What to look for when publishing video online

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Here are some major features to look for when choosing an online distribution platform for your video. Not all sites are the same, some sites offer different features, others offer different audiences. You are not going to be able to publish to every site, so you need think strategically about where you do publish. The list of considerations below should help.

For a broader introduction to video distribution please see the Introduction to Video Publishing.

  • Video Time Limit: Some sites limit the length of the video to a certain number of minutes. If you are posting a long video you should check this.
  • File Size Limit: Most sites have limits on the size of the video file itself. If you are posting a large video you should check this.
  • Videos Embeddable: Flash videos can sometimes be embedded in external websites and blogs for instant playback.
  • Mobile Phone Uploads: Some mobile handsets are capable of recording videos and sending them over the wireless phone network. The exact process varies greatly from handset to handset and service provider to service provider. See the section on Video and Mobile Phones for more information.
  • Non-Flash Video Formats: If the user is limited to watching the video in Flash video format? This can limit the distribution of your video.
  • Videos Downloadable: Having the video file available to download from the site can give more flexible access to viewers who might want to watch offline (or who don't have the bandwidth to stream).
  • Open Content Licensing: Some sites make it easier to use alternative and open licenses.
  • RSS 2.0 with Enclosures: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a tool for pushing your videos out to sites and viewers automatically.
  • RSS 2.0 Search Feeds: This will let other sites pick up your videos based on tags and search terms.
  • Region and/or Issue Based: If you're working on a particular issue, say environmental justice, you'll reach more of your core audience if you host your video on a site dedicated to those issues.
  • Commercial or Non-commercial: Can your video sharing service be bought or sold? What is the motive of the owners or creators of the service? Can ads be placed next to your videos?