People have been glued to the television since the year it came out. Yet, its authority has quickly been usurped by the emergence of on-demand “online television,” found at sites like “YouTube”. Here, one can type virtually anything into the search engine and get immediate results, whether it’s a movie preview for the new Batman, music clips from a concert, funny videos from Comedy Central, a classic movie like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or an old episode of Star Trek.
There is no shortage of funny videos on YouTube! One can find all of the best sketch comedy skits from shows like Saturday Night Live, In Living Color and MadTV, as well as cartoon comedies, like South Park, Family Guy and the Simpsons. Additionally, free clips of stand-up comedians like George Carlin, Greg Giraldo, Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook can be viewed.
Political junkies can watch Karl Rove singing and dancing like an MC at the White House Correspondents Dinner, they can watch some of the JibJab spoof videos, the infamous “Dean Scream” that cost Howard Dean his candidacy, or a video about McCain set to “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song.
Music videos are popular on “YouTube” as well. What makes YouTube such a great medium is that even low-budget, unsigned bands can promote their music, without having to deal with the politics involved in gaining access to traditional music channels, like MTV or VH-1. Unknowns can attract attention if they’re good.
For example, singer Terra Naomi signed a deal with Island Records and Esmee Denters toured with Justin Timberlake following their widespread YouTube popularity. In addition to finding new music clips, one can also look up oldies-but-goodies, like MC Hammer’s “Too Legit To Quit,” Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” or “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits.
Hollywood talent scout Frederick Levy says that it takes talent and an extroverted personality to become a “YouTube” phenomenon. “There are a lot of people who aren’t very likable, yet are very popular on YouTube,” Levy admits. “Take Chris Crocker, who was behind the “Leave Britney Alone!” video.
I don’t think he’s the most likable person on the net, as he is a little eccentric and crazy. Likable people are watched a lot, but so are eccentric people.” The site has discussed sharing royalties with popular producers but no model is in place as of yet. For now, it seems that other sites and advertising campaigns will try to lure the young stars away with promises of peanuts, or perhaps a few people will launch really successful careers!