I saw this article today over at Business Week called Web Video: Move Over, Amateurs and I had to laugh. Like that was somehow news? It is no secret that YouTube built its audience on the backs of users uploading copyrighted material. The facts are that the professionally generated content is well, better. That's why there are so many fights over where the videos are hosted and who commands the advertising dollars. As I wrote before, just follow the content to see who wins the battle over your eyeball. That's why companies are fighting over the material they paid to produce.
Personally, I'd rather have fewer places to go to watch video clips and of course my first stop is always YouTube. I just like the layout and the community better, but that doesn't mean that Google should get a free ride on the videos that people are watching. When consumers generated great content that is the place to look for it first.
Up until recently I only loaded up the "home video" for friends and family to watch over at my family blog. They were your typical home movies only fit for family consumption, but I did have a great video of Jacob on the entire Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disney that anyone would be interested in especially if you were on your way to vacation there. That got 304 views which was only topped by another Disney video I uploaded of the kids in the Animal Kingdom which garnered 492 views.
That was until yesterday when I made this post on Subway and uploaded a copy of The Family Guy Subway ad. In the roughly 2 days since I uploaded it, its received almost 1,600 views. Now if you notice on the post, the video link was actually from BlipTV because when I uploaded the video at YouTube it didn't appear in my folder so I thought YouTube zapped it (I still expect them to).
The vast majority of CGC is basically crap and that includes my home videos. Sifting through it can be tough; however that doesn't mean anyone should stop trying to be their own director. YouTube is a great way to level the playing field for professional versus consumers. If you have an idea, a camera, and a well thought out plan you can build an audience up and truly deliver content that rivals the professionals.
Do people like professional content better? Well of course they do, but that only means that people want well written, filmed, and edited content and any talented person can deliver on the promise.