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What is the most popular free video streaming site in 2020?

Well, the year is still pretty young at this point, so, it might be a little too early to say that one video streaming site is the most popular of the year. Actually, who am I kidding, no video streaming site has ever come anywhere near reaching up with the popularity of YouTube – and no video streaming site likely ever will. It is hard to overstate just how popular and widely used YouTube is, especially in comparison to the other free video streaming sites on the web.

For a little bit of perspective, though, the total number of people who use YouTube, as of February 26th, 2020, is 1.3 billion. That means that nearly 1/7th of the entire global population regularly uses YouTube. Let that sink in for a moment … Furthermore, 300 hours of video footage are uploaded to YouTube every minute. That means that by the time you finish reading this paragraph, 300 more hours of content will now be available to stream on YouTube right now that were not there when you started reading this.

Almost 5 billion videos are streamed on YouTube every single day. That dwarfs literally every other video streaming service, by quite a bit at that. Daily Motion is probably the second most popular video streaming site, and they don’t come anywhere near the behemoth that is YouTube when it comes to quantity.

This is partially due to the fact that YouTube became popular at a time that allowed many to view the site as the originator of free streaming video. And, in some ways, that is a fair assessment. Prior to You Tube’s launch in 2005, there were not many video streaming sites on the market. And, furthermore, no other video streaming site was offering the features that YouTube was. You Tube essentially took the idea of free video streaming and merged it with the best parts of social networking, resulting in a game-changer of a site that still sits on the throne of video streaming to this day.

That is not to say that other sites, however, are not rising up in popularity as well. People have begun to become annoyed, I think, with many of You Tube’s newer policies and the way that they conduct business. The frequency of ads, for instance, that YouTube makes its users sit through is growing to absurd levels. Plus, they are constantly trying to upsell users on their supplementary services, such as YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV, to the point where it’s becoming meme-worthy.

And then there is the issue of censorship. YouTube, over the last few years, has become notorious for employing rigid (some would say Draconian) regulatory practices – many of which benefit the extremely wealthy and nobody else, such as their extreme dedication to upholding copyright law. But, more generally, the fact that YouTube often takes down videos and demonetizes channels that do not jive with the particular worldview of the people who run the company is something that has many free video streaming site lovers looking elsewhere for a new home page. So, time will tell if YouTube retains its stranglehold on the video streaming site market. Something tells me that it is, at this point, only a matter of time before another site rises up to take its place.

What kind of videos can I watch on these sites?

Video streaming sites are not typically the sites that you will want to turn to when you are looking for tons of movies and TV shows to watch for free. If that is what you are looking for, I’m afraid you are in the wrong section of streamingsites.com. I do, however, have a robust list of reviews dedicated to free movie streaming and free TV streaming sites in their appropriately labeled sections (happy hunting!)

That being said, if you are looking for a nearly endless supply of user-generated content, video streaming sites are where it’s at. Sites like YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo, etc. all enable users to upload original content. So, if you want to watch reaction videos, unboxings, viral cat videos, the occasional music video, live performances, lectures, how-to videos, etc., you have come to the right place. Video streaming sites often offer a fascinating glimpse into the human culture at a given time, as what they contain is usually the byproduct of individual people.

However, of course, the kind of content that you are likely to find depends entirely on what video streaming site you are on. YouTube has almost anything you can imagine, of course, but there are other sites, like TED, that focus their efforts on the educational. TED, actually, is a good exception to the rule of video streaming sites being all user-uploaded content. If you have ever seen a TED talk before, you know what I’m talking about, you know that not just anyone can upload a TED video – they have to be approved and accepted – but anyone can submit an application to give a TED talk.

Other sites have their own limitations when it comes to content as well – finding the right video streaming site for you will be a matter of doing a little shopping around. And reading my reviews, if I do say so myself, is the perfect place to start!

How can I stream videos for free?

Most video streaming sites let you stream videos immediately upon visiting their site. Some might require you to create a free account in order to view content, but most are just a matter of visiting the site and clicking around. Few streaming sites are anywhere near as simple as these ones are. Sure, you might have to put up with the occasional ad (or if you are on YouTube, you might have to put up with several ads before a video plays, as well as several throughout the duration of the video), but, aside from that, streaming videos for free is as easy as it gets.

Are there any other sites like YouTube?

Why, of course, there are! As I mentioned earlier, I have a feeling that YouTube will eventually be unseated as the top video streaming site. And there are plenty of alternative sites out there who would more than happily take that spot if given the opportunity. Sites like Daily Motion, for instance, Vimeo, D Tube, 9 Gag, or Meta Café are all similar, in theory, to YouTube. Where they differ is in the type of content that they tend to provide and the number of videos that they have available.

That being said, as of now, there is no site in existence that is exactly like YouTube. The breadth of content, the quality of the videos, the monetization structure (and capabilities) inherent to YouTube is, at this moment in time, unrivaled.

Can I create and publish my own videos?

You most certainly can. In fact, with most of these free video streaming sites, that is the whole point! Not only can you create and publish your own videos on many of these sites, but most of them will also pay you to do it (if your videos create a certain level of engagement on the sites). We all know about You Tube’s monetization, but other sites, too, like Daily Motion, 9 Gag, and Vimeo also pay users who upload popular videos. There has never been a better time to be a videographer.

That being said, most video streaming sites (other than YouTube) have limits on how much content you can upload. And this is probably a major aspect that is keeping them from reaching the same heights as YouTube. Each site has its own caps on the amount of content that you can upload (at least as a free member). Some sites even have caps on how much content you can view. So, be sure to check in with my reviews to see whether a certain site’s restrictions will meet your needs.

Do I have to pay to watch and upload videos on these sites?

Nope! Some, as I just touched upon, will require you to pay, though, if you want to upload more content than the average user. Others offer ad-free premium viewer experiences that you will have to pay a monthly fee to access. Each site comes with its own paywall (well, most of them do, anyway) … but casual video viewers and uploaders will probably have nothing to worry about.

1. YouTube
Youtube.com is a site that needs no introduction. There is a good chance that you have used YouTube before, possibly even already once today. But if you are less familiar...
2. DailyMotion
Dailymotion.com is like YouTube for serious people. Skip all of the childish, vapid, social media games and discover a video streaming platform for adults. Don’t get to...
3. niconico
Niconico.jp is easily the most popular free video streaming site in Japan. And it is one of the top 5 in the world. With hundreds of millions of registered users, this si...
4. Vimeo
Vimeo.com is the only video streaming site on the web that stands any sort of chance of competing with the all-powerful YouTube. If you are sick of ads, surveys, and cons...
5. 9GAG
9gag.com is not your typical video streaming site. If YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, and 4Chan somehow had a baby, the result would probably be 9Gag. An alternative video st...
6. TED
Ted.com is a well of fresh ideas, inspiration, education, and ways for you to change the world. We’ve all heard of TED talks before, but did you know that TED has its o...
7. Metacafe
Metacafe.com was once one of the three most popular video streaming sites on the web. Today, not so much. Why you might wonder, the steep fall-off in popularity? Is the s...
8. Veoh
Veoh.com is a free video streaming platform that allows you to upload and download short videos, movies, and TV shows. There are millions of videos on this platform inclu...
9. DTube
D.tube could have the potential to become the next viable alternative to YouTube. It is an ad-free video hosting site with an interface and user-friendliness that rivals ...