It’s been a whole ten years since the first ever YouTube clip was uploaded to the platform.

The first 19-second video, “Me at the Zoo”, was uploaded on April 23, 2005 by one of the site’s founders. It’s a rather simplistic clip in comparison to the immense amount of eye-catching content available on the platform today.

In the last decade the Google-owned video-sharing website has been responsible for the career of Justin Bieber, aided the popularity of Gangnam style, contributed to the rise of the vlogger and provided an ideal platform for brands to reach consumers.

Increasingly brands and advertisers have been capitalising on YouTube’s lucrative consumer base, many using the “YouView” format to display their ads before video content. Ultimately the platform has become a game-changer for many brands and advertisers, giving way to a wealth of innovative ad campaigns.

Democratising the media

Last year, Cisco predicted that video will make up 79% of all IP traffic by 2018. With this in mind, it’s little wonder brands are so keen to talk business with YouTube.

Clare Hill, MD at the Content Marketing Association, states that YouTube will be one of the most significant platforms for brands over the next five years.

“YouTube has changed the face of communication and has democratised media, generally speaking,” she comments.

One of the biggest trends sparked by YouTube at the moment, states Hill, is the importance of human influencers. Vloggers such as Zoella and fitness guru Cassey Ho have become a new breed of celebrity, using their skills and charisma to reach a worldwide audience.

Forward-thinking brands tapping into a potentially huge global audience have collaborated with vloggers on various ad campaigns. Companies such as Snickers, Boots and Unilever have all taken advantage of the influence bloggers have on potential consumers.

Brands becoming broadcasters

Over the last few years companies have been using YouTube from a campaign perspective, but increasingly, many have been using it as their own broadcasting platform, says Hill.

YouTube has enabled brands to offer consumers the most engaging form of visual content. As a result, companies are no longer having to rely on traditional forms of media to reach potential customers and can forge better relationships with their audience.

Hill believes the next step forward for YouTube is click to consumption. Clicks to purchase direct from a video could have a monumental impact on both the ad industry and e-commerce.

It’s early days yet, but if YouTube explores this avenue, it may become a prominent feature for brands using the platform in the next ten years.