I apologize for the gross overstatement in the title, I know print media is not dead. In fact the irony is that I’m writing this article for a blog style platform. Print Media may not be as easy or as enjoyable as simply watching a YouTube video, but it’s still very useful and has its place in a world where video, social media, and “snackable” content are dominating over multi-page written articles.
However, YouTube is a powerful platform, there is no denying the utility, size, and impact of it. People have become YouTubers and have created careers out of something that was once a hobby. Reviewers, consumers, enthusiasts, influencers, and more all contribute to the YouTube ecosystem by providing content of every caliber.
PRESS EMBARGO + APPLE
As many people know, Apple will launch its newest, and most expensive phone ever – the iPhone X on November 3rd. Only a handful of reputable reviewers have been seeded the device but cannot say anything until their contractual press embargo ends. That is of course unless you’re Apple and you choose who can say what and when before anyone else.
Apple chose multiple YouTubers, social influencers, and 1 journalist – Stephen Levy, one of the only 4 people to review the original iPhone in 2007. Normally this marketing effort would go unnoticed, but this has prompted outrage among tech journalist and bloggers, who are asking “why them?”
An article written by Dan Frommer on the popular tech based site Recode, has created controversy and started the attack on YouTubers. He writes
[The Videos] are a little braggy, mostly positive (“man, it’s pretty good!”) and don’t feel like gadget reviews at all. For many of us, they won’t replace the utility of more sophisticated reviews, which are supposed to tell us whether the iPhone X is worth our $1,000. They’re not great videos, frankly.”
The thing is that none of the videos mentioned in the article claimed to be reviews, but more so first experiences with the device – moreover, what makes them unsophisticated? Is it because they weren’t published in the Times? Apple specifically chose these content creators and influencers for a reason, each of which have effectively created a mini commercial and overview of a product that millions of people are interested in – all Apple had to do was invite them.
This has caused such responses from YouTubers:
They, like other creators matter. Each come with different levels of knowledge, diversity, and skillsets and that’s what makes their content different, and because of market segmentation they each will find or already have their niche or mass audience.
Print is not dead. but we are in a shifting landscape where new mediums and platforms allow people to create content and still be professional, intelligent, and reputable – whether it’s for the New York Times or any other platform.