Undoubtedly, the kind of reach an audio visual content gives in a short time is incomparable with any other content format. Videos are easier to remember, and anyone watching a video can grasp information more readily than reading lengthy textual content. That’ why we remember every scene in the movies we see days ago but forget what was written in a textbook that we read a day ago.
Videos are everywhere. From marketing, entertainment, to online learning, they have made an inseparable connection with the audience and so do the popular video platforms. Who doesn’t know YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, or Hulu?
Out of all the popular video platforms, YouTube has a very special category with over 1.8 million monthly users. This platform is neither different from Netflix or Hulu, nor it is the same in many senses. Just open YouTube and see if there is a single niche that YouTube does not cover. The particular platform has everything to attract the audience, brands, businesses, creators, advertisers, and probably aliens from Mars as well.
Why YouTube is so special? Is it a great idea to start a video sharing platform like YouTube in 2019? A videos sharing platform like YouTube, which gets over 1 billion hours of watch time daily has to be a special one.
To understand that, we have to consider the trends associated with video content format, video sharing platforms, video content creators, and the businesses that rely on videos for marketing and brand education. Below are 8 reasons why a videos sharing platform like YouTube is a sagacious businesses idea in 2019.
1. The popularity of on-demand video content
The growth and acceptance of YouTube by the masses are because of the video and acceptance of Video content format by the same mass. Today, the VOD content has a worldwide market of over $30.5 billion and it is expected to grow over $37.4 billion by 2023. As compared to 2018, there has been an upsurge of 4.7% in the total number of worldwide consumers of VOD content. It’s 1,773.3 million with a penetration rate of 24.1% to be exact.
When something is in such great demand and is being accepted insanely by the masses, it takes no time to deduce that just YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon prime are not enough to cater the demands. The market has got enough space for many more VOD platforms that can cater to worldwide consumers.
If you still think, VOD is not very popular then be advised that a YouTube user is 3X more likely to watch a video tutorial than reading the textual content about the same. Who does not know the famous video on YouTube, “Gangnam Style”. This video became so viral that its upsurge literally broke YouTube’s video’s view counter.
In short, the main content format on YouTube, VOD, is itself a great content format capable of attracting the entire globe. A platform like YouTube would definitely be a great idea for VOD content publication.
2. Acceptance of live gameplays streaming
Live streaming on YouTube is still an infant feature, which they introduced in 2016. Within a very short span of time, the particular video content format penetrated the masses like a virus. As a result, the year of 2016 recorded an upsurge and 81% of the entire internet was seen watching more live videos as compared to 2015.
Today, live streaming has become one of the major content formats on the video-sharing platforms that support both VOD and Live content. Out of all kinds of live content on video sharing platforms, breaking NEWS makes the most with 56%, where events and concerts make up 43%.
In all this, a new genre of live video gameplays is flourishing. YouTube and Twitch are the most popular platforms to watch live video games. It does not mean, a new platform with the same niche cannot make a good profit. For your knowledge, even Facebook and Vimeo have started streaming live gameplay. At any time, You would find millions of people watching games on YouTube and Twitch.
Not just that, new platforms like IGTV of Instagram and Nimo TV are gradually grabbing a fair share of viewership. Twitch has grown to become a multi-billion company in just the gaming niche. You should know that the majority of the viewers in the live gaming niche are the millennials. There is no better businesses idea than offering live gaming on your video sharing platform today.
3. Growing fame in label-less video production
YouTube allows general users to create channels, build audience-base through free channel subscriptions, and share video content with anyone on the platform. YouTube is not just any platform but a social media network that uses video to connect. When one-third of the internet is watching videos, there could be a no better option to connect them.
That’s where a platform like YouTube gives equal opportunities for everyone to create, share content, and become famous within a massive community. We have seen YouTube-base creators making it to the mainstream media after the grown fame.
The platform gives an ability to create independent content without relying on a label. You don’t have to be a video production company to upload videos on YouTube. This public availability of the platform is the biggest reason for its success. It is a perfect inspiration for building a similar platform that offers a similar level of access to everyone. If you still doubt, gaming is not a good niche to start your platform, be advised that 5 out of the top ten YouTube stars in 2018 are gamers.
4. Recognition of video marketing and Video Ads
When something is as big a YouTube and the majority of the internet is available on it, it’s obvious that it would attract marketers and Advertisers. The major section of revenue for YouTube comes through ads only. It offers various types of Ads that get immense traction.
It uses both banner Ads and video ads to maximize the chance of a conversion. It also uses special Ads combined with both Banner and video-based targeting. Just check out the following Ads from YouTube, you would comprehend the kind of Ads you need to incorporate on your own video sharing platform like YouTube.
There are mainly two types of Ads which are further customized to fit into various scenarios -YouTube Banner Ads and YouTube video Ads. Here are few of the Ad customizations, which will give your own video sharing platform better ways to make money:
In-roll Video Ads (Only Videos) :
YouTube Hybrid Ads (Banner Video + Top Banner):
YouTube Hybrid Ad (In-roll video Ad + Embedded Banner)
Today, YouTube has doubled the number of Ads it shows. This single revenue model is making trillions for the company. Marketers are being attracted to video Ads as even they know that video is the future. More brands and companies these days have separate plans for video advertising. It’s a perfect time, to launch your video sharing site like YouTube, and claim the massive Ad revenue.
5. Escalation of brand collaboration with creators
Brands are taking a keen interest in the independent creators on YouTube and other video sharing platforms like Twitch, Nimo TV, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc. They know these creators have some massive follower’s base and they can influence their buying decisions.
