YouTube is secretly Hollywood’s biggest threat

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The Future. Hollywood’s been afraid of Netflix (as they should be) ever since the platform won the streaming wars. But in terms of ad revenue and viewership, YouTube’s even more powerful, and it doesn’t use the streaming model at all. Forget wars — YouTube’s ushering in a new era of media consumption.

A league of their own
YouTube has Netflix beat in several sectors by competing in a completely different way.

  • YouTube far outpaces Netflix in ad revenue, having raked in $9.2 billion in Q4 2023 alone.
  • The platform also wins in viewership, logging more viewing hours through its free service than Netflix nets with its 260 million subscribers.
  • And YouTube reliably generates hits (unlike Netflix) without having to pay for them, since the service leaves content generation to creators.

No wonder, then, Netflix’s Chairman has cited YouTube as a major threat to its business.

Short-form showdown
Where YouTube does have competition is short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, which outshine YouTube Shorts (at least for now). But YouTube’s ability to bridge the gap between short- and long-form video remains unparalleled.

The best way to win a war: don’t fight it in the first place.

Luke Perrotta


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