the YouTube edition.
This year has been the year that I embraced YouTube. And not the endless hours of silly videos of cats and people hurting themselves side of YouTube. No instead I’m talking about the creative content side of YouTube. The web series’ and the personalities, the tutorials, the reviews…
My love for web series’ started in 2007 when I discovered LonelyGirl15. Launched in July of 2006 LonelyGirl15 initially appeared to be just another girl vlogging in her room. But the story started to get a wee bit odd. By September people had fished out that it was in fact a web series but it didn’t end there. It ramped up finally ending in August of 2008 and not without launching a number of spin offs. This was the time of Bebo TV and MySpace and I was a pretty dedicated fan.
At the same time I was also making my own vlogs of things my friends and I were getting up to. It was a lot of fun but my school didn’t like the fact that we’d made videos during lunch time and so made me take down all of my videos shot on school grounds. Unfortunately this was most of them so that idea died and was forgotten.
It wasn’t until this year that I found myself diving back into the world of YouTube and what I’ve found is that it’s become a really exciting place. Web series are slowly exploding with us Kiwis making a few of our own and original content makers are taking off.
Vidcon seems to be a case in point. It has sold out every year since its inception (2010) increasing its attendance numbers from 1,400 to 12,000 in 2013. With YouTube recently announced as the principal sponsor for 2014-2015 this seems to be only set to expand. If you (like me) watched any of the Vlogs from Vidcon then what you would have seen is thousands of fans champing at the bit to make their favourite YouTube Stars. It was insane and it’s getting bigger by the second. To use YouTuber Zoella as an example – she hit 400,000 subscribers on Christmas Eve 2012, as I write this that number has more than quadrupled with a casual 2.2 million people having hit the subscribe button. Zoella isn’t the only YouTuber to be experiencing this sort of success. In fact she doesn’t even make the list of YouTube personalities on Wikipedia.
The exciting thing about this explosion of content and patronage is the potential. You can literally be nobody, write a short script or just make it all about yourself and by pure luck end up as the next YouTuber in Marie Claire magazine (or something). At the same time you have people like Neil Patrick Harris running a puppet dream channel or Warner Brothers and Bryan Singer doing a sci fi web series. The only thing holding people back is the question – how long will Googles method of ‘monetising’ videos hold up? How can you make money off YouTube – is it cost effective? Is ‘New Hollywood’ as they’re calling today’s YouTube stars in trouble?
The question of monetising the Internet is problematic for many but for me its simple. If I appreciate your product and want to consume it then as long as it is accessibly priced then I have no qualms about paying for my consumption of things that other people have put time and effort into. It’s an attitude thing sure, but debit cards make this easy. This being said I’m no expert on tech money stuff so let’s end it here with a snapshot of my favourites… ENJOY!
Plus if you want to make a webseries – well hey! I do too. Lets chat.