The same influence can also be used to promote a certain brand, which encourages businesses to connect with as many famous creators. These famous independent creators have a much stronger hold on their audience, and they have actually proven useful to the brands. As a result, more and more brands are connecting with them.
This upsurge in the connection with brands through paid partnership, collaboration, and sponsorship is encouraging new creators to join the league. In short, the entire mechanism is boosting the growth of video creation as a career and the need for more video sharing platforms in different niches.
6. Evolution of web development technologies
One of the major factors that make a website like YouTube an accessible business idea is the grown ease of website development. With technologies like clone scripts, the entrepreneurs today don’t need to develop the websites from scratch.
The clone scripts have eliminated the need for re-inventing the wheel by offering ready-made websites and other applications. With this readiness, the clone scripts cost 100 times lesser than the development from scratch.
If you want to develop the complete suite of YouTube-like website, it would cost you around, $100,000, about, 6 months, and a team of at least 10 experts on various technologies. On the other hand, a typical clone script comes priced as low as $500 for the website and $1500 for the whole suite with mobile apps. Moreover, it takes only a few hours to set up your platform using the clone script.
Today, you don’t have to ask anyone how to set up a website like YouTube. You can simply purchase a YouTube clone script and set it up according to your needs. The best YouTube clones come as open-source code and with self-hosting capabilities. They give you complete control over your platform across all the channels.
In short, the cost of platform development has grown too low. You don’t have to spend a fortune anymore. If you don’t believe me, check out my article I have written about “how to set up a website like YouTube at low cost”.
I have explained how YouTube works, how it earns, and how you can develop a similar website like YouTube with all revenue channels intact. Having said that, YouTube’s Revenue model is also a big reason for its success, and it is still a perfect model to start your own YouTube-like site.
7. The popularity of Hybrid video revenue model
YouTube uses its Hybrid Revenue model to make money. You already know it uses Ads, but there are some more channels that make a significant share of YouTube’s total earnings. So if, you think you can run a business like YouTube, including the following three revenue model is a must-
- Ad Revenue: We saw back in the previous points the kind of ads YouTube uses. So it shares the Ad revenue with the creators.
- Subscription Revenue: YouTube also runs subscription plans to make extra revenue. What’s special is it uses two types of subscription revenue. One is from the users to use the platform without seeing any Ads. While other is channel wise subscription for creators, where their subscribers purchase their memberships to support their favorite creator.
- Transaction Revenue: in addition to the free Ad-based and premium subscription-based content, YouTube also offers some extra-premium content. These are separate individual paid content. It lets users pay only for what they want to watch if they don’t want to subscribe to the premium plan on YouTube Red.
The hybrid model is a whole in itself. It incorporates the positive aspects of all popular revenue channels and makes a balanced use to attract every kind of user. This is one of the top reasons for YouTube’s success in all age group, nations, and kind of consumers.
We have seen many new platforms becoming successful with this same model. For example, twitch. There is both free and premium content on Twitch.
8. YouTube is growing sterner to make money
Started with a controversy erupted after Logan Paul’s infamous dead body filming incident, YouTube took a bitter turn post removing the creators from its Preferred ad program. Google made it clear that it’s not going to monetize every other content on YouTube, and from now on, it would be going to be tough to make money. It introduced stricter monetization policies, which made many creators lose their already acquired monetized status.
In short, YouTube is no more as accessible for creators as it used to be. This has made many creators looking for alternative ways to make money. While few of the biggest creators have started their own video streaming platforms, many are still looking for new platforms to extend their income.
In all this, your own YouTube-like website might come as an advantage, and there is a higher chance that it would gain some enjoyable traction with a correct approach.
To Conclude: It’s a Huge Market
You might ask if YouTube is already this popular, how your site would compete with it to get traction.
Here is the thing. You don’t have to and you should not compete with YouTube. The online market for video streaming is full of various other platforms as well. However, still, they are making some great profit. For example, despite the fact that gaming on YouTube is also quite popular, Twitch is still performing exceptionally well.
Key is not competing with the giants but offering what they are not offering. Don’t be YouTube, be what it’s not. Even YouTube has an array of drawbacks if you look carefully. You can capitalize on these drawbacks and devise and unique business plan. For example:
- If monetization on YouTube has become strict, you offer a more flexible monetization.
- If YouTube lacks a niche, you start a platform in a particular niche. Example, cooking, art, etc.
- If YouTube is full of various Fake and unethical content, you can offer a more curated platform.
- If YouTube is too big to track everything, you start with a small platform first.
There are business opportunities in the drawbacks of your biggest inspiration. You just have to identify your own set of opportunities and offer a platform that addresses them. Users today are not limited to entertainment alone. There are infinite niches to focus on and cater to the consumers. If you still think, you can’t survive when YouTube is already there, think how Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, BHO, and others are co-surviving. Pick a niche, build your site, and start uploading today. Our YouTube Clone script will get the website development part covered for you.
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YouTube, the biggest community of independent video producers, filmmakers, and production studios. The platform has given a whole generation of decisive means to earn exposure, fan-following, and make decent money via YouTube Monetization. Let’s not forget the delegated brand sponsorships that come along with broadened followership and audience penetrations.
YouTube is home to a lot of genres- films, short films, documentaries, animations, gameplay, parodies, podcasts, tutorials, sketches, and live streams. You can find almost every kind of video on YouTube.
