Options for Hosting Streaming Video

Until the OTW launches the Torrent of Our Own or another full hosting option, fan video makers will need to host their vids somewhere else, though we hope that all fan video creators will choose to create stable (and searchable) shell pages for their works at the Archive of Our Own.

Below are some suggestions (and evaluations) of the various hosting options currently available. Please note that these are the compiled opinions of fans and represent the best of our knowledge at the current time; circumstances may chance and opinions may vary. If you have additional information about any of these sites or would like us to add another site to the list, please contact us.

1. Host and Stream from your Own Site

Useful Info/Directions: How to stream from your own site

Positives: You have control over your own works.

Negatives: 1) Having your own site can be costly, particularly if a video goes viral. 2) Videos streamed from individual sites are currently not allowed to be embedded at the AO3 for security reasons. 3) Hosting on your own site may make it difficult for others to find your vids. However, you can always post your video’s download links and notes about it to a works page on the Archive of Our Own.

2. Critical Commons

Useful Info/Directions: How to get and use an advanced user account at Critical Commons

Positives: Critical Commons is a nonprofit site that explicitly welcomes fans and supports fair use. It also offers high quality downloads as well as streaming and embeds.

Negatives: Historically a site for film and media professors, fans may find its interface unfannish and difficult to use. You also have to apply for advanced user status to be able to use all the site’s features; fan-friendly instructions for applying for “advanced user” status and using the site are provided at the link above.

3. YouTube

Useful Info/Directions: How to Dispute A Takedown

Positives: Still the best known video hosting and streaming site, YouTube provides high quality video and a variety of features for users.

Negatives: As YouTube’s “Copyright School” video shows, the site is still biased towards corporations and against fair users. YouTube is also known for prohibiting uploads as well as for its many takedowns. As the best known commercial video site, YouTube gets more Cease and Desist requests than anywhere else. Videos hosted there typically have banner ads on them and may be linked to other advertisements for related products. Some content is blocked in various countries, including Germany, UK, France, Argentina, and Turkey.

4. Vimeo

Useful Info/Directions: Vimeo FAQ

Positives: Vimeo offers good quality, and up to 500MB of uploaded video per week for free members. Many fans also appreciate the security controls the site offers (public, private, contact only, password protected).

Negatives: According to Wikipedia, blocked in: China, Thailand, Tunisia, Vietnam, Iran. They are also known to be “twitchy” when it comes to cancelling accounts, so many users feel a lack of security.

5. Archive.org

Useful Info/Directions: FAQ about archiving video at archive.org

Positives: The Internet Archive is another nonprofit dedicated to preserving internet history and providing universal access to these materials. Users can release their work under a number of Creative Commons licenses. It also allows users to download as well as stream and embed video.

Negatives: Because of limited bandwidth, archive.org converts uploaded files into very small sizes and so streaming is often low-quality and pixelated. Downloaded video is of a higher quality. The site is stable but often slow.

6. Dailymotion

Useful Info/Directions: Dailymotion FAQ

Positives: An increasingly popular site, Dailymotion provides decent levels of internet exposure if you want people to see your work.

Negatives: Video quality is mediocre. The site also doesn’t allow .mov files.

7. Vidders

Useful Info/Directions: Membership is mandatory: free for watchers and users uploading 1-5 videos; users can subscribe to add more.

Positives: Billing itself as “the ultimate vidding community,” Vidders.net has many social networking features as well as an elaborate tagging system (fandom, ship, character, music, genre…). The site feels community-oriented and safe; videos are relatively high quality. Updated info: Vidders now reports that vids can be embedded by all members; Vidders is also a whitelisted site at the A03, so members can also easily embed vids there. Members can sign in using Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or Google/YouTube logins.

Negatives: Members only; nonmembers can’t watch vids on the site without logging in. Vidders.net also censors vids for some content because of their hosts’ TOS.

8. DivShare

Useful Info/Directions: Free accounts give 5GB if storage, 50GB of usage.

Positives: One fan notes that the storage and usage for free members might be too little for a very popular vidder but for most users it’s fine. So far there are no reports of deletions, even when users haven’t logged in regularly. Uploading is easy and vids can be streamed and viewed online.

Negatives: There are ads, popovers when you log in and then sidebar ads.