Substack adds new video tools to compete with Patreon and YouTube

Content platform Substack just released a spate of new video capabilities, placing it in direct competition with YouTube and Patreon, among others. The video tools include a direct upload option, which is handy, and customizable paywalls for content creators. Before this, users were forced to upload videos to YouTube and embed a link. The upload tool is now readily accessible via the dashboard. It’ll even automatically split the audio and video for podcasters who want to court both audiences. 

As for the paywall options, you now get the same level of flexibility available to non-video users. Content creators can select a slice of the video to give away for free, locking the rest behind a paywall. The free preview segment should transition smoothly into a prompt to become a paying subscriber.

There’s also a new AI tool that generates transcripts from videos, for those who like to, gasp, read. The transcript is automatically created alongside the video upload and users can post it to the main feed. Additionally, viewers can click anywhere on the transcript to jump to that section of the video.

Video sharing has gotten a much-needed upgrade. Viewers can create their own custom clips sourced from any video. This creates a shareable link that includes branded visuals at the end featuring the creator’s logo and URL, so there will be no obvious thievery. Obviously, viewers can quickly share links to the entire clip if they want. Users can even directly download videos for publication on services like TikTok and Instagram. Again, that bumper will be there to give credit to the original creator.

The company wrote in a blog post that these new tools, taken together, make it so “the friction in starting a media business based on video has been reduced to almost zero.” To commemorate the launch, Substack is rolling out a number of exclusive video shows. There’s a food culture program with chef Nancy Silverton, a talk show starring actress Amber Tamblyn and a news program anchored by Chris Cuomo, among many others.

Substack has certainly been busy adding new features. The platform recently unveiled a Twitter-esque feature called Notes and last year launched a chat feature to make it more of a social space.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

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