Is IGTV Really Competition for YouTube?

In case you haven’t heard, Instagram rolled out a new app called Instagram TV (IGTV) which is being touted as the first real competition for YouTube.  At least that’s the word on the streets.  The problem is, there have been numerous platforms that have been hyped up to be “YouTube” killers and to my knowledge, all of them have failed.  I’ve stated in the past that the only real competition that YouTube has is Facebook….maybe somewhat Twitch (which is owned by Amazon, but I don’t really know much about Twitch as I’m sure most of you probably don’t either).  The reason Facebook is a viable competitor to YouTube is because Facebook can quite literally afford to be a competitor.  For those of you who are not IT savvy and just think that you can build your own YouTube-like website, more than likely you won’t because you can’t afford the price of building and running a platform that functions like YouTube.  What do I mean?  Simple, do you have millions on top of millions on top of millions on top of millions of dollars stashed under your mattress somewhere to allow for you build an IT infrastructure capable of allowing people to upload 60 hours of video per minute for free?  And do you also have another stash of millions on top of millions on top of millions on top of millions to pay an IT staff to maintain, update & protect this IT infrastructure all so that you can get online to watch your favorite cat video?  I’m just going to go ahead and assume you probably don’t have money like that….but Mark Zuckerberg does.  He not only has the money, but he has the infrastructure in place too.  So this is why I say Facebook is the only true competitor for YouTube in the sense of uploading videos.  But the problem with Facebook is…they don’t pay people.  Well, a few get paid, but the masses don’t get paid.  I’m not exactly sure why this is when you factor in the hundreds of thousands into the millions of views a person can get on a Facebook video (which typically far exceeds what a person can do on YouTube), but if I had to guess it’s probably because Facebook doesn’t have any type of copyright protections in place to prevent people from making money off of other people’s works.  I mean, anybody can download a video off of YouTube or Facebook and reupload it to their Facebook profile or fan page as if it was their own and if Facebook allowed monetization, you can bet there would be a gang of lawsuits all over the place from the original content creators suing Facebook like crazy.  And this is precisely what is going to be the problem with IGTV as well, considered that they are owned by Facebook.

The reason YouTube is the number one video sharing site in the world that has basically had no real competition over the last decade is because YouTube allows for content creators to monetize their content (assuming you meet the 1000 subscriber & 4000 hour watch time threshold).  For as much as people may complain about YouTube and all their bs rules pertaining to censorship and monetization, nobody else out there can compete against YouTube when it comes to content creators making money.  Sure YouTube may take upwards of like 45% of your ad money (assuming your can monetize your channel and they don’t demonetize your video), and the 55% left over, Uncle Sam is going to tax about 30% of that (if you make over $600 in one year of course)…but still, nobody else out in the video world has an easier platform setup for a content creator to just upload a video, hit the monetization button and sit back and watch the dollars roll in (for most it’s probably literal pennies).  So all of this talk about how IGTV might dethrone YouTube or become a true competitor for YouTube is ridiculous at this point in my opinion because if you are a serious content creator, then you are serious about trying to figure out exactly how you can monetize your content instead of just giving it away for $FREE.99 all of the time.

Take me for instance, I have a podcast called the Onyx Truth Podcast.  Before I publish my podcast to my own website which then disseminates my podcast to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play & Soundcloud, I put my podcast on YouTube first.  Why, because I wanna get paid something before I give it to the world for free.  Now, in all honestly, I’m not making any real life changing money off of YouTube.  Hell, I’ll be lucky if I can pull in $50 in one month off of ad revenue, but at least I’m making something.  Sure I could be peddling t-shirts or trying to sell ad spots from people who listen to my podcast…but that shit doesn’t work for the most part.  Reality is, most of my audience is black and trying to get a dollar out of black people is often a futile endeavor.  Just keeping it real.  Plus at the time of this writing, I only have 2,019 subscribers on YouTube….which isn’t bad but I’m not getting thousands of views on my videos either.  Why that is?  Various reasons.  The biggest reason is my lack of promoting my stuff.  I really don’t do much at all to promote any content I create for this site period.  I just don’t.  I just put it out there and if people find it, they find it.  But then again, I never created this site with the plan of making a full time living off of it…just enough money for the site to fund itself is pretty much my goal for the most part and I’ve somewhat accomplished that.  Anything I earn above the fees associated to keep my site alive is just extra as far as I’m concerned.

But getting back to whether or not IGTV is truly competition for YouTube, unless IGTV can figure out a way to pay content creators for their works, then I’m going to say no.  Now unless that content creator chooses to be paid in the form of racking up a bunch of likes and followers, then I guess that’ll be enough to make them happy as they will have another platform to reach more people.  But for content creators serious about earning money to fund their creations, IGTV is going to have to figure out a way to pay people and that method of pay is going to have be just as good or better than what YouTube is offering.  As long as YouTube allows people to upload damn near unlimited videos for free with the possibility of monetizing those videos, YouTube isn’t about to go out of style anytime soon.  Those are just the facts.  Damn near every content creator on YouTube who hasn’t reached the 1000 subscriber & 4000 watch time hour requirement can’t wait until they get approved so that they can see their bank account fill up with pennies.  Even though they might just be pennies, it’s still better than nothing at the end of the day because Facebook isn’t paying shit.  So this long video format that IGTV has might be somewhat cool and all, but at this present moment I just can’t see it becoming a true YouTube competitor beyond just being another platform to share videos.  To become a true YouTube competitor, IGTV is going to have to figure out how to break bread with content creators plain and simple.

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