YouTube is a video website, created by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in February 2005. The concept of the website is that anyone can register with Youtube and upload an unlimited amount of videos and any unregistered user can watch the videos free of charge. The videos are adobe flash videos that use HTML5. Most of the content is footage from the public however many comanies like BBC, CBS, Vevo and Hulu upload content also. It is essentially a video based blogging site for short original and educational material.
In November 2007 Youtube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion and is now one of the most accessed websites in the world.
I have been using Youtube on an almost daily basis for the past several years and have had a registered account for almost three years. An account gives you access to videos intended for a mature audience provided you state that you are 18 years old or older and agree to the terms and conditions of the site.
Having an account allows you to create a ‘channel’ which consists of a collection of you own uploaded videos and a collection of content favored by the user. Users can then subscribe to other channels and be updated with their new content as soon as it is uploaded. My account is used purely for music and holds a collection of all of my favorite songs online. It is essentially a cloud collection only available through an internet connection.
As I said I am a regular user of Youtube and therefore my personal collection of hard copies of music has ceased to exist. There is no need for me to buy music or download it as most of it is available for free on the site. This is a great benefit to me however, Youtube is a major factor that is effecting the music industry. Sales of CD’d and records have dropped significantly in recent years because any music that is not brand new is available to the whole world for free.
Besides music, I have also used the site for educational videos. Many of my college presentyations have been aided by a Youtube clip to help explain information visually. The site is an invaluable tool for all forms of education and entertainment and shows no sign of slowing down in the future.