Go to the YouTube landing page and in the page's search function (you'll find it toward the top) put in "how to make money with YouTube." Within a split second you'll be confronted with more suggestions for videos to watch on this subject than you could watch in a day (exaggeration? possibly not... :) Some titles that I just got on my screen are: How To Make Money From YouTube!, How To Make Money on YouTube, How I Make Money On YouTube, How do I make money on YouTube? etc., etc., etc.... You get the idea. THIS is a popular theme, something that has caught the fantasy of those aware of what YouTube is and can be. Or perhaps, the fancy of that segment of YouTube habitues who have an active as opposed to passive orientation to life.
Interesting to me, that when there are so many similar video offerings on a theme like this, you, the viewer, have to choose between them, and have to find a criteria on which to base your choice of which one to watch first. There are 3 things that jump off the screen at you that will help make this decision: 1) There's that still photo that gives an inkling of what the video will deliver, who's behind it, and the level of seriousness and competence invested by the producer, and his or her motivation to produce and post the video, as well. 2) There's the length of the video. Some are long and some are short and our time is limited. Does a longer run time indicate that the video will deliver a more in-depth and thorough body of content, or does a shorter one indicate a video that represents a no nonsense, cut to the bottom line, respect for the viewer practicality? I'm not sure about this; are you? and c) there's the number of views that the video has garnered already. But again, I'm not absolutely sure about what this means. Does it indicate that a video with a good number of views has been visited repeatedly and recommended to others because of its quality? Does it indicate that it is produced by a popular producer who has earned a reputation for quality? Does it indicate that the video has been posted for a long time and has gotten viewed by virtue of having been available longer than its competitors? Oy! This gets complicated! And I suppose there are other factors, too, like (possibly) d) does the video carry ads? And if so, this may indicate the motivation of the producer in creating and posting it. Or does the producer really have passion for the subject and making a few bucks from it represents an afterthought?
Yes, I suppose that if I had to confess all, I'd admit that this idea appeals to me, too. How nice it would be to earn significant money by being creative, brilliant, and sharing my creative brilliance with others who provide me with proof of my prowess as a content creator: earnings.
But while I can see how being a successful YouTuber embodies facets of the bane of our lives and times, tech-fueled narcissism. You know, the desire to be the center of attention, basking in the glow of, if not outright adulation, then at least, deserved appreciation, just like the folks we see on TV constantly, I see other things, too.
This is, after all, basic commerce: I've produced something that you like and want, something that fills needs, and for doing this I am rewarded. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with that. Hey, it makes the world go round. What's so contemporary about it, though, so Digital Age, is that the technology allows one to produce more than cabbages or eggs, more than cheese or sausage, more than shoes or cups and saucers, those things have been produced by relatively humble people since the inception of Agriculture, Gastronomy, and Pottery. Today's digital, web-based technology, allows all who care to, to try their hand at being chroniclers, commentators, and teachers and inspirers of the masses. Not only can we produce reasonable facsimiles of the print, audio, and video products put out by the likes of Disney, Spielburg, CNN, and Public Radio, media titans who define taste, value, and success, but we can publish them in virtual spaces like YouTube. There, the possibility of drawing an audience is no joke. By now most of us have heard of YouTube content producers, many of them home-grown DIY-style independents who have posted things that, at least in terms of appeal and popularity, have rivaled those of media industry giants. And, too, we've seen that those same giants, have items originally produced for Broadcast or Cable consumption that are also posted on YouTube where an audience of undeniable scope consumes it. And there are even more interesting things, like VICE, to be found there. Things for which the boundaries between these types of media and the way they approach their audiences have become blurry.