The YouTube Decade

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YouTube turns ten. We’ll look at how it has changed music, culture, and the media.

President Barack Obama sits down for an interview with YouTube star Glozell Green on January 22, 2015. (The White House/File)
President Barack Obama sits down for an interview with YouTube star Glozell Green on January 22, 2015. (The White House/File)

YouTube is ten years old this month.  The novelty of people uploading home videos and cute cats a decade ago has turned into something much, much bigger.  Six billion hours of You Tube video watched globally every month, with everything under the sun available.  Sports.  Pranks.  Music.  Beauty tips.  Terrorists.  High-minded lectures and how-to clips on trimming shrubs.  Now Hollywood is buying in.  Channels, networks, are rising up.  And so are competitors, taking video times from six minutes to six seconds.  This hour On Point:  YouTube at ten, and the world on video.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Tad Friend, staff writer at the New Yorker. (@tadfriend)

Angela Watercutter, editor and writer covering pop culture and media for WIRED. (@waterslicer)

GloZell Green, comedian and popular vlogger. (@glozell)

From Tom’s Reading List

New Yorker: Hollywood and Vine -- "Nowadays, YouTube is almost alarmingly professional. It has millions of channels devoted to personalities and products, which are often aggregated into “verticals” containing similar content. The most popular videos are filmed by teen-agers and twentysomethings who use Red Epic cameras and three-point lighting to shoot themselves. And the platform’s stars behave in ways that are contingent upon a camera. For instance, they act. One of YouTube’s most visible shows—currently featured in magazine and subway-car ads everywhere—is an action series called 'Video Game High School' that would be right at home on MTV."

WIRED: YouTube’s New Subscription Music Service Plays Anything—Even Taylor Swift -- "YouTube’s new music offerings work both in web browswers and mobile apps (it’s coming to Android first). The mobile version has two tiers: A free ad-supported service for streaming playlists, and Music Key, a premium offering that’s $7.99 per month for beta users but will be eventually go up to $9.99 per month. Although the free version will require users to hear/watch the occasional ad, just like YouTube users currently do, Music Key removes them, and additionally gives mobile users something they’ve wanted for a long time: the ability to keep YouTube playlists running in the background while they use other apps or have their screen locked. It also allows them to download playlists for use offline. (Hello, airplane mode!)"

NPR News: Meet The YouTube Stars Who Will Interview The President -- "Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer. One distinct possibility: 'Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know.'"

See Our Blog For Some Classic YouTube Videos From The Last Decade

This program aired on February 18, 2015.


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