The 8 best YouTube alternatives at a glance

YouTube is the undisputed leader among video portals and can confidently be described as top dog in the industry: over one billion users surf YouTube, which is almost a third of all internet users. There’s no question about it; the platform has long been recognised as an effective marketing tool. Videos can be uploaded with just a few clicks and can easily be embedded on any external website using automatically generated HTML codes. Its range of features and ease of use make it difficult for competing portals to get their foot in the door, but what actually are the alternatives to YouTube?

Some alternatives include services like Dailymotion, DTube, Vimeo, Twitch, Vevo, Odysee, Flickr, and Metacafe, which offer private and professional users a wide range of options for posting or viewing content. Here is an overview of eight YouTube alternatives and their advantages and disadvantages.

Dailymotion

Dailymotion is a video portal from France and is currently one of the best YouTube alternatives, especially in its home country where user numbers are high. It’s the same situation in many other countries, where Dailymotion finds itself in second place, just behind YouTube. The company estimates its worldwide number of users to be around 314 million, with 3.5 billion videos played on Dailymotion each month.

Dailymotion scores with its upload specifications: video files can be up to 2GB in size and up to 60 minutes in length (restrictions do not apply to advanced users). Numerous video and audio formats are supported, so that uploaders can choose between, for example, .mov, .mpeg4, .mp4, .avi, and .wmv files. Users are recommended to use H.264 as a video codec, and AAC at a frame rate of 25 FPY as an audio codec. A resolution of up to 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) is possible. This makes the portal particularly suitable for demanding uploaders: large files are just as welcome as image quality.

The layout is clear and intuitive. Embedding and sharing videos on external platforms is also very simple: just one click and the HTML code is automatically generated.

There are even more features for “partners”, since it’s not just YouTube that you can make money with. You can also make money with videos on Dailymotion, adjust the player, and oversee revenue with the analysis tool. This makes Dailymotion one of the best alternatives to YouTube, especially for bloggers who want to make their content available on a paid basis or offer separate premium content. If you want to use Dailymotion’s website monetisation, you can either activate your site to allow it, or embed a special widget from the provider. Some notable partners already take part in this program, including CNN.

Dailymotion offers an impressive range of apps: the YouTube alternative is used on many smart TVs, set-top boxes, and Sony PlayStation, and can be viewed comfortably from the sofa. The service can also be used via iOS or Android apps.

Advantages Disadvantages
Widest-reaching YouTube alternative  
Extensive upload functions  
Clean layout  
Video files up to 2GB and 60 minutes long possible for all users  
Optional monetisation of videos  
Apps for numerous devices  

DTube

In 2016, US company Steemit launched the same-named social media and blogging platform which allows for the decentralised sharing of content of different formats on the basis of blockchain. Video uploads are made via YouTube alternative DTube, which is part of the Steemit network. DTube is based on the IPFS protocol that enables a distributed storage of the uploaded videos on the various computers involved in the blockchain - unlike YouTube which stores all data on Google's servers.

The production of new blocks for the Steem blockchain is the responsibility of the DTube “leaders” (currently 10 parties), who are determined by all users through a voting process. All registered users, who can receive rewards in the form of crypto currency for the video upload and for liking, and commenting, have five votes. A big advantage over YouTube and many other video platforms is that DTube is entirely ad-free.

Because of technologies such as blockchain and the requirement to use individually generated keys to log in to the platform, DTube can take some getting used to at the start. To make things a little easier, the developers of the web application have deliberately chosen a design that emulates YouTube. This creates a more familiar environment. Users have the following three options to upload their content:

  • Peer-to-peer: The most anonymous option to upload videos, which chooses between the BTFS, Skynet, and IPFS protocols.
  • Third-party URL: The simplest type of video upload which lets users embed video URLs from third-party platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Dailymotion, Instagram, Liveleak, Vimeo, orFacebook.
  • Data upload: The best option for upload of smaller files.

