Video Monetization

YouTube Alternatives: 5 Best Platforms to Make Money as a Creator

By Elise Dopson
10 Min Read

Learn About Launching a Membership

youtube monetization alternatives

YouTube is a major player in the world of online video. And while it’s often the default channel for creators who want to make money from their videos, it’s not always the best option. 

More YouTube creators are burnt out than ever before since the monetization potential on YouTube is limited. Especially if you’re relying on AdSense—the platform’s built-in advertising program. 

With YouTube AdSense, you’re motivated by views, which means creators get on the hamster wheel of producing videos they don’t even like just to get the views and AdSense earnings. 

The reality is: There are more creatively sustainable—and often more lucrative—alternatives to YouTube for content creators, offering more control and higher earning potential.

So, where do you start? This guide shares detailed comparisons, success stories, and actionable tips for creators to branch out and start using video monetization platforms alongside (or instead of) YouTube.

Why should I look for a YouTube alternative?

YouTube may not be where you want to monetize your videos anymore. 

This may sound like a bold statement, but there’s a lot about YouTube’s monetization algorithm that makes it a hard place to earn a stable, scalable income

A screenshot of the YouTue to VOD membership marketing funnel.

That’s not to say you should abandon YouTube altogether. The video platform does still have its advantages—like the ability to tap into a huge audience base and monetize video views. But it shouldn’t be the only way you’re monetizing video.

Instead, treat YouTube as the top of your creator marketing funnel—the platform that drives an audience to other revenue streams, such as the YouTube alternatives we’ve listed in this article. 

In essence: The content you create on YouTube basically becomes marketing content for the real content you’re selling on your own video platform. That’s where you earn the big bucks. 


YouTube is a huge platform boasting 200 million users. Although its reach is extensive, your audience might not choose it as their favorite channel for watching videos. 

Twitch, for example, is ideal for streaming to the gaming community. TikTok, on the other hand, is a place for Gen Z audiences to watch bite-sized clips and trending videos that are entertaining or educational. 

Do audience research and competitive analysis to see where your audience hangs out, then prioritize those channels when searching for YouTube alternatives.

It might sound like an unnecessary task when YouTube has such a huge audience base. Surely your audience will hang out there… right?

The issue with relying solely on YouTube is that your creative control is limited. Even though you can likely reach your target audience, you might not want to produce the content that YouTube users want. Or, more likely, content that the video platform itself wants.

The same applies to monetization potential—not only due to the objective nature of the monetization features of YouTube, but also because creating content against the algorithm will limit your ability to make money. 

Monetization features

Any business guru worth their salt will tell you to diversify your income streams. Why? Because YouTube policies, particularly those around eligibility for monetization, can change frequently

Change itself isn’t bad, but these can come with little or no warning from the platform, which can be frustrating when you’re so close to being eligible to make money on YouTube.

Other platforms also have unique features and requirements for video monetization—some of which are easier than YouTube’s Partner Program requirements

To make money on YouTube you’ll need to be located in an eligible country and have either of the following: 

  • 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months OR
  • 1,000 subscribers with 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days 

To add insult to injury, there’s also a cap of $10,000 for YouTube Shorts earnings. You won’t see any money you make over this threshold.

Image showing the YouTube Partner program eligibility factors.

Other video platforms make it easier for new creators to start making money online. 

Facebook, for example, offers creators a share of ad revenue with specific eligibility criteria, such as having at least 10,000 followers and 600,000 minutes of organic watch time over 60 days​​. 

TikTok, another popular video sharing platform, supports creators through their Creator Fund for those with 100K views in the last 30 days and 10K followers​​.

And because both of these platforms are built with virality in mind, some video creators find it easier to meet the monetization requirements on the YouTube alternatives. 

Content formats

There are multiple types of content you can produce as a video creator. 

Are you focused on live streaming or short videos? While YouTube can support both, it might not be the optimal platform if either of these are your goals. There are alternatives that support both of these formats better. 

Don’t just think about the content you’re creating now. Future-proof your business by building a home somewhere that will outlast YouTube (and its limited content formats). 

Maybe streaming videos of your music gigs is a side hustle for you at the moment, but will your videos shift into sharper focus as you build a fanbase? 

Consider where you see your career and your business moving and how your video monetization needs may change with it. 

