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YouTube Is Finally Moving Forward: Can They Supply Our Video Needs from Here on Out?

Hey you, avid reader! Are you tired of jumping across media platforms to keep tabs on your favorite videos, movies, and news programs? If so, then YouTube is your new best friend, or at least they will be in the near future, according to none other than the Head of YouTube himself. The streaming video company’s ultimate aim is to become a key player in shaping the way average users consume video—all video, that is!

YouTube is finally moving forward!

Remember six years ago when YouTube first launched? Well, it hasn’t changed much. But that hasn’t kept it from enjoying an ever-climbing viewership (now totaling a couple billion views daily). Every criticism and controversy associated with them has been so heavily publicized that it’s not even worth mentioning their history up to this point. What is worth mentioning, however, is the company’s plan moving forward.

In a recent series of blogs—available here and here—CEO Salar Kamangar talks about a number of the brand’s latest ventures. He gives details about the company’s new endeavor to offer a wider array of streaming movies to viewers (they’ve just added over 3,000 movies to their site, which are available on-demand) as well as their recent financial investment in the potential careers of existing YouTube uploaders.

More importantly though, Kamangar makes some profound statements about the direction that online video is headed. He notes that users are “spending just 15 minutes a day on YouTube, and spending five hours a day watching TV. As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, we think that’s going to change.” Arguably, he’s absolutely right. Laptops, desktops, smartphones, iPads, televisions, coffeemakers, shower curtains, sock drawers—if you own it, you can most likely stream YouTube on it. The sheer, overwhelming availability of YouTube certainly puts it in a position to affect real change in the way consumers absorb video. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: TV isn’t going to be around forever…

...which is fine, since there's never anything good on anyway.

Kamangar notes that “six years ago, there were…two types of video: video you watched on your TV, and video you watched on your laptop. Today there’s increasingly just video, and it’s available everywhere…” The key word here is “increasingly.” Essentially, his recent posts reinforce the notion that we’re smack dab in the middle of a transitional period as far as the distribution of digital content is concerned. We live in a time when information and entertainment are expected to be open, free, and available on demand. Well, maybe not free, but at least cheaper than usual.

Sure, the majority of YouTube’s content is free (they’ll probably always have that going for them), but their current ratio of cat videos to all other content is still roughly 76:1, and their sudden initiative in offering Hollywood movies on a pay-per-view basis may very well prove to be too little too late—that market has been dominated for years now by competing brands. Still, it’s a step in the right direction as far as the public’s perception of the brand goes. Personally, I’d be more apt to visit YouTube more frequently if their offerings were suddenly tailored to my interests, and the availability of major movies (at the rate of $2.99 per new release) is certainly an interesting draw. But even if that venture fails to pan out, I’ll at least have a robust selection of cat videos to comb through—like this little gem:

Yeah, that’s right. A cat video. I went there.

So, what are your thoughts on the brand? Do you log on to YouTube specifically, or are you only there when redirected from another site? More importantly, what do you think YouTube should be doing as it moves forward to compete with other major video content providers?



Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. cyberneticSAM

    Hahaha the cat…. I am a frequent visitor (as you know) to the YOUTUBE – but I think that it’s sad that it is actually destroying several medias. Everyone thinks they are directors, actors, badasses, and rockstars because of YouTube.

    It is unraveling people’s careers like Weird Al, and everyone’s goal nowadays it to have a successful video on YouTube. I think, as they would say on Daria, “It’s a sick sad world!” And yet again, it is like “Idiocracy” predicted, we all have shorter attention spans and have become easier to please (as shown in the cat video).

    Now, I would be lying if I said I haven’t seen a billion stupid cat videos, but it amazes me that fads are now trending through YouTube. For example, I had no idea that planking videos were the new craze, and I was left out of the trend. It amazes me that historical moments are now being marked by what videos were popular at the time (i.e. Antoine Dodson, Double Rainbow etc)…

    • Joseph Giorgi

      A “sick, sad world” indeed. YouTube certainly plays a key role in the deterioration of our attention spans, but so does much of the rest of modern media. I think that any period in history is partially defined by the trending behaviors of the time, and ours is no different. The thing is that there’s just soooooo much to take in these days; it’s hard to know what’s worth remembering and what’s not. Overall, I guess I’m just as amazed as you are. :)

  2. JPorretto

    You’re a few gender specific body parts and about 40 years away from being “That crazy cat lady.”

