Looks like Instagram’s newly launched video platform IGTV is putting some serious heat on YouTube — and introducing serious competition for top creators.
IGTV is an open platform that allows anyone to post a video up to an hour in length. The new Instagram video platform is backed by Facebook, giving it near unlimited funds to grow its user base as a competing service to YouTube.
All of which is putting a lot of pressure on the video giant backed by Google.
YouTube now appears to be taking the threat of a new platform seriously. Rumors suggest that the company is offering its popular creators six and seven figure sums to stay where they are, instead of jumping ship.
Already, Business Insider is reporting that Lilly Singh was the recipient of one such offer, even though a spokesperson for the company has denied that they are offering such deals to content creators.
Of course, this is likely to spark some interesting questions within the music business. After all, we’ve got our superstars, too. So what will YouTube pay for exclusive video content from top artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, Selena Gomez, and Post Malone? Not to mention hundreds — if not thousands — of other artists with serious online followings?
And that’s just scratching the service, with entire labels potentially striking deals with YouTube — or, bolting to IGTV if terms aren’t met. Suddenly, there’s a whole new layer of leverage, and an industry with lots of motivation to use it.
This wouldn’t be the first time that YouTube has offered incentives to famous creators, either.
Back in 2014, tech sites began reporting that similar offers were extended to content creators to prevent them from jumping ship to the newly launched Vessel platform.
Vessel attempted to attract content creators with multi-million dollar deals if they would support the platform. But most opted to stay with their audience on YouTube.
Ultimately, Vessel shut down after Verizon acquired it in 2016, but Google now faces a formidable foe in Facebook. Facebook has long been serious about launching a competing video platform, due to the success of video content available on the social network.
But Facebook’s cash can only buy so much — and YouTube has a decade’s head start. Currently, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so Instagram and IGTV have a very steep hill to climb to claim dominance in the online video niche.