DTube’s concept makes for a pioneering alternative to YouTube. The platform already has 189,000 registered content creators and content curators who share a video on the blockchain every three minutes, on average. However, with two million unique visitors each month, the platform is still in the early stages.

Advantages Disadvantages
Decentralised storage of content Lower user numbers
No ads Less content available
Censorship protection  

Vimeo

Vimeo is a US video service that launched in 2004 and specialises in artistically ambitious videos. It’s not surprising then, that the service was founded by filmmakers and directors, who wanted to provide a distribution platform for their work. For example, lots of impressive short videos, documentaries, and even music videos can be found on this platform. If you’re interested in independent production, Vimeo offers one of the highest quality YouTube alternatives. Websites using this platform include marriott.com, gap.com, and thewirecutter.com.

Vimeo claims to be an exchange platform for creative minds, which is reflected on the website: here you can see top stories and curated videos, presented like an interactive gallery. Accordingly, the service offers its users a generous framework for video uploads, which are top-quality. The basic version is free and allows 500 MB to be uploaded per week. With ‘Vimeo Plus’ the amount increases to 5 GB per week, and 20 GB per week with ‘Vimeo Pro’, where you can also publish short films in 4K ultra-HD resolution. When it comes to uploading, there are hardly any limitations, at least not with professional accounts. Only the image data is automatically reduced if a video exceeds 60 FPS during uploading.

The Pro version allows you to add three team members to your account, customise the player, and sell content by video on demand. 90% of transaction costs are paid to the creator. There is also an extensive package with various tools, analysis programs, and a completely advertisement-free user interface. Commercial providers get up to 5 TB (terabytes) of storage space with ‘Vimeo Business’ with no weekly restriction. Up to ten team members can use marketing and workflow tools with this kind of account. A new live-streaming function can be activated in the Pro version (inclusive of 7TB storage space).

In addition, there are many video tutorials located in the help centre that provide support for using the platform. Vimeo speaks primarily to professional filmmakers, marketing managers, and artists. In turn, this means that many of this YouTube alternative’s main features have to be paid for.

Users can profit from the innovative content in the free version and make the most of numerous apps: Vimeo is also available on mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones. In addition, the service can be used on various devices in your own living room, e.g. on Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox 360, or Smart TVs from manufacturers such as Panasonic, Philips, and Samsung. Vimeo’s competent community is there to provide useful help and valuable feedback on uploads.

Advantages Disadvantages
High-quality content Even shorter reach then Dailymotion, for example
Platform especially favoured by professional content creators Important upload features must be paid for
Extensive (fee-based) account upgrades that offer practical tools and tutorials  
Constructive chats possible with the community  
Apps for numerous devices  

Twitch

A YouTube alternative that is especially popular with gamers is Twitch, a live streaming portal that originally concentrated on video games and e-sports. Twitch.tv went online as a beta version on 6th June 2011 and had already attracted 45 million viewers per month on approximately 6 million channels. In 2014, Amazon acquired the company for $970 million (around £698 million), and since 2016, Amazon Prime customers can make the most of ‘Twitch Prime’. This service offers free games and subscriptions, game loots, and ad-free streaming. Since 2015, the video portal has organised an annual convention called TwitchCon, which takes place in several US cities during the fall season.

In essence, Twitch has a very similar concept to YouTube: the content is free for everyone. By registering free via email or Facebook, users can access additional features, such as adding friends, the chat function, or the following of certain channels – this all adds to the strong social aspect of the service. All registered users can stream all content. For those not playing via PlayStation or Xbox, all you need is the appropriate software such as the Open Broadcaster software. In 2016, the IRL function was unveiled, which allows users to share moments from their own lives and discuss them with other users. An affinity for gaming is not necessary – user-generated content is the main component of Twitch, alongside professional streams of large e-sport events.

