YouTube and the changing face of TV broadcasting

Apple may be ditching YouTube app from iPhones, but that’s unlikely to do too much damage — all anyone needs to do is navigate to the video sharing site’s homepage using Safari and use the ‘Add to Home Screen’ command to access the clips. The move does however serve to confirm that the online world’s video broadcasts are becoming as important as conventional broadcasting.

[We’re really quite pleased with this Olympics video we made last week.]

Changing the channels

Viewing habits are changing. This means online destinations such as YouTube are becoming “real” broadcasters. That’s part of the thinking behind the evolution of YouTube channels, specific places for different sorts of content that you can find if you dig around the service.

These channels are part of an ambitious attempt by the Google-owned service to begin offering a range of niche channels from showbiz veterans. The company has poured $100 million into the channels so far and intends spending twice that on marketing.

There’s a huge range of channels on offer, including Comedy, Bollywood movies, Investigative news reporting, Monty Python and more. These destinations have been quietly made available throughout 2012.

Dreamtek has made a contribution to this, developing and installing a state-of-the-art TV studio at Google’s London headquarters as part of the Creator Space scheme. Take a look at the Creator Hub and keep it bookmarked for some of the work that’s coning out of there.

[Here’s an example of the investigative reporting you can find exclusively on YouTube.]

Content is king

Similar investments are being made worldwide, Nirvana Digital a Bollywood audio and video content creator and distributor has launched a YouTube Content Creators Network in India. As in the London studio, YouTube partners will be able to use these facilities to create new content.

Nirvana Digital said that it plans to create the largest video network for Indian content and it is looking for video creators across various genres. It’s also preparing to offer thousands of Bollywood films for free viewing via YouTube BoxOffice.

What does this mean? That’s simple, really, it means a viewer in the UK will be able to access homegrown content from different parts of the world on their mobile device, computer or smart TV. As smart television evolves (Apple TV, Boxee and so on) you’ll see these viewer friendly resources made increasingly available on the box in the front room, too.

That’s a problem for conventional broadcast models. The world is becoming multi-channel, giving viewers a broader choice than ever before. Key events such as The Olympics will continue to draw crowds, but everyday viewing faces even stiffer competition.

The promise of wider choice is great, but it’s also a challenge. Not only will this impact conventional broadcasting business models, but content consumers will increasingly be challenged by the complexity of navigating through all this choice. And that’s where social media comes into its own.

A UK TV Licensing survey suggests 57 percent of adult social media users aged under 35 turn to social networks when they’re deciding whether to watch a show or not. It there’s a buzz online, they might give it a try.

[We also made this Olympic-related clip]

Olympics records

The Olympics have been a huge example of how things are transforming. Queen’s University social media expert Sidneyeve Matrix notes: “Social media is stealing away some of mystique of Olympic television spectatorship. You don’t need to tune in to prime time Olympic coverage to find out who won the gold medal in swimming or rowing. Why watch a broadcast in the evening of an event that happened four hours ago when you already know the outcome because of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or reading an on-line newspaper article?

The Olympic audience is becoming more fragmented,” said Velti chief marketing officer Krishna Subramanian.For brands that want to reach Olympic viewers, this is an important finding as it highlights the ability to look beyond TV and focus on secondary devices such as smart phones and tablets.”

Over 40 percent of Americans are live-streaming Olympics coverage on their smartphones and tablets. Already one-third of Europeans are streaming TV shows over the Internet, up by 10 percent on 2011.

Of course, YouTube isn’t the only Internet-based channel that’s begun threatening established broadcast. Other examples include the BBC’s iPlayer, Apple’s iTunes, Vimeo, Dailymotion.

All of these services are hungry for new content, and that’s where the opportunity sits for creative — the world’s crying out for interesting new content, and the race between these services means the next big thing could come from somebody’s front room. And we think that’s potentially very, very interesting.

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