Can VK Video replace YouTube: let's talk about the prospects

Can VK Video replace YouTube: let's talk about the prospects

Today YouTube — it is one of the most popular and widely sought after platforms containing a variety of video content. According to the latest statistics, at the end of last year there were over 50 million different channels on the site. Moreover, more than 70% of them are monetized using built-in advertising. But it makes no sense to talk about the number of visitors and this video hosting, because this number is already in the billions. Moreover, daily viewing averages about 3 hours per person. Such figures allow us to speak with confidence about the prospects of working with this platform for representatives of various business categories.

But recently, the platform has introduced a number of serious restrictions for Russian users, in particular, removing for them such an option as monetization using built-in advertising. Now hundreds of thousands, if not millions of content creators are left without additional income, and business representatives have lost a good platform for advertising their goods and services. Such restrictions forced specialists to look for a solution to the problem. So, experts are thinking about replacing foreign streaming with domestic ones. As a result, a large number of bloggers, programs and their channels moved exclusively to the VK Video platform.

Now let's talk about the problem itself and this video hosting in more detail. Let us highlight the main advantages and disadvantages of this platform. Let's get acquainted with how monetization is implemented in VK Video and what advertising opportunities are present here. Let us tell you which channels are in fairly high demand among the consumer audience today. This is the information that will allow you to evaluate the prospects of this video hosting, as well as understand whether it will become a full-fledged replacement for YouTube in Russia. Is it worth betting on it or is it better to look for other ways to work with foreign video hosting?

So what is the crux of the problem with YouTube?

Monetization for Russian bloggers was suspended by YouTube video hosting back in March 2022. Moreover, the platform began to delete not just content, but also entire channels belonging to Russian bloggers. As a result, content makers, who had been receiving good income for quite a long period of time, including from additional advertising, were literally left out of work. Their earnings levels have dropped sharply. And it’s quite natural that bloggers went to look for other places to make money.

Most influencers chose a platform like Rutube. In just one month, the number of users on this platform increased by a third. And everything would be fine if this video hosting site was ready for such an increase in audience. But, as practice has shown, there were serious difficulties with this. Users encountered a number of serious problems:

  • The interface is completely inconvenient to use. To understand how this site is structured, one had to spend a lot of time, and along with it nerves.
  • Search and recommendation algorithm that defies logic. Users simply could not find what they were looking for. The system produced recommendations that had nothing to do with the previously viewed content and, accordingly, the interests of the user audience.
  • Serious accessibility issues. The site often, let’s say, refused to work, and was repeatedly attacked by hackers.

This is all what made working with this service completely inconvenient. And both for the bloggers themselves and for the user audience. All this led to the fact that interest in Rutube gradually went down. The number of users is even lower than it was before YouTube was blocked. But the problem of finding a worthy alternative to the most popular video hosting for bloggers was still relevant.

Against this background, the VK Video platform has begun to develop quite actively on the Russian Internet market.

VK Video: what is it

In principle, VK Video existed even before people began to talk about it en masse and use it in practice. This is one of the sections of the VKontakte social network. In particular, he was responsible for the video content here and was called Videos. Video was added to a separate full-fledged media platform VK back in 2001, but it did not cause much excitement among the target audience, nor did it cause enthusiasm among influencers.

This site received a sharp impetus for development and transformation into a huge full-fledged video hosting after the blocking of YouTube in Russia, as well as a number of unsuccessful attempts by content makers to find a worthy replacement for foreign video hosting.

The VK Video platform developed quite quickly, literally daily replenished with a huge number of licensed films, TV series, and original programs. Users quickly appreciated the fairly simple and intuitive interface, the huge variety of built-in tools, including those that made it possible to analyze the effectiveness of a particular content. The “Recommendations” tool also received high marks.

All this led to the fact that a huge number of content makers gradually settled here. Here they got the opportunity not only to post ready-made material, but also to conduct live broadcasts. Moreover, both the first and the second are monetized. Also on this site there are broadcasts of Russian channels.

Talking about the fact that VK Video — this is a full-fledged replacement for YouTube video hosting, alas, it is not possible despite the fact that daily views on the site have already exceeded 2 billion. Millions of people visit the site every day. A good helper in the accelerated development of this video hosting was that VK Video was added to the menu of smart TVs from Samsung and LG as an additional application. It can also be downloaded on all devices running the Android TV operating system. Not long ago, this video hosting can now be downloaded to gadgets that run the iOS operating system.

Thanks to all these innovations and modifications, users have the opportunity to watch all kinds of films and videos directly through the application. In this case, no authorization is required. And this can be considered one of the more than significant advantages of VK Video.

But still, how can you understand whether this video hosting service can be a real competitor to YouTube? Will it be able to become a worthy replacement in Russia? To find the answer to this question, you need to understand what advantages this platform has in comparison with YouTube.

Advantages and disadvantages of VK Video over YouTube

Today, in Russia, VK Video positions itself as an alternative to YouTube video hosting. By and large, there is no other option here, since the prospect of using Rutube to work with video content failed miserably. But still, in order to understand what we are dealing with and assess the prospects, it is necessary to perform a detailed comparison of VK Video and YouTube according to such key parameters as:

  1. Content.
  2. Audience.
  3. Monetization.
  4. Analytics and advertising opportunities.
  5. Donations.

Let's take a closer look at each of these aspects.

How are things going with the content on VK Video?

At the beginning of our review, we already mentioned that at the end of last year, the number of registered channels on YouTube video hosting exceeded 50 million. Moreover, here bloggers are ready to come to the site completely free of charge, working for the future. You can find absolutely any content on YouTube:

  • Educational. These are all kinds of seminars, master classes, video lessons, both for children, teenagers, and adult audiences.
  • Entertaining. These are different films, programs, shows. The directions here can be completely different, ranging from humorous to popular science. This means that absolutely everyone will be able to easily select the videos that will be most useful for each of you.
  • Expert. This includes all materials that provide the user audience with truly useful information and demonstrate the expertise of specialists in a particular industry. Here, everyone who works with e-commerce projects and not only will learn a lot of valuable data.

That is, it doesn’t matter whether you want to learn how to soft-boil eggs or delve into the theory of creating artificial intelligence and evaluate its prospects in the foreseeable future, you will definitely find the corresponding videos, and far from the only option.

What can be said in terms of content about the VK Video platform? The fact that there is much less content here. But this is understandable in principle, because we are talking about a platform that is not global. It's local. That is, the videos here are not particularly diverse, and the likelihood that in response to your request you will receive a suitable answer, not to mention its expertise, is not particularly high.

But if you look at the future, then, in principle, you can try to make the forecasts more rosy. The fact is that recently the number of bloggers here has been increasing. The video hosting site resorted to a trick, dragging opinion leaders from YouTube to their pages for money. In addition, VK Video began to work with today’s fairly well-known Russian media groups and production studios, replenishing its bins with useful, interesting and varied content. But here the question is different: will his site have enough money to continue working at a similar pace in the future? Alas, the likelihood of an affirmative answer here is not particularly high. In addition, not every opinion leader who has spent a lot of time and effort literally from scratch achieving his goal on YouTube, getting a loyal and large audience, will agree to give up everything and move from the world's most famous foreign video hosting site to the Russian site VK Video .

What about the audience on VK Video?

Today, the YouTube video hosting audience numbers 2.5 billion active users in one month. Despite the fact that this site as such is prohibited in Russia, users still find ways to actively use it. Thus, according to the latest data, over 52 million people from Russia watch content on YouTube.

In terms of the number of daily audiences, VK Video is not much inferior to its foreign counterpart. Almost 50 million users find content on this site. And this is due not so much to the presence of this very content, but to the fact that VK Video is based on the most popular social network in Russia, in particular, VKontakte.

That is, in terms of the number of users daily viewing content on these sites, they are approximately equal to each other. But this aspect can hardly be called decisive when choosing a video hosting service. Also, from it you cannot clearly say that VK Video — it is a YouTube competitor. Once again, let us draw your attention to the fact that we are talking directly about users from Russia. If we compare these platforms on a global scale, then VK Video will be very, very behind. In addition, it should be understood that such a parameter as the video hosting audience is directly related to the content: the more interesting material is freely available, the higher the level of consumer satisfaction will be and, accordingly, their number will grow. But with this parameter the domestic site is not doing very well yet.

What can we say about monetization?

