Our world has another marker in history. Most that read this can remember a time “before” the Internet video revolution. Over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Videos save us gearheads from having to read, and at the same time we can learn! And sometimes it’s just voyeuristic entertainment. We watch idiots search for traction leaving the parking lot at Mustang Week, we watch hours of autocross at Optima Ultimate Street Car Series events with Chad Reynolds babbling in the background. “Epic crash-fail” compilations are my faves. I’m in deep, too.
Broadcast TV trained us that for every 3.5 minutes of content, there are 2 minutes of advertisements to sit through. We’ve been fed this corn since the 1950s. Mooo! The Internet changed TV as we know it. With online content available to bazillions of viewers for free and on demand we’re unrestricted, with no commercials. Woohoo! With all of this freedom, we’ve learned a new word: analytics. Analytics is the study of you the viewer; specifically, how long are you “engaged” with what you’re watching.
What do you search? How do we get you back? We trade our freedom to watch by giving permission to be watched. And they watch! They pay attention. Analytics tell us viewership drops off after 4 minutes 20 seconds. So a billion content creators start to control the length of videos to reduce “viewer dropoff”…. interesting. Moooo!
With all this freedom, we are still force-fed content that we don’t want to watch (“your video will play in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 second…”)
Personally, I think YouTube will be the decline of civilization, but until we’re post-apocalyptic, I’ll keep surfing for car crashes and creating Paintucation videos for people to learn from, and yes, a lot of them will be “free.” Gotta study those analytics though ... Gotta see when the viewer is dropping off.
I miss the days before.
About the Author: Kevin Tetz is an automotive restoration expert, TV personality, freelance automotive journalist, and owner of Paintucation Instructional DVDs.