By Evan DeSimone
As the Vidcon high starts to die down, we’re taking a look back at some of the major themes that emerged at the world’s largest online video conference. One thought on the lips of talent and industry pros alike was how best to embrace a post-YouTube world in which there are ever more platforms for monetizing and distributing digital video content. In partnership with Rumble, a social video platform that helps creators distribute and monetize content on the internet, we posed that question to some of online video’s top creators and industry leaders. Here are some of our biggest takeaways.
VOD Is Key
The unifying thread conecting all the creators we spoke to on the Vidcon floor is an interest in creating higher budget long-form content. For most creator, YouTube has served as a launch pad and continues to be a home base for audience building, but when it comes to scaling up to larger projects, most creators are pinning their hopes on VOD platforms such as Vimeo. PJ Ligouri, Jenn McCallister and Sawyer Hartman all have episodic scripted series or feature films coming to the platform over the next few months, and they uniformly praised Vimeo for offering them creative freedom and support. That’s a setiment that was echoed by Taryn Southern, who released her directorial debut “Searching For Katie” on Vimeo On Demand in 2014.
Joe Nation will be taking a broader approach when his feature film “Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin” premieres this fall. “Itunes, Google Play. Amazon. We’ll use every platform we can,” he said. “People should be paying for content.”
RocketJump co-founcer Freddie Wong took a similar tack when discussing his company’s deal with subscription service Hulu. “It’s about giving people as many options as possible in a way that is reflective of behavioral trends in how everyone is starting to consume media,” he said.
Facebook Is On Everyone’s Mind
“Facebook is killing it,” YouTube comedian Timothy DeLaGhetto told our correspondent, summarizing the sentiment on everyone’s mind this year. Though it lacks a direct monetization component, Facebook’s massive growth in the video sharing space hasn’t gone unnoticed by creators or industry pros.
Anna Rothschild, host of PBS Digital’s “Gross Science,” explained that she’s been experimenting with a windowing model for her content to boost awareness, debuting videos on YouTube and then one week later on Facebook. Southern is also experimenting with the platform, telling VideoInk, “there is no monetization in place there, but as a musician [I’ve been] seeing song sales increase as Facebook videos go up.” While Facebook may be just gearing up to generate revenue for creators in its own right, its potential to drive traffic to downloadable media is already catching creators’ eyes.
Early Adoption Is Key For New Platforms
With new social video apps debuting every month, creators are forced to pick and choose which to engage with. While platforms like YouTube have well established playbooks of best practices, new emerging platforms require a more ingenuity to conquer. The key to finding new monetization opportunities is getting in early,according to YouTuber Olga Kay, who noted that she’s moved much of her direct-to-camera vlogging to Snapchat and plans to focus on building more long-form and scripted content for YouTube and other streaming platforms.
Chris Powers, a producer for Fail Army, shared a similar sentiment, describing every new platform as a new opportunity. “We want to find new ways for our fans to get those fails they love and find new ways to interact with them,” he said. “Every new platform is a new way to interact. Each opportunity is a new way to communicate with the fans.”
Services Are Emerging To Bridge The Gap Between Creators And Monetization
Chris Pavlovski, CEO of Rumble, identified consistent, reliable and efficient monetization as one of the long term problems in the YouTube ecosystem. Rumble, and platforms like it, aim to provide online video creators with a simple streamlined solution to licensing and syndicating their content for monetization. On the back end, these platforms will also serve as a translator for brands who are still not adept at navigating the complex digital video ecosystem on their own.
Online Video Is Global
Wong pointed to outdated thinking in digital distribution as the next great hurdle for the content creating community. “What’s antiquated… is the idea of geolocating yourself,” he told our correspondent “So many people have friends or a community that’s international through Twitter and Tumblr and social platforms. It becomes ridiculous to have country borders defining what you can watch online.”
This post is originated from VideoInk’s VidCon Pop-Up studio, which was sponsored by Rumble