The New Age of Television
YouTube has become quite the phenomenon and why shouldn't it...anyone that wants to be a star can and YouTube provides the audience to make it happen. Whatever your interest may be you can make a video and have an opportunity for the world to see. I remember this couple that had posted their wedding dance to YouTube. They had such a growing popularity that they were invited to be guests on the Today Show. The fact is that these online videos can be produced without huge production and promotional budgets. Literally anyone can post a video. Michael Wesch's YouTube explanation of the power of Web 2.0 technologies has been watched more than 2.8 million times around the world. "My video created great connections for myself and the university," said Wesch. "More specifically its success resulted in extensive nationsal and international media coverage, donations to KSU anthropology department, as well as broad and intense interest in the program from students and faculty around the nation and the world" (Lights, Camera, Action).
Many may wonder if this is a fad that will pass. "An August 2006 report by In-Stat, a technology research firm, indicates otherwise. The report predicts the number of households watching online videos worldwide will grow from 13 million in 2005 to 131 million in 2010" (Lights, Camera, Action). This creation is also changing the way of advertising. YouTube is a medium in which you can reach a vast amount of people with a form of television online. It can target content that is relevent to it's product. Until now, advertisers have underwritten mass media to reach mass audiences, but since the network TV audiences have shrunk, they are realizing the opportunity the Internet offers.
The problems facing YouTube are like many other internet sites is that of protecting the works of others. "YouTube had until recently been at a loss to manage the situation, relying on safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to insulate itself from liability. Until it actually installs a newly developed copyright infringement sniffer, the best it can do is take down individual clips in response to a rights holders complaint" So what about "Evolution of Dance," for instance? To put together this medley, did Laipply license 30 songs? "Don't know," replies YouTube senior marketing director Julie Supan. "You'd have to ask Judson." In the next breath, though, she suggests that the brief music excerpts fall within the bounds of fair use. (YouTube vs. Boob Tube).
In conclusion, YouTube has allowed people to share their creative expressions with the entire world. It is in no doubt here to stay. With it projected to have 131 million households view it by 2010 and for Google to acquire it is no small deal. YouTube is in a way the new age of television.