YouTube Competitors Analysis : Top 4 Competitors

In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide. Smartphones have enabled us to feel connected to the world whenever and wherever we are, and with that connectivity has come the need to share more information than ever before. YouTube, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, was created in response to this need.

While the online video hosting industry is extremely valuable and fraught with competition, few companies have achieved anything like the success of YouTube.

To find out the secret of YouTube‘s immense success and to see how it compares to similar platforms like Vimeo, read on.

YouTube: An Overview

YouTube is an American video-sharing platform that is headquartered in San Bruno, California. Although the company was founded in 2005, it wasn’t until it was acquired by Google a year later for an incredible $1.6 billion that it really found its feet.

Since then, YouTube has built a base of over 2 billion active monthly users and more than 30 million paid subscribers. It has truly taken the world by storm.

These figures make YouTube the second most popular social media platform in the world and the second most popular search engine after Google. Not only is YouTube available in over 100 countries – an impressive feat in itself – it is also localized within these countries, meaning it is available in the local language.

In 2020, YouTube generated a staggering $19.7 billion in revenue, and it has been estimated that this figure could climb to the same level as Netflix’s revenue in 2021.

While YouTube is, at its core, a video-sharing platform, it has developed several other revenue streams, such as YouTube music. However, it began life in more straightforward terms when three former Paypal employees had the idea that people would like to share their home videos online.

Since then, many different communities have flocked to the site, making videos about everything from makeup to cats. These microcosms within the YouTube user ecosystem have, in some instances, catapulted particular video-makers to fame.

James Charles is one example of this. He posted simple makeup tutorials and quickly grew to fame, amassing more than 24 million subscribers. Significantly, he was also invited to the Met Gala in 2019, indicating that YouTube has developed the power not only to make people famous within its platform but to elevate them to true celebrity status.

YouTube‘s mission statement is “to give everyone a voice and show them the world.” If you are interested in reading more about other companies’ values, we have compiled a list of the most powerful and enduring mission statements.

YouTube Business Model

YouTube‘s business model is expansive and extremely efficient at generating revenue. It has three key value propositions: users can discover and watch content on-demand, they can display content and make money from it, and in doing so, they can also reach a targeted audience.

Likewise, YouTube also has three customer segments, consisting of content creators, viewers, and advertisers.

The company’s most considerable revenue stream comes from advertising. Indeed, it generated $19.7 billion from advertisements alone in 2019. However, 55% of ad revenue is paid to video creators who are part of the YouTube Partners program. This incentivizes the process of video-making.

In addition to this, it also has a subscription revenue model for its YouTube Premium service, which allows users to access YouTube and YouTube Music ad-free, offline, and in the background for $11.99 per month.

2018 saw the launch of channel memberships, a Patreon-like feature that lets users become members of their favorite YouTube channels. In the US, the most basic membership costs $4.99. YouTubers then receive 70% of the membership amount, and YouTube takes the other 30%.

In 2020, it generated $19.77 billion in revenue.

YouTube‘s business strategy has been so successful for two key reasons. Firstly, video-based platforms lend themselves to higher visit durations and low bounce rates. The average visit duration is 21.46 minutes, which is an incredible figure compared to most other websites and platforms.

Secondly, YouTube nurtures its creator community, offering them a fair amount of money. In turn, this makes them loyal to the platform and more likely to produce regular, high-quality content.

Unfortunately for YouTube‘s video platform competitors, its close relationship with Google ensures that it will always be the market leader because it has access to an immense amount of data and advertising opportunities.

Ultimately, YouTube has found a winning business model.

YouTube SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a business. It is cost-effective and beneficial for generating business insights.


  • Community.

The YouTube community is a vibrant place where people from different backgrounds and interests can find a home. The video-making platform encourages this strong sense of community which increases brand loyalty.

  • High ranking.

YouTube is the second-highest-ranking website due to its low bounce rate and high average visit durations.

  • Multi-language support.

YouTube can be accessed by people worldwide, meaning that its communities can cross borders and language barriers.

  • User-friendly interface.

It’s straightforward to use YouTube, whether you’re a viewer or a Youtube creator, and its videos can be shared widely across the web. The platform also has a helpful Youtube analytics tool which helps Youtube creators monitor the success of their video content. It can also help them track their engagement, target audience, overall Youtube subscribers and other important metrics regarding their Youtube channel


  • Intrusive ads.

