Gini Dietrich

You Can Be the Next YouTube Star

By: Gini Dietrich | July 2, 2012 | 

Last night, Joe Jaffe, Alan Wolk, Bob Knorpp, and I recorded episode 207 of BeanCast, in which we discussed whether or not size matters.

No, no. Not that kind of size. The online kind of size. You know…the comments, viewers, followers, fans, community kind.

We talked about Facebook and mobile payments and the right time of day and week to update your social networks. But the portion of the podcast I found most enlightening was when we talked about fame from YouTube.

YouTube Partnerships

A few weeks ago, YouTube launched its partnership program, which is meant to help video creators either amplify their work or create a YouTube-based career.

When it was launched, people were optimistic, but cautiously so. It seemed like a good idea, but no one knew who it would benefit: YouTube or the “star.”

But the numbers are coming in now and it seems like both are benefiting.

We began this conversation around whether or not the act of helping partners create better channels helps advertisers feel more confident about spending money. We discussed whether or not the quality of the content has improved that much or is it just because it’s better aggregated. We even looked at whether or not the marketplace for connecting talent with brands is important.

I was asked the partnership question first, and my perception is – just like on Facebook – we are not the customer. We are the service and YouTube needs us to create more videos so they can sell against it. It makes sense to me the more content they have, the more they can make on advertising.

Nextflix and Hulu

But what I didn’t see coming was Netflix and Hulu.

Alan Wolk works for Kit Digital, a company that is working to move video from television to phones and tablets. It’s enabling social TV. And it’s helping traditional broadcasts find their way to multiple screens.

So I’d venture to say he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to video.

And he said all of the reasons listed above that YouTube is doing this are correct and because Netflix and Hulu have figured out the streaming game and Google wants in on it.

But YouTube has something neither Netflix or Hulu have (who seem to be placating the old guard). They have young, new stars with built-in communities, fans, and followers. They have millions of views and they’re famous in their own rights.

They are becoming the new Hollywood, the new country, the new TV.

These young stars are interviewing metal musicians and making $4,000 a month. Corporations are paying six figures to get some of them in commercials because of their YouTube fame.

Books, Music, Video

This is what is happening in the publishing world…and in music, too. Publishers are working on books with bloggers who have already established a community and already write consistently. They know this is the direct method to sales; not the old way of doing things.

And in music we had Napster that disrupted the industry entirely and paved the way for Spotify and Pandora. But both of those services are still placating the old guard, which means  they’re not doing as well as YouTube.

It’s an interesting world we live in…and it’s about to get even more interesting. These industries won’t die, but we’ll see a ton more evolution out of them before they settle.

Perhaps even one of you will become the next YouTube star. It’s certainly within your reach!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • I’m listening the episode right now!  
    I’m reminded of something that Tom Webster said to me during BlogWorld when we were discussing the state of podcasting as a medium.  Edison’s research shows that more people are consuming podcasts now than ever before, nearly doubling since last year’s iteration of the report – but this also means that it is an incredibly competitive space (video, as well) so you have to really Do The Work(tm) to understand audience segmentation, promotion and syndication platforms (podcasts now show up in Hulu!) and production techniques to build up an audience that will choose your show & content over the next guy’s. 

    •  @jasonkonopinski Yes, to all of that. I’m not surprised about podcasting. I’ve seen a big surge among stay-at-home moms who listen to feed their brains while they clean the house. It’s pretty incredible.

      •  @ginidietrich That session got a little contentious because one longtime podcaster on the panel was complaining that he hadn’t grow his audience measurably in four years (!!) so he was saying that the Golden Age of Podcasting was in the rearview. What. An. Idiot.  Just because your show format is crap doesn’t mean the medium is dead. 🙂 

        •  @jasonkonopinski Podcasting was alive and well long before it hit the masses. It’s just now coming in to its own and I think it’ll be 2014 before it hits its prime.

        •  @ginidietrich Agreed! 🙂 

        •  @ginidietrich Again Apple.  It recently stripped out its podcast capability from iTunes and made it its own app.

