In spite of questions about the sustainability of online video, not only is the space continuing to grow, but is beginning to appeal to a broader spectrum of people including educators.
According to statistics from ComScore, American viewers saw more than 9 billion videos online in July alone. And out of that 9 billion, Google was served 2.5 billion, or 27% of the viewers. While Google, thanks to their acquisition of YouTube, holds a majority of the market share, none of the competitors are even close. Yahoo!, coming in at number 2, only managed 4.3% of the market.
That said, not everyone is using online video, or even YouTube, solely for entertainment. Following in the footsteps of other colleges such as Stanford, which offers a developmental class on Facebook, Pitzer College in California has started offering a for-credit class on YouTube. The students not only watch and analyze videos on the site, but post responses in comments and videos of themselves along with the in-class lectures.
Alexandra Juhasz, a media studies professor, said she was “underwhelmed” by the content on YouTube. But set up the course, “Learning from YouTube,” to explore the site’s role. She hopes the course will raise serious issues about YouTube, such as the role of “corporate-sponsored democratic media expression”.
Online video for entertainment has yet to be successfully monetized, however, other uses such for educational purposes provide an interesting alternative. While most individuals wouldn’t pay a subscription fee for accessing online video for fun, that would change if it was a part of their curriculum.