Welcoming Connective Media's CEO to MIPBlog! Here, he wonders whether digital channels could be content makers' saviours...
By Jesse Cleverly
"...1. A YouTube channel is not a one way piece of communication – it is the crucible for a conversation between creators and the individual members of the communities they curate. YouTube, like Facebook, is an epicentre for social media and some of those who were recently granted YouTube channel funding told me that it was their commitment to the social side of their proposed channels, as much as their ability to produce good content, which won the day.
2. A YouTube channel is likely to be talking to a global niche of some sort, and as such will be more much narrower in its focus and appeal, but much broader in its potential global reach. A YouTube channel is often what people in television would call a show, and it is the way that these mono-brand channels are networked together via partnerships which creates the tipping point, rather than the sheer size of the media monolith standing proudly alone.
3. Alongside quality, it is ”the algorithm” – the machine code which directs users towards content, and the various techniques and practices which “game the algorithm” – aka SEO, or search engine optimisation – which push you up the search rankings and puts you in front of more people more often as a result.
4. The roles within these channels are not clearly defined – ask someone running a YouTube channel if they are a producer or a social marketer, a distributor or an advertising sales executive, a producer or an account manager and they are likely to tell you it depends which time of day it is and what needs doing.
5) Finally there is the big question: money. Are we notoriously “swapping TV dollars for internet dimes”, or will the early examples of self-funding YouTube channels, many of whom seem to be almost accidentally making money from their backroom-based passion projects, become a more bankable norm? In other words – will audiovisual media remain a lucrative career choice or will it follow novel writing and journalism into the realms of a cottage industry in which the vast majority of practitioners also need a mortgage paying day job?..."
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