For those unwilling or unable to afford YouTube Premium, ads can be highly distracting when watching Youtube content and can even lead users to leaving the website in frustration.

  • Data security.

In August 2020, 230 million Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok user profiles were exposed in a data leak. With so much user data on the YouTube platform, leaks pose a genuine threat that could quickly create distrust towards the company. Moreover, given that YouTube operates across the globe, it must also be vigilant of different data protection laws in other areas.

  • Copyrighted material.

This is one of the biggest ongoing problems that YouTube faces. Users often upload content that is protected under copyright laws; it is up to YouTube to try to regulate this. But with so many videos being uploaded every hour, that’s no easy feat.


  • Streaming services.

With such an impressive amount of revenue behind it, YouTube could branch out to create its own filmmaking studio, much like Netflix and Amazon Prime have.

  • B2B

Now more than ever, businesses around the world are seeing the urgency of operating online as well as in-person. YouTube could set up a business-to-business help center aimed at teaching other companies how best to utilize video. This is something they are slowly beginning to do in 2021.


  • Competitive market.

The video platform industry grows day by day, with many companies attempting to emulate YouTube‘s success. While it’s unlikely they will ever feasibly be able to do so, this does make it more challenging for YouTube to stand out from the crowd, with millions of videos being posted online.

  • Demand for professional, high-value content.

With Netflix and Prime offering hours of high-quality, professional content at the click of a button, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is where the future of video is at. Users may no longer be satisfied with semi-professional home videos.

YouTube Competitor Analysis

The global online video platform industry was valued at $6.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to rise at an annual growth rate of 18.4%. High-value industries attract intense competition, and while YouTube faces no severe threats to its unique position within the market, it must constantly adapt and evolve to ensure that its platform lives up to the high standards that have come to be expected of it.

Below is competitive analysis of YouTube‘s four top competitors within the online video-hosting industry.


Vimeo, Inc is an American Software as a Service (SaaS) company that facilitates the hosting and sharing of videos online. It was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in New York City.

Like YouTube, Vimeo operates a subscription-based revenue model. However, Vimeo’s payment plans are based on the quality and quantity of videos that users wish to store on the site. Plans begin at just $7/month for 5GB per week, and basic membership comes with a limit of 500MB.

Whereas YouTube‘s primary revenue stream comes from advertising, Vimeo takes pride in the fact that there are no ads on its platform.

Another key difference between Vimeo and YouTube is that Vimeo focuses largely on B2B marketing. It counts Wix, Deloitte, Samsung, and MailChimp among its customers. As such, it is said to have a more professional customer base.

Vimeo’s annual revenue hit $199.4 million in 2020. The year before, it acquired Magisto, a startup with more than 100 million users that provides tools for creating and editing short-form videos. This reinforces Vimeo’s strategy to offer a comprehensive suite of video making, editing, and storing tools, eliminating the need for other platforms.

There are several features and tools that make Vimeo unique:

  • Replace video, keeping the same URL and stats.
  • Set passwords on videos.
  • Decide which domains can embed your video.
  • Insert your own branding into videos.
  • Earn money with pay-per-view.


Founded in 2016, TikTok – known in China as Douyin – provides a social media app for sharing short-form mobile videos and live streaming. It allows users to watch, create, and share 15-second videos shot on cell phones.

Despite being relatively new to the industry, TikTok has rocketed to fame, amassing over 100 million active users in the US alone. In 2020, it generated $1.9 billion in revenue, up from $350 million the year before.

TikTok offers in-app purchases, allowing users to buy coins from 99 cents to $99.99, which can then be used to tip their favorite content creators. According to an April 2019 report from Sensor Tower, the company grossed $80 million from in-app purchases globally.

The company’s mission statement is “to inspire creativity and bring joy.”

However, the app has also been embroiled in controversy. In 2020, President Trump ordered a ban on new downloads of TikTok because of privacy concerns regarding the Chinese Government.

Likewise, concerns have been raised about child protection issues regarding the widespread use of the app by young teens. The company has even faced child data privacy fines by the FTC.

Love it or hate it, it looks like TikTok is here to stay. The app has become so popular that it regularly starts viral trends, and many professional businesses have also recognized the potential that it has as a marketing tool. For example, the Chipotle restaurant chain ran a Halloween “Boorito” coupon giveaway which encouraged TikTok users to dress up.

TikTok is available in over 150 different markets, with offices in Moscow, Beijing, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Seoul, and Tokyo.


