The history of the internet is a very vast topic so I have decided to focus on one particular element of it, how it has developed over time and they affect it has had on people. For this I felt like Youtube was a great example. Youtube was founded in February 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, the first video posted was co-founder Jawed Karim at the zoo. The video is still on the site, I have linked it below for any lovers of zoos and/or elephants!
Youtube started as a platform for people to upload and share random videos with their friends and family. The site quickly developed and by November 2006 Google had purchased Youtube for $1.65 billion. What I find interesting about the platform is how much of a business it has become for creators, the transition from a fun place to share videos, to a career for people creating content seemed to happen very subtly. Once Youtube videos were attracting massive view counts, a percentage of the money that Google were making from the advertisements on the page on the video were passed onto the creator as an incentive to create more content. Or for a simpler definition, see the equation below!
Obviously not everyone who makes a Youtube video is going to be instantly rich, there is only a small minority who make it big. However, those who do are able make a very comfortable living out of it! That being said, another aspect I find interesting is the controversy that comes with being a popular ‘Youtuber’, in particular regarding copyright. Copyright can be a touchy subject around Youtube, obviously if someone posts your content and tries to claim it as their own and take money from doing so, then that video should be removed, in this case the copyright system works well. However others argue that the Youtubers who make commentaries of themselves playing video games, (somehow) getting millions of views in the process and having the makers of the game placing copyright claims against their videos are wrong. They argue that the videos undoubtedly great free publicly for their games. This week there has been outrage that Youtubers ‘The Fine Bros’, who have youtube series of people reacting to items and videos were granted the trademark of the term ‘React’, meaning they could remove any video which were similar to their ‘react’ videos.
Youtube has progressed from a small video sharing site, to a very lucrative business for some content creators, in a very short period of time. Where do you stand in terms of people making huge amounts of money from making videos and the quite sensitive matter of copyright issues on the site?