Television has been something that families sit down in the evening to watch together from the 1930’s up till now. However, the attention of the youth of today and teenagers seems to be shifting to the Internet. Video sharing websites like YouTube have become very popular in recent years and teenagers of today are enjoying Internet videos more than television broadcasts. 28% of 16-24 year old’s when asked had watched an online video in the last week and only 3% of people asked said they watched more television than they did in the previous year. In a survey of 24 12-13 year old’s, when asked, ‘Have you watched a YouTube video in the last week?’ 88% said yes. YouTube is growing in popularity among young people as it is free to view and some of the main UK broadcasting networks are uploading content too such as ‘BBC’.
Gaming videos on YouTube are very popular and young people are not just viewing videos but uploading them too. In 2010 13 million hours of footage was uploaded to the site.
YouTube has a wide range of things that you can view at the press of a button. It has lots of music videos coming from the channel, ‘VEVO’, it has lots of documentaries on the site, it has gaming videos that come from channels like ‘PewDiePie’ who has 1.3 billion views and over 5 million subscribers. The BBC have made their own channel as they began to realize that people’s attention was shifting to the internet. Loius Theroux owns a YouTube channel, created in January of this year, where he posts all of his documentaries.
There are many reasons why YouTube is becoming more popular than television and one of them definitely is the fact that it is virtually free, the costs coming from the price of a computer and wi-fi. Another reason YouTube has become more and more popular is the spreading of ‘meems’. Meems are very popular videos on YouTube that sometimes seem to pointless. An example of a meem would be ‘Nyan Cat’, a video of a cat flying whilst excreting rainbows. Also music videos like ‘Gangnam Style’ a song by PSY, a Korean music artist became very popular and reached 1.5 billion views.
The increase in YouTube attention has slowly been increasing for since it’s foundation in 2005. However, there has been a huge increase in late 2012 and 2013, things like ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘The Harlem Shake’ have been instrumental in this shift. Research showed that all the major networks in the UK own YouTube channels. BBC and ITV led the way who have had their YouTube channels for 7 years, Channel 4 posted their first video 4 years ago, while Channel 5 posted their first only 3 years ago.
This could affect family tradition of sitting together and watching television because the children may be watching their own form of entertainment by themselves using YouTube.
YouTube is still smaller than the biggest television networks, but the future for YouTube looks bright as the view counts continue to rise.