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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Fine Brothers: Top Youtube Earners: Pioneers of New Media

The Fine Brothers just wrote a very thoughtful and bang on blog in defense of the top earning Youtubers. Anyone who is a series creator, Youtube fan or even a casual viewer should read this one.



  1. Very well put.

    The Youtubers have done everything right. It is up to the web series community to learn from them. If the Youtubers are rewarded for their hard work then that is just the way the market works.

  2. This dates back to Shakesphere's time, you adapt and compete or die. The bubble is yet to understand this and that is why so few of them are even close to succeeding.

  3. Early Lonelygirl15 really laid out some good guidelines in terms of how to take advantage of the interwebz as a platform. With the appearance of Hulu more passive entertainment gained popularity on the web. However the content that does well on Hulu tends to be TV content that is just using the interwebz as an inert distribution pipeline. The mistake many web series producers make is in thinking that model translates directly to web series. In fact if you are a creator without the support of huge budgets for production and marketing, and an audience who has already bought into your show, then you have to live by a different paradigm.

    The Youtubers have discovered how to develop and nurture an audience based on active engagement. Web series creators can learn a lot from them. This is particularly true if they need to grow their audience organically.

  4. Another aspect of this is that the Youtubers LOVE what they do. There are very few scripted shows out of LA or NY that give any indication that they have much if any love for their shows. The "don't fall in love with your projects because the studio WILL chop them up" mentality that exists with tv and film in Hollywood just doesn't apply here. If you want viewers to love your show, YOU need to love them first and treat them like they are WORTH loving.

  5. It's all about monetization. When monetization is based on an advertising model, view count is what matters. Things that are short and simple (i.e. annoyingorange) are designed to get more views, which is what youtube benefits the most from via advertising. Television works the same way. Ratings, or subscribers for premium channels, are what matters. If Show A gets more ratings than Show B, Show A makes more money and is "better." Nothing wrong with that since that's how the ad revenue system works.

    The problem is that a lot of "higher quality" content creators, say for example a web series or television show creator with higher production values or more critical acclaim, are also trying to succeed via the same model, when that model doesn't suit them at all. They haven't figured out how to more effectively and efficiently monetize their product. They resort to the ad model because it's the easiest and most developed, but it's not necessarily the best fit.

    I believe there is hope though, because what youtube and television don't do is differentiate between viewers. All views count the same in both models. But guess what? They aren't the same. Here is an analogy: Several years ago my sister asked me to drive her to a book signing for a lesser-known author. I had no idea who the author was or what book she had written, but my sister was really into it. There were probably only 15-20 people at the book signing, but they were all really huge fans. I asked my sister how much she would pay to get an advance copy of the next book. "Anything!" she said. How can we count her the same way we count a casual reader of the same book, who may not ever give it a second thought. They aren't the same. My sister would be willing to do more than just read the book because she is a level 10 fan. Level 1 fans just read the book. Just like a web series, level 1 fans might watch it and think nothing of it, but level 10 fans will watch the video, send it to friends, subscribe to a channel, read websites about it, post on blogs and forums, etc. We need to find things to offer these fans that fit with the right monetization model. That way a level 10 fan counts 10 times as much, if not more, than a level 1 fan.

    The book by the way was the first of the Twilight series.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I had to get my two cents in.

  6. Excellent comment actually. On another thread we were having a discussion about video length, so your comment is a perfect fit with that.

    Lets just hope we done have any Level 26 fans.......... lol


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