Monday, January 29, 2007

YouTube = DIY Distribution

Today, Variety has a neat little story in its email about how YouTube is going to be sharing revenue with its "millions of users" effectively turning it into another branch of distribution. This opens up many possibilities for those who can create compelling content ala LonelyGirl, and helps pry open the briefcases of those suits with the filthy monies (Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue).

So, the entrepreneurial mind would do the following:

- create serial content with advertising attached (to pay for some of it).

- upload the content up to Youtube, MySpace, Guba, etc...the wider the better.

- Make sure the content refers back to one's own website where one can sell all sorts of merchandise via CafePress or some other system with its own built-in accounting and sales.

- Publicize and market the hell out of it, generating strong brand identity and awareness.

- Collect the serial entertainment together (with additional must-have content) for either (or both) television and DVD distribution, domestically and internationally.

- Start approaching the venture capitalists (or Hollywood or Madison Ave or a ton of Mobile Phone companies) to build a library of content through acquisition and production and grow the company and number of properties.

- Understand this could all start from one's kitchen table with a video camera, some simple software and a laptop...

Welcome to the 4th Generation.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading this from my laptop on the kitchen table (the camcorder's in the bedroom). Great summary; inspiring roundup for all us Spielberg stay at homers! Thanks much...

Anonymous said...

Exciting. But I'm too LAZY.

Damn. Still waiting till you can just THINK about it and it shoots, records and edits itself.

Cunningham said...

Chris - those are called dreams.

Anonymous said...

I have a fairly similar plan to the one you outlined in the works. My chief antagonist is financial. The next few months will be telling.

James said...

I'm curious if such a move is really going to increase quality, like the site is hoping to do.

My bet is it will dramatically increase quantity.

And hopefully the shared revenue isn't divided among ALL YouTube's users. Would mean the more people trying to make $$$, the less the quality stuff will make.

The real problem is that if there is any money to be made on YouTube, or similar DIY Distro, the networks will jump all over it once it has proven to be profitable.

Southpark had an official comedy central YouTube account that use to offer full length episodes of SouthPark. It was removed because the powers that be thought they were losing revenue by offering full episodes. I'd imagine that would be back up and at the top of the hit list given a revenue source.

Not that it needs another revenue source.

Cunningham said...

The thing is James is that QUALITY will eventually win out. Yes, there will be quantity at work for awhile, but there will be "digital darwinism" at work. If your videos suck, then word will get around and you won't get the revenue. Just like if you manufacture any other sort of product.

Hello, the networks and media congloms are already in this realm. Rupert Murdoch didn't buy a huge chunk of it just because he got a whim. The smart guys are in on the ground floor in several ways:

- Content creation
- Web distribution and social networking
- infrastructure (fibre optics, satellites, cell phones, computers, etc...)

Anonymous said...

For the doubters (expense, and all that), there's so much free stuff on the internet - noodle around and you'll find the bits that fit your model (first, listen to BC and get a model).

James said...

Aye, they are in on the ground floor. I am just pointing out that the "user friendly" facade isn't as altruistic as it is made to sound.