I've had a few people ask what I think about the news that teens are leaving Facebook. Honestly, I've been a little surprised it was news but there you go. Kids will go where their interests lie. So, sites with music, gaming, music, fashion and entertainment. And music. How about YouTube?
A quick look at YouTube uncovered there are more than 1 BILLION viewers. The new YouTube Music Awards show that streamed live, represented videos with combined views of +1.9 billion. I'm captivated by their Trends Map, which shows the top videos in the U.S., shown by city, gender and age. Seriously, I might not be a fan of any of the videos but it's fascinating data you can watch in almost-real-time. YouTube is making it easy, with loads of useful information and support for creators and advertisers if you scroll around in the footer.
YouTube is huge already but it's bound to explode with a generation of young and self-absorbed people who are taking selfies and blogs to vlogging. Pronounced vee-logging or blogging with a soft 'v' at the start, there's a crazy number of vlogs out there by people you've never heard of. Many start with the same story, "So I thought it was about time I try this. I'd been thinking about it for awhile but didn't because I thought I didn't like my looks or my voice, but then just said, I'm going to put myself out there, so here goes!" Great. Just what we were all looking for.
YouTube has long been home to amateur cooking, how-to and DIY videos; the earliest vlogs. [Most annoying, my autocorrect keeps changing vlogs to blogs]. For Food Network addicts like me, Jamie Oliver is messing around with a new made-for-YouTube show, Food Tube and Alton Brown says he's going to be launching a new show too. YouTube has music; new music, old music, virtuosos and people learning to play, music from when you were a kid whenever that was and music from wherever you're from. Would flash mobs have happened without YouTube? Gaming, fashion, sports, whatever. YouTube has content with every narrow interest that's out there so it's easy for viewers to find what they like and easy for brands to be where their target audiences are.
YouTube is helping creators and personalities distribute to the widest audience possible without broadcasters getting in the way. Because of YouTube's algorithms, though it's a ton of content, you get the content you're most likely to want to watch, based on your gender, location, age, viewing habits etc. Which is sort of how I wish TV worked now when I get more channels than I could have imagined and still can't find anything to watch.
What it means to brands is that they can develop unique content and place it in highly select verticals where niche audiences are hanging out. It means brands can start creating more stuff that's less advertising and bringing more value in through developing native content that mines inspiration, information or entertainment, than they could in the traditional formats that television offers.
Content is everything now and YouTube's the next Facebook for brands to connect with the people they want to reach.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every brand that is making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.