Additionally, professional and larger channels have the opportunity to earn money through Twitch’s partner oraffiliate program. To be invited, streamers must meet certain conditions: for example, the user’s streaming activity must be regular and there must be a fixed audience. In return, as a streamer in the affiliate program, you have the option of offering different subscription packages for a fee or participating in the cheering program. Cheering allows users to buy so-called bits to support their favourite channel. The affiliate program offers a chance to embed ads, making Twitch a profitable platform for gamers with professional content and ambitions.

The main difference between Twitch and YouTube comes down to the fact that there are only live videos on Twitch as opposed to recorded videos. If required, short snippets of streams can be saved as highlight videos which users are able to access again in the future.

Advantages Disadvantages
User-generated content Many features only available for payment or with Amazon Prime account
Strong community aspect  

Vevo

Sony and Universal Music, the brands behind Vevo have labelled the video platform the largest music platform worldwide. However, this distinction isn’t technically correct as of 2018. Streaming of music videos via the website or the native Vevo app is no longer supported. Around 26 million monthly Vevo content requests are being made via third-party services such as YouTube, Apple TV, LG Channels or Roku for which Vevo functions as a content distributor. Artists such as Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift or Camila Cabello are using the service.

Aside from official music videos of supported artists, Vevo also provides various formats such as live studio performances, concert clips, “Behind the Scenes” features and interviews. The “DSCVR” category is a platform for emerging artists.

Advantages Disadvantages
Huge range of official music videos by major artists Only available via third-party providers
Different formats focusing on stars and musical newcomers.  

Odysee

Odysee launched globally in September 2020. Much like DTube, this YouTube alternative is based on blockchain technology and includes the use of cryptocurrencies. Content creators and those who recruit other users can earn so-called “LBRY Credits”. LBRY is also the name of the protocol that is used to build the blockchain. If you don’t want to use the content network via the browser, you can install the LBRY apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS.

Much like other blockchain alternatives to YouTube, Odysee is independent from a central unit and users have complete control over the content. Of course, odyssey users need to adhere to certain guidelines: trademarked or copyrighted content may not be distributed, nor content that glorifies violence. However, Odysee does not have censorship authority like Google. The platform is ad-free, as the channels are monetised exclusively on the basis of the cryptocurrency. On the one hand, content creators receive LBRY credits for views, on the other hand, viewers can make donations (similar to Twitch).

When it comes to video uploads, Odysee has some strict requirements: at least 10 wallet credits are required, otherwise the upload option remains deactivated. Users can buy credits or receive them as a reward for views, email verification, member recruitment and more. Once the option for uploading videos is activated, users can publish clips with a size of up to 4GB. The Odysee team recommends the MP4 format (H264/AAC) and a resolution of maximum 720p.

The structure and design of Odysee are based on YouTube, which should make switching to or trying out the blockchain platform appealing to die-hard fans of the Google platform. As an alternative to the homepage featuring popular clips, users can call up categories such as ‘Technology’, ‘Finance 2.0’ or ‘The Universe’ from the left side menu to obtain a thematically sorted selection of videos.

Advantages Disadvantages
Free and ad-free Fewer users
Decentralised storage of content Videos cannot be embedded on other websites
Protection from censorship  

Metacafe

The video platform Metacafe was founded in 2012 as an alternative to YouTube and Dailymotion, but today is it completely specialised in presenting entertaining short clips, a concept that is particularly well received in the US. The predominantly male user community enjoys curated original content ranging from cat videos and juggling tricks, to pranks and vehicle breakdowns. About 12 million US users (40 million worldwide) visit the YouTube alternative according to the website.

Users have the opportunity to create individual videos, playlists, and image galleries. All content is prepared in such a way that you can easily share, like, and comment on various social networks with just a click of the mouse.

The website is financed by advertising and offers user-generated content as well as content from professional media partners. Advertisers can present their brands and products in entertaining video clips. It’s mostly suited to advertisers from entertainment, food, telecommunications, home electronics, and auto mobility fields.

