By Ryan McLelland

Upon launching (originally I immediately signed up for several platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vidme. Out of all the services, Vidme was the newest and a direct rival to YouTube. Maybe direct is the wrong word. YouTube is like a $300 million blockbuster film and Vidme is like a $5 million indie flick. You can get massive enjoyment out of both, but Vidme was definitely the new kid on the block.

I had no clue if I was ever going to upload videos to either platform but eventually I started uploading old celebrity interviews I’ve done through the years, some Let’s Plays, and eventually started trying to create some reviews for comics and films. The 2G1 site takes up a bunch of time so creating videos is something that doesn’t happen more than once to twice a week, if that. But I enjoy making them which is why I continue to do so.

My videos on Vidme and YouTube were only slightly different at first but soon were just the same videos uploaded to both sites. Both 2G1’s YouTube and Vidme channels aren’t the most popular in the world and some videos struggle to even get a dozen viewers. What do I expect? Not much especially since I’m doing the same old Let’s Plays that everyone else is already doing. But I did notice that some videos would break out over at YouTube. They’d start generating hundreds if not thousands of views. It was quite random but would happen. At Vidme? The same videos were largely ignored.

Still I stuck with Vidme because I liked them. They seemed really cool. They were different. They wanted to break away from that YouTube model and try to do something different for those creators who were ignored over at YouTube. But Vidme, like Vine and Vessel before them, found it difficult to overcome the huge shadow cast by YouTube. Let’s face it. YouTube is a giant. Vidme points out in their blog announcing the shutdown, “Videos are often massive files, and making them globally available at any time is expensive. YouTube sold to Google (just 18 months after launching) partly because of YouTube’s high burn rate, and to this day is still likely operating at a loss.”

At a loss? That is something considering the massive amount of advertising going through YouTube and the payouts the big YouTubers receive. Tiny YouTubers like me make a very small profit and sometimes have videos flagged through no reason other than an algorithm. A bigger site can get these videos looked at right away and get the flag taken off. Smaller sites simply lose revenue because of the algorithm. None of this happened with Vidme as far as I know, though I made no money through Vidme. This doesn’t matter as I don’t post videos on Vidme (or YouTube) to make money. I do it for fun. But for those who do want to try to make a career out of it, the cards can be stacked against them quite easily.

Vidme will suspend the site and their apps on December 15, 2017. “Many creators with millions of subscribers on YouTube and Facebook were initially attracted to Vidme’s model,” said Vidme co-founder Warren Shaeffer in the blogpost announcing the shutdown. “But faced difficulty transitioning audiences from their home platforms. Convincing people to use (and keep using) a new platform is hard, leaving many creators locked in. Both Facebook and YouTube also actively deprecate content shared from competing platforms. Vidme’s social traffic dropped markedly once Facebook began to prioritize its native player).”

The post continued saying that without the huge audience staying the new channels couldn’t grow. No growth, no abundance of content from creators. No content, no audience. No audience and there’s a struggling in advertising. Tack on how finicky advertisers are these days about their advertising connected to this content (thanks PewDiePie and JonTron) and politics just get hellacious.

Shaeffer also noted about the future, “We’re excited and eager to apply what we’ve learned to our new product, which we’ll be announcing next year. In the meantime, we’re talking with some creator-focused companies that might incorporate our technology and revive Vidme in some new form in the future.”

So it doesn’t sound like the company is down for the count and some sort of new service will be coming in the future. I guess that’s good though I’m sure everyone over at Vidme is disappointed that Vidme itself didn’t catch on. I know there were many YouTubers who ventured over to Vidme and would discuss Vidme on their social media sites. I absolutely did notice that this stopped after a few months. I’m not sure if it is because the YouTubers just assumed that viewers were logging into either site to watch their videos or if they just saw Vidme as a passing fad.

The 2G1 Vidme had just about 3 dozen subscribers and the videos not nearly watched as often as the ones over on the 2G1 YouTube. I will say that not much effort is put in to push the videos because I’m busy writing content for the 2G1 site – with the only push for those videos being on Twitter posts and the postings on the 2G1 site itself. While I do find that more people come to the site for reviews then videos, one video can always bring a massive amount of traffic to the site. This happened from YouTube. Never from Vidme.

But I’m an underdog kind of guy and truly hoped that Vidme would be here in the weeks, months, and years to come. I’m very sad to see it go. As content can no longer be uploaded, 2G1’s last video was published just yesterday on 12/1/17: – it was a fun little Let’s Badly Play where I played the arcade version of Rygar. It’s going to be weird to be in a world where Vidme doesn’t exist. For as long as 2G1 has operated there’s been a Vidme. Now, in a few days, they’ll be gone.

I hope the best for everyone over at Vidme and truly hope there’s bigger and better things for the staff. Here’s hoping that their next product is even bigger and better than Vidme.

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