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Tumblr pressing play on video improvements won’t worry YouTube

The media networking and blogging site Tumblr have made some upgrades to their native video-player in a bid to boost revenue and keep up with their rivals. There is speculation however that Yahoo! plans to use its acquired blogging site to rival YouTube’s iron grip on the video streaming market. If this is indeed a secret ambition it is surely doomed to failure.

Yahoo! bought Tumblr for $1.1bn in 2013, its revenue was $13m, now Yahoo! CEO Marrisa Mayer has announced Tumblr is expected to hit $100m from advertising revenue in 2015. The number of unique visitors is also up, 420 million from 300 at the time of the acquisition. Although these figures clearly demonstrate strong growth is possible it’s still far off YouTube. According to YouTube’s own statistics the site has 1 billion unique visitors per month and 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute. YouTube’s revenue stands at $5.6bn from last year. The marked differences don’t stop there. Tumblr have a video upload limit of 100MB per day, but there is no daily limit of video uploads on YouTube, except for the 2GB limit for each video posted, but this can be increased. Traditionally most videos present on Tumblr have been from YouTube and Vimeo, embedded into the site. If Tumblr were to be a serious challenger to the video streaming giant it would have to remove this feature. This isn’t ideal, as it would cause upset to the users who employ Tumblr as an outlet for their YouTube videos.

At present Tumblr video is really competing with Instragram and Vine videos, which seems to be the main driving force for improving their offering. Tumblr’s video now boasts a pop-out video player that can be viewed whilst scanning through the dashboard, Video auto-play and video looping. This has led Tumblr to launch a new program to show video advertisements from big brands such as Universal and Lexus, which will go a long way to helping the blogging site reach their revenue goals.

It’s hard to tell how Tumblr will develop in the future; it would have to radically transform to even have a chance at questioning YouTube’s authority. Google struggled to generate money from YouTube for a number of years after they bought it for $1.65bn, and now it draws in billions of dollars for the company every year. This may seem to provide hope for the Yahoo! executives. Tumblr however is renowned for being a blogging site, with a large following that use it for that very purpose. It would have to change beyond recognition to achieve a similar story. For now, Tumblr should be content that it can at least put up a defense against the likes of Instagram and Vine videos.

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