Over the past few years, I have looked into several different options for integrating audio and video sermons into church websites. Many churches are using websites that don’t have this functionality built in, and they need a quick and easy way to get audio and video uploaded each week. I wanted to share a little about the different options out there, and share what our church has chosen to use. Here are a few options to checkout.
- Sermon.net – This seems to be the biggest service out there, but it can be a little confusing to get started. Their website is tough to navigate, and their basic player is very dated. They offer the ability to share both audio and video, and I would definitely go with the premium account if you choose them. The pricing info can be found here.
- Sermoncloud – This is another good service focused on audio podcasting. The service is easy to use, but they have just started charging if you want to archive more than 1 year of audio sermons. Our church has used this for several years, but we decided to find something new because of the cost. We also wanted to start sharing video as well. Sermoncloud is also tougher to integrate into an existing church website since they don’t offer a custom player.
- SermonDrop – Another service for audio podcasts. The player is adequate, but the service becomes a little pricey for only hosting audio files.
- BuzzSprout – Although not designed for sermons, this is a slick podcasting service for audio that would work well. The player is very sleek and contemporary, and I could see this working with most church websites. The pricing is reasonable as well.
- MediaRush – This is one of my favorites. It is a player for audio and video sermons. You can categorize your sermons and integrate this player easily into most websites. It is by far one of the best looking solutions, but it has two big drawbacks. One is the cost. At $30 per month, it can be expensive for smaller churches. The other is that you have to host your audio and video files somewhere else. For less experienced computer users, this adds another step to the process.
So that brings me to the solution we are currently using, MediaFusion.
MediaFusion is a new service that does several things right. For only $10 per month (or $99 per year) they offer a sleek player for both audio and video. They host all your audio files and you can even include sermon notes or powerpoint files. For video, they have chosen to integrate video from other sources. By not reinventing the wheel, they can keep their cost low by working with other video services. We are using Vimeo Plus which costs $60 per year for the ability to store and stream large video files. The sermons can be organized by series, and you can also link directly to the RSS feed and iTunes podcast. If you want to see it in action, click the above photo to see what we have uploaded so far for Cornerstone. We plan on going back and adding older series as we get time. So far, I’m impressed. It seems like a good service for smaller churches who want great results. They are still adding features and updating the service, so I’m hoping to see more statistics available, and there are a few quirks to the RSS feed, but I’m confident those things will be addressed soon.
I really like the current trend of offering web services that integrate and play nicely with existing websites. I hope we see more vendors taking this approach.