Everyone and their cousin loves watching videos on YouTube. Your guilty pleasure could be funny videos of cats, inspirational videos, movie trailers, or something else. At Lendio we occasionally will indulge into some great marketing commercials (new and old) to not only bring a smile to our face but also to get the creative brain cells moving.
It’s hard to believe that YouTube is just barely 8 years old. It has come a long way from domain registration on Valentine’s Day 2005. I recently read an article, How YouTube Went From Startup to the World’s Largest Video-Sharing Site, by Megan Rose Dickey that shows the timeline of YouTube in 22 slides. These slides give us a quick insight into the reasons why YouTube took off. Here is what I learned from YouTube’s history:
If you build it, they will come:
The idea for YouTube came in 2004, a year before it legitimately began. Do you remember the wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake during the super bowl? If you didn’t record the game, including the halftime show (when it happened), you didn’t have the ability to easily look it up afterwards. This problem led to the idea of Youtube, a website where people can upload, comment on, and share videos online.
Be willing to make sacrifices to keep a B2B relationship:
In 2006 NBC had YouTube take down a music video “Lazy Sunday,” taken from their TV show Saturday Night Live. Removing the video meant also getting rid of hundreds of thousands of views attached to it. Even though this didn’t benefit YouTube they satisfied a complaint from NBC. Later the next year NBC leaped into the digital world by making a deal to promote its TV show content on YouTube which allowed videos like “Lazy Sunday” and others to be viewed on YouTube. NBC was the first big partnership to arrive at the YouTube party.
Turn hobbies into a business:
There are thousands of users on YouTube who post content religiously to a wide variety of unique audiences. More content equals more followers and more followers means more advertising views. YouTube decided to reward those users who upload videos frequently and have a large volume of views per video by setting up their Partner Program in 2007. Both parties benefit from this relationship because YouTube gets paid to have affiliate ads on their page and videos and the users get paid per click (PPC).
Branch out to new audiences:
YouTube is mostly known for its funny, unbelievable, or weird videos people capture about things happening in life. In 2007 CNN decided to team up with YouTube to allow citizens to ask questions directly to the candidates in the debate by uploading a video with a question. Two years later the US congress launched a channel that allowed citizens to gain access to what was happening. These two markets drive a totally different audience than what I mentioned above. Just make sure not to neglect one market in order to obtain another.
YouTube has blown up through word of mouth. People talk about videos in daily conversation, popular television shows are dedicated to showing the videos with witty commentary, and you are able to easily share a link to any social media website. The best example of how quickly word of mouth can spread is the most viewed YouTube video of all time “Gangnam Style,” which has over 1.3 billion views. The genius behind YouTube is that it’s driven by everyday users through word of mouth (digitally or literally).
What is your favorite YouTube video?