Looking ahead a little, we note that this is the only indicator where VK Video wins over YouTube. But again, the whole point is that monetization for Russian bloggers on the international platform is currently prohibited. That is, even if you earn 1 ruble by monetizing on VK Video, you can already talk about winning the domestic platform over the foreign one.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that many Russian bloggers today use workarounds in order to still work with an international audience. Thus, there are frequent cases when a foreign account is created and content is duplicated on it, but in English. Also, many bloggers from Russia initially focus on a foreign audience, without releasing Russian-language material at all. And here monetization works, although a number of difficulties arise with the withdrawal of funds. But here too people find solutions. That is, there is no need to say that Russian bloggers have completely lost their income from YouTube.

What about monetization in VK Video? Let us immediately note that this option will be available exclusively to those channels and communities that have managed to collect over 5,000 subscribers. It all works the same way as on YouTube. That is, a blogger creates content and publishes it in his or some other community. This video contains advertising from one of the partners of the VKontakte social network. A reward is provided for its placement. It’s very convenient that advertising will be added automatically immediately after you connect to the corresponding program.

It is noteworthy that there are no restrictions on income. That is, there is no ceiling established by the site. But still, the level of profit directly depends on how many videos you launched and what quality they are. It is also necessary to take into account the audience they reached and the level of involvement, which is reflected in the number of views of a particular video. Also, in order to get a good profit, it is important to guess the subject of the content, as well as the volume of advertising placed. In some cases, it may happen that even the most interesting content will not attract the audience if it is literally filled with annoying advertising.

That is, for bloggers working with video hosting, it is important to find the ideal balance between the level of income and the convenience of viewing content for the user audience: these are inversely proportional parameters, at least in terms of the amount of advertising per video.

How does analytics work in VK Video and what advertising opportunities are there?

Those who once worked with YouTube video hosting probably know that to check the effectiveness of launched advertising campaigns on this site, the service Google Ads. But today it, as well as YouTube video hosting itself, is blocked for Russian users. This means that modern bloggers and Internet marketers do not have special advertising tools at their disposal.

If we talk about the Russian platform VK Video, here you can increase content viewing and, accordingly, reach the target audience using built-in targeted advertising. There are many additional filters here that allow you to customize impressions based on the age, gender, location of the user audience, and its interests.

How are things going with donations?

The support system for content creators is used today by many platforms, including YouTube, VK Video. If we talk directly about YouTube, then this is implemented here using systems such as Super Chat and Super Stickers. With their help, content viewers can, depending on their own wishes, send a certain amount of money to content makers directly through chat in real time, including during live broadcasts and premiere presentations.

On the VK Video site, donations are implemented somewhat differently. It has its own reward system for authors who create unique content on the VKontakte social network. In this case, it is provided that users can deposit certain amounts of money both monthly and one-time. In gratitude for this, the blogger shares with them materials that are published specifically for them. That is, you distribute donations – you get unique original content, no – use public videos.

To connect to the donation system, you must have your own channel or an open or closed community. It is also imperative to comply with the rules in force at the site at a given time.

The built-in monetization tool VK Donut is responsible for this. Here you can see statistical data for all the donations that were made by users of the site. Thus, over the last 3 months of 2023, bloggers working on video hosting VK Video earned almost 170 million rubles. This figure was 3 times higher than the same figure for the previous year. Also, in parallel with this, the number of communities that connected the monetization tool increased by almost 70%. The number of people who encourage their favorite content creators through VK Donut has doubled.

That is, this information allows us to confidently say that the VK Video platform is gradually gaining its audience and developing, allowing bloggers to earn money.

The most popular VK Video channels

Video hosting VK Video is really actively developing. Its creators are committed to providing their viewers with truly unique digital video content, attracting as many of the target audience as possible. Thus, one of the most large-scale acquisitions of this platform was the purchase of 51% of the shares of the limited liability company Medium Quality Production. At that time, this company was the leading Russian leader in the production of various video content, including quite popular shows. This step allowed the site to gain exclusivity over the content provided, attracting a new audience.

So, if you analyze the channels that are currently presented on the video hosting VK Video, then it is worth highlighting 4 main platforms:

  1. Importcom project.
  2. Easycom Project.
  3. Project Azamat Musagaliev.
  4. Project Site+.

Let's look at each option in more detail.

Importcom project.

