The power of YouTube's ad-targeting abilities -- enabled by both its own user data and outside data it can get with Google's help -- have also helped its cause. So have its investments in building quality measurement tools that help companies gauge the impact of a video ad on things like awareness of a product and attitudes towards the brand that's selling it.
I worry about these questions a lot, and I wonder if our 21st-century American institutions are up to the challenges they’ve created with their market successes and ethical abdications. Even so, when I visited Chennai, I felt okay about the media future we’re heading into. The toddler videos that ChuChu is posting on YouTube are cultural hybrids, exuberant and cosmopolitan, and in a philosophical sense they presuppose a world in which all children are part of one vast community, drawing on the world’s collective heritage of storytelling. That’s a rich narrative rootstock, with lots of lessons to teach—and right now who’s better poised to make the most of it than ChuChu and companies like it, especially if they can learn from the legacy of American educational TV?

Previously, viewing YouTube videos on a personal computer required the Adobe Flash Player plug-in to be installed in the browser.[70] In January 2010, YouTube launched an experimental version of the site that used the built-in multimedia capabilities of web browsers supporting the HTML5 standard.[71] This allowed videos to be viewed without requiring Adobe Flash Player or any other plug-in to be installed.[72][73] The YouTube site had a page that allowed supported browsers to opt into the HTML5 trial. Only browsers that supported HTML5 Video using the MP4 (with H.264 video) or WebM (with VP8 video) formats could play the videos, and not all videos on the site were available.[74][75]

Of course, YouTube is funded by advertisers. So it makes sense to pay attention to their wants and desires. But under the current model, brands’ reactions are often a placeholder for third party regulation. And at the moment – as content creators are sketching the line for appropriate content – it is often advertisers who have the final say about acceptability.


Used by countless popular YouTubers, Patreon is a site that allows viewers to donate monthly to their favorite YouTubers, and in turn, allows the YouTuber to (if so desired) give rewards back to the viewers. And, despite the site taking about 10% of the donations for themselves, most YouTubers make more money through Patreon than their own channel, according to Bustle.
A TiVo service update in July 2008 allowed the system to search and play YouTube videos.[141] In January 2009, YouTube launched "YouTube for TV", a version of the website tailored for set-top boxes and other TV-based media devices with web browsers, initially allowing its videos to be viewed on the PlayStation 3 and Wii video game consoles.[142][143] In June 2009, YouTube XL was introduced, which has a simplified interface designed for viewing on a standard television screen.[144] YouTube is also available as an app on Xbox Live.[145] On November 15, 2012, Google launched an official app for the Wii, allowing users to watch YouTube videos from the Wii channel.[146] An app is also available for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, and videos can be viewed on the Wii U Internet Browser using HTML5.[147] Google made YouTube available on the Roku player on December 17, 2013,[148] and, in October 2014, the Sony PlayStation 4.[149] In November 2018, YouTube launched as a downloadable app for the Nintendo Switch.[150]

YouTube ads provided a big percentage of the Segarses’ income during those early days, and worked well with their content. “Our workouts require strategically placed water breaks, which easily lends itself to monetization/ads that aren’t intrusive to the user experience,” says Segars. “People even joke about how relieved they are to see ads and get a quick minute to catch their breath.” Meanwhile, that revenue allowed them to adopt a no-sponsor policy. “It has cut out a lot of monetization opportunities, but our audience is well aware of our stance and appreciates it,” Segars continues. “We think that trust is an important part of building a brand.” As a result, they’ve roped in a loyal audience that’s now willing to pay for a variety of workout programs and meal plans for sale on the Fitness Blender website.
Most videos enable users to leave comments, and these have attracted attention for the negative aspects of both their form and content. In 2006, Time praised Web 2.0 for enabling "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before", and added that YouTube "harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred".[379] The Guardian in 2009 described users' comments on YouTube as:[380]
Some YouTube videos have themselves had a direct effect on world events, such as Innocence of Muslims (2012) which spurred protests and related anti-American violence internationally.[269] TED curator Chris Anderson described a phenomenon by which geographically distributed individuals in a certain field share their independently developed skills in YouTube videos, thus challenging others to improve their own skills, and spurring invention and evolution in that field.[254] Journalist Virginia Heffernan stated in The New York Times that such videos have "surprising implications" for the dissemination of culture and even the future of classical music.[270]
And throughout many videos focused on Steven Universe, E;R presents the show’s characters as analogues for Jewish people, coding them with anti-Semitic stereotypes. In one such video, he portrays one character as a deceptive tool for a global Jewish conspiracy, as indicated by a montage of public figures and businessmen, and then ends the video with an altered version of a white supremacist slogan known as the “14 words.”
Knowing who you are and, perhaps more importantly, who your audience is will make you attractive to advertisers, sponsors and partners outside the YouTube sphere, experts say. Make sure to also set yourself up as someone who is "brand safe," says Tyler Vaught, head of Niche, Twitter's service that connects creators worldwide with brands to develop branded content. That could mean not using profanities, avoiding charged political topics and dodging drug references and other controversial topics on your channel.
Add all these factors up, and a surprising thing is revealed: Through the sustained efforts of children’s-TV reformers, something good happened. “Basic scientific research on how children attend to and comprehend television has evolved into sophisticated studies of how children can learn from electronic media,” a literature review by the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded. “This, in turn, has led to the design and production of a number of effective educational television programs, starting with Sesame Street, which many experts regard as one of the most important educational innovations of recent decades.”
But even in relatively limited doses, these videos can affect young toddlers’ development. If kids watch a lot of fast-paced videos, they come to expect that that is how videos should work, which could make other educational videos less compelling and effective. “If kids get used to all the crazy, distracting, superfluous visual movement, then they may start requiring that to hold their attention,” Johnson says.
A TiVo service update in July 2008 allowed the system to search and play YouTube videos.[141] In January 2009, YouTube launched "YouTube for TV", a version of the website tailored for set-top boxes and other TV-based media devices with web browsers, initially allowing its videos to be viewed on the PlayStation 3 and Wii video game consoles.[142][143] In June 2009, YouTube XL was introduced, which has a simplified interface designed for viewing on a standard television screen.[144] YouTube is also available as an app on Xbox Live.[145] On November 15, 2012, Google launched an official app for the Wii, allowing users to watch YouTube videos from the Wii channel.[146] An app is also available for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, and videos can be viewed on the Wii U Internet Browser using HTML5.[147] Google made YouTube available on the Roku player on December 17, 2013,[148] and, in October 2014, the Sony PlayStation 4.[149] In November 2018, YouTube launched as a downloadable app for the Nintendo Switch.[150]

In February 2015, YouTube released a secondary mobile app known as YouTube Kids. The app is designed to provide an experience optimized for children. It features a simplified user interface, curated selections of channels featuring age-appropriate content, and parental control features.[60] Later on August 26, 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming—a video gaming-oriented vertical and app for videos and live streaming, intended to compete with the Amazon.com-owned Twitch.[61]
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