I know many people might feel that internet also fills the same criteria but I will talk about the broader perspective some other day. Today, I want to talk about the impact that Youtube has had on the consumption of videos and creation of a new breed of artists.
Started in 2005, by ex-Paypal employees, Youtube is a simple idea that escalated and became heart of the video revolution that internet was going through. People can watch videos on Youtube without registering and upload after. There cannot be porn on it and the content is mostly non-offensive type.
Youtube is based on Flash and now shifting to HTML5 and they have partnerships with some organizations to provide content. One can easily find the content of Indian channels as they have their own Youtube channels. Youtube, also does geo-location targeting, so I f you are in India, it will show content that would be more interesting to Indian audience.
Most of the content though consists of user-generated material. It is this user-generated material that is both creating new artists and a new type of video consumption audience.
Many bloggers have adapted to making videos and have turned into vloggers (or Video Bloggers). Youtube is also home for channels that are a series of TV shows that are not found anywhere but here. It is a brilliant idea, as uploading the content is free and user reviews (both good and bad) are instant. Of course there is the risk of obscurity amidst all the videos being uploaded daily but if your content is good fame is not far away.
Youtube also actively is trying to increase its user base. They have added several films to their content list and streamed the IPL matches which garnered millions of views, this, despite good internet connection being rare in India. Also, as the internet speed improves the shift to internet is increasing. With 3G, even mobile are now being used heavily for watching Youtube videos.
The most important thing that I believe is in favour of Youtube is the fact that due to its 15 minute a video limit, it is easier to make videos.
Like twitter, a person does not have to impose a self limit and thus can use creativity in those 15 minutes. Of course, some people might want to put longer videos and it can be done but due to being 15 minutes, it takes less time to make one and even less to watch one.
The users of the internet are a fast paced generation and as bandwidth is a precious thing making videos of longer length would actually make Youtube a bit tedious.
Thus we have a plethora of artists creating 15 minutes of videos ranging from funny to informative, creative to old fashioned music videos and everything in between.
Many videos have gone viral and made the artist popular. I sure do not understand yet what comprises a video to go viral and Rebecca Black, Kolaveri Di and Gangnam style do nothing to improve my understanding.
Cat videos too go beyond my knowledge but nevertheless, they are the proof that youtube has created a parallel video service to TV that has created a completely new generation of artists and viewers.