User-Generated Video: Not For Everyone To Watch -- Or Even To Produce

User-generated consumers and makers, it’s time to graduate.

YouTube’s Red service looks to appeal to millennials. But unlike YouTube free service, with limited advertising support, YouTube Red is a subscription-video-on-demand, no-advertising service, costing $9.99 a month.

But YouTube Red isn’t a Netflix-wannabe. Far from it. It focuses on Internet-born talent like Lilly Singh and Scare PewDiePie, with TV shows by Internet-born TV producers such as AwesomenessTV and Maker Studios.

It make sense YouTube is looking to develop this base of content, since it started as a user-generated video marketplace, where these young performers came from.

All of which begs the question: Where’s the future of user-generated video content? Unfortunately, there’s at least one related product whose future seems in doubt.

We speak of GoPro, the maker of small HD cameras that can attached to practically anything -- helmets, bikes, skis, and skateboards, for example. It had a stock price of $64.74 in August 2015; yesterday, $9.78.



Big investors believed that the company could be big in software and/or media because of calls for action video content.

Still, many believe GoPro’s near-term projections will continue to be modest -- even with the hope of new drone technology additions. One problem is that it can too hard to off-load, edit and share GoPro content.

For many consumers, video “content that everyone wants to make -- [in the air] or on the ground -- just isn’t going to be the most compelling content,” said Max Wolff, chief economist of Manhattan Venture Partners, on CNBC on Thursday.

And then Wolff repeated perhaps the original argument people had when YouTube started up in 2005:  “If everyone makes the content, who’s the audience?”

Which is why, on the other end of the quality TV/video production spectrum, for the likes of CBS and others, professionally produced TV content will always find an audience.

YouTube may sense perhaps not everyone can be a video creator -- or a compelling video creator. They may want to spend that time watching someone else’s high quality and/or curated content.

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