There’s little doubt that YouTube is one of the best video sites in the world. And the most popular YouTube videos have racked up billions of views.
But what if YouTube happens to be inaccessible? Or you simply want more options for viewing videos online? What alternative video sites are there?
These days, video is such a huge part of the online experience that there are many options available. Here are some great alternatives to YouTube, although the “better than” is obviously open to debate.
Even if you visit YouTube on a regular basis, it’s worth adding Vimeo to your regular rotation of video sites. The site was the first on the web to support high-definition videos, and while it does include a selection of user-generated fare, its emphasis is more on high-quality content.
Among other things, Vimeo features a number of well-known movies and TV series, such as E!’s The Royals, Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State, and Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.
The site also has an easy-to-browse search feature that organizes videos by category and channel. Not sure what to watch? A regularly updated selection of Vimeo staff picks can help point you in the right direction.
Metacafe is a video site that specializes in short-form video content. This includes everything from highlights of the world’s best surfers, quick and to-the-point product reviews, and tips on how to complete a difficult level on your favorite video game.
One of Metacafe’s strengths is its simplicity. Its browsing interface is fairly straightforward, with a menu bar that links to “latest,” “popular,” and “trending” videos. Those who want to take a deeper dive can click the drop-down menu on the left, which features a more extensive list of 16 video categories.
Originating from Israeli startup Qlipso, Veoh describes itself as an internet TV company. The site boasts millions of videos, most of them professionally produced.
Veoh features a wide range of TV content, including full episodes and clips from shows including NCIS, Two and a Half Men, The Price Is Right, and The Young and the Restless. It also has videos from classic series, such as Family Ties, Melrose Place, and the original Beverly Hills 90210.
In addition to TV clips, Veoh has lots of music content across a wide range of genres. It also has a movie section that includes some full-length features, as well as memorable clips from a large number of films.
As its name suggests, The Internet Archive is a web-based library of all sorts of free content, including books, music, software, and, of course, movies.
Just as you might associate a physical library with doing research, one of the strengths of The Internet Archive’s video content is its vast collection of historical content. While it does also have some newer content, some of its best videos are older and obscure news reports, TV series, and movies that are typically harder to find on other sites.
Like many other sites, users can also upload videos to The Internet Archive. When uploading videos, H.264 is the common video coding format used.
Owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, think of Crackle as a sort of online TV channel that features both original shows for the web, as well as Hollywood movies and TV shows from various networks.
Some of Crackle’s original content has earned critical acclaim, including the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee starring Jerry Seinfeld. It also has a good selection of TV shows from the past, such as All in the Family, 227, Firefly, Mad About You, and News Radio.
In addition, the site is good for checking out older movies you may have missed, such as Night of the Living Dead, Animal House, Paranormal Activity, and Rudy.
While many selections on this list feature a variety of TV series or movies, Screen Junkies specializes in original content that covers TV series and movies. Most of the site’s shows are comedic in nature. For example, in Honest Trailers, comedians voice their own versions of previews for various TV shows and movies.
Another good show available on Screen Junkies is TV Fights, in which self-proclaimed “TV nerds” argue about various topics, such as “What was the worst sitcom of the ’90s?”
Visitors can watch a handful of videos on Screen Junkies for free, but a full premium subscription costs $4.99/month, or 15 months for the upfront price of 12 ($59).
Many of you may only know of MySpace as the mid-2000s social networking site that turned out to be a precursor to Facebook. The site is still around, and these days it’s putting a stronger emphasis on video.
Many of the videos on MySpace are interview-based and feature celebrities in situations you might not always see them in. For example, in the series Getting Nailed, various celebrities are interviewed while getting their nails done at a salon.
There are many other similarly themed interview videos on the site, many of which feature musical acts or action sports stars. For example, there’s The Pedicab Interviews: Dillon Francis, The Chairlift Interviews: Shaun Francis, and OK Go: The Ferris Wheel Interviews.
The Open Video Project has been developed at the Interaction Design Laboratory at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. The site is targeted toward the research community, including those who work with multimedia retrieval and digital libraries.
With that in mind, most of the videos found on The Open Video Project are educational in nature. There are many videos from the archives of NASA, as well as a collection of classic TV commercials and educational films dating back to the 1950s. If you’re looking to research historical video content, give The Open Video Project a shot.
Think of 9GAG as a collection of all things fun and goofy: funny photos, GIFs, gaming videos, memes, anime, and the like. In fact, the site’s tagline is, “Go fun yourself”.
Most of the content is fun and frivolous. Video titles include things such as “A Compilation of the best Commercials Starred by the Star Wars Crew,” or “This High School Love Story Will Warm Your Heart and Then Break It Before You Know What Happened.”
It’s the type of stuff that’s hard not to click on and then spend hours browsing. Before visiting, be warned: the site contains a number of videos that are somewhat risqué and may not be safe for work.
If you’re not yet familiar with TED, now is the time to get acquainted. The TED website features more than 2,300 talks covering a vast swathe of topics, such as technology, business, design, science, and global issues.
Some of the talks are funny, and some are emotional. Some talks are meant to explain how your brain works, while others are there mainly for entertainment. The one constant with all the TED videos, however, is that you’re likely to take something memorable out of each one.
The TED website is particularly handy if you’re squeezed for time. Videos that appear on the menu are tagged with an easy-to-see red bar if they’re shorter than six minutes.
What’s Your Favorite YouTube Alternative?
YouTube is the top video website for a number of reasons, including its huge selection of videos and association with Google.
Still, the video hosting sites listed above are at least worth checking out, and there’s no doubt more of them are out there just waiting to be discovered. We also recommend the decentralized DTube platform as a YouTube alternative.
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