As you’ve probably heard, YouTube has been raving about their astronomical six billion hours of video content viewed per month, which yes, is impressive. Although, for the moment, I want you to take a step back and seriously ask yourself: what does 6 billion hours really mean to us, as businesses? When I read about the vast growth from the company, let's just say I didn’t go running to the platform posting my latest videos. Why? Because I am skeptical of who this platform is really for. Who watches YouTube videos?
Currently, the five most subscribed to channels on YouTube are (stats from VidStatsX):
- Vimeo Staff Picks: Hand-selected videos from the staff at Vimeo
- Documentary Film
- Everything Animated
- Nice Type
- Film School-Filmmaking
What do these two lists show? The most active YouTubers subscribe to TV shows, comedy, and music. These channels also make up most of the most viewed channels on YouTube. These results, as a business, are not very promising. I too go on YouTube to be entertained, but that means my business becomes lost in the mix. Vimeo, on the other hand, has a more diverse selection of channels. While music and videos still top the list, there are other popular choices like Everything Animated where businesses can showcase their work. It’s not that one channel is better than the other, it’s just companies must realize why each one is popular.
What YouTube Doesn’t Offer
It all boils down to the lack of professionalism and valuable opportunity for engagement of people or businesses we actually want to target. Even individuals and companies that advertise on their video channels are finding it hard to find a monetary value to their efforts, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. People are not making money, and people are resorting to the platform for entertainment. So, what can a business expect to gain?
I’m on YouTube, which may come as a surprise to you. I post my client videos, use appropriate titles for SEO purposes, even link to them on my social media channels. But, every time I look at my analytics, I have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find YouTube. My top referral hits? Facebook, Twitter, and Quora. Even though I’m a video producing company, YouTube doesn’t even hit the top 20.
What I Think YouTube Should Offer
When we read the news today, we hear a lot about social media platforms and how they are making the highest ranks for visual professional engagement (does Pinterest ring a bell?). What YouTube truly lacks is a professional-based offering. Even going back to the offerings of Vimeo, its platform has a more apparent interest in actual video-making from their top categories. Imagine if YouTube, the video giant, offered a professional space that can spotlight professionals and help them appropriately target their markets and increase video analytics. This ideal offering could promote valuable engagement, rather than viral gambling.
Visualize a community where suggested videos and comments are professionally targeted, and a platform that promotes the best in video-making. I would love to use this as a video hosting site that promoted community engagement and a little more of that something to drive professionalism to the world of video and video-makers. For now, though YouTube has the big numbers, but the real question is, will the platform ever use it for us, the professionals?