Believe or Not, Why YouTube Might Be The Next Big Thing

While people are discussing new players on the social media landscape, or talking about whether messaging platforms will overcome Facebook and Instagram, the next big thing in social media and TV might be #YouTube. If you thought YouTube was old news in connected TV and Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon ruled the day, you should probably think again.

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, a social network with over one billion users worldwide and over 300 hours of content uploaded every minute. It started as a user-generated video content website in 2005, allowing regular people upload their self-made videos and interact with a community of like-minded users. 12 years later it can boast an audience bigger than that of most major traditional TV channels. YouTube is a go-to place for almost anything: sports, news, fashion, lifestyle, cooking and so on. It has its own stars, YouTube festivals, fan meetups, and even a YouTube alternative for Oscar awards.

Believe it or not, YouTube might indeed become the next big thing, both for users and advertisers who will soon discover its full potential, and here is why:

● YouTube content is increasing in quality due to high competition. Since producing videos for YouTube is much cheaper than producing TV shows, more and more people want to become “YouTubers” and start sharing their art/knowledge/skill with the world. But the only way to win the hearts and minds of the audience is to offer something better than what already exists. It implies the use of first-rate equipment for an extraordinary video and sound quality, deep topic research, artful editing, constant work on your speaking skills. As a result, an insane amount of YouTube content looks absolutely professional, stunning us with its quality and keeping our eyeballs glued to the screen for hours.

● Traditional TV is slowly shifting to YouTube. Even though content on YouTube is mostly user-generated, many TV show producers create official YouTube channels and upload their best content there. Shows like The Daily ShowLast Week TonightSaturday Night Live and many other are now available online, and often gather more views on YouTube than on TV on the day of official episode launch. Moreover, YouTube serves as an “online time capsule”, giving your access to your favorite childhood cartoons, TV shows, and music videos at any time of the day (or night). Judging from that, we can state that a great deal of traditional TV content is now being consumed online, and the trend is not going to die anytime soon. By 2025, half of viewers under 32 will not subscribe to a pay-TV service.

● Advertising on YouTube is cheaper and more effective than on TV. YouTube is truly a goldmine for advertisers.First of all, it gives an opportunity to reach very specific target markets. Even though traditional TV might offer a bigger reach due to its universality, your YouTube ads will be served to people who are genuinely interested in seeing them, thus, your ROI will increase. Secondly, things like fan loyalty and authenticity make it much easier to market a product (be it through direct ads, affiliate marketing, or brand mentions). Moreover, since the cost of video production on YouTube is much cheaper, advertising does not cost an arm and leg, which is extremely good news for marketers.

YouTube is indeed a power that might change the TV industry forever. While traditional cable TV is still around, media is slowly adapting to a new reality where online video consumption gains momentum. The recent news is that YouTube announced the launch of YouTube TV. It is, of course, too early to jump to conclusions right now, but who knows, maybe that’s our future?

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