Light Reading

Video Site Cheat Sheet

Phil Harvey
The Philter
Phil Harvey
6/27/2006
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Editor's Note: The Video Site Cheat Sheet has been updated several times since this post was first published on June 27. The most recent version (and all future versions) can be found right here: http://www.lightreading.com/videoshare.

1:30 PM -- Confused about all the sites out there offering video sharing services? Me too.

I don't pretend to know the subtle business model difference between YouTube and Metacafe, if there is one. Adding to my confusion is the fact that the same five "viral videos" seem to show up as the most viewed on every single video sharing site. How does anyone make a dime serving up the same video that everyone else is serving?

Sites like blip.tv are generally exceptions to the viral video thing, since they specialize in original content, but you have to wonder how quickly they'll need to forge relationships with real TV providers before they offer the kind of distribution required to make real money.

For consumers, though, the real question: What does each site offer and what does it cost? To help, I've made an attempt to put all these video sharing sites into some kind of digestible format. I would have baked the info into a cake -- that's even more digestible -- but who has the time?

Of course, the chart that follows doesn’t have everything. Sites like Motionbox and Xolo aren't fully functioning yet. And I wasn't sure how to classify VideoEgg or ClickTV, because they seem to be video utilities/platforms rather than destination sites. And vpod.tv is a total mystery, unless the product the company is making is actually just a ream of press clippings about its founders, in which case, I'd say the whole project is a roaring success.

Anyway, here's the chart:

Table 1: The Philter's Video Site Cheat Sheet

Web Site Does the service offer video editing capability? What's the file size limit? How much does it cost? Can I keep a video private? Does it require a software download?
Atom Films (AddictingClips.com) No 100 Mbytes. Clips must be under 10 minutes in length. Free Yes No
blip.tv No There's no enforced limit. But the service "strongly recommends" files smaller than 100 Mbytes "for performance purposes." Free No No
ClipShack No 100 Mbytes Free No No
eyespot Yes Max one-time upload limit is seven 50-Mbyte videos Free No No
Google Video No None. From the company's user guidelines: "You can upload as many videos to Google Video as you like, without any size or length limitations." WOW! Free No No
Grouper Yes None. This is a P2P video sharing application so there's a short preview for each movie, then users can download what they want. Free (for now) Yes Yes
HomeMovie.com Yes None Free (share up to 5 hours of video online per month) Yes Yes
iFilm No 100 Mbytes Free No No
Jumpcut Yes 50 Mbytes Free Yes No
Metacafe No 100 Mbytes Free No No
Phanfare No Under 5 minutes in length or less than 1 Gbyte in size $6.95/mo. for unlimited storage Yes Yes
Putfile No 25 Mbytes Free No No
Revver No 100 Mbytes Free No Yes
Sharkle No 100 Mbytes Free (up to 1 Gbyte of storage) Yes No
Veoh No None. This is a P2P sharing platform where a short clip of up to 3 minutes is shown from Veoh.com and users decide from that whether to download the rest of the whole video. Free Yes Yes
Vimeo No 30 Mbytes a week Free No No
vMix Yes (For slideshows only) 200 Mbytes Free Yes No
vSocial No 100 Mbytes Free No No
Yahoo Video No 100 Mbytes Free No No
YouTube No None. From the site's FAQ: "Most videos on YouTube are under five minutes long. There is no specific length limit, but longer videos require more compression to fit in the 100MB size limit, and the quality will go down as the length of the video goes up." Free Yes No
Sources: Company data, Light Reading, Bob Woodward, and the ghost of Federico Fellini


— Phil Harvey, Video Editor, Light Reading

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Scott Raynovich
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Scott Raynovich,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:36 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Great, the VCs have gone crazy overfunding a space again!

Hundreds of goofy homeade videos, everywhere!

Free Storage!

sounds like a recipe for burning money to me. Does anybody know somebody with a good business model?

DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:35 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
If you really want to share video, personal Web hosting is so dirt cheap these days that it's almost insane not go to that route.

You control everything. And no one preempts your kid's birthday videos with online poker ads and whatnot.

ph
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:29 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Mr. Hudack,

Thanks for reading and it was nice talking with you the other day.

And you're right -- if someone is hoping to share something with a massive audience, they will need to use a site that's built for massive traffic spikes.

Two questions, though:

1. The viral video thing. Most of this is just stolen TV and movie clips. Is anyone getting sued for hosting this stuff and serving ads on top of it?

2. The distribution end game. How and when will a service like blip.tv reach me in my living room?

Shill away,
ph
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:29 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Video Editing Capability: No
File Size Limit: 100 Mbytes
Cost: Free
Allows Private Videos: Yes
Software Download Required: No
mhudack
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mhudack,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:29 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Personal Web hosting is great for your kid's birthday video, but it breaks down for anything more serious than that. What happens when you post a video interview with Nintendo at E3 (as one of our users at blip.tv recently did) and it goes completely crazy with tens of thousands of people requesting it in a matter of minutes?

If that video is on your personal Web hosting account your ISP will either shut you down or charge you thousands of dollars in bandwidth overage. Services like blip.tv (which I'm shilling for, as I'm a founder) provide you cost certainty for that kind of content.
mhudack
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mhudack,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:29 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
I'm a founder (and the CEO of) blip.tv, and I'd like to think we have a good business model. Time will tell, but so far it's working out -- we're in serious danger of becoming cash flow positive in the very near future.

There are two approaches to a market like this: Either build a business that hemorrhages cash and is built to be bought, or build a business that manages cashflow well and is built to stand alone as a real company. We've picked the latter, but many companies out there (in the video space and elsewhere in "Web 2.0") have picked the former.
dublindog
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dublindog,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:27 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
You forgot Photobucket, who although is the largest photo sharing site on the web http://weblogs.hitwise.com/lee...

They also do videos. 100MB file limit 3 min video clip, you can set it private. No editing, but I hear it's coming, and no software to download.
hullymon
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hullymon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:26 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Filemobile would fit into that category....
It lets you upload 25MB of video, and blog to any blog site, as well as podcast to IPOD... Movies can be semi-private and public.
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:25 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
Video Editing Capability: No
File Size Limit: 100 Mbytes
Cost: Free
Allows Private Videos: Yes
Software Download Required: No
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:50:25 AM
re: Video Site Cheat Sheet
good one. what's it cost?
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