        •  @BobReed  @ginidietrich Its about time they stripped something from the least usable piece of software ever invented! 😉

        •  @Sean McGinnis  @BobReed  @ginidietrich Yeah, iTunes is definitely busted. 
          Only tangentially related, I use songza almost exclusively for music now.  Mood/activity related playlists.  Love. 

  • So, you want to be a rock star, live large and drive a big car? Get YouTube then, huh? It has to be as easy and free as the rest of this stuff, right?
    You are right, very interesting and it still has a long way to go, so hold onto your hats because it’s going to be a wild ride indeed. 

    •  @bdorman264 Yep…that’s all you have to do. No more agents or casting calls. Just get yourself on YouTube.

      •  @ginidietrich @bdorman264 wow bill went full Cyppress Hill on you Gini. You going to take that? You need an AK47 and a pimped out Escalade and you need to go take care of business on Bill’s blog.

  • All of this really makes me wonder where the networks, and even cable/satellite will be in five years. The pricing on television is outrageous, and the packages are so restrictive. We just tried to move from cable to satellite, and DirectTV made us jump through hoops and had so many caveats that we never made the switch.
    I love Netflix, and Hulu, and even YouTube, and if they do it right, they can really do some damage. 

    •  @KenMueller I think, with Apple TV (if they keep innovating and not let it die), we’ll soon be subscribing to what we want, via apps, and streaming it to whichever device we want to watch on. No more cable. No more satellite. No more 2,000 channels and nothing is on. Just what we want, when we want it.

      •  @ginidietrich I feel like Apple has sort of let this fall to the wayside lately. I think Netflix could actually dominate in this area if they played their cards right. Their multi-platform interface is already pretty great, and I watch more of Netflix than anything else. 
        And I think the networks will have to do something to bring people to current television. My post tomorrow is about something that NBC is doing this month that is a step in the right direction, and could completely change everything.

        •  @KenMueller I don’t think it’ll be Netflix. They’re not innovating. They only have old stuff. YouTube is beating them because the people are creating the new content and Google isn’t bowing down to Hollywood. We canceled our Netflix account because we weren’t getting any value out of it. We solely watch Hulu, YouTube, or the TV network’s website. I’m watching the Tour completely through their app on my iPad. Haven’t even touched the TV for that.

        •  @ginidietrich Don’t count Netflix out. They are apparently working on deals for original content from big names  normally associated with networks.

        •  @KenMueller We’ll see…we saw how they did during their launch in Canada. I hope they learned their lesson.

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich We’ve had this discussion many times at our house. Lisa needs to be able to channel surf easily, and none of the streaming services are capable of doing that just yet – and I suspect that familiarity is keeping many Americans from making the total shift to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and the like (well, that and an archaic distribution system from the studios that only hurts the consumer).  
          The dominant player to emerge will be the one that negotiates the most content in their wheelhouse and signs exclusive distribution deals. Netflix is beginning to show its age with the content that comes available, but they have signed some exclusive original content deals (i.e Arrested Development). 
          I think we’ll see some big growth from both AppleTV and Amazon in the next year or so in this space.

        •  @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich That’s why I like Netflix right now, because they are negotiating original content with big names; the kind of stuff that has put the smaller cable channels on the map: Bravo, AMC, ScyFy. 
          Sorkin and Joss Whedon are two of the names being mentioned. If they pull that sort of thing off, and do live streaming of events, which they are set to roll out in the next year, it will help.

        •  @ginidietrich And do not count out Apple.

        •  @BobReed I think Apple is going to take this to the next level. I know Steve Jobs was working on it before he died so I hope the team can bring it to fruition. 

        •  @ginidietrich  @BobReed The big issue is distribution vs. program production vs. someone who does both.

        •  @jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich @KenMueller I never accepted the reasons cable wouldn’t let us subscribe to what we want vs a whole package. Except they make more money on this model vs a pure consumption model. It really should be a pay per min situation for consumers. But for cable and the channels more consumption means more ad sales. So if people reign in time spent then there is less ad inventory.
          YouTube is different. They did not have an entrenched model and they have an over abundance of ad inventory.

