Can IGTV End YouTube’s Monopoly Over Internet Videos?

With the emergence of IGTV it seems like Internet video equations are about to change. 

Published
Tech and Auto
4 min read
The IGTV app logo on a phone.
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Instagram, after announcing a billion monthly active users, also launched IGTV, its video app that supports long form vertical videos for upto 10 minutes and 60 minutes depending on the number of followers an account has.

Instagram’s long form video is an attempt to appeal to a younger generation of consumers who are increasingly consuming video on mobile devices. This will be its attempt to take on YouTube, after beating Snapchat at its own game.

Given that Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users and is already a well established platform for creators and influencers, it can actually give a serious fight to YouTube, even if history proves otherwise. Also it will give influencers and creators one more platform to look at.

YouTube has always held its own thoughout the past 13 years since its establishment in 2005. It has been the one video platform for both consumers and influencers and it has survived despite a lot of apps coming and going, with some being labelled as the next YouTube or the end of YouTube.

Here's a look at some apps that tried to take on YouTube.

Snapchat

Can IGTV  End YouTube’s Monopoly Over Internet Videos?
(Photo: istockphoto)

Snapchat started off as a fun and intuitive way to connect with people and soon took off as a platform for video creators to share innovative content. After the initial buzz, it lost its share because it didn’t focus on the creators. It did not have any real monetisation plans, coming to that option very late. Hence, it fell well behind in the pecking order when as many video creators stopped posting on Snapchat.

Periscope

Periscope app on iPhone.
Periscope app on iPhone.
(Photo: Periscope)

Periscope, known for live videos was hailed as the alternative to YouTube, but it has no search feature, no archive for getting access to older videos and is very niche. It was also bought by Twitter, but it does not have a very wide audience. One can’t really compare Periscope to YouTube.

Vimeo

Vimeo has been around for a while and does seem like the most proper competition to YouTube as a video platform. It has a really great search tool, does offer monetisation options to video creators and has a focus on quality content. But where it falls short is in the number of people engaged. It does not have as big and engaging an audience as YouTube.

Facebook Video

Facebook is planning to split its news feed into two in some countries.
Facebook is planning to split its news feed into two in some countries.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@europevfacebook)

Facebook video is one of the recent features introduced by the social media giant and it has, to quite an extent realised the importance of video creators. However, there are a few flaws like its search function – one cannot find a specific video unless they know the exact caption. Also, many of the videos are lifted off YouTube and duplicated on Facebook, so there again, YouTube triumphs. Facebook videos did not have proper copyright guidelines initially.

With all this competition, YouTube has continued to dominate with viewers and content creators. It has a good search tool and offers monetisation options to retain video creators on the platform.

However, with the emergence of IGTV it does seem like the game is about to change. IGTV does seem like a platform that has the potential of taking a big slice of the video pie from YouTube. Why? One, because Instagram is already an engaging platform for creative individuals. Second, it has a large audience – Instagram announced it has over one billion active monthly users. Third, the discovery option on the IGTV makes up for the ineffective search option. That might also change since this is the first rollout of the app and Instagram will make many changes as more people start using it. Fourth, it works on a desktop as well as mobile.

However, the search option on IGTV doesn’t support keywords or hashtags in search for now, it only searches with the names of the channel of the creators, which is a big miss.

Another thing is that will determine if IGTV will be able to give YouTube any fight is the kind of monetisation options it will offer content creators. Right now, there are no ads on the app.

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