Innovation of YouTube Essay
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Innovation of YouTube
After YouTube was founded in 2005, its value quickly surged from naught to more than 1.6 billion dollars in under two years. YouTube began as a consumer oriented media company enabling people with access to the internet watch as well as share original music, interviews, documentaries and videos from any part the world (Kim, 2012). The content on YouTube is mainly created by normal every day people seeking to share their personal preferences with other people in the virtual world. At present YouTube is said to realize more than 30 million new visitors every month making one of the most popular websites on earth. This presentation seeks to discuss the innovations of YouTube which have propelled it to a well internationally appreciated brand name.
The birth of YouTube
YouTube was founded by three individuals, Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen who sourced their experience in the internet commerce industry as employees with PayPal (Kim, 2012). In June 2005, the YouTube website was launched, setting into motion an original technological innovation. It was one of the companies at the time seeking to overcome technical barriers limiting wide spread online video sharing.
YouTube success has been driven by the organizational mission to enable the common individual take advantage of the opportunity presented to become tomorrow’s broadcasters. In other words, it aims at making the viewers of today the producers of tomorrow. As a company, YouTube innovatively transformed rules of the conventional media industry by enabling viewers choose media content they want to view (Kim, 2012). This served to enhance the personal experience of YouTube enthusiasts thus realizing an unprecedented number of new visitors from an international consumer base in a very short period. Another aspect that favored YouTube’s success was the fact that it initially sought not to interrupt the consumer’s experience with many advertisement content (Kim, 2012).
The YouTube website offered internet users a welcome change in video sharing by offering clients a simple integrated interface allowing users publish, upload as well as viewing live stream videos (Kim, 2012). YouTube allowed users to have a new and welcome online experience without the need for high degrees of technological expertise by simply having a standard internet browser and modest internet bandwidth.
Myths associated with YouTube
YouTube had by 2008 hosted more than 84 million videos. This figure represents a ten time increase compared to the figure realized in the previous year. To date, this figure continues to grow exponentially. According to Burgess & Green (2008), internet market research organizations provide that YouTube accounts for nearly 40% of all online videos viewed within the US. This growth in a previously unpopular user created content client base has been so successful making it subject to numerous investigations and myths with regards to its success.
There are three varying myths attributed with YouTube’s emergence as a popular mainstream media company. For instance, the US technology community attributes its rise to a profile entered on TechCrunch in August of 2005. Techcrunch at the time was a well respected technology business blog (Burgess & Green, 2008). This in turn found its way into another agenda setting client driven news site on new and emerging technologies known as Slashdot. The technology appraisal website, ‘new for nerds’ critiqued the architecture and technology employed by YouTube, making it a site to watch propelling its popularity.
According to one of the former founders, Jared Karim, its success was as a result on innovative features. These included the embeddable video player, email links allowing for video sharing, video content recommendations enabled by the itemized related videos and functionality consistent with contemporary social networking sites (Burgess & Green, 2013). This was however implemented after previous marketing techniques failed.
The third myth is relative to a Saturday Night Live satirical sketch which featured New York stereotypical nerds socially conversing on aiming to watch Chronicles of Narnia (Burgess & Green, 2013). The clip was subsequently titled “Lazy Sunday’ which became a hit attracting 1.2 million views after only ten days. NBC Universal threatened to sue the website is this short clip was not removed attracting a lot of media attention which positively impacted on YouTube’s rise as an innovative technological development. This outcome necessitated The New York Times to acknowledge YouTube as an innovative media innovation which could appeal to the elusive yet much sought after youthful population in the US (Burgess & Green, 2013).
Google takeover of YouTube cultivated further innovation
Existing business continuously experience the internal as well as external pressures necessitating an enabling environment fostering further innovation. Google is one of the most respected brand names in the technology industry more so for its ability to continuously embrace new innovations (Finch, 2013). Google took over the company in less than a year after it was founded. Google Inc., is known encourage its engineers to dedicate a fifth of their employee time towards exploring novel ideas. This has however proved rather difficult for the YouTube engineers under Google Inc.
To mitigate the effect of such a challenge, the company dedicates a week after every six months for new innovations to be explored by its engineers (Finch, 2013). This involves allowing engineers compel new ideas to test involving about one percent of its users. One result that has been realized as a result of this initiative was the modifications implemented improving aspect ratio on videos by integrating black bars on the sides of videos shown (Finch, 2013). A second such innovation involved preview on audio comments (Finch, 2013).
Crowd enabled innovation
Given that innovation is realized from the interactions of groups of individuals who are able to influence one another towards realizing innovative ideas, YouTube offers users the opportunities to contribute towards innovation (Terwiesch & Ulrich, 2009). One of the most potent features attributable to the internet is the ability to network numerous groups of different sizes. For instance, the open source community has allowed for technological advances such as the development of the robust Linux software. As such, YouTube has enabled innovations to be realized in other industries more so in the education sector (Terwiesch & Ulrich, 2009). This sector has undoubtedly realized positive outcomes as a result of the growth of YouTube appealing to students, educators as well as academic researchers regardless of the education discipline.
As a major player of the global mainstream media fraternity, YouTube has grown from a mere website to a respected brand name and more so a forceful player in today’s popular culture. Its phenomenal rise as a business enterprise, diversity in content and widespread acceptance in the real and virtual world has redefined relationships involving novel media technologies, creative enterprises and dynamics of the popular culture. YouTube has become one of the celebrated innovations of the century enabling innovative developments in every other industry as well.
Burgess, J. & Green, J. (2013). YouTube: Online video and participatory culture. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Finch, C. (2013). Innovation: YouTube’s Technique. Retrieved on July 15 2014 from http://www.inc.com/tech-blog/innovation–youtube%E2%80%99s-technique.html
Kim, J. (2012). The institutionalization of YouTube: From user-generated content to professionally generated content. Media, Culture & Society, 34(1), 53-67.
Terwiesch, C. & Ulrich, K. T. (2009). Innovation tournaments: Creating and selecting exceptional opportunities. Boston: Harvard Business Press.