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Social network sites and competition: a tale of YouTube, 2005–2015

Md Tarique Newaz (Marketing and Management Department, Austin E Cofrin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 20 September 2023

Issue publication date: 22 November 2023




The purpose of this study is to document and analyze the success story of YouTube as a social network site in a competitive market, offering important academic and managerial implications.


Historical methods were used for investigation. This study applies the Resource-Advantage theory to identify key events in the history of YouTube from archival documents and evaluates and synthesizes the evidence to recount the channel’s evolution.


YouTube faced challenges from competitors across various industries since its launch. It has used its global user base and technological skills to develop innovative market offerings for users, contributors and marketers. YouTube built long-term relationships with stakeholders, continuously adapted to external changes and initiated internal alignments to compete in multiple industries. Over time, despite several changes in the competitive landscape, YouTube has grown into a successful media firm, competing across traditional broadcasting, gaming, live TV streaming and SNS industries. It is an exciting tale in the history of social networking.


This study significantly contributes to the marketing history of social network sites and platform-specific scholarship by applying the Resource-Advantage theory to document the evolution of YouTube.



The author acknowledges helpful remarks from Professor Shelby Hunt (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA) on an earlier version of this paper. The author wishes to thank the editor, Professor Richard A. Hawkins, and two anonymous reviewers for their guidance and support throughout the review process. The author also acknowledges the generous research support provided by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.


Newaz, M.T. (2023), "Social network sites and competition: a tale of YouTube, 2005–2015", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 225-242.



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