Who will host your vlog?

Netcraft: Podcasts Help Drive Demand for High-Volume Hosting: “As podcasts and video blogs consume disk space and bandwidth, will these large media files reside with major web hosting providers, niche startups spawned by the Blogosphere, or perhaps Yahoo or Google?”

Hosting videoblogs is a large-scale game, which is why I think it will soon (within a year) be the exclusive game of the big boys. Not to say startups like Blip.tv aren’t doing an amazingly excellent job – they are. But they’ll need serious cash to scale this up, whereas the big guys already are strong in that area. What startups do well is innovation, and where’s the innovation in free hosting? That seems to be an inherent problem with many of the video “free-hosting” startups.

Just to say I’m glad I’m working on a directory for videoblogs. Not only is it easier to scale, and easier to compete with Google/Yahoo/MSN. But it’s also, in my view, a more valuable project. Directories, especially for video, are super important, because search will not be able to play the dominant role for video taht it plays for the text web. Video search just isn’t enough, because video itself demands much more supporting metadata before you decide to give it your attention (you can’t scan it quickly and skip it). Video search is an unsolved problem, and will stay that way for a while, not because we can’t search video, but because the requirement for you to decide wether you want to watch or skip this video is much higher than just a list of search result.

In other words, video directories/sites that help you find the good stuff will have at least 5 or 10 happy years ahead of them (until video search becomes good enough). And the reason that doing an independent directory is important is that the big media companies (who have deep pockets to promote their stuff) are jumping on internet television.

If we create a world in which the internet video most people watch is that coming from big media, we’ve missed an opportunity. If we create a world in which the long tail of video can find itself, we’ve won.

That’s the challenge, and that’s why I hope that in a year, there will be dozens of videoblog directories, hundreds of community video sites, thousands of revlog blogs, filtering out that long tail, making it easy for you to find video you are interested in, not video that commercial interests think you should watch. That’s the vision.

0 thoughts on “Who will host your vlog?

  1. Hey Peter,

    Mike here from blip.tv. It’s true that we’ll need cash to scale up, but not as much as you may think. As the article points out, hard drives and bandwidth are cheap these days.

    That’s why we’re not just offering free hosting. We’re looking at videoblogging as a complex process that needs to be made simpler and easier. You shouldn’t have to go through a dozen steps to start a videoblog, and we’re focused on making the process as easy as possible. Using blip you really only need one step to start a simple vlog — just go to blip and sign up. If you want more control over your blog, you can get a Blogger account and integrate it with blip in just a few seconds.

    I hate to say it, but hosting is almost secondary to our primary focus — which is building tools that make the process of videoblogging easy.

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