Why Jerry Seinfeld Is Wrong About YouTube Being a ‘Garbage Can’


Jerry Seinfeld is a very smart and funny guy. But the 60-year-old comic obviously is not familiar with what appeals to younger audiences.

Seinfeld, at Sony’s Crackle upfront Tuesday in New York, majorly dissed YouTube. When asked about the place for user-generated content in the digital-media landscape, he responded, “The less the better” — and added: “We have a giant garbage can called YouTube for user-generated content.”

He appeared at the Gotham event to promote “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” his original series which will return to Crackle for a sixth season June 4 with guests including Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Maher, Steve Harvey, Jim Carrey and Trevor Noah (newly named host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”).

But Jerry’s trashing of YouTube — clearly, aimed at positioning Crackle as in a different league in front of Madison Avenue buyers — is misinformed.

All major Hollywood studios and broadcast and cable TV networks use YouTube in one way or another. Major draws on the Google-owned service include clips from Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and dozens of other media outlets. YouTube also is a significant driver of movie trailers and TV previews.

In addition, there’s a huge swath of original material that’s not even on TV — and, arguably, is better than Jerry’s original TV show.

“There’s this misconception that YouTube is UGC,” said Defy Media president Keith Richman in an interview. “We produce stuff that is way better than the first season of ‘Seinfeld.’ The first season looked like crap… It’s practically unwatchable.”

Many in Hollywood and the ad community have moved past looking at YouTube as a vast UGC wasteland. Instead, they’re increasingly eager to tap into YouTube’s billion-plus monthly viewers. Popular franchises that have emerged on the service range from Epic Rap Battles to Michelle Phan’s makeup and beauty empire; from the Fine Bros.’s React series to Rhett and Link’s “Good Mythical Morning”; and include altogether new formats unlike anything on TV, such as PewDiePie’s profane gameplay narration. PewDiePie may not be your cup of tea (or Seinfeld’s) but he’s built the No. 1 individual YouTube channel with 36.1 million subscribers.

“In the U.S. alone, networks like MTV and Nickelodeon have lost that core (teen and tween) audience that have traditionally kept them afloat,” AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins said at the MipTV conference this week. “Everyone knows that content consumption has moved to YouTube, online and mobile.”

Meanwhile, despite Seinfeld’s smack talk, he’s savvy enough to know top YouTubers draw some very large audiences. One of his guests in season 5 of “Comedians in Cars” was YouTube star Miranda Sings, the odd but endearing alter ego of comedian and singer Colleen Ballinger, who has 3.8 million subscribers and has generated 437 million video views to date.

Content from digital-first studio Defy, distributed on YouTube and other platforms, includes Smosh — the comedy team who are starring in “Smosh: The Movie,” slated for release this summer — as well as Screen Junkies (proprietors of “Honest Trailers”); Movie Fights; Made Man (whose shows include “Speakeasy” and “Gentleman Up”); Break (“Prank It Forward”); and entertainment and pop-culture brand Clevver.

At the Sony event, Seinfeld boasted that “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” last month crested 100 million views to date. That’s great. But PewDiePie has 85 times that to date, with 8.5 billion (although, to be sure, with shorter clips). Defy Media, for one, says it reaches about 150 million viewers per month between its YouTube and mobile apps. Other digital-centric media properties like Disney’s Maker Studios, Fullscreen and AwesomenessTV are in the same ballpark (or bigger). Indeed, the Maker multichannel network has north of 11 billion monthly views.

“I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, but he’s out of touch with youth,” said Richman.

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  1. Truelitistnot says:

    YouTube is a giant trash can. Google runs the worlds largest trash can.

  2. Joe says:

    You are crazy, he is right just about nine out of ten videos on you tube are posted by creeps, sickos, and boys who still live in their basements. PORN,PORN, and PORN.

  3. Paul Brno says:

    I was a garbage man for 24 years and I wrote a play about it called “The Sanitation Chronicles”. I’m also an actor & writer all my life. Gypsies, hustlers & clowns, that’s what we were. And after 24 years they were still the same morons & crazy people that I couldn’t stand when I first started it’s just that I learned how to get along with them. And every day I’d say to myself, isn’t there something else I should be doing like being in a movie? I went to acting school with Diane Keaton & Ray Sharkey.

  4. Rob petry says:

    Hes a comedian, and he’s right! My sons a garbage man and he’s making six figures
    Jack Tenneys “Joog Squad” on the giant garbage can you tube. So whats not to like about garbage?

  5. nurredin says:

    I agree with him and will take it a step further…. 95% of EVERYTHING on the internet is bullsh*t.Don’t misunderstand,Cable and broadcast television are in the same category.Just a big fricking waste of time.I seriously doubt if any real achievers in life are constantly watching Youtube or very much on television.

  6. basmith1029 says:

    I am a fan of Seinfeld and I am a bigger fan of YouTube, “The Peoples Television.”

  7. Let me say it again. Aggregated monthly views for networks mean absolutely nothing. THE CREATORS get the views – 99% of Maker’s views are not from channels they own. This is hilarious people buy into the aggregated view thing still. It’s NOT 11 billion. When their contract is up, the creators can leave. PewdiePie was not acquired, Maker was.

  8. Kresiva says:

    He is right, youtube allows people to re-post videos off the TV with crappy sound and video. They are trying to make money off this garbage. The original program would be more in line with what people expect.

  9. pantiesplus says:

    Youth? Sorry, Youtube is enjoyed by many of us over 40 guys too – we just don’t watch what garbage clueless kids watch to the 43 million views level. Cool music, rare concert footage, car stuff, gear/tech reviews, funny animals, sports, Annoying Orange, classic videos, trailers, to much to name. Twitter is garbage – dominated by left wing liberals spewing hate, vitriol, racism, etc. Seinfeld is old, washed up.

    • Lisa says:

      Excuse me, with your out of touch with reality pseudonym..Who do you think you are speaking about Liberals spewing hate, vitriol, racism… I will say you’re an idiot.. No question there.. Liberals do the opposite of everything you said and I KNOW the conservative sector is horrid!!!. The garbage that comes out of their mouths, Everything they stand for politically is so backward, tunnel visioned and disgustingly regressive.. no progress wherever they’re dominant in any state..Disgusting!!!. The worst in my entire lifetime and pretty much ruined this country.. The mess Obama was left with would take beyond his presidency to try to clean up. Bush was THE WORST president on this planet along with any other POTUS that was PUB.all sucked.Taking away rights of women, unequal pay, the absolute list is so long it would take a year but that’s what you get for opening your big mouth.. Jerry isn’t washed up.. Not even close…Sounds like you are.. I guess that his being an incredibly talented comic & writer just angers you.. His show on Crackle is extremely well done and very funny. I’m pretty sure you’re not worth a billion like he is.. Just to stay on TV for a 10th year they offered to pay him $4 Mill an episode.He said he had had enough after 9 years because his whole life was all about Seinfeld and he didn’t have a life outside of that. After 17 years off the air, the reruns are still going strong.. You’re FOS.. He’s cool. Sells out all of his appearances and from the list of what you’re watching… you need to brighten your horizons and YOU are DULL..

    • Well said. Almost every walk of life is present on YouTube. It limped along a bit as mostly cats and trailers, but with cell phone cameras, affordable camcorders, and video editing software affordable to the masses it absolutely blew up and almost everyone with something to say, play, share, or show off does it on YT. How on Earth is that bad?

  10. Kevin S says:

    I think the saddest part is that he did an episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings) who in fact is A YOUTUBER! She’s a comedian just the same, but a YouTuber none the less. He even brought her along to be on Jimmy Fallon, but now he seems like a hypocrite because he worked with a YouTuber and then trashed her job.

    Even with his later statement it seems like he is still dissing her craft along with everyone else’s. YouTube is a ground where comedians and musicians can get their start but also where gamers and beauty gurus can express themselves. I’m saying Jerry doesn’t know what he is taking about.

  11. John Redcorn says:

    Have too agree with “The first season looked like crap”..I found nothing funny about the show until Elaine,Kramer,and George started getting more “involved” in the show..Ive always said that show was nothing without them three..”Jerry” could have been “played” by anybody…….

  12. Gerry says:

    Jerry is a god

  13. Joshua Davis says:

    Wow. This guy said a whole lot of nothing.

  14. It’s getting real g*ddamned ugly out there. YouTube is garbage. First-season Seinfeld is crap. Seinfeld is out of touch. Can we take it down, just a notch?

  15. Cel says:

    There is nothing original about Jerry’s show – it’s a rip off of British actor/comedian Robert Llewellyn’s carpool which started in 2010. Check it out on the fabulous YouTube!

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