A platform that only offers a cut of ad revenue probably isn’t going to be great at supporting your long-term ambitions to create your own branded membership site or streaming platform, for example. 

Community engagement 

The most successful video creators have a moat around their premium content in the form of a community. 

Not only does a community help support you through platform changes that limit your YouTube channel’s visibility, but it also gives you a niche group of people to monetize and gather feedback from. 

YouTube owns all the audience data on your subscribers and guards it like Alcatraz. 

Yes, you get a range of real-time video analytics on your YouTube videos… but you can’t reach out to viewers directly; only make videos that you hope they watch and interact with. 

To build a community, you need to: 

  • Have a 2-way conversation with your audience
  • Connect with them how they want
  • Know what your audience wants to see from you
  • Tell them how they can support the work that you do

If you’re relying on YouTube as the only way to grow a community, you’ll never know them enough to get an email into your ideal customer’s inbox. 

For long term success and a stronger community around your content, choose an alternative to YouTube that gives you a dedicated community space alongside your exclusive content. This makes it easy for your audience to stay engaged with you and your content all in one platform.

Content restrictions

There’s always the possibility that your YouTube account could get demonetized because of pesky algorithm changes or potentially falling fouls of rules. 

Laws can change, advertisers could call a boycott like they did with Facebook in 2020, and your account could fall foul of those changing rules and you lose your account.

Take StartUpBros, for example. Their channel got taken down for going against YouTube standards when they believed it didn’t. They lost a channel with 30,000 subscribers, before appealing the decision and getting the ban overturned (not without a lot of headache).

YouTube also has restrictions on what video uploads you can add to your channel. If your video content niche falls into one of these categories, your best bet is to build an audience and monetize elsewhere. 

5 great YouTube alternatives

  1. TikTok
  2. Twitch
  3. Patreon
  4. Uscreen
  5. Facebook

Ready to find an alternative to YouTube? We’ll rank each one by who it’s best for, the earning potential, the features on offer, and the pros and cons of using each YouTube alternative as a content creator. 

1. TikTok

Best for: Short-form video creators

Earning potential (out of 5): 💰💰💰

Image showing a TikTok video feed.

TikTok is a relatively new kid on the block, but one that’s made moves in the video and social media industry. If you focus on short videos, TikTok could be a great YouTube alternative to consider.

The social media platform for video sharing launched in 2016 and has since exploded in popularity. By 2024, it’s estimated that 2 billion people will use TikTok on a monthly basis—the vast majority of whom spend almost 1 hour on the TikTok app every day. 

What makes the video sharing platformunique is that it’s predominantly focused on short-form video. While creators enjoy unlimited video uploads, there’s a 3-minute limit for any video being uploaded to the video hosting platform (with the exception of live videos).

It also has its own creator monetization programs to help people earn a living as a TikTok creator, making it one of the best alternatives to YouTube. 

Best TikTok features

TikTok has made its way into the social media platform Hall of Fame by offering creators the following features: 

  • Creator Fund lets you get paid for creating videos without relying on ads 
  • Native video editor and sound library to make unique videos that stand out 
  • Duet and Stitches to repurpose content from other creators
  • “For You” page which can help show your TikTok videos to new audiences 
  •  Host live streams to connect with a global audience in real time 

“I prefer TikTok and Instagram Reels over YouTube because I can film short-form videos fast and easy with my phone,” says mom blogger Becky Beach. “I don’t need to do any fancy editing that can be time consuming and require skills I don’t possess.” 

Pros of TikTok

It’s worth adding TikTok to your priority list if the following things are important to you: 

  • It’s free to use 
  • TikTok is great for engaging younger audiences (over half of its users are under the age of 25) 
  • Superb discoverability with the “For You” page 
  • Potential to go viral and reach millions of people overnight 
Image showing YourSaltwaterGuide's TikTok profile and video feed.
Your Saltwater Guide, a fishing community built on Uscreen, has posted viral TikTok videos to build an audience it can funnel through to its membership site.

Cons of TikTok

While TikTok does offer its advantages, consider these downsides before choosing it as your YouTube alternative of choice: 

  • Limited and unpredictable earnings 
  • You don’t own the platform; TikTok owns your audience 
  • Limited to short-form content and mobile portrait video
  • Virality is rare and unpredictable 
  • Older demographics don’t use TikTok 

Making money on TikTok

The traditional techniques of making money through brand collaborations is still available on TikTok. You can sell sponsorship packages, such as a branded TikTok post or live stream, and get paid for mentioning the brand. 

