My 12-year-old daughter carries her iPod everywhere. She carries it on the school bus, puts it away for class and then plugs back in as soon as she is back on the bus. What’s odd is she is not generally listening to music on her iPod. She is usually watching YouTube videos.
I didn’t connect the dots that my daughter was part of giant trend in media consumption until I picked up a July issue of “Fortune” magazine at our library with a cover story about how YouTube is disrupting the traditional media world.
YouTube isn’t just to watch videos of music on demand or viral kitties doing adorable things. You Tube, according to Fortune magazine, is changing the TV viewing habits of the millennial generation and even younger, like my kids.
According to Fortune magazine, You Tube viewership has grown about 50 percent in the last 12 months. YouTube attracts 1 billion uses each month globally and viewers watch about 6 billion hours of videos monthly. Google, which bought YouTube in 2006, makes about $3.6 billion in revenue almost entirely from advertising. That number is expected to grow 20 percent to $4.3 billion by 2014 according to Barclays.
So while those numbers are amazing, here are the stats that show how it is revolutionizing the media industry.
From Fortune (The article is not online. Head to your local library to read in full.):
In general Americans watch about 34 hours of TV a week and they watch about 1 hour of video on the Internet a week, according Nielsen.
However, millennials (18 to 24-year-olds) watch 23 hours of TV and 2.5 hours of online videos.
“If the first era of video entertainment was network television with a handful of channels and the second wave was cable with hundreds of channels, the web incarnation is about tens of thousands of channels tailored increasingly to niche audiences. In this new world, YouTube is not only the biggest distribution platform but also its organizing force. ….(it is) an open platform where anyone can put up content and where YouTube grabs nearly half of the revenue from all the ads that run on the site.”
My 12-year-old is tuning into exactly the type of content that YouTube executives want to cultivate — original programming. She watches crazy stuff that you have never heard of on YouTube, and is constantly seeking new content and new sources.
Great news for YouTube is that my 6-year-old is also in. She came home on Wednesday and plopped down in front of the desktop computer across from my computer. I heard this crazy music come on and I said what you are listening to. She replied “Mom, it’s just YouTube.” For now she is seeking out mostly “My Little Pony” content but I’m sure that will change. My 10-year-old son is also in but he is seeking out video game walk-thrus. But the point is none of my kids come home and grab the remote to the TV, they fight over the computer and access to YouTube.
Are your kids part of the YouTube consumption trends? Do they reach for the TV remote or the computer when they come home? Are they seeking out original content on You Tube or looking for rehashes of favorite TV shows?