by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 6th April, 2018
There was a time when YouTube was celebrated as a great platform to upload, share and even monetize videos. Recently though, creators and users are becoming increasingly disheartened by some of the policy decisions being made.
Monetization of video content used to be free and easy for everyone, but nowadays it is becoming increasingly restricted. Since the adpocoloypse, algorithms are being increasingly relied upon to police content and videos are often mistakenly demonetized.
Some smaller creators are also starting to become upset, since YouTube added new eligibility rules for monetization. Creators now need to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time before they can monetize their content. This might not seem like a lot to some, but many dedicated YouTubers struggle for years to reach 100 subscribers.
Additionally, there is concern that the legacy social media sites are increasingly limiting free speech. Many creators are outright accusing YouTube of participating in political censorship, which doesn't bode well for the site's future.
In today's tense political climate, routine censorship is becoming a serious problem for creators on many social media sites. Creators that discuss sensitive topics such as feminism, religion or political events are at a high risk of either being banned outright, or secretive shadow banning, where their content remains visible, but is no longer shared with other users.
Some are beginning to speculate that, as YouTube begins to tighten how they interpret their Community Standards, they are inadvertently creating a huge market for new, alt-tech sites to spring up.
One of the key reasons for YouTube's success is that they are owned by the search engine goliath Google. Few other companies could afford the massive server infrastructure and data bandwidth required. Over the years numerous video sites have tried to create a viable alternative, but have been forced to shut down due to lack of profitability and funding.
The crypto-revolution has inspired a new generation of developers to create decentralized protocols, which distribute data between users. Bitchute uses similar decentralized video hosting technology, to provide videos which cannot be censored. This also reduces the costs of hosting the website considerably, since they have far lower bandwidth costs.
Bitchute is growing extremely rapidly. If you're worried about censorship, then we would encourage you to start uploading your content to Bitchute. Many creators have made the decision to jump ship entirely!
Dtube is another alt-tech site which is in a strong position to replace YouTube. They share similar decentralized video technology to Bitchute, but with much of the polished user experience that we're used to with YouTube.
Another benefit of Dtube is that they provide video monetization via the Steem blockchain. However, they also have a few problems, such as videos becoming unavailable after a short period of time. One of the challenges of decentralization is that there's noone to ensure content remains hosted.
It may seem that YouTube is a monolith right now, but D-Tube illustrates just how precarious YouTube's position actually is. It's no longer enough to have a polished looking user interface. A new generation of alt-tech sites are developing on disruptive new techologies such as the Inter Planatary File System to combat costs and prevent censorship.
Dailymotion is probably the most established legacy-tech site similar to YouTube. It has similar video placement, layout and categories. The downside is that only pro users can upload HD videos. There's a 4GB limit as well, meaningthat you can upload up to an hour long videos, which might limit people who are posting tutorials and educational videos.
Other than those two downsides, there are a lot of things that make it even better than YouTube. It has the same layout as YouTube, and a list of categories for easy navigations, but their rules and policies when it comes to removing videos are less harsh. This can be both a positive and a negative side as well.
You should also have in mind that Dailymotion is not as popular in the States, as it is in Europe, so if you want to specifically target U.S. citizens, another video platform might be a better fit.
Vimeo is a very supportive and creative community for creators. You can use high-quality tools for sharing and streaming videos. There's lots of creative content on Vimeo. You can find independent films, documentaries, music from lesser known artists, and a lot more. Vimeo has less background distractions and offers a better user experience than YouTube, because it doesn't have ads in the videos, and doesn't offer tons of recommended videos either.
Vimeo is a great place to look for independent and tasteful content, so if what you're looking for is the latest pop songs, movie commentaries or trailers, Vimeo might not be the best place to go.
Creators do have some limitations when it comes to posting content. They have a 500MB weekly limit, which they can upgrade to a 5GB paid plan. These limitations tend to cut down on low quality videos and spam a lot, which makes Vimeo perfect for independent creators who post high quality original indie videos.
You have two ways in which you can earn money. You can use the "tip jar" option, where PRO users (15% of users) can donate you money, or by "pay per view", where users pay to see your content.
If you're looking for a place to post and live stream your gaming videos other than YouTube, then Twitch is the right platform for you.
The good thing about Twitch is that the audience is growing more and more each day, although its popularity and payout are very low compared to YouTube.
Still, if you want to invest in your account and build your audience over time, you will be able to make money from your videos, and even get donations to your channel from your loyal viewers.
If you become a partner, everyone who wants to subscribe to your channel will have to pay $4.99/month, which will support you, and Twitch as well.
One of the greatest issues that creators face is finding a way to build their audience. YouTube has become a lot more selective about which channels it prefers to promote in their related and trending video tools. This makes it extremely hard to break out - especially given the increasing competition in virtually every niche.
One thing that makes Smores different to all the other video sites on our list is that they are linked up with thousands of rewards websites like PointsPrizes, which reward users with free gift cards once they have earned enough points by watching videos.
Many of these huge rewards sites have literally millions of users, so it's an amazing way to reach out to a fresh audience and effectively sidestep your competitors. If people enjoy your content they are very likely to search for your channel on YouTube too!
Not only that but Smores also has a Video Contributor Program which rewards creators when people watch their videos. It's all funded by advertisers, just like YouTube. Any creator with quality content can join, which makes it much easier to start making money from your videos.
Actually, one thing I particularly like about Smores is that the content is more curated than on YouTube. They create both a safe environment for advertisers and people watching their videos.
Although Flickr is mostly known to people as a database of photographs, it also allows people to share their videos. This option is unknown to many users, since most use Flickr only to upload images.
If you want to start uploading your videos on the platform, you just need to sign up, and upload your video, same as you would do with your images. It's that simple.
The free account comes with 1 Tb memory, but you can also sign up for a pro account and have unlimited storage space. However, your account is limited to uploading content with a 90 sec time limit, but if you can look past this, you'll start to enjoy the platform very soon.
If you want to earn money from your content, you must sell the rights to the company.
Metacafe has the same 90-second limit as Flickr does, and although this part makes it impossible to post comprehensive, or educational videos, it's still an appealing alternative to YouTube.
It has around 40 million viewers, lots of community-based and little to no spam and "garbage" content.
It isn't in close competition with YouTube, or some of the other channels we mentioned earlier, but it is a nice alternative that offers a "no-nonsense" experience.
Viddler is a sales training platform with interactive and educational videos. Companies and individuals use Viddler to learn new skills and measure their performance.
The way you can contribute to the platform and make money from your videos is to capture and share practices that you think can contribute in some way and help people learn something from them. You can have ads in your videos and collect your money either thorough PayPal or Amazon.
Veoh is a popular free online movie provider. You can upload your favorite movies or any other videos, no matter the length, and share them with the community.
What makes Veoh different from many other similar sites is the fact that it uses peer-to-peer technology. Veoh also has many social features that allow you to share videos with your friends. You can also engage with them and interact with others on groups and forums.
If people like your content, your popularity will only increase over time, and you can make money by charging fees, or through a revenue share.