On Valentine’s Day 2015 YouTube will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary. It has been a decade of seismic change. But as Bachman-Turner Overdrive famously first sang back in 1974: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.
As a TV and video producer who has been making films for more than 30 years, my world has been turned upside down by this broadcasting juggernaut from cyberspace. And my guess is that YouTube’s influence will become even more dominant in the upcoming years.
When Google announced it was buying the fledgling video sharing website for $1.65 billion in October 2006, Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt announced: “This is the next step in the evolution of the Internet.”
At that stage of YouTube’s journey, the company reported that visitors were already viewing 100 million videos every day. Back then the rebellious 20 month old new kid on the block was making as many enemies as friends.
Today every major player wants to get into bed with the company that has grown into a conforming adult. Viewing figures have soared to more than 6 billion hours every month and rising. That’s almost an hour a month for every person on earth. (source: YouTube)
One of the reasons the Google-owned video machine has exploded into an even bigger cyber monster than the most optimistic forecast is the fundamental change in the company’s DNA.
Once a website that encouraged piracy at the expense of rights holders, the world’s biggest video search engine has morphed into an additional money-making platform for the content owners and broadcasters who previously tried to sue YouTube out of existence. The advent of sophisticated video and audio recognition software delivers an ability to monetize content. The robots have turned on the pirates. YouTube is now a cash cow for the big-hitters. And the new order has also spawned a generation of low budget filmmakers who have learned how to make a living out of their creativity.
Factor in the huge advances in video quality, its unlimited free to use model, its unrivalled sharing and customization tools, google’s complimentary supporting features and the formula is unstoppable.
A decade ago who could have imagined a world where a video filmed on a handheld smartphone could be beamed up to the clouds and instantly start making money for the uploader.
As Mr Spock told Captain Kirk: “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”
It used to be Apple and their visionary leader Steve Jobs who had the bragging rights that merited the slogan “this changes everything.”
But today we live in a Google world where Live Hangouts On Air are the next big thing. Where YouTube is the dominant force in the universe and Google+ is the key that will unlock the next expansion.
Just like the unbelievers who boasted that they did not get Twitter and told everyone to stop wasting their time, expect the same thing to happen with Google+ because it has been given SEO super powers and a pivotal role in getting your videos found.
Mark my words. Online video will play an increasingly important role for every business in the future. And Google+ will become a vital cog in the machine because it will help drive your videos to the top of google’s search engines. There is no excuse not to get on board with apps like Friends+Me that integrate google with the outside world of twitter, facebook, linkedin and the rest of the social network.
It can only mean one thing when the world’s two biggest websites are working hand in hand as Google and YouTube are.
Get on board or get left behind.
Producing dynamic content is the first requirement. Attracting eyeballs and viral sharing is the second. But the first will be rendered useless without the traffic that guarantees a highway to success. So as the headline states, if you haven’t done so already: It’s time to embrace Google’s new world and accept YouTube’s domination.