What about YouTube has made it the breeding ground for new broadcasting formats? and how it has influenced established media to follow suit?

June 5, 2018

What about YouTube has made it the breeding ground for new broadcasting formats? and how it has influenced established media to follow suit?

 

YouTube has changed the way people consume video broadcasts; YouTube videos can be viewed on a TV or a computer but the most popular way to watch YouTube is on a mobile device (Smith, 2018). For these reasons YouTube videos can be on most devices and either at home or on the go. On YouTube channels about anything can grow and find a large audience (Lynch, 2018). This has led to many new and niche formats of video broadcast that could never have been imagined finding massive audiences. Also, these new formats have already started to spread from social to traditional media and it could be speculated that they will continue to do so shaping the media industry as a whole. However, the old medias of TV and Radio cannot replicate YouTube’s main strength of immense diversity and how it puts content before audience. By studying this we can better predict the future of the media industry and adapt to it to stay relevant.

 

Many new YouTube broadcasting formats have nothing particularly innovative about their content but are so ridiculous in concept or niche that no media company would dare take the risk of producing the first one. However, the nature of how easy it is for anyone to make a video and upload it to YouTube allowed for the experimentation needed for these formats to gain an audience. In the future, these formats could be used by the rest of the media industry. Examples of these formats are “Oddly Satisfying videos”, “ASMR videos”, also the hydraulic press these new genres have yet to be used by an older media like TV.

 

The way YouTube allows for experimentation was beneficial to video game commentary genre broadcasting format. In 2005 the video game market was far smaller. The small number of gamers in this era created the first video game gameplay videos. They made their audience more interested. Acting as free and exponentially growing advertising for video games, Gaming YouTubers promoted games. ‎Gamers used to be part of a minority of people were interested in them. This has all changed today they are mainstream. This can be seen by looking at the videogame market; $9.9 billion in 2004 (Smith, 2018) to $108.4 billion in 2017(Calvin, 2018) that's almost a 1000% increase.

 

This effect is so extreme that videogames are being made with YouTube videos in mind. The shift from linear story driven games to sandbox and open world videogames is dramatic

(see Appendix A). There are many issues with making videos about linear story games. First, the video could have had spoilers that could alienate potential viewers who want to play or have not finished the game. Another problem is stories need to be experienced as a whole to work so all you really can do with them is a let’s play (see Appendix B). These videos rely completely on the charisma or skill of the YouTuber to be interesting. However, an “open world” or “sandbox game” (See Appendix C). For example, Minecraft, one of the best-selling video games of all time (Tassi, 2016), had a massive reliance on YouTube videos for its advertising. The way the game is about making your own fun in a sandbox has allowed for so many YouTubers to do something unique with it and show their unique personalities or skills while doing so. After the massive success of Minecraft, which was an indie game, the big video game publishers like EA and Activision could have saw the power of YouTube advertising and have been making more of their games open world. (Loke, 2018)

 

Vlogs is a new broadcasting method from YouTube in which a person speaks to the camera while showing what is happening to them. This genre makes the viewer feel like you have made a deep connection with someone even though this is completely one sided. It’s a “safe fun and easy” way to connect with people you will never meet. Once you are connected to them you are now invested and this makes you want to keep watching. Vlogs also provide escapism as they let you see into the lives of others; how true this view is irrelevant. Vlogs are perhaps the most widely appealing broadcasting format on YouTube (The Chick's Life - RV Travel, 2015).

 

Internet memes have existed since the early days of the internet. Thanks to YouTube they have fully transition from pictures to video. The way YouTube suggests new videos to viewers has also worked great for memes as they are often iterative allowing a viewer to see many similar memes by clicking through their suggested videos. As a video gains views it is more likely to be suggested and watched by others. The way that YouTube functions (and all other social medias for that matter) increases the chance of memes going viral (SciShow, 2016).

 

News has become more like YouTube recently. After the transition to online of newspapers occurred they started making videos rather than simply having a copy of the newspaper on their website. This allows for stories to be kept up to date with the facts. It also allows for watching of older videos. Viewers can pick and choose the stories that interest them.

 

Because of the volume of YouTube content any person can find exactly what they want to watch. TV has only about 100 channels at a time whereas YouTube has over 5 billion videos to choses from. For this reason, TV has to be made for broad audiences. But YouTubers can make theirs how they like them and end up more specific and niche. As most YouTubers fill any niche imaginable they are all filled making YouTube much more engaging. For this reason, it could be possible that these new broadcasting formats are so niche that they only can work on a service like YouTube and could spell the doom of television. “YouTube as a whole, even YouTube mobile alone, now reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the United States of America.” (Kenyon, 2017)

 

Appendix

A)

B)A Let’s Play is a YouTube video showing a screen captured video of a gaming session wherein the player provides commentary over what is happening. (White, 2013)

C)Open-world video games are a type of video game where a player can roam freely through a virtual world and is given considerable freedom in choosing how or when to approach objectives. (Sefton, 2008)

 

 

 

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