Social impact of YouTube
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YouTube, by providing a video hosting service, has been involved with popularizing Internet trends in popular culture. Its users represent of society and it is part of a set of social networking sites that people and organizations often maintain a presence on. YouTube has created some internet celebrities in its own right. It has been recognized and honored as a global archive and bulletin board of socially valuable video messages. Some aspects of how the site operates, such as its video ranking system, have sometimes been the subject of criticism as users vie to achieve a maximum number of views for their videos.
- 1 Internet celebrities and the breaking of boundaries
- 2 George Foster Peabody Award
- 3 Video rankings
- 4 References
Internet celebrities and the breaking of boundaries
YouTube's popularity has led to the creation of many YouTube Internet celebrities, popular individuals who have attracted much publicity in their home countries (and sometimes world renown) due to their videos. The most subscribed YouTube user, as of August 2013, is PewDiePie with over 13.5 million subscribers. On November 24, 2012, Psy's video "Gangnam Style" became the most viewed video of all time on YouTube, with over one billion views. The previous video to hold this title was Justin Bieber's video "Baby". For some users, fame has led to unexpected results and, in some cases, crossovers into traditional media or entertainment avenues. Former receptionist Brooke Brodack (Brookers) from Connecticut was signed by NBC's Carson Daly for an 18-month development contract in June 2006; Brodack was among the first individuals to transition into mainstream media through YouTube. Another discovery was the uncovered fictitious blog of lonelygirl15, now known to be the creation of New Zealand actress Jessica Rose and some film directors. In 2007, a Dutch vocalist and songwriter named Esmée Denters (esmeedenters) was signed to a recording contract by Billy Mann based on her YouTube performances. Another YouTube singer, 15 year-old Savannah Outen, was signed to Levosia Entertainment after posting videos of herself singing on the site. Also, Canadian singer Justin Bieber (Kidrauhl) was discovered through YouTube and signed a record deal with Usher.
On January 31, 2007, Fox announced that Lisa Donovan (LisaNova) would appear as a cast member during the 12th season of its sketch comedy show MADtv. Terra Naomi (terranaomi) has been signed with Island Records, a division of the Universal Music Group, one of the Big Four record labels. Brandon Hardesty (ArtieTSMITW), known for a popular reenactment series among his work, appeared in a GEICO television commercial running nationally in the U.S. and it consists mostly of a segment taken from his Strange Faces and Noises I Can Make III video. Brandon has also been contracted by an agent and was hired for a role in the independent film, Bart Got a Room.
Ysabella Brave (ysabellabrave and ysabellabravetalk) announced in two videos on June 3, 2007, in connection with a Los Angeles Times feature article about her on the same day, that she has been signed by Cordless Recordings, a division of the Warner Music Group, also one of the four major records labels. TheReceptionist announced in a video on July 9, 2007 that he will be providing content for Comedy Central's website.
Cory Williams (aka Mr. Safety of smpfilms) is the host of the first national television show to spawn from video bloggers. It's a "best of the net" type show called The FIZZ on DirecTV channel 101 in the United States. The show has been on air since September 2006 and features other popular YouTubers such as boh3m3, TheWineKone, Kevin Nalty, TheHill88, and many others. Williams has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTV Scarred, as well as a few popular music videos (Bloodhound Gang and Against Me! being two of the bands).
Pat Condell's videos attracted the attention of Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. Subsequently, 35 of his videos were published to DVD, which was sold on Dawkins' website and Amazon.com.
Before the launch of YouTube in 2005, there were few easy methods available for ordinary computer users who wanted to post videos online. With its simple interface, YouTube made it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to post a video that a worldwide audience could watch within a few minutes. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of Internet culture.
An early example of the social impact of YouTube was the success of The Bus Uncle video in 2006. It shows a heated conversation between a youth and an older man on a bus in Hong Kong, and was discussed widely in the mainstream media. Another YouTube video to receive extensive coverage is guitar, which features a performance of Pachelbel's Canon on an electric guitar. The name of the performer is not given in the video. After it received millions of views The New York Times revealed the identity of the guitarist as Lim Jeong-hyun, a 23-year-old from South Korea who had recorded the track in his bedroom.
