While there are other video sites out there, Youtube’s ease of use (including its easy upload ability, at least compared to some) and simple format has led it to dominate the online video market. With the rise of Youtube comes the rise of new content. This content has some similarities with TV, and some aspects that are more original. I’m going to give as examples four video series that release exclusively on the web, and have a major presence on Youtube: WatchMojo.com, Bored Shorts TV: Kid Snippets, PBS Idea Channel, and SHAYTARDS.
The first is WatchMojo.com. This channel does list-based videos, based almost exclusively now on viewer suggestions, and typically run between 10 to 15 minutes. A few recent examples include: “Top 10 Monty Python Flying Circus Moments,” “Top 10 Alternative Bands of the 2000s, “Top 10 Superhero Teams.” While the lists occasionally go towards a “real life” topic (a recent example would be “Top 10 Scams”), most are about pop culture elements, movies, TV, video games, music. In addition, there are also cliff-notes versions of books called “Top 10 Notes,” and beginnings of comic book characters, called either “Superhero Origins” or “Villain Origins.” WatchMojo also has some sister sites, WatchMojoFashion, WatchMojoTravel, WatchMojoHealth, WatchMojoLifestyle, which sometimes feature the Top 10 format that the parent mojo.com Youtube channel site uses.
Bored Shorts TV: Kid Snippets take a very simple idea, kids talking and or acting out a particular subject they are given, and then provide a twist: adults acting out the scenes the kids came up with. The adults “lip sync” to the lines said by the kids. The effect is an extremely look at how kids see the world. A few recent examples include: “Ultimate Workout,” “Star Wars Cantina,” and “Going to Grandma’s.” Two of my favorite videos are, “Proposal” and “My Teacher is an Alien.” The video are posted every Monday and typically run between two to three minutes. The precursors to these videos were called “Kid History” and ran 7 to 8 minutes long. The format was very similar: the kids talk about a particular scene in detail and adults acting out what the kids were talking about, but were only posted every few months. The “Kid Snippets” show is the natural progression of the extremely popular “Kid History” videos, in a weekly format.
The PBS Idea Channel is a good example how a national network like PBS can successfully release content on the web that is not simply clips of shows or deleted scenes from shows. The videos are hosted by Mike Rugnetta and he talks about “a show that examines the connections between Pop Culture, Technology and Art.” He starts every video by saying, “Here’s an idea,” and then states or asks the topic of the day, some which are: “The Future of Fandoms,” “Do You Choose to Have Your Privacy Invaded by Using Tech?,” “Can You Make a Movie So Bad It’s Good On Purpose?” The first half of the video, he brings up very interesting discussion points and uses images and videos grabbed from the web as he makes his point. The second half of the video is him responding to good/interesting comments on the last video, which like WatchMojo.com, really brings in an interactive quality that is not usually possible with Television.
The SHAYTARDS vlog is a good example of the reality-show type videos that exists on the web of people who post videos of their daily life. This one focuses on Shay Carl Butler, his wife Colette, son Gavin (Sontard), daughter Avia (Princesstard), daughter Emmi (Babytard), son Brock (Rocktard), son Daxton (Brotard). (The “tard” names were originally to have some privacy with the kid names in the vlogs, but with the announcement that Colette was pregnant with Daxton, that aspect has been dropped and now functions more like a nickname). The daily vlog started on March 4, 2009 when overweight, cash-strapped Shay Carl decided to do something brilliant: make a video diary of every day of the last year of his twenties. Now in its 6th year (though in 6th year, the vlogs are Monday-Friday), Shay has lost weight and is a founding partner of Maker Studios, which was recently bought by Disney; but the core of the videos, daily life with his family has remained unchanged.
These are just some of the exclusively web-based videos out there today. As content continues to change and grow, new exclusive online entertainment will change and grow as well.