I called my parents earlier this evening, like a good son should from time to time. During the conversation, my mother mentioned that she had been watching a couple of her favorite shows on YouTube. For my parents, who don’t watch a lot of TV, it’s a way to find programming that they enjoy — it not only fits their tastes but also their schedule.
And recently, I was thinking about a TV show I had always wanted to see but it premiered, ran a few seasons, and was cancelled before I had even heard of it. I looked it up on YouTube and — awesome! — every episode is there. It’s bookmarked and ready to watch.
I love internet TV. In my mind, it really represents one of the great things about the web: You can find the entertainment you want, when you want it, and you can watch it wherever you want it (on whichever device you choose).
What a change from yesteryear when you got the TV Guide, fought with a sibling over what you got to watch on the one TV in the house. Yeah, I’m that old. I think it makes me appreciate YouTube and other web-based TV a lot more. And I appreciate it, not just for entertainment…
There have been several times when I’ve been renovating my house and I needed to figure out how to do something and a YouTube video helped me figure it out. (Hey, I love books but it’s hard to beat actually seeing the whole thing from start to finish).
YouTube is huge (and it’s continuing to get bigger) and it’s changing how we consume television/video. Here’s some reading that I found insightful about where YouTube is now and where we can expect it to be in the near future.
- Don’t touch that remote talks about the growth of online video (not just YouTube) and how Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and even traditional television networks are turning to the web as a way to produce video. It’s hinted in this article and I think we’ll see even more of it in the future: Companies can produce pilots, push them to the web, measure response, and know which shows to produce. That is an exciting opportunity for the future of entertainment!
- The future of content is niche channels. This article is kind of basic, and more than a year old, but I like how it nicely summarizes the trends in content consumption, particularly on YouTube. I’ve become fascinated by the channel concept on YouTube and particularly how businesses can maximize that for the benefit of the organization and their customers.
- It’s getting harder to make money on YouTube. This article provided a good counterpoint to the frequent comment that YouTube (and web videos in general) are the wave of the future. I think we will see lots of video being created and consumed but this article makes me wonder whether YouTube might need to innovate new monetization models to motivate more quality programming, or businesses need to rethink why they are on YouTube and see it as an earlier part of their sales funnel rather than the place where they make money.
- How to respect copywriting on YouTube. This is a great article and it clearly outlines what happens if people upload a copyrighted song on their video. The concept of copyright is changing on the web, and YouTube is definitely a battleground where that is happening. As someone who earns money from the content I create, I want to see lots of copyright protection. But as a realist who is totally in love with the anything-can-happen wild west of the web, I recognize that copyright concepts may need to change even more than they already have. I frequently see people writing “I don’t own this song. No copyright infringement intended” on their videos, as if that will erase their liability for using copyrighted material. I don’t think there’s a clear answer yet about how we use content that we didn’t create. It’s very complicated.