YouTube Stars Are Attracting Traditional Media Companies

Previously, people had to establish their own fame on YouTube, but now there are companies and networks that can help. At the recent VidCon conference in Anaheim, there was much debate regarding independent networks and media companies, and the future of online video among video creators and the industry. Traditional media companies and independents are attempting to establish themselves as a presence in online video and among emerging YouTube stars.

In online video, “multi-channel networks” work both as talent agencies and TV networks. Fullscreen, one such network, views itself as creating a new Viacom in online video, where “channels” are people or small groups.

Typically, video creators with a YouTube channel give a network a cut of the profits, and ideally, the network then assists in further earnings due to their contacts, consulting, production or special technological tools, explains Quartz. Since last year, traditional media companies, such as Time Warner, Comcast and Dreamworks, have invested these multi-channel networks via acquisitions and partnerships.

Regarding online video, “it’s supposed to change the way media is done,” said Benny Fine of the Emmy-winning Fine Brothers Productions. “Instead, it’s becoming very, very traditional inside of new media.”

YouTube stars are now being purchased by media companies. The choice of full acquisition allows for more control in the YouTube star’s expansion from YouTube to other media, such as film and TV, according to Barry Blumberg, former Disney TV executive and currently with Alloy Digital, a content development and talent management firm.

At this year’s Vidcon, there was much debate regarding control and who should have it as different business models materialize. This is mainly due to more money and more established players appearing in an open and untamed scene.

“We are defining this medium day by day. And we’re defining the industry, and we’re defining how we’re going to do business,” asserted Hank Green, the head and co-founder of VidCon. “There’s sort of a lot riding on every decision every creator makes right now.”

Related News:
Future of Content: The Power of Video, Forbes, 7/31/13

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