Section B - New and Digital Media [YouTube]

My case study is about YouTube, here are all the differnet theoires and media products that I need to know to anwser the New/Digial Media question of Section B


YouTube Algorithm: 1/3

  • History - 2007 Users upload a video and tell YouTube what was in it, through title, tags, description
  • But people tried to cheat, ‘keyword stuffing’ ‘tag spam’ trying to guess the algorithms priories

their parent company Google, if there was a way of websites getting boosted up their search results it would be abused, the advice was always ‘make good content’

So, YouTube learnt from Google have kept quiet about the algorithm but now it’s not that they won’t tell it that they can’t

A paper "Deep Neural Networks for YouTube Recommendations" by YouTube engineers explaining they are using Google’s research into Machine Learning to recommend videos

Machine Learning:

  • same software make text-to-speak sounds so realistic
  • beat the world’s best ‘Go’ player at his own game
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YouTube Algorithm: 2/3

  • Show videos that people ‘like’ - it’ll silence a small but vocal group loudly disagreeing with them
  • Show videos that people share – then videos about pirate things, medical issues/sex ed will vanish
  • So according to the paper, the goal was set to, increase watch time
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YouTube Algorithm: 3/3

However, no way for a computer to detect quality or truth it can’t tell the difference between:

Actually reliable information VS paranoid conspiracy clickbait (videos from Alex Jones are getting a lot of traction)

Videos suitable for children, educational VS copyright infringing unofficial efforts

The algorithm may increase the watch time in the short term but the results will be questionable at best and harmful at worst.

The sort of videos advertisers get nervous about having their product show up next to

let an algorithm do the sorting and manually step in when you get a complaint its fine

however, if you involve a human you are a publisher, opening themselves up to very expensive lawsuits.

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YouTube Ads are more effective than TV? - YES 1/2

  • Types of YT Ads:
  • Display ads
  • Overlay ads
  • Non-skippable video ads and long, non-skippable video ads
  • Skippable video ads – 5 seconds on the advert then the skip button                                   If you don’t watch at least 30 seconds then you don’t have to pay anything (safe)

80% of cases adverts in it better in driving sales

“YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.”

Give you a wider reach – you can target your consumers, demographics, geographic, time of day and ‘based off interest ads’  

Online advertising if you see the link you like the user can just click it they don’t have to type a link in or search for it, instant

TV have a set price for different shows, YouTube has no limit you can spend lots

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YouTube Ads are more effective than TV? - YES 2/2

“if you advertise on YouTube you’re also supporting independent creators all across the world” - Felix Kjellberg ‘PewDiePie’ most subscribed channel +50million subs

Old Spice commercials can gain loads of organic views, you don’t turn on the TV hoping to see it you go to YT, watching ads for free

YouTube has strict rules on demonetization that aren’t ‘advertiser friendly’  

On TV you can actually never know who is watching your advert

Active audience, personalised (we want to skip ads computer time is more valuable, work time) VS Passive (couch leisure time)

Pepsi Ad flopped because it was offensive and unrealistic, some would say yt is an honest platform, the way the media like to portray things in traditional advertising, is no longer a reflection of reality

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YouTube Ads are more effective than TV? - NO

Thinkbox (the TV marketing body that counts ITV, Channel 4 and Sky as members) says

This is because it claims the bulk of viewing on the site is by a relatively small audience, and that YouTube is mostly lower-value user-generated content and not the top-quality drama and entertainment programmes advertisers want to associate with.

Built-in audience - TV station and its steady audience have usually been around for decades. The network you’re on has name recognition and tremendous marketing power.

Better ad infrastructure - Television has already built a well-oiled advertising machine. It serves approx 8 minutes of high-cost ads per half hour. enormous amount of revenue without having to do anything new or different.

