I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and we alluded to the fact that YouTube is just a collection of home videos about people getting kicked in the balls, and it dawned on us that YouTube is just America’s Funniest Home Videos for a new generation. I headed to YouTube to check this out.
So my goal in analyzing YouTube here was to observe what type of content is most popular and determine if it matches the output of America’s Funniest Home Videos. AFV, for those of you that never saw the show, consists of amateur videos of Americans going about their daily business and getting themselves into funny situations. Lots of videos of funny cats and dogs, babies throwing spoons, people’s pants falling down, sporting items hitting people in the balls and other activities where people get hit in various body parts.
Are those the kinds of videos that dominate YouTube? Take a look at today’s weekly top videos charts and see my analysis below.
We can see immediately that the only home-video style top YouTube vids are in position 9 and 11. Professionally produced music videos and semi-professional video bloggers take up most of the top spots on the top charts. To me, this is a perfect example of what a truly democratic content distribution system can do. In the old days, we had a few Producers with big budgets and access to audience able to have their “genius” idea, to collect home videos from around America and assemble it into a television show hosted by the perfect vision of banality. For every show they got right, they had 10 shows that failed because it’s a difficult art to predict the tastes of the melting pot that is America.
YouTube, on the other hand, allows for content producers to hit their audience directly, and get immediate feedback not just about what they’re watching, but what they like using ratings. And this allows for the best content to rise to the top, and in the case of YouTube, it’s actually a lot less of people getting hit in the balls than I would imagine. Music video has surged back into the forefront after a period of stagnation as MTV turned to reality programming.
We’ll continue to look at YouTube trends in the future, but for more information, take a look at my history of web video and MTV article.
Oh, and as for the modern day Bob Sagat, I guess by looking at the charts, it would have to be Ray William Johnson, a YouTube vlogger who’s fame comes from cheesily reviewing current trends in video. Me, I prefer MADDOX.