Media Center

Break Up with YouTube (but remain good friends)

February 04 , 2015 / Adaptive Media

There are good products, and then there are great products that resonate with the masses. Most of us likely ask for a Kleenex instead of a tissue, and the majority of us have definitely something. The list goes on and on, but in the world of the internet no brand is more synonymous with online video than YouTube.

YouTube has evolved into a digital media force like no other. The platform touts one billion unique visits each month and 100 hours of video uploaded each minute. Its biggest selling points are that it’s free, provides a large built-in viewership, implements SEO features, offers social sharing capabilities, and enables bulk loading and embedding. The digital video industry is messy, complicated and inefficient, which makes YouTube appear to be the total package to countless content creators who publish exclusively to the platform.

However, for producers who take video monetization seriously and are looking to grow, YouTube’s constraints and limitations are hard to ignore. YouTube wasn’t intended to be used as a distribution partner, technology platform or revenue generator, but rather a social media and marketing platform for content creators. If you’re a producer currently using YouTube for all your video needs, here are some things you may want to consider:

You don’t control the economics of distribution. What happens if one of your partners wants to embed your content on their site? Their only option is to embed a YouTube player, which means YouTube is syndicating to the publisher — not you. That leaves you with zero control over the economics of distribution and even fewer options when it comes to building new relationships.

You give up a lot of advertising revenue. You can have a successful channel on YouTube, but you’re still required to meet the minimum price set by YouTube to sell against your inventory. Even the most accomplished YouTube channel owners are faced with a 45% cut of the ad revenue.

Earning money from partnerships is difficult. What if Apple wants to bring your content to its app store, or an advertiser wants to sponsor your content? Earning money from these partnerships will be difficult if your video technology is essentially built on a platform that isn’t yours.

For content producers looking to find a stable home for digital video content, there are viable partners out there. That isn’t to say you should ditch YouTube all together. YouTube is great for tapping into its massive audience, but it shouldn’t be used to serve all of your video publishing and syndication needs. Instead, find a partner who gives you full control over your content, puts you in the driver’s seat of your advertising initiatives, and makes it easy for you to work with more partners. When you give your audiences multiple roads to your video content, you’ll increase your views, and ultimately your revenue.

You can read this post on CMO Daryl McNutt’s blog on LinkedIn here: