If you wish to make a video sharing website like YouTube, getting started is easier than you think. There might be people who might even wonder who would create a video platform when we already have YouTube. However, the dominant medium of the day has never invincible, new services will always come along to replace it. 

If you are planning to launch a YouTube-like video platform, you necessarily need not try replacing YouTube. You can serve a niche that YouTube doesn’t serve, or cater to the interests of a small group or even an organization. Whatever be the reason, you can start a video sharing website. Not sure, how to start a platform like YouTube? We will guide you through the entire process in this blog. Let’s get started. 

Why are Video Sharing Websites a Big Deal?

There are countless statistics available online which shows that the type of content users love to engage with are videos. Videos engage people in a way other types of content fails to achieve. YouTube is an excellent video platform that has been of help to the millions of people who like to be updated about everything. It has helped students keep up with their educational research, developers to tackle a task, DIY your home project, and a lot more. Video sharing websites like YouTube has got it all for you. You missed your favorite movie telecasted on television or your favorite series, do not worry, you can browse it anytime on YouTube. 

If you want to listen to your favorite songs, video platforms like YouTube have got you covered. From entertainment to marketing, videos are everywhere. They have made an inevitable connection with users that they spend a major portion of their time browsing video sharing platforms. Live streaming on YouTube is still a new feature that was introduced in 2016. However, live streaming went viral soon with around 80% of the entire internet is watching more live videos when compared to the previous year. With the introduction of its new feature, Live streaming has become a new favorite genre for its viewers. If you want to make your own website like YouTube, now is the right time to build and launch the video streaming platform.  

YouTube Business Model- How YouTube makes money

YouTube is a popular platform where users can upload, share, and comment on the videos, subscribe to other channels, and make money by monetizing their content. Besides being just a video sharing platform, YouTube also offers a dedicated platform for music and games. But how does YouTube generate revenue? When trying to make your own video sharing website, you must be knowledgeable about the money making techniques of video streaming giants like YouTube. 

As you might already know, YouTube mostly offers content free to users. The fundamental revenue model of YouTube is advertisement-based. 

YouTube does not just follow the ad-based revenue model; it also leverages the subscription-based model too- YouTube premium and a pay-per-view revenue model. YouTube Premium offers some exclusive perks to the subscriptions by charging a small amount in terms of membership. 


Websites like YouTube also make money through Google AdSense where Google pays them money. This is why they have great coverage of google ads, Google ads will be placed under the video on the side panel of the web page or even at the bottom of the page for better coverage. 

Affiliate marketing is also another method of generating revenue. With every video watched by people, give the link to the products sold by your affiliate partners. For every sale that originated from the video-sharing site, the affiliate partner pays a share of the revenue.

Must-Have Features to create a website like YouTube

YouTube is the most common and popular video sharing websites that have a great set of features and functionalities. If you are brainstorming about how to create a video platform like YouTube, you must understand the features of YouTube that would be part of your own website. The possibility of creating a website like YouTube is longer a complex task with advancements in technology. Fundamentally, you must know the end features that will have a positive impact on the overall performance of your video sharing website. 

Here are the important features a YouTube-like website must-have. 

Unlimited Video Uploads

The drag and drop feature of YouTube allows users to upload any number of videos from local disk, google drive, Dropbox, etc. With remote video features, you can easily upload both audio and video content from any FTP or HTTP locations. 



This feature offers complete personalization to the end-user by adding favorite videos and songs within the site for an effective playback experience. 

Video Player

Give your viewers a seamless watching experience across all browsers, platforms, and devices with a custom video player that ensures high-quality video streaming and the best user experience. 


Offer support for different monetization models including (SVOD), and (TVOD) pay-per-view (PPV).

Multi-Channel Support

The Multi-channel compatibility allows the users to upload and share videos, subscribe with different profiles from default channels in the channel management page. 

Multi Bitrate Streaming


Multi bitrate streaming is when a particular video stream is made in different bit rates and the user has to manually select the best possible video quality from the available choices. For example, a video is made available to users in different qualities that they can choose from to suit best your network conditions like 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p etc.

Social Media Integration

Integrating the ability to share the videos on the social media platform directly from your video streaming platform is an essential feature. This helps to give your videos more reach and exposure along with building a great customer-brand relationship. 


Analytics tools are another important feature of your video streaming platform that helps in offering valuable insights on the number of views, viewing pattern of users, their preferences, and interaction. 

