Is it possible to host, encode and stream all your videos for free?

YES you can host thousands of videos for free.

YES you can stream your videos to your audience for free.

YES you can organize your live event and gather people from around the world for free.

Without ads and white labelled of course!

YES the web service is free.

However, since the day we took the decision of being free, we have the same following question:

“I hardly believe that your web service is completely free…will you add some ads (like YouTube) on your videos to monetize it?”

Not at all!

We have been working in the online video industry for 12 years now (through the company Libcast). Our extensive experience brings us to think that, in 2018, selling hosting and streaming services is not reasonable anymore. Those costs have drastically reduced in the last years due to a massive usage within household and companies. In a matter of fact, the Moore law can be applied: in 2000’s 1Gb of video hosting could be invoiced several hundreds of Euros per month. Nowadays, for the same quota, the hosting service would be charged 0,001 Euros per month by most of software editors!

How do we counter this battle towards the lowest bid? For a year our team has been working, from scratch, on a brand new API aimed to offer a Premium service, with a powerful encoding capacity and able to hold important volumes. In short, api.video represents 12 years of experience in the online video market. And we are extremely proud of the result and the first users feedback.

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/faberNovel/

We are convinced by our mission which is to offer a credible alternative to GAFA in terms of quality, performance and support. Last but not least, we keep in mind the importance of data privacy (all data and videos are hosted in the European Union and strictly followed the GDPR requirements).

However, to share widely our knowledge, we had to associate it to a totally distinct business model. Only one model appeared to be right. Only one that could allow us to reach a bigger number of users: Freemium!

“Why are you free while other software editors are charging for their services? ”

5 to 10 years ago, the state of technology needed numerous and expensive equipments. But nowadays most formats can be hosted for free: your photos on Instagram, Google Photos, your live events on Facebook, your promotional videos on YouTube, your video games on Twitch, and all this… for free? Well, not exactly! Those platforms make money somehow, mainly with advertising.

We are persuaded that monetizing the video hosting goes against the industry evolution and restrain individuals and organizations in their communication and their will to share knowledge with friends, family, colleagues or fans, …

“Yes but how do you cover your expenses and extend your team?”

First of all, we can capitalize on the Libcast infrastructure, already streaming millions of videos every month but using only 30% of its capacity. This allows us to welcome big volumes of videos through our new API and address it to several millions of additional people without increasing our equipment fees.

Let’s be clear: hosting an hour of video, encoded in 1080p and stream it to 1.000 people costs us 0,008 Euro. If we ask 1 or 2 Euros per month for such a service, we would make an unfair margin.

However we are still talking about a cost and this is the reason why api.video completes Libcast (which is for now our main activity: the product revenues allow us to handle the api.video costs). This is a real opportunity, we do not have to run after fundraising to grow.

In the near future, we have few business model ideas, that will be developed beginning of next year. We are thinking to create premium features or fixed services that would bring a real added value to videos:

  • Advanced analytics. In addition to our current basic statistics available for free, the advanced analytics would give access to more technical and specific data.
  • Video quality. To reach a higher video quality.
  • Priority support. To give access to phone assistance for example.
  • Interface construction services. Based on the API for organizations missing time or ressources, the way Open Sources editors do.

Let’s keep in mind that the infrastructure costs are shrinking. A number of options allow us to make our service profitable, without commercializing bandwidth and hosting services.

“So, why did you create api.video?”

The web service has been created on the belief that the video format is becoming THE main format on Internet. Videos are sharing more information and knowledge than any text or static image.

We want to welcome educational, e-learning, informational videos…Basically avoiding videos from cats falling from the chair.

We want to satisfy teachers, trainers, developers, consultants who are building innovative services around the idea of sharing information and passing knowledge. We think those communities deserve respect of their work, their copyrights, their privacy that existing big editors do not insure.

We want to help you make knowledge accessible to everyone and count on you to share your feedback, ideas, suggestions to improve our service and partner up with you to build a better api.video.

Written by Cédric Montet — CEO & Co-founder