YouTube 5.0 Begins

Netflix is watching “GOOG” and its potential use YouTube to stream longer form content. See WSJ blog. And read about YouTube’s move to live streaming ala Ustream and Blogtv.

I’d say the concern is significant, and this marks the fifth phase of YouTube…

Phase 1: Pirate Sharing (2004-2006)
Phase 2: Amateurs & Community (2005-2009)
Phase 3: Video Search Platform (2009-2011)
Phase 4: Mainstream and Semipro Content Aggregator and producer (2010-2012)
Phase 5: Live Programming and Video Anywhere (2010-2013)

These phases aren’t precise in their beginning and end, and each builds on another. So technically there’s still plenty of pirated content, but far less and harder to find. And amateur hour isn’t quite over, but YouTube’s emphasis is on music, web series and professional content.

YouTube has not touched long-form content significantly (check the latest comScore data to see that Hulu and Netflix dominates when you rank websites and platforms based on view duration). Also find some important comparison graphics to see what’s at stake for the ustreams and others.

But since YouTube, like Google, is the “first stop” for most people searching for video content, it has a natural advantage to be the default 3-4 screen streaming media player.

This 5th stage, of course, takes GOOG and YouTube into unchartered territory that requires:
-Device dominance: plus for Android, but Apple still leads and Google TV is far from the new OS for televisions or web devices.
-Equity on search: can you be both a neutral video search engine and a content owner? Given difficulties licensing pro content, YouTube appears to be stepping up original content: example Next New Network purchase, and more recent news about investments in custom content).
-Better deals with production studios and networks (to overcome the barriers that cable and telcom are forging). But in the meanwhile it appears that YouTube’s focus is on broadening distribution as a platform and as a network for smaller producers.

What do you think? Is YouTube the MySpace of our time, or will it be the dominant platform and search engine for any/all video? Off the latter, what’s it need to do to maintain relevance?

19 Replies to “YouTube 5.0 Begins”

  1. I believe Youtube is finally going in the right direction, thinking of it self as an Entertainment channel/source for the new age of media. they are again connection with creators, beginning to sponsor contests to help develop content (although this round i disagree with alot of their chioices) . In essence every thing i have stated publicly or you have stated at anyu point in time, about youtube focusing on its creators seems to be coming to fruition. hell it only took them 4 years to figure out the future of entertanment! 😛 think they were premature in pushing out Google TV with out the available content to support it, but now can we rise up to the moment and make this the hollywood of the web? that remains to be seen!

  2. Yes, You Tube is expanding and including more, in what it can, and MIGHT deliver. But at what long term cost? Will the amateur content providers, who may occasionally “go viral”, stop producing? Will the truly innovative content creators go on to a new community based site, so that they will be noticed?
    The one attraction of You Tube, is the ability for persons from around the globe, being able to easily see and comment on other’s projects.
    Lose the sense of being a part of a well known site, and You Tube can become just another web video site.

  3. well i feel youtube will remain on top for quite a long time, unlike myspace youtube is run by google and look at how long they’ve managed to keep number 1 in search engines. All they need to do is keep adding cool unique features to the site and keep promoting the community.

  4. youtube is so unique. For the average visitor it is just the site they go to when someone shares a viral video. My guess is the avearge viewer doesn’t have an account and thus doesn’t “subscribe” to channels.

    With that said, the nalts and shaycarls and the thousands of people who think they can have their 15 minutes of fame through youtube are what give youtube life. metacafe, viddler, etc. couldn’t replicate the community and the community is what has kept youtube fresh.

  5. Phase 2 was where Reubnick started, and also where it ended. It was the best Phase. I miss Phase 2.

    It’s also the name of the place I buy my shoes!

  6. This post makes me think, well, whats the point of me posting any more videos on youtube? Im not capable of slick content. Im just a dumb broad with a camera, windows moviemaker and a kid who cracks me up who I like to show off to my little clique of other tubers. Fuck it. Im heading out to score some smack so I dont have to think about this shit anymore.

  7. Out of 20, If you let the community-partners fill at least 1 channel (call it community channel, YT has got a presenter under contract), that makersgroup can be payed in advance.

  8. It seems YouTube has grown up beyond many of us, and I expected that. Fortunately I still get almost the same monthly views, but less and less through subs. Mostly related vids. So one algorithm change and -poof- I’m gone.

  9. Nalts, if that ever happens, you can come and join me and many others in the Youtube afterlife. It’s nice here. Plus, those guys who did the Mentos and Coke video and the guy who made “Youtube is my Life” is here, too. Man, that guy’s a riot!

    Youtube’s just not the place for us classy gents anymore, I guess. Face it, embrace it, ERASE IT! Kabow!

  10. Kevin, You let the Subs and Views happen Naturally. The Trend for the past couple years is to work/ask for Subs, Favs, Thumbs up and Retweets.

    PLUS there are Channels that are part of Bigger groups/Production Companies. I believe they are “Promoted” so that they get more views and eventually more subscribers. Should those “promoted” videos/ channels announce that they are “promoted” and what Company in their Video. Like they have to say whether or not they are promoting a product. Just for Full disclosure.


  11. This morning I made one of the best egg burritos, I ever made. Iv been eating them all day and just now realize I have a few hours of content that I can use.


  12. Meh. I get 7,000+ views a day, every day, 365 days a year, come rain or come shine. I don’t think more than 50 of those views come from subscribers. I get 10 to 20 comments per video. Long live the algorithm. But I get more “community” out of Facebook, so Youtube has become a plugin for my Facebook page.

  13. So, are we saying that YouTube is doomed like myspace or just that is changing continuously and that eventually Nalts will fade away?

    Also, is starting to sound like the number of subscribers doesn’t mean anything anymore, I guess if it is because people can’t keep up with all their subscriptions and they ditch the idea altogether.

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