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Talking Schmidt: YouTube has already won the battle with TV

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google / via

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google / via <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

In recent months Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has proven himself a spokesperson worthy of making the headlines.

From singing the praises of his BlackBerry (no, I didn’t misspell Android) to claiming Apple is holding out on approving Google Now for iOS (turns out that wasn’t accurate), we couldn’t resist debuting our new series, Talking Schmidt, where we bring you the latest zingers from the chairman himself.

In the premier installment of Talking Schmidt, we will unpack the chairman’s recent claim that YouTube has defeated your TV in the competition for your attention.

Speaking to advertisers earlier this week at YouTube’s Newsfront event, Eric Schmidt boldly claimed victory in the crusade between YouTube and traditional television, according to CBS News.

While Schmidt cites YouTube’s 1 billion unique monthly visitors as a sign of its success, his message just doesn’t ring clear with me.

Broadcast television may prove to be a dying model, and digital consumption is its obvious replacement, but its Netflix and Hulu that come to mind when we think about life after traditional television.

YouTube has a constantly growing catalog of videos ranging from our favorite entertainment to instructional tutorials (I reference YouTube once a year before I attempt to wear a tie like a gentleman), but how its delivered is the problem with the model.

Traditional television is constantly broadcasting and services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video tend to package content in an easily digestible format, but YouTube in its current format requires much set up and customization to build a channel and still doesn’t feature the huge catalog of movies and shows as TV’s actual competitors.

Netflix announced just last month its recent growth has made it larger than HBO. YouTube just doesn’t come up when we have this discussion.

YouTube certainly has areas in which it thrives. It is multi-platform and wide reaching with enough content to personalize entertainment for anyone, but it just isn’t the same caliber of content.

I enjoy Eric Schmidt’s hyperbolic characterization as much as the next guy, but YouTube is just another channel to watch in the post-TV era, not its replacement.

The only question left to be answered is, “Does he know that?”

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