All thanks go to the talented video creators, who have popularized the term “independent production studios” in the market. These independent entities on YouTube have given an array of outstanding free content to the community.
Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, sometimes we learn, and sometimes it totally cringes. Whatever be the content, let’s be honest- we have enjoyed YouTube for everything it has offered to us.
Here is the big question-
Can YouTube-Money support a professional production studio?
Have you seen the originals on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu? Do you think, YouTube-based production houses can deliver something of that stature?
Of course yes! They can deliver a lot more than that. There is no shortage of skilled and talented teams of content creators on YouTube. In fact, some of them have already given magnificent professional content. Content like Vox-borders, RWBY, and Vice- C for Crime etc. are perfect examples of the community’s abilities to produce professional level shows.
Can YouTube level the expenses made while producing professional content?
YouTube can be a difficult place to monetize content. Whether you are an individual creator or an independent production house, leveling up for the production cost itself is quite challenging. Ad revenue is not enough, brand-sponsorships won’t remain forever, and YouTube-based donations are not stable. Eventually, every production unit needs steady financial support to keep up the show. It’s a profession, you need an assurance you make good money out of it.
Consequently, skilled YouTube creators and independent production studios, with a will to support their production costs and team overheads are moving beyond YouTube by hosting their own content.
For that, they are relying on modes like-
–Building their own video streaming platforms,
-Integrating their own monetization models,
-Using crowdfunding for donations and support, and
-Collaborating with premium video streaming services.
What’s the actual scene on YouTube for creators?
With limited resources and earning, most of the independent YouTube-based production studios hinge on inspired content from third-party franchises. It includes parodies of popular mainstream shows & music videos, sketches based on trending pop-culture, animations pulled out of video games or cartoon shows, and a lot of other inspired content that can be managed with limited expenditure.
With this, parallel execution of original improvisations and skills also take place in the form of scripts, voice dubbing, direction, editing, music, and social media marketing.
But, this does not mean independent production teams can go any further with it. While some of them have been able to pull it off through third-party financial support, most of them could not even make it to the next phase –the phase where they can produce original content. The inspired content on YouTube probes inefficient to develop a stable business model that can support survival.
What’s the next phase after YouTube?
YouTube creators, despite using derived content, also showcase their honing skills capable of being recognized as the original cinematic creators in the long run. That’s why they don’t stay there for the lifelong.
With the advancement in technology and growing competition in the equipment market, it has become so easier to create, edit, and publish video content.
- To create, they have got affordable equipment-cameras, mics, lights, etc.
- To edit, they have got affordable professional editing software and computers.
- To share, they have got affordable software solutions to create video hosting platforms.
Perhaps, the next boom in the software industry would come through these creators, who are the potential clients for video streaming software solutions providers. Possibly, this is where software development companies should scan for their future clients, and this is where Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu would get their next original shows.
Success stories – Case studies | those who moved beyond YouTube
These case studies are not just the success stories, but also the inspirations for making a way out of hideous hurdles you face as an independent production unit. Each case is a unique example of matchless setbacks that can literary destroy your will power. However, the heroes of our studies not only pulled off the obstacles but also evolved to capitalize on them.
1. Rooster Teeth–Fame to Business
Rooster Teeth is one of the oldest YouTube channels. They started it in 2006, a year after YouTube’s launch. It quickly rose to fame with its show–Red vs Blue. The show derived in the comedy genre from Halo games, made a great impact with its video game animation.
Soon Rooster Teeth became a well-known channel and attracted viewers worldwide. Today, it has over 9.6 million YouTube subscribers on the main channel, 11 other channels, and accumulated over 5.7 billion total views.
According to the social blade, their average monthly earnings through YouTube monetization ranges from $5.5K – $88.1K.
Do you think this figure is enough to support a professional level video production?
Of course not! It’s not even close to level up the production cost, profits and earning are far to be considered. They have a huge team to feed and a massive setup to manage.
That’s why Rooster Teeth choose not to stay just a YouTube channel. Today, they are a full-fledged production studio based in Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, and CA. They have their own website –RoosterTeeth.com, which works on Subscription (SVOD) and Ad-based revenue generation model. The ad led streaming from free while SVOD for ad-free streaming.
With a combined Total of over 16 million subscribers on YouTube, they capitalized on their followership. They post videos on both YouTube and their own website. With over 507 videos, their show Red vs Blue has now a dedicated YouTube Channel, which is broadcasting its 16th season. The same can also be found on their own website too.
Another best show from their trunk is “RWBY, -an award-winning anime show. The success of the show led them to release the DVDs in the UK, Australia, and Japan, besides it is already available on YouTube and their website. Now guess the extent of its popularity by the fact that cosplay icon Jessica Nigri featured as one of the voice actors.
Rooster Teeth is a fabulous example of how independent production studios can make it to the mainstream by thinking beyond the horizon. YouTube is undoubtedly the source of their success as it gave them popularity and fellowship. However, they could not have made it to the large-scale production if it was just for the YouTube earnings. Now, at least they don’t have to worry if YouTube someday changes their algorithm and demonetizes certain content because they have their own website and some decently paid subscriptions over there.
Even if you are doing extremely well on a third-party site like YouTube, as a production company, you should not limit yourself to their terms and conditions. YouTube is a great platform to earn fame, but you need to direct that fame to somewhere you capitalize on, and build a stable business model out of it. This is what Rooster Teeth did.
2. TeamFourStar –Copyrights to Self-sufficiency
TeamFourStar came to the fame in 2008 with its parody show Dragonball Z abridged, which they derived from the iconic anime Dragonball Z. Since then, have grown into a family of over 3.3 million YouTube subscribers. Till now they have uploaded over 60 episodes of the show. It derives the episodes both from the anime shows and over 10 Dragonball Z movies.
The viewership goes in millions for the particular show. Besides that, they now also upload the abridged version of many other anime and games.
The bottom line is –TeamFourStar is not the only one to produce an abridged version of the anime, but it is one of the best creations. The production studio went beyond the traditional competitions and produced more professional content with high-quality setups. Many a time, you would find their abridged content more professional than the original version.
The biggest challenge to the team is the production cost, which is way too high than what they make of their content on YouTube. However, the trickiest and most frustrating part is YouTube community rules for copyright content.
TeamFourStar does not possess the copyrights of the Dragonball or any abridged content they make. Hence, they cannot claim on the earnings being generated on YouTube through the show. Though they have expanded their niche to video gameplay with “Let’s Play” and TFS gaming, it is still not enough to support their high-quality video productions. As a result, their main content gets copyright claims regularly, making them lose great money.
Another challenge is YouTube’s algorithm for copyrights claiming is being abused by individuals and bots. If we consider the general official copyright policies, TeamFourStar’s abridged content falls under Fair Use rules.
It states “You can use copyrighted content on YouTube for review, criticism, reporting, teaching, and research”. The same rule also states you can use the content with certain transformation and by adding new expressions such that it does not compete with the original content or affects its performance negatively. In short, your transformed content should not be presented as an alternative to the original content.
We often treat parodies and reactions as transformative with a new voice, a new appeal, and even a new story-line. An abridged content does not replace the original content. In fact, many a time we have seen original content getting more views because of a viral transformative content of the same.
The production company also makes sure that every video starts with a disclaimer that states it’s a parody based non-profit content and gives credit to the original release. However, this does not stop the original content owners (I am not pointing out any company or individual) from abusing the copyright loopholes.
Most of the big professional production houses and brands have bots who scan the copied content and they cannot really differentiate between a plagiarized and transformative content. With an aggressive automated system, they take down or de-monetize any content they find for their claims.
TeamFourStar found a solution for this frustration in setting up their own video streaming platform. As a result, now they upload their content on their own platform for actual monetization and also on YouTube for more exposure. Of course, they publish the content on YouTube after 6 days of publication of their official platform. It gives their own platform an edge and a decent way to get more subscriptions for their own SVOD platform.
Currently, they are active on all the major platforms to get more exposure and support for their productions. Beside the official site, you can find them on YouTube, Twitch, and Patreon. They are also into merchandise, which gives them considerable support from the fans. They also have other channels and sister sites where their live streams and play live games. Most of the earnings and support come through their Patreon page, which has over 2,654 patrons. The support from the platform has helped them set up their own office and work towards a building a full-fledged production studio.
Publishing on a third-party site would always expect you to abide by their rules. When rules are as harsh and non-human (bot automated) as YouTube, you cannot even expect to earn a penny from derived content. Most of the time, the Fair Use rules for transformative content seem a joke that individuals and bots can easily abuse.
I think, TeamFourStar’s decision to move beyond YouTube was a wise one. It gave them a chance to level up the production cost, make active income, introduce their merchandise, and stabilize their primary profession–video production. More importantly, it gave a direct control over their content monetization and a safeguard from flawed copyright claims from an imperfect automated system.
What’s better–Own platform, Crowd-funding, or Partnership?
No doubt, both the names in our list started with YouTube, gained exposure and then they extended beyond YouTube for active monetization. However, you cannot just always move to your own platform. There are a lot of factors that decide the fate of your venture.
What are the odds?
Take, for example, you have a successful YouTube channel with a large fan following. The nature of your content sometimes pushes it to the de-monetized part because of the copyright claims. Also, the earnings from monetized content are not enough.
In such a situation, you might feel starting your own platform would give control over your earnings and you would make great money. However, going full-time on your platform is not always a great idea. Neither would be selling the merchandise has any crucial effect.
If moving full-time was a definite solution, you would see thousands of production studio-owned streaming apps by now, but it is not so, actually. You hardly see a dozen of streaming apps. Out of which, the big ones are owned by giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CW, etc, and soon Disney will launch its own service.
If you are a brand of Disney’s scale and can produce the movies and content like Alice in Wonderland, Lion King, and Beauty and Beast, go for your own platform. However, the truth is, you are not Disney. Neither it is your competition. You are an independent production unit, who wishes to produce some great content and maybe, someday become popular like Disney.
Even, Roster Teeth and TeamFourStar were not big. They started from the basic, gained the followers, looked for the perfect time, analyzed the odds, and then pushed beyond YouTube. This is exactly what you need to do. You need to capitalize on the current aspects, current market, current trends, and current opportunities.
- You can host on your own platform to escape copyrights for your popular content like TeamFourStar did.
- You can host on your platform to earn big by capitalizing on large followership and produce high-quality commercial content as Rooster Teeth did.
- You can host on your site with a free model if you are an already established media house like Vice, which offers unique content from some unique genres.
What are the other options?
Another option would include being selected by a production network and getting featured on their well-known platforms. In the same way, AIB (All India Bakchod), an Indian production studio that got internationally recognized for its comedy sketches and satire shows. Their content “On Air with AIB” was featured on Hotstar, and then they made it to Amazon Prime with more shows.
We also saw a similar scene when RocketJump was picked up by Hulu. RocketJump’s YouTube channel is followed by over 8.5 million subscribers. They action-packed content enticed Hulu, which needed them moving beyond YouTube with a partnership model. The show on Hulu was a big hit which gave the production studio more fame and exposure among the mainstream media. They got more shows too, which included an original science fiction names Dimension 404.
It a highly competitive environment, the giants will do anything that takes to give their audience the best content. In this war, the role of originals from various small to the biggest production studios plays a significant role. If they like your content, trust me they will bid huge to buy the broadcast rights.
However, a new trend has also started. Instead of bidding huge and buying the broadcast rights, these streaming platforms are also into their own original content production. You can guess the trend by looking at a huge number of originals content on the Netflix platform (Netflix’s Stranger Things, bird box are great examples). Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO are also following the trend and making huge with this approach. HBO’s Game of Thrones and Amazon prime’s ‘The Man in The High Castle’ are a few of the names in the list.
My impressions on this are surprising. Streaming services in the pace of filling their platform with in-house originals are still not seeing the diversity of talent pooled on YouTube. These creators have every talent and skills to produce bests of the originals. The one thing they don’t have is the exposure and funding that streaming services and TV shows provide.
Nevertheless, it’s still on an open option, as we have seen many independent production studios making to the big platforms. Optimistically, we will see more of them in the time to come.
Does YouTube support its creators?
Besides Ad revenue, YouTube had nothing else to support the creators financially. However, with the beginning of YouTube Premium, we saw a shift. We saw great originals from mainstream production studios (e.g. Cobra Kai), which they later extended to some chosen YouTube channels too.
In the same way, YouTube Red did with PewDiePie (89 million current and 55 million then subscribers). They featured his own show “Scare PewDiePie” only on YouTube Premium, which they later ended because of some political reference. Other YouTube names that made to the premium section include Joey Graceffa(8.9m subs), MyLifeAsEva (9.6m subs) and Game Theorists(11m subs).
A further shift was made when YouTube introduced Superchats and Premium Channel Subscriptions. With Superchats, fans got the option to send paid live chats, which streamers see as highlighted and pinned in the chat screen. While the paid channel subscriptions let followers support their favorite YouTube channel by committing a recurring amount of $0.99 Per Month. These features are not available in all countries as of now. However, YouTube plans to implement it worldwide soon.
Another option that YouTube gives is setting up crowdfunding using YouTube Donations Cards. It’s like Patreon where your fans can support your channel by giving direct financial donations. Channels also use this feature to create different campaigns fundraising for a cause or charity fund.
These are indeed right moves by YouTube and give financial support to the creators for going beyond the limits and spend more to produce extraordinary content. The only catch is–YouTube takes a large cut from all these financial aids you get from your fans. Perhaps it’s okay, as you are using its platform to gain the same.
So why YouTubers need to see beyond?
Traditionally, video production is seen as a huge-scale setup with massive investments for commercial use. Usually, only the mainstream production studios can afford the products, equipment, and software required to produce commercial-scale videos.
However, today, the trend is shifting and the cost of the equipment and solutions have gone down significantly. They have become more accessible to independent creators. It was never so easy to produce a film.
Further thanks to free ad-based platforms like YouTube and Twitch, which are giving a stage to start the journey and explore the possibilities. With them, video production would have still been a luxury and forte for big labels alone.
Extended thanks to the growth in web development technologies. Today, anyone with a decent investment can build a video streaming platform of their own. You need not code one from scratch. You can buy an affordable script and setup your platform on it. Building a video streaming platform was also never this accessible.
Ultimately, creators with great skills need to move beyond the ad-supported third-party platforms and build their own business model. They need to earn more so they can produce a more and scaled level of content. Today, having a successful YouTube or Twitch channel is great if you do it for a hobby. However, it’s not enough if you are aiming to become a production house with commercially acceptable content. Eventually, you would need to extend and depend on mainstream monetization to make a living out of it. You need to feature your content on your own platform or a mainstream Network that gives you a lot of money.
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It is hard to find a person who is not aware of YouTube. With over 1.8 billion monthly users, YouTube is the second-ranked website on the globe. The Google-owned video sharing website is the most visited website in its category. Internet users watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos in a day, which is more than Netflix and videos on Facebook altogether. In a very short span of time, people are now spending more time watching YouTube videos on their Smart-TVs than content.
Indeed, YouTube’s unique business model has enticed users from all the spheres. Where normal users can relish watching videos, YouTube creators can create, upload, share, and earn fame from their creations on an excellent video sharing platform. Where creators can earn money from YouTube Ads, brands can lift their video marketing campaigns by collaborating with the YouTube influencers. The best part is the YouTube business plan offers incredible returns to every kind of user on its platform. Who would not love a single repository of entertainment, gaming, learning, gossip, movies, music, and earning at the same time? The question of the hour is…
Can you Make a Website like YouTube of Your Own?
It is 2018. Today, you would face a much lesser hard time than YouTube must have faced while creating their website for the first time. With the advancement in technology and information sharing becoming extremely accessible via the internet, you can consume an infinity of resources and knowledge to create a video sharing website like YouTube with almost zero coding.
How Much Does it Cost to Make a Website like YouTube?
Honestly, it depends!
It depends on various factors such as business model, website technology, the scale of the business and website, streaming engines & servers, prime targets for the user base, and much more. This article will explain two major methods to create a video sharing website like YouTube.
