Without YouTube, late night TV barely exists. That’s not because Lilly Singh, a YouTuber with nearly 15 million subscribers, made television history in September by taking over Carson Daly’s slot on NBC. No, not really. A Little Late with Lilly Singh is just the latest installment in a trend that began 10 years ago, when Jimmy Fallon, then helming Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and getting only middling reviews, went viral after inviting Justin Timberlake to help him rhyme his way through the history of rap. The “History of Rap” video got twice as many views online as it did on air, an upset that would soon become the norm.
In the years since, Fallon (and compatriots like Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, James Corden, and Samantha Bee) have engineered their shows to be consumable as YouTube clips. They’ve altered the late-night format to resonate with whatever trends and #Challenges are sweeping across the platform. Popular YouTubers have become regular entrants to the show’s guest rotations. It’s not so much that YouTube has gone mainstream as the mainstream has gone YouTube.
Taking over TV is quite the coup for a platform that got its start just 15 years ago above a pizzeria in San Mateo, California, and it’s not just late-night television that’s ceding territory to the big red play button. Just about all video media consumed around the world, whether it’s a highbrow movie or a comedy variety show, has to acknowledge and interact with YouTube somehow—in its marketing, in its release, in its post-theater sale strategy.
MacDailyNews Take: Remember when people were saying Apple should buy YouTube? But, if Apple had, the YouTube of today would likely be dramatically different.
Google bought YouTube in 2006 for about half of what Apple paid for Beats eight years later.
See Apple’s YouTube channel here, Apple TV’s YouTube channel , and Apple Support’s YouTube channel .