        •  @jasonkonopinski  I know that everyone has already said it-but I agree that apple TV could change the way we “view” TV. But like the Telephone the big networks are not going to go down without a HUGE fight and some legal fights as well.  They have Billions of dollars tied up in infrastructure that they will not just walk away from.
          While I do pay for charter cable I find myself watching more and more shows on Hulu. Though for me it is not the same at this point.
          TV of the future = À la carte

        •  @JustInTheSouth  @jasonkonopinski  apple  charter I’m just curious how Apple will differentiate itself from other existing devices, i.e. Roku or even Playstation or other gaming devices. We use those for viewing Netflix, Hulu, etc, on large screen TVs. 

        •  @ginidietrich We got rid of Netflix because they didn’t have enough new content to keep our interest.

        •  @TheJackB Same here. Booooring.

        •  @KenMueller  @JustInTheSouth  apple  charter Apple brings a baked-in distribution network for content via iTunes, especially big for independent content producers of podcasts, video podcasts, etc.  Hulu is now distributing podcasts as well, but the barrier to entry is pretty high. 
          That’s not to say that guarantees their success in differentiation, but there is an unified brand experience across iOS devices. 

        •  @ginidietrich  @TheJackB Have you tried everything? I’m finding shows I’ve never heard of that have been on for years, like Supernatural, that take a long time to get through. My queue is incredibly long.

        •  @jasonkonopinski  @JustInTheSouth  apple  charter That’s why I like Roku and PS3, I can download podcasts there as well, and iTunes is starting to lose market share as it gets klunkier.

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich I used to watch Netflix shows while on my treadmill so I got through quite a bit.
          I am sure there are shows that I haven’t seen that are interesting but I have covered the obvious ones. Part of why I subscribe is to catch up on recent movies and they don’t do a very good job with that.

        •  @TheJackB  @ginidietrich I haven’t found anyone that does a good job of recent movies, short of Redbox, or Netflix DVDs (which my parents get) or even pay per view on demand via cable, because the system has not yet moved beyond business as usual. I think streaming of recent movies, and then streaming of first run movies, are the next logical steps. And that will depend on the distributors playing nice with the producers. 
          yet another example of the Law of Suppression of Radical Potential. 

        •  @KenMueller  @JustInTheSouth I’ve never gone hands-on with a Roku, but use my Xbox 360 for Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus, YouTube and other content channels.  
          AppleTV’s differentiator is not just freely accessible streaming content, but serving as a place to buy that content as well. Consumers largely want a single access point for their consumption habit. Books, music. movies, etc – single access point through iTunes. 

        •  @TheJackB  You should be DVR’ing the Tour de France right now and watch it while on your treadmill. SUPER motivating!

        •  @ginidietrich I only like watching the crashes, otherwise it bores me.

        •  @TheJackB LOL!

    •  @KenMueller We’re going through the exact same thing Ken. Will be calling Directv today to cancel. Tried to bundle w Mediacom, but not much savings. U-verse isn;t offered out by me. The pricing is all ridiculous. Going Netflix and Hulu streaming as of today.
      Goodbye cruel TV world!

      •  @Sean McGinnis We kept cable mostly because of the bundle deal we have with Internet, which is the best/fastest option in our area. Verizon couldn’t get us connected to Internet after a week of trying, and we’re in a city, not the boonies. Plus, for local sports, DirectTV and Dish can’t touch Comcast, at least around here. 
        I might get the MLBTV package and jump ship. You would think that satellite and cable hear the footsteps behind them and would try to be more competitive, but they can’t figure it out. 
        And a la carte pricing is a no brainer, but nobody is brave enough to try it. Let me pick the 20 channels I want, and I’ll be happy. 