However, before that, it is exceedingly crucial to comprehend four important aspects of the YouTube business model and of other video sharing websites like YouTube-
• How YouTube advanced a monopoly in free video sharing platforms?
• Would users appreciate a new video sharing website or YouTube alternatives?
• How sites like YouTube make money streaming free videos?
• Who are the prime targets of a video sharing website like YouTube?
Video Sharing and YouTube Monopoly:
Can you beat YouTube’s monopoly in video streaming business?
YouTube was not this big a decade ago. In fact, it was nothing. People mocked Google for buying the video sharing platform for $1.65 billion. Today, according to a leading analyst at Google, a year ago, if YouTube were a stock, it would be worth $75 billion. It is safe to assume its net worth is more than $100 billion as of today.
Let us consider the YouTube business model here. Here is what YouTube offers-
• Unlimited hosting of video content in maximum resolution.
• Dynamic re-encoding of videos to enjoy buffer-less streaming on all bandwidths across different devices.
• 15 data-centers and streaming servers around the globe for lowest latency and least buffering.
• Video content enhancement using latest tech. For example, 60 fps streaming.
• Live streaming and VOD on the same platform.
• More than 300 hours of videos are uploaded every minute.
YouTube offers all this as free of cost. Now, I ask you, do you think, YouTube is going away anytime sooner with all these? In less than a decade, YouTube has captured a major section of the video streaming market. At least a startup backed by a partial YouTube Clone would not compete with the Google-supported business, but that does not mean a video sharing website like YouTube cannot survive until YouTube is there. This brings to our next aspect.
Drawbacks of your Biggest Competitor- YouTube:
Lack of Niche-
If you look at the YouTube business model for users, it is a place for all kinds of videos. We cannot say that YouTube has a niche. However, the channel-based model allows YouTube creators to choose a niche for their videos, it is still not very micro-personalized to cater to a particular group of audience.
Fake and Unethical Content-
YouTube’s model to accommodate all kinds of videos, in one hand makes it suitable for all kinds of users; it is a drawback at the same time too. The platform has become a home of Fake News and conspiracy theories. Even YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki admits they face a tough time filtering out Fake news and other unethical content from the platform. A platform free of cost and accommodating everything is more of a clutter than being useful in many instances. Except for many genuine creators, YouTube has become a home of unethical channel owners who would do anything to gain more views and earn money from Ads.
Despite YouTube’s consistent vigilance, it is still full of unethical videos, Fake News, Click-baits, plagiarized content and much more. With these, users who want to see some genuine and useful stuff find a hard time filtering out the valuable content. Hence, one cannot deny the degraded user experience of genuine YouTube consumers.
Too Big to Keep an Eye on Everything-
Problem with YouTube is it is the biggest database of videos on the globe. Despite all their efforts, it is not possible to keep an eye on everything that is happening in the YouTube community. Neither it is possible to inspect 300 hours of videos being uploaded every single minute.
As a result, there are millions of videos on YouTube, which look like versions of popular animations and cartoon shows, but contain unethical and disturbing content. Such content is not suitable for children. If you do not pay a close attention, you would not find if your kid is watching a Peppa pig video or a fake animation that contains content unsuitable for kids. Problem is not just with the animations and cartoon videos. There are many contents still on YouTube, which are not suitable for many kinds of users.
Business Opportunity in YouTube’s Drawbacks:
If you think you have a plan to overcome the above drawbacks, and you can build a similar business but with a more personalized user experience, go ahead, this article is for you.
It is a fact that despite all these drawbacks, it is not easy to beat YouTube as a competitor. However, if you can come up with a similar platform with most of the drawbacks eliminated, a website like YouTube’s is not tough to achieve. You can do that by moving one-step after another-
Step 1: YouTube Business Model-
YouTube follows a hybrid revenue model. It utilizes a combination of-
–Ad Revenue Model: Charges from brands for video Ads.
–Subscription Revenue Model: Charges from users for Ad-free videos in YouTube Premium/Red.
–Transaction Revenue Model: Charges from users for individual premium content.
If you intend to create a video sharing website like YouTube, having these three revenue models is necessary. By following this hybrid model alone YouTube is able to entice every kind of user on its platform. However, it is also a notable fact that a major section of the revenue is generated through Ads only. Other two models are not that popular as AVOD is on YouTube. By following this model itself, YouTube creators earn from the platform.
Step 2: Prime Target Customers of Video Sharing Websites:
For a free video sharing and streaming platform like YouTube, the range of target customers is not limited. As discussed, it is also one of the major drawbacks of the platform, where many users face a hard time discovering some good and relevant content.
You can develop a niche for your own free platform, and utilize a similar audience targeting like YouTube under your own niche. A video site like YouTube retains three major target groups:
These are the users visiting the site in search of video content. These people consume the videos on the website, also called as end-users.
• Creators and Amplifiers-
This group consists of two types of people. Creators, who produce video content for the consumers, and the Amplifiers who are popular influencers on social media. These influencers utilize their popularity to boost up videos so that they can reach the maximum audience. These amplifiers could be social media celebrities, actors, sports stars, etc. whose videos fans continuously await.
This group of users includes marketing firms and brands whose Ads run with the free videos. Site analytics is used to dynamically decide the target audience for the Ad and marketing videos.
Two ways to Create a Video Sharing Website like YouTube:
If we talk about the scenario a decade ago, building a website of your own was indeed a big task. There were people with good business ideas but not the technical expertise. Many aspiring entrepreneurs tried and failed. What we see today as internet giants like Tinder, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber, we cannot imagine the challenges they might have faced.
