Does Late Night Need Youtube?

Or, How I Learned to Keep Mourning The Nightly Show and Love the Bomb

It’s no secret that the measure of late night programming is often in the viral video.

It explains why Jimmy Fallon was killing the late night game and why James Cordon is becoming the singing jester that stole his crown. That’s the explanation for why Colbert might’ve defined the cultural landscape as a character while nearly vanishing as he wedges himself into the talk show format. And it’s why every Monday morning you see headlines about how John Oliver eviscerated, dominated, and destroyed some concept or another. Each of them has that sharability—and that fresh Youtube account.

As cord-cutting drops TV subscriptions about eight percent overall and 19 percent in young adults (the theoretical cable buyers of the future), networks aren’t counting on pulling viewers in through the traditional means at the traditional times. But it turns out the only thing better than water cooler talk is hundreds of thousands of shares on social media. Sharing videos, segments, and even episodes in whole on the internet is just one more way of show viability through virality.

461796278-0And it’s something The Nightly Show never had. Comedy Central was (oddly) one of the slower adopters of internet video sharing. For the longest time clips to their content could only be found through their own website, on a special video service all their own. Eventually they warmed to the idea, and now The Daily Show is sharing segments from its own Youtube account. But The Nightly Show isn’t; they only come from the Comedy Central account. Sure, you can search for them in Youtube, but if you’re just trolling the account page, The Nightly show is buried under clips and segments from Not Safe with Nikki GlaserTosh.O,  and even more Daily Show clips. Heck, it doesn’t even come up on the initial account page for its own subchannel.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there’s probably a whole cocktail of reasons The Nightly Show will be keeping it 100 for only one more night. But not having access to the modern means of getting itself out there? Definitely didn’t help.

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