Charlie Bit My Finger is a viral video and has received the most views of any user generated YouTube video. It has over 485 million hits as of October 2012. The clip features two English brothers, with one-year-old Charlie biting the finger of his brother Harry, aged three. In Time's list of YouTube's 50 greatest viral videos of all time, "Charlie Bit My Finger" was ranked at number one. A speech by Zach Wahls in support of gay marriage went viral, and ended up as the most watched political video in 2011.
On July 15, 2012, Korean rapper Psy (officialpsy) uploaded a video called "Gangnam Style". It soon hit the charts on YouTube and now has over 1 billion views, the first, and currently only, YouTube video to do so.
YouTube music cover
YouTube music cover
A YouTube music cover is the adaptation of any song, specifically those popular in today's culture, by a professional or amateur musician that is uploaded via audio or video file to YouTube. YouTube music covers have become more popular recently, paralleling to the growth of social media. The cover can be done acoustically with real instruments or via audio file instrumental. The cover can appear to the YouTube Community in the form of a performance or an mp3 audio file that is usually accompanied by a picture. YouTube music cover’s help amateur musicians receive public notoriety for their talents.
Anyone claiming to be over the age of 13 with a YouTube Account can upload a YouTube Music Cover by selecting the upload button at the top of the homepage and selecting the video that they want to upload. There are no criteria to measure talent. It is free to the public and if the user chooses security settings can be manipulated in order to allow The YouTube community to participate in the life of the uploaded content via feedback through comment, opportunities to embed the uploaded content and sharing through means of other social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook.
Justin Bieber has achieved musical success through YouTube music covers. Savannah Outen has also received success by developing her own acoustic musical adaptation to popular music via YouTube Music Covers. She began her release of music covers in 2007. South Korean-American singer Ailee was discovered through YouTube music covers also. The duet Karmin also started by posting their music on YouTube.
Minority representation vis-à-vis mainstream media
The Washington Post reported that a disproportionate share—8 of 20 in April 2012—of YouTube’s most subscribed channels feature minorities, contrasting with mainstream television in which the stars are largely white. Such channels thus target an audience largely neglected by traditional networks, which feel pressure to appeal to a broader audience. According to the study, online media offer a way to push back against enduring stereotypes.
Sharing revenue with popular users
In May 2007, YouTube invited some of its most viewed users to become "YouTube Partners." This exclusive status, previously only offered to commercial content providers, allows users to earn revenue from advertisements placed next to videos. Ben Going (boh3m3), Paul Robinett (renetto), Lisa Donovan (LisaNova), Jessica Rose (lonelygirl15), Kevin Nalty (Nalts), Tony Huynh (TheWineKone), Brandon Hardesty (ArtieTSMITW), Christine Gambito (HappySlip), Cory Williams (smpfilms), Charlie McDonnell (charlieissocoollike), Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox (smosh) and Yousef Abu-Taleb (Danielbeast) were among the first 100 partners. As of January 2012[update] YouTube has about 30,000 partners. Its top one hundred partners each earn more than $100,000 annually and some, like The Annoying Orange and Shane Dawson, earn "much more". Many of these partners now work with a Multi Channel Network to increase advertising revenue and viewership.
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (April 2011)|
YouTubers periodically hold public gatherings to celebrate the video sharing community. One of the earliest of such gatherings, the recurrent and international As One, was first held in January 2007 in Los Angeles by Cory Williams of smpfilms. The second As One, also hosted by Cory Williams, was held on February 17, 2007 at Pier 39 in San Francisco, managed to attract many of YouTube's highest viewed individuals. Notable attendees included Caitlin Hill, Ben Going, and Yousef Abu-Taleb, the actor who plays DanielBeast in the YouTube series lonelygirl15. A third gathering took place on July 7, 2007, at Washington Square Park in New York City. A singing invitation to the event, posted on YouTube by Christine Gambito, YouTube's Happyslip, gained over 2.6 million views. Notable attendees included Brooke Brodack, Caitlin Hill, and Kevin Nalty. Yet another took place in Washington D.C. on September 8, 2007. An As One gathering was held in Melbourne, Australia on December 1, 2007 at Federation Square. Another two gatherings were planned by smpfilms at the beginning of 2008. The largest gathering in the United States is VidCon with the UK equivalent being Summer in the City. Both are held annually and feature thousands of attendees.