        •  @KenMueller THAT’s the only model that will save cable for another decade (a la cart custom bundling), but it will also pave the way for greater disruption as customers are forced to actually “pick” winner and loser channels. If they go that route, it will be interesting times ahead. In the meantime, I simply can’t justify $90 a month for Real Housewives of New Jersey.
          I also feel compelled to lash out against the way current customers are treated compared to new customer deals that are offered. Current customers should receive the same preferential treatment as new if they are willing to commit to a multi-year contract. My “business guy” side, completely understands the rationale for operating this way, but the “customer” in me loathes this practice with every fiber of my being.

        •  @Sean McGinnis Exactly. I called Comcast about the new customer deal I saw, and wasn’t allowed to opt in that way. I’d have to cancel, pay the penalty, then re-up. 
          And really we are heading away from a channel driven model to a program driven model. We don’t watch channels; we watch programs. The networks used to rely on people staying with a channel after their favorite program was over, just because we didn’t want to change, but the remote has changed that. We’re watching multiple programs at the same time. The DVR changed that even further. 
          This is why I like these third party distributors like Netflix and Hulu, etc, because they have the model in place to connect directly with program producers. Like @ginidietrich mentioned in the end, this is what is happening with music and books. We no longer need the record labels or publishers. 
          In the next five years, the role of the middleman will have to change drastically, or disappear.

        •  @KenMueller @Sean McGinnis I spent 1999 through mid 2007 without cable. Just bunny ears. And now we have no TV in our house though do watch when having dinner with the inlaws. Watch netflix and hulu but I don’t miss TV. 98% of prime time programs are crap anyway. I mean watching @bdorman264 on the jersey shore, the batchelorette, survivor and bridezilla makes it hard to watch TV. (he must have a great agent)

      •  @Sean McGinnis  Uverse sucks. Don’t be sad you can’t get it. 

      •  @Sean McGinnis U-Verse isn’t any different from the others. That is what the cable/Satellite people don’t seem to be paying attention to- lack of distinction.
        It is not any different from buying a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord. With the exception of a couple odds and ends there is no difference between them. It is a question of which brand you like better.

  • iJustine is hot, oops, did I just type that out loud. But yeah, youtube has its fair share of celebrities and a lot of kids these days would much rather watch the computer than the TV.. Just saying

    •  @SociallyGenius I MISS YOU! Did you survive with Instagram being down? 

      • @ginidietrich I’ve missed you as well.. busy end to last week but now I’m off!! I barely survived Saturday. I was so desperate that I even ventured onto facebook & Twitter 🙂

        •  @SociallyGenius  I was trolling through FB yesterday and I noticed that. It made me laugh!
          You’re on vacation and you’re commenting here?!? Go on vacation!

        • @ginidietrich we have family that came in and drinking poolside everyday will make it feel as if I’m on a vacay!! Thanks for your concern though, ha.

  • @ginidietrich et al: Netflix is cool but I’m not as prolific a user yet, at least compared to YouTube, hulu and Apple apps. VEVO is also delightful.

