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YouTube has won its battle with TV... according to YouTube

No doubt aided by cat videos, YouTube is displacing television watching according to its parent company.

A cat flushing a toilet, as seen on YouTube
A cat flushing a toilet, as seen on YouTube
Image: Screengrab via dragonzice1/YouTube

YOUTUBE VS TV? YouTube says the battle – if there ever was one – is over.

In a flashy presentation to advertisers earlier this week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt declined to forecast that internet video will displace television watching. Instead he declared: “That’s already happened.”

Schmidt said “the future is now” for YouTube, which recently passed the milestone of 1 billion unique visitors every month. But, he added with the Third World in mind, if you think that’s a large number, “wait until you get to 6 (billion) or 7 billion.”

Schmidt and YouTube, which billed the event as a “brandcast,” shifted away from the video platform’s relationship to TV.

A year ago, YouTube seemed to have its sights set on reinventing television by funding the launch of more than 100 channels from well-known media brands and Hollywood personalities.

But that initiative went unmentioned at Wednesday’s presentation, held at a Lower East Side pier as part of a week of “NewFronts,” (digital media’s version of the TV tradition of promoting programming and selling ads).

Though the model for the evening was TV, YouTube used it to distinguish itself as something entirely different.

Global reach

“It’s not a replacement for something that we know,” said Schmidt. “It’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms.”

The presentation featured performances by Snoop Dogg and Macklemore, as well as YouTube personalities like Felicia Day. YouTube focused on its global reach, community engagement and enormous audience.

“I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn’t. I was wrong,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head of content. “TV is one-way. YouTube talks back.”

Some comparisons were inevitable. One fact highly touted was that more 18- to 34-year-olds watch YouTube than any cable network. “TV means reach,” said Kyncl. “YouTube means engagement.”

Though companies like Yahoo and AOL have used their NewFront presentations to announce new slates of original programming, YouTube made no programming announcements.

It did, though, announce a partnership with the Association of National Adverstisers’ Alliance for Family Entertainment to create more digital family content.

And just for old time’s sake:

YouTube: dragonzice1

Read: 11 internet firsts you probably never heard of

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Associated Press

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