Live Streaming

When braining streaming about how to create a video sharing platform, you must integrate unique features that will help you gain a competitive advantage. One such feature is Live streaming. Live streaming records the videos and broadcast it live to the viewers. It allows your users to go live straight from your platform and interact with their audience. 

Video On Demand

Allow content creators to upload on demand videos to the platform that viewers can watch according to their convenience. 

Paywall Integration

Integrate secure payment gateways to your platform to all users to make the purchase and content creators to accept money to their bank accounts. 

Multi-Tier Security

Integrate multi-tier security features that ensure the complete protection of the content that is uploaded to the video streaming platform from unauthorized third-party access, download, and usage. 

Mobile Apps

Allow users to create native android and iOS apps with their own branding for screens of all sizes. 

How to create a video platform like YouTube?

Creating a video-sharing site is an excellent business plan and the best way to reach your financial goals. Video websites are a lucrative business model that is here to stay for long. We live in an era of on-demand video content, so no matter what, you will get viewers to your website to tune in to your videos. Video sharing websites like YouTube earn a major share of their revenue from advertising. They work just like portals where brands get a platform to display their promotional content along with user-generated content. The video sharing website is an ideal platform for users to view and upload their content that brings in more traffic by sharing a portion of the revenue based on the monetization model the platform allows. 

So can you make your own video sharing site like YouTube? Yes, you can. 

Before getting into how to create a video platform like YouTube, you need to understand who your target audience is. 

Who are your target customers?

If you are planning on how to create a video sharing website, the first thing to do is to decide who would be your target audience. The target audience can be either the ones browsing across the web to watch their favorite videos or can be brands who create video content to share with their customers. Literally, your target audience can be anyone with an internet connection and who is interested in either watching or creating video content. 

No matter the niche of your video sharing websites, you must take into consideration the interests of 3 types of users. 


People who browse the video sharing website to search for a video and watch it. They are end-users. The popularity of your brand and the service you offer depends on the number of viewers you get. Therefore, while making a video sharing website like YouTube, you need to focus on your viewers. 

To gain and grow the number of viewers, you must-

-Produce high-quality videos that your target audience are interested in.

-Build User-friendly and intuitive design and interface.

Video makers

Movie makers, streamers, artists, video bloggers, and brands that create and upload videos on your website are the next set of users. These users have to attract viewers so they need to have favorable conditions so that they can generate great content on your website. 

Video creators again can be divided into 2 categories.

Who generates content

These users can be either individuals or businesses that directly create videos and share on your site. 

Who enhance content

These types of users mainly include popular figures, influencers, media personalities, and celebrities who can improve and increase the popularity of your video service to increase viewership. Many newly launched video sharing websites hire content enhances to promote their website. This is a scenario where they request popular influencers to generate unique content for an advertisement for a fee. 

To attract both video makers and content enhancers, you must focus on these aspects.

-The money you pay for the content

-Money paid by advertisers

-Money viewers pay for premium content and subscriptions


These are the third set of users who get the real benefit from video sharing websites like YouTube as they pay for the views. However, it is not easy to attract advertisers directly as their interest depends on several factors like the website’s popularity, target audience, and the engagement of viewers. 

To attract advertisers-

– You must gain popularity among viewers

-Must have a set of consistent viewers

-Must have great creators and content enhancers 

Once you master how to create a website like YouTube, the first marketing strategy must be to attract and bring in more viewers to your website, and then only you can start seeking the cooperation of advertisers. These open-source tools and resources allow you to build a site like YouTube with a small investment and less time. 

Development methods

If you are brainstorming about how to build a video hosting website like YouTube, there are two main different ways to build a YouTube-like platform. 

  • Using a YouTube script 
  • Building it from scratch

Ready-made YouTube clone scripts are the best way to go if you have a model similar to that of the YouTube business model. The website launched with YouTube script will have all the functionalities of YouTube and it is possible to do the customizations you require. YouTube clone scripts come handy as it saves all your money, effort and time. Additionally, the cost of hiring a development team would increase the cost which YouTube clone scripts eliminate. That is why it is recommended to create a YouTube-like website with a clone script in the beginning and integrate more functionalities once you grow. When you can offer a great user experience in budget, why spending a fortune on software development?

When you need to build a unique video sharing service, it is recommended to start the development from scratch. If the website you want to create has no analogs in the market, this is the ideal way to go. For example, the Twitch streaming service was built from scratch though there were similar services in the market during that time.

