SWOT analysis of YouTube

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SWOT analysis of YouTube

This detailed SWOT analysis of YouTube aims to provide the readers with a comprehensive insight into the strengths and the weaknesses of YouTube. It also aims to examine the opportunities the company should explore and the threats it needs to keep an eye on. YouTube is the largest video-sharing website in the world, headquartered in California, the USA.

Strengths of YouTube

YouTube was originally developed by three former employees of PayPal – Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley. The trio’s understanding and experience of the industry have been very fundamental to the development of the site. Indeed, Jawed Karim uploaded the 1st ever video to the site.

YouTube is owned by another tech giant and household name Google (Alphabet). Google took over YouTube in November 2006 with a massive $1.65 billion. Google’s involvement has taken YouTube to such a stage of height which is absolutely unmatched and highly unlikely to be defeated by any competitor any time soon.

YouTube is the 2nd highest ranked website in the world (Alexa Internet, 2021). Approximately 1.8 million sites link to YouTube. It is worth mentioning that YouTube’s parent company Google is No. 1 in global Internet engagement.

The mission of YouTube is to give everyone a voice and to show them the world (YouTube, 2021). Well, more than 2 billion people around the world already use YouTube. Few years back, YouTubers used to watch approximately 6 billion hours of videos every month and upload 300 hours of videos every minute (Maloney, 2017). According to some sources, they currently watch around 5 billion videos every day. It is amazing that approximately 1000 videos are uploaded by the time someone finishes watching one video on YouTube.

YouTube’s net advertising revenues in the USA were estimated to reach $4.34 billion dollars in 2020 (Gutmann, 2020). Its global revenue is expected to be few times higher than that generated in the USA. The prospect for further revenue generation is ever growing as millions of professional YouTubers are incessantly uploading videos on it.

Weaknesses of YouTube

The next issue to discuss in the ‘SWOT analysis of YouTube’ is YouTube’s weaknesses. YouTube has been criticised over the years by activists and national governments for failing to monitor its contents appropriately. Many videos have been criticised for containing provocative, violent, and depressing contents. Likewise, bigotry, hatred, and propaganda are the common themes of many videos available on YouTube.

As YouTube is a public platform, anyone can upload and watch videos without any substantial barriers. This may lead to copyright challenges. With billions of users and videos in action, YouTube has indeed become a hotbed for copyright infringements. In addition, YouTube adverts are often very intrusive as well.

Opportunities for YouTube

The use of the Internet and Smartphones is on constant rise around the world. The vast majority (if not all!) of the Smartphone users install YouTube on their phones. This clearly shows that the use of YouTube is highly likely to continue to increase in the future. Similarly, more and more people are developing and sharing their contents on YouTube. In fact, videos have largely overtaken written blog contents.

Threats to YouTube

Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of YouTube. YouTube faces genuine competition from a good number of competitors. The main competitors of YouTube are Facebook, Vessel, Vimeo, Flickr, Dailmotion, Metacafe, Photobucket, Veoh, Bit.tube, Snapchat, Netflix, Twitter, BuzzFeed and Vice. All of these platforms now have their own compelling video offerings.

Apart from the competitors mentioned above, legal challenges may also turn out to be costly for YouTube. For instance, it was fined a record $170 million in 2019 by a US regulator for violating children’s privacy laws (BBC, 2019).

We hope the article ‘SWOT analysis of YouTube’ has been helpful. You may also like reading Marketing mix of YouTube and Competitors of YouTube (Competitor analysis of YouTube). Other relevant articles for you are:

SWOT analysis of Google

SWOT analysis of Netflix

SWOT analysis of Facebook

SWOT analysis of Apple

Marketing Mix of Amazon

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Last update: 11 January 2021


Alexa Internet (2021) youtube.com Competitive Analysis, Marketing Mix and Traffic, available at: https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/youtube.com (accessed 11 January 2021)

BBC (2019) YouTube fined $170m in US over children’s privacy violation, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49578971 (accessed 11 January 2021)

Maloney, K. (2017) 7 Astonishing Facts About YouTube That You’ve Never Heard, available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-astonishing-facts-about_b_14630278?  (accessed 10 January 2021)

Gutmann, A (2020) Net advertising revenues of YouTube in the United States from 2016 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars), available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/289660/youtube-us-net-advertising-revenues/ (accessed 11 January 2021)

YouTube (2021) About us, available at: https://www.youtube.com/intl/en-GB/yt/about/ (accessed 11 January 2021)

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.