Skip to content

Is This The End of YouTube As We Know It?

April 2, 2009
Broadcast Whose Self?

Broadcast Whose Self?

Word on the street (and by street I mean the digital streets of the interweb) is that YouTube is planning a major redesign of its site set to launch later this month. The new layout clearly separates premium and user-generated content (UGC). The changes come as social media sites are under increasing pressure to figure out ways actually generate revenue. The New York Times reports that Google, with its revenue growth slowing, “has been trying to add professional content to YouTube in an effort to lure advertisers. Professional videos are more appealing to advertisers than videos uploaded by users.”

According to sources familiar with Google’s plans for YouTube, “the new design will do away with the current navigation scheme — which funnels users into ‘videos,’ ‘channels,’ and ‘community’ categories. That layout will be replaced with a tabbed navigation with clearly defined sections for professional content. The new design will offer four tabs: Movies, Music, Shows, and Videos. The first three tabs will display premium shows, clips, and movies from Google’s network and studio partners, all of which will be monetized with in-stream advertising. Meanwhile the Videos channel will house amateur and semi-pro content of the sort major brand advertisers have shied away from.”

The new interface is “totally a Hulu approach,” says one agency executive briefed on the redesign. Hulu, the News Corp. and NBCU-owned video portal, has grown tremendously since its inception only one year ago.

While the changes at YouTube may be well-received by advertisers, consumers are up in arms. UGC will still have a place on the site, but  it seems to be taking a backseat to paid content. Unless this was an April Fool’s joke (the article was written March 30th), I think you’re about to see some real disappointed YouTube fans.  Reading forums regarding the change, it is clear people are pissed off. Below, I’ve pulled some of the more radical comments from the thread. It appears the revolution will be televised… on YouTube… with commercials.

“They’re going mainstream and it’s sad. This is the end of Youtube as we know it.”

“If I wanted to watch TV, I’d watch TV. I hate TV, that’s largely why I spend so much time watching ‘amateur’ YouTube videos. I’m wondering if those days are about over.”

“It gives people an outlet-somewhere they can voice their opinion and have a feeling of self-worth. It’s not much- but it can mean a lot for others. Also broadens our outlooks on the world- we are now introduced to new cultures and get to talk to people in those other countries. Gosh. Seriously this a sure thing?”

“I thought it was called YouTube – Broadcast Yourself for a reason 😦 ”

“The Nerdfighters won’t stand for this. We cannot sit around and see our community buried under corporate television shows. Our user-generated content has created an entire subculture of people who share similar interests, and we’ve become friends through YouTube.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacy Hull permalink
    April 6, 2009 9:50 am

    Very nice post. The end of an era I would say. The man’s way of killing all that is good and pure.

  2. Crystal permalink*
    April 20, 2009 9:28 pm

    Advertising revenue wins. Terrific post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: