I’ve been talking about the demise of traditional TV since 2006. The signs were all there; the rise of on-demand with Netflix and Amazon services, so many more cord-cutters every year and of course the rise of YouTube as a source of entertainment.
We’ve seen more and more YouTube celebrities pop-up of the last few years with some of them even crossing over to TV programs either as a pundit or sometimes even with their own show. The reasons for doing this seemed clear. First off there was a larger audience for TV and – maybe most important – the money involved was much better.
But something is changing… You see, YouTube is finally become the advertisement platform of choice for many advertisers, and with that comes money. Not only for YouTube, but also for those publishing on YouTube. So the money is there, and it’s actually money that’s flowing away from TV to YouTube. Why? The audience is there and is more captivated. Much more captivated.
So now when YouTube celebrities like Marques Brownlee or Casey Neistat are asked to trade in YouTube for a TV channel they decline. Take this snippet from an excellent long-form interview with Marques:
Though Brownlee has no shortage of professional opportunities, his focus in the short and long term remains on making YouTube videos. During his freshman year of college, Brownlee says, he turned down an opportunity to join Rettinger as a video personality forTechnoBuffalo in Los Angeles. Two years ago, Brownlee received offers to join CNN and another television news outlet as “the guy who talks tech,” but decided to pass. “I would be on TV, but if I’m not doing what I was doing before, which is making videos, then I’m not longer enjoying it,” Brownlee says.
Or check out this video by Casey talking about the value of the YouTube platform, and consequentially shares his thoughts on the changing YouTube monetization policy.
That’s policy BTW is a whole other can of worms which also highlights the threat to YouTube channels; you are building your celebrity on someone else’s platform or ‘channel’ which in turn means you are depended on that one entity to treat you well…
So what we are seeing is the demise of TV as we know it. It’s going slowly, actually slower then I would have predicted, but is a trend that can’t be stopped and media companies need to think about other models to survive. That’s exactly the reason why media companies here in The Netherlands are searching for new business and talent. And guess where they are looking? YouTube.