10 years ago when YouTube posted its very first video on the site, few would have predicted that this platform would take on such an integral role in our day to day lives in the future.
Back in 2005, it was created as an easy way for bloggers to upload videos onto their sites, but, it soon became a destination site of its own, and within the space of a few months YouTube viewers were consuming the equivalent of an entire Blockbuster store each month! Fast forward 10 years, and the most recent statistics show that more than 300 hours of videos are uploaded every minute by a billion users worldwide. Not only that, it is now the world's 3rd most visited website (unsurprisingly after Google and Facebook)...so what is it that makes YouTube so popular?
In the 1980's and 1990's, visual entertainment was broadcast to us. We tuned in our tv sets and had access to a limited set of channels with a limited set of programmes, and no choice in the matter. All that changed with YouTube. Now viewers could access the content they wanted, when they wanted, as often as they wanted, and it was FREE.
At the beginning, the television industry was nervous that YouTube would replace the need for live broadcasting, but now we're often referred to a show's YouTube channel to watch extra footage that they didn't show us. And shows such as X Factor use this platform as a way of generating extra interest and cutting down clips for us so that we can search for and watch our favourite performer from a previous episode.
Nowadays, the entertainment industry is very much driven by on-demand availability, and this suits the YouTube culture perfectly. Content of all types is readily available, just a search and a click away. It is the versatility of the platform which makes it such an all around winner; you can listen to music, reminisce over old tv clips, watch makeup or cookery tutorials, have a walk-around tour of a hotel you are thinking of visiting, watch other people's pets' antics, watch an informational webinar, anything you could ever want or need is available on the channel. Not only is it available on desktop, tablets, mobiles and smart tvs, but all Android phones and tablets come with the app pre-installed!
The number of hours that consumers are spending on YouTube each month is up 50% year on year, and it's easy to see why; with the rise of 4G availability and free public wifi, our technology is constantly connected. Even if you are out and about, you can simply plug in your headphones and access the same content as everybody else.
So what will YouTube be like in the next 10 years? At the moment it is still very much a video service, rumour has it that it will become an all round entertainment service, offering up virtual reality content and games to sit alongside videos and music, as well as broadcasting live sports and tv shows.
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