YouTube behavior

Posted by Rob Walker on April 23, 2009
Posted Under: Consumer Behavior,Entertainment

In this item about the (to me) creepy-sounding possibility of monitoring what your friends are watching on YouTube, while they monitor you back, I was surprised by this assertion:

Many people go to YouTube without any particular video in mind — they simply go to watch something.

Really? Do you do that?

I’m pretty sure I only go to YouTube with a video in mind, or by way of a link to a specific video that’s been brought to my attention in some way or other.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Yeah, sometimes at lunch, I will randomly watch something just because I need a break. Usually, it comes out of one of my subscriptions, but I’ve been known to just start clicking around.

Written By Ann V. on April 23rd, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

Although I, myself, have never gone aimlessly channel surfing on YouTube, I’ve observed my teenage son doing that. In fact, in situations of enforced proximity (vacations) he will entertain himself with his laptop while the rest of us watch a movie on TV. (We’re all sitting on the same couch, but he’s watching a succession of YouTube videos–not the televised movie.

Written By Randy Ludacer on April 23rd, 2009 @ 4:30 pm


But my teenage daughters do sometimes, I think.

Written By chip on April 23rd, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

I do that sometimes. I watch one of my subscriptions or even just browse the “most popular” videos until something catches my interest.

Written By kuri on April 24th, 2009 @ 1:01 am

I have once or twice but 95% of the time I watch something because of something I have heard, or seen linked on Facebook

Written By Rebecca on April 24th, 2009 @ 4:27 am

All interesting, especially about the teenagers. I can imagine that, makes sense. I suppose, thinking about it later, I can also sort of imagine being bored at work and just going to YouTube to see what’s up — it’s a way to find some entertainment etc. that’s possible in a work situation where cracking open a book or somesuch might be, you now, unacceptable.

I love the vision of the teenager on the couch doing the YouTube thing while everybody else watches a movie. I think I might have done the same sort of thing ,but with one of those little handheld football computer games, or a comic book … or both.

Written By Rob Walker on April 24th, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

I have definitely gone on to youtube w/o a specific purpose (I’m a later 20’s female). I’ve found that with my subscriptions to youtube channels there is almost always something interesting and new that has been uploaded, or I use the clips that are “recommended for you”. In addition, I also love to go to youtube just to check out music that I’m interested in, or click around and find new music recommendations (based on one original song starting point).

Written By Lucy on April 25th, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

I only go to watch something specific, but my laptop heats up if I watch too many videos in a row; if that weren’t the case, I might browse around a little more.

Written By Lisa on April 26th, 2009 @ 11:08 am

I’ll frequently visit YouTube and enter the first word that pops into my head at that time into the search bar (e.g. cheese, pinball, nixon). Sometimes the logic of the search results are as entertaining as the videos.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as having nothing in mind, but thought I would share the behavior.

Written By NRL on April 27th, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

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