I am a professional film maker. I have a passion for bringing funny, and informative videos to my world-wide audience. I love it when new people find my work. I love collaborative projects with other people, as it helps both of us grow. It’s a beautiful thing.
For many moons, I have been caught up in the great debate. Do I host my videos on YouTube, which has seen many negative changes in the last few years, or do I use another hosting service.
In an effort to understand “the best” video hosting system, it’s important to understand the current world’s most popular video hosting system – YouTube.
Let’s first look at some YouTube Facts:
Youtube – Facts & Figures from Nic Smith on Vimeo.
YouTube get 4 BILLION views a day.
Over 24 hours of video is posted every 30 SECONDS on YouTube
People will watch one video, and will often find your work by accident
Collaborations between YouTube Users are common, and help increase significantly your viewer base
YouTube is ever-expanding and changing to keep up with the times
They are the worlds largest and most powerful video site
HUMAN CULTURE SIDE
Now that you can see the massive size of YouTube, we can look at the humanistic side from a film makers perspective. YouTube offers the new film maker the opportunity to have people see parts or all of your film (no matter how badly put together it is) around the world. YouTube has made many people very famous. It has made many people a LOT of money.
The unfortunate side to this high level of exposure, is no matter how good your work is, people will still post stupid comments. Someone will call you gay if you’re male or a bitch if you’re female. Someone will always dislike your work. There are a many, many immature people who have very low self-esteem and self worth and have nothing better to do but collect welfare and post the stupidest things they can think of as comments. At least they’ve watched your video, though.
These kind of comments are to be expected. If you don’t expect to be “gay” or “fag” on YouTube, don’t post a video. When I get comments like this, I either ignore or delete them. There is an old saying on the internet: “Don’t feed the trolls”
If you post how-to videos, expect everyone and their brother to give you their own how-to of what you did wrong. My response to this is often “Please make a video describing your technique” which will nullify the trolls. Posting a nasty comment is a lot easier than posting a video.
UNDERSTANDING SUBSCRIBERS AND VIEWS
First, the videos that display beside your videos are there because they have had more than 1,000 views on each video. Your video will rarely come up in a YouTube search unless it has at least 1,000 views. If you’re lucky – YOUR videos will come up in the side bar. This encourages people to find your work by accident.
It’s a terrible catch-22 situation. Your video can’t get views if it isn’t watched, but can’t get promoted without views.
Your channel’s popularity is described by it’s Subscriber rate. This is when someone pushes the “Subscribe” button and then will get notified each time you release a video. Subscribers are your modern day fans. They are your biggest asset. Love every, single one of them.
The best way to increase your viewer base is to promote your channel using social media, tell your friends to subscribe, and tell everyone who will listen that you have a channel. You can even go onto websites like Vista Print and get super cheap business cards with your channel name on them. It’s all about self-promotion.
This is the tried-and-true ways to get success on YouTube. Work with others who have more subscribers than you, and make videos together. Their people will see you, your people will see them, and subscriptions will grow. When I was first starting on YouTube I would go to public meet-ups, film conventions, and anywhere I could to meet others who had channels. I’d make short videos about outdoor education with them, and everyone benefits.
I, personally have helped several people gain more subscribers, and success on YouTube simply by helping new film makers and how-to people by appearing in their videos, and having them in mine. Working with others is also a real blast and you’ll learn a lot about how they produce, camera angles, etc.
YOUTUBE’S UGLY SIDE:
It’s important to remember a couple of important things about YouTube:
– YouTube is there to make itself money. It does not care about you, your cat videos, your life’s work, how many views you have, or how popular your video is.
-YouTube will work hard to shut you down if you become successful. If it can’t find a way, it will invent a way to shut you down (based on their “terms of service“).
-YouTube is “The Law” Whatever they say on their site goes. It will make no sense to you, but they call the shots, and everything else is simply too bad for you.
-They’re the biggest and they know it.
Another huge issue on YouTube you will face as a film maker is their constant badgering about copyright. Even if you have permission to use music, photos, or whatever they will often tag your video and make you defend yourself. They will send you an e-mail saying they need “more information” or “someone has a claim” or some other nonsense.
Make sure you have a garbage-can lid and baseball bat near your computer. You’ll need it with their policies.
You will often have to send them an e-mail telling them you have licence for music (to which you will have to provide them a copy of) or provide them a link to where the music was gotten royalty-free off the internet.
Even if they won’t let you take a profit from the ads they play in your video because they decided you made a copyright infringement, they will STILL PLAY ADS ON YOUR VIDEO – you just don’t get any of the money from them. Who knows where those advertising dollars go.
INVALID CLICK ACTIVITY
Another obscure way they will take your money and keep it for themselves. They will randomly send you a letter telling you there has been “Invalid Click Activity” on your channel by someone else and you must pay the price for this. What it means is you cannot make money from the ads on the channel. The ads will stay, and they’ll keep the money.
The letter will also say that if they told you what they meant exactly, you could circumvent the policy. So basically they have secret evidence against you, and if they told you, they’d have to kill you.
TERMS OF SERVICE VIOLATIONS
Another wonderful way they will work hard to mess with your success is by quoting tons of “terms of service” violations which won’t make much sense to anyone but a lawyer. This will normally end up taking your highest ranking, most watched and liked videos and take it down. Here is an example of the kind of obscure and meaningless drivel they will use to justify themselves with:
This letter arrived randomly the other day after a video had been on my one channel for almost two months. I also do not log-in with that channel ID except to upload videos, as well as don’t ever look at my own videos.
YouTube is a free, profit-oriented system designed to allow you to upload your work, while they make tons of money off it. It’s that simple.
If your success gets great, so are your risks.
Work with others who have gained success on YouTube in order to gain subscribers and views