Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We probably won't entertain ourselves

Their show gets real high ratings, they think they have a hit.
There might even be a spinoff, but they're not sure 'bout that.

The quote above is taken from the Talking Heads song "Found a Job" (full lyrics here). The song, written in the late 1970s, describes a couple who tire of watching television on the three networks, and end up creating their own content for their own entertainment.

The lyrics, obviously were written a long time ago. Cable television was in its infancy. Even over-the-air television was still waiting for a fourth network - something that would not happen for several years.

And, of course, it would be decades before YouTube would appear - a computer service that would literally allow people to create their own content.

But do they?

Yes, I know that YouTube is reputed to be the home of people making stupid videos. And yes, you have the occasional "numa numa" or whatever - a video made by an ordinary person that somehow catches fire.

But what are people really watching on YouTube?

If my experience is any indication, 99% of all content viewed on YouTube falls into two categories:

  • Content uploaded by major media companies.
  • Content uploaded by people who stole it from major media companies.

Let's face it - despite all of the new technologies, such as YouTube and Twitter, the majority of people continue to be content consumers rather than content providers.

And no matter how easy content creation systems become, this will continue to be the case.
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