Tech Diva: Will YouTube Become The Next MTV?

Posted by Lady Mel On Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7 comments

 When I was a senior at Smith College, I took a Sociology of Rock Music class. The last paper of my undergraduate career was all dedicated to the death of the cultural global brand that once was Music Television (MTV). My professor was a bit skeptical about the whole ordeal, you know. MTV was still around, even though YouTube and Myspace continued to dominate the online entertainment space. A year has passed. I could not have predicted such a catastrophe, if it was written across my forehead.

No more TRL. No more music. No more iconic MTV logo. Do not get me started on these dumb reality shows! Do you want to know why I will only watch MTV for the awards shows now? When I heard that the cast members of Real World: Jersey Shore were given $10,000 per episode contracts to produce a second season! Oh my fucking god. MTV, what have you done? You substituted a generation of wonderful music shows such as TRL, Diary, Fanatic, and MTV Jams for a bunch of tasteless, attention whores? MTV is like Tiger Woods. It was married to popular music and well-respected by celebrities who acknowledged it as the catalyst that launched their music careers. But it ended up sleeping with Snookie instead. (Thank god I do not watch Jersey Shore!). MTV has clearly lost its morals and is only here to cash in on the latest reality show craze it helped generate in the early 1990s instead of being relevant again.

YouTube could end up on the same path to self-destruction. Unlike MTV, I will continue to use YouTube to watch videos because it is still relevant to me. After reading Wired Magazine's "5 Secrets to YouTube Success" article, I realized that YouTube has come a long way since its founding in 2005. YouTube has transformed average people and local bands into semi-famous individuals overnight and I hope that the exchange of communication and ideas continues to thrive between YouTube vloggers and their followers.

But after playing around with the new YouTube layout, I learned that YouTube needs to rethink its website design strategy. I initially thought the new video page was a April Fool's joke. However, when I realized it wasn't, I spammed Twitter, tweeting that YouTube needs to figure out who is on its user-experience team before it makes another decision because the homepage is horrendous. It may have taken YouTube ten months to listen to user feedback to create this new layout, but it needs to reconsider this disaster. First of all, I do not like this thumbs up, thumbs down policy that YouTube implemented to replace the five-star system. What if I like a video, but think it is not worthy enough of a thumbs up? So, the rating of the video is somewhere down the middle. With the new system, there is no middle ground. With the old system, I could have easily graded the video with three stars.

Secondly, I hate the excess of white space on the left side of every page. I think the font size and columns (ie. related videos) were rearranged to give the users a more "user-friendly environment". Despite the influx of spam and racist comments, I personally like the old layout a lot better. This is coming from someone who is a YouTube consumer, not a vlogger. I knew where to go, which buttons to press. Now each page looks bare and out of place. The only new feature that I like is the you can now easily share your favorite YouTube videos with your Facebook friends. Other than that, nothing.

I am glad that the people that I have talked to in person and on Twitter about this issue agree with me 100%. We as fans should contact YouTube and demand the old video page back somehow because I do not want YouTube to be the next MTV. If more fans complain about it, then YouTube will get the message. If they don't, YouTube might continue to develop new design changes without our opinions and eventually go downhill, allowing another online video-sharing website will take its place.

What are your thoughts on the new YouTube video page? What should YouTube do next? Is MTV a has been?


Johana Hill said...

I hate the new layout too! There's no Home Button like before. I really hate that!

Lady Mel said...

Tell me about it. I made a comment on its official blog. I scrolled down several pages and saw that I was not alone in the frustration. I hope YouTube hears us all.

niesha said...

I used to LOVE mtv back in the day, when they actually played videos. I even liked some of the reality shows like the early real world episodes. But now it's all fake and tastless and since I live in Amsterdam it's really annoying that MTV is one of the only portrayal people overseas get of us. I would love to see a return of music to actual music channels but the situation is looking grim.

Lady Mel said...

@niesha Agree with you 100%. However, it is not only MTV's fault. Real music is dead.

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