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Online video sites: PC Advisor's top 10

There's more to internet video than YouTube

Fame and fortune

If you want your video to reach the largest possible audience, you need to follow the eyeballs. In South Korea that means using Cyworld, while in France you'd probably use Dailymotion. The rest of us have YouTube.

Independent producers looking for profit should try Blip.tv, Brightcove, Metacafe, Revver or Veoh. Each of these video-sharing sites will split advertising revenue with you.

On Revver you earn 20 percent of the revenue from videos you've shared (on, say, your Revver page or a personal blog) even if they're not yours; the remaining 80 percent is split between the creator and Revver.

Mobile uploads

Blip.tv and Jumpcut let you upload videos captured with your cameraphone by attaching them to an email. YouTube uses MMS. However, some mobile operators limit the size or duration of the clip you upload.
Even if you're posting embedded footage on your personal blog, most players link back to their website in some way. This raises the possibility of stumbling upon inappropriate video, comments or advertising. Many sites have family filters enabled by default.

Protect your copyright

Read the site's terms and conditions before you upload. Most have licence agreements that grant them the right to host, transcode and distribute your video and make money by selling advertising around it.

Usually, these are basic agreements that let you retain copyright and the ability to remove a clip at all times. Most sites inform visitors that your video is not in the public domain. Some, such as Blip.tv and Revver, use Creative Commons licences. With these you can decide whether you want to require attribution, restrict commercial use or allow use under specified terms.

YouTube shares video, not income

Surprisingly, YouTube and Google Video's revenue programmes are fairly inaccessible to the average Joe. YouTube's Partner Program is for media giants and hand-picked individuals only, while Google limits its high-quality download scheme to producers of at least 1,000 hours of video.

By contrast, Brightcove permits you to create paid-for downloads and distribute them through AOL Video; Veoh has a similar system. Both companies allow you to keep a 70 percent share of the profits.

Some parting advice: consider the tax implications of any income you earn from video sites. Go beyond a certain threshold and it's likely that the IRS will expect its slice. Check with your accountant.

It's worth the effort, however. At the time of writing, the top earner in Metacafe's Producer Rewards programme had collected more than $45,000 (about £23,000).

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