YouTube – The New TV? – By Alice Stansfield



We went from no television, to black and white, to colour and now the internet – to sum up our channel viewing quickly. Our technology is forever advancing, but where will it go next? Across the media platforms: print, broadcast and emedia, it is clear to see the popularity of emedia constantly growing in the new generations, but will broadcast via television die out?

The simple answer is we don’t know, but in some way or another it will always continue as we advance in technology. Whether it be posting a video on the internet or watching the next series of Sherlock on your sofa seeing if you can work the mystery out before the man himself, broadcast will always be around.

However, a popular form of broadcast lately has been a convergence of emedia and broadcast on a very popular website ‘YouTube’. YouTube, as Wikipedia defines, is ‘a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. The name and logo of the company are an allusion to the cathode ray tube, a display device used since the early days of electronic television. This website has proved popular in the last few years with a certain species known as ‘vloggers.’ If you don’t know what a vlogger is it is a person who makes video blogs or to dumb it down – an individual who sits in front of a camera and talks about their life (I am one of those people and proud to say so!).

The reason vlogging has become so popular over the years is that anyone can make a vlog. Yes even you. The reasons it seems so popular is it’s free to upload; free to get feedback and a great way to share your content. YouTube isn’t only a place for vloggers, anyone can upload anything whether it be…

a music video

a short film

or a video of their cat looking adorable

But why am I suggesting this could become ‘the new TV’? Well, like I said, the generation of today is moving more towards emedia than any other platform. Possibly due to user generated content (UGC) of putting your own information online and the internet becoming so powerful. With this mass audience open to the online virtual world 24/7 it seems silly not to consider the fact that the internet is the perfect place to, as YouTube says, ‘broadcast yourself’.

BBC themselves have their iplayer available on their website for those who don’t wish to watch the programme on TV at the time it’s on or don’t have time to, etc. As you can Subscribe on YouTube (meaning you would get updates about that channel when they upload a video) it becomes an online TV for yourself to view who you want when you want. Therefore, in the future if we are so glued to the laptop screen now, then who is to say we won’t move from our TV screen to permanently look at the internet to watch when we want.

Yes, however, there is now the option on things like the Sky Box to have On Demand settings meaning you can record programmes and watch them when you choose to, but the internet is somewhere where you have it all in one place. So I can see why YouTube itself may not become ‘the new TV’ but the internet itself may take over the idea of a family sitting down on a Saturday evening with their dinner trays to watch the latest episode of ‘Doctor Who’, because of this on demand system.

This isn’t a good or bad thing, it’s just another thing that moves with the times, keeping up with the generations which are forever changing. Either way the idea of a story being told through word of mouth, reading or watching will always be in place. YouTube is just one of the websites that gives the opportunity to get yourself out there and allow others to see you rather than fight for an audition to appear on the big screen, the little screen is just as good – and by the looks of things has more viewers. So just think, what will you be watching?

By Alice Stansfield.

Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood blogger!

Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback  @hislittleemoo

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9 thoughts on “YouTube – The New TV? – By Alice Stansfield

  1. What will I be watching? The same thing I always have done: sprawling multi-year dramas that become works of art in their own right. Until Youtube can manage to provide such things (which given it’s free nature is incredibly unlikely), it’ll continue to be the place for throwaway cat videos rather than being ‘the new TV’. Interesting hypothesis though.

    1. What sort of things do you mean by ‘multi-year dramas’? Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. I done something really different through YouTube the other day – they were supporting live streaming of the Bonaroo festival. It was great, I mean I had to get up at 2.45AM to watch Foster The People live from the US…but the fact that i could? AMAZING it just makes everything feel so different! I have disconnected the TV in my room now and it only attached to the PS3 which is connected to WIFI. I use it mainly to watch all the catch up digital players and if I am not watching catch up I play music. The idea of switching the TV on without an aim doesn’t exist for me now.

    1. I didn’t know they did live streaming like that, that sounds amazing and worth getting up for, shows how things are improving. For example, I’m seeing the play Frankenstein this Thursday at the cinema being broadcast from the theatre!

  3. I fear I came across as harsher than I perhaps intended in the first post. Don’t get me wrong – I like Youtube as much as the next person and it definitely has it’s place for entertainment. I always struggle with this side of the internet. The democratisation is a great thing – anyone can put anything out, whether it be Youtube, music in Soundcloud, self-publishing etc, but it leads to a massive lack of quality control as well. One day the internet will find a way to reconcile this, but we’re not there yet.
    Taken literally, I don’t own a television and haven’t done in some time. When talking about tv, I usually consider it to mean the programming form rather than the delivery mechanism. I watch more tv than I ever did – just via the internet or DVDs instead of actually when things air. We’re by no means at the point where Youtube or it’s peers can offer anything near the quality of full on television productions.

    1. I understand where you are coming from and I didn’t think you sounded harsh, so no worries. I do agree with the lack of quality control, but then does creativity need to be controlled? But I see your point.

      1. Good question. No, creativity doesn’t need to be controlled, and not should it be. My issue lies more from the audience side of things than the creative side – if everyone is putting themselves out there, only x amount is going to have any great worth to the average person watching. Finding that amongst all of the noise is nigh on impossible.
        And to answer the earlier question about what I mean by multi-year dramas, pretty much any tv production. It was a glib throwaway comment mostly in a cackhanded attempt to make the point that the next Wire, Lost, Friday Night Lights or whatever isn’t going to come from Youtube.

  4. I think it could be controlled in some way, like maybe there could be tiers within YouTube. I mean the censorship issues on YouTube are awful and I still don’t understand how the police have not got involved in some comments since trolling is now becoming an issue. I think at some point there will have 2 be almost 2 sides to YouTube or something. Its just tricky because no robot can judge a video on its content so YouTube wouldn’t have the facilities to control content by human. Hmm…pondering….

    1. Ed I see your point and maybe YouTube may make something like ‘Lost’ but I agree audience reaction may not be as successful. Natasha, the censorship needs to be way more controlled although it’s hard to track it all but even reporting negative comments takes time to process.

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