Is the 800 Pound Video Gorilla Losing Weight?

03.06.2014 by Reed Berglund

In October ’11, YouTube market share peaked at a whopping 43.8%. Everyone was convinced the game was over.

YouTube swallows the Earth

]1 YouTube swallows the Earth

Google was swallowing the world and YouTube was the nasty set of teeth carving up billions of views at a time!

But for every 800 pound gorilla, there are thousands of hyenas gathering in the bush waiting for sundown (forgive the Nat Geo references of animals competing in different food chains). Jason Calcanis was the first major YouTube creator to flip the bird and take his talents elsewhere. Much of his decision was based on the premise that YouTube was no longer the end all be all for video distribution. According to Calcanis, creators’ needed improvements in three major areas:

  1. More ownership in creation and distribution of their content
  2. Greater control of their subscriber base
  3. Better access to monetize their content with advertisers.

Enter “technology’s democratization of video” (or so we think). Anyone can become a creator and now they have more choices of how & where they want their content to appear.

Cue my next set of metaphors – heavyweight boxing and WWF (for the OG’s of wrestling). YouTube was Mike Tyson – everyone was afraid to step in the ring! Well now Mike Tyson is in a full cage match.

Video Cage Match
1. The Dream Team

Facebook + Instagram

Facebook + Instagram

  1. Strike Force

    Twitter + Vine

    Twitter + Vine

  2. Vince McMahon



So let’s take a look at Round 1 of this cage match: 1. Mike Tyson’s market share is declining…and no one is talking about it. YouTube’s market share has dropped over 17% in the last two years. videowars-youtube-comscore-606x198

  1. No such thing as a Free Market. Enter the battle of Net Neutrality. On-line video uses the largest percentage of bandwidth and it’s unlikely Verizon or Time Warner will play nice in the sandbox. These ISP’s are using all of their lobbying power to put the squeeze on the competition. [[NY Times Net Neutrality][7]][7]
  2. Simply adding video really does make a difference! Enter Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, MSN. A series of acquisitions or a change in video strategy have put each of these companies back into the mix. Each company is focused on owning and monetizing video on their platform. As a result, many will not use the YouTube embed anymore and all will focus on publishing directly to their platform.

So what does all this mean? More options for content distribution. At the very least it will be a interesting battle over the next couple years.