If you are an online independent publisher wanting to get greater web distribution for your video content, while getting the best of what is available online, TubeMogul and Hey!Spread are probably the best two solutions available to you right now.
Photo credit: Erik Reis - edited by Robin Good
Both allow you to do one-click video uploading to a large set of very popular video sharing sites, but while TubeMogul is fully free and has an edge in its ability to provide video traffic statistics for all of your video content out there, Hey!Spread, which has just launched a new upgraded and paid version of its service, focuses on providing a more sophisticated set of video distribution features targeted specifically to online professional video publishers.
For those of you that haven't yet heard about it, Hey!Spread is the small borther of Hey!Watch a professional and fully web-based video encoding and conversion service.
The new version of Hey!Spread, now re-"branded" as a "Video Promoting Web Service", has indeed added many innovative features and options compared to the original service which launched a few months back (July 2007).
Key features now include:
Hey!Spread really requires no training or documentation to get you up and running. In a matter of seconds you can be up and uploading your best video clips to 20 or more video sharing sites.
Here, let me show you how simple it is:
Just provide the basic reference information for your video including title, description and a minimum of two tags. That's all. Then click on the step 2 on the top left area.
On this second screen you need only to select either a video clip you are ready to upload from your computer or you can even (cool!) specify the URL of a clip that is already online to have it automatically distributed to a set of other sites. Source video sharing sites for this new unique option are Google Video, Metacafe, Youtube, Dailymotion and any direct video links, like the ones that Blip.tv provides for any of the video clips you upload to its archive.
The options video screen allows two key features. Full encoding compatibility with all video sharing sites that you decide to upload to. While this may have appeared as a "given" to all those of you who have used Tubemogul so far, Hey!Spread thinks this is a premium feature that doesn't come with the standard price tag. As a matter of fact Hey!Spread charges you one extra credit for enabling this.
More interesting and definitely more tangible in the benefit it brings you is the new watermarking feature allowing you to add a .png type graphic to any of your video, while being able to choose between placing it on the top left or bottom right corner. Hey!Spread takes care of digitally superimposing your own chosen logo onto any video clip you throw at it. Also this option is charged as an extra credit.
In step 4 you need only to select the video sharing sites you want to upload your video content to and while providing your login credentials for each. (Too bad that, unlike in Tubemogul, these credentials don't get memorized and one needs to re-input them each time but I am sure it is an easy to clear bug the Hey!Spread team will address promptly.)
Once you click the Upload button at the bottom of the screen n.4 the video is actually uploaded to all of your selected video sharing sites while providing you with a real-time visual feedback of the status of the upload for each one of the video destination sites selected.
Hey!Spread signals with a FAIL or error message sites for which you have provided wrong or incorrect credentials or which will not accept your video clips to other service-specific restrictions. In addition it notifies you via email of the final status of all the video upload requested while providing you with the URLs of your online published video clips.
If the above still leaves you doubtful as how really simple Hey!Spread may be to operate check this short screencast that shows you in real-time the time it takes to start uploading a video clip.
Hey!Spread, like its brother online service Hey!Watch, has just moved to a paid business model that targets an audience of pro online video publishers who are willing to spend a little to guarantee themselves a reliable, fast and high quality video promotion and distribution service.
To start using Hey!Spread you now need to first add credits to your account . One credit costs USD $0.05 or about â‚¬0.03
One credit allows you to upload one video to one site. For instance if you want to upload one video to YouTube, Dailymotion and Google at the same time, it will cost you a total of 3 credits (USD $0.15).
Remember also that "compatibility encoding" and "watermarking" costs an extra credit each for each video adding up to the costs.
The minimum credit you can buy is 20 credits or USD $1.
One interesting marketing aspect of the business model adopted by Hey!Spread is the fact that the "price" component is perceived by the company to be a value-adder, as the more professional segment of their existing audience perceives "paid for" services as being more reliable and trustworthy than free ones by definition. So why not make them feel at ease?
Hey!Spread revamps its video uploading and promotion service by simplifying the interface, adding more video destinations and integrating pro features like watermarking and full compatibility encoding.
When compared to TubeMogul, Hey!Spread has yet none of the traffic monitoring abilities, though it allows uploading of your video content to a significantly larger number of video sharing sites.
According to Eric Fontaine, one of the co-founders of Particls / Hey!Spread, with whom I have exchanged in the last 48 hours, traffic monitoring stats are indeed coming and they are going to be a lot cooler and better than what you can get now on Tubemogul.
Thanks to a bunch of free credits I was given by Hey!Spread to test out the service, I was able to go through the full uploading procedure with no issues at all. Hey!Spread performed as advertised and it successfully uploaded my selected clip to my preferred video sharing sites in less time than I expected.
The whole process was very fast, easy and with no surprises or doubts about what to do next.
The only limitation I noticed in using Hey!Spread was some lack of true transparency when it comes to give a bit more tangible support to some of the claims made with this new version. For example the "encoding compatibility" option really doesn't explain in a sufficiently understandable way what is done in order to provide this service and why would one want to pay an extra credit for it.
TubeMogul is also more sophisticated in collecting your video metadata and in providing much better support to your description and tag compatibility, as well as providing a more granular matching of your selected video category to the one actually available on each video sharing sites (some basic form of category mapping is possible on TubeMogul).
To those of you owning a video sharing site there's ample opportunity to partner up with Hey!Spread and getting more exposure for your service while getting lots more content from Hey!Spread existing video publishing customers. Hey!Spread also offers a white label option of its service that can be easily integrated on other sites via their public API.
Having no stats or tracking data is certainly no minor competitive detail for all those looking at Hey!Spread as a possible alternative to TubeMogul and until the guys at Particls don't bring this additional feature to the market it is difficult to make a fair comparison of the two as they target different needs and audiences.
The gold mine to be extracted from this second launch of the Hey!Spread service is in fact for me rather more the public realization that even in presence of an existing "free", quality information/services have a ready-audience willing to pay.
Hey!Spread makes price a feature of its new service, much like a "Guarantee" label giving greater perceived trust and credibility to the "brand" / product offered.
Overall I think that Hey!Spread is a service to keep watching until it releases its own stats'n'tracks service, and hoping it makes a better job than Tubemogul at this.
For now, unless you have a special reason to upload your video clips to the additional video sharing sites Hey!Spread provides access to, or have a huge benefit in integrating immediately the logo overlay feature, I see no killer advantage of going the Hey!Spread route at once. Stats data are very important and while one could leverage the uploading and distribution power of Hey!Spread and the tracking data of TubeMogul it would seem ideal that one could access all of this organically inside one service only.
More details and information check out the Particls Blog
Originally written by Robin Good for Master New Media and first published on December 25th 2007 as "Web Video Promotion: Online Video Distribution Goes Pro With The New Hey!Spread"
Originally written by Robin Good and first published on MasterNewMedia.