How to build a website like YouTube?

Today YouTube is regularly used by more than 2 billion unique users per month. That makes Google $10 billion a year. Is there any chance to build a website that would be as successful? How to build a website like YouTube

What makes YouTube so successful?

The main reason for success was the business model, which was unique at the time. What does the user get?

  • No restrictions on publishing content in any resolution. 
  • Live streaming support. 
  • Unique recommendation technology using artificial intelligence. 
  • Streaming without buffering on various devices. 
  • Huge number of data centers for the fastest streaming worldwide. 

YouTube offers this for free to its users. No similar projects had existed before. Over the years, the platform has become a monopoly. 

What conclusions can be drawn from this before you build a website? The secret to success is in the business model. The service should be free for the average user. Monetization can not be imposed. That is, if you’re going to implement a project of the same scale, you must make it free. Otherwise, the user will have no reason to move from YouTube to you. 

Disadvantages of YouTube — use them to your advantage

Initially, the project was designed for users to post their content. But today you can find almost anything here. This has allowed the project to achieve tremendous reach. But if a startup focuses on a narrow niche and starts promoting to a target group, there is a chance to become more popular. 

Here are examples that have taken advantage of this disadvantage:

  • Netflix — movies and TV series;
  • Twitch — streaming;
  • Metacafe — short entertainment-type content;
  • — emphasis on various shows.

Content that is against ethics and the law. The company invests a huge amount of resources to combat such content. But the project has become so huge that the platform doesn’t physically have time to filter the entire stream. 

An inconvenient fact and copypaste. Representatives of the company have pointed out more than once that it is very difficult for them to fight an inconvenient fact. It’s hard to effectively control everything that’s published on the site. 

How can we use all this within our own project?

  • We focus on a particular niche and create a service that meets the needs of a particular target audience. A good example is sports, science, and education. You can also focus on promotion in a particular country. 
  • Developing technology that will allow an effective fight against illegal content and fakes. An alternative option is manual moderation. 
  • To build a website that will surpass YouTube, use the power of NFT and modern blockchain technology. They will allow you to uniquely identify content, preventing plagiarism and copypaste. 


YouTube has taken a dominant position due to its approach to monetization. The platform earns money from ads, paid content, and a newly integrated subscription system. Sometimes before a starts, or right in the middle, users are turned on to ads — short advertisements of up to 15 seconds. If the user has no desire to be distracted by advertising, he could pay for a subscription. Its cost differs depending on the region. 

Paid content. Recently, the service has been actively working on developing this area. An opportunity has appeared to buy the viewing of a movie, series or other content for money. The price depends on many factors and can vary significantly. 

If your ambitions are high and you are going to grow to the level of YouTube, you need competent monetization. But don’t forget that the main source of profit is advertising. Everything else is secondary. But keep in mind that over the years, users have developed an attachment to YouTube, and they’re ready to watch ads every 10 minutes. Creating a new project, be prepared for the fact that you can’t afford such a luxury. 

The best thing to do in the beginning is not to show ads and try to start monetizing your project as quickly as possible. This will give you the opportunity to draw the attention of many audiences. Once you have a steady audience, you can gradually start monetizing it. One obvious example is Telegram. 

Types of users

To build a website that will be successful in this market, three categories must be addressed:


They watch content. The more viewers, the higher the popularity and profitability of the platform. So you have to do everything to attract as many viewers as possible:

  • A large amount of quality content. 
  • Sophisticated interface and attractive design.
  • Unobtrusive advertising. 


All those who create and publish their content. Their efforts attract viewers, so you also need to think through comfortable conditions for this category. Otherwise, they will go to publish their product on YouTube. If you decide to build a website, remember that this category needs:

  • Content rewards from the platform.
  • Rewards from advertisers.
  • Viewers who buy paid videos. 


Let’s be honest. Advertisers are what you want to build a website for. It’s to monetize the viewer’s attention. But all they really care about is how many visitors you have. After all, every one of those visitors is a potential customer. Make a popular product, and advertisers will contact you. 

How do I build a website like YouTube? The development process

You have two paths you can take to make your vision come to life. 

  • Ready-made platform. There are many options to build a website, with minimal investment. In this case, the functionality and even the appearance will be about the same as that of YouTube. 
  • Full development. If you really have serious ambitions and you’re ready to conquer the world with your service, or at least the country — create your project from scratch. 

Obviously, you need to find a serious team of developers to implement such an ambitious project. Check the contractor’s portfolio, legal status, and technology stack. Without true professionals, it is impossible to achieve the heights that the world-famous platforms have achieved. This is the only way to bring ideas and concepts to life. 

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