YouTube celebrates its 10th birthday this week and boy, look how it’s grown. From the quirky site that hosted funny animal videos to the grand fromage it is today.
It remains the platform of choice for vloggers hoping to make a fast buck and brands that want to take advantage of its SEO. Yet – as it enters its tweenage years – challenges to its supremacy are starting to emerge and it could be set to face a period of adolescent angst. So we thought we’d cast our rheumy eye at how the online video landscape may develop over the next few years.
1 – The era of big data is upon us. On the whole, the video content owner doesn’t really know who’s watching because YouTube keeps most of the viewer data for itself. Google Analytics will tell you how many views and for how long, but not a lot else. Whereas certain video and interactive video platforms can offer you a lot more viewer data and deeper analytics, such as IP address; location of the viewer and what device it’s being viewed on. Surely if you’ve commissioned and paid for your own content, you should have a right to own the data?
2 – YouTube is very noisy. It requires an enormous amount of work for your video to be noticed by your audience. You will need to employ a number of paid for tactics, get your staff and company behind it and then hope that there is a good reaction and some useful interaction and engagement. If not, it can all feel rather disappointing.
3 – Social Video. Facebook and Twitter have become a lot more aggressive in the video space and both are starting to use their platforms and their social abilities to share content. The autoplay function on Facebook feeds may be a tad annoying but it may soon be giving YouTube a few sleepless nights. It’s already showing some fantastic results compared to its more established rival.
4 – Cleaning up. Rivals platforms such as Vimeo don’t get as many unique views as YouTube but it’s favoured by the creative community. And there are a few reasons for this. Vimeo’s lay-out is cleaner and less cluttered, the videos are bigger and the focus is on the film not the peripherals.
5 – Think about the kids. Many of them are now not watching TV in their living rooms, they’re in their bedroom hooked on YouTube videos. But the parents have no idea what they’re watching. It could be porn or violent clips. For many years YouTube has fought against banning certain offensive content as there’s simply too much content to regulate. But surely it can’t get away with this forever and it may have to start rating content like the film industry does.
We sincerely wish YouTube a very happy birthday, it’s been a hugely successful and groundbreaking ten years (and we wouldn’t be here without it). But when they raise a glass of something fizzy this week, the glass may be just a tad emptier and the bubbly slightly flatter than it was just a few years ago. Mind you as any parent of a 10 year old would say, whoever said life was an easy ride?
Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below.