Business Spotlight: YouTube Part 1

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. brainchild / ˈbreɪnˌtʃaɪld / (n.) – an original idea of a person or group of people

    Our business was my father’s brainchild. He was the one who suggested that we use our old truck to set up a mobile café and library.

  2. potential / pəˈtɛn ʃəl / (n.) – the ability of someone or something to become successful

    Janet’s cooking skills are excellent! I think she has the potential to become a famous chef.

  3. rudimentary / ˌru dəˈmɛn tə ri / (adj.) – simple and not advanced or fully developed

    The product website only has rudimentary features because the designers did not have enough time to work on it.

  4. complication / ˌkɒm plɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – something that makes a situation difficult to handle

    The project was delayed due to several complications such as staff resignations and a huge budget cut.

  5. copyright infringement / ˈkɑ piˌraɪt ɪnˈfrɪnʤ mənt / (n.) – a violation of a person or company’s legal right to be the only one that can produce or sell a book, movie, photo, or piece of music

    The man was sued for copyright infringement after he was caught selling illegal copies of books.


Read the text below.

Ask an elementary school student what they want to be when they grow up and it’s highly likely they’ll say a YouTuber. And who can blame them? YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, and some of its biggest stars earn more than $20 million (¥2.2 billion) per year. But it hasn’t always been this way.

YouTube started as the brainchild of three PayPal employees in 2005. Initially, the founders had hoped to start an online dating site, but they soon recognized the potential of video-sharing and released a rudimentary version of today’s YouTube onto the internet in April 2005.

YouTube’s easy-to-use interface made it an overnight success and by the summer of 2006 it was receiving over 100 million views per day, making it one of the fastest-growing websites ever.

However, with popularity came complications. More and more equipment had to be acquired to handle the big user numbers, and the company ran into legal issues due to copyright infringements.

To avoid further issues, YouTube made agreements with several large media companies and started running advertisements. As a result, the site began to feature professionally made media, as well as the amateur content it had become known for.

To be continued…

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • YouTube’s founders initially planned to start an online dating site before they recognized the potential of video-sharing. Why do you think they chose to create a video-sharing site? Do you think the founders would’ve been as successful if they’d followed their initial plan? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • YouTube’s easy-to-use interface made it an overnight success. What do you think are the other factors that led to YouTube’s success (ex. there are many kinds of videos to watch, anyone can upload videos)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • If you were a parent and your child wants to become a YouTuber, would you encourage him/her to pursue that dream? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you were given the chance to become a successful YouTuber, would you be willing to quit your job/not take any other job to focus on creating videos for your channel? Why or why not? Discuss.