Why Did YouTube Become so Popular: Secrets to Youtube Success


Youtube doesn’t judge you: Not a Nanny State

YouTube doesn’t take upon itself to decide what you will like and when. Like traditional media. They think they know what you want to watch at 6pm. 7am and so on. YouTube leaves it up to you. You want to watch a Korean girl pour ketchup all over herself while saying, “more ketchup!”? You got it!  Meet Showry! 🙂

YouTube is the First True Global Media: It works anywhere

Global media? Surely CNN right? Or Yahoo right?

Entertainment Blue Screen of Death

Wrong! This is the message I just got when I clicked on a Yahoo story about two twins separated at birth. It feels as welcoming at Microsofts “Blue Screen of Death” in the 90’s. To be honest, this message really pisses me off for some reason. I can’t put a finger on it but it’s less fun than it looks. While we’re at it, why in the hell can’t I see this (while I’m here) living in Asia? Is this a state secret? Patented technology? The NSA? I need to show my drivers license? wtf

Much like any stupid company that doesn’t think about their users, media companies have always limited content to specific countries due to licensing agreements. In fact, they love licensing agreements! Why? Because you have to pay for licensing!! They get a paycheck for screwing you over.

If you don’t travel much, you might not be aware of how pervasive and frustrating this is. Living outside the US since the 80’s, I’m well aware. Simply watching an NBA game is practically impossible. Luckily, I can see the recap on….you guessed it. Youtube. Simply search “Warriors Full Game Highlights” 30 minutes after a game ends, avoid the sports news and enjoy what is essentially the best part of the game, all the baskets and killer defensive plays, in 9 minutes! As Charlie Sheen would say…WINNING!

I know you’re going to say, oh but that’s how they make money! Mo-ney! baby. CaChing! But guess how Hollywood used to make money? Video rental per movie Now they do steaming with monthly and individual rentals online. They adapted. What a concept!

The very astute among you will say, “you can pay for an annual NBA subscription, dummy! Cheapskate!” Yes, I could. But then after that game finishes, I might want to catch the end of a Dodger game but… oh that’s another subscription! More bills. More signing up. More passwords! Just what I wanted for Christmas!

And to be fair Major League Baseball and Football do it much better than most. Most good content simply isn’t available at any price outside of the US. And the subscription model doesn’t sit well with many sports fans used to simply turning on the TV and laboring through the commercials. It’s a totally different business model. So blame the victim all you like but anyone who has had a business knows that these things matter. One tiny change to a business model can lead to ruin. And sports is something you want to think about or plan for. Spur of the moment. Have a few minutes to spare? Turn on the game.

I think most companies assume they are much more important than they really are. That their fans are much more loyal than they are. In reality, most just want entertainment on demand. No hassle. Willing to put up with commercials but not credit card bills. Hardcore sports fans and gamblers aside, that’s how most people are. Me included. Even if I imagine myself to be pretty loyal, in reality, I’m not.

I feel loyal. I feel emotional. I try to guide the basketball in using mental telepathy. And sometimes it works. lol No really I get VERY into basketball games but in the end, it’s just a very small part of my life. And if it’s not there, I don’t miss it all that much. Like a tasty burrito though, once I take a bite, I have to finish that sucker. But my loyalty is limited and, in 28 years abroad, I’ve only paid for MLB subscription once. And, strangely enough, that was the year I hardly bothered.

Suggested Videos Changed my Life

Maybe a slight exaggeration but I usually hate companies suggesting things to me. “Do you want fries with that?” NO. I never want fries with that. Ever. I never want a matching belt, shoes or pillow case with that either. Why? Because I already knew about those options. If I wanted them, I’d order them. In contrast, suggested videos give me something I didn’t know about but very likely might want. Something like a dating app that knows my type and says, “you might be interested in her”. Very likely this app would be a staple.

So I love suggested vids. Let me count the ways. lol Ok, I love suggested videos because they make me look smart. So when I find some cool funky Motown artist and they recommend something cool like
After seeing that vid, I proudly post on Facebook like I’m some kind of connoisseur of such music. In reality, I’m a scatterbrained music listener constantly looking for whatever will give me that pump that I’m looking for. That jolt of energy and a smile. If I get that, I’m happy.

The problem is, it’s not easy for me to get it. And the high quality suggested videos were just the ticket to give me something that I was in the mood for; in the exact moment. Not 20 minutes later when I’m watching some think tank discussion on China’s new J-20 fighter jet. Because, like sex, the mood changes quickly. I’m in the mood for this or that, then in another mood. Suggested videos basically keeps up with me even if most people can’t or don’t want to. It rolls with my mood. And it’s been said that 75% of viewing time on Youtube is suggested videos, so I guess others are like me after all.

It feels right. I know they are tracking me. But when they serve up that series of Japanese bubble era commercials, just when I’m in the mood, nothing else will do. Those corny stewardess type uniforms Japanese girls used to wear in the 80’s, the cute singing, the mini skirts, the smiles, the hilarious humor, it all hits me. Just when I’m in the mood. Suggested videos are AI at work in our lives and we don’t even realize it. If you like this, you might like 1, 2 and 3! lol I speak Japanese and lived in Japan during the bubble so this very eclectic video, of a forgotten time and energy might only appeal to me but man. It brings back insanely strong memories. Floods my mind with people and experiences. And I wouldn’t have known about it if it weren’t for YouTube’s suggested videos.

This is the future. Things we want, when we want it, even though we had no idea we wanted it!

Of course, YouTube created new stars, had great technology (with Flash and now with HTML5) but the real reason is they gave us what we wanted. Didn’t judge us. Helped us be even weirder than we were before. And was a good laugh. Certainly a far cry from “unfortunately this video is not available in your region“.

In closing, I have to say that I don’t think main stream media gets it yet. They aren’t ready to give consumers what they want. Aren’t willing to look for new revenue sources. (Hello MLB, if you offer your stuff in China, people are going to watch it. Views will skyrocket. Sales will skyrocket. Chinese will fly all over the world to see the games. And buy tons of t-shirts. But I guess you are happy doing backdoor deals to people willing to pay for a license. Of course, the content will be poorly distributed. Too expensive. Inconvenient. And you might miss China and India. But hey, cheer up! You got your licensing fee! Congratulations.

YouTube Takes Your Serious Side Seriously

Enough writing and watching ketchup videos, I’m in another mood now. Let’s make some money mood! And I’m just about to watch a YouTube video about “How to Sell Franchises Internationally” because I’m considering buying a master franchise for a US chain and selling individual franchises here in Thailand. YouTube is not only my entertainer, it’s also my teacher which is something mainstream media hasn’t done for a long time.  Catch you later. If you enjoyed this please share and check out my video channel where I try to make sense of this world. Thanks for reading!


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