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  1. #1

    Starting youtube clone and need some advice

    Hi all,

    First of all - thank you in advance for any feedback you could give me. I'm starting a youtube clone / streaming video site where people upload videos and I need some info on hosting and bandwidth.

    1.) Does anyone have any information, or can provide me with a link to information, about the costs required?

    2.) I know bandwidth is the biggest cost. Does anyone know what kind of prices I will be paying per gigabyte? I heard its 5 - 15 cents per gigabyte (and dropping) - is this accurate, and where can i get the best rate while still having a reliable host that can handle a lot of traffic? Is there any kind of a list out there?

    3.) Besides bandwith, what other costs are involved - for example, is storage space expensive? Will I need a dedicated server, and how much does this run? Other costs?


    Thank you all again so much for any help with these issues!!!

    Andrew

  2. #2
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    Honestly - there's not very much money to be made due to the extreme costs of running such a site. Last time I checked YouTube was still running at a net loss.

    Who knows, you could have some idea to revolutionize the video hosting industry but imho I would leave it to YouTube unless you're doing it purely as a hobby and you plan on paying for it out of pocket.

    Maybe others won't have such pessimistic outlooks and will be a tad more helpful for you but I tend to find that being realistic is the best course of action.
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  3. #3
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    I'm sorry, but if you're asking if you need a dedicated server, clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.

    And as MikeDVB said, if youtube is not profitable, I'll doubt you'll be.

    With all these said, maybe you're about to create the revolutionary video hosting service. If this is the case, here are the resources you'll need:
    1. bandwidth
    2. storage
    3. processing power


    You'll need lots of each of the three. First two are obvious and the 3rd is required for video format converting (from uploaded format to the format you'll stream).

    And if your service is going to be just mildly successful you'll need tens of servers in the first months.

    So, if you're serious about this, you probably need at least few hundred thousand dollars of start up capital and if you'll have the brilliant idea and the brilliant sales team you'll be able to cover some costs after a few months. Otherwise, prepare losing millions each year/month.

    EDIT: And if you're lucky you'll have no success at all and you'll lose just about $600 for the dedicated server in the first 3 months and after that you realize it's time to move on.

  4. #4
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    If you even plan to use a shared hosting environment for such a project (even if it's a small website with a few hundred videos), you better not start it at all.

    Video streaming is the worst way of starting an internet business. It needs bandwidth, disk space, processing power, dedicated servers, and it almost never earns you money unless your users are paying for subscription.
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  5. #5
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    I wish you the best of luck with the site but, as long as you're just starting it, any shared host with ffmpeg will do the job. There're thousands of youtube clone sites around (with scripts like phpmotion it takes 5 minutes to create one) but only few of them need more resources than a shared account. It really depends by its success...
    In a couple words, don't think too big if you're just starting it
    Last edited by writespeak; 08-05-2009 at 10:48 AM.

  6. #6

    specific plans?

    Thank you all for the excellent advice! Does anyone have any specific plans they can suggest where I get the cheapest cost of bandwidth per gigabyte but still have a dedicated server that's reliable, and can be grown? Also, if you could tell me the tiered pricing schedule as I go up in bandwidth, or provide a link to this information, I would really appreciate it!

    Thank you!

    Andrew

  7. #7
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    You aren't going to get cheap bandwidth + a reliable dedicated server for "cheap". I mean you could try BurstNet - I hear their quality has improved since I used them and FDC isn't very expensive if you don't mind paying huge up-front setup fees.

    Realistically I would pursue another type of site unless you simply want to pay for this out of pocket and it's just something you want to do from a hobby/fun standpoint.
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  8. #8
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    I have to chime in on this one, as I have managed to run a profitable youtube style site (sold within the last six months). The key is to focus on a VERY niche market. I.e Say you want to have a sports site.. Forget it. If you want to have a site about basketball, great. But what differentiates you from the bazillion basketball videos on youtube? Nothing.

    Now, if you focus on street basketball in Brazil (sorry, the best I could come up with on the spot), you have a very defined set of people who are interested in that. From there, it is a matter of advertising on niche forums (that obviously is similar to what your video site it about), gathering users, placing advertising on your own site (if thats how you plan to monetize), or setup a payment gateway for members.

    With all this in mind, you also need unique content.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    As with anything if you run it in a niche and the niche is large enough to support the site then it's doable.

    But going for a generic "YouTube Like" site without going above and beyond and doing something that YouTube doesn't currently I don't see it working out.

    Timelord is very right in that it takes something special to be successful - especially since there is already a great YouTube like site out there that's called YouTube
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  10. #10
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    HA Burstnet. I forgot about them. I used them back in 2002-2003. I never had any problems. Timelord, Good call about the niche selection. Makes sense when you think about it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skullbox View Post
    HA Burstnet. I forgot about them. I used them back in 2002-2003. I never had any problems. Timelord, Good call about the niche selection. Makes sense when you think about it.
    I used BurstNet personally for about 3 months - 7 to 14 days for server provisioning and numerous other billing and support issues that took 7+ days to resolve. It was sad but I've heard that they have improved.
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  12. #12
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    << You aren't going to get cheap bandwidth + a reliable dedicated server for "cheap". I mean you could try BurstNet - I hear their quality has improved since I used them >>

    I would have to disagree. Our pricing is considered "cheap", and our uptime has actually been better than some of the more popular brands around here lately that cost 2-3x as much! Check the Network Outages forum since 3rd QTR 2008 to the present, and you'll see for yourself :-)


    << I used BurstNet personally for about 3 months - 7 to 14 days for server provisioning and numerous other billing and support issues that took 7+ days to resolve. It was sad but I've heard that they have improved. >>

    Yes, we had such issues in the past, but since some major network/staffing/backend changes were made about 8 months or so ago, all that is no longer. We hired new Network Engineering staff, completely upgraded/replaced our network, and installed a new billing/ordering system. Most servers are same day delivery now, 24-48 hours at most for regular orders. The amount of complaints in WHT for that time speaks for itself

    If you had prior service you were not satisfied with, and want to see first hand the improvement, please contact us and I'm sure we can arrange that....
    .
    .

