This video from Walmart, USA, showcases the power of omni-marketing in a brief sales pitch of their current sale. It presents several great products at lower prices to drive customers to the store.
Before the days of Youtube, video file sharing was something of a dream. There were video hosting websites around, but they were few and far between, and free services often collapsed under the weight of bandwidth costs and hosting fees, rendering them offline sooner rather than later.
As the speed of the internet grew in the early 2000’s, so did the capacity to stream videos on the internet. Several websites such as shareyourworld.com tried and eventually failed through high costs, until the website Vimeo began it’s debut.
Though popular, Vimeo was viewed as a side project from it’s founders, and thus, less energy was devoted to it. Along with it’s file restrictions and possible lawsuits from large media corporations, Youtube was able to bypass Vimeo rapidly in 2005, the year of it’s release, by billions of views.
So, how did Youtube become the number one video hosting service on the web?
As all things do, it began with an idea. For the founders, they wished to share videos with the world of a party they once attended, along with other iconic moments that happened around that time of the year. Originally, Youtube was to be a video version of an online dating site, as they had been influenced by a website known as ‘Hot or Not’.
That plan was scrapped, however, as a beta version of the website was opened to the public, and people began to upload videos at a frightening pace. The site grew rapidly, and soon it was receiving 100 million views per day on videos. On November 13, 2006, Google purchased Youtube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.
Since then, Youtube has only grown to become the leader in video sharing technology and hosting. Youtube partnerships, channel features, 3D video viewing, news streams and live streaming of events for free are just a few of the additions that Youtube has added in it’s climb to fame.
Of course, the road to glory is paved with suffering, and it wasn’t long after Youtube’s launch that the site attracted legal attention in the form of several lawsuits against it. While Youtube’s staff had put a message on the uploading screen to not violate Copyright laws, this was not enough to stop people from doing so.
Viacom and several other companies have all filed lawsuits against Youtube (and soon after, Google itself) in regards to copyright infringement. Most of the lawsuits ended up with an unresolved state, or in the case of Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC, professional singer Matt Smith sued Summit Entertainment for the wrongful use of copyright takedown notices on YouTube. He asserted seven causes of action, and four were ruled in Smith’s favour.
Fair use indicates that a user can upload a video using copyrighted material as long as the conditions regarding Fair Use are met. Google itself also has conditions for as much, which can be found here.
This video of Curtis Stone, an ambassador for Coles Australia, shows users how to cut an onion. This video educates the pubic, and in being from a prominent company, has currently collected over 400,000 views.
So, what does youtube mean for businesses and online marketing?
Not only does Youtube provide an essentially free hosting service for videos (which is usually the biggest files websites often have, and take up a lot of space on servers) but due to the massive user base Youtube has, and the ability to also advertise on the site, Youtube offers businesses a chance at massive exposure. Videos are one of the best forms of promotion, used since the dawn of the moving picture age and the world of advertising.
Videos can be easily embedded into websites using simple HTML commands, and modified just as easily. The structure of Youtube was always built on the idea of being able to share videos, and it does – magnificently.