How to Protect Video Content in Your Membership Site

Video can be a core component of a successful membership site and is a medium you should definitely consider using if you aren’t already.

Adding video content to your membership site or online course has many benefits. These can include increasing the perceived value of your course and easing the digestion and delivery of information.

On the other hand, getting started with video production can involve a steep learning curve. First, there’s the matter of selecting the right equipment. Then there’s getting comfortable in front of or behind the camera.

Learning how best to present and optimize your videos is vital too, especially if you want to ensure your content doesn’t make too great a demand on your members’ internet connections and your web hosting arrangements.

Finally, you may also have some very valid security concerns about how to protect video content on your site and prevent it from being accessed by anyone other than your members.

In this article we'll address that point by looking at some of the ways you can best protect video content (YouTube and otherwise) in your membership website.

Choosing the Best Secure Video Solution for Your Membership Website

By creating a suitable platform, such as using WordPress and a membership plugin like MemberPress, keeping your regular membership content secure is relatively straightforward.

However, when it comes to multimedia content, such as video and audio, things get a bit trickier. When you consider the fact that your video content is often one of your most valuable assets, the concerns around protecting video content are understandable.

Membership Video Content Security Concerns

Before we get to the best video security solutions, let’s first consider the concerns membership website owners often have when it comes to protecting their multimedia content.

Perhaps the greatest concern video publishers have is that their content will be downloaded from the protected areas of their membership websites and accessed long after the subscription payments have been canceled or refund requests fulfilled.

Not only could this downloaded video content be accessed by your errant members, it could also find its way onto download websites and become widely available for free. Your video content could even end up being repurposed as part of someone else’s membership product and sold as their own work.

Another concern is that your video content might be linked to from outside your membership site. If your video content is unsecured this can make it accessible to anyone who clicks on that link. Hotlinking is a real problem. Not only is it likely to devalue your membership site, it can also cause your bandwidth usage and hosting costs to sharply increase.

Sometimes your video content can be shared innocently enough, perhaps through a hotlink in an email, only for it to go viral, causing your website to go offline due to the extra bandwidth being consumed.

If you weren’t worried about adding video content to your membership website before, you probably are now!

Thankfully, there are security measures you can take that will help protect the video content on your membership website or online course. 

How to Choose a Video Protection Solution

Considering these security concerns, some of the features to look for when seeking a solution to protect your site's video content include password protection, domain-level security, and link sharing protection.

Password protection might not be that useful to a membership website powered by a professional membership plugin like MemberPress. However, it can come in handy when sharing your videos outside your protected area.

Domain-level security can be much more useful, as it ensures your videos can only be displayed on a website hosted on a specific domain. This prevents your videos from being inserted elsewhere and used as part of another website.

Link sharing protection is also important too, as it can prevent the URL or location of your videos from being shared outside your membership area.

So, now that you know what features to look for, here are a few solutions to check out.

Vimeo Plus & Pro

Secure Video with Vimeo

If you're looking for one of the easiest options for securing your video content and don’t mind paying for the privilege, then the Plus and Pro versions of Vimeo are a good option.

In addition to the intuitive user-friendly interface for uploading and managing videos, the platform's options include some great security measures.

With Vimeo Plus and Pro you can protect your video content using:

  •         Password protection
  •         Domain-level privacy
  •         Private link sharing
  •         Private, unlisted review pages (Pro only)

The Pro version also has some additional features to help you monetize your videos by selling and renting them out.

This all means that no matter where you publish your videos, whether it's inside a WordPress-powered membership website or not, you’ll have a great set of tools for securing that video content.

The Plus package is available for $59.95 per year, while the more densely featured Pro plan costs $199 annually. A risk-free 30-day trial is available for both options.

Find out more about Vimeo Plus and Pro

Secure Video with MemberPress AWS for WordPress

Secure Video with Amazon Web Services

If you’re only interested in protecting the video content inside your membership area, rather than on the public areas of your site or on other online platforms, using a membership tool that integrates with an external file hosting service might be a better option.

Using the popular WordPress platform and a professional membership plugin like MemberPress gives you a flexible way to manage the protected areas and content of your site. However, hosting video files inside your WordPress Media Library isn’t always the best option due to performance and security issues.

On the other hand, hosting your video content externally and then inserting it into the protected pages of your membership site can cause security risks if implemented incorrectly. While the membership pages of your site will be protected with a plugin like MemberPress, the embedded video content may not.

Therefore, one suitable solution is to use the free MemberPress AWS add-on to secure your video (and audio) content effectively. As the name suggests, the AWS add-on integrates with the Amazon Web Services cloud-computing platform. This gives you the opportunity to host your videos with Amazon’s affordable cloud service and display them securely inside your membership area.

The additional features of the MemberPress AWS add-on allow you to secure the files hosted on the Amazon S3 servers, including videos. You can also make use of expiring links, enable download prevention, and disable viewing outside of your membership area.

Not only does the MemberPress WordPress plugin provide you with bulletproof security for your self-hosted membership site content, it also integrates with the powerful and cost-effective Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing tools.

Other Video Security Tools to Consider

The above options make it easy to secure your video files in a number of different ways. Unfortunately, those who are committed to stealing your video content may still be able to find a way around your security measures.

The good news is there are some additional tools you can make use of to further strengthen the security of your membership site, especially when it comes to video content.

One option is the CopySafe Web tool from ArtistScope. This product claims to protect your website and its content from all print screen and screen capture software. CopySafe Web isn’t cheap, but if you're serious about security, it could be a price worth paying.

For even greater levels of protection for your membership site, you may want to consider the Site Protection System tool, also from ArtistScope. This software protects not only your video but all the content on your website.

Final Thoughts on How to Protect Video Content in Your Membership Site

Once you get over the initial hurdles, video content can often be quicker to produce, while also increasing the value of your membership site. Therefore, it’s definitely a format you should consider if it fits into your project.

While no solution is 100% secure, by choosing from the above options, you should be able to do enough to prevent the majority of your users from making your video content available outside your membership area.

How do you plan to protect video content in your membership website? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.