YouTube is undoubtedly the most popular video streaming platform on the internet today, with 5 billion videos watched every single day. For many of us, the video-sharing platform has become part of our daily routine. Whether we access content through the site directly or watch videos through other social media platforms. Not only this, but YouTube has birthed a multitude of vloggers (‘YouTubers’) who have even found fame from their posting.
The ease of access is unparalleled; thus, you may ask: why even bother to look for an alternative?
As much as YouTube (with its 2 billion registered users and $15 billion in advertising revenue) is so far ahead of the game, it is viewed as a giant too huge to have any major threat from competition. There are indeed some up-and-comers making a name for themselves in the industry. In this article we list out some of the most popular YouTube alternatives to consider.
Leading our list is one of the oldest video hosting platforms currently available, Vimeo. Created in 2004, Vimeo now sports a user base of 200 million, a significant following in its own right, but not quite Youtube’s 2.3 billion. It comes with all the features you would look for in a video hosting platform, for instance, a subscription list or comments. So, why use Vimeo?
It probably goes without saying that Youtube prioritizes quantity over quality. They host mountains of content, though much of what ends up in a viewer’s related videos section can often bear no relevance at all. This can be a bit of a problem to businesses, especially when their videos end up next to content they would rather be far removed from. In contrast, Vimeo prioritizes quality over quantity, not only filtering out lower-quality content from the related videos section but making them more in line with your business too.
Vimeo also places a strong emphasis on customization. By giving you options to adjust your video player, URLs, and even privacy settings, Vimeo puts a lot more control into your hands. This can be great for businesses, as customizing video players to better reflect a brand, or make videos exclusive to their sites, can work wonders for attracting more traffic and increasing conversion rates.
As a footnote, the customer service at Vimeo is spot on. Youtube is notoriously difficult to contact, even for massive channels, and often gives unhelpful responses when things go wrong. Vimeo is much quicker and easier to contact, plus work to solve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Another age-old alternative to Youtube, Dailymotion, is often regarded as the less carefully moderated version of the video hosting giant. This could be interpreted either way, as a more free platform on which you could flourish or a wild-west you might rather keep your brand far away from. That doesn’t mean there’s no reason to consider using Dailymotion, though, especially given its respectable 300 million monthly users.
Dailymotion can certainly be great for anyone looking to push the envelope and those looking to upload high-resolution content. Youtube is renowned for compressing video files, thereby worsening the quality of videos uploaded. This isn’t always a huge problem, but for content that relies heavily on detail, Dailymotion might be the better option.
In contrast to the other entries in this list that fill a more social media role, Wistia is a video hosting platform built around the needs of businesses. With outstanding performance on any device, it is well optimized, doesn’t bother with any intrusive midroll ads prevalent on Youtube, and has SEO as a core part of its design.
Following on from a good foundation, Wistia offers several features that would please content creators and data analysts alike. For starters, videos can be embedded directly into your website or even newsletters and emails. Which is a great way to increase your overall traffic as you won’t risk losing any to your video host’s platform. Youtube is designed to keep viewers glued to their site, after all. This is made even better by the level of customization Wistia offers. Pretty much anything you can think of can be adjusted, from custom thumbnails to branding.
Data is crucial for businesses to make good decisions, something Wistia knows well. Alongside the expected analytics, view counts, watch time, and engagement being a few such examples, Wistia offers a handy feature they call the heatmap. In short, it breaks down viewer engagement on each video. Showing you exactly what your audience found interesting and what lost their attention. The more time and replays spent on a section of your video, the hotter it is! With all the data sets available on Wistia, you can’t go wrong.
Uscreen is another great Youtube alternative that centers itself around businesses. It is a somewhat recent platform, at least compared to some others on this list. Yet has fashioned itself a comfortable position in the video hosting industry. Uscreen offers a sleek user interface and on-demand streaming, in addition to the usual features associated with video hosting platforms. But that’s not all.
Uscreen has taken the number one spot in one aspect – monetization. Unlike Youtube, where one size fits all, Uscreen lets you monetize your content in whatever way best suits you. Be that renting, subscriptions, or a one-time fee, Uscreen has you covered. You can even integrate coupons and promotions into your channel, creating content exclusive to audience members with them. Additionally, Uscreen’s design is built with driving leads and conversions in mind. This can be fantastic for passively growing your paying audience while you get on with actively making quality content.
Instagram likely isn’t what first comes to mind when discussing video hosting platforms. Still, with how closely linked social media and video marketing are, it would be a mistake to discount it. There’s a lot of overlap between Facebook’s audience, making available a pretty large pool of potential audience members. It has a decent ad revenue program, and many opportunities for brand deals or affiliate marketing.
