Announced yesterday, YouTube is looking to take another step towards “Prime Time” by introducing “Channels”. Essentially, YouTube is sculpting out their own television network, a move which I suggested to them, in detail, back in 2008. Almost 4 years ago.
While YouTube is including SOME original content producers in the initial rollout, it it very clear that they focused a lot of their time and money attracting big Hollywood names, which I think is a step in the wrong direction.
When I sent off my email to YouTube in 2008, which you can read below, I envisioned a network of ORIGINAL content, created by the users of YouTube. Users who tend to care about their audience. This is what drives traffic on a consistent basis, at least as far as online media is concerned. Hosting shows by Hollywood producers won’t hold an audience. We all have cable and NetFlix for that.
The YouTube “celebrities” have done so well over the last few years because they’ve realized that in order to hang onto an audience in the online world, you need to interact with them. Use social networking, reply to comments, vlog, etc. The big headed Hollywood celebrities will never survive in a world like YouTube.
If YouTube wants this new initiative to be successful, they need to pull their heads out of Hollywood’s ass, and focus on what made YouTube successful in the first place. Original content. We’ve come a long way from sneezing pandas and skateboarding dogs. There are MANY original producers out there who I’d love to spend half an hour watching instead of the “professionally” produced vomit that comes out of Hollywood these days.
The following email was sent to YouTube on April 2nd, 2008. I received a reply 2 days later saying they have forwarded it to “the relevant folks here at YouTube”
“YouTube. The following email and idea was the result of a lot of researching and thinking. Please look over it carefully.
YouTube is at a point where it needs something else. Something bigger. From what I have investigated, the income of the company is not where it should be for the amount being spent to keep it alive. This is why I am proposing a ‘business partner’ plan, outlined below, in hopes to boost YouTube’s name and status.
Currently, when the title ‘partner’ comes up, there is a clear distinction between certain partners. There are the few who are in it to expose themselves and earn a potential living, and there are those who reach an audience with their blogs, and are happy with a few extra bucks a month. YouTube needs to do something to focus on the individuals who are looking for start a business on and surrounding YouTube. What I have outlined will not only benefit the ‘business partners’, but it will also boost revenue for YouTube and exposure for the advertisers who come on board.
The partners in question are those who produce quality content which can, if needed to, be turned into a TV show style video. Michael Buckley, SxePhil, Chris Pirillo, Smosh. The service being proposed would act like YouTube’s own television station:
Each night, there will be set shows which are to appear on the ‘station’. These shows would include the ‘business partners” designated show(s) for that week, which would air live for the first time. Each show should be a minimum of 10 minutes in length, allowing the option to include 1-2 full commercials from advertisers. Once the show has aired, the video will be archived in the partners channel, just like videos do now.
Advertising is the key for the success of this program. Because there is the option to include full length commercials, and that the shows would be advertised for a set time, there is the possibility of driving large audiences to each show. The price for longer commercials and guaranteed audiences is much greater, bringing in much more profit.
In addition, for the longer uploaded videos on selected partners’ channels, there could be a quick 15 second commercial and a corresponding at to the right. Advertisers would have the option to hand pick where they want to advertise. Again, bigger profits.
Please take the time to consider the proposal, and please contact me if you would like to speak further.
Thank you for your time,