Monday, May 30, 2011

7 YouTube Alternatives

Whenever we think of online video, we always think of Youtube, but I bet you'd be surprised to learn that there are over 50 other online video networks in the US alone. Most of them are very targeted and specialized, but there are a few that are clear competitors for Youtube's throne (although there's not much chance of them overthrowing the king anytime soon).

Here's a great article from Mashable regarding 7 Youtube alternatives that are definitely checking out.


What it is: Online video with a strong slant toward webisodes, web series, and other serial content. Blip users rarely post one-off videos — in fact, Blip encourages regular content — so quality is usually pretty high.

Features: Supports most video formats and has 1 GB of storage per user. There is a pro account for more storage and better conversion rates. Any user can sign up for an advertising account that splits ad revenue 50/50. There’s a dashboard to let you plan your web series in advance, share your videos, and use analytics. Blip also distributes through most major video platforms (including YouTube), so maximizing reach is less of a concern.

Why Use it if you’re planning on starting a series and want a suite of tools to help you create, manage and promote your work.

2. Vimeo

What it is: Vimeo is the artsy cousin of YouTube. Home to many creative-types, Vimeo users usually aim for high-quality content over fails or cat clips.

Features: It comes with the standard suite, plus the ability to create and share videos to groups or channels. There’s also a video school to help you make better videos. A pro account will let you bump up your weekly upload capacity from 500 MB to 5 GB with unlimited HD uploads.

Why Vimeo?: It’s a solid platform if you feel more serious about video as creative outlet or are just looking for a more constructive community (i.e. less trolls, more feedback).

3. Flickr

What it is: Didn’t see this one coming, right? Flickr actually lets you upload videos — just click on the Explore tab. The team still sees photo uploading as its main game, but it is also “gently” building out its video abilities. It calls videos “long photos” and limits their length to just 90 seconds.

Features: Basic users can upload two 90-second videos a month. Pro users have unlimited access. Options are a little sparse at the moment, with basically the same feature set as Flickr’s photo uploads.

Why Flickr?: It may seem restrictive, but users willing to embrace short-form video will have access to Flickr’s massive and active user base. It may not be a great option for your home video collection, but video experiments abound. Flickr’s video space is going to keep growing.

4. Veoh

What it is: On the flip side, Veoh lets you upload enormously long videos. The site, much like a YouTube for long-form videos, actually doesn’t have a size restriction for uploading. It’s become a space for full-length films and short clips alike.

Features: Unlimited upload capacity and a smart UI make it easy and relatively quick to load huge files. While it may not have the same audience as YouTube, the lack of restrictions has attracted some top-quality videos and shows.

Why Veoh?: If you’re feeling hamstrung by size restrictions but still want a quality platform, Veoh is your best bet.

5. Viddler

What it is: Billed as a way to build your brand, Viddler is more geared to companies and corporations than homemade video.

Features: With the business focus comes business tools — Viddler lets users access analytics, customize their video players, distribute to iTunes, place comments within the video and even monetize with Viddler’s adworks tool.

Why Viddler?: If you’re a brand looking to up your video content, Viddler provides a stable starter kit with an array of support features.

6. DailyMotion

What it is: Organized more like a content aggregator, DailyMotion offers videos of varying length organized by category. There’s plenty of user-made videos, but professional, quality clips are more prominently featured.

Features: The site supports the most common video formats but restricts storage capacity to less than 150 MB and less than 20 minutes per video. The emphasis is on community, with the ability to add other users in a contact list and send feedback. Most high-powered features, like HD uploads, are locked behind pro accounts.

Why DailyMotion?: It’s not the most intuitive site for uploaders, but it’s easy for curious viewers to browse. If you can manage the backend, there’s a good chance your video will reach new eyes.

7. yfrog

What it is: Finally, the dark horse. Yfrog is better known as a photo-sharing site for Twitter, but it also has the capacity for video, with a healthy and growing selection.

Features: You can upload short videos and post to Twitter all from one place. You can also see what videos (or photos) your network has posted using the site. There isn’t much of a search function, instead relying on news feed-style postings as your friends upload videos.

Why yfrog?: Don’t care about video hosting? Want a more personal take on online video? Yfrog lets you get your videos up and out through your social network faster than any of the sites above. There may be fewer features, but it’s really about uniting your own social community around video.
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