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The rise of Youtube

YouTube is a place where anyone and everyone can share video clips, from a six second clip of their baby's first steps to a 6 hour stream of a gamer playing Minecraft. Businesses also upload to YouTube with branded content such as movie trailers or promotional explainer films, or, for example The Conan Show share clips pulled from episodes recently aired on TBS.

You can find a video for almost everything from almost anywhere in the world however if watching events as they happen is your passion, YouTube also have the feature to stream content live. This is most popular with sporting events, news and politics, and gaming.

The YouTube platform was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005. It was then purchased less than a year later (November 2006) for US$1.65 billion in stock by search giant Google. Today, YouTube is the third most visited website in the world with more than one billion users!

Support team member Natasha is a regular YouTube visitor, and upon researching whether TV is being left behind and replaced by YouTube for younger generations, she came up with the following:

“An article I read states that,
‘Younger viewers have begun to consider YouTube as their go-to viewing hub over traditional television. Not only did 13- to 24-year-olds report that they were more entertained by YouTube content than traditional TV shows, according to Defy Media’s new Acument Report: Constant Content, but they also espouse lots of respect for YouTube creators. In fact, 69% of those between 13 and 17 suggested that YouTube stars could be perfectly successful TV or movie stars.’

As an avid YouTube Subscriber, I believe that the reason that these online stars are becoming so successful is because they are easier to relate to than TV and movie stars. They are normal people doing normal things such as creating make up tutorials, stand up comedy, singing or just giving general advice and conversation on topics that teens and above find interesting. YouTube also enables the creators to get instant feedback on their content, meaning that you feel as though your voice is getting heard. Being able to give instant feedback or your initial reaction and the fact that Youtube is so easily accessible is what makes it so popular for teenagers. They can access YouTube anywhere, on their phones, tablets and laptops for free.

6 out of the top 10 influencers for 13-18 years olds were YouTube stars according to a recent study in Variety magazine. This goes to show that teenagers are in search of online content rather than TV more than ever.

Zoe Sugg aka Zoella started her YouTube channel back in 2008. She hit one million subscribers in 2013 and now has over 7.5 million subscribers, a best selling book and a beauty range as well as being featured in Debrett's 500 most influential people in Britain. It is rumoured that she has made £10,642 a day in the past 12 months through product placement, blogging, her YouTube channel, beauty line and her book. The views Zoella gets on her videos are stats that some TV channels can only hope for, averaging on 22 million video views a month.

Looking into statistics and seeing if they reflect my findings I found a Telegraph article findings that stated ‘Television consumption by 16 to 24-year-olds fell for the third year in a row.’ The article goes on to say that ‘In the last year an a half, viewing by 4 to 15-year-olds has tumbled 22pc and viewing among 16 to 34-year-olds is down 15pc, according to the analysts.’ They have attempted to explain why this might be by saying ‘While older people formed their television habit long ago, 15-year-olds today will have only dim memories of life before the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. They have grown up in a world of ubiquitous screens, online video delivered by broadband and mobile apps. Improving internet speeds, both at home and on the move, which are also probably playing a role.’ In my personal opinion this may see Television be forced to evolve, to offer options that will be attractive to the younger generation.

For example EE, which launched its new television service on Wednesday, is aiming to capitalise on the trend with a system that is built for multiple screens from the ground up. This will play into the hands of the younger generation that have a screen at hand at all times, ready to soak up the content on offer.’

As April is around the corner, I leave you with a list of April Fools Day pranks that Youtube pulled on it's visitors, which just goes to show how much they understand their target audience. We are looking for fun, light hearted, informative and relevant video content, and Youtube is the place to find it.

YouTube has featured an April Fools prank on the site on April 1 of every year since 2008:

2008: All the links to the videos on the main page were redirected to Rick Astley's music video "Never Gonna Give You Up", a prank known as "Rickrolling".

2009: When clicking on a video on the main page, the whole page turned upside down. YouTube claimed that this was a new layout.

2010: YouTube temporarily released a "TEXTp" mode, which translated the colours in the videos to random upper case letters. YouTube claimed in a message that this was done in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second.

2011: The site celebrated its "100th anniversary" with a "1911 button" and a range of sepia-toned silent, early 1900s-style films, including "Flugelhorn Feline", a parody of Keyboard Cat.

2012: Clicking on the image of a DVD next to the site logo led to a video about "The YouTube Collection", an option to order every YouTube video for home delivery on DVD, videocassette, Laserdisc, or Betamax tapes. The spoof promotional video touted "the complete YouTube experience completely offline."

2013: YouTube teamed up with newspaper satire company The Onion to claim that the video sharing website was launched as a contest which had finally come to an end, and would announce a winner of the contest when the site went back up in 2023. A video of two presenters announcing the nominees streamed live for twelve hours.

2014: YouTube announced that it was responsible for the creation of all viral video trends, and revealed previews of upcoming memes, such as "Clocking", "Kissing Dad", and "Glub Glub Water Dance".

We look forward to 2015's prank!