Video streaming platforms are rapidly unseating cable television as the population’s go-to source of entertainment. Their affordability, convenience, and targeted algorithms make for a more pleasant experience than waiting for a specified time in front of a television just to watch your favorite show. In a survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte, 53% of Americans prefer streaming television shows, and 56% are streaming videos monthly. The market share of digital media is only posed to grow in the future.
YouTube is one of the biggest online video-sharing platforms, boasting more than two billion logged-in viewers every month and one billion hours of videos being watched every day. You can find content for almost anything from how to build an itinerary for your next road trip to quick fixes for your central air unit. How about a kid who unboxes and reviews toys? This is exactly what Ryan ToysReview does, with his channel taking the title of having the most video views of all time.
What makes YouTube influential in today’s society is its ability to make content, both creating and consuming, accessible to the general public. Users can easily upload, view, share links, and subscribe to other creators. Even if you are not registered on their site, you can still watch the bounty of videos available. Though being registered can make your viewing experience more personalized as the site’s algorithms suggest content you might enjoy based on what you’ve been watching. Here are a few more ways the platform is changing consumer behavior.
YouTube redefines your expectation of free.
As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. YouTube, however, redefines what it means to get free content. While the platform offers hours of video content, archives of music, and clips from films for no financial payment, YouTube shifts the cost of watching to advertisements. People are more willing to watch a few ads to keep getting content. It is interesting to note that this business model is not new as non-cable tv has long adopted this method, but it is now becoming the standard. Entertainment industries are shifting to a two-tier subscription system where ads fund free views while paid users can enjoy higher video quality with no ads.
You can become a self-made star.
Most popular Youtube personalities like Safiya Nygaard and Rhett & Link are almost self-made. They are vloggers with personal channels and massive fanbases, making their millions through interesting and sometimes low-budget but relatable content. Talks about celebrities and fame already include having a well-known channel on YouTube. Big brands, multinational companies, and traditional media have also started to realize the potential of partnering with YouTubers, getting them as endorsers for their products or sponsoring content to increase media mileage.
You can’t go wrong with pets.
It’s not only people being thrust into YouTube stardom as fluffy dogs and quirky cats are also sharing the limelight. There’s just something with these adorable fur babies that makes people laugh and coo at their antics and shenanigans. Tardar Sauce, most famously known as Grumpy Cat, was one of the Internet celebrity cats with a huge following and multiple merchandises like a mobile video game, comic books, and stuffed toys.
The influence of YouTube knows no bounds as the platform continues to change expectations and challenge assumptions. It is here to stay, delight, and keep us entertained with hundreds of content.