I wonder whether any of the brands that YouTube is approaching to create customized video channels will really take the time to look at what kind of content is acutally driving the outrageous success of this much-hyped video sharing site.
Let’s take a look at what’s on the front page of YouTube today.
Here’s what’s most telling — compare the ratings on these videos to the ratings of the sponsored Paris Hilton music video on the same home page (i.e. “the bizarre cultural icon Paris Hilton,” as Marshall Kirkpatrick at TechCrunch aptly puts it).
Cats flushing toilets and rabbits eating are apparently far more entertaining than Paris Hilton — and I have to agree that at least the bathroom cat was good for a laugh. Even the amateur rapper beats Paris.
Instead of signing up Paris Hilton to promote their new branded video channel offering, perhaps YouTube should have signed up Gizmo the Cat. I bet Gizmo and the other talent on display at YouTube today would be happy to participate in any kind of paid brand channel efforts, but you have to wonder whether the magic would be lost.
Here’s some advice for brands looking to tap into the success of YouTube — remember that the users are in control, and what they think is entertaining and worth their time — particularly as to raw humor and home-grown talent — may not generally align with your branded content. Your value proposition needs to align with the actual value that YouTube creates for its millions of users everyday.