However, today, building even a huge website like YouTube is not a very tough nut to crack. For YouTube alone, there are two approaches to build your own YouTube-like website.
• Building from Scratch or
• Going for Turnkey solutions
What is the difference here?
In the first approach, you would require a technical expertise plus a team of experts from different fields to develop a YouTube-like website from scratch. You would be responsible for market research, business requirement study, the latest security updates, streaming engines, data centers, website hosting, everything one can imagine for building a website.
On the other hand, the second approach utilizes the concept of “not re-inventing the wheel, when you can buy a wheel to build your own cart”. There are various software vendors who have already developed websites like YouTube- also called YouTube Clone scripts. An efficient YouTube clone comes ready-made with all the required features that are present in original YouTube. In fact, they also mimic the exact revenue models of the video sharing giant. Let us compare the two approaches in the following table to find out the things you need to do to build a website like YouTube.
Ready-made YouTube clone Script Vs Custom Development from Scratch.
|Requirements & Aspects of YouTube-like website||Development From Scratch ||YouTube Clone Script
|Flexibility and uniqueness||As you are developing from scratch, you can do the latest research and develop the platform according to modern-day requirements.||You have to accept what is already in the software, as it is ready-made. However, many popular vendors regularly update their YouTube Clone and add new features.
|Turnaround time||As you re-inventing the wheel, it will, of course, take quite a time||Clones are readymade scripts. You can directly start uploading videos and earn from your platform.
|Manpower||You would need a big team of marketers, SEO, coders, Website designers, Software testers, Project Managers etc. to develop your website from scratch. ||Clone script provider will take care of all the technical integrations. You can focus on your business development while their team works out your requirements.
|Robustness and scalability||You need to stay updated with the latest security threats and way to mitigate them. You need to update your website regularly with the latest codes and standards.||Your clone script is taken care of by the software vendor as they regularly release security updates and new features. Most of them are Open-source. Hence, you can also hire your own developer to develop new features on the ready-made script.
|Transparency||You are working with your own team. Indeed there is a high transparency in developing from scratch ||With many clone scripts, transparency is a big concern. Vendors hide their approaches, technical details, even the source code. However, with good clone script providers, you will not face any such issue as they maintain transparency in their approach and share every aspect of the development and customization with the clients.
|Consultation value||A hardcore consultation from industry and technical experts is must to come up with a website like YouTube. ||Clone scripts are developed after rigorous research and consultation from the industry experts. Clone scripts are result of multiple trial-and-errors done before coming up with the final codes. A team of highly trained and experienced professionals works on the script to keep it as modern as possible.
|Streaming Engine||All audio and video streaming applications are power by –|
• Streaming Engines for transcoding
• Streaming servers for the content delivery network (CDN)
When developing the website from scratch, you need to either develop your own streaming Engine and CDN infrastructure, or get the services from the third party as APIs.
|The readymade YouTube Clones come all set with integrated streaming engines and CDN services.
For example, StreamTube from StreamHash utilizes the world-class Wowza and Nginx servers to deliver seamless streaming without latency.
|Mobile Apps||No streaming service in today's scenario can survive without offering a mobile app for at least iOS and Android platforms. You will need developing mobile apps for your YouTube-like website as well.||Many clone script providers also offer mobile apps for both Android and iOS. You do not need beating around bushes to get it developed separately.
|Cost||Considering the cost of managing a whole team and infrastructure, you will need paying fortunes to get your final product up and running.||These scripts come with minimal prices based on different plans. Moreover, these are generally one-time cost products with no recurring charges.
Why Opt for YouTube Clone Script to Make a Website like YouTube?
As explained in the comparison above, clone scripts can come in handy saving a lot of time, money, and efforts required in creating a YouTube-like Website. Moreover, the cost of managing a whole team of developers, and industry experts would increase the total cost when we add the cost of developing your own server and CDN infrastructure.
Indeed, YouTube works so smoothly because it has its own team and server infrastructure, but it is not necessary to have it all in the very beginning itself. First get in the industry, understand the youtube business model, and comprehend the competition and opportunities. You can later integrate all other stuff as your business grows. When you can offer even a better user experience to your users without spending much, why should you beat around the bush doing what already been done?
Requirements for an Efficient YouTube Clone Script
You should consider these aspects and requirements, and tally them with whatever YouTube clone script you come across during your search-
By-default Features for Users of Sites like YouTube
• Create channels
• Upload videos to the channels
• Upload videos in compressed format for quick upload
• Manage uploaded videos
• Subscribe to multiple channels
• Like and Dislike videos
• Comment on videos
• Create Playlists
• Browse shared playlists
• Allow normal users to become channel owners
• Flag other users and their activities
• Add videos to watch later
• Dynamic video transcoding for adapting browsing in low internet bandwidth
• Responsive video player with all basic playback controls
Admin Friendly features in a YouTube Clone Script:
• Ads Management
• Earn from the banner Ads
• Earn from embedded video Ads
• Earn from membership plans
• Earn from Premium content
• Receive and make Payments through integrated payment gateways
• Android App for a smooth mobile experience
• SEO optimized site
• Dynamic dashboard
• Video analytics
• Users Analytics
• Integration with Google Analytics
• Access to take down users’ videos
Create a Video Sharing Website of Your Own and Start Earning:
Online video streaming is growing rapidly. One-third of the internet traffic is for videos only. If video streaming business like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, can grow with their unique propositions, why can’t yours? The need and requirement for video content are infinite. People will never stop watching videos. You just need offering something unique and interesting, and they will come to your site too.
