The buzz about companies likely to challenge YouTube in the online video space feels a lot like the music industry’s historic wish for someone to compete with Apple in the downloads market: no shortage of desire, but a distinct lack of companies able to truly deliver on it.
However, 2015 might be the year when the online video space bucks that trend, with Facebook emerging as one key rival, while new startups like Vessel try to poach some of YouTube’s big stars.
Here’s Josh Cohen, founder of online video industry site Tubefilter, on the trend: “A few months ago, everyone thought they had the online video space figured out, but now Vessel and Facebook video are coming along to shake up the industry again,” he told the Guardian in a 2015 predictions piece.
“I don’t think YouTube is going to relinquish its dominant position any time in the near future, but creators now have more choices of avenues through which they’re going to be able to build an audience.”
Facebook may be the biggest threat, with the social network having ended 2014 preparing for a big native-video push this year, building on its current 1bn daily views. Not every industry-watcher thinks the social network is guaranteed to eat YouTube’s lunch in 2015 though.
“I often get asked if Facebook’s video business will take away from YouTube. But people go to Facebook for many reasons, not just to watch video,” said eMarketer’s principal analyst David Hallerman in the same piece. “People go to YouTube to watch video, and that’s part of its strength.”
And Twitter? That social network said in November that it was planning to launch a way for its users to “record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter” in the first half of 2015 – its own native video platform to complement its shortform Vine app and the Twitter Amplify service for brand partners.
But we’ll have to wait to find out more about the new platform: a report early in January about the Twitter Video Player – via a seemingly-leaked FAQ and terms and conditions – turned out to be just existing details for Amplify.