Beyond Lecture Videos: 4 New Use Cases for Your University Media Platform

More and more schools are seeing the need for video in their classrooms and putting instructors’ lecture videos online for students to access after class, but few are using their university media platforms to their full advantage.

The opportunities for further interaction and engagement with students on a university media platform go far beyond lecture capture. So how can your instructors make the most use out of your institution’s video platform? These four new use cases for your university media platform have the potential to evolve the classroom experience and improve student outcomes.

1. Interactive video quizzes

Instructors can make lecture videos more compelling by incorporating quizzes that keep students engaged with the content, reinforce their understanding and allow instructors to quickly and easily conduct assessments.

Video quizzing has been Ensemble’s most requested feature for the last year, and in our latest version 5.0, we’ve made it available to all users. Instructors can create video quizzes in just three easy steps:

  1. Select the video in Ensemble you want to add quiz questions to.

  2. Add directions and guidelines for the quiz, like whether viewers can skip questions, retake the quiz or see correct answers.

  3. Write and input questions into the video.

2. Short-form videos

Even though lectures provide a great deal of necessary course content, digestible, two to five minute long videos are much more engaging and memorable for students. In addition to class lectures and presentations, your instructors should provides short-form, supplementary course content that is either their own original creation or from other sources.

And while many instructors choose to not make supplementary video content required viewing for their students, with Ensemble Video, your instructors can access analytics to see who’s watched their videos and how many times. This can help them see which of their videos are most helpful to students and which types of video content they should consider creating more of.

3. Demonstrations

Videos that show a science experiment or a mathematical demonstration in action can help further students’ understanding of how things work and why. So, instead of simply delivering facts and formulas via lecture or PowerPoint presentation, instructors can bring curricula to life.

For demonstrative videos, Ensemble Video’s features like closed captions, interactive transcript and search inside can be extremely helpful for students to follow along and gain a deeper comprehension of what’s being presented.

4. Video assignment submissions

As we’ve discussed before, student video assignments can increase classroom engagement in a variety of ways. Creating original videos teaches students valuable technical communications skills and helps them absorb curriculum content more effectively.


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With Ensemble Video’s Dropbox feature, instructors can easily collect and grade student videos without having to worry about navigating multiple YouTube and Vimeo links, or individual video files through email.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ensemble Video or would like to give any of our features a try, sign up for a free trial now. With a comprehensive university media platform like Ensemble Video, your instructors can take their courses to the next level.

Why You Should Consider an On-Premises Video Platform for Your Company

On-premises video platforms are becoming more popular among organization leaders. That’s because on-premises, or self-hosted video platforms, help companies achieve a few key goals:

  • Integrating video tools with existing hardware and resources

  • Reducing monthly costs that can be incurred from cloud-based services

  • Adding another level of protection to their most sensitive internal media content

So, is an on-premises video platform right for your company? If you’re looking for an affordable solution that allows you to leverage your existing infrastructure and resources and has heightened security, you may want to consider onboarding with an on-premises platform.


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Here are some of the benefits associated with on-premises hosting:

Affordability (with the right platform)

Even though some solutions can be very expensive, with the right platform, using an on-premises video platform instead of a cloud-based one can be very economical for your organization. That’s because if you have the capacity to implement an on-premises video platform, you won’t owe monthly cloud-hosting fees to your provider, which can add up.

Ensemble Video offers the most affordable on-premises video platform solution on the market, offering more bang for your buck than other providers, along with a full suite of features and white-glove support.

Ability to leverage existing infrastructure and resources

If you already have a talented tech team on staff, or have already invested in network equipment, an on-premises video platform will allow you to continue to leverage those past investments.

Consider the hardware you’ve already been maintaining –– you can put it to good use with an on-premises video platform. And, using your own hardware to host and manage your media content can make it easier to back up and recover files should the need arise.


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Heightened security

If you wants to ensure your company’s video content and intellectual property is secure, you can implement an internal network password using an on-premises video platform.

