High-Quality, High Resolution, High Ambitions - Openfilm is not YouTube. I think if you were to even call them a YouTube clone you might offend the site's designers and founders not to mention the content publishers and users. Instead, OpenFilm is more like the Lexus of the video sharing social communities. All shiny and sleek with that new video sharing smell. So let's fire it up and take it for a test ride.
The first thing you are likely to notice when you get to Openfilm.com is that it's in beta. Well OK, maybe not, maybe it will be the slick front page with minimalist elements presenting you with a variety of options while not overloading your senses. It does get a little messy down at the bottom, but that is why we have got those pull-out floor mats in the Lexus, right?
Of course just as the Lexus is a hit on the old pocketbook, so OpenFilm.com is a hit on the processor. With my less-than-new computer I was unable to watch films satisfactorily in Firefox 3, IE6 and Google Chrome. I checked the task manager and found that Chrome was consuming 50-75% of the processor when attempting to show a video. Of course, just like driving, your mileage may vary and you might have a fine experience if you have the processor. I tried the same film in all browsers and even tested against blinkx and blip.tv. What I found was that Hi-Res and the larger display size seriously bogged down the playback even after the video was entirely buffered. However, shrinking it in the player did wonders for the playback quality, as in it was watchable even full screen then. In fact I even got hooked into a series which is partly what has taken me so long to write this.
The thing that really surprised me was the fact that the production values were far better than pretty much, every other video sharing site I've seen (which is a lot if you've been reading ReelSEO over the last few months). Much of the content is original and some of it is quite good. All of it looks fairly professional, even if it's not all interesting. However, we're not here to review the content, we're here to talk about the marketing aspects of the site.
Openfilm.com offers publishers a 50/50 split of revenue generated by advertisements. It seems that they hand pick certain content to participate in this program so that the high level of quality content is kept intact and the program continues to have earning potential.
Elitist you say? Smart I would say in reply. By getting advertisers on board and promising that their ads will only show around premium level means that is what they will expect and so the high level must be maintained to maintain the ad revenue. Plus, since the site puts the service forward as the "Lexus of video sharing sites" (my words, not theirs), this is almost mandatory. I'm very interested in how much vetting goes on behind the scenes when new videos are submitted. To that end I think I will try to get an interview with someone at Openfilm to talk more about the service.
So why am I telling you about Openfilm?
Well for several reasons. First off it's a potential place for online marketing and ad placement. Second it's a well-built video sharing site. I especially like that when you mouse over the thumbnail for a video if gives you a better view of the video as if flips through thumbs created throughout the video. No more trying to decide if a video is what you want simply from one still image. Third, it's a full-featured way to promote your videos that you are taking time, energy and money to create with channels, subscriptions and more. In essence it's a one-stop shop for social, high-quality video sharing. Finally, even though it's in beta it's well-made and the video content is high quality and I think it's going to be a contender for both original video content online and those all important advertising budgets. Well I'm off to take Openfilm.com onto the highway for some long haul testing, or really I'm just going to watch as much Wormtooth Nation as I can for the rest of the evening.