To support the creators who are driving so much traffic to the app, TikTok has a bunch of built-in monetization tools to help creators make money:

  • Creator Fund. Anyone in eligible countries with 100K authentic views in the last 30 days and 10K followers can get a cut of ad revenue. The average TikTok creator earns $0.02 and $0.04 per 1,000 video views.
  • Virtual tips. Fans can send financial support during live streams through gifts that can be exchanged for cash payouts. 
  • “While YouTube offers a more established monetization system, TikTok’s rapid virality and ease of reaching new audiences makes it an exciting platform for content monetization and audience engagement.” —Joe Bowab, CEO and founder of Lobster Anywhere

You get paid out based on the number of video views and engagement with your videos. You’ll get paid a minimum of one month after your videos are viewed.

Payouts are through either PayPal or Zelle, once you have over $10 ready to pay.

2. Twitch

Best for: Gamers and live streamers

Earning potential (out of 5): 💰💰💰

Image showing a Twitch, a YouTube alternative, profile and its video feed.

Known primarily as one of the biggest live streaming platforms for gamers to stream progress on their video games, Twitch has morphed into a platform to share videos of all types. 

Now, you’ll find music performances, talk shows, cooking, and sporting events streamed, with creators able to make bank in a few different ways. 

The key difference between Twitch and other YouTube alternatives is that it’s for live video only. The platform dominates this industry—Twitch owns 76% of the live streaming market and is the preferred platform for its 1.1 million daily active streamers. 

Twitch doesn’t promise anyone a story of rags-to-riches—rather Twitch says that their monetization policies let you “get a little bit back for doing something you love”.  

Best Twitch features

Some of the best features on offer when creating content on Twitch include: 

  • Live streaming to engage with audiences in real-time
  • Polls and votes to get feedback from viewers 
  • Extensions for more customization options 

Pros of Twitch

Twitch is popular amongst streamers because it offers the following benefits: 

  • People can discover you through the Twitch dashboard
  • Low barrier to entry; anyone can start streaming on Twitch
  • It specializes in live video and has the necessary features to stream 
  • Big audience of gamers already use the platform 

Cons of Twitch

Hold off on using Twitch if the following disadvantages concern you: 

  • You don’t own the platform; Twitch can shut you down at any time
  • It’s predominantly a gaming audience—you might struggle to get views if you’re in another niche 
  • Hard to gain traction without an existing audience
  • It only supports live streaming, not pre recorded content
  • Twitch channels are hard to moderate since you’re streaming in real-time 
  • Unwanted ads can disrupt the viewing experience 
  • You can’t customize membership tiers for the Twitch Partner program 

Making money on Twitch

Twitch has its own Partner program that helps creators earn money on the platform. 

It uses the subscription model and charges people to view your videos. You can control when and how often an ad break will appear in your feed, with your revenue based on how many viewers watch your ads.

Subscribers can get perks such as free access to your VOD content and to watch your streams ad-free. There are 3 set tiers available at $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month, with recurring and one-off options. 

Twitch doesn’t publish the percentage they charge their creators for the subscriptions and other revenue they create, although it is said to be 50% for affiliates and negotiable for partners. Pro streamers can make between $3,000 to $5,000 each month playing around 40 hours a week.

Twitch supports external sponsorship of its streamers, so you can get more cash through techniques like:

  • Brand sponsorships. Get paid to mention your favorite brands in your Twitch streams. 
  • Affiliate marketing. Earn commission when people buy products through your affiliate links. 

3. Patreon 

Best for: Monetizing video through tips.

Earning potential (out of 5): 💰

Image showing a Patreon's membership plans.
Smarter Every Day charges users between $3 and $10/month to access its science videos on Patreon.

As a place for artists and creators, Patreon allows you to build a monthly income from your fans or community. More than 200,000 creators use it to monetize their videos. 

Instead of getting paid for views, it uses a subscription business model to help you collect monthly payments from your loyal fans. You charge your fans to view your content, rather than give it away for free and monetize with ads or sponsorships. 

The advantage of this business model is that you build stronger relationships with your fans. You’ll also benefit from monthly recurring revenue (as opposed to advertising income which can fluctuate month-by-month).

That said, Patreon still requires you to host your content elsewhere. You can only embed your videos into your feed rather than upload them directly on the site. 

