With Over 1 Million Views Already, Will Queen Elizabeth Be Crowned the Latest YouTube Star?

30Dec07

I originally wrote this post for the i5invest (employer) blog but thought I would share it here as well. Enjoy:)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has joined the digital revolution, launching her own branded channel on YouTube. At 81, the queen recognizes that the Web is an increasingly influential space to connect with her global following.

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With a series of posts including vintage footage of her first Christmas broadcast circa 1952 along 19 other videos, the channel takes viewers into Buckingham Palace and the life of her royal family and its events. The queen participates in a growing trend of key public figures who’ve decided to bypass or augment traditional broadcast TV and print for vox populi content and conversation sharing mediums like YouTube.

While this footage could potentially reach about 24 million people via TV, 25.9 million via radio and 5.6 million via Web on popular BBC networks, the queen’s foray in video sharing on YouTube now opens the gates of Buckingham Palace to reach, at comparatively low cost, an audience of 55 million, the 8th largest audience on the Web today.

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The queen remarks, “I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct. That it is possible for you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us.”
Reuters reports, “The queen is said to be avid about using new technology to reach a wider, more diverse audience. Last year her Christmas message was released as a podcast.”

So far, her channel on YouTube has generated 18,651 subscribers and 1,021,690 channel views.

The only major critique I have of the channel is that YouTube’s embedding, commenting and most video sharing capabilities have been disabled on the channel. If the queen and Buckingham Palace really want to participate in the two-way interaction that makes platforms like YouTube so powerful, her channel needs to be opened up for real-time, two-way engagement rather than be used simply as another publishing platform.

You can view her channel by visiting http://youtube.com/theroyalchannel.

Queen with iPod Photo courtesy of iLounge

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