Metacafe tries to stand out from the other video platforms by offering unlimited uploading. Membership is free of charge. Registration can be done directly on the Metacafe website or through a Facebook account. For Android users, there is an app available via Google Play.

Advantages Disadvantages
Curated original content Predominantly short clips
Free  
Unlimited uploads  

Flickr

Flickr boasts 122 million users in 63 different countries. The 1 million photos shared daily have built up over time to an impressive collection of over 10 billion images, making it a popular YouTube alternative. It may seem surprising that Flickr is included in this list, since it’s primarily used for sharing photos. Since the beginning of 2008, though, it’s been possible to upload videos of up to 180 seconds in length. They are known as “long photos”, hence why they aren’t allowed to be longer than 3 minutes. Before you upload a video, you need to sign up for a free account. Then you can upload your videos just as you would a photo. Videos can also be uploaded in HD quality and many formats are accepted. Basic users can upload 2 videos a month. Free accounts used to come with 1 TB memory but this is no longer the case. Pro accounts offer unlimited memory, no adverts, and detailed stats on how your content is doing.

Flickr may not have many features when it comes to videos, but users do have access to a huge, active user base, with potential to be seen by many.

Advantages Disadvantages
High-quality content Only 3 minute videos/1 GB uploads allowed
Unlimited memory and no adverts with Pro account Not many features
Practically any video format accepted  

Summary

The overview shows that all eight of the featured YouTube alternatives have found their niche: while Dailymotion is still the closest to YouTube’s principle, Vimeo distances itself from its competitors with its high-quality and artistically ambitious content. Flickr is primarily for uploading and sharing photos, but has now branched out to allow short videos. Vevo is a great platform for music artists –even if the service no longer offers its own platform. Twitch has become a streaming provider for gaming and e-sports, and Metacafe specialises in short entertaining clips. DTube and Odysee are breaking new ground in terms of content storage.

All eight YouTube alternatives are good in their own way and address different target groups with different strategies. Many providers have taken the leap and are now available on mobile devices and on gadgets in people’s living rooms.

Platform

Pricing model

Key features

Suitable for

Dailymotion

- Free for viewers and uploads

- Pricing policy for video promotion and ads

- Large video upload specifications: 60minutes/2GB (Advanced users: no restrictions)

- Optional monetisation of videos

- Intuitive and clear layout

Entertainment, lifestyle, and sports industries

DTube

- Free for viewers and uploads

- Monetisation based on cryptocurrencies

- Blockchain as basis for content storage of published videos

- main block producers are chosen by the community

Lifestyle, News, Gaming

Vimeo

- Free version for viewers

- Free basic membership

- Vimeo Plus £6/month

- Vimeo PRO £16/month

- Vimeo Business £40/month

- Vimeo Premium £70/month

- An exchange platform for creative minds

- A focus on artful content such as music videos, short films, and documentaries

- Generous storage options depending on the plan

- Customisable player

Creatives seeking/producing high-quality content

Twitch

- Free for viewers

- Free for streamers/uploaders

- Twitch Prime/Turbo £7.99 to £10.99/month

- Live streaming platform for gamers

- Owned by Amazon

- IRL function allows live streaming

- User-generated content is the main component

Gamers

Vevo

- Free for viewers and uploads

- Free for artists

- Support for established artists and newcomers in music business

- music videos with video trademark on third-party platforms

Music artists

Flickr

- Free version

- Pro £4.50/month

- Pro+ £45/month

- Videos are limited to 3 minutes in length

- Many video formats are accepted

- Large user base

- Limited features

Photographers, videographers, and blog enthusiasts

Odysee

- Free for viewers and uploaders

- Monetisation based on cryptocurrency

- Blockchain as basis for content storage of published videos

Lifestyle, Technology, Finances, News, Gaming

Metacafe

- Free for viewers and uploaders

- Specialised in short clips

- Unlimited video upload

 

Entertainment


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