Monetization models

One of the secret factors being any popular video website is the monetization model it adopts. The monetization model of a video platform is the strategy they adopt to monetize their offering. When selecting a monetization model, you must first conduct detailed research to find the money making techniques used by your competitors to decide the best-suited option or your own business. 

To start with, let’s look into some of the popular monetization models used by video sharing platforms. 

Advertisement video on demand (AVOD)

Advertisement video on demand is one of the most common video streaming monetization models where users can watch videos for free but ads would be displayed along with the videos. The primary monetization strategy of YouTube is advertisement and Youtube’s revenue totaled $15 billion in 2019.

Here is the worldwide advertising revenue of YouTube as of 1st quarter of 2020 equals $3.8 1 billion. 



Video streaming ads are classified mainly into three- Pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. 

Pre-roll ads: Ads that play during the beginning of a video

Mid-roll: The ad that plays in the middle of a video

Post-rolls: Ads that play at the end of the video.

The advertisement monetization model makes a great monetization strategy if you have a decent amount of consistent viewers and can manage to get a lot of ad views with the video content in your platform. 

Subscription video on demand (SVOD)

When you are looking for how to build a video sharing website, another business model that you can consider adopting is the subscription video on demand model. In this monetization strategy, viewers can watch and surf unlimited video content by paying a predetermined subscription fee monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. It makes it ideal for users to enjoy the best content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. 

Subscriptions are auto-renewable but users can cancel the subscriptions whenever they require. The subscription model can be clubbed with AVOD or other models to further monetize. SVOD fits video sharing platforms with a broad range of entertainment content like TV shows, movies, series, etc. that is capable of entertaining the viewers in the long term. 

Transactional video on demand (TVOD)

The transactional monetization model or pay per view works in a way where users have to pay for individual videos they want to watch. This model works just like the DVD rental services where you buy or rent movies or any videos.


Buying individual videos allow users to own the content and keep it with them either on the platform or download it to their personal devices. Whereas, renting a video allows them to view the video on the platform until the rental period expires. 


When your video library expands and your business thrives, you would require more than a single monetization model to monetize your offerings in a better way. The hybrid monetization model uses a combination of different strategies to monetize your video content and get the most out of your video content. You can use the combination of AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD just like YouTube does. A hybrid business model works great if you have a deferred user base, where some users would like to purchase individual content and some would like to pay for subscriptions. 

How much does it cost to create a website like YouTube?

Now let’s look into the most important questions asked by all when it comes to how to make a website like YouTube. What is the cost to create a website like YouTube? Before getting into the main aspect which is the development approach, let’s look into some of the other general factors. 

The cost to create a website like YouTube differs according to the platform you use to build the site, and a lot of other factors. 

Domain and hosting

When starting a video sharing website, you require a brandable domain name for your website. A domain name must be unique to your platform which you have to be reviewed annually. It might cost you around $10-$30. You can choose unique domain names from GoDaddy for discounted prices. 

SSL certificate

Your video streaming platform will also need an SSL certificate to make sure your website is safe for your viewers to use. It might be provided by the web host as part of the package or you have to purchase it separately. SSL certificates will cost around $50-$75 per year which has to be renewed annually. 

Hosting Server

To host your videos in your video streaming platform, you need hosting servers. Consider choosing reputed cloud service providers which might cost from $10/month to $900/month depending on the storage you need. 

App developer accounts

Now that you have learned how to make YouTube like website, the next step is to launch your app by submitting it to both Apple and Google play store. While the apple store prices come around $99 that must be paid yearly, the google play store comes at $25 which is a one-time payment.

Development cost

The cost of getting a ready-made YouTube clone script ranges from a thousand of dollars and can be less than that as well. However, the cost to create a video sharing site from scratch can cost a lot as there are lots of modules and each module comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of building your video sharing website using a clone script would just cost you around $399-$1799 depending on the features you need.

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The online video streaming business model is in its rapid growth phase. The majority of internet traffic share is earned through videos alone. If video streaming platforms like YouTube can flourish, why can’t yours? The requirement for creative video content is infinite and people will never stop watching videos. To beat the competition, you just have to offer something very unique and you are all ready!

Keep in mind that the niche is not just limited to entertainment, there are a large number of users looking for news content, e-learning, reviews, research, and a lot more. If you have an interesting business plan that appeals to a major share of users, you can earn by offering the content in which they are interested and make money.