By hosting your company’s training, research and development, internal communications. and other videos on your own local intranet –– instead of the public internet on a cloud-based solution –– you can ensure only individuals with authorized access are viewing your videos. You can ensure additional security on your especially sensitive content by implementing locks through usernames and passwords.

You can contact us for a free trial of our on-premises video platform solution. We’ve offered an on-premises video platform solution since 2007, and we have a great deal of experience in that area. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about using an on-premises video platform for your organization.

 

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You should feel confident that your company’s internal video content is secure, with or without an on-premises video platform.

Maybe your team uses video for employee onboarding, sales training or research and development. To protect your company’s security, only your team should be able to view these videos. Download our white paper: “A Guide to Securing Your Company’s Video Content” now.

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Looking For a New Lecture Capture System? These Universities Made the Switch

If you’re considering swapping your current lecture capture platform for a new solution, you’re in good company. Stetson University, Clemson University, St. John Fisher College, West Texas A&M University and Education University Hong Kong are just a sample of schools who have all switched to Ensemble Video from another lecture capture platform.

Why did they choose to make the switch? They each decided Ensemble Studio, Ensemble Video’s lecture capture solution, was a better choice for several reasons including high-touch support, flexibility, the platform’s value based on investment and more.

Flexibility of integration, video playback and security

Our customers appreciate that no matter what hardware they want to use, how and where users want to view videos or how videos need to be secured, Ensemble will suit their needs.

“By moving to Ensemble we wouldn’t be tied to an “only-works-with” appliance. We now have the flexibility to re-purpose the Matrox LCS appliances for other use cases if our classroom hardware requirements change in the future,” said Matthew Miller, Media Application Specialist for St. John Fisher College.

Miller also had this to say about our multi-device, adaptive bit-rate viewing: “The entire playback experience is fully integrated into the mobile friendly and responsive dual-stream player; including transcript, captions, search, etc.”

And of our wide range of security features, which are unmatched by other video platforms, he said: “The security features are incredibly flexible. We can restrict and allow access to specific assets, playlists, libraries, organizations, and the general public.”

Excellence in customer service and support

Time and time again, Ensemble Video customers note that our approach to customer service and support is one of their favorite things about working with us. The level of attentiveness and care shown in the demo and decision-making processes helps Ensemble stand out against video platform competitors.


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Of Ensemble’s service, Matthew Miller of St. John Fisher College said: “We were already familiar with Ensemble’s track record for both technical support and sticking to their release schedules. I couldn’t say the same for [our previous video platform].”

Although St. John Fisher’s original platform and Ensemble Video offered similar capabilities, Ensemble Video presented a better value through their willingness to collaborate on future software upgrades, said Assistant Professor and Laboratory Experience Coordinator Anthony Corigliano. “Ensemble offered an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with the development of features.”

Features that meet every school’s lecture capture needs

Many educational institutions also choose to switch to Ensemble Studio, Ensemble Video’s lecture capture tool, for its user-friendly video playlist and library organization, a wide selection of hosting options and unmatched value.

  • Video library organization: Ensemble Video’s flexible, customizable video organization capabilities create a seamless, user-friendly experience for both video managers and viewers.

  • Choice of self-hosting, cloud-hosting or hybrid-hosting: Depending on your university’s security needs or available equipment, you may choose to host your videos on premise or in the cloud. With Ensemble Video, you can host your video content however suits you best.

  • Unmatched value: No other video platform provides a combination of lecture capture capabilities, white glove service and security features for the same budget-friendly pricing as Ensemble Video.

Download our Stetson University case study to learn more about how one university that made the switch to Ensemble uses our platform to their advantage. If you’re ready to see what Ensemble Video can do for your university, schedule a demo with our team or request a free trial now. Or, take our quiz: Are you really getting enough value from your video platform?

How Your Instructors Can Increase Classroom Engagement With Student Video Assignments

Even as more and more university professors begin to incorporate video and flipped learning models in their classrooms to engage their students more deeply, many students are less engaged than ever with their coursework. As watching and discussing videos becomes commonplace in university class curricula, how can instructors use the video tools at their disposal to enhance their lesson plans and further engage their students?

