YouTube reigns supreme as the dominant force in online video. With over 2 billion monthly active users under its belt, it's the undisputed king of video-sharing platforms. But Odyssey, a scrappy upstart backed by blockchain technology, believes it has what it takes to challenge YouTube's supremacy.
Odyssey entices creators with promises of greater decentralization, transparency, and independence. But YouTube counters with its unmatched audience reach polished user experience, and proven monetization models.
In this article, we'll compare and contrast YouTube and Odyssey across a number of categories including features, functionality, pros and cons. We'll look at factors like audience reach, revenue opportunities, censorship, and more.
Let's dive in and see if the established veteran or the hungry newcomer has the edge when it comes to the world of online video sharing. All bets are off in this in-depth feature face-off!
Overview of YouTube
YouTube was founded in 2005 and has grown to become the largest video-sharing platform in the world. Owned by Google, YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, and comment on videos for free.
Overview of Odyssey
Odyssey, built on the LBRY protocol, is a newer blockchain-based alternative to YouTube. It was created in 2016 as a decentralized, open-source, peer-to-peer network for sharing digital content.
Key Feature Comparison
Here is a quick overview comparing some of the key features of YouTube versus Odyssey:
|Video uploads||Up to 128GB or 12 hours||Up to 2GB per file currently|
|Video formats||MP4, WebM, MOV, AVI, MPEG, 3GP and more||MP4, WebM|
|Live streaming||Supported via YouTube Live||Supported via 3rd party integration like Streamyard|
|Mobile apps||Official YouTube apps for iOS, Android||Official apps for iOS, Android|
|Monetization||Advertising, Premium, memberships, merch||LBC tips, channel memberships, 3rd party ads|
|Analytics||Extensive analytics on views, demographics, traffic||Basic analytics on views, likes, LBC tips|
|Censorship||Moderated according to policies, demonetization risk||Minimal censorship, low demonetization risk|
Which Platform is Right for You?
So which video-sharing platform is better for creators and viewers? Here are some key factors to consider when deciding whether to choose YouTube or Odyssey:
- Audience reach: YouTube is better for reaching a massive global audience quickly. Odyssey is newer and has a smaller but more engaged user base currently.
- Revenue potential: YouTube monetization is steady and proven for eligible creators. Odyssey offers monetization as well but less is known regarding long-term earning potential.
- Control over content: You maintain more creative control and ownership of Odyssey. YouTube imposes more rules but also moderates content.
- User experience: YouTube likely offers a smoother user experience while Odyssey involves more decentralization and blockchain complexity.
- Aligning with values: Odyssey appeals more to users who prioritize transparency, decentralization, and censorship resistance.
Do you think Odysee is a good YouTube alternative?
I started making the switch a while ago, and I must say, the function of syncing channels on Odysee is really good. However, I believe we need more creators to join and utilize this feature.
One downside I have noticed is that the speed and quality of Odysee is not always perfect. However, it is still fine enough for my needs.
On the other hand, I must mention that I find the platform to be cryptobloated and lacking in privacy-respecting features. It would be great if they could address these concerns.
Speaking of flaws, I have a couple of observations. Firstly, I don't think it's necessary for Odysee to be blockchain-based, and this aspect might actually deter some people from using it. Secondly, there is an issue with Odyssey being associated with far-right content. Although they have made efforts to remove it from the homepage, the "News & Politics" category still seems to be dominated by RT, conspiracy theorists, COVID-19 misinformation, and general far-right content. This can repulse users, and personally, I wouldn't want my content to be associated with such individuals.
To be honest, I don't think this platform is a viable alternative. It is heavily politically charged, and I've noticed that the website has over 8 trackers, most of them being from Google. This is quite strange for a company that aims to compete with Google.
In my opinion, it would be more practical to use a platform like Piped and be done with it. The content available on these independent platforms, such as LBRY/Odysee and PeerTube, is lacking in both quantity and quality. These platforms seem to lack proper planning and fail to meet public expectations.
They initially gained a following unexpectedly, and now they are struggling to gain publicity and become true competitors. Unfortunately, I don't believe these platforms will ever grow to a significant level. To truly compete with YouTube, they would need to address a few key points:
- Get rid of the federation immediately. Most users don't want to check multiple URLs or find specific instances. They simply want to see content from the creators they like, along with some trending content.
- Create a sustainable way for creators to earn money. These platforms currently lack relationships with advertisers and the financial means to support their creators. The funding model based on donations is inconsistent and unpredictable, making it unsustainable for these platforms to compete effectively.
- Attract existing audiences. People are unlikely to switch to a new platform if their favorite channels and content are not available. They value the convenience of having all their favorite content in one place, which is currently provided by YouTube.
It's clear to me that platforms like YouTube/Google have mastered the game naturally and brilliantly. They label alternative platforms as "far right" or "conspiracy," which serves their technocrat narrative perfectly. This allows YouTube/Google to claim superiority, highlighting their supposed benefits to society and emphasizing their censorship protocols as a means of protection. When channels with a "far right" or "conspiracy" narrative are canceled, they move to different platforms. These alternative platforms then get labeled as "far right," "neo-nazis," or "conspiracy platforms," all because of the content that YouTube itself moved there. As a result, these platforms struggle to gain users' trust and usage, ultimately benefiting YouTube.
I hope this revised narrative helps convey the perspective you were looking for. If you have any further requests or need additional assistance, please let me know. Have an amazing rest of your day!
In summary, while YouTube is the dominant force in video sharing, Odyssey does offer some intriguing benefits for creators seeking more decentralization, independence, and creative control. But it lacks the massive reach of YouTube currently. Each platform has its pros and cons.
For established creators with large followings, YouTube remains the more proven option. But for smaller creators looking for alternative monetization models outside the control of Big Tech, Odyssey presents some interesting opportunities.