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How YouTube became the Monopolist of Video Content.

If I ask you to imagine a time when YouTube didn’t exist, I bet you can’t. Even if it seems like it’s been there forever, YouTube came into existence in 2005, only to be bought by Google in 2007.

15 Years later, it has a monopoly on online video streaming platforms.
Founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, YouTube started off as a non-profit-making venture. Today it generates around $16 billion to $25 billion in revenue.

When Facebook started gaining popularity (2004) and Instagram came into the picture (2010), the competition got built up. Yet, YouTube remains number one in video content platforms.

How did this happen? How did YouTube become the leader in Video Content?

1. Wide Variety and Easy Accessibility

Made by the people for the people, YouTube is the video platform where it is extremely easy for creators to upload videos and audiences to watch them. It transcends space and time, as anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can access video content easily.  

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Encouraging creators from all around the world, YouTube organizes their audience and makes the content of different languages available, anywhere.

2. YouTube gives a highly Personalized and User-friendly Experience.

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When acquired by Google, YouTube started getting linked to various Google applications. Being the king of search engines, YouTube got the collateral traction. 

It acknowledges that there are viewers beyond the screen and attempts to understand their psychology. It helps the viewer to realize their favorite creators, providing useful video suggestions. Valuing user feedback, they try to optimize the viewing experience with quality content ranking higher on the search results.

3.  New Content Regularly Updated

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With billions of channels and creators, creating content on a daily basis, there is always something new to watch. The subscription preferences help you stay updated with new content uploaded by your favourite creators. 

Basically the idea is that you can never run out of stuff to watch on YouTube.

4. Technical Advancements

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YouTube was created for regular people without advanced computer knowledge to be able to use video-sharing and creating platforms. The milestones in their technical advancements were declining cost of storage and the ability to have high-speed streaming. By enhancing encoding/transcoding, they got the video to format properly to stream. YouTube improves and updates its algorithm regularly, to provide the best user experience. 

5. Business Advantages

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Youtube has the first movers advantage, that maintains it at the top of the charts. Being a search engine as well, people use it to get answers to their queries. Instagram and Facebook don’t do this. 

Hence it has more penetration

Even though used by all age groups, their focal target population is the youth. Their marketing strategy aims to constantly engage youth, creating a community in the process.

6. Commoditised Brand 

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YouTube is synonymous with a video streaming platform. In fact, it is now a slang verb for the act of watching videos. Hence, it has become the perceived “go-to” place for popular video content. The YouTube app comes pre-installed in a new mobile phone, spreading its reach further and further. 

7. Introduced the YouTuber and Influencer Culture

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It was through YouTube that a new creative class was created.  Giving birth to the professions of “YouTuber” and “Influencer“, YouTube added on to the social media culture. These ‘pseudo-celebrities‘ moved on to Instagram making their presence felt on social platforms. As content creation expanded, so did the audience.  The “influence” exerted by these creators was so magnetic that it attracted marketers.

8. Viral Internet Sensations

 

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It was fascinating how quickly videos became popular on YouTube. The ability to share videos on social media attracted more and more people to watch the video. In turn, YouTube paid the creators based on the virality of the video. So there was motivation from both sides to produce and promote videos. These Viral internet sensations were not always intellectual or refined. They were sometimes absurd and quirky and funny. This was a new age for open-ended creativity.

9. Major Player in Digital Advertising

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YouTube was very creative with advertising. Advertisements began featuring before the video started so that the viewer had no option but to watch it or at least a part of it. This generated huge revenues. 

With this new class of celebrities, the age of influencer marketing came into the picture. People perceived their idol YouTubers as more trustworthy and realistic than film stars. Thus they were more likely to be influenced by them. Soon businesses started doing paid partnerships with them, to promote the brand on their channel. This got carried on to Instagram and now TikTok

The YouTubers marketed themselves, other businesses, and in general YouTube itself. 

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The Youtube Success Story is an inspiring one. It’s interesting how it achieved so much in such little time. Living up to its character of being a trustable, safe video content platform, Youtube continues to give its users the best experience possible making it impossible for us to imagine a life without it. 

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