Independent video creators from a wide range of industries are moving to new platforms. In 2019, The Verge posted an article that claimed the golden age of YouTube was dead. They felt this was because the platform has appeared to move away from independent creators to larger corporate organizations, partly because the big guys can pay more.
On top of that, YouTube currently takes a hefty cut from every creator trying to make money on their platform. For the little guys with YouTube videos, the video-sharing platform makes it hard to make a living. Roughly 96.5% of individuals trying to become full-time YouTubers won’t actually make enough money off advertising to rise above the poverty line in the US.
What's an independent creator to do with low wages and your video platform opting to focus on larger companies? Simple, move to a new video-sharing platform that’s one of YouTube’s competitors. But which one? Well, the answer depends on your industry and your audience. Here are five trending alternative platforms video creators can make their income on.
Uscreen: Ideal for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise
Uscreen is a video-sharing platform that has over 11,000 teachers creating content. You can stream on multiple platforms, including iPhone iOS, Android, Roku, or Apple TV. Your followers can watch videos you’ve created that are pre-recorded and live videos. Uscreen also lets you choose how you want to charge your viewers for your high-quality videos. You can pick between rentals, subscriptions, or one-time purchases. It also allows you to make gift cards or coupons for your audience.
Some of the best benefits of Uscreen come from its dashboard. The dashboard hosts analytics, marketing, and community tools, making it great for video promotions. Creators are also able to access their audience’s contact information. Staying in touch with followers has never been easier, especially compared to Youtube.
Uscreen has three different plans, starting at $79 and ending with a plus plan that doesn’t have a price listed. If you’re looking for a place to share your deep knowledge with followers, look no further than Uscreen. They’re one of the best YouTube alternatives for subject matter experts.
Thinkify: Video Hosting For Online Course Creators
Thinkify hosts roughly 50,000-course creators on their video-sharing platform. They pride themselves on being the best provider of high-quality videos for course creators and students to use. Creators can brand their courses and run courses as they see fit (including ad-free). You’re able to include an e-commerce platform, stand-alone courses, bundles, digital downloads, and memberships. The one main criticism of this video-sharing platform is that while you can create a landing page, it doesn’t offer a sales funnel builder. There’s also no live streaming.
Thinkify has four pricing packages, ranging from $0 to $399 per month. It could be a great provider when replacing YouTube, especially if you are, or are looking to become, an online coach.
Patreon: YouTube Alternatives for Artists and Creators
If you have a large or especially dedicated following that you want to leverage for income, Patreon may be a great option to consider. To make money on Patreon, fans pay a membership fee to access exclusive content from you. It can also be beneficial for those who are more cost-sensitive starting. Creators don’t have to pay an upfront cost each month, but your success is Patreon’s success. The platform takes 5% - 12% of whatever you make on the platform.
Patreon offers member-only live streams, gated content, and limited-time offers for your account. The main drawback of Patreon is that you can’t brand or customize your webpage. No matter who’s page you’re on, it’s always clear you’re on Patreon by the branding.
If you do have a super dedicated following, this peer-to-peer-focused site could easily replace the income from your YouTube channel.
Facebook: For Those Who Need a Wide Reach
All the video streaming platforms up until now have one major benefit in common... There are no algorithms you’ll have to fight against or stay on top of. You have complete control. (Something else your YouTube channel can’t offer).
This is not the case with social media. While Facebook’s doom seemed as inevitable as YouTube’s a few years ago, the platform came back swinging. They purchased Instagram, began promoting high-quality video content, and created new communities with groups, and began hosting events.
The main benefit of Facebook is that it provides a wide funnel with tremendous reach. Everyone is on Facebook. That does mean that you’re also competing against everyone else’s video content, which means getting your video trending can be difficult. This is also a platform that centers around peer-to-peer engagement, so be sure you’re ready to interact regularly with your audience if you move to this YouTube competitor
If you’re a content creator ready to put out consistent content and need a wide audience, Facebook can be a great place to host your videos.
TikTok: YouTube Alternatives for Short Video Creators
One of the newest YouTube competitors, TikTok, is finishing what Vine started. This provider allows creators to make an income by leveraging trending videos. They provide analytics, marketing, and the opportunity to build an audience. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee to upload videos, but getting paid has some hurdles.
First, you have to build a big enough following to get a sponsorship. Often, this means posting about brands adjacent to your own. Depending on who you partner with, it can take away from some of our artistic freedom and authenticity. TikTok won’t be a great fit if you don’t want to acquire sponsorships in exchange for posts. Some creators also might not want to be confined to shorter videos or would prefer an ad-free platform.
Those willing to navigate the algorithm, and sponsorships, could find success here. In fact, as of September, the BBC reported that TikTok had surpassed YouTube for average watch time in the United States and the United Kingdom. People are flocking to short videos in droves, which could create a lot of opportunities for creators.
There Are Plenty of Sites Beyond YouTube for Hosting Videos
Even if YouTube is declining in viewership, watching videos isn’t decreasing. In fact, since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve only seen an increase in live-streaming... That increase is an additional 10% to 15% in 1.33 billion video streaming hours a month. Live streaming and recorded video isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But if we learned anything from Vine, it’s that if you don’t keep up with the changes you will phase out. Your platform must be more than trending videos.
These are only five great YouTube alternatives to build your business on. There are many other popular video hosting platform sites like:
- Twitch (which is great for gamers)
If your YouTube channel dreams aren’t coming to fruition, keep looking! There are plenty of free video-sharing websites and high-quality video platforms where you can find success (and monetization) for your time and videos. Chances are, your audience is already there waiting for you.
The first step to creating a successful business with videography is having high-quality content. Without great online videos, your platform won’t matter.
If you’re interested in making great videos that build a connection with your audience and increase your income contact us!