Best Patreon features

Patreon stands out as one of the best YouTube alternatives because of the following features:

  • Customizable subscription tiers to choose how much you want to charge  
  • Built in subscription payment processing 
  • Analytics to see your most popular content and audience engagement 
  • Subscribers can pay either a monthly fee, pay per creation you make with a limit, pay an up-front membership fee, or purchase an annual subscription to your content 

Pros of Patreon

Questioning whether Patreon is worth it? Here are some of the biggest advantages:

  • Easy to set up 
  • No need to design your own website 
  • Supports ad free content
  • Subscription based payments so you get predictable recurring income for your creator business 
A table with Patreon's characteristics and main pros & cons.

Cons of Patreon

Despite the advantages on offer, some creators steer clear from Patreon because:

  • You don’t own the platform
  • You’re limited to what types of content you can upload
  • Limited discoverability; it’s best for those who already have an audience elsewhere
  • Not created specifically for video 
  • Patreon takes a cut of all tips you make 
  • No native video hosting, embedded video only
  • Lack of branding options to customize the customer experience  
  • Limited community engagement features 

Making money on Patreon

Despite the fact that Patreon allows you to charge whatever you want in exchange for premium content, the income potential is limited.

Studies show that just 0.33% of all Patreon creators have more than 2,000 patrons, hence why the average Patreon creator earns just $315 to $1,575 per month. (This is much smaller than other membership platforms like Uscreen where the average income jumps up to $12K per month.) 

Patreon also takes a cut of your earnings in exchange for using the platform. This ranges between 5% and 12%. 

4. Uscreen 

Best for: Creators who want creative freedom and consistent recurring income. 

Earning potential (out of 5): 💰💰💰💰💰

Image showing FindWhatFeelsGood's membership apps.

Uscreen is an all-in-one platform that allows creators to build their own membership websites and apps. It pays out $150 million each year to creators and serves 9.2 million users.

From teachers to filmmakers; fitness instructors to documentary directors–Uscreen helps you monetize your high quality video content through recurring subscription payments, and build your exclusive community of members. 

With the ability to build your own website and landing pages, plus the option to launch branded mobile and smart TV apps, you can scale your video business, retain your users, and build a loyal community of supporters and subscribers, all in one place. 

Take Studio Bloom, a fitness membership designed for new moms. It has a YouTube channel designed to build an audience and cast a wider net.

Image showing Studio Bloom's YouTube channel designed to build an audience and cast a wider net for her Uscreen membership.

Creator Brooke Cates uses video descriptions and lead magnets to funnel these subscribers towards a standalone membership website hosted on Uscreen. 

The results of this YouTube marketing funnel are impressive. Studio Bloom increased revenue to over $87K per month—a more consistent and predictable income than relying on YouTube to monetize their videos online. 

“The success of the apps showed me I could have more freedom for myself and my family, and a greater reach for my business,” Brooke explains. “They did laps around what we could do financially with in-person studios and allowed us to reach a global space.”

Best Uscreen features

Over 4,000 creators rely on Uscreen to grow their creator business because if offers:

  • 2K video quality to post high quality videos
  • PPV live streaming to make money through one-off sales and memberships 
  • Membership apps to build more intuitive user experience
  • User profiles to build a sense of community around your premium content
  • Native video hosting with collections/playlists to encourage member retention 
  • Marketing tools (such as email marketing, free trials, and winback campaigns)
  • Push notifications for easier communication with members 
Image showing Yoga With Amelia, a yoga membership built on Uscreen as an alternative to YouTube.

Pros of Uscreen

Build a membership site on Uscreen if the following things are important to you:

  • Create and own your branded independent video platform exclusive for your members
  • Manage everything under one roof – from marketing, to payments, to community growth
  • No algorithm to sell your creative soul to, so you can regain creative freedom
  • Develop membership apps for complete control over the user experience 
  • Build a community alongside your premium content (active community engagement results in 2 times less churn compared to non-engaged members)

Cons of Uscreen

The biggest downside to Uscreen is that there is no native discoverability. 

For this reason, it’s best for creators who already have an existing audience they can funnel through—like a YouTube channel or Instagram following you want to monetize through video.

Making money on Uscreen

Creators building their platforms with Uscreen make an average of $12,000 every month.

