Online Video is Irrelevant

The headline is a quote by Mark Cuban, who is very rich. The full quote, as captured by Adam Kleinberg in last week’s Videonomics event in Dallas Cowboys stadium, is: “Online video is irrelevant. The top videos most days on YouTube get 250-750k views. If you got that kind of traffic on TV, you’d be a huge failure.” 

Before I comment on Mark’s thoughts, I gotta say… I love Adam’s post for three reasons:

  1. He references me before Mark Cuban.
  2. He captured the quote I was too lazy to write down.
  3. Adam let me kiss him on the head, and he’s like a human teddy bear. I told him I almost want to go back to a big company just to hire his agency, Tractionco.com. If you know anyone from Studio Lambert, tell them to get Traction Co on The Pitch (AMC) NOW.

I did get a photo of Mark Cuban and me, but nobody seems to care as much as I might have thought. Only 5% of the people I know seem to recognize him, and only 14% of that segment seem mildly impressed that I arm wrestled him. Some were more impressed that he’s on Shark Tank than the fact that he sold Broadcast.com for 55 billion.

Mark Cuban arm wrestling me

And now to the point (you buried your lead again, Nalts): Mark Cuban’s point was that the view count of “YouTube’s most viewed videos of the day” pales against television-show viewership. He’s got two reasons, the first is that YouTube most-viewed daily videos sometimes don’t often more than a few hundred thousand views. Second, the views are brief relative to viewing durations of Shark Tank, which Mark says is the show most watched by entire families. Mark appears on that show.

What Mark didn’t point out is that the most-viewed YouTubers (top 50-100) typically have daily views that exceed top television shows. Annoying Orange or Ray William Johnson get 10x the daily views of many network shows. They are, in effect, small networks. Sure the views are minutes not 30 or 60 minutes. And they’re less monatized. Furthermore, here’s another little secret for Mark. Sometimes a creator’s “daily views” are not, in fact, driven by their most recent video — a creator’s daily views are often driven by the cumulative views of the creator’s collection. (For instance, my recent videos tend to be viewed a mere fraction of the total daily views I have; the latter number is driven by a few older videos, like “Scary Maze” or “I Are Cute Kitten,” that continue to accumulate views).

During last week’s Videonomics event, Mark invited people to challenge him, but I declined because… this is all a moot point. Why? For starters, advertisers want eyeballs, and they don’t generally care if they bought 100 ads on 100 YouTube videos or 5 ads on 5 television shows.

They want targeted reach with spending efficiency.

Period. Advertisers also need scale, and if media fragments so too will their media spend. Most studies show that online-video advertising growth will come at the expense of television advertising in years ahead… but eventually these budgets won’t be separate. That brings me to my second point… in the next 4-8 years we won’t really discern between online video, cable TV, mobile and television. It’ll all be video, and the long and short tail will both matter to advertisers.

(Whether Mark Cuban says so or not).

P.S. I let him win in arm wrestling.

Army Manual for Undead, Zombies

U.S. Army Zombie Guide

Thanks to the Zombie Combat Command for preparing a field manual to prepare for the undead and zombies. Don’t think they’re coming? Take a gander at this video montage, courtesy of Wired.

So what are the top 10 ways can you prepare based on this new field guide?

  1. Read the guide.
  2. Skip the guide and read my top-10.
  3. Take advantage of terrain. When in doubt, fire.
  4. Loot pharmacies. Meds are valuable barter material, easy to hide and transport, and don’t soon expire.
  5. Panic
  6. Avoid large gatherings like VidCon2011.
  7. Drink Snappycow
  8. Ensure you’re not a zombie. If you are, cease to panic. You can’t become one anymore.
  9. Look forward to bad ass music that usually accompanies zombie attacks
  10. Try funny prank: pretend you’re a zombie. Worked well for Bill Murray.

 

 

Tom Hanks Demands Pulitzer for Onion

Tom Hanks isn’t alone in his plea for a Pulitzer for The Onion. See the rest on the AfakpOnline channel. Affiliated with Afajp? We can’t be sure.

But it must be real because The Onion is reporting on it.

We’re inclined to agree, considering The Onion was first (in 1996) to predict the demise of television.

Bring Back Pundit Joad Cressbeckle, Onion

Oh sorry. I suppose I could have just e-mailed the folks at The Onion, but it’s just as easy to blog them. And hope their social-media monitoring tools dig deep enough to find this blog (ranked just below the left-handed lesbians’ jewelry accessory blog).

BRING BACK PUNDIT JOAD CRESSBECKLE (seen here expressing his concern about humanized potatoes)…

Warning human 'taters: "I got my good friend colonel James Bowie right here, same as cut the Chinese."

To see video: Joad Cressbeckler Fears Genetic Modification Causes ‘Wrath-Minded Taters’

Online-Video: One-Man-Band to Brat Pack


This week I officially joined Next New Networks as a content creator (not employee), and the above video is by the amazing Justin Johnson. Read the NNN blog for more, and check out Liz Shannon Miller’s NewTeeVee article on this news…This WVFF bloggedy post puts that decision into context, since the move was a non trivial one for me.

Upon the introduction of any new medium, the early notable talent are often independent, persistent and multi-taskers. The “one-man bands” who cracked radio, film and television first were charismatic (Lucille Ball, Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Merv Griffen, Jack Paar), but also savvy at promoting themselves. Parenthetically, I’m not comparing myself to these folks, and I’m distinct from a lot of NNN shows in that I really don’t have a show. My 900 plus “Nalts” videos are far more random, and NNN hasn’t asked me to change that model (though I might).

Just like other mediums, online-video’s early players have been individuals who lacked agents, deep pockets and connections. But the early YouTuber solo acts (who still dominate the most-viewed and most-subscribed channels) cracked the code… which was less true for the better financed and higher-quality web shows, backed by networks, production companies or even advertising agencies.

In the past 9-18 months, we’ve seen that shift dramatically. Here are the trends that attracted me to a “rat pack” or “brat pack” model. By that, I mean a collection of individuals who collaborate to build something bigger then they could be individually.

7 Reasons I’m Joining a “Creators Club”

  1. Cross Pollination: YouTube’s most-subscribed channels remain individual acts. Most of the top creators have increased their audiences by appearing in each other’s videos, or forming collaboration channels. BarelyPolitical, one of the most successful Next New Networks shows, is among them. What started as Ben Relles’ Obama Girl has since brought attention to numerous shows, individuals and performers
  2. YouTube &  Beyond: Increasingly the convergence of television and web content will offer new distribution opportunities. I believe there’s strength in numbers. While YouTube was once able to maintain relationships with individual creators, that isn’t scalable. So an intermediary is important for both the “platform” (a term YouTube uses to describe itself) and individual creators. On television we call those “networks.”
  3. Following the Leaders: I’ve watched with curiosity what other individual creators are doing. Some fly solo. Others get “agents.” And still others decide to build informal collaboration channels… some that last and others that fade (7AwesomeWhatever series). I took special interest in HotForWords and BlameSocietyFilms signing with Next New Networks, as I have a lot of respect for those shows… both their style and tenacity. I’m a huge fan of the “auto-tune the news” Gregory Brothers (who go by the absurdly forgettable “Schmoyoho” on YouTube). Relles and NNN helped put them on the map, and they appeared just this week on NBC’s Today Show.
  4. Old and New Media: The companies that will manage the pending evolution of media will be those who have people who’ve managed previous transitions… but also the flexibility to depart from the past when it’s not applicable. NNN’s founder, Fred Seibert, was MTV’s first creative director and the producer of many of my children’s favorite television shows — from Fairy Odd Parents to Adventure Time With Finn and Jake. Meanwhile Ben Relles is the only other prolific video creator I know who also has a marketing background.
  5. East Coast: Many creators feel compelled to move west, where indeed most films and movies are grounded (not to mention software firms). I’m inclined to believe that in the next few years, there’s an advantage of staying closer to the likely source of income: Madison Avenue. Next New Networks is distinct, but even when compared to other players of “The New Establishment” (described in my book, Beyond Viral), it’s one of only a few based in NYC. Furthermore I’m close enough to the company and many of its creators to collaborate. Proximity is turning out to be more important than in 2004-2009.
  6. People: Ultimately people “sign” with networks, agents or employers more for the people than anything else. NNN has a good team with a bold mission, and it’s already turning out to be exciting to be part of something bigger than me. I’ve known Relles for years, and he wrote a chapter in my book. Seibert is a trip. Mark makes me shoot milk out my nose. Even Justin (who did my spotlight profile) taught me more in 2 days than I’ve learned in months.
  7. The Logo: Sorry. I’m superficial like that. NNN has the most bad-ass logo and outro. Sorry, Jim Louderback (revision3).
The little cartoon robot was one of my reasons. It's cute.

YouTube Goes Bollywood: Game On

Gautam Anand, director for content partnerships (Asia Pacific), told the Hindustan Times, “We are looking to significantly ramp up our long-form Bollywood movies catalogue. Full length catch-up shows have been getting a tremendous response from across the globe.”

It seems even the most celebrated Bollywood songs have taken to recent parodies like the recent Guild dance: “Game On: A Bollywood Themed Gamers Anthem.” See Codex (Felicia Day) and Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh) almost kiss, and Zaboo punch “Real Life” in the face. We dare you not to dance to “Game On.”

So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.

YouTube Singes Unite for 2010 “We Are the World” for Haiti

LisaLavie1 and other amazingly talented YouTube singers joined together in song in a 2010 version of “We Are the World” for Haiti. Who says community isn’t vibrant in social media’s most visceral form (online video)? The video links to the 2010 remake of Quincy Jones’ version (which has surpassed 11 million views), and to wearetheworldfoundation.org. Credits for this YouTube homage are below.

Mike Kalombo created the track:
http://www.youtube.com/KlassicMaster
Lisa’s boyfriend, Alphacat spent 3 days editing it along with Lisa (they have a duo channel):
http://www.youtube.com/AlphaLavie

Alphacat
http://www.youtube.com/Alphacat
Troye Sivan
http://www.youtube.com/troyesivan18
Melissa Polinar
http://www.youtube.com/Mpolinar
Ben Sharkey
http://www.youtube.com/Bensharkey
Iann Guérin
http://www.youtube.com/iann72
Bruce & Daniel
http://www.youtube.com/Dcfan4life
Mishal Moore
http://www.youtube.com/MishalmooreMusic
Ahmir
http://www.youtube.com/Ahmirtv
Blair Perkins
http://www.youtube.com/blairperkinstv
Lyne Sullivan
http://www.youtube.com/LyneSullivan
Lois Mahalia
http://www.youtube.com/LoisMahalia
Chris Cendana
http://www.youtube.com/Ccendana
Jumoke
http://www.youtube.com/JumokeTv
JRice
http://www.youtube.com/Jriceproductions
Luna Mae
http://www.youtube.com/luuntjemae
SamDaSinga
http://www.youtube.com/SamdaSinga
Anhayla
http://www.youtube.com/Anhaylarene
Maria Zouroudis
http://www.youtube.com/MariaZouroudis
Lisa Lavie
http://www.youtube.com/LisaLavie
David Choi
http://www.youtube.com/DavidChoiMusic
Richard Rick Rose
http://www.youtube.com/rickmusiq06
Nick Pitera
http://www.youtube.com/Goonieman86
Aj Rafael
http://www.youtube.com/ilajil
Lucas Teague
http://www.youtube.com/LucasTeague
Jessica Sanchez
http://www.youtube.com/Jsanchezfan
Thia Megia
http://www.youtube.com/Thiamegia
Shan Malaika
http://www.youtube.com/Shanmalaika1
Airto
http://www.youtube.com/Airto
Emmanuelle Auger
http://www.youtube.com/Emmanuelleda
Laura Broad
http://www.youtube.com/blawah2000
BeeKay
http://www.youtube.com/BeeKay86
Sheena Melwani
http://www.youtube.com/SheenaMelwani
Dan Talevski
http://www.youtube.com/Danjt87
Frank Bell
http://www.youtube.com/Faure45
Orlando Dixon
http://www.youtube.com/museman18
Iman Crosson
http://www.youtube.com/alphacat
JR Aquino
http://www.youtube.com/JRAquinoMusic
Eric Arceneaux
http://www.youtube.com/EricArceneaux
Stacy Dudero
http://www.youtube.com/jstizzel03
Meghan Tonjes
http://www.youtube.com/tonjesml
James Dupre
http://www.youtube.com/JamesDupreMusic
Heidi Jutras
http://www.youtube.com/Dididole
Anna Moya
http://www.youtube.com/user/AnnaMoyaM…
Laura Song
http://www.youtube.com/Lis1127
Renee Thomas
http://www.youtube.com/ReneeThomasMusic
Jon McSingee
http://www.youtube.com/Jonmcsingee
Laurence
http://www.youtube.com/Laurence0802
Nick Gardner
http://www.youtube.com/nrhgardner
Jon Cahlander
http://www.youtube.com/JonCahlandermusic
Julie Corrigan
http://www.youtube.com/JulieCorrigan2

Learn What the “Wilhelm Scream” Is, Noob

With apologies to you seasoned film enthusiasts, I’d like to introduce the Wilhelm Scream to those still left oblivious to it. You see, I used the sound effect in a recent YouTube video and was again reminded that it’s not as widely appreciated as I should think.

Klaxoncow said it best:

The scream, which originated in a 1951 film called Distant Drums, has appeared in countless movies since. You’ve heard it in Star Wars, Indiana Jones, King Kong (Jack Black’s version), The Family Guy, and many films you may know by heart. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas have celebrated the sound effect, originally dubbed “man getting bit by alligator and he screams” (source: Wikipedia so it must be accurate).

My sister, who sent me this clip, became aware of it when her son began to notice its repetition (a remarkable feat for a child who was 7 at the time).

I would like to challenge all video creators to find a special place for it in coming months, and make it an Internet meme that is abhorred by Anonymous and 4Chan.

Now enjoy some classic film moments, and listen for it in your movie and Internet-video watching.

Times Squares Hijinks

I wrote about Jessica Kurson recently, and yesterday spent the afternoon with the nationally-known Comedian in NY City (Times Square). I don’t think I’ve had this much fun making a video in ages, and I’m certain this was my finest hour in NYC ever. Subscribe to her here.