John Seabrook on YouTube

Friday, February 03, 2012

John Seabrook talks about YouTube and the other new professionally produced channels that it plans to roll out over the next six months. It is part of a larger strategy, designed by YouTube’s Robert Kyncl and Salar Kamangar, to increase the amount of time people spend on the site. His article “Streaming Dreams: YouTube Turns Pro” appeared in the January 16 issue of The New Yorker.


John Seabrook

Comments [17]

Jonas from Boulder, CO

Until last week, I assumed that college students don't watch actual television sets. But I'm teaching a freshman writing course, and one of them mentioned a commercial she expected everyone else to have seen. Everyone but me had indeed seen it. I mentioned that I didn't have a TV, and they were all shocked. I explained that I do watch some things on Hulu, and at that point they just looked like they were sorry for me.

Feb. 05 2012 03:24 PM
Tim W.

I second Mr. Seabrook's appraisal of YouTube as a kind of virtual jukebox. In fact, not long ago I googled "youtube jukebox" and discovered a service called TubeRadio, which offers an interface for searching music and creating YouTube playlists, that can then be shared. For example, a set of obscure soul music tracks at The UI is a bit clunky, and not all content is licensed to play in the TubeRadio window, but this is exactly the jukebox function I was looking for. All that's missing is a slot to insert your quarter-per-play!

Feb. 03 2012 04:05 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I thought local sports were blacked out because the teams' owners wanted people to buy tickets & go to games rather than stay home & watch them on TV. So wouldn't they push to keep them off YouTube as well?

Feb. 03 2012 12:39 PM
TallyRand from New york

Zen of Youtubeism

Feb. 03 2012 12:39 PM
Bill from Brooklyn, NY

If you want the best example of convenience over quality, look at MP3/MP4 music. It's the lowest sound quality, but has become the dominant format.

Feb. 03 2012 12:34 PM
john from middletown

Why does youtube not advertise itself on TV?

Feb. 03 2012 12:33 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

There is also a lot interactivity on Youtube, because not only can you comment and provide feedback on what you've watched, but it provides a small forum for conversation. Youtube is very versatile and multifaceted.

Feb. 03 2012 12:31 PM

Does Vimeo even compare? Certainly, lower viewership, but how does it measure up? There seems to be a much more cultural, intelligent, artistic group of videos there, compared to the mass media of YouTube.

Feb. 03 2012 12:25 PM
d Cortex

I am a Video Director.
The companies I worked for making Music Videos in the 80's are claiming I have no right to exhibit these videos I directed and edited for the artists.
The are correct from a copyright point.
But hell this means we cannot use Youtube to demo our work!

They've even pulled down the clip I directed for Columbia Records for Ozzie Ozbourne!

Feb. 03 2012 12:23 PM
Brendan from East Village

Please ask Mr. Seabrook why the owners of YouTube put up with such lousy image quality. The majority of videos are blurry and low-resolution. People seem to put up with anything...

Feb. 03 2012 12:23 PM
Debbie from nyc

Like CJ above, I learned to knit on You Tube! Totally amazing!

Feb. 03 2012 12:22 PM
John from Clinton Hill

Re: Youtube

I love the fact that it rivals The Museum of TV and Radio in that you can access almost any clip from the history of TV, and such obscure things.....I mean where else can I flashback to my childhood and watch an old commercial or a TV show not on DVD; also it is full of live music performances from actual shows and bootlegs.

Feb. 03 2012 12:22 PM
Amy from Manhattan

What about a different aspect of copyright? I heard (on WNYC, I think) that YouTube requires people who post original content to sign over their copyright to YouTube (not just to license it to them). Is this true? Many people click to accept agreements w/out reading it & may not know they're signing their rights away.

Feb. 03 2012 12:18 PM
james hyatt from princeton nj

i just got a mandolin and find youtube has many, many good video lessons.

Feb. 03 2012 12:11 PM
cj from West Village

I have used YouTube to teach myself to knit...for free!

Feb. 03 2012 12:10 PM
John A.

YouTube should be given some backhanded credit for health. Kids wanting to become famous make themselves fit to look like a movie star, all just to put out a video that is seem by maybe 300 people.

Feb. 03 2012 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I definitely make more use of Youtube than any of the other forums. I think it's more important than Facebook.

Feb. 03 2012 12:09 PM

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