Since its founding in early 2005, YouTube has skyrocketed to the forefront of the social media scene. What began as a simple site for sharing amateur video has, over only 8 years, grown to be one of the most visited and most influential sites on the internet today.
A Brief History of YouTube
Three guys working for PayPal recognized a need for a video sharing website on the internet and they registered YouTube.com in February 2005. Less than two years later Google purchased YouTube to the tune of 1.6 Billion dollars. Over the ensuing seven years YouTube has become the go-to spot for video sharing on a global scale.
Major news and entertainment networks, the kid next door, and everyone in-between are uploading, sharing, tweeting, liking, giving a thumbs up, and a +1 to YouTube videos across every major social media site. People are sharing their video content and a few have even built careers and a fan base by creating original content exclusively for YouTube.
The Future of Television in the Digital Age
YouTube and video streaming sites are taking over the internet while traditional television and cable networks are scrambling to catch up with the latest trends in media consumption. Mass market media may soon go the way of the 8-track and those metal ‘rabbit ear’ tv antennas as YouTube continues to support and grow more ‘niche’ channels.
Consumers are spending more time viewing YouTube content that directly relates to their specific interests and hobbies. YouTube can afford to support a wider range of ‘niche’ content than any television network has ever been able to do. Your favorite cable content probably won’t die thanks to sites like Hulu, but traditional TV and prime-time viewing are losing traction as more and more people choose to view their favorite shows and online video through their computer, gaming console, or mobile device.
So What? Why Should I Care?
YouTube is setting trends that will shape how media and advertising are consumed in the future. Yes, I said advertising. As viewing has moved to the internet, advertising and commercials have had to do the same thing. When I view content on YouTube and other video streaming sites, I don’t see the local commercials that I used to see during the breaks on my cable network, I see national ads paid for by massive companies who can afford the spot.
There are many good reasons to consider YouTube for your social media campaign. If you haven’t considered creating your own content and uploading it, start considering. YouTube is churning forward and companies, big and small, who don’t hitch at least a portion of their business to this global endeavor may find themselves sitting in the dust scratching their heads and wondering what happened.
YouTube may be this century’s telephone, television, and radio all rolled into one. It is changing the way our world communicates. Will YouTube really kill the TV star? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let us help you understand how YouTube and other social media can change the way you communicate with your customers.