Many university professors have begun to encourage students to create their own video content for class assignments. That’s because creating original videos teaches students valuable technical communications skills and allows them to better absorb curriculum content.


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Why all students should know how to create video content

Of course, most of today’s students know how to share videos on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, but many don’t actually know how to use more professional, complex tools and strategies to create compelling, informative videos.

Instructors shouldn’t take students’ existing skills in this area for granted. Students should be given opportunities to practice using video in more formal or professional settings. Visual communication is a necessary skill for nearly every career path, and professors should find opportunities to help their students learn how to use sophisticated tools to create effective video content.

How creating video content can be more beneficial than viewing it

Research has shown that “learning by teaching,” or absorbing material yourself by preparing to explain it to someone else, is an effective learning method for students. So, when instructors provide opportunities for students to teach their fellow classmates through creative and original video assignments, students can gain a deeper understanding of material than they would by simply watching the videos instructors provide.

Tools universities can use to make creating video content easy for students

When a university is equipped with a video platform, complete with organized management and security features, it’s easy for professors to assign video projects and for students to create them. Students can use their own smartphones or video recorders to capture live footage, upload those videos to their editing software of choice, incorporate other visual slides with text or photos and any add voice-overs. Then, universities or departments should have an easy-to-use system in place for instructors to collect and grade completed video assignments.

With Ensemble Video, students and instructors alike can take advantage of screen and audio capture to create compelling videos, and our Video Dropbox feature makes it easy for students to submit their video assignments for grading. To learn more about Ensemble Video, schedule a demo with our team, or request a free trial to test our features.

 

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Now that you know how your instructors can increase classroom engagement, take a look at our onboarding guide.

Read our guide to learn more about what to expect when you get started with Ensemble Video.

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Using a Custom Employee Training Video Platform

We know it can be tempting to use a free video service like YouTube or Vimeo to host your company’s training videos. But, because companies with unique video management and delivery needs, you should avoid free platforms and use a custom one. On a custom platform, your content is more secure, you can track video viewership, you have access to more helpful features and functionalities, and you can organize videos and customize your platform however you see fit.

More secure video content and protected trade secrets

Companies must be careful to ensure their training videos are not accessible by the public. Even though free video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo offer some privacy settings like the ability to select specific users for viewing access, these settings are cumbersome for video managers and do not offer nearly the range of video security capabilities as a custom platform.

For example, a large auto parts retailer and Ensemble customer uses the platform for training retail representatives in the store and on new products. Without security options like the ability to restrict video viewing to specific users, groups or their CMS, their video content would be at risk of breach by competitors.

Other custom video platform end-to-end security options can include: user viewing restriction, playlist viewing restriction, LDAP group video access, individual video viewing restriction, restricted playlist viewing by DNS or web address, restricted playlist viewing in portal, limited number of concurrent viewers and restricted access by IP address or IP range.

More control over video tracking

An important tool for training new employees is keeping track of who is actually completing video training programs. With a custom video platform, you can track and report viewership by user including duration and percentage of video watched, which videos were viewed and how many times.

Another Ensemble customer, a manager of high-end retirement communities across the country, uses the video platform for training, including a partnership with the Culinary Institutes of America on how to prepare food and care for residents. Ensuring staff has viewed all of the correct training videos helps them maintain quality and consistency across locations.

More video features and flexible content organization and integration

When you use a custom video platform to host your company’s training videos, you have many more options than you would with a free service, including the capability to:

  • Supplement videos with attachments, links and annotations

  • Use interactive transcripts and automatic closed captioning

  • Implement search in video functionality

  • Customize your platform with your company’s branding

Additionally, you can organize your video libraries however works best for your company, whether that’s by department, topic, individual person or another categorization.

If you ever need to make updates to your employee training videos, you can simply change the video file in Ensemble Video, and it will automatically update wherever the video is embedded. You can’t say the same for YouTube –– if you need to change a video there, you’ll have to re-upload and re-embed everywhere it lives on the web.

