YouTube: Leno looks, commonplace Colleges idea crashes, and users bicker over bands

YouTube Logo
YouTube is making a round of headlines once again, including its introduction of YouTube Colleges, the YouTube Underground Contest, and NBC creating a channel on the site with a clip of Jay Leno discussing his favorite videos he found on YouTube.

Product placement can be a funny thing. Consumers are getting wiser about recognizing when “free lunches” are offered. On September 13, 2004, 257 of Oprah Winfrey’s show visitors received a free customizable $28,400 Pontiac G-6 2005 sports sedan, but then GM was later accused of using a $7 million (out of their $50 million budget) marketing ploy technique. In Season 1, Episode 3: The Talk Show of HBO’s hit show, Entourage, the characters in the show were used to depict how funny the concept of product placement can be when they promised a home theater company that they would wear a hat displaying the home theater company’s logo in exchange for a free home theater on the Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show. And now since NBC and YouTube have a deal, Jay Leno coincidentally featured a “Videos we found on YouTube” on his show. Now, let’s take a look of disgust on his face in the screenshot below:

YouTube on Leno

Next item on the agenda is YouTube Colleges. Colleges are YouTube’s response to Facebook’s popularity of creating a service exclusive to college students. In order to give you a first hand look on what it looks like, I created an account through my Mich. State Univ. e-mail address. Given the fact that YouTube is the #11 most visited website in the world according to Alexa, I figured there must be at least a few thousand users out of the 44,000+ students at MSU registered with YouTube Colleges, but it turns out that there is only a mere 47 members (including myself), 0 College Groups, and 2 Videos. It was a good try, but looks like this idea belly-flopped into a pool of attempts to recreate Mark Zuckerberg’s cash cow. Perhaps they could have made the login page a little bit more personable for different schools. For example, on Saturday, Sept 16, University of Michigan beat Notre Dame in an away game based in South Bend, IN for the first time in 12 years. Use this as a selling point and throw in congratulatory statement to the U of M users of YouTube Colleges. Or maybe at least put in the schools logos. In the screenshot below, I blacked out the usernames for anonymity purposes.

YouTube Colleges

The last item on the agenda is a glance of YouTube Underground. “YouTube is teaming up with Cingular and ABC to create a ‘talent hunt’ for unsigned bands.” The winning band will be given musical equipment by Gibson, VIP passes to an A-List Tour, a featured video on the YouTube homepage, and an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America. If only this was made into a reality show series on YouTube, this whole concept would be interesting. Just imagine the typical conflict monologues between band members on reality shows in this case.

YouTube Underground

Many people are complaining that YouTube is becoming a corporate puppet, but most technology enthusiasts knew that this moment was inevitable as video server costs are huge and with YouTube having a rate of 60,000 videos being uploaded per day, the bandwidth costs to keep this site alive must be unimaginable. Sometimes, you just have to find a way to pay the bills by any opportunities that come your way whether you love it or hate it.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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