Uses and Gratifications of YouTube: A Comparative Analysis of Users and Content Creators
Drawing on the classic media theory of uses and gratifications, this paper comparatively analyzes the uses of YouTube and the rewards obtained by consumers and content of this video sharing platform. The aim of this research is two-fold: 1. to identify the main uses and gratifications that determine consumers and content creators to use YouTube, and 2) to examine the reasons behind the decision to become a content creator on YouTube. Based on a qualitative research method, the paper highlights how YouTube is used from the perspective of consumers and content creators and the types of needs it gratifies. The research consists of 20 in-depth interviews with YouTube consumers and content creators from Romania. While for content consumers YouTube is mainly a means of relaxation and information, for content creators this platform becomes a source of recognition and social validation. The study also indicates that vlogging can provide job-specific gratifications. Moreover, the research reveals essential aspects behind the decision to become a content creator.
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