Friday, August 28, 2015

Make Room for the Big Boys on Youtube

How can native YouTubers compete as Network TV clips take over.

Late Night Viral:
Fallon takes on Ferrell and Hart in a lip sync battle
Unreel’s AI is able to pick up on trends about which videos are going viral.  On a daily basis, if you watch our Trending channel or LOL channel for even a few minutes, you are bound to hit a late night talk show clip.  Fallon, Kimmel, Conan, and a host of others have begun creating content on their show with the intent that it will be a viral hit on YouTube.

This can be seen as a good thing, drawing even more viewers to YouTube, and allowing people who do not watch these shows to still see some great content.  However it is creating trepidation among many YouTube stars who feel threatened having to compete for your viewership with programing produced by deep-pocketed shows and celebrity appeal.

“Now I am technically competing with people with millions of dollars and production... It happens to me all the time, you know I put out a video (the network's clip is more popular that day) and I’m like damn, I would have been number one.”  - Roman Atwood

The writing is on the wall, T.V. content will continue to be uploaded to YouTube. The question is how will native YouTube content creators remain relevant beyond their fandoms when going up against the big boys?

Can YouTube Celebrities Adapt:
YouTube would not be what it is today without the countless number of content creators who made a name for themselves on the site.  These YouTube celebrities helped lift the site into the behemoth it is in part by creating passionate communities of fans and supporters.  As YouTube has grown and become a true alternative to cable TV, it has increasingly attracted network producers, who use it as an engine to win viewers they normally would not reach. 

“Youtube and advertisers will come in and say see look, the tv stars the tv shows they still  have the most power they still have the most draw, and all of  you YouTubers are just some weird niche, weird audiences that aren’t really that valuable.”   -Phillip Wang

YouTubers used to compete amongst themselves for viewership.  It was a fair situation of somewhat equal resources and celebrity appeal and allowed for content that would have never seen the light of day on broadcast television to grab an astonishing amount of followers. Now that content is being put head to head with star studded clips of TV shows with inflated budgets, and undoubtedly the native content often looses out.  Go to the home page of YouTube today and late night talk shows are bound to be among the featured videos.  

“When you see stuff like this come onto the platform and get home page placement…It sets a very scary precedent for all of us.”   -MatPat

MatPat and Markiplier try to beat a monkey at chess
At the end of the day, YouTube’s priority is to attract as many eyeballs to its videos each day, and hope as many as possible go viral.  If Fallon and Kimmel clips are popular and make viewers happy then that’s what YouTube will push. YouTube star Tyler Oackly proposed collaboration as a way to help both sides remain relevant on the platform, “If your gonna be playing in our playground, at least come hang out with us. Lets do stuff together.”  It is up to the native content creators, who became famous for being innovative on the site, to push the envelope further, and find a way to compete with the networks, because this is only the beginning.  

To watch what's viral on Youtube and around the web, be it YouTube stars, or Network TV clips, check it out at

Youtubers react to Jimmy Fallon

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