Future of YouTube

Website Continues to Expand

On March 20, YouTube announced that it had reached a staggering 1 billion users per month.  The site is continuing to grow, with higher production content for users, and with mobile devices becoming more prominent, it seems a shift could be in the near future. What will YouTube’s next step be to continue their  consumer growth?

Among most members of my generation, YouTube has become more than just another site to see cat videos and people failing horribly at dares and physical activities. I’ll admit I have spent my fair share of time on YouTube, sometimes more than I probably should, but putting a limit on how many videos you watch is like being at a buffet and only eating at the salad bar. YouTube is a smorgasbord of something for everybody.

Since the site launched in 2005, there have been those that have created tutorials, dramas, music videos, and the list can go on and on. YouTube has reached over 1 billion users, which begs the question: What will this mean for video content in the future? It seems that if I want to watch a clip of a television show, the first place I run to is the Internet. YouTube is only one of the several sites that has been attracting consumers for years.

It’s not really hard to see why YouTube has become so popular. There are millions of videos and “YouTubers” that create weekly and daily content that is suggested by their viewers. It seems to be the best of both worlds: creators can make videos that they know will be viewed,  the consumers get what they desire and can give feedback so they know that they are being heard. Imagine doing that with your favorite television show. With these trends, I can imagine that in a few years, if not sooner, content from bigger networks will be making their way to the site. Actors such as Neil Patrick Harris and Ricky Gervais already have their own channels that viewers can subscribe to with original content. It is a fast, easy, and fun way to quickly get content to the masses.

It would be of great convenience to watch shows for free online whenever you want, and wherever you want if you have a tablet or a smartphone. Sounds to good to be true, right? It probably would be. That is one of the elements users and the site itself would have to work with. Hopefully,  YouTube could follow after Pandora and offer more mainstream content so viewers who do not want to pay will not have to, but there would be limitations on what they had access to. Let’s just hope that there is not a rebellion in the process. There were several complaints when Facebook changed their timeline design, but once people get used to the change, they learned to embrace it.

I like to think that networks such as CBS and NBC could eventually publish full length content. With technology constantly changing at such a fast pace, there may be a day when I can watch my make-up and hair tutorials and then catch up on the latest episode of “White Collar” all in the same place. I know that I would not be the only one to enjoy that.