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Is YouTube the new TV?

YOUTUBE is one of the most popular sites on the internet but is the online service capable of overthrowing traditional television? Trinity College Foundation Studies students Natacha Manomaiphan and Debbie Li investigate.

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With the world craving online content more than ever before, YouTube’s availability as a free online resource for entertainment has us asking whether YouTube can be considered the new TV.

We surveyed 46 Trinity College Foundation Studies students YouTube-watching habits. The results revealed that the majority of students spent approximately seven hours on YouTube weekly. On average, given a YouTube video is approximately five minutes long, students are watching at least 84 videos in an entire week! That’s almost as much as watching five movies!

Students cited entertainment as the main reason for logging onto YouTube while a small minority of students also said they used YouTube to watch makeup videos.

While students said they still watched television, 24 out of the 46 students interviewed ,indicated their television watching habits as seldom. This led us to ask why.

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With YouTube, users have the power to choose what they want to consume, and more importantly when to consume it, making YouTube  a far more convenient alternative than having to wait for programmes to screen in an allotted time on television. This was a sentiment that was further echoed by the majority of students who have abandoned television in favour of programming that they can control themselves.

In addition, the portability of YouTube also gives it a distinct advantage over television. Students said they enjoyed accessing YouTube anywhere they liked rather than having to be restricted to viewing short bursts of entertainment within the house.

From a cultural perspective, international students might not be too accustomed to the Australian television channels which could very well be another reason why students are switching off the televisions and tuning in online.

The investigation clearly demonstrates Trinity College students find YouTube to be a very interactive and entertaining source of media – one that most certainly squashes television in almost every direction. With YouTube’s resourcefulness, students are able to be kept in the loop with world news, follow trends occurring in pop culture, share videos with their family and friends and ultimately have a a whole variety of videos at the touch of their finger tips.

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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