For independent creators unhappy with YouTube’s algorithms, here’s a quartet of video platform alternatives.
4 min read
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A few months ago, The Verge published a story titled “The Golden Age of YouTube is Over.” The article discusses the well-documented conflict between independent creators and the way YouTube handles them. Many creators feel unfairly treated by updates in YouTube’s search and recommendation algorithm, which began to favor mainstream outlets with big budgets. Ever since I read that story, I’ve wanted to explore YouTube’s alternatives to understand if the conflict represents a larger trend in video streaming, or if it represents an opportunity for more niche video streaming services to take the batton to accommodate independent creators.
Here are four alternatives to YouTube that are well-positioned for independent creators:
1. Video platform: Vimeo
Probably the most reputable on the list, Vimeo has built up a strong reputation as a high-quality streaming site. In an effort to set itself apart from YouTube, Vimeo has positioned itself heavily towards artists and video creators. With powerful analytics and privacy measures, it’s also attractive to brands looking to host marketing videos, but it comes at a cost. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo requires uploaders to pay to host their videos, starting at $12-per-month.
By charging content creators a monthly fee, Vimeo is able to avoid ads, giving the end-user a friendlier experience more in touch with the expectations of a high-quality streaming service. For content creators who exclusively rely on ads, this is a red light. Although for those who produce videos on behalf of brands looking to gain exposure amongst the most attentive and engaged audiences, Vimeo is a strong contender.
2. Video platform: Rumble
Rumble bills itself as a home for independent content creators, with no less than 150,000 creators uploading videos to the site. Rumble gives creators the ability to exchange content with publishers, a sort of marketplace connecting content producers with those that distribute and syndicate it to other video platforms. With real-time data analytics and reporting, it’s designed to help creators earn more from their videos and have full transparency on where it’s being used.
Rumble also allows creators, brands and distributors the ability to custom-brand the 4k video player, adding their own logo and styling and offering the ability to turn to choose whether or not ads will be shown on the video, or who’s ads will be shown. For publishers and brands looking to adopt Rumble as their video management system or video player, one of the major advantages is their player speed; benchmarking better than all the competition, which ultimately leads to more streams and revenue for both publishers and creators.
3. Video platform: JW Player
For content creators who prefer to host videos on their own site, the JW Player is a popular contender for its powerful HTML5 and ad-platform technology. Similar to Rumble, JW Player gives content producers the option to integrate any video ad server they choose to use, including SpotX, Google DFP, IMA, AdX and FreeWheel. Further, the platform gives creators 100% of ad revenue, although publishers are required to pay to use JW Player. A large part of JW Player’s positioning seems to be focused on giving content creators the tools they need to maximize the revenue they generate through ads, given that you have a website with existing traffic to host it on.
4. Video platform: Brightcove
For creators and publishers who rely on streaming and event-based productions, Brightcove is building up a strong reputation. With an advanced ad-platform that uses server-side integrations, creators are able to show ads to audiences even if they have ad-blockers. The video platform has gained early traction from enterprise and university-based broadcasters, its reliability and digital infrastructure are attractive to larger-scale independent creators who reach high-volumes of traffic and need more reliable technology on the back-end of video hosting.
With YouTube’s mass popularity starting to overwhelm its ability to serve everyone’s wishes, new services are popping up to serve niche pockets of the video streaming industry. From creators looking for powerful ad customization to those that want more flexibility on how the video-player looks and feels, the choice is there. Only time will tell if YouTube’s dominance in video-streaming will hold fast while video creators abandon the platform in favor of those that offer more lucrative attributes. And wherever creators flock, audiences will follow.