And because many companies are interested in managing corporate Gmail accounts, having a video platform that integrates with the company’s Windows Active Directory management system is critical.

More centralized video management

When you use YouTube to host videos, you still have to tap other tools for any screen capture or meeting capture needs your company may have. You have to record and edit on another program, and only then can you upload that video content to YouTube to share with your audience. With a custom video platform like Ensemble Video, you can livestream, or capture screens or in-person presentations and trainings to share directly on the platform. And with dual-stream recording, you can even share a side-by-side live view of a screen and a meeting at the same time.

When you can use one tool to handle the entire video delivery process —from capturing, managing and playing — you can reduce the costs of training at your enterprise.

Want to learn more about why a custom video platform is ideal for employee training? Contact us to schedule an Ensemble Video demo.

 

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Now that you know more about using a custom employee training video platform, find out if Ensemble Video is right for your company.

Download our comparison guide to learn more about what you need to consider when choosing a video platform.

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How to Double Down on Accessible University Video Content

Putting the tools in place that empower students with disabilities is necessary to ensure every single student at your university is set up for success. But, as we’ve noted in a previous blog, only 17 percent of college students with disabilities make use of classroom learning accommodations. So, the onus is on universities to ensure accessible solutions are fully integrated into classrooms.

The tools for creating a more accessible university are readily available for educators and administrators, and they’re easier to implement than you may think. Video solutions are one of the most crucial tools for creating equitable classroom environments.

Here’s how to use video content to ensure a more equitable experience in classrooms and across campuses for all students:

Offer a wide range of accessible video solutions for your students

To ensure content is accessible across many devices for students of all abilities, make sure your video platform is automatically equipped with:

  • Audio descriptions. These make videos and other visual media more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired by describing what’s happening on the screen.

  • Automatic captioning. This feature uses speech-to-text technology to create closed captions for individuals who are deaf or have difficulty hearing a video’s audio content. In addition to automatic captioning, ensure your closed captioning features are editable, can be turned “on” by default and are available to viewers when videos are embedded in your LMS, on HTML pages, in blogs and on other CMS portals.

  • Interactive transcripts. These allow students to follow along with videos at their own pace by reading a transcript as the video plays. To return to any point in a video, a viewer can simply click a word in the transcript to play the video from that point.

  • Keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts enable viewers to have an accessible university video experience without ever using a mouse. With just a few keystrokes, a viewer can tab to a video player on the page and use provided shortcuts to begin playback.

  • Screen reader support. This feature makes all text and images on a web page accessible for students who are visually impaired or are unable to navigate with a mouse by reading text and describing images displayed on the screen.

Seek a video solution that evolves along with new accessible university needs

Tools to address accessibility needs are constantly evolving, and to ensure a fully accessible university, your institution’s resources and vendors should be able to evolve as well.

Ensemble Video is committed to constantly improving and adding accessibility solutions based on the needs of the education space. Our video platform was developed within a university, with the specific needs of educators in mind, so our team is nimble and can easily create new features when necessary.

In fact, with our new version 4.8, we’ve made the Ensemble Video platform more accessible than ever. You can visit this page to learn more about how Ensemble makes video content for students of all abilities, and when you’re ready to get started working with our team, you can contact us or schedule a demo.

Ensemble Video Onboarding: What to Expect From Training

At Ensemble Video, we understand that every single one of our customers –– university or enterprise –– has their own needs, team capabilities and existing structures they work within when onboarding a new organization-wide tool. That’s why we customize our training for each of our clients.

So, what can you expect from Ensemble Video onboarding? Here’s what happens when we train you on the platform:

We dig into your specifics.

It’s important to us that you can make the most out of our platform. That’s why we work with you to learn exactly what you want to use Ensemble Video for and what you need to know to be able to use it.

When you’re in the process of deciding whether Ensemble Video is the right platform for your university or enterprise, we ask important questions about how you plan to use the platform, the pain points you’re seeking to address and any concerns you may have.

