Can Yahoo Screen become a serious YouTube competitor?

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 9, 2015
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Music and Video, Yahoo

YouTube is not the only online platform on which Internet users can upload, share and watch videos but it is without doubt the most popular one.

While that is the case, there is a growing number of users and content producers who dislike YouTube or some of its features but stick with it because of a lack of alternatives.

Dailymotion and Vimeo, two other video services, never managed to grow substantially to get close to YouTube's level of traffic.

Things may change in 2015 however as several companies are preparing to improve their video offerings.

Facebook for one acquired QuickFire Networks recently and its video bandwidth optimization technology. The company delivered more than 1 billion video views per day in the second half of 2014 according to a Wired report and expects that figure to rise even further.

While that is the case, videos uploaded to Facebook are often limited to a certain group of users only. Plus, there is no Facebook Videos portal available that works similar to YouTube or other video services.

Yahoo on the other hand has big plans for its Yahoo! Screen video service. The service, started in 2006, is one of the many company products that most Internet users have probably never heard of.

Yahoo started to get serious about promoting the video service back in mid-2014 when it announced that it would offer free live concerts on the site for a year featuring acts such as Kiss, Justin Timberlake or Usher.

But that is just part of the company's strategy. Last month, it finalized the acquisition of Brightroll, a video advertising platform for $640 million US Dollars.

Yahoo has also been in talks with high-profile networks and video creators on YouTube to get them to switch to the company's own video service. Incentives that it offers include better ad-rates and extensive marketing on the company's own network including the Yahoo homepage.

Unlike YouTube, Yahoo! Screen is limiting video uploads to its service meaning that only select content producers can upload videos to the service while the majority of users can't.

While concentration on high quality content may make sense for Yahoo, it is also a limiting factor as it prevents the majority of YouTube video uploaders from moving to the platform if they wanted to.

With that said, Yahoo may change that in the future. Since video advertising is growing on Tumblr, Yahoo could consider opening its platform on Tumblr first so that videos from the company's own service are published on the site and not embedded from third-party video sites.

Yahoo! Screen will certainly grow in 2015 because of Yahoo's efforts to bring networks and publishers to the platform but it seems unlikely that it will come close to YouTube traffic levels in 2015.

Now You: Do you think that we will see the rise of a YouTube competitor in 2015?

Can Yahoo Screen become a serious YouTube competitor?
Article Name
Can Yahoo Screen become a serious YouTube competitor?
Yahoo plans to become a serious contender in the video hosting and watching niche with Yahoo! Screen.

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  1. All Things Firefox said on January 11, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I don’t think that Yahoo video will be overthrowing YouTube any time soon, but I do hope it becomes a legitimate competitor. I am tired of having to watch videos on a Google service.

  2. Oxa said on January 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    It’s a little unclear as to what Yahoo Screen is supposed to be. Is it supposed to challenge YouTube, or with its limited special edition videos, Netflix and Hulu? Its audience targeting doesn’t seem well thought out.

  3. Matt said on January 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It appears that Yahoo’s content restriction is worse than Youtubes. Also, the community uploading videos willy nilly is what made Youtube so popular in the first place. By Yahoo having their service closed off, they’re essentially shooting themselves in the foot with this whole ambition. I hate Youtube and would love nothing more than to have a competitor that drives people away from Youtube. Unfortunately, Yahoo Screen doesn’t look like they will be the ones to do it.

  4. Ray said on January 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I tried it and could not even play any Vevo videos due to content restriction. I can do so on the normal youtube. Well, it seems that Yahoo is sticking to restrictive geo rules – you lose consumers. Until it changes this, Yahoo Screen does not impress me.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      I long ago decided to boycott companies that geo-restrict offerings that I’m interested in as good as I can. When they launch in my country, I simply ignore them not only because of that but also because the service they provide is usually far worse than what you get when you live in the US.

      1. Tom Hawack said on January 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm

        I entirely agree on the idea of living up one’s ideal, filling up the will with the adequate behavior. Unfortunately nowadays many, many users, whatever domain, area, trend to remember “Together we can” and forget “Together we won’t”.

        Nothing to do with a subversive attitude, but with dignity. Period. Many beautiful things on this Earth, many wonders. But also lesser nice, and when we disagree let us say so and behave accordingly.

        I cannot stand country restrictions as well. Feds me up. This is why, if I care for videos it remains linked to a particular subject which exists without the video, which is the source of the story. Do, videos, ok, but with parsimony. Let’s not forget written press, books, literature, arts and painting, poetry, conversations among friends with a simple guitar around a camp fire, with another tempo, another mood, cool, authentic.

        Sorry, I forgot to stop :)

  5. G5567 said on January 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    You forgot to throw Twitter’s upcoming video service (but it’s too early to compare it to either YouTube or Yahoo! Screen) into the discussion presented in this article.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

      I’m looking forward to this but assume that it will be more like Facebook Video than YouTube,

  6. Tom Hawack said on January 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Well, I’ve just discovered Yahoo! Screen thanks to this article!

    Up to now I’d mainly refer to YouTube of course, Dailymotion and Vimeo. More alternatives there are better it is.
    I’m not a video aficionado and if I call upon Youtube quasi systematically when searching for a video its only because I’m more likely to find it there in consideration of the incredible volume of data the site provides, and the quality, that of streaming as well.

    Yahoo Screen runs fine here. I’m bound to “investigate” the site, to discover what hides behind a rather nice showcase.

  7. vux777 said on January 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

    probably another advantage of that restrictive uploading policy is avoiding mess with copyright, lawsuits etc…

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 9, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Good point even though they will still receive takedown requests even though on a much smaller scale.

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