Is it time for a live feed from Brad Markham's cowshed?

Reckon anyone would watch a live stream of people milking cows? These days, you never know.

Reckon anyone would watch a live stream of people milking cows? These days, you never know.

OPINION: Would you watch a video of me milking cows? It wouldn't be glamorous. I wear waterproof bib over trousers to shield me from the occasional "code brown", which means I look like a tall, pasty Oompa Loompa – except I don't sing.

In fact, it's likely me singing Shawn Mendes' latest hit would trigger the cows to unleash a poo explosion of epic proportions. Apparently I "lack musical talent", but I'm a firm believer that practice makes perfect.

I'm considering the idea after learning that uploading videos to YouTube can be a lucrative money spinner. 

The advent of YouTube has opened up a whole new way to view your brain cells into oblivion.
YOUTUBE

The advent of YouTube has opened up a whole new way to view your brain cells into oblivion.

Taranaki makeup artist Annalee Muggeridge has more than 100,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel. Her popular video tutorials have been viewed almost four million times. She uses her channel to showcase new makeup products and offer fashion and lifestyle advice.

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Annalee said she's making money out of her online business. Every thousand views on YouTube earns her $1. 

Taranaki's own Annalee Muggeridge is among a number of modern entrepreneurs making a living in the world of online video.
SIMON O'CONNOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Taranaki's own Annalee Muggeridge is among a number of modern entrepreneurs making a living in the world of online video.

It's a similar story for Gisborne woman Elena Carroll. The 20-year-old started her YouTube channel Classic Splendour to practice using her first makeup set, but it's turned in a substantial money spinner. She has more than 193,000 subscribers.

She told the Gisborne Herald she receives income every month, based on the number of views her videos get. The university student said it's her "full-time job." Elena's channel is ranked the 24th most subscribed to channel produced by a New Zealander, according to analytic site Social Blade. 

But is the appetite of consumers to see where their milk comes from big enough? I'd have to get 10,000 clicks just to make a measly $10. 

The idea could have other perks. If my videos managed to attract enough hits I might be inundated with free products to try, like tail paint, a milking apron or new overalls.

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I'm a regular watcher of YouTube. I watch news channel Al Jazeera live, or self-help videos - like step-by-step guides to easily master tricky wire knots when fencing.

Most people gasp when I tell them I no longer watch old-school television. For years filling the rundowns of nightly news bulletins in Australia was my job. But free to air television isn't convenient or user friendly.

I'm still an avid watcher of television shows; whether it's catfights between glamazons on Real Housewives of Auckland, a current affairs programme on Al Jazeera or the latest twists in the drama series Tyrant.

I just consume it differently. I live in one of a growing number of New Zealand households which subscribes to on-demand online service Netflix. We also have AppleTV. But YouTube is by far my favourite form of entertainment.

It enables you to watch television gold, like the video of Courtney Barnes who witnessed a crash while walking to buy a "piece of burger" in the US state of Mississippi. Barnes told TV reporters his "hunger just went away" after seeing the "police car just twist around like a tornado girl". Barnes' dramatic hand gestures were made more eye-catching by his long lime green acrylic nails, which matched the colour of his pony tail.

I don't doubt watching that video which runs for a minute and a half probably killed a few of my brain cells. But what's the alternative? Watching another episode of Piha Rescue on TV1.

In December 2016, web traffic analysis company Alexa Internet, ranked YouTube the second most popular website. It's home to millions of videos, everything from news bloopers, how-to videos on folding fitted bed sheets, to parodies and kittens being kittens. 

It has also enabled New Zealanders across the globe to sing along to the '80s hit Poi E in last year's epic charity music video by StepUp Taranaki.

Every minute more than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. It has over 100 billion users, which is almost one third of people on the internet. The Google-owned website reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the U.S. It's no wonder advertising revenues for free to air television stations have plummeted. 

YouTube - like the microblogging site Twitter – gives anyone living in countries with free press a platform to express their views. It also enables people to connect by sharing content.

It's often asked why people are deserting normal television and flocking to YouTube and Netflix. The answer is simple; they can choose a programme to match their mood.

They don't have to accept whatever the foodies at Master Chef are dishing up that night. Who knows, they might click on me.

 - Stuff

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