With over 1 billion unique views every month, YouTube is one of the largest and most valued websites we have access to. Once started as a dating website, it has turned into a video sharing website worth more than $70 billion as of 2015.
In 2005 the website was purchased by Google and in 2006 it was the fastest growing website on the internet – offering more than 100 million video views online. The website is now accessible on all digital platforms, including smart phones, tables and connected TV’s.
The video sharing website has allowed ‘YouTube Creators’ to create a brand based around themselves, giving those the ability to build a career. One of the top earners of YouTube includes Zoe Sugg (more recognisably known as Zoella). She has expanded her YouTube channel to a home and lifestyle brand. Whilst channels such as the SacconeJoly’s offers advice to viewers on how to cope with family life in an informal and captivating format.
More recently, the website has diverged in its usage, increasing in popularity for accessing news and current affairs coverage, with BBC and SKY both offering access to their content through YouTube. SKY offer viewers live coverage of their News on YouTube, with on average 3,000 people watching the news through this medium at one time.
Within education, Google has heavily advertised the use of YouTube in the classroom – with Teachers uploading extra resources for their pupils or University Lecturers uploading lectures for their students.
However, more crucially, it has became a key domain for marketing. Google have attacked TV advertisements and claimed that YouTube adverts are more effective. One of the main brands advertising on YouTube is Sony, showing adverts before videos and having their own channel, creating exclusive content for the website.
In terms of advertising, companies such as Apple heavily utilise this tool. Giving consumers an insight into their new offerings, creating hype around the brand and further informing customers on the use of their devices.
Celebrities such as Jamie Oliver have effectively marketed themselves. Jamie has his own channel called FoodTube, and through such has obtained a sponsorship deal with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.
Politically, YouTube held great importance for Barack Obama during his campaign. Over this period of time, they posted over 3,000 videos on his channel. Including videos from celebrities and politicians. The channel gave viewers first hand access to Obama’s debates throughout his campaign. The British Government recognised Obama’s success and have their own channel – informing viewers on the structure of the Government and the impact they are making to our local communities.
Alex Slaine is a first year CAM student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on Twitter @alexslainee