YouTube is one of the oldest and most well-known sites for video hosting. But it’s not the only one—especially in 2020, when video content creators and watchers have grown exponentially. Since gaining subscribers gets more difficult by the day, you might struggle to buy YouTube subscribers or gain cheap YouTube views. If so, you’ll want to consider alternatives to YouTube that are gaining popularity and can bring similar benefits to your site or content.
This article will cover some options you can choose from when it comes to the best hosting for videos. Read on to learn more about creative alternatives to YT.
Vimeo is a top streaming service recommended by review sites, including Breadnbeyond. Think of it as prioritizing quality over quantity—essentially the reverse of YouTube’s sprawling content empire. It’s a favorite among independent creators who produce very high-quality content. Part of the reason for this high quality is that Vimeo—unlike YouTube—does not compress its videos. So when you update a video to the site, you’ll find that its published version looks identical to the quality it had on your camera.
One of the benefits of Vimeo is its spread—it has a high Google search ranking. It is available not only online but also as an Android and iOS app. It also has a social element that makes it relative to share videos and put them on a viral track. Instead of the “subscribe” model used on YouTube, on Vimeo, the social element comes through following creators; like YouTube, users can also post comments. Other pluses include customizable URLs and excellent customer service.
Based in France, Dailymotion is one of the best alternatives to YouTube for sharing short videos and generating views. The digital guide site Ionos notes that Dailymotion often ranks just behind YouTube in video-sharing metrics—especially in France, where the site is highly popular. The company estimates that around 300 million users visit the site worldwide, and they are watching tons of content: 3.5 billion videos are played monthly.
Videos can be up to an hour-long; a resolution of up to 1080p is possible on the site. In terms of layout, Dailymotion shares many similarities to YouTube—it is organized with geometric formatting and features a trending page, and makes it easy for users to search out similar videos. It is also simple to embed and share videos from the Dailymotion platform. It’s available on smart TVs and as an iOS, Android, and Windows app.
Dailymotion videos can be monetized, making it a potentially profitable alternative to YouTube. Dailymotion is banned in places like the US, however, because of its relatively lax content rules, which might open the site up for negative content.
Twitch is a trendy alternative to YouTube—it attracts over 45 million viewers per month on approximately 6 million channels. The site is a hub for gaming and e-sports content because it is a platform for live videos instead of prerecorded ones, like on YouTube.
Twitch content is free for anyone who registers with an email or Facebook. Since 2014, when Amazon acquired the company, a feature called “Twitch Prime” is available to Amazon Prime customers, featuring free games, subscriptions, and ad-free streaming—as a result, premium creators can find a lucrative niche on the site. In 2016, the “IRL function”—which allows users to stream real-time experiences and discuss them with users—has helped expand the site beyond pure gaming and sports content. Larger channels can make use of Twitch’s affiliate program to embed ads.
DTube stands for “decentralized”—unlike YouTube, the videos aren’t streamed from a central server. Instead, content is stored on a blockchain. This makes DChain a good option for privacy and control. Think of it as the Reddit of video streaming: users can upload content, vote on videos to reward creators with cryptocurrency. Data cannot be tempered on the blockchain; videos cannot be edited or removed once uploaded.
Because of its decentralized format, DTube can be an excellent way to get around the monetization rules that structure YouTube. Content creators can earn rewards through a token program that can be exchanged later—so all creators have the chance to earn cryptocurrency. The layout of the program is also similar to YouTube.
Instagram’s alternative to YouTube is all about sharing. Users post short videos from their Instagram page, displayed separately from photos to create a distinct aesthetic. Followers can access videos from public accounts. IGTV posts can be shared and spread—mainly when a user’s account is featured on others’ explore pages. This is a relatively recent feature, but it seems to promise video creators working on shareable short-form content. It could also be used to supplement videos posted on other sites similar to YouTube by producing adjacent content that adds value.
This video-sharing app was founded before YouTube—in 2003, as opposed to 2005. Its format is similar to YouTube, but it differs from the video-sharing giant because its focus is on short-form videos. Users from around the world can upload video clips of up to 90 seconds long. Today, Metacafe is a popular platform for short, funny videos, “how-to” content, reviews, and personal posts. It has a simple layout and aesthetic that makes it a good option for casual posting. Posters to the site enjoy the ability to add unlimited uploads.
Facebook isn’t primarily a video-sharing app. But it’s one of the key ways that videos get posted and shared around the internet. In recent years, viral-focused brands like NowThis have found massive success on the social media site by posting short, informative videos—typically featuring heartwarming or exciting stories with text captions and music. These viral videos can quickly attract a massive audience by leveraging Facebook’s existing user base and sharing patterns to reach all corners of the internet. For this reason, video creators shouldn’t count out a direct-to-Facebook posting model. It also offers easy integration with some other hosting sites on this list: content creators can upload to both a hosting site and Facebook for maximum sharing and spread.
9Gag is all about humor. This platform for memes and jokes is especially popular among younger people; it’s considered one of the driving forces in creating GIFs and other recent internet culture trends. Its video-focused vertical—9gag.tv—describes itself as “the best content platform for millennials” and boasts a global audience of 150 million viewers. If your content is focused on youth culture and dark humor, 9gag.tv could be a good option for reach.
Vevo is a music video-focused platform. If you’re producing high-quality, music-related content, Vevo is the place to go. It’s the world’s largest all-premium music video platform and is popular among global artists, from Bad Bunny to J Balvin and more. The site has a huge scope, too: 1.1 billion hours are viewed per month, making it an advertising cache. It’s known for its global scale.
Flickr is primarily a photo-sharing app—but video creators shouldn’t discount it as a potential platform for bite-sized content. First, consider its base: Flickr has over 122 million users spread across over 60 countries. One million photos are shared daily, creating a total image base of over 10 billion images. And Flickr has branched out to video formats as well—since 2008, users can upload videos up to 3 minutes long. Second, Flickr is free to use, making it an excellent low-cost option to post quickly and share. Free accounts allow users to upload up to 2 videos a month. This platform would be suitable for someone who combines photography and videos, and wants to use the two formats to build on each other and present a unified creator profile.
Patreon is an option for influencers and video creators who want to circumvent YouTube’s monetization rules and income rules. Launched in 2013, the membership platform provides tools and video-sharing options for creators to post extra content for subscribers, or “patrons.” It’s an excellent choice for creators who post online regularly and are used by YouTubers as well as independent video creators and other visual artists. Because you can receive funding directly from patrons, Patreon could be a better option than YouTube for dedicated creators.
YouTube isn’t always the best choice for a video hosting platform. There are many other options out there—and when deciding where to post, consider the details of your content. If you post humorous videos, look to 9gag; if you’re into longer work, check out Vimeo; if you want to build a relationship with subscribers, Patreon could work. Take into account factors such as the payment model, the quality and quantity of posts allowed, digital privacy and ownership, and the site’s community. Making the right choice about where to post, instead of just opting to YouTube, can generate significant benefits in the long run.