I remember several years ago discussing with a friend what projects we were working on. At the time, I was trying to get a music project off the ground and working on writing a play. My friend told me he was totally focused on creating a web series. Web series?
That was the first time I had heard the two words put together. I understood the concept and how with the increasing availability of broadband and the improved video streaming technology it could become a viable art form. Mind you, this was before YouTube was popular, and watching videos on the internet was not ubiquitous. It wasn’t a no brainer at the time. It seemed like an interesting idea, but was there any real potential behind it? Admittedly, it was hard for me to latch on to. How do you gain recognition? How do you make money? My friend didn’t have all the answers but assured me it was the future of where everything was going. He told me it was going to take over TV, eventually. Honestly, I laughed inside.
Fast forward several years to the present. Despite TV ownership dropping from 115.9 million homes with a TV to around 114.7 million, television viewing is healthier than ever. 2011 recorded a record high average amount of viewing time per household of 58 hours and 28 minutes per week. Internet video has not taken over or replaced TV. It has, however, grown by leaps and bounds and become a formidable threat to the conventional television broadcast and distribution model.
It’s not all about YouTube, but YouTube has gone berserk. What started as a simple video sharing website consisting of cat videos and candid capturings of children saying inappropriate things, has become an industry unto itself. In October, YouTube announced its plan to launch more than 100 new video channels: