The word hosting generally brings up thoughts of web hosting: businesses that provide server space and support for personal and ecommerce websites. Hosting services that provide focused services in other areas also exist. One of these types of focused services is streaming media hosting.
There are two main ways that streaming media hosting is done. One way is free. YouTube, Vimeo, and similar sites are primarily international video sharing sites that host user-generated media and stream it. YouTube hosts MPEG-4 files; Vimeo accepts any kind of video file including High Definition. The postings include television and movie clips, original videos, how-to guides, and video blogs. Some material is posted by media corporations, but most of it is provided by individuals who have registered for an account. The terms of service on YouTube, for example, prohibit uploading videos that violate copyright or contain defamatory material, pornography, or anything that encourages criminal activity.
People who have posted multimedia files on free streaming media sites can link to them from their websites, saving space on their servers and saving money on their web hosting packages. They may also be able to gain a greater audience for their material than they would on their website or blog alone. In 2008, a George Foster Peabody Award was given to YouTube for embodying and promoting democracy.
For those who require commercial streaming media hosting, Vimeo offers an upgrade to Vimeo plus, which increases the storage space, file size, and file quality, and removes ads, but is no longer free. There are companies with corporate hosting plans and expertise in the wide array of multimedia types that users prefer to work in, including Adobe® Flash®, Windows Media®, QuickTime®, Real Networks®. Streaming media hosting companies may also have expertise in live streaming, through which events are broadcast in real time, encoding services, digital rights management (DRM) to protect your digital assets, and specialized needs for streaming certain types of events, such as Streaming Faith, by means of which religious services are offered to viewers.