DailyMotion is a French video-sharing platform owned by Vivendi. It was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Paris, France, though its reach stretches considerably further than that. In fact, DailyMotion is available in 149 countries and 183 languages.

In 2009, the French Government invested in DailyMotion through a Strategic Investment Fund, and in 2011, Orange acquired a 49% stake in the company for 62 million euros. Then, in 2013, it acquired the remaining 51% before Vivendi purchased an 80% stake from Orange, increasing to 90% a few months later.

More recently, DailyMotion partnered with Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi in 2020 to distribute DailyMotion content via the Mi Video app. Xiaomi is the fourth-largest smartphone company globally.

Unlike Vimeo, DailyMotion presents itself more strongly as a social media and news platform; its website consists of several areas of interest, including featured news, sports, entertainment, and music. In this respect, it is similar to YouTube.

One key area where the companies differ is in their overall vision and values. Whereas YouTube focuses on quantity and global reach, DailyMotion strives to provide users with high-quality videos which “resonate with each individual in a more ethical and improved watching environment.

The company attracts 300 million monthly active users, 2 billion monthly views, and +2,000 publishers.

DailyMotion videos come with advertisements that appear before, during, or after the video. This is how creators – known as publishers within the DailyMotion site – are able to monetize their content.

It has been estimated that the company generates around $19.6 million in revenue.


Vevo (short for “video evolution”) is a premium American video-hosting platform and entertainment service founded in 2008 and headquartered in New York, New York. The company is best known for providing music videos to YouTube, but it also distributes content to other syndication partners, including:

  • Apple TV
  • Pluto TV
  • Roku.
  • Amazon Echo
  • Fire TV
  • Samsung TV Plus
  • Vizio
  • Xumo

Vevo is responsible for posting over 450,000 videos, with people spending more than a billion hours per month watching them. It produces music videos from Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and EMI. Video hosting is provided by partners, and the revenue from advertising is then split.

In addition to advertising revenue, Vevo also makes money by selling merchandise and commission-based payments for referrals to Amazon Music and iTunes. Even in 2014, the company was estimated to be worth around $1 billion; since then, Vevo has grown considerably, taking advantage of the rise of social media to build its platform even further.

For example, after seeing the incredible success of streaming platforms like Netflix, Vevo began to produce its original shows focusing on the music industry.

The company’s largest market is within the US, followed by countries in Europe and the Americas.

How YouTube Stands Out

According to a recent Pew report, YouTube was the biggest winner of the pandemic out of all the social media platforms, with usage growing from 73% of adults in the US in 2019 to 81% in 2021. YouTube stands out because it can capture users’ attention and keep it, with the average user spending longer on the site than almost any other.

YouTube‘s easy-to-use interface and extensive video library keep it miles ahead of the competition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Which company is the online video hosting market leader?

Answer: YouTube is the market leader, with revenue expected to hit between $29 and 30 billion in 2021.

Question: What is YouTube’s competitive advantage?

Answer: YouTube certainly benefits from being owned by Google, which has a positive impact on its advertising opportunities. This is because Google tracks websites and web users, constantly analyzing them, and YouTube has access to all this data.

Question: Who is YouTube’s biggest competitor?

Answer: While YouTube is the undisputed market leader facing few significant threats from rival companies, there is still a significant amount of competition out there which the company must constantly keep track of.

TikTok, in particular, poses a threat to YouTube because it too has the advantage of being able to keep users on the site for a long time. Moreover, it appeals to the younger generation, whose lives are far more entwined with the digital world.

The biggest threat to YouTube is its age – as time passes, it may be viewed by younger generations as a stale or outdated platform. In this respect, YouTube must continue innovating to stay relevant.

Question: Why choose YouTube?

Answer: YouTube is an all-around easy-to-use video-sharing platform that unites different communities worldwide, giving them a space to communicate new ideas and have fun. While Vimeo has attempted to put a professional spin on this idea, YouTube’s inclusivity is one of its greatest strengths.


With more and more people using the internet every year, there has never been a better time for YouTube as a business. People want access to information instantly, and they no longer want to spend time reading or researching to get it. That’s why video is such a strong form of media; it has the power to grab anyone’s attention anywhere.

New apps like TikTok might come and go, but YouTube will stay relevant because of its simplicity. It taps into the heart of what it means to exist in modern society and to use the internet.

If you are interested in reading about similar businesses, take a look at the articles below:


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