YouTube, “a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience”, has spawned a lot of competitors. There are 173 online video plays, including 85 that host and share videos, according to Om Malik’s “The coming Web video shakeout.”
Malik traces the challenges of copyright infringement, infrastructure costs and under monetization in support of his projected shakeout in the video sharing landscape.
An additional issue to be addressed is the negative “social freeloader” impact. As I present in my “Social freeloaders: Is there a collective wisdom and can the Web obtain it?”:
Wikipedia’s “small core community” that does the vast majority of the work reflects the extremely low ratio of contributing users to non-contributing users throughout the new social Web that relies on user contributions for its content.
In YouTube’s case, the average user is watching the content, not generating it for while YouTube is now serving “50 million videos per day to six million unique users daily, only 50,000 videos are being uploaded per day”; the ratio of uploaded videos to watched videos is less than 1%.