When you hear the term “video sharing website,” what comes to mind? There’s the most obvious choice that 99% of us will think: YouTube. And then there are the half dozen other video sharing websites that sit under the looming shadow that YouTube casts: Dailymotion, Vimeo, Metacafe, etc. But there’s one video site that doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves and it’s called Blip.
In his roundup, Dave included Blip as one of five video site alternatives to YouTube. Why would you want an alternative to YouTube? For one, YouTube is a property of Google and you’ll need to find a different site to browse if you want to escape Google’s hold on your life. And then there are the various buffering- and performance-related issues that slow down YouTube. YouTube is huge but it isn’t perfect.
So I present to you Blip, a wonderful video site that just may surprise you with the quality of its content and the speed of its technology.
What Is Blip?
Blip was founded and launched in 2005, the same year that YouTube first opened its doors to the public. If you think Blip was just being a copy-cat, keep in mind that YouTube wasn’t the popular monster that it is today. Both of these sites were aiming to break new ground by being online video repositories, yet they both pursued that idea in different directions.
While YouTube’s goal was to be a general video uploading site meant to make it easy to share and store videos online, Blip focused on user-created serial web programming to the exclusion of all other types of videos. That model is still the foundation of Blip today – you won’t find any funny cat clips, but you’ll find a lot of web shows that produce regular content.
Due to Blip’s strictness and exclusivity, the overall quality of videos is quite high. YouTube is a free for all — it has a lot of users but the good-to-bad ratio of its video database is surprisingly small. The trade-off, of course, is that Blip doesn’t have the massive viewer base or the household brand that YouTube has cultivated over all these years.
The Blip Website
The great thing about Blip is that the interface is straightforward and all of its features are easy to navigate. Across the top you have the search bar with which you can search through video titles, episode names, genres, and such. Below that, you’ve got the various genres that comprise Blip’s video database.
Honestly, I like it. When I first heard about Blip, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What exactly does “serial web programming” look like? As it turns out, the definition is quite broad and it pretty much encompasses anything that can be produced regularly: comedy sketches, drama, talk shows, vlogs, tutorials, interviews, etc. I was also surprised by how many different channels there were.
As you browse the various genres and channels, Blip will present you with popular videos and staff picks. If you don’t know where to begin, that’s a good place to start. The comedy videos are funny, the tutorial videos are insightful, and the video game videos are entertaining. When you find a particular channel that you like, you can follow them and receive automatic updates.
It’s a good way to pass the time when you have time to pass and it’s an entirely different concept of video sharing from YouTube.
Making Money on Blip
Blip isn’t just for viewers. In fact, the website’s entire business model depends on user-generated content. The Internet is full of ads and Blip has learned how to tap into that market to fund its own operations, presenting ad clips at the start of their web show episodes.
It gets even better for content producers because, like YouTube and Twitch.TV, Blip will share a portion of their advertising revenue with the users who drew in those advertising eyeballs. How much of that revenue do they share? According to their terms and conditions, 50%. If you can build up a sizeable and dedicated audience, the potential to make an income is there.
Blip will share advertising revenue with content producers on a monthly basis, though there is a $25 USD minimum before receiving a payout. Payouts are made via PayPal or check with PayPal being the preferred method. Depending on country tax circumstances, Blip may withhold payments until proper tax information is recorded.
Web originals can be hard to produce, so you may want to turn your eyes toward the Learning category if scripted entertainment is not your style. People love to seek out DIY and educational resources online. If you have some sort of expertise, you can use this as an opportunity to start your own web original series to teach others some specialized knowledge.
Despite its name, Blip is a phenomenal service that deserves to be more than just a blip on your radar. If you’re tired of the meaningless clips scattered around YouTube, or if you’re looking for a high-quality alternative for whatever other reason, then you ought to give Blip a try. And if you’re a content producer, you have even more reason to test these waters.
What do you think of Blip? Are you a regular viewer there? Or maybe even a content producer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credits: Video Camera Via Flickr