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YouTube Case Study

Rob Miller | Friday February 24, 2012

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, Advertising, Viral Advertising, Key Concepts, Institutions, Censorship & Regulation, Hot Entries, New Media, Digital Media, Internet, Social Networking, New Technologies, We Media, Website Analysis, Social Networking Analysis, Web Pages

The idea of YouTube is a successful and iconic one – commercially and culturally ranking with ‘Zuckerberg’s’ Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and the loaf of bread as a pre requisite for modern living (as far as the target audience are concerned). If you are not 12-17 as the dominant viewing age group are (but very much not the exclusive age group) or indeed wheat intolerant then maybe these bastions of culture and modern society are not for you.

YouTube’s primary target audience reflects the classic cinema going demographic who enjoy films between the ages of 12-17 before stumbling upon more ‘adult’ entertainment but arguably YouTube can provide this as well with limited restrictions on content. Research suggests this demographic has an equally female to male split but what is becoming more and more acknowledged, particularly in the UK is the significant 25-55, male skew target group with specific cultural capital who comprise a more specialised, niche audience looking for anything from Constructivist art videos to guides on how to change an air filter in a Volvo V70:

There is everything and nothing to look at on YouTube whether entertainment based or informative and educational.

As a file sharing site YouTube relies heavily on individually uploaded, user generated content but it must also be remembered this myth of individualism and democracy can be challenged by the fact that many corporations use YouTube to upload material for publicity and advertising purposes – institutions like the BBC, CBS and even VEVO (see comments later) promote their products and artists who are often consumed virally via viral mixes of existing videos (e.g. parody and homage of iconic music videos or mash ups - a key and unique feature of the site that ensures broad access. Many advertising agencies will admit to being creatively influenced by the literally millions of videos available (current estimates in February 2012 suggest 4 billion...

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