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Rushes Sequences - Chad Hurley interview - USA (Video)

Chad Hurley is co-founder and Chief Executive of YouTube. He met with the Digital Revolution programme three team to discuss the rise and empowerment of the amateur online, YouTube as an outlet for people to self-broadcast their content, and how they made that into a successful business. 

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(Please note that this transcript is the 'raw data' text we receive from a transcription company. It is a tool commonly used in production to facilitate editing and review the content. We publish it for users in that same spirit, rather than it standing as a 'perfect' representation of the content.)

Intvr   User Generated content, I know you kind of describe it as things like a mass amateurisation of culture or something, erm how do you respond when you hear something like that?

Chad      Well its great, that means everybody has a chance to be seen, erm I, I think in the past erm again the, the traditional models would survive around scarcity, which I don't think necessarily is healthy for society, for ultimately a few people to have the control of the creation of all the content within the world, and then have the control of all the distribution of the content in the world.  Now with the Internet erm people have access to create and distribute on they're own, erm people can share they're own thoughts and feelings, experiences, talents, erm which I think is a great thing, erm ultimately, again kind of comparing where we were in the past with where we are today and moving into the future, erm even within that, you know previously kind of controlled environment, you had hundreds of organisations, thousands of organisations, creating   a massive amount of content, with only, you know potentially a handful erm of, of that material being erm I guess erm quality, the, you look at the amount of movies that are produced on an annual basis, and the ones at the end of the year that end up winning an Oscar, erm you know relatively small.  Erm, you know now when you take this erm model and you empower the rest of the world with opportunity to create they're content, of course, your going to have a lot of stuff that you know potentially is being produced, erm it isn't meaningful to anyone in particular, erm but aga, again your gong to have a small amount of the, the content or individuals having opportunity to rise to the top, so its just the numbers are different, the numbers are much bigger and you know you can point to, and always try to stereotype what You Tube or other services are all about, that its just amateur, you know its about funny cat videos, erm these types of things but they loose sight of the fact that we have you know a factor of a hundred thousand time more, more people and actually creating quality content than we ever had in the past.

Intvr           Platforms is that some of they're exploiting people's labour, you know they're creating the content and erm your monitising it, so somehow our kind of they're being turned into free labour for you, is that I mean is that fair?

Chad     Well we wouldn't exist if people weren't creating content. I mean that's the bottom line, that's I always tell people we're the stage erm they're the performers, erm but I don't look at us as, as a service that's trying to exploit that.  What we're trying to do is just provide the opportunities, erm that didn't exist before, free opportunities for them to do so, erm if they don't want to post to You Tube, or if they, you know have existing content that they want to take down, they're always free to do so, we, we're not   trying to control them or they're content or they're experience, erm but we're ultimately always just trying to give them access to the, to the platform, to cost effectively distribute they're content, and get in front of a global audience, erm that wasn't I guess aggregated before.

Intvr           What characterises the best videos on the web, what makes them go viral? 

Chad      I guess that's the, the big million dollar question is the you know what's the secret formula, erm but again, I, I guess it has, its not any different than what it was in the past, you know what's the formula to creating an Oscar winning movie.  Erm, you know Emmy winning TV show, its, its always going to, you know people looking for that same solution, but ultimately there is no, you know magic answer, erm to that question, its erm its giving people the tools, erm and a select few having the talent to, to create, creating something compelling, erm but I guess it depends on what your looking for, like again people always like to stereotype what You Tube's all about, or what's popular, and of course some of the, you know natural kind of human element stuff is always going to rise to the top, you know humour and other things that are outrageous or shocking, erm there's something that people want to pass around and share with one another, but you, from time to time just have inspirational stories, you have erm political candidates leveraging the system. You have, you know people just capturing moments, erm be it you know a local event happening within they're town or you know protests or what's happened in Iran erm, people capturing these moments and having, now a chance to share them with the world and erm people using it as a resources to be informed and, and what I think it does, you know when  you see the personal side of people just capturing everyday life is that it, it breaks down cultural barriers.  Erm in the past I think people have just kind of consumed they're knowledge, or I guess they're, they're perception of the world just through media, which erm again isn't always erm unbiased, erm but when you start seeing everyday life, from everyday people on the streets, no matter what country they live in erm I think it adds a very   personal element erm to that, that people can connect with.  And they start understanding that they have families, they have feelings, they have dreams, erm just like I do erm and not hearing just the erm the bias stories that they would tune in and see on the, on the news.  Erm, so in that way I think erm, that's   really what erm has surprised me through this process, beyond just looking for that, you know special formula of what makes a video popular, I just, I love to hear about the powerful examples of how You Tube's been able to just affect culture in general.

Intvr           Can I move on them just to think about erm sort of social, I mean do you think you've seen kind of I don't know how many hundreds or thousands or millions of You Tube videos.

Chad            A few. 

Intvr           Yeah a few, erm has you know what we're calling that kind of generation web are they more in sophisticated in they're understanding of media, that kind of viral culture, you know erm do you think you know do they see the world differently to you know a generation, you know probably my generation?

Chad      Yeah I, I think its going to be pretty amazing to see how the next generation erm like evolves, if you want to call it that.  Erm because of they're access to technology, but ultimately they're, they're access to information, erm I think education is being re-defined, its not necessarily about memorisation its about erm finding, searching for answers erm you have an infinite amount of resources available to you, erm or information available to you, and I think, people with this next generation erm I guess are much   more knowledgeable about any topic erm that you can think of, that also erm sometimes people think of, of I guess the, the dangers of people trying to trick individuals with the erm deceiving them with information that's not correct, the posting rumours and.  But again I think erm  this next generation is potentially more wary, or I guess conscious of that, that they, they are making they're own decisions, they understand if they're you know reading a post or, or you know about to click on a link you know, where that's going to take them.  So I think everyone's now is kind of, of conscious of how of maybe people are trying to shape they're thoughts or feelings, erm but erm again that's not any different than what has happened in the past.  I think erm different news organisations have different takes on you know just even one particular event, especially when you talk about the, you know the political system.  Erm, so when you, when you pick up a newspaper or turn on the television, you know news programme at the end of the day, erm they're trying to represent they're point of view, which people would always have to kind of take with a grain of salt, I guess if you will.  But now people are I guess more conscious of that happening across the web. 


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