A media frenzy ensued and ultimately Kim’s video was seen by tens of millions of people around the world. A slew of news organisations sought Kim’s permission to use the footage, many of them offering money for an exclusive deal. She signed a contract with one of them, a company called ViralHog. That agreement meant that Kim was no longer deluged with direct requests for the footage – ViralHog took on the job of fielding them. It also earned Kim “tens of thousands” of dollars, she says.
Ethics get steamrollered by reality: someone will make money off the video – it might as well be the person who recorded it. But they need assistance to do so.
Journalist Marc Settle found his video suddenly of great interest to a wider new media than just his employer, the BBC:
Broadly, their behaviour fell in to one of three categories:
a) Journalists working for sites who tweeted me to ask to use my video in some form and to whom I said “yes”.
b) Those who tweeted me and to whom I didn’t reply for various reasons (more on this in a moment), who went ahead and used it anyway.
c) Those who didn’t even bother to ask and used it anyway.
I find it hard to criticise those outlets that simply embedded Marc’s original tweet, because by sharing things on Twitter you grant permission for that. Those outlets that appear to have republished the video? Those are the ones that bother me.
More significantly, the insight into the exhausting and overwhelming effects of this level of media attention for a simple video is something we should all be aware of.
YouTube celebrities – like comicbookgirl19 above – are the fastest growing media stars of our age, yet a group much of the mainstream media seems utterly unaware of. There’s an interesting piece arguing that female YouTube celebrities have greater influence amongst viewers than traditional celebrities, because they’re seen as having more agency – more control over their own image and business:
The reason being, the way a YouTube star will approach social media is fundamentally different from the way a mainstream celebrity like Taylor Swift is going to approach their Instagram account or social media. The mainstream celebrity is using social media as just another platform to project the same images, ideas and positioning, whereas the YouTube stars and digital influencers are using social media as an inherent part of theirDNA. If the fundamental flaw from the get-go is the positioning of that celebrity and whether that celebrity’s positioning is actually credible or authentic, it doesn’t matter on how many different platforms you express that positioning; it is not going to make much of a difference.
But my growing desire to write in the no-holds-barred way that I now dwell in was being discouraged…under the guise that “no one wants to hear this from you, not the least of whom is your manager.” Oh. I wasn’t aware that I was writing my songs and expressing myself to make sure my manager was happy. Perhaps my burgeoning sexuality and coming-of-age were being made evident through the imagery in videos I started to shoot — nothing wildly gratuitous, but an indication of the sorts of places I wanted to further explore in my art, in my music.
I suspect the creative limitations of the next generation won’t be about managers or labels, but about necessary ways of behaving to get the reach and eyeballs needed to keep their publishing platforms working in their favour.
I wonder how long before we see a YouTube celeb release their own app for the new Apple TV?
A guy in a hamster suit falling over at a children’s birthday party also gets the nod. It reminds him of a video his company approved a few weeks ago—Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck performing the Nae Nae. He rejects “Close Call Canoeists.” I kind of like it (especially at 1:45), but he doesn’t.
It may sound like Granzow is wasting time at work, but he’s sifting for gold. And the airy, warehouse-like building of glass and exposed beams where he works is full of people just like him. He’s a researcher at Jukin Media, a small company in Los Angeles that identifies extremely shareable videos, strikes deals with the people who own them, and then licenses the clips.
A fascinating glimpse into the world of licensing and monetising viral videos. Juke Media essentially turns the world into a viral video production sandbox, and sifts the best out for rapid monetisation.
Eigenfactor – not just how many, but who they are.
Betweenness – I have a friend who seems to know somebody every where you go – he sits between lots of social groups. Without these people, the network collapses.
Homophily – people tend to hang around with people who are most like them. Matt feels most at home with people like the audience here – and we probably share many interest. That creates a huge feedback loop.
You can start to build algorithms based on who people know – for example, look at a network of politicians, and based on their relationships, work out which party they are.
Susceptibility – could we start to make guesses about what people are susceptible to, based on their networks? What can we give them the last push towards?
Why Viral Isn’t – viral marketing isn’t viral. If you haven’t thought about it, the exponential/viral model seems reasonable. However, “viral” spreading of media is more like hiccough attacks – lots of little peaks. Social networks are clumpy. Distinct groups of friends, often tenuously linked. So – if you send an e-mail to everyone at work, the pressure to pass it on beyond that is low, because people outside are different network groups with different interests. On average, people spread it to less than one other person. So, it tails off quickly.
BUT retweeting is a social act. It’s a nice thing to do to retweet something. There are complex social emotions behind it. And those are almost unmeasurable.