I called it
These are all really good candidates. I'll add a fourth.
Before throwing out my candidate, I'll add this preamble. Nearly a decade ago, DocuSign emerged. It was a great way to make contracts digital and ease the signature gathering process. Once signed, you never had to fish through your emails for a copy of the contract, or wonder where you saved it. DocuSign handled that, as well as other tasks (nagging laggard signers; notifying you when signing was complete, etc.)
But, there just wasn't much of a moat. Today, every adjacent app (e.g., Box, Zoom and many others) offer to let you upload a contract and route it around for signature. DocuSign lost its edge, and the fact that most "signers" within a company were on DocuSign wasn't much of a barrier to other apps recruiting signers and serving as a repository.
So, my candidate for a YouTube replacement is: Substack. I realize it's undercapitalized now and may not have ambitions to get into that space in the immediate future. Still, it's cultivating a reputation as the place to go when you just want to publish content without worrying what the nanny censor police might think. If it decides to enter video, I don't think there will be much of a moat, and it will have a well-deserved reputation as a hassle-free home for creators.
Thanks for your thoughts, as always.
YouTube can suck a bag o' dicks. After 85 videos, 350 subscribers - all organic - I did an interview with Dr. Paul Elias Alexander. It was about him telling his story, from his growing up, to his being offered a job in the Trump Administration, to the petty abuses the permanent bureaucracy inflicted on him and so on. Maybe 80 very interesting minutes.
Within 10 minutes of it being live on YouTube, they deleted it and screamed at me for - you guessed it - "spreading medical misinformation." It came with a big warning that if I dared spread such horrible misinformation again, they'd close my account.
The interview is still live on Spotify and elsewhere. I've been debating whether to move all my videos to another platform. I cannot stand these pricks at Google.
I have looked at Rumble. I am a Free Speech Absolutist so I don't want to censor anyone. That said, my time and effort are currency and I don't want to spend them on a platform which last time I looked was so full of hate-filled Anti-Jewish bullshit it is hard to look past it. IMHO that is partially why Parler died - for every smart comment, there were 50 assholes ranting about racist crap.