  • ryancox

    There are a lot of great conversations in the comments on this post. )cc: @ginidietrich @SociallyGenius @KenMueller @Sean McGinnis )
    I piggy back off of what was partially a @ginidietrich comment: consumption patterns are evolving specifically to a what I want when I want it. The more and more change to the competitive landscape there is, the easier it is for me to get my content from somewhere else. While I don’t think anyone (reads: Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) has it figured out yet — we’re getting to it. A system where I pay a small monthly fee (comparable to cable costs) and literally get content when I want it and how I want it. 
    Distribution models are drastically being flipped upside down and user created content is beating out just about everything other than sports and the ‘mass appeal’ shows. And if you are a show that is run on one of those channels you don’t know you have because you only randomly land on it when surfing — why wouldn’t you want to jump the cable ship? There are now ways that you can market your shows and content in more direct ways to people and find news ways for them to consume (read: watch) your show!
    Re: YouTube star @ginidietrich  — it’s something I’ve been very ‘hip’ to since last year working specifically for a client (Revision3) and growing their YouTube community and views. The entire Revision3 content platform was built on being an ‘Internet TV’ of sorts. They had in-house shows and external shows (they had contracts with to be on Rev3) that created a tech tv platform. As we all know Discovery recently bought them out and all signs have pointed to Discovery taking a run at the ‘Internet TV’ digital shift we’re mentioning. I was shocked to see the amount of dedication shows like Tekzilla, Epic Meal Time, Destructoid, etc. received from fans. If you strip away the previously mentioned Sports and 1% Mass Appeal shows — the rest of the television “package” goes untouched. 
    The only horse cable has left in this race are both of those — and their two thoroughbreds are starting to leak more and more to easier content distribution. First it was written content (blogs, newspapers, books) that was disrupted. Then it was music. Now it’s video (tv, movies, shows).
    The community aspect of it all is huge @ginidietrich and I’m glad you made mention of that. The old guard had a “we control the distribution method so we can control the fans” model. The new guard has a “we give you multiple distribution methods so you can create communities” model. We all are passionate about random shows (Duck Dynasty, Secret Millionnaire), web shows (JennaMarbles, My Drunk Kitchen) and ‘Cable shows’ (Desperate Housewives, True Blood) <—-and no two consumers are the same. All of these shows have massively active and committed fan bases too. Think of Twitter for example, when a new episode of something is released or airing — the noise created from people talking before, DURING and after creates new viewers everyday.
    Communities and how shows engage with them will be the new “distribution model” of the next 20 years. How you treat the people that are watching your show is how successful you’ll be. Shelf-life for shows isn’t what it was 20 years ago — there are no ‘Seinfeld’ rights — you aren’t getting 30 year syndication anymore. You’ve got a 5-10 year window if you’re lucky and you need to maximize everything you can in that window.
    Digital consumption of video is getting meme’d. Our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller unless it is just really flippin’ engaging and entertaining content. Asking us to fan your FB page and follow you on Twitter isn’t enough anymore. This isn’t 2010.

    •  @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @SociallyGenius  @KenMueller  @Sean McGinnis omg longest blog post ever in the comments! LOL

      •  @HowieSPM  @ryancox  I think he might have nittygriddyblog beat!

        • ryancox

           @ginidietrich  @HowieSPM  nittygriddyblog ohhhhhh so I get serious about leaving a comment (which @ginidietrich  says I don’t do enough of) and then I get a hard time for it! lmao I’m taking my ball and going home! HA

  • You Tube is obviously almost anarchy with the content there. As @dannybrown told us they had to pull some ads that were shown next to homophobic videos. It is more like Twitter where you have the good the bad and the ugly. But it is democratic. You can be a star. Not easy but you can. And brands will find you. I love Epic Meal Time. Those guys created an amazing over the to cooking show with You Tube. In the past you could never have a platform. Now you do.
    -censored by site monitor size matters comment-
    Good move by You Tube working with the stars to improve their channels. They have the eyeballs but they need to keep the eyeballs and we all know how fast we move on to the next thing.
    -censored by site monitor size matters comment-
    One thing You Tube has done better than anyone is whenever there is imbedded video of any sort that is not a video media company (like NBC or ESPN) it is always hosted on Youtube.

    •  @HowieSPM Why are you being censored?!?

      •  @ginidietrich no idea why the jokes were really funny. Maybe @lisagerber edited the comment?

        • @HowieSPM @ginidietrich Wait. You have no IDE why the jokes were funny or you have no idea why. The jokes were really funny. And I did not edit or censor. 🙂

        •  @Lisa Gerber  @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich they were hilarious. Lets try this one:
          -censored by site monitor size matters comment-

        •  @HowieSPM  @Lisa Gerber That’s so weird! I don’t know what’s causing the censorship!

        •  @ginidietrich  @Lisa Gerber I thought this was a free speech site! I mean @KenMueller drops the F bomb all the time and it makes it through

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  • Hmmmm… what if I don’t want to be a YouTube star?  What if I rather have T60 become the Universal Television (i.e. major TV production company) of YouTube?
    A question for further discussion.
    –Tony Gnau

    •  @T60Productions You can! That’s the point. You’re using YouTube as the delivery mechanism and to build community. But you can become whatever you like on there. 