  13. #13
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    I was with Burstnet about a year ago with a Small Dedicated Server, The pain it took to load the WHM was a nightmare. But hey this was well over a year ago now so i do hope that BustNet has improved.

    Sean
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  14. #14
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    I too used to be with BURST. It was quite problematic, and if I remember correctly I moved to new servers at The Planet, however it was EV1 back then.

    I have heard many good things about BURST since their major overhaul of the company, perhaps I will check them out again one day.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurstNET View Post
    If you had prior service you were not satisfied with, and want to see first hand the improvement, please contact us and I'm sure we can arrange that....
    .
    .
    If you want to set me up with a no-strings-attached dedicated server for one month so that I could test the reliability of the server, network, and support to gauge improvements I would be more than happy to do so. You may lose out on the cost of a server in one month but with as much as I speak in the hosting industry it might be better to take that minor loss.

    Either way - it's up to you I know that you still have my contact information on file because I still occasionally get emails from your organization.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    If you want to set me up with a no-strings-attached dedicated server for one month so that I could test the reliability of the server, network, and support to gauge improvements I would be more than happy to do so. You may lose out on the cost of a server in one month but with as much as I speak in the hosting industry it might be better to take that minor loss.

    Either way - it's up to you I know that you still have my contact information on file because I still occasionally get emails from your organization.


    Absolutely...exactly what I had in mind
    I'll PM you to discuss...
    .
    .

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATH-Sean View Post
    I was with Burstnet about a year ago with a Small Dedicated Server, The pain it took to load the WHM was a nightmare. But hey this was well over a year ago now so i do hope that BustNet has improved.

    Sean

    That could have been a issue specific to your server software and/or hardware, not necessarily the overall network. Without knowing details of the situation, I can't say for sure. Regardless though, the upgrades all took place in mid-November 2008, about 9 months ago, so that was still 3-4 months prior to the upgrades it sounds like
    .
    .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoishAssociates View Post
    I too used to be with BURST. It was quite problematic, and if I remember correctly I moved to new servers at The Planet, however it was EV1 back then.

    I have heard many good things about BURST since their major overhaul of the company, perhaps I will check them out again one day.

    We actually have an offer going on currently that is perfect for ex-clientele attempting to try our current network/service and compare it to the past. Contact us for details if you so desire...
    .
    .

  19. #19
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    Burst NET would probably be a great choice to start out with, although not sure as I haven't read their TOS in a long time if something like this would violate it. Most places shouldn't have too many problems, but when you grow there's always that chance someone will spam you with DMCA for having someone's video with the copyrighted music in the mix.

    Other than that, PHPMotion is a nice script and so is Clipbucket, although be sure to patch either of them cause they do tend to get hacked (had a PHPMotion script get hacked a while ago and luckily I had mod security installed so nothing big was done).
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurstNET View Post
    Absolutely...exactly what I had in mind
    I'll PM you to discuss...
    Ok, I've received your PM and I will probably take you up on your offer within the next day or two as time permits. Hopefully the changes you have made will reflect in your service and support to the point of changing my attitude towards your company and facility.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Ok, I've received your PM and I will probably take you up on your offer within the next day or two as time permits. Hopefully the changes you have made will reflect in your service and support to the point of changing my attitude towards your company and facility.
    OK, sounds good...
    .
    .

  22. #22
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    After reading all the depressing replies here...

    Do you still thing YouPorn is in loss? The guy is rich!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganesh-rao View Post
    After reading all the depressing replies here...

    Do you still thing YouPorn is in loss? The guy is rich!
    That would definitely be a site that hit the "right" niche for making a good amount of money. It's not something I personally would pursue even if I were promised riches simply due to it being against my moral beliefs.
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  24. #24
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    Mike, when you are done with the month or two trial that you are recieving, would you mind posting a review here on WHT, as I have had my eye on Burstnet for a while.

    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Ok, I've received your PM and I will probably take you up on your offer within the next day or two as time permits. Hopefully the changes you have made will reflect in your service and support to the point of changing my attitude towards your company and facility.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timelord_ View Post
    Mike, when you are done with the month or two trial that you are recieving, would you mind posting a review here on WHT, as I have had my eye on Burstnet for a while.

    Cheers.

    No reason you cannot take us up on our current offer, and have a trial yourself
    .
    .

  26. #26
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    I've also contacted BurstNET in regards to the trial offer and I will happily submit a review after as well. I look forward to seeing the new changes Burst has to offer.

  27. #27
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    In my Personal view on you tube clones etc is that there is so much competition, money to be spent and again in my opinion its not worth it at all.
    you'll keep running out of bandwidth and space its just to much hassle

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