Here’s some of what we learned at Digital Hollywood about the power of the internet and YouTube.
YouTube is the #2 search engine, right behind Google. It’s a discovery platform where people constantly turn for information, how-to’s and to be entertained. That said, Linear Television is far from dead. $70 billion are spent in TV ads every year. A big issue with linear is that less than 11% of their shows stick around for a second season. Because there are so many hands in the pot, the original idea can get diluted and you run the risk of losing your audience. Your project can lose its authenticity and its uniqueness. Today’s YouTube world can see right through that.
Right now, the internet is just another distribution platform. There are no “water cooler” moments coming out of YouTube yet. There’s simply too much content there and no easy way to discover what is truly great. Another fun fact: Every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. That means that every 30 days, the equivalent of what was released in the first 60 years of television is released on YouTube. It can be overwhelming.
So how can you use the internet to your advantage as a content creator? Think of YouTube as research and development. Today’s consumers are all about inclusion and engagement – they are used to being heard. In our world of social media, online viewers will give you feedback about your project almost immediately and you’ll know what is resonating with your audience. You are essentially co-creating your project with your fans.
Because this type of content creation is more personal, fans feel responsible for creating internet stars. They feel important in the star’s journey and become more die-hard fans than we’ve seen with traditional linear TV. To be successful on the internet, you must be authentic, vulnerable, and treat digital communication the same way you would interact in person with a friend. Intimacy leads to trust leads to you becoming an influencer.
You can also use the internet as a calling card for your type & quality of work. Most shows are looking for more than just a paper resume. They want to see what you are creating on your own! Writing and content creating is viewed as a passionate field and most people in charge believe there’s no excuse not to share your vision in today’s world. Creating and distributing content is cheaper and easier than ever, so people won’t take you as seriously if you don’t already have a body of recent completed work up on the internet. Since everything is more personal and tight-knit now, everyone wants to collaborate with others just as excited as they are to create daily. And it is becoming more and more common for linear TV networks to pick up internet shows and develop them for traditional TV.
You may find you enjoy creating projects for the internet. You can use video to empower others, be heard and start a dialogue on a topic you are passionate about. The internet just helps you reach more people faster. And there are many vehicles to monetize those types of projects on the internet. You just have to be open to them. After all, you’re only one show away from being a millionaire. Why not make it on the internet?
Another fact to consider:
While YouTube is a platform for discovery, Facebook is a more engaging platform.
YouTube is better for views over time because it is a search engine. Facebook makes it easier for a video to go viral but the fad can end just as quickly. Therefore, serialized content is best on YouTube.