Have you read this post – Start Your Own YouTube Service WITHOUT OpenSource yet? You should. I get a lot of visitors to that particular page based on several search strings. I can only guess what a lot of people have in mind.
So if you are thinking of starting your own YouTube business, I’d like to say STOP.
Lets look at the competition that you will face in the video sharing space:
The “grand daddy” of all the video sharing websites out there. With close to 100 million videos, 79 million users visiting the site and over 3 billion views – it will be tough to out do them. Consider the amount of space needed to host that many videos and the bandwidth required to view them. You can see why YouTube isn’t very worried.
Read more – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube.
Did you know Yahoo! has video sharing? I couldn’t find stats as to the number of videos, views or users but they’ve been around since 2006 initially as a video search engine and they finally got into the video hosting/sharing business. Again another company with DEEEEP pockets.
While still in BETA, Blip.TV is more than video sharing:
A new class of entertainment is emerging that is being made by the people without the support of billion-dollar multinationals. Our mission is to support these people by taking care of all the problems a budding videoblogger, podcaster or Internet TV producer tends to run into. We’ll take care of the servers, the software, the workflow, the advertising and the distribution. We leave you free to focus on creativity.
Again I could not find any stats on the number of videos, user base, views etc.,
Something that did catch my eye was what I found in their FAQ:
Tons of people come to blip.tv to watch great original programming, but that’s not the end of it. We’ve got a distribution network that reaches hundreds of millions: built-in syndication to AOL Video, Yahoo! Video, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MSN Video, Google Video, Blinkx, iTunes and the Apple TV, Blogger, WordPress.com and much more.
I wish they would qualify “tons of people”.
Normally associated with image sharing, PhotoBucket also allows video hosting/storage. They are not like Yahoo! Videos, or YouTube. You can use PhotoBucket to store your videos, but with free accounts the service is limiting.
Who else it out there? LOTS! Check out the list:
- AtomUploads (part of AtomFilms)
- Big Think
- Google Video
- MSN Soapbox
- pandora tv
- Rambler Vision
- Sapo Videos (only portuguese)
- Stage6 (closed)
- Yahoo! Video
So now that you see the amount of competition, why would you want to start your own YouTube service? Thinking the porn route? There are quite a few similar services out there that allow user contributed videos and images (yes, you read correctly USER CONTRIBUTED porn). Porn is big money and looking at some auctions taking place on DigitalPoint even the smallest sites are 1-3 thousand visitors per day. If you can effectively monetize that traffic you could make a lot of money.
But listen I am NOT saying you should start-up a x-rated video sharing site. I wouldn’t as it goes against what I believe in – but there is no denying that there is money to be made in these types of videos.
So what do you do? You want to start your own YouTube service.
Consider a mashup.
A mashup is taking what several other services offer and making a new service out of it. Here is what WikiPedia has to say about mashups:
In technology, a mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool; an example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that was not originally provided by either source.
For example, you’ve seen individuals that take Google Maps data, combine it with information available from law enforcement agencies to map out areas that have high crime rates that can be seen visually.
That’s a mashup.
Rather than try and develop your own YouTube styled service, consider a mashup. What information have you tried to find on the internet but had to go to 2, 3, 4 or multiple sources for the same data? Is that information relavent to lots of people? You have just got your mashup. Now go and code.
See the beauty of the mashup is that you’ve probably got APIs that you can use. You don’t need to host any of the videos or information – but you are pulling that data in from multiple sources and presenting the data to the visitor in a format that is better utilized. You just need to hit upon something that will be popular.
Again as with any venture, if you expect to get thousands of visitors per day you need to find some way to monetize those visitors.
The key is monetization.
Mashups not your style, or too much work? Consider niche video sharing websites. The examples are endless:
- DIY (do it yourself)
- Sports How-To i.e., soccer techniques
You would probably have more success in a niche area when it comes to video sharing since there are some key areas that people are always looking for information. Example – right now, I’m doing my own cooking. Recipe books suck. The food never turns out right, but I learned a long time ago that it’s not always the recipe it’s also the person cooking. The recipe may say 1tsp of something but in practice it’s more/less than needed. Also the method in which the food is prepared also makes a difference. Now if I could see someone making something, I can follow that.
DIY video sites are popular, I mentioned one in a post I made a few days ago How Do They Do That?! talks about one site where you can find just about anything under the sun.
Before you decide that running a video site is a bad idea, sit down and brainstorm about the types of videos you could host, think about mashups and niche video websites. Yes there is a lot of competition out there, but if an idea is well developed, and executed and you can capture even a small segment of the market it could translate into significant profits.