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Oprah Meets YouTube. Who's Bigger?

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Someone evidently informed Oprah Winfrey that there was a medium that she did not yet own a major piece of. And you know what happens when someone tells Oprah that. And so it came to pass that Oprah set up her own YouTube channel.

What’s on it? Front and center, of course, there’s Oprah delivering a message to YouTube, not unlike Jehovah delivering a message unto the Israelites. There are also a lot of the behind-the-scenes Oprah After the Show snippets that she began doing way back when she partnered up on the Oxygen network. (I wrote a big fat feature on that much-hyped launch, and considering how heavy it was on animation and reality snippets back then, it makes me wonder if it wasn’t launched six years too soon: today, you could have created Oxygen much more cheaply as a YouTube channel.)

Over at The Medium, Virginia Heffernan considers what it means for YouTube now that it has “Oprah’s benediction.” But it’s also interesting how much Oprah works in her introductory video to earn YouTube’s benediction, by proving her viral-video cred despite being a latecomer. After all, she had the Evolution of Dance guy on her show!, she reminds us. And opera singer Paul Potts! And Tyson the skateboarding dog!

Even Oprah, it seems, is not above sucking up to YouTube, even if she manages to work some condescension into it. “If we all had the passionate intensity of that dog,” she says, channeling Yeats to praise Tyson, “we’d all be successful.” I’m skateboarding as fast as I can, O.

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