Here Are Three Reasons Why YouTube Could Be The Best In Online TV

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I love videos of cats playing pianos. And of lemurs. And of talking fruit. OK, truthfully I don’t much care for that last one, Dane Boedigheimer’s “Annoying Orange” YouTube show. But he doesn’t need me. He has 1.6 million subscribers and could be making six figures annually off YouTube, according to BI’s calculations.That’s one reason why YouTube could be the consumer’s favourite choice in the ongoing evolution of online TV: there’s something for everyone, and a monetary incentive for content creators to keep quality high. In fact, thanks to YouTube, amateurs like Andy Samberg can end up on SNL. And with its new $100 million investment in premium content — some of it the sort that folks watch on TV nowadays — YouTube is poised to hog even more of your bandwidth. 

YouTube’s product head Shishir Mehrotra will be speaking at IGNITION West, Business Insider’s major conference on content and mobile platforms, taking place March 21, 2012, in San Francisco. You’ll hear much more about the platform there, in addition to market intelligence on apps, mobile tablets, gaming, and m-commerce. Tickets are still available, and there’s a special startup rate, too. Here are some industry leaders you’ll hear from at IGNITION West:

  • T. J. Marchetti, SVP Digital Marketing, Walt Disney
  • Courtney Holt, COO, Maker Studios
  • Scott McGregor, CEO, Broadcom (one of Apple’s chip makers)
  • Holger Luedorf, VP Mobile, Foursquare
  • Mike Ghaffary, VP Mobile & BD, Yelp
  • David Ko, Chief Mobile Officer, Zynga
  • Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram
  • Sarah Lacy, Founder & Editor, Pando Daily
  • And many more! See the speaker page for the full roster.

Join us next month!

Meanwhile, here are some reasons YouTube could be the top destination in the cross-category marketplace dubbed “online TV,” in the coming couple of years:

1. There really is something for everyone.
Honey badger? Check. Instructional gadget videos? Check. Weird, weird unmentionable stuff? Check!

2. There’s even better content coming our way. And YouTube has an incentive to keep it that way.
As of last fall, YouTube is loaning producers $100 million to make YouTube-dedicated content, which grantees will pay off with advertising. And YouTube is organising the site into channels, to help advertisers figure out where to empty their wallets (and viewers figure out where to find what they want). The results? Ads are way up on YouTube this year compared to last for the first quarter. If sales stay brisk, viewers can expect continued efforts to organise and improve content. Yay.

3. It’s free. And in order to stop being free, it has to be easy to use. That’s a consumer win-win. Now let’s hope the hardware pans out.

We all love free stuff. Yet iTunes has proven that if you make content elegantly accessible and portable, people will pay for it. YouTube is a Google product, and will be on an increasing number of televisions with Google software, pending Google’s partnerships with TV makers. At least, Google is predicting as much. If this pans out, YouTube’s great content will be easy to enjoy using a remote control. Online TV could finally meld with “real” TV in the living room, and 1.6 million people can be irritated by an orange on the big screen.

Of course, competitors include Apple TV, and its potential to win the marketplace by being as generally awesome as other Apple products, but it’s not yet clear what that hardware and software will look like. And there’s the premium content on Hulu, which is on an increasing number of smart TVs and connected devices. I prefer the more amateur-ish and typically weird stuff on YouTube to most Hulu offerings, but for those viewers who don’t, YouTube’s got to work hard to catch up (hence the $100 million outlay).

So who will capture the most marketshare?

Hear directly from YouTube and its partners at IGNITION West. And follow @BI_Events on Twitter for discounts and news about events. See you next month!

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