A prominent YouTuber has lost a lucrative contract:
Since August, PewDiePie has posted nine videos that include anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery, according to a review of his channel by The Wall Street Journal.
On Monday after the Journal contacted Disney about the videos, the entertainment giant said it was severing ties with Mr. Kjellberg, who as PewDiePie rose to prominence via clips of himself playing videogames or performing skits and making crude jokes.
What’s interesting about this is that a single YouTuber has reached enough prominence that their deals with major corporations warrant the attention of the Wall Street Journal.
Significant enough, in fact, that they pushed out out as a notification:
YouTubers are still a massively under-discussed part of the modern media business landscape.
Blogosphere magazine has just revealed its latest cover star – the ubiquitous Zoella. The reveal video does give some surprising insights into the impact on her life of YouTube-driven celebrity. The idea of bus tours driving by your house is rather disturbing…
The Mail has got rather hot under the collar at the imagery, though:
But seven years after she first burst onto the scene, Zoella’s latest photo shoot, in which she lounges on a bed in just her underwear, is further evidence of the teen idol’s move towards an increasingly grown-up image.
YouTubers. Bless ’em. They grow up so fast.
People often think of YouTube as social media, but it’s never really been a social network. Sure you could subscribe to a creator’s channel, but it was a very one-way, broadcast relationship.
That might be changing – a little – with the launch of YouTube Community:
The brand new Community tab on your YouTube channel gives you a new, simple way to engage with your viewers and express yourself beyond video. Now you can do things like text, live videos, images, animated GIFs and more, giving you easier, lightweight ways to engage with your fans more often in between uploads, in real time. Viewers will be able to see your posts in the Subscriptions feed on their phones. They can also opt into getting a notification anytime you post.
And it looks something like this:
This feels like a defensive move from YouTube – it encourages creators to develop their audience relationship within the YouTUbe platform, rather than moving their viewers into a different platform for non-video updates. If anything, it’s a laggard response to the overwhelming success of Facebook Video, which is clearly a draw for existing and emerging creators.
Bolting on social network features to existing platforms does not have a great success rate as an idea. It remains to be seen if this will be any better. But I’m not betting on it.
It’s not hard to find this adorable:
Yes, it’s the CGI team from Industrial Light & Magic, watching reaction videos to the trailer for Rogue One, the forthcoming Star Wars movie.
In a month where we’ve seen so damn many examples of the negative impact of social media, it’s nice to see a more positive one. And while, yes, this is marketing, it’s also an example of communication. Fans of Star Wars who have gone into professional filming are reacting to the reactions of fans who makes YouTube videos. It’s sort of a meta-reaction video.
The circle is now complete
More than that, it’s a circle of communication between the creators and their audience that allows a degree of interplay. We’ve reached an interesting point in our culture where fans of the media of the 70s and 80s are now professionals in their own right, and able to bring both their fandom and their skills to bear on old franchises. The revival of Doctor Who under the acclaimed Russell T. Davies (a Who uber-fan) a decade ago is a classic example of that. At leat two of the lead actors – David Tennant and Peter Capaldi – are fans, too. The rebirth of the Star Wars franchise last year is another example.
However, there’s a really careful line to walk between being a fan and being a professional. You don’t just want to make something for the fans – you want to make it for everybody. But equally, you need to understand what it was about these narratives that made people fans in the first place. And it’s easy within your fannish professional bubble to make the wrong calls. At least here we’re seeing people take some form of sanity check on their own work.
Well, as long as they’re also watching the negative reactions…
[via The Mary Sue]
Gaming vlogger PewDiePie is teaming with Disney to launch a new network
Further evidence that the YouTube celebrity phenomenon is rapidly growing in a parallel media industry, that is then cross-breeding with traditional media:
After racking up over 10 billion views and more than 41 million subscribers on YouTube, internet sensation PewDiePie is kicking things up a notch with the launch of his own video network, Revelmode.
The comedic gaming vlogger is partnering with Disney’s Maker Studios to produce Revelmode content, along with a bunch of other YouTube stars
I doubt this will be the last such move.
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.
It makes an interesting counterpoint to Alanis Morissette’s reflection on Jagged Little Pill after 20 years – and how she struggled to keep her own voice within the traditional celebrity system:
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 day at work watching YouTube videos:
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.
Compare and contrast:
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are reuniting to create an all-new car show, exclusively for Amazon Prime. The show will be produced by the trio’s long time executive producer Andy Wilman. On working with Amazon, Jeremy Clarkson said “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship.” The first show will go into production shortly and arrive exclusively on Amazon Prime in 2016.
I bet Amazon is about to sell a lot more Fire TVs to middle-aged men in the next six months. (They’re really excellent, by the way. I you have Amazon Prime, you should buy one).
Meanwhile, a woman who built her fame on YouTube – Michelle Phan – is also heading to Amazon Fire TV:
The fashion video star has brought her Icon Network app, which features clips from her and other beauty/makeup advisers, to Amazon’s Fire TV platform. She’s not the first person to succeed on YouTube and head to Amazon — gadget vlogger Andru Edwards has already brought his Gear Live network there — but she’s by far the most prominent.
The difference? Our late-middle aged car fans are producing a TV show and having it distributed by Amazon. The YouTubers are building their own apps and putting them on the platform. You might want to note that TV giant Endemol lurks behind Phan’s Icon Network, though…
Om Malik has written a fascinating post about why Facebook might be a bigger threat to YouTube than people have considered. And it’s all down to comments:
The crucial difference is that on Facebook, you see people actually talking (and tagging) their friends who are Crossfit users, which in turn drives up the video viewership and final counts. On Facebook, comments drive distribution. On YouTube, you want to duck for cover.
YouTube comments are, rather infamously, a cesspit of hate and adolescent humour. Linking them with Google+ has done little to improve that. Meanwhile, Facebook have found a solution for making video truly social.
Time to take another look at Facebook video.