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The Basics of Online Video

Updated on October 28, 2015

As costs for cameras, microphones, editing software, and related products continue to fall, a larger online video industry is emerging. The success of sites such as YouTube has created a loose distribution system that has attracted film experts and industry professionals, as well as tens of thousands of amateurs and hobbyists to online video. New sites offering features and services hosting sites do not may be an indication of the direction in which online video is heading.

YouTube is far and away the most well-known of the online video sites.

Founded in 2005, the site soon found itself in hot water when corporations and rights-holders took it to task for illegally hosting pirated content, such as music videos. The online video site was then purchased by Google. The company made a lot of inroads with these rights-holders, but user-generated content quickly grew to rival the popularity of professionally-produced material. As of 2010, YouTube boasts over one billion users per day and serves AdSense banners while videos play, in addition to occasional commercials before the online video begins, but rights-holders complain they have not been profitable. Newer sites are developing to handle aspects such as promotion, marketing, and advertising.

Viddler provides a comprehensive online video package, not just hosting.

Viddler was made for personal or professional "vlogs," or video blogs, but it can also be used as a content management system for business sites. The system includes many features mere hosting sites do not, and is completely customizable. Viddler has its own ad network and markets and promotes online video hosted on the site. It also provides analytics reports to help chart performance. Tube Mogul is another targeted service site focusing on the online video market, but it is not involved in hosting; it is a full-fledged ad agency that handles online video advertising campaigns for clients. Ads handled by Tube Mogul might appear across numerous sites and networks.

In some ways, the development of online video is similar to traditional broadcasting, but it is unique enough to have spawned its own cottage industry. Networks of multimedia content are beginning to emerge, and these communities are looking for some return on their investment. Advertising, promotional, and marketing services are developing to handle this need. Cameras and computers are inexpensive enough to make online video a competitive, but rewarding, field that continues to grow.


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