YouTube has been under a microscope ever since it unveiled its first monetization rules for its video platform. People were excited and skeptical at the same time, and for good reason since the plan was not thought through. While it worked for quite a while, problems started arising, and YouTube started to get in deep waters.
YouTube’s New Monetization Rules
Up until 2018, YouTube’s monetization requirement was simple: 10,000 lifetime views. It was enough to filter out bad actors and not too much to discourage new creators from using the platform.
But this was obviously not enough as more and more people found ways to get views on republished copyrighted videos. The viewers didn’t care who had published the video as long as it was the video they wanted to watch.
So quite recently, YouTube upped the ante and changed its monetization policy. Now the requirements are that creators must get 4000 hours of watch time in a span of 12 months and at least 1000 subscribers overall.
How It Has Affected YouTubers
The top-tier of YouTubers like PewDiePie, Jake Paul and the sorts were mostly unaffected because they can easily cover this criteria and most of their revenue comes from sponsors and off-platform sources.
The most affected were small to mid-level YouTubers who were just starting to make it on the platform. Imagine having revenue streams disappear overnight because YouTube decided to change the terms. It's disheartening and sobering at the very least. The platform has gotten a lot of backlash from many people regarding their policy changes over the years. It has started to lose its charm as a platform for Creators and has instead become a platform for advertisers.
This is one of the reasons why many people are looking for alternatives to make money from their videos. While there are other platforms that provide monetary support, some YouTubers are moving to their own customized platforms where, unlike the 55% of ad revenue they make on YouTube, they get to keep 100% of any form of revenue they attain from it. Here is a list of such platforms:
Vplayed is by far the best alternative to YouTube, especially because of the monetization options it provides. It functions as Software-as-a-Product (SaaP) which means that it provides a 100% customizable whitelabel video streaming platform at a one-time cost. It has multiple options to generate revenue like SVOD (like Netflix), AVOD (like YouTube) and TVOD (like Google Play Movies). Moreover, it allows you to incorporate any third-party ad services like VPAID, VAST and OpenX along with features like DAI (Dynamic Ad Insertion), overlay ads, ad waterfalls and many more.
- Marketing and Branding Tools
- HTML5 Player
- Video Platform API
- Live Streaming
Vimeo used to be a platform like YouTube but without monetization options. It only recently started its customizable video platform where its clients can upload and monetize their content with ease. It quite flexible with its monetization policy, providing options for both subscription and advertising monetization along with pay-per-view, coupons, offers and free trials. It has a lot of features including a marketing and distribution service with lets you broadcast your content around the world across all platforms and devices.
- On Demand
3. Contus Vplay
Contus Vplay is a whitelabel video-on-demand and live streaming platform that provides multiple monetization options, making it a viable alternative to YouTube. Contus Vplay has a dedicated team of developers that can provide both pre-launch and post-launch support as well as various features like SSAI, DAI and compatibility with multiple third-party ad servers. It also provides subscription and transaction paywalls for all-round monetization.
- Ultra Low Latency
- Encoding & Transcoding
- All-Device Player
Brightcove is a giant conglomerate of several different video services catering to enterprise companies worldwide. They provide an online video advertising solution separately or as part of their video solutions suite. While Brightcove only provides an ad monetization option, they have it packed with powerful and versatile features like SSAI, multi-device delivery, OTT, pre, mid and end rolls as well as support for external analytics tools.
- Marketing Automation Platforms
- Content Management Systems
- Live Streaming
BridTV is a dedicated video ad solutions company that lets you deliver, manage and monetize video content on their whitelabel video platform. They have multiple ad options including VAST/VPAID, outstream ads and SSAI. BridTV platform can stream HD adaptive bitrate streams, has built-in encoding, has integrated social sharing options and video analytics. With such an array of features at instant disposal, BridTV really makes monetization super easy.
- Regain Adblock Inventory
- Mobile SDK
- Outstream Ads
- Video Encoding
- Video Analytics
Residing at fifth position, DaCast delivers an easy-to-use video monetization platform integrated with paywalls for both subscriptions and pay-per-view. DaCast really focuses on its live streaming services although it does have video-on-demand and AKAMAI CDN integration available. Its plans are divided into Premium, Enterprise and Event plans with an option for a free trial.
- Video API
- All-device HTML5 Player
Wowza has a top-of-the-line streaming engine that provides clear and reliable streaming with minimal latency. With multilevel content security, integrated CDN services, MPEG-DASH streaming, it easily takes on the fourth place on this list. It might not have a long list of features but it provides a strong and deliverable platform to its clients. It mostly services enterprise clients but there have been a number of mid-level companies who have taken up its services.
- Low Latency
- Wowza Streaming Engine
- Mobile SDK
Kaltura is one of the biggest video streaming solutions that has provided its services to multiple industries and use cases around the world. It's not very clear on the monetization front, but provides a plethora of features that make it a worthy alternative to YouTube for video monetization. It does allow easy ingest of videos, in-built transcoding, personal video capture and other video-oriented characteristics that make it a unique PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solution.
- Webcasting and Live Streaming
- Marketing Tools
- LMS Video Plugins
- Content Management
Patreon is a platform similar to YouTube but with a fundamental difference: YouTube uses ad monetization while Patreon uses subscription monetization. It doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to avail its services. The platform itself allows you to start your own subscription plan for any creative service including video. Like YouTube, Patreon takes a slight cut from the monthly income. Its Lite plan takes 5%, Pro plan takes 8% while the Premium plan takes 12%. This is significantly lesser than YouTube’s 45%, making it the best alternative to YouTube for monetizing video content.
- Communication Tools
- Membership(subscription) Tiers (Pro and above)
- Unlimited App Integrations (Pro and above)
- Team Accounts (Premium)
These are the top 9 video monetization alternatives to YouTube. Since the new monetization rules kicked in, a lot of YouTubers, top tier included, have either diversified to another platform or started their own.
Either way, now is always the best time to do something new, and creating different monetization opportunities, especially ones that have a hefty payback, is surely necessary. With these solution, migrating to a new platform has never been easier.