The Power of YouTube
The world of television and online video is blurring at an ever-increasing pace. Five years ago, these two distinct areas of screen entertainment were separated into;
a) Traditional television channels, broadcasting expensive-to-make TV shows according to highly competitive schedules. These were shown only on your television.
b) The digital world of online video which meant booting up your laptop or desktop PC/Mac and sitting in front of your computer monitor to watch UGC (user-generated content) – back then mostly videos of cats falling off curtain rails.
These two worlds have now combined and the TV landscape has changed forever.
BBC iPlayer was launched on 25th December 2007 and brought catch-up TV to the masses. In its first three weeks, there were 3.5 million programme streams and downloads. By 2012, 40% of online adults were using iPlayer. Other broadcasters obviously followed suit later, and now according to a YouView survey, catch-up TV services account for a fifth of all TV viewing in the UK.
Netflix is another success story, with U.S. subscribers of its video streaming service hitting 30 million and shares up 170% from last year.
The best software in the world would be useless however without the hardware infrastructure to support it. The fast moving technology market has focused its attention on your living room, with big players such as Apple, Google and Roku all releasing set top boxes that allow you to watch channels like YouTube on your big screen TV from the comfort of your sofa. Smart TVs with access to apps such as iPlayer and YouTube make it simple for people to pick and choose their content.
We are increasingly watching YouTube, catch up TV and movies on mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. Mobile now makes up more than 25% of YouTube’s global watch time with people also using iPads as a second screen whilst watching TV. TV viewing is becoming more social through this second screen technology with social network interaction, commenting and feedback throughout programmes.
In the last 5 years, YouTube has made the huge transition from being a UGC provider to being a rock solid platform for small-medium production companies making professional entertainment for a global audience. YouTube is the largest and most varied TV channel in the world. YouTube has more than 1 billion unique users each month and according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18 – 34 than any cable network.
Audiences are clearly shifting from a passive viewing model dominated by television to a user-guided on demand model dominated by smaller, more nimble production companies that can produce great quality entertainment for much smaller budgets.
It’s a world that we know very well. For the last three years, our MD Christian has created several side projects that target the vast global YouTube audience. In 2010, Christian started making video blogs about becoming a Dad for the first time. Entitled “How To Be A Dad”, the videos have, to date, had 850,000 views.
A second project called Toddler Fun Learning came about when Christian was searching for fun, educational content to watch on the iPad with his 2 year old. “Most of the videos on YouTube were filled with hyperactive American CGI, done really poorly, with little or no educational value,” says Christian. Three months later, and Toddler Fun Learning has 11 videos, 2500 subscribers and 1 million views.
Signing up as a YouTube partner is free and opens up a plethora of benefits. The most obvious benefit being that you can start to monetize your content. If you can draw a large audience to your content then you can easily start reaping the economic rewards. The monetization process works on a pay-per click basis, with YouTube paying you every time somebody clicks on an advert before, during, or after your video.
Christian comments, “whilst we’ve already seen tremendous changes in this entertainment landscape, I do believe this is just the beginning of a major power shift from the large, established broadcasters, to hundreds of smaller production companies that are producing amazing content for a fraction of the cost. As experts in both online video production and in video marketing, social media and YouTube partner programs, we are best placed to capitalise on this new chapter in the history of screen entertainment.”
So, what does this change mean for brands?
Quite simply, brands are now able to connect with a huge online audience using broadcast quality video, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional TV commercial. More importantly, they are able to connect with their audiences in a more useful and social way. Where traditional TV adverts were purely passive, YouTube videos allow you share the video with your friends, interact with the video right then and there, and buy the product right there from within the video. In May, Google introduced a new gadget that is available as a premium offering for Google’s consumer goods clients, that allows “shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices, and make a purchase.”
YouTube annotations are also a new and powerful way to allow viewers to interact further with your videos. Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube channel does this to great effect. Check out this video from Jamie’s Food Tube featuring an interactive Mashed Potato recipe. The user is able to create their own story, and navigate to different sections of the video, and even select specific products to learn about.
We have worked with many of the UK’s most well-known companies to create online video campaigns that attract their target audience and build brand loyalty. We worked with Lil-lets on their successful Becoming a Teen campaign, creating a series of videos featuring 2 teenage girls interviewing female celebrities about growing up and becoming a teenager. The videos reached over 80,000 views in the first 2 weeks.
Work with us, and we can help you harness this power and connect with millions of people all over the world.
Click here to make an enquiry.
Curly Productions are a Video Production company based in Liverpool, specialising in online and corporate video production.