Why You Should Be Monitoring YouTube

YouTube GenerationYouTube has been growing and maturing as a platform for distributing content generated by users and companies alike.

In a recent blog post, Storyful editor and TED speaker Markham Nolan says that YouTube is ”becoming the most important repository of documentary evidence about humankind in existence.”

What makes YouTube so important, and why it it important to monitor it?

It’s a valuable primary source

YouTube is a source of original, unedited videos of events and presentations that aren’t available elsewhere. Media will edit, spin, label, and otherwise attempt to color the raw material.

As Markham Nolan says:

I wanted to watch the [Democratic National Convention] unadulterated, without commentary, without the partisan hackery or faux-objectivity of the networks. YouTube had a page dedicated to the conventions, where I could browse in and out of the live action as it happened, or, when things became a little dull, review videos from speeches I had missed.

Your niche industry is covered

Broadcast media, such as cable news or radio, have a set number of channels or frequencies and can only dedicate limited time to any single event. YouTube, on the other hand, has no such limits. No matter how small a subject is, it can be covered in great depth.

Nolan remarks on the recent Red Bull stunt:

Felix Baumgartner’s edge-of-the-atmosphere parachute jump was the second. Eight million people logged on to watch that little hop live via YouTube. News channels couldn’t devote the adequate time to it and would skip in and out, but Red Bull’s YouTube channel streamed the entire thing.

Get deep coverage

To paraphrase David Bowie, with YouTube we can be journalists, if just for one day. Gain access to raw information not available to journalists or that are too small to have covered in detail.

Nolan gives the Arab Spring as an example of this:

We are now the most chronicled generation in history. There has never been a greater level of unfiltered documentation of humanity (caveats coming) in history. It also gives us a window into countries that old-school news would never have shown.Through YouTube you get to see past media stereotypes to get candid glimpses from Saudi Arabia, central Russia, caucus states, Pacific islands and elsewhere.

What does this mean for you?

There is an ever increasing amount of content to monitor and analyze and YouTube is a space where this is occurring. Your tools should be keeping up with the pace and helping you sift through this potentially overwhelming information.

Although traditional broadcast, print, and online media are still dominant and where most people go to get their news, YouTube is growing. It’s more important than just rounding out your monitoring and competitive analysis. It’s indispensable.

See a TED Talk by Markham Nolan TED Talk here:

(Hat tip to Kate Torovnick at the TED Blog)

January 24, 2013 Chad Bolender 1 Comment

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1 Comment Leave a Comment

  • 1. Paul  |  February 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    You’re right Chad, Youtube is indispensable. Still, it’s possible to make fake videos, to lie or to play on other people. I mean video looks more authoritative because of the direct connection between the eye and the brain (no need to process the info). And I believe that the years to come will show a huge amount of these new breeds of documentaries…

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