YouTube: The New Television?

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We all know YouTube as that website you go to to watch Beyoncé’s latest music video or a forty-five minute compilation of cat fails, but since it’s beginning in 2005, the video sharing website has exploded into so much more. There are currently 1,311 YouTube channels that have over one million subscribers- the channel most subscribed to has 36 million subscribers. As an avid YouTube user and video creator since 2009, I have seen so much change in this online community and its expansion into the mainstream media. For example, Grace Helbig, has become one of the most successful YouTubers, not for having nearly 40 million subscribers, but also because of how she has started bringing YouTube-like content to mainstream television across the globe.

 

Current thirty year old, Grace Helbig, started making YouTube videos in 2008 and since then has only excelled in her entertainment career path. Just this year she created and starred in a comedy talk show titled, The Grace Helbig Show, which was quickly picked up by E! network. The show aired in April of 2015. She is the first YouTuber to have her own network television show. Hopefully her show will probably open the doors to other Youtubers to do the same. Her show is, “a hybrid comedy show that features the comedienne’s fresh take on what’s trending in pop culture, as well as exclusive interviews with various celebrity guests” (eonline.com). I have found that adults who most commonly tune into E!’s late night shows are confused by the “YouTube vlogger” format of the show and find it somewhat childish and unintended for them. There is also the factor of her online comedic success coming from the enjoyment from younger audiences who don’t have the same sense of humor or relatable topics in social culture. E!  was clearly aware of the younger (13-18) audience they would gain from Helbig’s 2,500,000 subscriber base and tried to use that as a way to pull in more viewers, but with the show having a 10:30 EST time slot, most kids don’t tune in.

Personally I have no urge to watch the show because of the already high level of accessibility of her content from her YouTube channel. In my opinion, although show has not gathered a large flock of viewers, the network made a risky and smart decision by being the first to sign a YouTuber to a show because of how popular, accessible, and enjoyable the online, Youtube culture has become.

 

In conclusion, YouTube has opened up incredible opportunities throughout the entertainment world. I think that the joining of platforms (Youtube and TV) will definitely take a while to settle as a “community norm” to this generation of adults, but in the long run it will become a really fun, accepted and collaborative effort. Many people have started to watch YouTube more than T.V.. I think that more people will start to join this trend as the online, entertainment industry progresses.

 

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