  • I love and hate YouTube, because for every “rising star” that’s worth a damn, there are about 100 who shouldn’t ever be famous. But I’m intrigued by the idea of these so-called diamonds in the rough…the people who were discovered and plucked from obscurity in order to do something they love. That’s the dream, right?
    I’m actually looking forward to Netflix and Hulu’s original content. Who knows, it could be good. I heard that Amazon is trying to get into the crowdsourced content game, too; they’re running a contest through their Amazon Studios for users to submit original scripts for new TV shows. A few of my friends are entering! I think companies like YouTube and the like have everything to gain from user-submitted content — as you mentioned, the advertising alone must be lucrative. I just feel sorry for the people who dedicate so much of their time to “going viral” and/or “getting famous.” As we know, very few actually do…

    •  @Jill Tooley There still has to be talent and a community behind you, right? So many people don’t get that. It doesn’t matter if it’s the blogosphere or YouTube. You have to create stuff for the people and, without that, there is no getting famous.

  • I’m going to take this opportunity to IMPLORE you to become a Youtube star with me Gini! 😉
    We’ve talked and talked about doing videos together. I think if would be fun and hilarious. You should totally give up the whole “novel” thing (books are so last century) and come on TV with me! He said, she said about Digital Marketing. 🙂

    •  @Sean McGinnis Fine. FINE! After the book tour is finished (mid-August). We can launch this fall. Fine.

      •  @ginidietrich Don’t get TOO excited… You might have a coronary before the book tour finishes. Jeebus.

        •  @Sean McGinnis I think I have a better chance of being killed on my bike than having a coronary. 

        •  @ginidietrich Don’t do that either! My Youtube stardom is on the line here!

        •  @Sean McGinnis I’ll try not to, but I almost met my biggest fear yesterday – getting doored by someone who doesn’t look before opening their door into the bike lane. 

        •  @ginidietrich That happened to a former colleague of mine. She was bruised for a month. Nasty shoulder.
          Oh, and, as you can imagine, that doesn’t happen out here in the hinterlands…. 😉

        •  @Sean McGinnis No, but out there, people run cyclists off the road. I’m kind of screwed either way.

        •  @ginidietrich  @Sean McGinnis uhm Gini with your butter filled diet coronaries can happen.

  • I love the fact that YouTube is developing and curating content from amateurs. I just hope it doesn’t result in too many “clip shows.” 

    •  @fitzternet What do you mean by clip shows? I don’t know the jargon…educate me!

  • I follow a lot of makeup beauty bloggers on YouTube, and I’m constantly amazed by the things they buy, either for themselves or for their reviews — that stuff is EXPENSIVE! I have to constantly remind myself that they’re making serious money from their partnership with YouTube. For a lot of them, it’s their day job. That’s impressive. 

    •  @annedreshfield Doesn’t sound like a bad day job, does it? 

  • ginidietrich

    @TedWeismann What’s you learn in the comments, other than @seanmcginnis finally talked me into doing a video show?

    • TedWeismann

      @ginidietrich @seanmcginnis Insights from @KenMueller62 about Netflix original content. Had heard about it, but context was useful

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    @troyclaus LOL!

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  • Even if YouTube doesn’t continue to make “stars” per se, it’ll be great if it continues to contribute to content creators earning livable incomes from their work.

    •  @Tinu Exactly! It’s kind of amazing people are making serious money creating vidoes.

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  • awolk1

    Thank you so much for the mention and for an insightful piece. I have not waded through all 85 comments yet, but most definitely will and then offer some sort of response. It was a great show – Bob is the perfect host.

  • This is what I was talking about re: Netflix the other day on here. Original programming is coming, and this is the first. A lot more in the pipeline.

    •  @KenMueller Aye, that deal was announced earlier this year, if memory serves. (I’m a huge Arrested Development fan!) ; original, exclusive content is the name of the game here, and Apple pioneered that model early on with exclusive iTunes concerts and releases. 

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