Tuesday, 24 January 2017 12:50

BitChute: the first serious YouTube competitor? Featured

By Doron Beer

Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has dominated the market for video sharing despite the best efforts from alternatives such as Dailymotion and Vimeo. However, an interesting new competitor called BitChute may be about to give Youtube a long overdue kick up the backside, using potentially market disrupting technology.

The primary reason that video sharing websites can’t seriously compete with Youtube comes down to resources.

The way that the business model for the current batch of video-sharing platforms operate is that the more users that access the website (whether that be to upload videos or simply to view/comment), the more server space the company needs to purchase. Considering YouTube is owned by Google, its resources are essentially unlimited.

Despite YouTube’s current status as the most popular video-sharing platform, there are several aspects of the way the website runs its operations that often rile elements within the YouTube community.

One of these is the YouTube strike system, which issues content creators with “strikes” to indicate that a user has reported one of their videos. In many cases, YouTube doesn’t review the videos that get reported, showing a lack of concern for the legitimacy of the report – and this often results in videos being removed simply because they receive a high number of reports.

Another issue that has surfaced recently is YouTube’s policy regarding advertisement monetisation. Currently, YouTube’s advertising guidelines stipulate that videos can be demonetised if they include content that isn’t “advertiser friendly”. This, of course, includes swearing and violence, but also commentary on political topics deemed to be controversial. There have been several cases in which YouTube has abruptly and arbitrarily enforced its guidelines by demonetising large numbers of videos from a user’s channel at one time (without warning or explanation).

It is at this moment in time that BitChute enters the marketplace.

BitChute is a new video-sharing platform that operates using peer-to-peer technology, as opposed to the centralised servers being used by YouTube. This allows it to scale up its service automatically as its user base grows.

An example of the peer-to-peer model being used to scale up online is the creation of Skype in 2003. By 2012, Skype, the first Internet telephony application to use peer-to-peer technology, had carved out a market share of more than 30%.

Not only does BitChute use different technology, its principles are clearly outlined in its FAQ, in which it is revealed that the website’s existence is in response to YouTube’s failure to cater to independent content creators.

“Here we believe people should be able to express their opinions and choose their topics. If existing services cannot allow that, then let's make some that will. The question is, how to disrupt a platform as well established as YouTube? It cannot be on their terms; we think we might have an answer, decentralisation by torrents and tailored match-ups for monetisation,” it states in the FAQ section of BitChute.

At present, BitChute is still very much in the beta stage and users cannot automatically register their own video channels. However, the site is worth a visit as it could well represent the future of online video sharing.


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