The New Yorker featured a great article about YouTube’s aspirations for transforming our current definition of television. One of my favorite lines:
In the fall of 2008, at Schmidt and Hurley’s request, Kamangar began working at YouTube headquarters, in San Bruno, California. (Hurley remained at YouTube, but he ceded day-to-day management to Kamangar, and left altogether in October, 2010.) The airy, light-filled offices were originally designed for the Gap. There is a putting green in the atrium, with garden gnomes placed around it; red helium balloons float above the desks of new employees; the downstairs conference rooms are named for well-known video games; and a very large, triple-chute slide, also in YouTube red, is installed in the two-story central workspace. Underlying these whimsical touches is a seriousness of purpose that one encounters in small start-ups but only rarely in companies the size of YouTube (more than seven hundred employees and growing fast, to judge by all the red balloons).
This article is a must read, not only for the picture John Seabrook paints of the startup scene, but also for the great facts about YouTube. For example:
- YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world (behind Google). “lol” is consistently one of YouTube’s most searched for words.
- The 500 most viewed generators of content on YouTube earn $100,000+ through the platform. Shane Dawson and Michelle Phan earn much more.
- The standard programming length on YouTube is 3 minutes. Television shows deliver content in 22 minute blocks.
- “Making broadcast-content owners comfortable putting their stuff on YouTube “would require an attitudinal shift,” from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking, but that “there are signs this is happening.”
- To create the future of television, YouTube is offering several million dollars investment for 100 content creators on the platform. After those advances are earned back, the platform will share ad revenues with the creators.
- Some of YouTube’s inaugural channels will include Amy Poehler’s “Smart Girls at the Party,” Tony Hawk’s “RIDE,” Madonna’s “Dance On,” and a channel that focuses on Jay-Z’s interests called “Life and Times.”
Click here to read the YouTube article in full.