People in power watch it - Some YouTube shows might have a large audience, but the adults in the entertainment industry don’t watch it far less chance of getting picked up for a larger project and get economies of scale

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YouTube Censorship


‘Restricted mode’

Supress the views of others by limited the audience or taking away their money - not real censorship

artificial intelligence and machine learning, under the pretence of fighting hate speech, is now being used to censor on platforms like YT and governments like the EU and at the bidding of advertisers like AT&T who seek to maintain a stranglehold on the free exchange of information media giants.

 YT giving a platform for independent opinion leaders, like (Philip Defranco 5.4million subs), losing the idea that if you have an opinion that is valued by the community you can make a living off it,

mainstream media's rating are decreasing perfectly logical that corporation and governments would conspire to regain control over the flow of information, acceptable through  

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YouTube the Ad-pocalypse: 1/2

Feb 2017 when most subbed YouTuber Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) used online freelancing site Fiverr to hire two men in India who say they will write anything on a sign and dance with it, so he asks them to write “death to all Jews, subscribe to keemstar”

The Wall Street Journal took other videos out of context to create a smear piece (dressed like a Nazi for a video game) and said that he is a neo-nazi this resulted in other media outlets short-changing him and online personalities

Dropped by his network, Disney, kicked off ‘Google Proffered Tier’ family friendly

 “I’m sorry I didn’t think they would actually do it” supped to be a joke although in poor taste

Other media outlets followed the smear of YouTube creator to get ads pulled from YT, to starve alternative media of funding - 250 companies boycotting google, pulling out of advertising on the site

pushed the narrative, decided that YouTube is riddled with objectional content  

Named by YouTube creators as the ‘Ad-pocalypse’

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YouTube the Ad-pocalypse: 2/2

Companies know that this YT controversy can be used to their advantage,

push narrative YT is riddled w/ objectional content as an opportunity to pull ads and douse this massive media company in controversy

gain interest & trust of advertisers seeking a more ‘respectable’ medium to advertise

AT&T and Verizon, pulled out, crisis for Google as they spend 3.5billion on ads each year alone

AT&T: own HBO, TNT, TBS and Time Warner and CNC largest paid TV company revivals to independent entrainment and news companies that live on YT

Verizon: owns Yahoo so all for smearing Google 

As if Google loses advertisers there will be more on the market to bring back to their platforms 

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Cultural Imperialism/Homogenisation

Cultural Imperialism/Homogenisation: one culture overrules the others/dominates over the weaker ones

80% of YT Views come from non-us nations

60% of viewers on YT come from countries whose primary language is not English

  • UK: 35% of residents are active on YT with 18-24 demographic most popular 76% of all UK users

61.5% of videos are blocked in Germany due to the music video ban

Imperialism in the media: extending a nation's authorises (in YT case the US) by economic (US rev $1.55billion - global rev $4.28billion)  over other nations

Criticism if Cultural Imperialism:  narrows our mindset, passive audience

Heterogeneous - mixture of

Homogeneous - there is the same stuff everywhere 

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Eli Pariser - Filter Bubble

A filter bubble is the restriction of a user's perspective that can be created by personalised search technologies.

Personalised internet use as negative,


Web 2.0 personalised

  • "information junk food"
  • "a web of one"
  • "invisible algorithmic editing of the web"
  • "The Internet is showing us what it thinks we won't see"

- Eli Pariser

YT Sub-box

FB feed

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David Gauntlett - The Media Gods


  • The ‘Media Gods’ (how and when you could get media)
  • Passive Audience (fit lives around media schedule) 
  • ‘Appointment to view’
  • Expensive (big cameras and broadcasting company)
  • Centralized


  • Web 2.0 (creating and distributing)
  • User Generated
  • Cross Platform
  • Inexpensive to produce (Laptops, Phones, YouTube)
  • Decentralized
  • Social
  • ‘Making is Connecting
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Nielsen - Lean Forward, Lean Back


  • Lean Forward


  • Lean Back

‘On the Web, users are engaged and want to go places and get things done. The Web is an active medium.

While watching TV, viewers want to be entertained. They are in relaxation mode and vegging out; they don't want to make choices. TV is a passive medium.’

