our network from then on. This eliminates any costs associated with streaming the videos directly from S3. The service costs around $20 per month for 1TB of data. You can learn more about Amazon S3 here. We've also written an article about how to use Amazon S3 to store your videos that you can find here.
These methods are not the only way to store your videos and stream them via SmartVideo, but they are definitely some of the easiest to set up. If you need some help deciding which method is right for you, give us a shout by clicking the orange button in the bottom right of the page. You can also receive further guidance for where to store your videos and how to deliver them via SmartVideo in our File sourcing collection.