Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you just hate YouTube and don’t want to market on it. Ignore the fact that this would make little, if any, sense from a video marketing perspective, and that you should just get on YouTube. But are there any alternatives to YouTube as a video sharing and marketing platform? Or any viable alternatives?
The short answer is no. YouTube is the “be all and end all” of video marketing on the web right now. There are some sixty other video sharing sites, but all have much smaller audiences. Vimeo is a decent alternative for very artistic videos that offers some pro hosting options, while DailyMotion, a French site, has several dozen localized versions of their site. Metacafe gave up trying to compete with YouTube and is now an entertainment network that targets the younger male audience.
In terms of other video properties, Google’s websites, including YouTube, are the top video property on the globe right now. With YouTube blocked in China, Youku is the main alternative there. VEVO is an alternative for the music industry and enjoys a revenue sharing agreement with YouTube. It was built for the music industry for music video sharing. Facebook has a video platform, but most people still share YouTube videos on Facebook, although more FB videos have begun showing up in feeds recently. In Japan, Nico Nico Douga is somewhat popular, and features comments overlaid on individual videos, a feature that may one day gain widespread use.
There are really only a couple of other video platforms, which allow videos to be integrated into a website or blog. One is Brightcove, which is the leading provider of cloud content services on the internet. The other is Ooyala, an industry leader in online video technology and analytics services for companies. Interestingly, these two advertise on each other’s name on Google’s search engine results.
One part of the industry where YouTube is not the far and away leader is in ad properties, at least in terms of streaming advertisements. Hulu is the biggest video ad company, showing users an average of 44.4 ads per month. The site has a smaller reach, but has the highest frequency of streaming ads. Tremor Video is another in-stream video and platform, which works with Fortune 1000 advertisers and owns a network of websites. Adap.tv is a third streaming ad option, with over a billion video ad views to its credit. Blip is another company that focuses on original web series.
Unfortunately for companies that would like to minimize their exposure to YouTube, there are few real alternative sites on which to share their videos and receive a large number of views and shares. YouTube videos are widely recognized and trusted by consumers, where other video players may have less credibility or more risk. The only area where YouTube currently lacks is in streaming ad views, with Hulu being the current king of in-stream ads.