What is YouTube? Let’s start: YouTube was brought to life by Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jawed Karim who used to work at PayPal together. However, YouTube is now run by Google after being bought out in 2006.
Inside YouTube: The World’s Preeminent Video Entertainment Platform
In less than two decades, YouTube has redefined entertainment, learning and culture itself for over a quarter of the planet. From showcasing breakout talent across music, comedy and commentary to reshaping access for continued education, YouTube represents humanity’s leading video platform delivering a personalized, addictive stream of culture’s pulse.
But what specifically fueled YouTube’s unprecedented, generation-defining rise? Beyond the pet dancing videos, YouTube connects and amplifies voices often excluded from mainstream media. Through relatable, passionate creators across niches producing snackable yet meaningful content, fans bond around learning, purpose and community unlike anywhere else. Advertising remains secondary to the authentic, user-celebrating ecosystem allowing anyone to cultivate and interact with their own creative outlet or showcase.
For those seeking to better understand today’s attention economy, the following guide breaks down need-to-know statistics around YouTube’s scale, decode the science behind video entertainment optimization, and provide start-to-finish instruction enabling anyone produce their own engaging channel with insider tips steering clear of common mistakes. Let’s explore the power only a self-defined media arena allows.
My aim with the intro is set context on YouTube’s societal impact and unique appeal before summarizing key areas covered in the article.
The good news? Creating an account is breeze. If you have a Google account – you’re all set!
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Table of Contents
What is YouTube Used For?
Anyone can watch a video on YouTube. In fact, the most viewed video on YouTube to date is Despacito by singer Luis Fonsi having reached OVER FIVE BILLION views! Check it out here…
YouTube was meant for more than just watching, though. YouTube’s mission was to be a website where people from all over could watch and upload original content. To be watched, rated, commented, or shared.
While YouTube was aimed at the individual user’s big media corporations jumped on the bandwagon too. Thus, a variety of content was available to upload such as T.V. Shows, video clips, music videos, documentaries, live streams, and of course original video content. You had to be a registered user though to do so.
How Does YouTube Work?
So, how does YouTube work exactly? Are you new to the YouTube scene wanting to get in on the perks YouTube has to offer? Then you are going to have to create an account. There is more than one type of YouTube account, though.
• The YouTuber Membership: this is your basic YouTube account and its free to sign up. It gives you the freedoms to upload videos, rate, comment share, create your own personal channel, subscribe to other members channels making connections.
• Directors Membership: Directors accounts are aimed at directors who can personalize their channel with their director and performer information and logos. Their channel also appears on the main YouTube channel page.
• Comedian Membership: This account is aimed at comedians where they can upload their video material they made to help promote themselves. The Comedian membership lets you post your performance dates on their personal channel.
• Musicians Membership: This account is aimed at musicians wanting to promote their musical ability. A musicians account will give the musician space to put their performance dates on their personal channel.
• Guru Membership: Aimed for those who have expertise in a certain subject and want to educate viewers. The Guru account lets them have a space to list their credentials on their personal channel.
• Nonprofit Membership: This account is for organizations and causes that are nonprofit. They can gather donations thanks to Google check out app. They can set up donation acceptations on their channel page.
• Partners Membership: This account is for those that want to join YouTubes partnership program where they upload content then share in the revenue created by the advertising.
• Sponsors Membership: This account is where sponsors pay to be prominently featured on YouTubes main page.
Uploading YouTube Videos
The first thing you need to know is that all YouTube videos are in Adobe Flash Video format. If you want to view YouTube videos you must have Macromedia Flash Player 7.0 or higher. Most PC have come equipped with it. If not, the software is available to download on the internet for free. Once again If you want to upload videos you first must create an account.
