We continue December’s guest blogs by online-video gurus and friends (see Punchy‘s post yesterday). This post is by Peter Coffin, a frequent commenter and YouTube and star of the fresh new single “This Song is Cliche.”
Although I had met Peter via such video collaborations as “Mean Kitty Parody,” it wasn’t until last year’s YouTube Live that I confirmed he wasn’t an avatar or surrogate. Here’s his take on the local value of online-video, and it does beg the question why YouTube doesn’t facilitate local community or local-viewing preferences.
by Peter Coffin:
I’m completely awesome. I only say that because I didn’t want to start with “the state of online video today is” like a 4th grader. Plus it’s true. Several years ago, we all made fools of ourselves by pretending we knew where online video was going. Well, you all did. I sure didn’t, because I’m always right. That goes with the territory of being awesome.
Enough of me being a jackass.You want to know what I think is coming?
The formation and maintenance of local audiences and local strategies in the upper echelons of user-generated content. UGC is more like radio than TV in my opinion, with the exception of the audience. The audience is broad and national – even international. Which is fantastic; the idea that anyone with the will can tap into such a broad audience like they never have before is the most important media development in a very long time.
But I think we’re going to start seeing the formation of local markets, where savvy personalities (possibly with the aid of savvy businesspeople) will start to engage their IRL (in-real-life) communities with contests, appearances, and even localized content in the way that radio has for years and years – except on a shoestring budget and a staff of one or two people.
I see it as impossible for it to not eventually happen. A small-town radio remote can cost a business $2.5k. That is a month’s work at http://youtube.com/petercoffin – also pretty hard to resist for so little work. Go in, talk to the proprietor, talk to customers, make a few observations, cut up the footage and not only do they have an in depth entertaining promotion for their biz but the creator has more content – and as we all know that’s how you make money.
You can’t do that without a local audience, though. Frank’s Bakery and Gay Bar doesn’t want to pay money for a national audience. They want to reach the local homosexual pastry enthusiasts.
Do I think people will forsake national audiences for local ones? Oh no. I think they will attempt to pick up their localities in addition, as a built in 20,000-30,000 additional first-day hits from a release-conditioned, loyal, proud-of-the-hometown-hero audience can be a big help in pushing a video out there to the national one – as well as aid in word-of-mouth.
This is all on the professional UGC level, though. I’m not focusing on new media divisions of Sony or anything here. They will continue to be national and will most likely function as the TV to UGC’s radio.
Do I think this is part of 2010’s developments? I can’t say for certain, but I do feel this is a strategy we’re going to see. I think we are seeing a bit of the beginnings of it with the developments in second channels for community engagement and more specifically in Rhett&Link’s recent “local commercials across the country” videos. Though they are handling it in a way to keep a national audience interested, imagine if your local YouTube personalities did these types of videos in your area, as well as, worked to maintain some kind of connection with the community.
I don’t see how someone isn’t going to take advantage of the low overhead and instant feedback online video provides to make some cash and promote their communities.