YouTube, the home of beloved cat videos, has been around for 15 years! Can you believe it? Undoubtedly, YouTube has not only changed the face of the internet, but it has also fundamentally impacted the whole world. Because it is hard to imagine life without it, let’s take a trip down memory lane to truly see how things have changed with the introduction of this streaming service. Here are 8 ways YouTube has changed the world.
1. Streaming Services
With Netflix, Spotify, and HBO Go on the scene, it is hard to imagine how things were before streaming services became popular. Well, YouTube was the first streaming service to make it big. Nobody thought that the internet would ever replace television, but who still records TV shows using DVR in 2020? Based on a 2019 survey, 62% of adults in the United States are loyal subscribers to streaming services. Without YouTube to lead this trend, we would not be enjoying our Netflix binge sessions or shuffling through our Spotify playlists. Crazy, right?
Once upon a time, having a slow internet connection was a dealbreaker. You could not really watch online videos without having to wait a few minutes for the video to buffer. While YouTube did not initially have a download function, it was quick to catch up and add different video qualities to suit users struggling with slow internet speeds. With the introduction of YouTube Premium, people can now download their favourite videos and watch them offline. On that note, the tech-savvy staff from Viddly recommend using online downloaders that don’t require you to be subscribed to a particular service. What is convenient about these free services is that they help you backup your favourite videos and streams in case anything happens to your account.
3. Content Monetization
Making money by doing things you actually enjoy? This sounds like a dream! With YouTube, you can now monetize your content and earn money by sharing your passion with people all around the world. Of course, YouTube has become more stringent with its monetization rules, making it harder for newcomers to turn a profit. However, we cannot deny that it remains a stable source of income for many YouTubers, including big names like PewDiePie and Lilly Singh.
4. New Communities
YouTube has made it a lot easier to interact with like-minded people. Are you a new writer? Join YouTube’s writing community, AuthorTube. Are you interested in makeup and everything beauty-related? You can then head to popular beauty channels. Whatever your interests might be, YouTube has something for everyone. You are bound to find videos that speak to you, even if they tackle how to fix your home plumbing by yourself!
5. A Change in the Music Industry
Before YouTube, even the biggest artists had to depend on channels like MTV to broadcast their songs. Because more people are now turning to streaming services to listen to their favourite music, artists have become more dependent on YouTube. Not only does YouTube help big names get more fans, but it also enables new artists to gain more exposure. In fact, one viral video can mean a record deal for some artists!
6. Increased Awareness
Since YouTube encourages freedom of speech, as long as it does not violate other people’s rights, many social and human rights activists are using it as a platform. It means that users can now become more aware of important causes like the fight to eliminate discrimination and global warming. Furthermore, YouTube has given marginalized groups the platform they need to voice their concerns and take on many issues.
Remember how gaming was considered a pastime fit only for geeks? Thanks to YouTube, video games are cool again! As more gaming channels enter the scene every day, young gamers have a community to share their passion. Not only that but with famous gamers like PewDiePie monetizing their content, parents are now more inclined to believe that video games are not merely a waste of time. Such channels have also made it easier for gamers with tight budgets to decide if a game is for them by posting playthroughs and reviews.
8. Less Privacy
Although YouTube has made many positive changes in the world, some believe that it has made it harder to keep our lives private. This is definitely true, given how many people enjoy watching vlogs that depict YouTubers’ daily activities. Even worse, some YouTubers that run “drama channels” feed on other YouTubers’ feuds and scandals to further their own gains. It is not hard to see how this behaviour can affect the younger generations who might think that exposing others or putting their lives out in public is a good thing to do.
YouTube has become a staple in our everyday life, so much so that some people cannot go a day without checking the newest videos on the platform. Even if it has propagated some negative behaviours, the different ways YouTube has changed the world are mostly positive. From encouraging the rise of streaming services to helping people find their passion, this platform has become an excellent outlet for many. It is not hard to see why YouTube has two billion users worldwide!