As more businesses of all sizes embrace online video, there is a growing demand for customizable video platforms.  And while Brightcove has lead the charge in providing branded video solutions, there are many businesses that are still not able to afford their services.  A new service, called 23Video, thinks companies are ready to create their own branded version of YouTube and leverage their clients to build their own community.  It's from a company called 23.

Launching late last week, 23Video is essentially offering consumers the chance to create their own video site—the way that Pligg lets you create your own branded version of Digg, or Ning lets you create your own branded version of MySpace.  23Video is the same concept, only for video portals.  It's a CMS to create your own YouTube.

The launch of 23Video seems to be focusing on the price point of their service—and the simplified service-level choices for clients.  They think the big guys like Brightcove are too expensive and too complex for most companies.

23 is also touting the speed with which new video sites can be created, and how simple the system is for users.  They're marketing to individual companies and reseller agencies alike.

Let's take a quick peek at the features they're highlighting, which I'm pulling directly from their Press page:

  • Stunning HD video
  • Full analytics giving you feedback on plays, engagement time and playthrough percentage.
  • Templating and design modules to make designing easy.
  • Distribution of your videos via Facebook, Twitter, Google Video, podcasts and Youtube.
  • Videos playable anywhere on any device from mobile phones and iPads to Apple TV.
  • Global distribution making your videosite quickly accessible from around the globe.
  • Open Upload allowing users to easily upload videos to your videosite.
  • Controlling access to your videosite. For example, making the videosite accessible only to your intranet or for paying visitors.
  • Full API allowing easy integration with other systems such as SharePoint.

Because the pricing plans are part of the point of emphasis on this launch, let's take a quick look at what 23Video costs:

  • It's $675 per month to use the base service.  That buys you the use of the CMS to customize your video site, and includes 1 Terabyte of traffic per month, which works out to roughly 165,000 minutes of video.
  • Extra traffic beyond the 1 Terabyte limit is $250 per Terabyte.
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Well, the good news is that the pricing structure is, indeed, simple and easy to understand.  However, I have to raise my hand from the back of the room and point out that $675+ per month is still painfully out of reach for an awful lot of people.  Now, it's entirely possible that this is simply what this kind of thing is going to cost.  Because it's not cheap to stream video, that much we know.

And, to be fair, most companies that would take advantage of this service would have trouble using up all of their 1TB of data transfer, at least at the start.  Still, $675 is more than most hosting companies charge for standard website hosting—at an annual rate.  Penny-pinching companies are going to balk at the price alone, no matter how attractive the service.  But if companies want to join the video portal game and create their own branded video site, a rude awakening on bandwidth cost is probably coming no matter what service they choose to use.

I took it for a spin and found the process to be surprisingly easy to set up--and lightning fast.  Of course, as with most CMS packages, the template and design options are a bit limiting, but I presume that they will be adding more customization options moving forward.

So... are you in the market for this kind of thing right now?  If so, does 23Video sound like it suits your needs?  If so—and even if you're not sure—I would encourage you to head over to their website and sign up for a free trial.  And then come right back here to this post and let us know what you think.

  • Joe

    I rarely do this, but feel I have to. I clicked on the link in Charlieseymourjr's post. I got taken to an obnoxious full screen ad with loud audio that played automatically promoting some low rent financial scheme. Really rude for someone to post at this particular site.

  • Ronnie Bincer

    2 things...
    One Press Release Point says they share with Google Video!? How long has Google Video been out of the picture? Do they mean the do video site maps? with Google? Video?

    Next, what I really want is a place that is inexpensive that I can put how-to videos (or any kind of video) up that I want to rent out. Charge money to have people watch my premium content.

    I'm just starting to look at doing that with YouTube as a Partner you can "Rent" videos. But it would be nice to have a simple (aka cheap) solution for "hosting rent-able" video. (Secure area so some people don't try to steal it and then give it away or charge themselves for my stuff) Anyone out there got one??

    That's what the Dog wants... BTW, The cost quoted here is WAY too much for my clients.

  • Ed Nangle

    You mentioned they're too expensive, but Brightcove actually has 3 editions that are priced lower than that, starting at $99 / month!

  • Cpt_Bligh

    I don't think 23Video is really about competing with YouTube. It's about CTA.

    From an engagement perspective, you're asking consumers to interact with your brand on a new site where they don't typically find themselves. It's best to engage consumers on their terms when it comes to brand awareness and likability. YouTube pages are in their network and can be shared easily, without spamming them offsite.

    But if you're goal is a specific CTA, the 23Video site could make a great landing page...

  • CharlieSeymourJr

    Wow, Jeremy... I thought there was a decimal point missing.

    There are many Content Management Systems that are better value. And though I haven't been to see their site, I wouldn't be able to offer this to my clients.

    However, most people miss the most important point about videos to help build their image, message, and business: THEY are the heart of why people buy their products or services. Videos recorded with a Flip camcorder and shown through YouTube are more important that flashy video shown on fancy websites.

    When we connect with prospects, clients, and patients, we prosper.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  • Gregg J

    It's on the right track but still too cost prohibitive for small businesses. As a video producer a lot of our smaller clients are just learning the value of YouTube and getting them to leave that would be a challenge especially when you can create a YouTube channel for free.

    It's got some amazing features and I'll be watching closely to see where it all goes. Sorry Jeremy I haven't gotten to the free trial yet, but once I do I'll come back and let you know what I think.