YouTube is like the Walmart of video, argued venture capitalist Mark Suster Thursday at the VidCon conference, explaining that the Google company is so dominant that video creators essentially have no choice but to build a brand on the platform.
But given the 45 percent cut of revenue that YouTube takes, there is a desire within the industry to have other options, said Suster, who was an early investor in the YouTube network Maker Studios. (He is currently a partner at the firm Upfront Ventures.)
So who could possibly rise up to compete?
The focus on Yahoo, Facebook and even Netflix is misplaced, he said, adding, "The biggest threat to YouTube is Amazon—because Amazon is the true Walmart of online businesses."
Amazon can certainly compete with YouTube in the realm of Web hosting and even in areas like audience development and online sales, Suster said, claiming he has had conversations on the topic with executives at Amazon just short of the CEO level.
"They get it—they just have other priorities right now," he said.
The urge to diversify outside the YouTube universe was evident during a panel focusing on video platforms. But as StyleHaul CEO Stephanie Horbaczewski asked during that chat: Where else is there to go?
"YouTube is a video social networking platform," she said. "There is no other video social networking platform."