In the business world, most entities have a potent rival. But in the case of YouTube, we see that it does not have a real challenger. It is true that there are platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch, etc. However, the scale of operations and variety of content available on YouTube is simply unparalleled. As per estimates, monthly active users on YouTube are more than 2 billion. This is highest of all platforms, if we consider only streaming audio-video content.
YouTube was launched in 2005 and it has been able to retain its top position. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world after Google search. Considering YouTube’s popularity, it makes us wonder why it does not have any major rival. To understand that, here are some important things to understand.
Massive investment – To compete with YouTube, one will need to invest massive amounts of funds. We are talking about billions of dollars to just getting started. And all that without any guarantee of making profits. This is why investors are wary of putting their money in a YouTube rival. Even YouTube took several years to report profits.
Major operational costs – A humongous amount of data is stored on YouTube servers. While no one knows the exact figures, it easily runs into several Petabytes. And data is continuously flowing in every day. Managing such huge data centers is an expensive affair. It cannot be sustained without adequate revenue and profits.
Google controls search – To be discovered on the world wide web, one would have to go through Google search engine. While Google may not work against any specific platform, it can easily discover if a new rival is emerging. Based on that, Google can quickly introduce similar features with YouTube. One good example is YouTube Shorts, which was launched to take on the growing popularity of TikTok.
Creators and users are unwilling to switch – There are millions of creators on YouTube. Successful YouTube channels are like established shops in a prime location. Moving to a different platform that is just emerging could be suicidal. That is why new streaming platforms have not been able to get good content creators.
Users also display a similar behavior, where they are unwilling to move to another platform. They like to see different types of content and YouTube provides the convenience of having everything under one roof. Such benefits are unlikely to be available with a new emerging platform.
As is evident, YouTube is likely to maintain its dominance in the coming years. However, as times change and people’s preferences evolve, there could be another streaming platform that could give tough competition to YouTube.