Blip(DOT)TV sent out the closure notice, finally. Prior to being bought by Maker studio and then swallowed up by Disney. They had mentioned they were making changes and going to be letting go/closings accounts, of Independent producers. It’s kind of joke if you think about it. I had joined the website after an interview on the Twit.TV network. After saying they (BLIP) were always going to be open for the independent producers and a lot more claims. Now they say go join YouTube, then reapply with them through Maker. Before the acquisition they had offered a pro account, but dropped it when the seemed it conflicted with their ad rolls. Users did request for the pro account to be brought back, but it never did make a comeback. Blip.tv then opted to support their partnered members, which for the most part where YouTube stars. A real jab to the face, for those trying to avoided the YouTube universe.
So what’s left for the Indie creator? There are a few places, but not many that offered ad revenue. I have tried few places out but have yet to see much if any, ad revenue being accumulated.
For those that are still looking to avoid the YouTube Universe as an indie creator here's some options.
NewGrounds: This site has been around for some time. For the longest NewGrounds has offered Flash based gaming and Flash base entertainment. I believe they made a few updates to section giving user now non-Flash based moves/films/shorts and games.
The dashboard does feel a bit confusing. I found some parts of it seem a bit out place and kind hard to find what I’m looking for. But I was able to find the upload video sections, after a bit of clicking here and there. Users can enable ads, but from what I’ve read and seen it’s not as much as YouTube or Blip. They have channel management, but haven’t driven into it as much as I would like to. I believe you can only have one user/channel link.
Once you’re uploaded and video has been converted, it sits in the stage where the members of NG can vote on it (judgment phase). During this phase 100 votes will be collected. At that the end if a score of 1.7 or lower is given; your video will be removed. That’s if you didn’t violate any of the guidelines.
As far I can tell embedding code seems vary straight forwarded. Iframe code seems to work seamlessly in any website like SquareSpace or WordPress template. One thing I have to say, not much there for the player to be customized.
As far as support they seem actively helping and with FAQs or Forums one can only reach out to users for help. The site seems to get regularly updated.
Openfilm: This site hasn’t been out for as long as Newgrounds. I believe sometime in 2010, but not really the point. This place started out as a Film festival outlet. They gave users the ability promote and a distribution method. About 2 years ago they announced they would become friendlier to web series. Openfilm offers 3 flavors to users, a free account for uploading or just for viewing. A 2.95 dollar version called plus account and a pro account for 9.95 dollars. All account types allow users’ 50/50 ad revenue and a per video donation button. Only the paid version allows ads to be disabled. The Pro account allows for selling and renting of videos.
The Dashboard also seems confusing at first. Links between profile and dashboard are visible for both. But video uploading is clearly labeled. Also the parameters for optimal videos to be uploading are given prior to video submission. If you’re looking to upload videos larger than 2 gigs, a link with instruction for up to 5gigs is given. With the use of ftp that is. If your submission is larger than 5gigs, plus and pro accounts can mail in their videos.
Multiply channels can be created. Each with its own set of videos and links. Each channel has a dedicated page player with videos included. As for Ad revenue, I can’t say I understand how well it works. While I have had equal amounts of views when compared to blip, I’ve yet to see any sort of change add up. I believe that for pro accounts the revenue is mostly generated with rentals or of sales.
Once you’re uploaded and video has been converted. The video is submitted for review; those with paid accounts get priority review. This is where I’m not sure who or what reviews the submission. My first submission was denied, but after a quick email to support the video was added to the account.
Embedding isn’t as easy as I would like it to be. The player isn’t very customizable and the Iframe code seems to be out dated. Sites like SquareSpace and WordPress have problems when adding its’ code into a page layout. It will work after messing around with it for some time, but just not like YouTube, Blip or Newgrounds. A few other problems like per-page embedding and a lack of play-list type embedding.
Support what can i say; very little. The FAQs are old and outdated. There is no user forum, for random question one might have. Emailing question is possible, hard to say if anyone will replay. Of my four last emails to them, one being the denial of my upload none have been answered. The website has yet to be updated since I signed up about 2 years ago. The entire team seems to have dropped off the face of the planet about two years ago.
Vimeo: This site has been around for very long time. I would say almost as long as YouTube. Not much I can say about them. Many artists know this site and have been using it for some time. The website is updated regularly. The video player is updated and customizable, as you upgrade from a free account to paid versions. Video limits, streams and quality of videos are posted right by account type and account upgrade.
A single channel can only be made with the free account. With the paid versions multiple channels can be made. Only Vimeo pro account allow users a donate button and video on demand options. This is where it gets tricky. None of the account types allow ad revenue. So this comparison is not 100%, but a little more on this later.
This next step is way too easy. You upload your video it's converted and done. This may have changed from the last time I uploaded my 3 videos, but truly hassle free.
Video embedding is simple and the Iframe code seems to load into web pages quite easy. Most of all HTML 5 video seems to work fine. One drawback I’ve experienced and have read others have had, the player can be resource hungry. The video may not load or play in some cases.
As far as support it's there. Although I’ve yet to require any support. There's not much information I can add on this subject. So it's down to revenue and if no ads are allowed where you can plan to monetizes your passion. If you’re planning to embed them into websites, then ads on sidebars could make up for this.
The many ways to avoid the YouTube universe.
There are many other options for video players, but I find that some this lack in features one would need to monetizes. The entry levels for using these other brands are bit more expensive. The followings sites could be used as alterative but with few things to keep in mind. Which I plan to cover later in following post, here are some sites I’ve tried out. For now check them out if you like and see what you think.