I’ve been teaching YouTube training courses and workshops since April 2007. In the early days, I was frequently asked by internet marketers and video content producers, “How do I convince my CMO that we need to create a YouTube channel?”
Many of these people were members of what YouTube calls “Generation V,” a psychographic profile that cuts across demographic groups like young men 18-34 and women 18-49. Gen V watches online video for information, entertainment and exploration – across devices and often as a shared experience. Generally, their CMO was older – and just didn’t “get it.”
So, it was a godsend when The Royal Household launched a Royal Channel on YouTube on Dec. 23, 2007. It showcased both archive and modern video of The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family and Royal events.
At launch, the channel displayed the first televised Christmas Broadcast of 1957 as its main video. Prophetically, The Queen had said in 1957,
“I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct. That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us."
Then, on Jan. 23, 2009, the Vatican channel was launched to highlight the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and events at the Vatican. The announcement coincided with the release of the Pope’s annual message for the World Day of Communications, which was focused on new technologies and new relationships to promote a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.
Since even the Queen and the Pope understood the need to create a YouTube channel, it was just a matter of time before people stopped asking, “How do I convince my CMO that we need to create a YouTube channel?”
However, during the next few years people have started asking, “How do I convince my CMO to host our videos on YouTube instead of an online video platform?”
Now, YouTube offers free hosting for all of your video content and allows you to embed your videos anywhere on the web for free. So, if your company isn’t an ad-supported business that monetizes its audience, then YouTube is the right way to go.
And even if your company does generate advertising revenue and monetizes its online media, you still might want to consider a hybrid approach that hosts videos on both YouTube and an online video platform.
Even Hulu and Comedy Central have YouTube channels
The Hulu channel on YouTube was created on Mar. 3, 2008. It has more than 342,000 subscribers and over 1 billion video views.
The oldest video, Family Guy – Beating The Heat, was published on Mar. 12, 2008. It’s only 28 seconds long and concludes by telling viewers “Watch your favorites anytime for free (on) Hulu.com.”
The featured video on the channel, Hulu Plus Commercial – So Much Watching to Watch (:60), was published on Feb. 23, 2012. It’s 1-minute-and-1-second long and includes a call-to-action overlay that says, “Hulu Plus Official Site, An Evil(er) Plot to Destroy the World. Try 1 Week Free of Hulu Plus. Plus.Hulu.com.”
Now, there’s a gap between 3 years ago and 1 year ago when no new videos were published on the Hulu channel on YouTube. Nevertheless, it’s fairly obvious that even Hulu understands the benefits of hosting videos on both YouTube and its own online video platform.
The Comedy Central channel on YouTube was created on June 14, 2006. It has more than 251,000 subscribers and over 124 million video views.
However, the oldest video, Michael Ian Black – I Hate Flying (Comedy Central), was uploaded on Aug. 22, 2011.
The featured video on the channel, Key & Peele: Power Falcons, concludes by telling viewers that all new episodes of Key & Peele air on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m., asking them to subscribe to the Comedy Central channel on YouTube, and uses annotations to direct viewers to other videos in the “End Card.”
So, it’s pretty clear that Comedy Central also understands the benefits of hosting videos on both YouTube and its own online video platform. And Comedy Central’s parent company, Viacom, seems to be okay with having a YouTube channel – despite suing YouTube back in 2007 for “brazen” copyright infringement.
What does this mean to you? It means that even if your company competes with YouTube, it still makes sense to create a YouTube channel.
YouTube gets more than 800 million unique visitors from around the world each month. Plus, YouTube offers free hosting.