YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload, view, and share videos on an online platform. The company was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, and was subsequently bought out by Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion. Utilizing Adobe Flash, HTML5 and other video software, the site allows users to upload virtually any content for viewing.
Providing a sharing platform for consumers and businesses alike, YouTube has become a dominant medium for advertisers. A step included to ensure that the right market receives the right message, YouTube initialized localization in 2007. The localization system allowed the website to suggest local versions of videos and advertisements depending on the IP address of the user. Following the system update, YouTube started to become a modern medium for businesses to reach their consumers. The company then made it easier for consumers to utilize the site by launching the mobile version in June of 2007.
The majority of videos on YouTube are free to view and supported by advertising. That being said, companies have to find creative/modern ways to reach their new tech-savvy audience through the advertisement clutter. Almost every type of ad category can be found on YouTube. Humorous ads placed by a corporation can bring traffic to a site, or an infomercial placed by a local business can provide needed information to a segmented audience.
YouTube has the benefit of reaching a large target audience, while also segmenting that target audience to a specific demographic. Advertisements posted on YouTube have the capabilities of being short, or long, which gives corporations better opportunities to reach the right audience. Additionally, YouTube offers brands the chance to reach consumers on a social level. Uploading “how-to” videos or other call-to-action shorts allows a business to reach consumers on a more personal level, rather than a business level.
Although many pros exist for posting on YouTube, there are also cons. Most consumers on YouTube would rather watch their videos uninterrupted by ads. Also, if a company were to make a mistake in an advertisement, a large amount of people would be able to see the mistake. Lastly, most ads are provided with a “skip” button which pops up after an allotted amount of time.
With all the pros and cons considered, YouTube is a viable/trendy way to reach consumers. Even if the ads are skipped or thought of as irritating, consumers are still forced to hear a portion of a businesses’ pitch. Everyone has almost the same opportunities on YouTube, from big time corporate giants to small town businesses. If used effectively advertising through such an expansive site could allow an individual or company to be heard around the world.