Ah, YouTube vs. TV, the debate that already seems as age-old as the chicken or the egg. Or Whitney vs. Mariah. Mario or Sonic. Weed vs. alcohol (dandelions and isopropyl alcohol, duh). Danny Zappin vs Maker. The answer to the last one, I believe, has always been clear: the right party in that matter is – (blow dart to the neck; wakes up in unemployment office.)
Back in May, when Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was asked when online video would displace television, he said, “That’s already happened.” For YouTube, “the future is now.” Of course, you’ll receive similar declarations from most anyone professionally vested in the online video industry.
But listen, keeping it real here: As someone who’s talked to countless YouTubers on the private, private (wink, wink … why am I winking? I have no idea what I’m implying here), for every one YouTuber who boldly declares they wouldn’t jump ship to TV, there are 10 others who would scratch their own eyeballs out of their sockets just to be on a channel like TruTV. What’s TruTV, you ask? Exactly.
There’s a definite prestige factor to being on TV that isn’t lost on most YouTubers, even if that allure is denied so adamantly by their PR flacks. Of course, the nuance here is that almost all YouTubers say that they would still upkeep their YouTube channels even if they were on TV. So again, my simple answer to the debate right now is, TV wins, but YouTube isn’t meant to replace TV anyway.
Here’s a nifty infographic from YouTube Downloader that visually illustrates the duel between YouTube and TV. Note that indeed many YouTubers do indeed make millions of dollars doing the *ahem* “talented stuff” they do. I’ll leave it at that.
For more infographic fun: