IGTV is Tempting Online Creators to Branch Out Which Could Steal Talent from YouTube
In a move similar to when they introduced their own spin on Snapchat stories, Instagram has recently introduced IGTV, a long-form video feature similar to that of YouTube.
YouTube has roughly 1.8 billion monthly users, according to Business Insider, only behind Facebook’s two billion users. Given their huge user base, YouTube does not currently, and was never seriously threatened by another video streaming service. However, that could be changing.
Instagram has recently reached one billion monthly users and with the new release of IGTV, a viable threat could be posed to YouTube for the first time.
YouTube has had a stranglehold on the video streaming industry, but in an industry that is constantly changing, that could be hard to maintain. YouTube videos had a key diversifier in that they can be anywhere from three minutes to three hours long and were not constrained to one minute like Instagram or two minutes and 20 seconds like Twitter, despite certain exceptions. The only one that came close was Facebook with a max length of 45 minutes.
Now, IGTV videos may not be running for three hours just yet, but it is allowing for longer videos that could be anywhere from 20-minute features of sports teams to an hour-long travel vlog.
The threat to YouTube lies in this: YouTube only serves one purpose and that is to watch videos. This seems obvious and is the core of their success, but IGTV is part of an already existing social media platform that has a gigantic user base. Users are able to surf through Instagram, watch the friends and celebrities that they follow, and get lost in the explore page like they always have, but now their favorite accounts can post the long form videos that so many go to YouTube for previously.
This is nowhere near the beginning of the end for YouTube, but they are noticing the competition even if they seem to deny it. Other reports from Business Insider say that YouTube is offering five, six, and even seven-figure checks to their top creators to persuade them to not make IGTV exclusive content or at the very least, to make sure that the content is posted on both platforms.
It would take the combination of unprecedented success on IGTV’s part along with a titanic collapse for YouTube to see the fall of the streaming giant, but stranger things have happened. YouTube will have to avoid any slip ups to ensure that no creators completely jump ship to Instagram’s new platform, but there have been a few.
Most recently, Mars pulled all of their ads on YouTube after their Starburst commercial was put alongside a drill rap video, which are known to be typically violent and dark. In a statement, a Mars spokesperson said, “Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube.”
If mistakes like this keep occurring for YouTube, advertisers and creators alike will want to give IGTV a chance.
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