I was thinking about the differences between TV and YouTube.  Some differences are obvious.  YouTube’s videos are mostly far shorter than an average TV program, and YouTube’s offerings have very low production value, being made by home users who simply wish to share a small comment or piece of art or something.

But the experience of watching a YouTube video is also different.  Not just because it’s watched on a computer screen rather than a TV screen, but the experience is framed differently by audiences.  That is, audiences expect a different experience when clicking on the TV and when watching a YouTube video.  Even though YouTube vids are short and have low production value, it takes audiences more work to get to them.  They have to load up the browser, go to YouTube, and search or click around for their desired vid.  TV, however, only takes the click of one or two buttons on a remote.  TV broadcasters are continually pumping out content.  TV audiences often ignore a lot of TV content, leaving it on in the background, or tuning in when they are bored, just to “see what’s on.”

So, if online video is to compete with traditional TV, we need an online service that will pump out video automatically, without the user having to make a conscious effort to decide what to watch specifically.  Online video needs a way for audiences to just “see what’s on.”  A first-time user could setup a custom channel depending on his interests, and YouTube would load the selected videos automatically.  If the user doesn’t like them, he can go find his own videos.  Meanwhile, there are plenty of people settling for boring stuff on TV simply because it’s more convenient, because it takes less work to get to.  It’s worth competing for their attention.

So somebody go make that.

Categories: Technology


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