YouTube is changing the world

Samuel Ogali, Courier Staff

Where do you go when you need to learn how to solve a quadratic equation, when you need to know how to change a flat tire or even bake a cake? You go on YouTube.

Every student in this classroom has grown up with this platform, including myself. It’s part of our daily lives and while we might not realize it, it’s our greatest source of information and entertainment. Ever since YouTube’s inception and evolution, more access and control has been given to everyday people, which in return has created stars, influencers and mass followings.

When talking about YouTube as a platform, it’s important to discuss how it came to be. The website was originally created on Valentine’s Day in 2005 as a dating website where people could upload videos introducing themselves to others. The creators of the website, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, eventually changed YouTube to a general video sharing website once the idea of it being a dating website failed.

  In April 2005, Karim uploaded the first ever YouTube video, which consisted of 19 seconds of him at the San Diego Zoo entitled, “Me at the Zoo.” Later on that year, a Nike commercial which included Brazilain soccer player Ronaldinho became YouTube’s first ever video to reach one million views. Eventually, between the years of 2006 and 2010, YouTube sold its company to Google for $1.65 billion, teamed up with organizations such as CNN and NBC, started placing ads on its videos and even started its own music video service, called VEVO. In a matter of five years, YouTube had gone from a failed dating website to the most profitable video sharing website in the world. And it was only
still growing.

Throughout YouTube’s immediate rise, the website has been heavily responsible for providing a platform to many unknown individuals at the time who would eventually become household names. The most obvious person that benefited from YouTube was Justin Bieber. Bieber’s mother was posting videos of him from as young as 12 years old just singing, whether that would be on stage or in his room. Bieber eventually gained a following and was discovered by music executives and later on signed with Usher. Soulja Boy’s hit song, “Crank That Soulja Boy,” was originally released on YouTube and Myspace and gained a mass following reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 100; this allowed him to be discovered and be offered a deal with Interscope Records. And who can forget Psy; the unknown Korean artist who made a song and dance called Gangnam Style that amassed over 1.3 billion views in five months, becoming one of YouTube’s most viewed videos; and as a result, Psy has made $8 million on YouTube alone. 

Before a platform like YouTube, many artists and creators relied on executives and organizations for validation and opportunities, but platforms like YouTube have allowed these artists and creators to cut out the middleman and reach directly to the consumer, and as a result, many unknowns are quickly becoming household names.