“YouTube is a democracy, laughing in the face of media’s monopoly.”
Jack Harries recently uploaded a poem titled “You” in which he uses statements like the one above to prove a point about YouTube and the effect it has on society. Harries is a successful YouTuber who runs YouTube channel JacksGap that has over three million subscribers.
In the past few years, YouTube has become an extremely popular video sharing social media site, its appeal stemming from its ability to relate to the everyday person. It’s the latest forum for expression, it has created jobs in ways no one thought possible and it is a way for the masses to appeal to the masses. YouTube is a democracy and this is why it matters.
YouTube has revolutionized the way we view media, starting with a very simple concept: the kind of media that succeeds on YouTube and the kind of media that is successful on TV is fundamentally different. YouTube provides an outlet for ordinary people to appeal to a diverse range of viewers and thus, has created a market for a whole new kind of media.
Take Charlie the Unicorn, for instance. Charlie the Unicorn is a flash animated short film that follows the life of a unicorn named Charlie and two other unicorns who bring him on an adventure to the mythical land of “Candy Mountain.” This video went viral, amassing over 50 million views and led to the release of three sequel videos: Charlie the Unicorn 2, 3 and 4.
The reason videos like “Charlie the Unicorn” are so successful is due directly to the nature of YouTube. YouTube is full of strange content.
Content like the “Charlie the Unicorn” video would never air on TV because it simply wouldn’t get ratings. An ordinary person can upload a video on YouTube, and it can be watched by thousands of other ordinary people. This has led to the creation of a whole new group of people who call themselves “YouTubers.”
“YouTubers” make videos about a wide range of things, but often they are merely talking about their own lives and their viewpoints on specific issues through the form of video blogs, or “vlogs.”
YouTube can become anything you want it to be and is breaking the television industry’s monopoly on video entertainment. It provides a voice for the new generation in a time when youth all around the world are fighting to have their voice heard.
As Harries says, “The reason why the website once grew all those years ago is in the name of the website and it won’t go away.. it’s you.”
YouTube is yet another example of the power of the individual, and with the continued support of its viewers, it will continue to grow and revolutionize entertainment in the years to come.