Just remember that users these days are not just limited to entertainment alone. You will find an array of people with limitless intensions like learning, news, product reviews, research, gossip, and many more. If your business plan involves anything interesting for them, you will want to host those videos and earn by giving maximum exposure to them.
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YouTube’s origins were rooted in a very different foundation to the one that upholds it today. It was started as a dating website in February 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. Over the years, however, it has evolved into a site exclusively for video sharing. Today, YouTube is the world’s most popular and most populous video sharing website and the second most used search engine on the internet. Over a billion video consumption hours are clocked daily on the platform and over 400 hours of content are added to it every minute of everyday. YouTube’s most striking facet is that it speaks to a global audience, being available in 76 languages. It is used by individuals, celebrities and brands big and small, and boasts a universal appeal. But as much as it has done for the global video community, few people know the answer to this pertinent question: how does YouTube make money?
The answer? Intelligently.
The YouTube business model is underpinned by a variety of revenue streams, which the platform cleverly integrates to form a singular proposition for users. Inspired by the YouTube model, a crop of excellent next-gen video sharing websites has emerged. Some of these have been specialised, focused on niche topics like cooking and baking. iFood.tv, for example, is a close-knit community of cooking enthusiasts who share recipes with each other. Other platforms have been more mainstream, inviting videos across an array of topics to be featured. The primary growth engine for this cult phenomenon has been the rise of turnkey frameworks in the market. StreamTube, a video sharing technology, has gestated thousands of video sharing brands, world over. The deftly developed technology offers technology newbies a superior framework at a fraction of traditional launch costs.
Before we dive into how YouTube makes money, let’s understand how YouTube really works.
An Insight Into YouTube
You’re probably already familiar with the mechanics of YouTube, but if you aren’t, here’s a brief run-through of what the platform does and how it serves users. YouTube, a Google-owned entity, is a video sharing platform that enables users to upload videos, create their own channels, follow fellow users and share and comment on content. It also allows established content creators to monetise their content via advertising. Video consumption for users is free. Aside from its video framework, YouTube has also branched out into music and games, providing exclusive exclusive platforms for each.
The YouTube Business Model
Interestingly, YouTube doesn’t spin its margins from viewers; access to its content is free of cost. Its business model stems from its massive base of 30 million daily visitors. The fact that the platform garners so many eyeballs has presented several monetisation opportunities to YouTube. Most of these are some form of advertising, where advertisers, content creators and YouTube gain predetermined shares of revenue. Recently, YouTube has launched its first subscription model, a product called YouTube Red. The premium platform charges members a reasonable membership fee for access to exclusive content and privileges. The YouTube business model has proved massively successful and has been emulated by several smaller brands across the globe. StreamTube, for example has inbuilt monetisation tools that allow entrepreneurs to select a monetisation strategy that suits them.
Route 1. Advertising and Sponsorship’s
YouTube is an ideal platform for advertisers, because its reach is vast and broad. Sponsored videos in particular, can be crafted as native advertisements, slipping into the content ecosystem on YouTube seamlessly. Unlike advertisements, sponsored videos can garner individual interest from users if created well. For sponsored videos, an advertiser pays YouTube depending on how many views the sponsored video has received.
Pre-Roll and Mid-Roll Advertisements
You’re probably well acquainted with the annoying pre-roll ads that play before a video on YouTube. These are embedded advertisements that have been placed by advertisers. The great thing about ads is that they can be effectively targeted at specific user groups based on preset criteria. Ads come in various formats; pre-roll and mid-roll are two of the most popular. Pre-roll implies an ad being placed before the start of a video and mid-roll indicates a video being interrupted by an ad in the middle. Advertisements are usually charged to an advertiser based on how many views an ad receives. A certain percentage of this cost is paid as remuneration to the content creator whose video the ad was placed in. You may have noticed a ‘Skip Ad’ option on YouTube. If a viewer does indeed skip an ad, an advertiser is not liable to pay for the view at all.
Home Page Banner Advertisements
If you’ve logged into YouTube from your desktop, you’ll know that the landing page that opens is a repository of diverse content. Research suggests that video placed on a landing page can multiply conversions up to 80%. Thus, YouTube capitalises on the value of its landing page by charging advertisers a premium for ads placed there. The banner page can accommodate content in a plethora of formats and is a useful tool for advertisers.
Route 2. YouTube Red
Taking a leaf out of Netflix’s book, YouTube has launched its own premium subscription service called YouTube Red which offers users an elevated entertainment experience on YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube Gaming. YouTube Red, priced at $10 per month, provides the following benefits:
- Ad-free experience
- Access to exclusive, locked content
- Offline consumption
- Screensaver play
- Audio mode
- Free access to Google Play Music
Route 3. Monetised Content
YouTube has collaborated with some of its prime content creators to created gated viewership for select channels. Those content owners who own coveted content on the platform now have the option of charging a subscription rental for their channel. YouTube and content creators are thought to share subscription revenue on a 45:55 basis.
The YouTube business model rests on volumes. If you’re new in the video sharing space, you may not have a formidable user base to support your advertiser universe. Until you’ve built up a sizeable set of users, employ alternative monetisation tools. Leverage sponsored videos, subscription services and premium content layers. Consider giving a free trial of your platform to lure users, and be sure to source excellent content that will keep your viewers coming back for more.
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