    I have to disagree with you though. I don’t think TV is going anywhere for one big reason. Sports. The NFL and NBA draw the highest ratings of anything on TV, and the networks will NEVER let the majority of them be streamed. Plus, no one has a super bowl party around a laptop… =)

    • cyberneticSAM

      I think that television broadcasting will become obsolete eventually, and they too will be streaming via the inter-webs. After all, you can literally get EVERYTHING off the web streamed, not to mention they make televisions and cable boxes that are already internet-ready so why wouldn’t they? So I do agree with Joe, after all I know at least a dozen people (if not more) that don’t have television and they typically rely in the internet.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, I’ll probably be a “crazy cat lady” sooner or later—I blame my significant other.

      I hear what you’re saying about sports. It would be pretty ridiculous indeed for groups to huddle around a PC to watch a big game (or anything else, for that matter). But when I said that “TV won’t be around forever,” I was referring more to broadcast television in general; not necessarily to physical TV sets. TVs themselves will obviously be around for quite some time, but eventually they’ll all be internet-capable and ready for instant, on-demand streaming. That’s my guess, anyway. :)

      • JPorretto

        Alll an AT&T UVerse cable box is is an internet streaming decoder thingamajig. So we’re already there. But what I’m saying is that the large networks will not allow LIVE sports to be readily available online. There’s too much big business for the network providers and the channels that carry the sports. These contracts EACH are in the BILLIONS of dollars annually, and that’s not going away very easily.

        • Joseph Giorgi

          You’re definitely right about that. The amount of money and network tie-ins at play bring a whole new complicated can of worms into the mix when it comes to live entertainment, and sports are a primary part of it. I’m sure that traditional broadcasting won’t be going away anytime soon, but I think we’re definitely in a transitional period.

          Deep down, I hope traditional TV hangs in there in some way, shape, or form. I’m too old-fashioned to let it go. :)

  3. Jill Tooley

    YouTube has a long way to go if they want to beat established competitors in this market, but I think they’re ambitious and well-known enough to propel themselves into the running. As you mentioned, people visit YouTube anywhere, anytime, and that has to count for something. It’s a known brand name, it’s easy to use, and it’s widely accessible on electronic devices. They have a chance, but they’re going to have to double their efforts to catch up.

    YouTube could certainly do something to compete, especially in the realm of original content. I did have one crazy idea while I was reading this post… (Now, I’m a bit of a dreamer, so this idea may not even be feasible, but hear me out). It would be interesting if YouTube held some sort of contest that invited participants to create their own pilots based on show ideas they may have. This way, YouTube could spark all sorts of interest in their site, they could involve users and generate interest in this initiative, and they could get a bunch of free ideas for original shows. Then, the pilot with the most views could get picked up by YouTube and have a chance to get more episodes made. That would be kind of cool! :)

    • Jill Tooley

      Actually, now that I’ve looked into it further, it looks like they’re already doing something similar for popular YouTubers: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/05/introducing-stars-of-future-on-youtube.html

      I don’t know whether or not they’ll use these up-and-comers for any original series, but it could be possible! :) Nice, I learned a lot today…

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Very true. YouTube will have to boost its efforts to compete with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and others. But with 3,000 new Hollywood titles added to their catalog, it looks like they’re ready to take video seriously. They now offer a number of streaming movies that their competitors don’t (albeit on a pay-per-view basis), and I’m actually planning on watching a couple of them sooner or later. So, hopefully it’s just as hassle-free as Netflix and Hulu.

      I was about to comment on your idea, but then I realized that you already commented again on it. Yeah, YouTube is making a proactive effort to invest in the careers of the creators of popular channels—which is pretty cool.

  4. LK

    I WISH my coffee maker could stream YouTube! It would be much more enjoyable if I could watch some funny cat videos (or listen to the Friday song) while waiting for my coffee.

    On the topic of TV becoming obsolete… I sure hope not! Like Jeff said- people can’t gather around a laptop, plus there are plenty of things I don’t want to watch on a tiny laptop screen. Granted you can access YouTube through some video game consoles, or hook your computer up to your TV but still… its just not the same! I was trying to catch up with some TV show awhile back and hooked my computer up to my TV to do so, but I had to get up everytime I wanted to pause or click to the next episode or skip the commercial breaks.

    • ASneed

      I agree with you and Jeff. I don’t think tv will be obsolete for a very long time, if ever. We had Netflix and hooked it up to the tv via the HDMI cable and it was ok, but you’re right, it was a hassle to move the laptop and plug it in, and then get up to pause and rewind, etc. And I was thinking, maybe new laptops will come with remotes….but we still have to turn the laptop backwards so we don’t have the show displaying on both the big and small screens, that’s annoying. We still enjoy the channel flipping and random commercials. I think that Netflix, YouTube, and regular tv will all be in households together for a long time.

      I do think that Netflix and YouTube are great ways to watch videos and movies, and I hope they continue to expand, but for us, we still love regular tv. I do however support more on demand tv shows being easily accessible from a regular tv, but I don’t want regular programming to disappear totally.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      The LAST thing I would want to do is listen to the “Friday” song first thing in the morning when I’m brewing my coffee. But if that’s your thing, go for it. ;)

      It’s definitely not ideal to hook a computer up to a TV (which is actually what I do at home), but it’s not too difficult to get used to; and wireless keyboards and mice solve the problem of having to get up to click to a different page. TVs will most likely be internet-ready eventually, which will make them more capable of delivering a better web-browsing experience and providing seamless access to on-demand movies and shows. That may be a few years off, but it seems like that’s where TV is heading.

      • Jill Tooley

        I have no doubt in my mind that TVs will be sold as internet-ready in the next five to ten years. Broadcast television has run its course and I’m honestly surprised it’s been around this long because it has nothing to offer that couldn’t feasibly be offered via the internet. Someday, our brains will all be connected via WiFi and we’ll probably figure out a way to use the internet for tasks like going to the bathroom… ;)

        • ASneed

          Yeah, I guess when you and Joe talk about it that way, it makes more sense to me. If we still have our full size tvs that are capable of Netflix and stuff easily, and we can still watch tv like it is now, I wouldn’t be against it. That would be nice actually. But if they want to get rid of the regular scheduled shows, and every single thing is on demand, I wouldn’t like it.

          • Jill Tooley

            Totally. We’re not speculating that TV sets are going to disappear, just the way we watch TV in general. As fast as technology is developing, I’m sure TVs will evolve into something more user-friendly for this purpose. Someday it’ll be possible to watch TV exactly the way we do now (sitting in front of our TV sets, flipping channels, having the same selection, etc) except we’ll be streaming it from the internet instead of receiving it via traditional broadcast. They’ll find a way to license and stream everything someday…it may take time and money, but we’ll get there eventually. Stranger things have happened! :)

  5. JPorretto

    Another thing that Amanda touched on…. channel flipping. It takes way more effort to pick something to watch on Hulu or Netflix than it does to change a channel. I have Netflix and the means to Hulu and whatever services there are. But I just LIKE TV better. I still gladly pay a lot of money for it and consider it worthwhile. I know I’m not alone. There’s no reason everything can’t coexist. None HAS to end the other.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      It does take a lot more effort to watch something on Netflix or Hulu than to change a channel. I totally agree. My problem is that I’m just so picky when it comes to what I watch that I usually prefer having plenty of options, which Netflix and the others definitely provide me.

      Hopefully you’re right though; hopefully broadcast TV will be around for those who love to channel-flip. :)

  6. Jana Quinn

    I had no idea that YouTube even had movies on there. It’ll be interesting to see if they can break away from being perceived as the go-to place for short videos (and for the love of God, cat videos) and being simply a primary video resource.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I purchased and watched a movie through YouTube just last night. All in all, it was a simple process. The only problem is that you have to have a credit card ready each time you make a purchase. It would be nicer if they set up a subscription service for their films (as opposed to a pay-per-view model), but they’ll have to expand their catalog first.

      They’re definitely on their way though.

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