On June 28, 2012 Google has launched a new feature in Webmaster Tools that allows webmasters to add "associates"—trusted users who can act on behalf of your site in other Google products. Unlike site owners and users, associates can't view site data or take any site actions in Webmaster Tools, but they are authorized to perform specific tasks in other products.
For this initial launch, members of YouTube's partner program that have created a YouTube channel for their site can now link the two together. By doing this, your YouTube channel will be displayed as the "official channel" for your website.
George Foster Peabody Award
YouTube was awarded a 2008 George Foster Peabody Award and cited for being "a 'Speakers' Corner', where Internet users can upload, view and share clips, is an ever-expanding archive/bulletin board that both embodies and promotes democracy."
YouTube has a number of ways of ranking its videos, the most popular of which is "most viewed", which is divided into four categories: today, this week, this month, and all time. The current rankings are:
- Spotlight Videos
- Most Discussed
- Most Viewed
- Top Favorited
- Most Responded
- Top Rated
An explanation of YouTube video rankings can be found here.
Controversies over video rankings
The viewing figures of some YouTube videos have been the subject of controversy, since there have been claims that automated systems have been used to inflate the number of views received, which is forbidden by YouTube's terms of service. In March 2008, an unofficial video of the song "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" by the Brazilian band Cansei De Ser Sexy briefly held the number one slot for the all-time most viewed video, with around 114 million views. It was temporarily removed from YouTube after allegations of automated viewing or hacking, before being deleted by the uploader. The viewing figures for the video outnumbered the "most favorited" rating by around 21,000 to 1, compared to around 500 to 1 for other top rated YouTube videos. YouTube's terms of service state: "You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, 'robots,' 'spiders,' or 'offline readers,' that accesses the Website in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser." A spokesperson for YouTube commented: "We are developing safeguards to secure the statistics on YouTube. Although it is somewhat difficult to track how often this happens, it is not rampant. As soon as it comes to our attention that someone has rigged their numbers to gain placement on the top pages we remove the video or channel from public view." Clarus Bartel from Italy, who had uploaded the video, denied attempting to boost its ranking, stating: "These gimmicks do not belong to me. I've got nothing to do with it. The accusations geared towards me have saddened me greatly."
The YouTube video of the Avril Lavigne song "Girlfriend" was also accused of having an exaggerated number of views due to the use of a web link posted by AvrilBandAids, a fansite devoted to Avril Lavigne. Clicking on the link would automatically reload the YouTube video of "Girlfriend" every fifteen seconds. Fans of Avril Lavigne were encouraged to: "Keep this page open while you browse the internet, study for exams, or even sleep. For extra viewing power, open up two or more browser windows at this page!" The video of "Girlfriend" overtook "Evolution of Dance" by Judson Laipply as the all-time most viewed video on YouTube in July 2008. "Evolution of Dance" later retook the top slot, currently having around 199 million views, but was overtaken again on mid-2009 by the video of "Charlie bit my finger, again!" which currently has around 497 million views. The video of "Girlfriend" was removed by its uploader RCA Music around December 2009, ending with over 129 million views. However, as mentioned above, both "Evolution of Dance" and "Charlie bit my finger, again!" have been surpassed by the video of "Baby" by Justin Bieber which has over 803 million views, and the video of "Gangnam Style" by Psy which beat Bieber's record, which has over 1.10 Billion views. "On The Floor" by Jennifer Lopez, which has over 623 million views and "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem, which has over 516 million views, are currently the third and fourth most viewed videos on YouTube, respectively.
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