Instagram does offer two pretty significant advantages to alternative platforms. Firstly, it has styled itself as one of the best platforms for short-form content. Secondly, it is a brilliant means to access a younger audience. This won’t suit every business out there. For brands that can post short, snappy content marketed towards a young demographic, Instagram could be ideal for you.
Launched in 2011, the video hosting platform, Twitch, is the prime destination for video game lovers. Twitch is the largest live-streaming platform in this sector. Gamers can broadcast their matches (known on the platform as Streamers) and play their favorite titles while commenting on the action. It also serves as a social network where like-minded gamer-geniuses can share game tips and interact with other players.
While anyone can create an account and stream their content, only the most skilled players with big personalities attract the biggest viewership. Twitch also allows streamers to monetize their channels by accepting advertising revenue or subscription fees. Like YouTube, Twitch has encouraged the birth of many well-known names within the gaming community.
Music video lovers are sure to have this the world’s largest all-premium music video provider in their webpage bookmarks. With an endless repository of music video content at your fingertips, Vevo will not let you down if you are hunting for some good sounds. It works directly with emerging artists to find unique means of bringing their music content to life. It is a great way to break the mold in your music career.
DTube stands for DCentralized Tube, differentiating immediately from YouTube since the videos aren’t uploaded and streamed from one server.
It is a community-powered video sharing platform (wow, that was a mouthful). Where users vote on videos to reward creators, curators, influencers, and viewers in cryptocurrency. With the content being stored via Blockchain, the server automatically implements a strong level of cyber security compared to other sites within the sector. Hackers will have a tough time tampering with online content, and personal data of users is highly unlikely to leak.
Cryptocurrency has exploded over the last few years, with Blockchain expanding at a rapid rate. DTube has jumped onto the trend, utilizing the sector to offer a service where individuals can earn rewards by posting, curating, and up-voting relevant content. The monetary rewards are received via STEEM.
This platform is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short & impactful lecture-inspired talks by engaging public speakers. It hosts conferences all around the world. To this day, the website is home to 3000 talks and counting to ‘stir your creativity, covering subjects from business to psychology, to art and current global events. It is a fantastic educational platform if you are looking to learn something new.
Crackle is a free streaming service that offers on-demand movies and TV series and acquired programming, founded by industry giant Sony Picture Entertainment back in 2006. With an established Entertainment production house such as Sony behind it, Crackle is known for being a reliable host for original TV shows and older Hollywood movies.
In March 2019, the streaming service was sold to Chicken Soup for the Soul, and the two companies now work together in the maintenance of Crackle.
A relatively new video hosting platform that allows you to host your channel & content and gain access to smaller, unbroached audiences far greater than YouTube could ever do. Its content-sharing tone is more niche-based than that of YouTube. Users tend to share only with a few followers. It is arguably a site for the novice creator.
Despite being dwarfed by YouTube’s monstrous user base, Utreon is deemed one of the best alternatives today since it allows a lot of exposure with minimal effort.
Creators can make use of innovative tools to organize and manage their content in new ways. Such as episode numbers and tables of contents, with new features being added regularly to enhance user experience as much as possible. Videos can also be monetized, with video subscriptions and future planned objectives. Utreon is a healthy alternative for many creators since YouTube is constantly becoming stricter with censorship and regulations.
A platform for the joker within you, 9GAG TV prides itself in being ‘your best source of FUN!’! The channel provides an abundance of light-hearted entertainment in the form of GIFS, memes, and much more. It houses masses of videos with humorous categories (such as comedy, game, fail and prank TV, music, and much more). Making it easy for the user to find specifically what they’re looking for.
You may well have heard of this platform since it is used by Facebook and Twitter for GIF and meme content easily shareable between friends.
Flickr is predominantly known for its photo-sharing features; however, it also allows users to upload video content. It is well-established (having been around since 2004!) and allows a permanent backup for your pictures should you require it.
Why Should You Look For YouTube Alternatives?
Unfortunately, in today’s modern era, it is nearly impossible to find a video streaming website that doesn’t use a tracking system for user data.
Like many popular social channels, YouTube can be a source of frustration to both watchers and creators alike. You will likely be accustomed to the unavoidable ads and censorship, copyright issues, and data collection. Don’t sidestep the small print stating that they make use of amalgamated data to improve their services or cookies to collect data for marketing initiatives.
On top of this, while YouTube alternatives may not have such a large user-base or gather as much profit, they can likely offer better privacy, unique content, and a niche community of like-minded users.
While YouTube is unlikely to be toppled by competition any time soon, we do think you’re missing out if you haven’t yet tried a great alternative.
Why not broaden your horizons? We hope our article on YouTube alternatives has demonstrated that not all high-quality videos available on the internet are hosted on YouTube. If you are looking for innovative ideas and educational insight – TED has got you covered. Are you an avid gamer? It sounds like Twitch may be the place for you! Part of the cryptocurrency revolution? Check out DTube.