Video Blogging Challenge Day 11

Bonnie’s video blogging tip earlier this week talked about making videos without a video camera.

I am no stranger to making videos and not sitting in front of a camera! I tend to do screen-share tutorial type vids.

To mix things up a bit, I thought I’d take a look at other video options that are available. Today’s video was made using PowToon, an animated video creator.

Video blogging challenge - playing with Powtoons

The basic version is free and the resulting video is branded. On the free version, you cannot download your video only export directly to YouTube. As a result, the video is sitting on my personal YouTube channel – simply because that is the Google account I am currently logged into on the browser I am using.

Video Blogging Challenge Day 11

Playing with PowToon

How Easy Was PowToon to Use?

PowToon does have a learning curve. I started with a template and changed a few words and images around. It took a bit of getting used to as each slide can have many different elements popping in and out at different times.

The elements and timing for each slide are shown on a time bar  beneath the work area.  I’ll admit to it taking me a while to spot it!

PowToons slide elements and timing

PowToon slide elements and timing bar

Of course, I didn’t watch any tutorial videos or read any instructions!  That says a lot too – PowToon was easy enough for me to learn its basic use quickly and intuitively.

The video above took approx 15 minutes to create and 5 minutes to export to YouTube. It does state that exporting can take up to 60 minutes.

How Much Does PowToon Cost?

The free version contains a LOT of branding. Exported videos also complete the description and tags on YouTube . I thought the description it added was long and a bit over the top – I don’t like salesy stuff. I understand I used the free version, but a simple created with PowToon line wouldn’t have irritated me at all.

The cost to upgrade for a single user, remove the branding, be able to download videos and have access to additional elements and templates is $19 per month billed annually. That is just under £140 per year here in the UK. I think the cost is reasonable.  However, I don’t think I would get that much use out of it for my own use, and to create for clients requires an Agency license.

The pay per export option seems a bit pointless.  You cannot pay to export individual videos, but rather packages of 5, 10 or 25 exports.  Again, these are priced per export – so 5 exports at $18 per export is $90 or about £55 in proper money.

Videos exported using export credits are HD quality and you can make longer videos too.  Export credits last 6 months.  I think if I was going to use the software that often, a full upgrade would be the way to go.

If the upgrades were monthly billing and the ability to pop in and out as needed, I would give the upgraded version a go. I found the free version fun and almost easy to use.

Overall, the pricing structure irritates me as much a the excessive branding – you can probably tell by how much I have written!  Perhaps I just got out of bed the wrong side this morning? I enjoyed making the video, but the pricing structure and excessive branding grated on me.

Over to you…

Do you use PowToon? What do you think?

Video Blogging Challenge Day 11 by

Google+ Comments


  1. says

    I went to PowToon to check it out a while back and I’m the same as you — the price was a total bust for me. I couldn’t see paying what they wanted just to export videos I CREATE and remove their branding.

    I would prefer finding a cheaper option. Let me know if you find any!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Video Blogging Challenge – Day #15My Profile

  2. says

    I enjoyed the video Jan, and didn’t think the branding was intrusive – until you mentioned it LOL!

    I may try PowToon to create a free video one of my own, but I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for the paid version.

    I have a paid account at Animoto costing much less money than that, but I’m afraid my time pressures are still conspiring to keep me from videos. That and the fact that any I made with ME in them went straight into the bin!

    Thanks for suggesting it as another way to make a free video without ME in!!
    Joy Healey recently posted…Google Blocked From My SiteMy Profile

    • says

      Oh Joy! Get on video – if I can do it, so can you :)

      The Powtoon’s branding irked me, then I exported to YouTube and saw that long description and all the tags and I was really irritated. It just seemed excessive given how in your face the outro was too!

      I also had a paid account on Animoto – and didn’t renew. I simply didn’t create enough video there to justify a year subscription.

  3. says

    I’m with the others. I think it looks like a great tool and I would be on board with using it…I think I could find several uses…but definitely not enough to justify the cost. I can’t imagine anyone making that many powtoons videos to justify that. Even larger companies wouldn’t use it all the time. I think maybe 3-4 key videos with it and I’d be done. Great product just a bit overpriced IMO.
    Misty Spears recently posted…Niche Site #2 Update: Niche Social Media ResourcesMy Profile

  4. says

    Hi Jan,

    Got to say I was quite impressed with your video created with Pow Toons, although like many have said, the ending with their sudden branding took me off balance and the pricing structure does seems quite expensive, considering there are probably many similar alternatives out there, and then there is fiverr where you have skilled animators who could do something similar for a fraction of the price, they are shooting their own foot for not allowing pricing for a single export.

    Sky Nealon recently posted…P2S – Week 7 – Complying with Legislations, Acts and PoliciesMy Profile

    • says

      I tend to agree with you Sky. For low volume users the cost is rather excessive and other ways of creating videos may be a better option. I guess their market isn’t us :)