In 2005, three employees at PayPal came together to cofound YouTube, an online platform where users could upload and share video content with a quickly growing audience. YouTube encouraged the average internet users to tap into their creativity and equipped them with the powerful tool of video streaming, resulting in an endless content library that caters to all tastes and a gargantuan online media presence for the website. Going the extra mile to share ad revenue with creators, YouTube has fostered a new creative class of “YouTubers” and effectively spawned a new ecosystem of successful one-person media companies. Magazine B is an ad-free publication offering an independent perspective on well-balanced brands from around the globe.

Welcome to the 83rd issue of B.

A decade ago, when a friend told me that YouTube would someday dominate the world, I didn't fully agree with it and wrote off the idea altogether. I was sure that only well-trained experts could produce quality videos, and that it would be nearly impossible to share such large data files, as opposed to text or images. Of course, I was dead wrong, and today, I’m fascinated by YouTube and enjoy what it adds to my daily life. It’s a company and brand that truly offers so much to talk about.

People, regardless of age or nationality, are watching more YouTube all around. In a sense, the growth of the platform bespeaks not only a change in the IT world, but also a complete paradigm shift in media. There are several elements that came together as a springboard for YouTube, including advances that put high-quality video creation tools into the hands of ordinary users. Add to that the YouTuber revenue model, which turned the simple act of creation into a job and became the overarching business model for the corporation.

From where I stand, the most important and notable feature that sets YouTube apart from traditional media is the main feed and the stream of recommended content. In contrast with legacy media, such as television networks that only offered users a choice between channels, YouTube has a unique layout that suggests algorithmically selected content below the video that’s being played. This makes the video-sharing platform a completely different media experience because the power of programming and distribution that was once wielded by old media has been transferred to a user data-based recommendation algorithm. Content filters through several formulas before making it onto a given user’s recommended content list, making watching a video to the very end quite significant.

But if that’s the case, how have so many YouTube creators with high subscription rates become full-fledged, one-person media companies? Once, I would have guessed it was their flashy and provocative content, but I discovered that the common denominator was simpler: YouTubers are “real” people. Thinking about it, it’s so natural and human to want to keep watching someone relatable over instant laughs or quick thrills. That’s why I think YouTube has ironically brought about the most “human” form of media. And this new media experience that caters to the preferences of each subscriber is brought to us by artificial intelligence, so anyone out there who still irrationally detests AI ought to reconsider their position.

So now, to prospective YouTubers on the hunt for top-of-the-line cameras and editing tools in hopes of making big bucks: I implore you to take pause from all that and reflect for a moment. Instead, think about whether you’re living a life that’s uniquely and deeply “you,” even if in the smallest of ways, and if that “you” is truly and genuinely “real.”

Suyong Joh
Publisher

INTRO


PUBLISHER’S NOTE


TIMELINE

Viral YouTube videos that are still sensational ten years later


EXPERIMENT

Media consumption and YouTube search patterns of viewers by age group


OPINION: KEVIN ALLOCCA

Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture and Trends of YouTube


CREATIVITIES

New forms of content and rising genres of today


WORKSTATIONS

Equipment used by creators leading their genres


OPINION: NEAL MOHAN

Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer of YouTube


ECOSYSTEM

How the video production hardware and software industries are ramping up their competitive edge and capitalizing on YouTube’s growth


PRODUCT

YouTube as a product, continuously evolving in technology, design, and business


INDUSTRY

YouTube emerges as a comprehensive media brand with music and original content strategies


OPINION: CÉCILE FROT-COUTAZ

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Head of EMEA of YouTube


YOUTUBERS

Top YouTubers take the world by storm with their one-of-a-kind personalities and charisma


GAME CHANGERS

Legacy media entities and entertainment companies cross over into the world of viewer preferences and convenience


OUT OF THE BLACK BOXES

YouTube Space, supporting creators in production and encouraging ultimate creativity


BRAND STORY

The story of how YouTube opened a new horizon in the media ecosystem


PLATFORMS


Fierce competition among social media platforms for the upper hand


INTERVIEW: STEVE CHEN

Steve Chen, Cofounder of YouTube


INTERVIEW: ROBERT KYNCL, GAUTAM ANAND

Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube Gautam Anand, Managing Director of YouTube APAC


TRANSMISSION

Cases when YouTube takes over and expands the role of conventional media


BRANDS ON YOUTUBE

YouTube sparks changes in company and brand strategies for external communication


DIGEST

Information and figures about scale, growth, and trends in the YouTube ecosystem


REFERENCES

Publications and online resources that speak to YouTube’s cultural influence


OUTRO

PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher Suyong Joh
Executive Director Myungsoo Kim
Content & Editorial Director Eunsung Park
Lead Editor Jean Kim
Editors Jaewoo Seo, Chanyong Park, Narae Kim, Hyun Son, Sol Lyu
Assistant Editor Heewon Shin
Photographer Miyeon Yoon
Art Direction & Design Yuwon Choi
Guest Designer Gyeongtak Kang
Marketing Hyunjoo Kim, Yeubin Kim
Sales & Distribution Suyeon Kim, Kiran Kim
Managing & Editing (English Edition) Jean Kim
Translation (English Edition) Rancy Kim, Bongah Shin, Hyejoo Lee, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang
Copy Editing (English Edition) Sarah Kessler-Jang
Correspondents Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Lena Shin (LA), Alex Seo (London), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris), Mark Carter (Bangkok)
Thanks to Suzy Kim
Publishing JOH