YouTube Chief Says the Battle With TV Is Already Over — and TV Lost

May 2, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt declared that victory by YouTube over television has “already happened,” The Huffington Post reports. Schmidt, whose company owns YouTube, spoke during a presentation by Google to advertisers Wednesday in New York.

“Schmidt said, ‘The future is now’ for YouTube, which recently passed the milestone of 1 billion unique visitors every month. But he added with the Third World in mind, if you think that’s a large number, ‘Wait until you get to 6 (billion) or 7 billion.’” the story reports.

The report adds: “Schmidt and YouTube, which billed the event as a ‘brandcast,’ shifted away from the video platform’s relationship to TV. A year ago, YouTube seemed to have its sights set on reinventing television by funding the launch of more than 100 channels from well-known media brands and Hollywood personalities. But that initiative went unmentioned at Wednesday’s presentation.”

The event was part of a week of “NewFronts,” the digital media equivalent of television’s upfront presentations to advertisers. “Though the model for the evening was TV, YouTube used it to distinguish itself as something entirely different,” the piece reports.

Said Schmidt: "It’s not a replacement for something that we know. It’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms."

Robert Kyncl, global head of content for YouTube, echoed Schmidt’s sentiment, saying: "I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn’t. I was wrong. TV is one-way. YouTube talks back."

He added: "TV means reach. YouTube means engagement."

Some comparisons were made between YouTube and TV, including YouTube’s touting the fact that more users 18-34 watch YouTube than any cable network.

“Though companies like Yahoo and AOL have used their NewFront presentations to announce new slates of original programming, YouTube made no programming announcements Wednesday night,” the report notes. “YouTube celebrated DreamWorks Animation’s purchase Wednesday of the teen-focused YouTube network Awesomeness TV for $33 million.”

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg joined the festivities, and commented: "This is a whole new form of content, content delivery and content consumption. It’s the medium of the future and the future has already arrived."

3 Comments

  1. Not so fast. TV didn’t ‘lose’ a damn thing. Anybody who thinks the majority of people in the world would exclusively watch one or the other is an idiot. The two platforms offer choices for viewing and ‘engagement’, with most of it being free of charge. The losers are rapidly becoming pay cable and satellite as more & more people save money by “cutting the cords”, using over-the-air digital broadcast channels and the internet in place of the pay services. Sure, there may be the odd show here and there that might not be available and some live sporting events could be tough to find but many, many more choices + no monthly bill = the continuation of PayTV’s circling of the drain….

  2. What makes any of these people think I want “engagement”?
    I get engagement enough with free OTA TV. If it holds my interest with a good story, that’s “engagement’ enough. No thanks, I don’t want my shows getting involved in two-way communication with me.
    If you’re young (or not) and think that’s hip, fine, but realize this… America’s (and the world’s) population is getting older. If they think they know what’s best, these people had better stop pursuing the almighty (and AADD riddled) 18 to 25 demographic.

  3. Mr. Schmidt is comparing apples to oranges. One billion unique visitors, huh? Well, it’s so much simpler to attract someone to view a 30 second video than it is to attract someone to view a 60 minute television show. If our future is going to be nothing more than 30 second clips, we all will have attention deficit disorder.
    I love YouTube, but I also love traditional television broadcasting. I think there is room for both.

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