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April 10, 2011

Which Video Sharing Service is Best for You?

The No Film School newsletter includes a lot of exclusive content that doesn't appear on this site; this post is a sample of one such email that used to go out. In it, we'll look at why you should use a video sharing service, and which services might work best for you. I mistakenly removed this email from the list thinking it was causing folks to unsubscribe, but it turns out I was reading the analytics wrong (and I can't reinstitute the email without sending it a second time). So here's a sample of the newsletter -- subscribe free for more exclusive content!

While I recommend BlueHost for good, cheap web hosting, for sharing your videos I don't recommend using your own host -- it's better to use a video sharing service (many of which are free). Before we get into the particulars of different sharing sites, however, first let's look at some reasons to use a video sharing service:

  1. A bona fide sharing service is tested thoroughly on different browsers, ensuring that more people will be able to view your videos.
  2. Good video sites offer the best sharing tools -- like allowing others to embed your video, drastically increasing your views and reach.
  3. Video sites adapt to changing technology; for example, HTML5 is steadily replacing Flash video, and sites like YouTube and Vimeo adapt without requiring you to go back and reformat your uploads.
  4. Good sharing services give you granular statistics on how many views your videos get -- and where those views are coming from.

I learned these things the hard way, as we built or own custom video player for our DIY web series The West Side -- and despite the fact that we won a Webby Award and the series got us an agent (and our foot in the door in Hollywood), to this day I still can't tell you with any certainty exactly how many views we got. Oops.

So you're going to want to use an existing service rather than self-host. Which service you use comes down to a few questions:

  1. Do you just need somewhere to host your videos, or are you going to actively try to build a following and maximize your # of views?
  2. What kind of videos are you going to be posting -- narrative shorts, web series, home videos, tutorials?
  3. Are you going to try to monetize your videos?

I'm not going to do an exhaustive run-through of all of the video hosting services out there -- which I did years ago -- so this time around, let's just focus on three main options (I'll throw in a bonus as well). Briefly:

Vimeo

Pros: Vimeo has a great community of video creators. By and large the community is more friendly, and you'll get more intelligent feedback, than YouTube. It's free to post, view, and share content. There are no ads run in front of your videos. You can often download source files if the creator enables it. Cons: There's no way to monetize your video. If you want to upload and share a lot of HD content -- or if you want access to the full statistics back-end, which is terrific -- you'll want to spring for Vimeo Plus, which is $60 a year (that works out to a mere $5/month, however).

YouTube

Pros: The largest video platform out there and the third-most visited web site on the planet. Offers a lot of audience-building tools if you're planning on posting frequently and creating your own "channel." If your videos get a lot of views, you can get paid for ads run on top of your content via the Partner Program. Offers unlimited HD uploads and embeds (content is restricted to 15 minutes for non-partners, however). Cons: The comments can get pretty ugly. Don't be surprised if people say dumbass things; such is the nature of all faceless internet commentary, but especially on YouTube. The payouts of the partner program, which relies heavily on overlay ads instead of pre-rolls, are reportedly lower than some other options.

blip.tv

Pros: Blip is a great option if you're doing a web series. If your content is serialized and you think of it as a "show," that's exactly Blip's territory. They are focused on monetizing web series, with a full ad sales team dedicated to doing so; definitely check them out if this is what you're pursuing. I also hear that their payouts per view are higher than YouTube's. Finally, they syndicate content to other sites -- including Vimeo, YouTube, and iTunes -- for you, which is great if you want to upload once and publish to multiple destinations. Cons: They don't have the viewership that YouTube does. As with anything you do, however, it's going to be up to you to build an audience -- no service will not do that for you automatically! Unless you want to cheat and buy views on YouTube.

TubeMogul

TubeMogul isn't a sharing service like the others; rather, it's a "syndicator" that allows you to upload your videos to a number of sites (including the aforementioned three) at once. Basically you link your account at these three services (and many others) to TubeMogul, which will then automatically upload your videos and track statistics across multiple sites. This way you'll actually know how many views your videos are getting -- no matter where they appear. This portion of TubeMogul is free, and they've also launched a video ad service that has increasingly become their focus (I haven't had a chance to test it yet, however).

That should do it for now. I hope this email post was helpful in figuring out where to post your videos -- this is stuff I would've liked to have known from the beginning. Perhaps in the future we'll go more in-depth with these services and several more as well. That's the difference between an email and a blog post: I try to keep emails down to a certain length. Feel free to share your own experiences or preferred video sharing services in the comments...

[top image from TubeMogul]

Your Comment

12 Comments

Vimeo & YouTube Only

April 10, 2011

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YouTube is the monster in this equation and unfortunately attracts lots of trolls. But for building a large audience it's the only real option right now. If you can get past the negative comments of a few trolls, you can do quite well on YouTube.

As for making money on YouTube. There are quite a few people making a very good living from their YouTube channels. The Partners Project highlights some of these popular YouTubers (http://www.youtube.com/user/partnersproject).

April 10, 2011

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where can i find a website that allows uploading a video in 20min or 30min lenght for free? could anyone help please :)

April 10, 2011

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Ammar

I think both Vimeo and Youtube allow this now. I'm not familiar enough with blip.tv to know if they do.

April 13, 2011

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SB

All of those are solid, expect Revver (as pictured) which has closed its doors I believe. Lots of good options out there for filmmakers to upload to! But the competition for eyeballs and attention is pretty intense!

April 11, 2011

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VIMEO is the best for Filmmakers like me who wants to share they're work.

April 12, 2011

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If we are talking feature film promotion, then posting a trailer across all video platforms is my preference. Of course, you'll want to include a title card with your website address and a call to action.

April 13, 2011

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Vimeo is very respectful with their terms and conditions also. Like how they only use stuff that you currently have uploaded to only promote themselves. Once you take down a video they will not keep using it. I really like that and they made most of it simple to read and understand.

October 14, 2011

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Thanks for the info - really useful. I'm just about to post a web series so blip will probably be best for that.

February 7, 2012

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Now there is a way to monetize your Vimeo Pro videos.

If you are looking for a simple way to monetize your Vimeo Pro videos without degrading your quality content with advertisements (I'm not really font of ads). Maybe you should take a look at, http://www.cleeng.com.. In this blogpost we tell you all about it! http://cleeng.com/blog/cleeng-play-video-monetization/ Watch the movie and see, it’s easy as 1-2-3 and above all free! ;-)

Let me know what you think!

September 4, 2012

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My Requirement
1. Site should have all popular songs
2. No Ads in the videos (I hate YOUTUBE for this)
3. Easy search (I searched Metallica songs on VIMEO like this and didn't get any responses - " Metallica I Disappear )
4. Repeater/Looper buitin or and extension from chrome/addon from mozilla

December 31, 2012

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Amit

http://irackit.com is the best , can do multiple uploads of 3GB each... best

March 17, 2013

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Guru