Friday, February 23, 2007

List of User Generated Video Sites

With so many video sharing services and websites available, I thought it would be useful to summarise what’s out there. I don’t have the time or the predilection to use all of these services myself, so forgive me for borrowing some reviews and comments about each service and add the proviso that some of what’s written below may be inaccurate, so go and try them yourself!
Please add comments if you think any service is better or worse than others.

Also, I’m sure that this is far from comprehensive, so please add any other sites with a link and comments so that I can append the list.

Veoh - offers both a desktop P2P player and a web based Flash player. There are no filesize limits and videos uploaded to Veoh are automatically uploaded to YouTube, MySpace, and Google Video simultaneously. With onsite subscriptions, voting and a desktop player Veoh has more of a “destination” feel to it than more distributed, viral services. There is good support for downloading (including paid for downloads) and good on site social activities.

Dovetail – a P2P indy film service aimed mainly at independent producers.

Vimeo - has a clean, crisp, simple video player. Account creation is easy and there are some interesting social features. There’s a strong art community on Vimeo.

Mixpo - just launched and supports mixed media in multi file players that can be embedded around the web for promoting your company or service.

Panjea - is in pre-launch - very flashy embeddable player targeting musicians, and offers supports song sales to account holders (artists receive 85% of sales revenue).

Blip.tv – service for video bloggers with download support and partnership with CNN.

Brightcove - is a service that enables users to build players and populate them with videos; these are then aggregated onto Brightcove’s own portal.

Revver - I thought Revver was great and YouTube was crap long before anyone had heard of either of them. Shows you what kind of futurologist I am. Still the best service for serious amateurs or semi-pros IMHO. Also, was one of the first places video producers could monetize their work.

SplashCast - player displays mixed media types (videos, photos, audio) and multiple files. It’s an unbranded (skinless), resizable player that can be placed in many different places with a simple editing function and the ability to create ‘live’ channels.

YouTube - strange to say this about a service that’s barely been around for two years, but the big hulking mother of all UGC sites. Owned by Google, of course, and likely to become highly commercialised in the near future. Set to become the uber-network that all other networks have to distribute to.

Metacafe - very similar to YouTube and with respectable traffic figures, this Israeli service offers the opportunity to monetise content through revenue share (a feature GooTube is currently adding).

Babelgum - is a new European video online tv network with more emphasis on communities around professionally produced video than user uploaded content.

DailyMotion – French based service with a more liberal approach to censorship and mostly European content.

MySpace video - huge number of viewers, very limited functionality and a big watermark; likely to be widely used by younger audiences and bands looking to promote themselves.

iFilm - part of Viacom property, a commercial upload site that may get you noticed by the big boys ;-) The player is quite nice and includes support for multi-file playlists.

Joost - formerly known as the Venice Project, is desktop P2P software from the creators of Skype. Though there is little content currently available in the private beta, it is intended to challenge traditional television and will not include user generated content.

ClipSyndicate - is a service for repurposing topical, commercially produced video content. Not consumer facing.

Grouper - has P2P and PSP (Play Station Portable) elements. The company was acquired by Sony this summer. Mostly low brow content, some cool social features. Decent traffic, but they are mostly a technology to be deployed by Sony. Grouper is facing a lawsuit that could lead to changes in the way the DMCA is interpreted regarding video copyright.

VodPod - lets you make a widget that displays your favorite videos from across many sites, as captured by a browser bookmarklet. This would seem to be similar to Adobe’s Philo application.

Get Democracy – this is a format neutral, open source player that aggregates content from third party feeds and RSS – any content or channel can be published to it using RSS.

Blinkx – is a search engine from the people who brought the Autonomy intelligent search engine; it works by indexing RSS feeds and web pages and then presents the results in a traditional search format.

Dabble – is attempting to build a ‘super community’ site that aggregates content from other sites via a search function and then allows users to organise them into their own areas, ie user aggregated video.

Videoegg – community video upload service.

Videosticky - not launched yet - site for combining videos from various sources and publishing them as a 'channel'.

Vidzapper - moderated directory of online video channels.

Coull.tv – UK based user generated site from one of the longest established companies in the video streaming business, with downloadable encoder for preparing content for upload; lacks stickiness at the moment.

Streamcast – tool for publishing videos as RSS

Gofish.com – popular video sharing service, similar to YouTube and others.

AOL Yahoo Microsoft – yes, of course, they all have me-too UGC video sites. Hilariously, Microsoft’s uses Flash, not Windows Media as its file format. AOL are doing some clever work in aggregating content through RSS onto their service.

Mydeo – secure video hosting site from the UK that, shock horror!, charges users for uploading and hosting their videos; has a tough task in a freebie marketplace, but does support long form videos.

Videojug – an interesting twist on UGC with ‘how to’ videos featured on a wide range of activities; a great idea.

Current TV – Al Gore’s eponymous web channel for user generated news videos.

Sumo TV – usual UGC features from this UK based site, but with a twist. It’s linked to a proper ‘broadcast’ channel on the Sky satellite platform, so you can watch stupid clips in fuzzyvision on your TV.

And last, but by no means least, here’s a word from my sponsor:

Narrowstep – is a professional service that enables content owners, broadcasters, telcos and ISPs to build and immediately monetize sophisticated television-over-IP services; the company does not currently offer a file sharing service, but it does provide a moderated upload service for client channels.

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