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Is YouTube the new boob tube?

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 00:03 IST

The more the World Wide Web develops, the more it seems like a glorified TV channel. Look at the search giant Google’s latest acquisition: the popular video-sharing website YouTube. Launched a couple of years ago, the site offers free content, ranging from home videos to snippets of movies, TV shows and concerts. Visitors watch more than a million videos on its site daily. Although YouTube apparently doesn’t offer much that any other good user-created video site cannot replicate, its brand value and huge audience base must have been too good for Google to pass up.

Video is one of the keys to any comprehensive search experience, the net included. Rapidly growing content on the information superhighway makes it easy to find information on the web and new technologies increase the speed of information transfer. The direct transfer of entertainment-on-demand is steadily replacing broadcast TV.

Video-on-demand also points to a scenario where the content provider is the content user, the middleman be damned. Which brings us to the extremely poignant question: considering that taste has always been dictated by a minority group, this democratisation may just end the concept of taste. But then, we already have TV channels with their sms polls and their random experts and their....