Musk Moves to Take Out YouTube: Here's the Plan


Since the completion of his Twitter acquisition in October 2022, billionaire Elon Musk shook up Silicon Valley by introducing several new additions to the social media platform, which now includes extensive video-sharing capabilities to rival the likes of YouTube and Rumble.

Musk recently turned Twitter into a video platform, allowing users to create and interact with long-form video content as well as shorter clips.

In less than a year, the Twitter CEO updated the app’s video features numerous times, showing he has his sights set on challenging Google’s video service.

On Nov. 5, Musk said Twitter would be adding “creator monetization for all forms of content,” video included. The announcement sparked questions online, to which he suggested Twitter could compete with YouTube. After tech reviewer Quinn Nelson revealed that “YouTube gives creators 55% of ad revenue,” Musk tweeted he could “beat” those monetization numbers.

Musk followed up five days later with some specifics in a Q&A session with Twitter employees, a transcript of which The Verge obtained. He told them to offer content creators exclusive contracts with a 10 percent pay increase over the amount YouTube provided them.

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At the meeting, Musk said he wanted to give YouTubers the option of posting their videos on Twitter to make ends meet.

“We’re not trying to put YouTube out of business, but I’m just saying, do we really need to give YouTube a whole bunch of free traffic? Maybe not,” he said. “So at least give creators the option if they would like to put their video on Twitter and earn the same amount as they would, or maybe slightly more, on YouTube or TikTok or whatever the case may be.”

Musk has been aggressive in touting Twitter, a social media platform that once suspended and banned conservative voices for sharing their unfiltered thoughts, as a digital town square for free speech since October.

Last month, The Daily Wire announced it would be taking its full slate of podcasts to Twitter, Axios reported, after host Matt Walsh was demonetized on YouTube over his comments regarding transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

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“At this moment, Twitter is the largest free speech platform in the world,” Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing said of the move. “If Elon Musk stands by his commitment to make Twitter a home for free speech and delivers on monetization opportunities and more sophisticated analytics for content creators, I imagine we will invest even more into the platform.”

Two weeks later, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson also began posting 10+ minute monologues to the platform. The first episode of “Tucker on Twitter” boasted 116.7 million views since its June 6 release, far ahead of the current Fox News ratings. The second and third episodes garnered 57.3 million and 75.5 million views, respectively.

Musk rose to the occasion again when YouTube removed a recent episode of Jordan Peterson’s podcast, claiming the transgenderism issues discussed in the video violated its hate speech policies.

“Upload here. This platform believes in free speech, provided it does not break the law,” Musk encouraged.

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Peterson released the full podcast episode on Twitter shortly after.

Though the social media company continues gaining traction in the video space, some remain unconvinced its video-sharing features will catch on and directly compete with YouTube. Esquire Digital’s chief legal analyst Aron Solomon told The Western Journal on Wednesday it’s a fool’s errand.

“There’s no way that Elon Musk can compete with YouTube/Google when it comes to targeting users,” he said. “This is completely in the wheelhouse of his competition and should be the last thing he’s thinking of doing.”

“Assuming that he’s being honest and thinks it had a shot of working, his rationale would be that it’s integral to making Twitter the one-stop-shop so many people would like to see, or more accurately, like to have seen it become,” Solomon added.

It remains to be seen whether Musk will deliver on his stated goal of competing with YouTube, but one can only wish him well in the effort.

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David Zimmermann is a contract writer for The Western Journal who also writes for the Washington Examiner and Upward News. Originally from New Jersey, David studied communications at Grove City College. Follow him on Twitter @dezward01.