Similarities and differences between YouTube and television

YouTube logo. Photo: Rego Korosi via Flickr
YouTube logo. Photo: Rego Korosi via Flickr

When YouTube first started, the intention was to allow anyone to produce content, which the whole world could see. There was no advertising for its first year and the users could not make money. Now, they can and adverts seem to be increasing and increasing. Also, the content is changing to a certain extent. We are starting to see a likeness with T.V., which is not a good thing for the latter.

When the site was introduced, it was not meant to be competitor to television because the content was so different. The early YouTube videos were short and usually when someone has seen something funny or shocking. The majority of them were filmed with phone cameras, at average to poor quality. The major change happened when YouTubers could become partners; this meant that they could make money. Suddenly, with more money, you can get better cameras, better set-up and therefore, better videos. As a result, a lot of YouTube content has changed. Longer, higher quality videos are much more common. However, it’s still different to television because that has films, sport matches, programmes etc. I don’t think that would work on YouTube simply because our generation’s attention span is too short and that’s why YouTubers try to keep their videos under 10 minutes.

However, they are becoming more similar because of advertising. At the beginning of YouTube, it differentiated itself from television because there were no adverts. It’s much different now as the site has become much more of a business. I guess it makes sense because as the site gets bigger, money has to become involved. As time has gone on, the ads have become more and more frequent. Now, you are lucky if you get through 5 videos without one. You could argue that the ads are not as long as television (anywhere from 15 seconds to 4 minutes) but at the end of the day, users don’t want to see them.

I said that YouTube’s likeness with television may not be good for the latter because for the young generation, YouTube is more appealing in my opinion. You can produce your own content, whatever way you want and the choice of content to watch is much greater than T.V.

Ultimately, I doubt that we’ll see a time, where YouTube is exactly the same as T.V. but I would say there are definitely similarities between the two.


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