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It's not just about the views anymore.
There are two strikingly new(ish) things happening on YouTube that could very well position it to be one of the most interesting developments in how television (and eve movie-like) content gets consumed and monetized. At this moment, marketers have one of the most compelling platforms to better understand which of their messages resonate. Prior to jumping into the two new(ish) developments that are worthy of your attention, it is still somewhat fascinating to note how few brands leverage YouTube to better understand their consumers. Simple multivariate testing is one way: posting different television ads on YouTube and seeing which one gets more views, ratings, shares and more. Search is another fascinating domain. YouTube remains the second largest search engine (after their parent company, Google). From tutorials to product demos and reviews, it's amazing how few brands actually leverage the channel to extend their brand narrative and give consumers more in-depth understanding of their products and services. Without question, there are countless other imaginative and innovative ways that brands can use YouTube, sadly we're still seeing a vast majority of brands simply pumping and dumping their videos on YouTube as if it is one big and free receptacle for all things video. The prevailing attitude still seems to be, "hey, just post it to YouTube as well... it's free!" as some kind of after-thought.
Two new developments on YouTube to pay attention to:
The new, new media model.
Both of these YouTube business strategies help pave the way for business leaders to better understand the true dynamics of digital media. We started off in the raw terrain of selling advertising online much in the same way that traditional media was bought and sold. Now, close to fifteen years after the first paid banner ad appeared, we are still at the very early stages of seeing how digital can actually transform and improve upon the old model. Whether it is turning a TV ad into a performance-based marketing engine or allowing brands to create their own paid subscription channels to see if consumers would actually pay to be connected to said brand, we could well be entering into a entirely new domain for how video content and advertising is produced, consumed and engaged with... across multiple consumer experiences (think YouTube on traditional TVs, Apple TV models, computers screens, tablets and smartphones). Ultimately, this means that media could be shedding its reliance on advertising as the sole income earner.
The one screen world never felt closer.