Mark Cuban continues to share his insightful perspective on "GooTube." In a recent post, http://www.blogmaverick.com/2006/12/27/ripping-on-gootube-again2/, he concludes that because only 3 of the top most viewed videos in December were true user generated content, the advertisers and soft porn purveyors which make up the majority of the most viewed clips will ultimately chase away the YouTube community — much like spammers killed early Compuserve forums.
Our recent YouTube Hitmaker study indicated that the "most viewed" classification is not an indication of how people use the site. While they do look at the popular videos — most YouTubers in our study come with a specific topic in mind. The most common naviagation aid reported was the search box. We did not detect any preference for "user generated" vs. "professional generated." What came across loud and clear is that people come to YouTube to find video content on the myriad of niche interests that appeal to them.
We believe the highly self-directed nature of YouTube video consumption will prevent any individual's experience on the site from being overwhelmed with spam-like content.
Cuban's other points about the relative value to an advertiser of impressions generated by different YouTube audience segments is a good point that deserves further investigation.