As I did yesterday with Digg I would like to explore the future for YouTube in 2007. Unlike Digg I don’t see a ceiling for YouTube because I really do believe it could become the future of television. This doesn’t mean it will become the center of the television universe, but it can provide the model that allows networks to feel confident in moving ahead on the online front.
Take a look at YouTube today. Google has removed a majority of the garbage looking ads on the site and replaced them with either deeper links into YouTube or cleaner ads to other sites. Is this a sign that Google is going to be placing ads within the videos themselves? If so, the logical place would be at the end of the videos since this doesn’t interrupt the flow for the user and its hard to see it causing that much of an uproar.
CBS has already partnered with YouTube and seems to be doing pretty well putting up clips of their shows to a thriving community and how could you ignore the impact that YouTube has had on SNL? I’m sure many networks are more inclined to post videos on their own websites, but it makes more sense to post them on YouTube where there is already an existing community and people are going to visit YouTube anyways. There is no guarantee that millions will go to CBS.com just to see clips of the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
The next stop is getting YouTube on your television, but there are a number of problems with this. The main problem that I am not seeing anyone else talk about is how will grainy, low-res videos look on a 30″ TV? Probably not that good and therefore who would really want to view it? Second how do you even get the video to the television by a means that a majority of the public can manage? Apple could partner with Google with their upcoming iTV product, but beyond that what else can be done?
One thing that will have to be corrected and I am sure many of you will argue the same thing applies to Digg, are the comments on videos. It’s nearly impossible to moderate millions of videos, but if you have ever bothered to read any of the “discussions” you will see that they aren’t meant for anyone besides sailors and inmates.
Finally I see more and more people using their YouTube profiles to replace their Myspace/Facebook profiles for connecting with family and friends. So much more can be done with video that can’t be done with pictures and words. All YouTube needs to do is put the tools in place to make it happen.