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Published on August 13th, 2010 | by rubyskyepi


Thinking About Video Hosting

I’m trying to figure out which video host I want to use for this project.  In the past, I’ve tried hosting video on a number of sites including Tubemogul, Vimeo, YouTube.  YouTube used to have terrible video quality, but that is no longer the case.

My biggest problem with YouTube is that your choices of thumbnail — the image that represents your video before it plays — is incredibly limited.  YouTube picks three frames from the film for you to choose from.  Chances are none of them are good.  The stats are okay, not everything I dream of in a stats pack, but okay. It’s true that YouTube has an amazing community and that this is where the Ruby Skye P.I. audience hangs out, but I don’t have to host the video here to take advantage of that.  I can distribute the videos to the Ruby Skye P.I. YouTube channel from wherever I host.

Tubemogul was one of the first hosts I ever used.  As soon as I abandoned YouTube because of the thumbnail issue, I began uploading to Tubemogul.  But that was a couple of years ago, when Tubemogul didn’t have as many features as it does today.  I know Christopher Guest of GopherX is a fan of Tubemogul so I am considering it carefully.  There is no community there, it’s a place from which to launch and distribute your videos.  The process of setting up distribution is time-consuming and a little finicky but once set up, you send your video to many sites quite easily.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have to go to the site and finesse it though.  You still have to check your tags and make sure the title and other details survived and often, set the thumbnail again.  I have to spend some time on TubeMogul getting to know the new features and exploring the stats.  Analytics are high on the list of things I want from my video host.

Vimeo has great quality video and I like the player.  They have a lot of extra stupid code in the embed code, so you get a whole lot of horrible Vimeo generated code on the screen: like buttons, etc.  But if you know even a little bit of html, you can take that out.  There are big limits on what you can post on free Vimeo account – one HD film a week.  But an annual subscription is only $60/year and then you can customize your embed code and brand the player.  The analytics look okay on the “Plus” account.  Vimeo seems to be the choice of a lot of filmmakers and quite a few people have recommended it to me.

I’ve done the majority of my hosting on  There are many things I like about the site, but for some reason, I always get locked out of my accounts.  On the Hailey Hacks channel I have to have them email me a new password every time I log in.  Every time.  This even though I use 1password to keep track of my passwords.  I’ve tried discussing it with support, but I don’t think they believe me.  And yet, I’ve persisted in using it.  I have all the Hailey Hacks videos there and I’ve experimented with the advertising options, turning on and off (and on) the ads to see how pre-roll, post-roll and overlays work.  (Remind me to go turn off the ad on Hailey Hacks.  That’s not an experiment I’m interested in anymore.).  There are lots of things I like about Blip, number one being the video quality and number two being the ease with which you can choose your thumbnail.  It has some distribution capabilities.  But I’m not a big fan of the analytics package on the free accounts.

So those are the things I’m thinking about as I consider which hosting site I’ll use:

  • Video quality
  • Ability to customize the thumbnail
  • Analytics
  • Distribution

I’ve found a few good sites that review and compare video hosts:

  • Video Embedding Comparison Site (which is where I learned about Exposure Room, one of the sites now on my list)
  • CyberCam’s side by side video comparisons
  • VidCompare, which is a complicated site that I don’t quite understand but seems to have a ton of information if you know what all the terms are

There are lots more.

The hosts I’m currently most interested in are

I’m going to have to decide soon.

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