After working with hundreds of customers over the years, we’ve found that the most successful users take full advantage of available Ensemble Video training. Additionally, those organizations get the best return on their Ensemble investment.


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We provide training based on your unique needs.

Ensemble Video onboarding is not a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all affair. Based on the top three needs you’ve shared –– and maybe others we’ve recognized from conversations with you and your team –– we customize our training session for you.

After the initial training session, we recommend taking a couple weeks with your team to get to know the Ensemble Video platform. But, we also can work at whatever pace you prefer and can provide multiple training sessions if needed.

For example, one of our enterprise customers, a leading car parts retailer, was extremely process-oriented and careful about getting all of the right people in the room for a training session. Another university customer took advantage of multiple training sessions. Because of these trainings, both teams have been able to seamlessly implement and manage Ensemble Video within their organizations.

We’re here whenever you need us.

Some clients prefer to dig in to the platform on their own, while others don’t want to move forward until our team provides guidance. We’re happy to work with you either way, and our customers often note how much they appreciate our attentive training and support teams.

We can record and caption the Ensemble Video onboarding training session (or sessions) and share it with you so you can reference back any time, using search inside for specific terms. This is helpful for our customers who frequently need to train new team members on the platform. But if you need additional assistance beyond this recording, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Set up a demo with our team, or download our onboarding guide, 3 Days to Ensemble, to learn more about what you can expect when you choose Ensemble Video.

If you’re already an Ensemble customer and have a question for us, let us know on our support page. We’re here to help.

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.31.12 AMNow that you know what to expect from Ensemble Video training, take a look at our onboarding guide.  

Download our guide to learn more about what to expect when you get started with Ensemble Video.

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Enterprise Resource Preview: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Securing Your Company Video Content

There are many reasons to ensure company video security, like maximizing profitability, staying compliant or tracking employee viewing behavior. But to achieve those goals, there is a wide variety of security measures to pursue.

To gain an understanding of the steps you should take to secure your content and meet your business goals, carefully consider the content you’ll host on the platform. Training videos? Research and development materials? Quarterly meeting recordings? Each type of content will require its own viewing restrictions.

Before you get started searching for an enterprise video platform that can meet all of your unique video security requirements, there are several questions to ask yourself and your team.


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Questions to ask as you consider the content you’ll host on your company video platform:

  • Should some videos or video playlists be restricted to specific users or groups? For example, should research and development content like customer interviews and focus groups be restricted to viewing by your product development team?

  • Should certain videos be protected by passwords? For example, do you want to monitor who has viewed videos and for how long based on their user-specific login credentials?

  • Should select content viewing be restricted to our CMS or LMS? For example, your company may choose to restrict training videos for each department to individual CMS or LMS platforms.

  • Should video viewing be restricted to specific computers or networks? For example, you may want to ensure only authorized individuals with credentials can access marketing videos before they’re officially approved for public consumption.

  • Does our company need to limit the number of concurrent viewers? For example, if you have a limited bandwidth, you may want to prevent too many viewers from watching a video at once to avoid overloading your local network. Or, if you’ve you purchased a licensed training video that can only be streamed to a limited number of people at once, you’ll need this setting available in your video platform.

  • What IT resources are available for video hosting? For example, if your company has the IT resources like staff and hardware available in house, you may choose to host your own platform to maximize video security. Smaller companies without as many IT capabilities may opt for cloud-based video platform hosting.

Once you know the answers to these questions, the next step is actually implementing software that protects your company’s video content. In our latest resource, “A Guide to Securing Your Company’s Video Content,” we walk you through the steps you should take to ensure video security for your organization. Download the guide now.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 3.46.04 PMNow that you know what questions you should ask yourself before securing your company video content, learn about why security is important in the first place. 

Download our resource to learn more information on why you should secure your video content and why it matters.