They do this through different revenue streams that are all housed within the same platform. That includes:

  • Membership websites. Choose how much you want to charge for your content and community and let Uscreen do the rest. People will pay a monthly or annual fee in order to join your membership website. 
  • Membership apps. Take your membership site to the next level with a custom app for. Uscreen customers with membership apps generate 10x more subscription MRR than those without. 
  • One-off sales. Let people experience your content without committing to a monthly payment with one-off sales. Popular examples include video-based online courses or pay-per-view (PPV) live streams. 
  • Bundles. Sell high ticket products by bundling together different content. If you’re a video creator selling PPV streams, for example, bundle it with a matching workbook or PDF and charge a higher price.

5. Facebook

Best for: Creators targeting an older demographic. 

Earning potential (out of 5): 💰💰

Image showing a video feed screen from Facebook.

It’s hard to remember a time before Facebook, isn’t it? 

The biggest social media platform of them all has built its business model on ad revenue rather than charging users. Here’s what that means for you, as a creator: it’s possible to earn an income by sharing videos on Facebook’s social network. 

Facebook Watch targets creators like gamers, writers, and video hosts. And in a bid to keep up with short-form platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, its algorithm is prioritizing short-form content.

Creators who post short-form videos on the platform can monetize through ads, brand collaborations, and fan tips. 

Best Facebook features

Facebook has proven its worth as one of the best free YouTube alternatives because of the following video features:

  • Facebook Live to connect with audiences in real time
  • Content scheduling to post video content in advance
  • Cross-post to Instagram—maximizing your video’s mileage
  • Pixel to map website activity with Facebook user profiles 
  • Built-in advertising platform to invest money into growing your audience 

Pros of Facebook

Other advantages of choosing Facebook as a YouTube alternative include: 

  • Huge user base (over 3 million monthly active users) 
  • Potential to go viral thanks to the algorithm prioritizing video
  • Build a community around your video by posting from a Facebook Page 
Image of the Metaa Monetization dashboard for video.

Cons of Facebook

Much like the other YouTube alternatives we’ve listed here, there are some downsides to monetizing video on Facebook: 

  • Limited age demographic 
  • You don’t own the platform; Facebook can shut you down at any time 
  • Video content is jumbled up between posts from a user’s friends and family—people aren’t necessarily going there to watch videos 
  • Limited customization options 
  • Some monetization options are only available to creators with a big audience/following 
  • Facebook takes a cut of all money made on the platform 
  • Organic reach is declining; not every Page follower will see your video

Making money on Facebook

Facebook has a range of different monetization options for video creators on the platform, including:

  • Brand Collabs Manager. Find brands that are looking to sponsor creators through this portal, rather than pitch those you think might be interested. 
  • In-stream ads. The average Facebook creator earns $14.90 per 1,000 video views. This isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s more than what TikTok pays for the same number of views. 
  • Live Stars. Go live on Facebook and get Stars—a type of tip you can turn into cash. Creators with 500 followers for 30 consecutive days are eligible. 
  • Fan Subscriptions. Charge people to access your video content by gating it behind a Subscription. You’ll need at least 10,000 followers and 50,000 post engagements OR 180,000 watch minutes in the last 60 days. 

Find the best YouTube alternative for your creator business

As much as we appreciate the value that YouTube offers to you—and us—as creators, it’s not clad with bars of gold. To really make it financially, you need to explore different content and video marketing options so you can shore up your revenue streams into the future. 

Do your homework and see which YouTube alternative is best for you, depending on your goals and strategies, audience, video creation preferences, content formats, and monetization methods you want to use.

If your ultimate goal is to build a business, earn sustainable income, and build a community alongside their premium content, Uscreen is the best YouTube monetization alternative for you. Take a free trial today and see how the average creator earns $12K per month from their Uscreen membership site.

YouTube alternative FAQs

What is the biggest competitor to YouTube?

TikTok and Facebook are the two biggest competitors to YouTube. Both alternatives focus more heavily on short-form video and have monetization features to help creators make money from their videos. 

Is there a better alternative to YouTube?

Uscreen is the best YouTube alternative. It gives creators more control over the viewing experience and offers more ways to make money. You can earn consistent recurring revenue as opposed to relying on fluctuating YouTube AdSense revenue. 

What is the best alternative to YouTube to make money?

1. Uscreen
2. TikTok
3. Twitch
4. Patreon
5. Facebook