Sorry if this has been asked before. I found a lot of similar questions but not a solid answer. I have two questions.
1) What is an ideal bitrate for a 720p video being streamed on the web. When using the Youtube default setting the file size seems to be rather large for it's purpose and I'm sure Youtube is recompressing the file on their end.
2) What companies do people use for video hosting? I was looking at Brightcove but am not sure what our success would be with their 40 GB a month of bandwidth. We are producing 2-5 minute short documentary style pieces. Currently we are close to the max number for their minimum $99 account, but not all of these are watched often either. If we were doing 720p video what do you think is a reasonable amount of views to expect.
It's always a tradeoff. You either have great bitrate and video quality and lose some folks with limited bandwidth or have reduced bitrate and people mediocre video quality.
Use CDN to deliver video content. There are ready-to-go solutions on market with fair price tag attached.
Brightcove is a great platform but very expensive. Try my company, iPlayerHD. $30 a month, 100 GB of bandwidth and only $.36 per GB above 100 GB. Plenty of features. You may also want to look at my competitors...good companies also...Wistia, Vzaar.