Top Video content platform YouTube’s Journey
On February 14, 2005,YouTube was launched as a video-sharing site. This was a place where anyone could upload, share and watch funny comedy vidoes, Motivational videos etc. A lot of people, especially youngsters were very excited by this concept and the summer of 2006 saw YouTube becoming one of the fastest growing websites on the web.
As seen in this data for 2015, the number of video uploads increased consistently over the years since YouTube first started. The growth rate of YouTube was even higher than that of MySpace and it ranked 5th on Alexa’s “Most popular websites” list. The dominant age group that visited the website was between 12-17 years and according to Nielsen/NetRatings it had nearly 20 million visitors. The number of unique users on YouTube touched a billion in March 2013.The sheer magnitude of its reach made YouTube a major destination for brands. It became a platform for many companies to connect with their consumers around the world.
What does it take to make money on YouTube? Post videos, get views, cash in on ads and that’s it, sounds simple right? But this is quite far away from reality. Advertisers do pay a good amount for ads but the content creators actually make a very small part of that amount and that too per 1000 views. And hitting those numbers is not an easy task.
What started out as a simple video creating and sharing website in 2005, became a platform for many budding content creators to showcase their talents. With as many as 20 billion videos getting lapped up by users all across the world, it even brought about a significant change in digital media and brand marketing.
Being simple to use, getting instant audience connect and feedback and content about anything and everything that you will ever look for were the major points that leveraged YouTube to the point where it is today.
Over the years it has become increasingly difficult to monetize a channel on YouTube. Owing to the dwindling revenues many YouTubers are looking at other video platforms. To add to a new content creator’s misery, YouTube has now made changes to their monetization rules. Now a content creator collective, to be able to make money through AdSense, needs to have 4,000 hours of total watch time in the past year and at least 1000 subscribers. Before, all one needed was 10,000-lifetime views.
The massive following that a YouTuberenjoys is being cashed in on by various other players like DailyMotion, Vimeo, Amazon, Voot, Flickstree,and many other players.Platforms like Facebook and Instagram which are not traditionally video sharing platforms are cashing in to the video content market with Facebook Live and Insta Live respectively.
YouTube asks for roughly 50% of an artist’s take whereas the new players like Vimeo are offering to take just a 10% cut. To add to that Vimeoalso gives these influencers a chance to sell content on demand. The impact of social media has also brought in more and more brands to invest large amounts in influencer marketing. These influencers already enjoy theloyalty of their audiences. This presents the influencers with a huge opportunity provided that they are smart enough to cut the right deal.
Factors that contributed to the rise of other OTT video platforms
YouTube purged some of the biggest channels that were related to conspiracy theories or those which were pro-gun. Following the mass school shooting in Florida, the video-sharing site found itself in a muddle of moderation scandals. This made people question their basic right of free speech. The belief that, if an ad is aligned with the content then it is deliberately placed there, is what brands are worried about. On the other hand, content creators want the freedom to create content on any topic. YouTube has found itself caught in the middle of brands that fund them and the creators that create content for them.
The contentwas and always will be the King. If the content is not engaging enough, the video never garners any views or shares. This has always been the case. As more and more people join YouTube, the exclusivity that it offered got lost somewhere. This has also contributed to content creators looking at other platforms that give them exclusivity.
Moreover, businesses are looking to invest in videos to foster new engagements with prospects and also customers. Videoshave become an integral part of the way brands connect with potential customers or buyers. Currently, it’s not just about the number of views and shares. The focus has changed to engagement and every second counts. Video platforms are keeping no stone unturned in building on top of what YouTube did and at the same time customizing and tailoring it to their business needs.
Regional Contentis also one of the dominant factors for the increase in OTT video platforms. The Service providers like Reliance Jiomakinginternet access available at the fingertips for practically anyone who owns a Smartphone has given rise to a multitude of video consumers. These users have increased demand for regional content. This has led to a rise in Video platforms giving a chance to regional content creators as well.Voot, Viu, DailyMotion, Hoichoi and Flickstree everyone has jumped at the chance of providing ‘hatke’ entertainment with a focus on regional content to consumers who may not even be aware of YouTube. For these consumers, what matters is the content. This consumer doesn’t care which platform provides it.
The rise in regional content consumption has also prompted people to move in the direction of other video platforms that have that kind of a viewer-base.All of these factors have together contributed to YouTubers turning to other avenues.