Once that is done you can upload your videos. They must be in QuickTime(.mov), Windows Media Video(.wave), Audio Visual Interleave(.avid), and Moving Pictures Expert Group(.mgp). Once uploaded YouTube coverts them into .flv
What is YouTube Monetization
You’ve likely heard about the average joe person generating thousands of dollars on YouTube. Is this true? Well…partly. You can make money on YouTube, but it is now not as easy as it was. To begin with, you have to be a part of their Partner program. Joining the Partner program allows you to make revenue via Google AdSense.
Their current rules though state that you must have at least 1,000 subscribers. That along with having a total viewing time of 4,000 hours in the past 12 months to count as being a part of the Partner program. This means if you have a video that blows up and only have a small number of subscribers, you will not gain any revenue.
What is YouTube Red? Now known as YouTube Premium. YouTube Red remains the latest thing launched on the website. Debuting back in 2015 YouTube Red is a premium service for users. The price is about $10 a month and it delivers you Ad free watching on the YouTube site as well as on the YouTube app and other watching devices. It also allows you to download videos to your devices for later watching as well as hosting original series, movies, and specials by your favorite YouTube personalities. Remember this is only available on YouTube Red.
YouTube overall is the most popular place on the web. It has estimated visitors watch 6 billion hours of video’s every month.
How will you make YouTube work for you? Now you know the basics, you’re limited only by your imagination.
YouTube By The Numbers:
With over 2.5 billion monthly logged in users and over 1 billion hours watched daily, YouTube has immense popularity across regions and demographics for entertainment and information:
- YouTube reaches more people aged 18-49 than any broadcast or cable TV network. Over 90% of America 18-24 use it.
- Channels earning over 1 million subscribers is up over 50% year-over-year showing the rise of influencers
- YouTube drives over $12 billion annually in economic value for creative ecosystem including media production equipment companies
Leading Content & Creators:
Music: Pop songs and music videos make up YouTube’s most watched category. Top artists like Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift easily generate billions of views.
Gaming: YouTube has birthed gaming superstars through streamers like PewDiePie providing entertainment commentary on new game releases to over 100 million loyal subscribers.
DIY/How-To: Channels like 5 Minute Crafts offer seemingly unlimited life hack and project tutorial videos to their subscribers, leveraging key interest in convenient educational content.
Vlogging: Video blogs document popular YouTuber’s daily lives. Leading stars like MrBeast have cultivated highly engaged communities around their vlogging adventures and challenges.
Comment conversations between fans and creators drives much of the platform’s interactivity around cult shows, music releases, meme trends and pop culture. YouTube also serves as a talent incubator for up and coming artists using it as a launch pad.
YouTube Channel Creation Tips:
Formats – YouTube supports uploads of a wide range of video formats from phones or DSLR cameras like .MP4, .AVI, .MOV, and .WMV. Optimal length for maximum engagement is typically 10-15 minutes.
Equipment – Start creating great content with your smartphone or basic DSLR camera kit. Focus on quality lighting first. Then upgrade to stabilization tools, external mics and editing software over time as viewership develops.
Optimization – Enhance viewership and shares by testing engaging title formulas focused on targeted keywords. Write compelling, benefit-driven video descriptions elaborating key points. Add end cards and links.
Legal Guidelines – Understand fair use doctrine for copyrighted material commentary vs licenses needed for certain song use. Don’t use brands without permission. Disclose sponsorships transparently.
Promotion – Leverage existing social followings by teasing new videos. Collaborate with stars in same interest niche for co-marketing exposure. Post consistently with clear calls to subscribe.
YouTube’s Career Impact:
YouTube has birthed entire new categories of media entrepreneurs and influencers by allowing anyone to build massive niche audiences across vertical interests. Key stats:
- Over 40,000 channels now boast over 1 million subscribers representing significant earning potential for creators through ads, affiliate revenue shares and branded sponsorships
- Leading YouTube stars like MrBeast, Jake Paul or PewDiePie now out-earn many mainstream celebrities thanks to loyal follower bases
- Categories like finance, health/wellness, sciences, education and more find huge fan engagement around authority voices producing practical tutorials or commentary
YouTube has eliminated gatekeepers dictating talent opportunities. Instead, authenticity, consistency and connecting genuinely around shared interests fuels viewer followings. This allows more diverse voices and subject matter experts to gain exposure.
