Chances are quite high that YouTube was both your best friend and your greatest enemy during the exam period. Hours of endless entertainment, but at the same time, hours of endless procrastination. You might have even tried to convince yourself that there were useful revision tips on the video site, but then why did you end up looking at “Epic Fail” compilations? Pretty sure you weren’t being tested on that.
YouTube first hit the internet in 2005 (yes, you really are that old now), before being bought by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006. Since its inception, the site has evolved substantially and now holds some of the most influential content-creators. Some banking firms last year valued the media site at an estimated $40 billion and in light of this exponential growth, we look 10 years later as to why YouTube exploded, why everyone wants to do it, and what the future holds for the video giant.
The most drawing feature is the freedom and creativity. The content creation is liberating and as a brand, YouTube offers a never-ending range of content with new members uploading every day. You want to see videos about cats? Head to YouTube. You want to see videos about complex molecular theory? Head to YouTube. It has become incorporated into people’s daily lives, containing their favourite music and gym routines. It has everything and anything. It is estimated that around 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. YouTube is brilliant in the sense that the barriers to publishing videos are extremely limited, combined with the incentive of monetisation and the potential of a short path to gaining some fame limelight; people are dashing to get involved in the current trend. KSI, loud and screaming, finds himself with his own “BEAST” clothing line, whilst the likes of Zoella even has a wax figure undergo for Madam Tussauds – the power of the internet.
Celebrities might need to move over as according to the magazine “Variety”, the top five most influential figures for American teenagers are YouTube vloggers. Why? They’re relatable. They are of their own creation and have not been manufactured by the corporate wheel of PR and management. They share their daily lives and create a strong relationship with their fans by engaging directly through other social media platforms. Seeing them on screen every day, you can almost feel as if you know them without having ever met. I’m pretty sure I feel as though I live with Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee at this point; although I’m not sure I could take the pranks.
The power of the vlogger in advertising is enormous, given that they have a trustworthy relationship with their fans. The conversational style can reap the rewards, especially as the viewer is watching the specific channel for this area of the market. People will watch a fashion blogger to learn and view fashion – whereas typical YouTube ads may have no relation to the viewer whatsoever. This tailored form of advertising is growing rapidly and at present is a worthwhile investment.
Recently, the media gave YouTube a bit of a knocking given that it reported a slight lack of profit and also video volume was increasing on other competitor sites Facebook and Vine. But this is only one element as YouTube continues to grow and dominant the video scene. For the future at least, its growth seems only set to continue. The endless opportunities that stem from this platform draw many to its doorstep, and the ease with which one can participate provides an even heavier incentive. If you start it up tomorrow, who knows where you’ll be in a few years time?
By Dre Efthymiou