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Web Video Hosting

Apr 19, 2010 12:00 PM, By Franklin McMahon

Video hosting for creative producers.

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Reel-Exchange and Creative Cow

These two specialized sites focus on the creative producer. Each has an associated network of artists to intermingle and network with. That targeted aspect is certainly appealing because prospective clients are more likely to visit a dedicated demo-reel site to see a large sampling of professional videos than they are to sift through the vast offerings at YouTube or Vimeo.

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Reel-Exchange (part of the millimeter network) caps uploads at 200MB each and encodes and converts on the fly with higher-quality two-pass encoding. You also have some flexibility in how you arrange your videos: The site offers a way to feature one main clip as your primary reel. You can also put your videos in different categories. Say you do editing, but you're also a producer as well as a visual effects artist. On your video page, you can make a link for each of your skills. Each link would take you to a dedicated section of videos that highlights that skill. In addition, the site is laid out with links to categories such as directors, cinematographers, editors, etc., so visitors can quickly jump to the type of work they want to see. The website is free for now, but there are plans for a future paid membership level that will offer additional features. The playback of clips is rather basic; there are no HD playback or full-screen options, for instance. The key draw is the fact that you can get into the mix with fellow creative professionals.

Creative Cow

Creative Cow

Creative Cow offers similar options and also focuses on showcasing the creative artist. Support for 1080p is coming soon, but for now the site allows upload and playback of 720p videos. Free hosting is included with no charge for anything, including views or bandwidth. Creative Cow promotes itself as offering a reliable large-scale network that can handle the deployment of HD clips. You can embed clips hosted at Creative Cow on other websites, and your videos can be up to 900 pixels wide. Clips are limited to 100MB each, but the site is geared toward short-form demo reels and clips. With proper encoding, the size limit should not be a problem.

The site has a diverse group of creative artists hosting videos already. The Reels site has been set up to work much like YouTube, with options on every video page for comments, buttons to rate the video, embedding and link code, more videos from the creator, and thumbnails of related videos. These features foster a "sticky" website experience. You'll be looking for something specific and you'll find yourself moving in several directions.

There are many other video hosting solutions on the Web, but again, these are ones geared toward video professionals. All of them are free to join, so why not try them all? Experiment with each site and decide later which works best for you.

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