Evolution of YouTube Features:
Key milestones empowering creator expression and viewer engagement:
2005 – First version allowed uploading and free video streaming capped at 10 minutes
2007 – Launches YouTube Partner Program formalizing and expanding opportunities for creator monetization
2009 – Comments allow fans and creators to interact while embeds help media publishers leverage capabilities
2013 – Paid channel subscriptions enable more ways for top talent to monetize their audience value
2016 – Community tab rolls out for updates and polls to further interact with channel subscribers
2018 – Stories format copied from Snapchat comes allowing more off-the-cuff short updates
2022 – Gifting feature lets fans pay to highlight their live stream comments and support creators
YouTube Controversies & Adaptations:
YouTube has navigated several complex issues over the years related to offensive content, copyright, and monetization policies. Some key issues and policy evolutions include:
- Rampant piracy led to ContentID system scanning videos against database of fileprints to better police unauthorized usage
- Advertiser boycotts around offensive extremist content made the platform demonetize more objectionable creators and provide brands more say
- FTC violations on children’s privacy forced new age restrictions and parental controls for more videos targeting under 13 demo
- Changes to ad revenue sharing spurring ‘Adpocalypse’ tanking incomes for some talent led to more transparency and appeals options
While tensions between corporate interests, advertisers and creators inevitably flare up, YouTube keeps adapting policies balancing economic realities with maintaining an open platform.
Emerging YouTube Viewership Trends:
Based on the latest viewership patterns, key rising trends include:
- Long-form content seeing more engagement – 20-30+ minute videos on dedicated channels around topics like psychology, finance, and self-help
- Rise of multiplayer gamer collaborations and battle royales drawing bigger subscription audiences than individual streamers
- ‘How-to’ niche channels around hobbies, DIY projects and specialized tutorials continue growing especially on weekends
- International Channels for Bollywood content, Korean pop-music, and Spanish-language gamers attracting more domestic viewers seeking cultural immersion
What is YouTube? FAQs
Q: What guidelines dictate appropriate content?
A: YouTube policies prohibit nudity, violence, hate speech, spam, scams and dangerous content. If guidelines are violated, videos get removed and channels suspended.
Q: Can I use copyrighted music?
A: Small excerpts may qualify as fair use but licensing through distributors gives full rights for broader commercial applications.
Q: What advertisement options exist?
A: AdSense, sponsorships, native channel promotions and affiliate links help creators monetize. Over 1,000 channels now make over $100K annually.
What is YouTube? Expert Commentary:
“The best creators don’t get fixated on fancy gear early on. Focus first on authenticity and quality content that helps, entertains or inspires your niche. Production polish always comes later.” – Matt Wise, Founder of YouTube influencer talent agency Cap Influence.
What is YouTube? Conclusion
In conclusion, YouTube has cemented itself as the undisputed leader in video-based social entertainment while still possessing seemingly unlimited potential for continued impact across education, expression and connection worldwide. While competitors come and go, YouTube’s commitment to empowering individual voices through accessible technology ensures the platform’s longevity.
For those seeking to help, inspire, entertain or simply document life through cinematography’s remarkable power, starting your own channel puts more influence at your fingertips than ever before. Plan diligently – connect genuinely – produce consistently. With billions of aggregate minutes consumed daily across languages, the right creative concept could earn global amplification overnight through YouTube’s boundless reach.
Yet beyond seeking fame, witness how your perspective impacts those struggling or curious in your nearest community. Step into exchanges illuminating diverse backgrounds. YouTube’s ultimate success traces not to algorithms, but to human hearts longing to uplift each other. What story can only you tell that needs to be seen? The microphone stands ready when you are.
You can also check out this article for more information about the platform, such as, when was Youtube created?
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