This group regularly airs 4 shows:

  1. «Loud question». This show was originally presented on YouTube. 2 years ago, each episode averaged about 5.5 million views, while last year the audience dropped to 3 million. Initially, the show’s transition to VK Video sharply dropped views. Thus, during the first 10 months from the moment of such a transition, each episode attracted no more than 30,000 viewers. But in the last six months the situation has changed, the audience began to catch up. Today, every episode of the show “Loud Question” viewed by about 4 million people.
  2. «Story Show». This show was also originally presented on YouTube and averaged about 5.5 million views. Today, on the VK Video platform, each episode is viewed by slightly more than 2 million people.
  3. «Table Time». This is a show that was initially launched on VK Video, and only then it began to be uploaded to YouTube. The first season was in fairly high demand among the user audience, attracting an average of up to 4 million viewers, while viewer interest in season 2 decreased by approximately 2 times.
  4. «CHDKI». This is the project in the Importcom group, which was originally launched on VK Video. That is, you won’t be able to compare the number of views with YouTube here. The only thing we can answer is that each episode of a new show attracts an average of about 4 million people.

The approximate income of this site for the year was about $90,000.

Easycom Project

It was originally a YouTube channel that provided audiences with shows such as “Natal Chart”, “Women’s Forum”. Today, each of these shows is separated into separate communities. Subsequently, in the same format, they were transferred to the VK Video platform, where they are in fairly high demand among the user audience. So, for example, the same “Women’s Forum” before moving to the domestic platform, it received an average of 2.5 million views, while now it is watched by over 3.5 million people.

The approximate earnings of the Easycom project for the year amounted to $65,000.

Project Azamat Musagaliev

This project provides the user audience with all kinds of humorous shows. Previously, they were posted on YouTube video hosting directly by Azamat Musagaliev himself on his own channel. It is impossible to say reliably on which platform the audience’s interest in these shows is higher, since after its transition to VK Video, YouTube deleted the starting episodes of the show, while the rest averaged about 3.3 million views. On VK Video today, shows from this channel collect a little over 2 million views.

The Azamat Musagaliev project earned more than $100,000 in a year.

Project Site+

We would like to immediately draw your attention to the fact that today there are 2 separate projects presented on the Internet: Platform and Platform+. The first is still exclusively released on YouTube video hosting. The range of shows produced here has decreased significantly. Now the channel is completely dedicated to football topics and all shows related to matches, tournaments, and players are published on it. But Platform+ has become an exclusive project of VK Video, offering the user audience a fairly wide variety of shows on different topics.

If we compare one of Zashkvara’s previously most popular shows, then on YouTube it received an average of 1.6 million views, but now on VK Video it is watched by 1.4 million viewers.

The site earns a little over $50,000 per year.

To summarize

If we analyze the above statistics, it becomes clear that the number of viewers watching the same shows on VK Video is still inferior to views on YouTube. But still, these figures allow us to judge that the audience is quite loyal to the new domestic project and is ready to support it, including financially. But, to tell the truth, VK Video still needs to carry out a lot of improvements in order for the platform to become more convenient to use for the user audience and make it easy to customize recommendations for yourself. This is what will ensure that interest is maintained at a fairly high level and, accordingly — comprehensive and successful development.

It is not yet possible to say unequivocally that VK Video has every chance of becoming a worthy replacement for YouTube. Here it is necessary to proceed from how much the domestic platform will develop, what it will be able to offer to bloggers, advertisers, and user audiences.

But what can be said reliably today is that the Russian viewer is not yet ready to completely abandon YouTube and replace it with any other video hosting sites, including VK Video. If you also consider yourself to be in this category, then all that remains is to bypass regional restrictions. Thus, to obtain stable access to a foreign site, mobile proxies are actively used. With their help, users will be able to view both Russian and foreign content without any restrictions or risks of being blocked. Actively mobile proxies are also used by influencers to work with their channels.

The only thing we would like to draw your attention to is that only reliable and time-tested mobile proxies can ensure stable work with YouTube. And one of the best solutions in this market segment today — These are servers offered by the MobileProxy.Space service. Follow the link to learn more about the functionality and current updates. today tariffs. You can easily connect them to your work, thereby continuing to enjoy your favorite content without any restrictions until VK Video gains full power and becomes a worthy alternative to YouTube.

In addition, there will be a 24-hour technical support service at your service, which will help with making settings and maintaining stability of work with mobile proxies and YouTube video hosting, in particular.

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