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Tim Berners Lee - The Internet

He believes the web should be used to understand people, to create new things and to communicate

He believes that the internet can be both as good and bad thing

"really powerful things can be used for good or evil ... what is made of the web is up to us. You, me and everyone else"

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Henry Jenkins - Convergence Culture


  • Convergence culture - combination of new media with old media (e.g. vidoe games, old media: televsion - new media: game consoles
  • Participatory culture - private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers)
  • Collective intelligence


  • Separate media platforms
  • Passive audience culture
  • Individual intelligence
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Tim O’Reilly - Web 2.0

User Generated Content

  • Audiences become the producers

The Wisdom of Crowds

  • Audiences share their favourites, tags and reviews

The Network Effect

  • Audiences communicate with each other directly.

WEB 1.0

Read, search, passively consume, control

WEB 2.0

Personalise, collaborate, actively participate, connect

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Andrew Keen - The Cult of the Amateur

In his book 'The Cult of the Amateur'

critique of the enthusiasm surrounding user generated content, peer production, and other Web 2.0-related phenomena.

He contrasts companies such as Time Warner and Disney that "create and produce movies, music, magazines, and television"

with companies such as Google. He calls the latter "a parasite" since "it creates no content of its own"

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Digital Divide & Digital Exclusion in the UK

Digital Divide:  Economic and social inequality to which people can or can't access computers, Internet and communication (Factors: income, age, education)

  • Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today

Digital Exclusion in the UK: 

  • 12million people don't have basic computer skills
  • 32% aged 65+ never used the internet

Wales is the most digitally excluded, London is the most digitally inclusive

The Go ON UK unveils the UK’s first Digital Exclusion Heatmap clearly maps out most affected areas that are digitally exclusive meant to be a wake-up call

Reasons: Social (D & E demographics), Economic, Geographical limitations

Digital Muggle 2.2million people 7% of the workforce) No digital skills

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Marxism & Liberal Pluralism: 1/2 Liberal Pluralism

Liberal Pluralism:

  • No media Gods
  • No Gatekeepers
  • Journalist are free
  • Top institutions give free choice, no constitution
  • Mass media has a positive role in society

Liberal pluralism would agree we need the media in order to be EDUCATED and INVOLVED in society

We media -> citizen journalism

there is no dominant class, society is equal and democratic

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Marxism & Liberal Pluralism: 2/2 Marxism

Chomsky + Herman - Promote the Marxism idea that the media control the masses through...

  • What is beauty
  • political agendas
  • right and wrong
  • moral values
  • gender roles

Societal split:

Economic Base -> Proletariat (the masses)

Superstructure -> Bourgeoisie (in control)

Critics would say it assuming a passive audience 

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Richard Dyer- Star Theory

The idea that icons and celebrities are manufactured by institutions for financial gain

Constructed to represent 'real people' experiencing real emotions

His theory is split into three sections:   Audience and Institutions  Stars are made for money purposes alone The institution then models the artist around the target audience they choose. Constitutions This is more or less the same as the audience and institution part of his theory. Hegemony
the idea that the audience relates to the star because they have a feature they the share or admire Some fans may attempt to replicate the star in their behaviour like COPY CAT THEORY

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Linear television and 'Timeshifting'

87% of all viewing is still live and online viewing is still in its infancy

Linear Television: over 90% of viewing sports, news, weather & current affairs programs take place live at the time of broadcast

Timeshifters: Catch up TV (iPlayers, ITV Hub) and Recorded TV

Recorded television - most avid viewers of recorded television are those working late or are out; adults between the age 16 & 44

TV is not just for watching TV programs: games consoles, Blu-ray, Android-based tv systems to watch streaming services

Of the 60mins a day that 16-24 yrds using TV 57% using it fo something other than watching live TV

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'Loser-generated content'

Wordplay or User Generate Content

Digital content such as online videos produced by people on the internet...

  • lacking time
  • creativity
  • personal taste
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