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Is User-Generated Video Getting Sidelined by the Pros?

Lately it seems that the videos of YouTube are less about the general public trying to find their 15 minutes of web fame and more about the Big Kahuna media companies whose video wares have been gaining more notice both on YouTube and elsewhere on the web.  In other words much less “you” and much more “them”.  But isn’t that inevitable?

for example, in recent weeks, YouTube has signed deals with CBS and MGM. These deals are noteworthy because both involve airing full-length TV shows like “Star Trek” and films like “Bulletproof Monk” on the site.  Clearly these aren’t the user-generated clips on which the three-year-old site built its foundation and reputation, but they do reflect facing the future as growth opportunities.   Yes, even before those deals, YouTube had channels for all sorts of professional clips, so this evolution to full length is not a shocker. 

Don’t worry.  There is still a staggering amount and variety of Diet-Coke-and-Mentos-grade home video being uploaded to YouTube – some 13 hours of it each minute.  In some respects, YouTube is playing catch-up to compete with the flood of shows available on the web from all the major TV networks, both on their own sites and others, like Hulu and Yahoo.

YouTube does not give out breakdowns on pro vs. am popularity. However,  the current list of the top-ten most-viewed videos of all time includes a bunch of pro music videos and comedy routines, a Spanish-language short film, and a user-uploaded clip of a laughing Swedish baby that has been viewed nearly 67 million times. Who’da thunk?  What’s obviously happening here is the beginning of a monumental battle for online video viewers’ attention.  There may even be a third party in contention for your web viewing time… the marketers. Some have already created webisodes to promote products. Hence the possibility that the future of video may be determined neither by users nor media companies, but by marketers.

So, in general the fight for your attention will always come down to how whomever can make a buck or two (million).  Until they figure out how to really capitalize financially many viewers will enjoy the variety availabe that continues to florish.



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