Is it wrong that at night, when I’m alone in my apartment, I’m scouring Popurls.com for the top YouTube posts and searching uncontrollably for Maury Povich’s show on Pickle Phobia?
Maybe not wrong, but definitely weird and probably concerning to my friends and family.
But I’m not the only one who’s into this user-generated video site; a recent USA Today article says YouTube reported 2.5 billion videos were watched in June of this year alone and more than 65,000 videos were uploaded to YouTube, accounting for more than 60 percent of all videos watched online.
YouTube, developed in February 2005, originally specialized in shorter, homemade, comic-like videos created and uploaded by users. But with its recent NBC partnership and banner ads for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, YouTube has now entered the marketing mainstream.
Not to mention the search engines, who are paying a little more attention to their own online video platforms. Just last week Yahoo announced it will now store homemade videos on its own site with many features similar to YouTube.
I think the best part of YouTube is its viral marketing abilities. For example, NBC captured an old WB pilot episode all because it demonstrated incredible popularity after it was leaked on YouTube. The pilot, Nobody’s Watching, was cancelled by WB one year ago, but appeared on YouTube with high download numbers. So now NBC is airing six episodes. And let’s not forget NBC’s recent deal to post promo clips from Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
But there is still the issue of profit for this online, user-generated video world. I highly doubt it will ever be a user-subscription-based model, after it has been free for so long.
But questions remain.
Disney only advertised 24 hours. Who will advertise next?
Is the partnership with TV networks a step in the right direction? Or, a sign that YouTube is going too mainstream?
And what happens when it ceases to be cool? Will the loss of the cool factor indicate a loss of profit opportunities, too?
The future of YouTube may be undetermined, but we must remember a pickle phobia is real, it does exist and it’s serious.