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You Asked, We Delivered: Import YouTube Videos Into Ensemble Video

Before onboarding with Ensemble Video, university instructors often use other video streaming services like YouTube to share video content with their students. Typically, these videos are supplemental to the content of the course, providing how-to guides or diving into a subject further than a professor might in their lectures.

In institutions that use Ensemble Video, instructors have one central library where they can house and organize their original course videos by playlist or portal. However, sometimes, these instructors still want to share YouTube videos with their students.

That’s why, with our new Version 4.8, we’ve made it simpler than ever to integrate YouTube videos into Ensemble Video.

Why we made it easy to import videos from YouTube.

As we’ve explained before, YouTube alone isn’t the best video platform to share educational videos for multiple reasons. Advertisements, videos that play automatically and un-related “related” videos can be all distracting for students.

However, flexibility and integration are extremely important for Ensemble Video and our users, and we want our customers to have the ability to leverage all the tools they already use.

So, instructors who want to share both their original Ensemble video content and YouTube videos with their students can now easily keep that content all in one place. It’s no longer necessary to re-upload videos that were already on YouTube to Ensemble Video. Instructors can simply pull them in directly from YouTube.

How does it work?

You don’t need a YouTube account or any permissions to import videos from YouTube to Ensemble Video. You just need to copy and paste the video’s URL into the Ensemble platform. The video still streams through the YouTube player, but you can publish to Ensemble playlists, portals or other publishing methods.

Once you’ve imported a YouTube video to your Ensemble library, the video’s ads won’t appear. If there are closed captions or annotations that exist on the video already, they’ll continue to show up in Ensemble.

When you import videos from YouTube, the metadata is automatically populated, but you can edit it if you wish. For example, you can remove language in the video description that directs viewers to other places or attempts to sell another product. This is useful for preventing unnecessary distractions for students.

Contact us to schedule a demo from our team, request a free Ensemble Video trial or simply ask any questions you have about uploading videos from YouTube.

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UntitledNow that you know more about importing YouTube videos into Ensemble Video, read about the merits of using a video platform that goes above and beyond the functionality of YouTube. 

From too many ads, to poor security features and more, download our resource to learn why YouTube isn’t enough for education and enterprise.

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Maximizing Control by Self-Hosting Videos for Business

Most of Ensemble Video’s enterprise customers self-host their video content on the platform, and control is the most important reason why. Self-hosting videos allows your enterprise to leverage the investments you’ve already made in data centers and team members.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how self-hosting your business’ videos allows you to maximize control and self-preservation of your tools, including your servers and network, hardware, network efficiencies and security settings.

Your servers and network

When you self-host your company’s videos, you can finely tune and customize your internal server infrastructure and server components to meet your needs. For example, you may want to add more RAM or CPU to a more powerful streaming media server, and if you self-host videos, you can choose those settings instead of using the default settings of a cloud-based solution.

Hardware

Self-hosting videos also allows you to use your own machines to run your platform and control the entire system. Similarly to self-preservation of your servers and network, maintaining your video content on your own hardware allows you to opt for more storage and use backup routines for specific disaster recovery and media restoration needs.

Network efficiencies

When you self-host your videos, you have complete control of the assets living in your data center or corporate network. Many of our enterprise customers also choose to self-host their video content because they find taking advantage of their own network efficiencies can help them achieve faster upload speeds, sharper resolutions, and lower-latency viewing experiences.


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Security settings

Using only your own local intranet, rather than the public internet, to host videos is a sure way to control usernames and passwords, and protect intellectual property. When you protect access to your intranet through only authorized access, you can rest assured that the security of your video platform will be efficiently maintained on your network.

With Ensemble Video, you can choose to self-host video content. If you’re curious about whether self-hosting is best for your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’d be happy to help you decide whether your organization should self-host videos.

Are you ready to get started self-hosting videos at your business? Schedule a demo or request a free trial of Ensemble Video now.

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UntitledNow that you are considering self-hosting video content, you need an online platform that goes above and beyond the functionality of YouTube. 

From too many ads, to poor security features and more, download our resource to learn why YouTube isn’t enough for enterprise.

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