How video upstarts can thrive in YouTube’s shadow

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Talkin' 'bout m-m-my generation.
Talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation. Photo: Jonas Bengtsson/Flickr CC

When I wanted to learn how to knit, I went to YouTube. Anytime I need to learn a guitar solo for a cover song my band is working on, I head to YouTube. I’m not alone in my use of the video portal, either. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults in the 18-34 age range than any cable network.

These types of everyday queries have made YouTube the No. 2 search engine in the world, second only to Google (which just happens to be the video site’s parent company). More than 1 billion unique users head to YouTube every month, and more than 6 billion hours of video — almost an hour of video for each person on the planet — get watched in the same time period.

If you’re a new site, trying to capture enough mind share and traffic to create a successful user-created video content business, how could you ever compete with such a giant?

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