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SXSW Panels: Get Your Vote On!

logoHere at The Orchard, we love a good roundtable chit-chat about what’s going on in the industry. So, as you might’ve guessed or already know, we’re really big on conference panels! Next year’s SXSW is no different (yes, we’re already deep in planning…). For the occasion, we have two very important topics to discuss, along with killer speakers who’ll knock your socks off with their knowledge. We just need YOU to get your vote in by September 5th so that we can make these hot-topic discussions come to life.

Vote to see my session at SXSW 2015!Everyone is on YouTube these days, probably even your grandmother. It’s one of the best places out there for new music discovery, and can also be a great tool in an artist’s revenue-making back-pocket. But lots of artists and labels keep getting caught up in the same YouTube conundrum — which is more valuable: making a profit off these videos, or reaching worldwide glory status through exposure? Do we even have to choose? In the panel we’ve pitched, titled “Exposure vs. Revenue on YouTube: Must We Choose?,” our own Sarah Caliendo, VP of Video Services, along with YouTube’s Elliott Walker and Bob Lugowe of Relapse Records will lead you through the ins and outs of creating your own YouTube strategy. Exciting, informative stuff, right?!

Vote to see my session at SXSW 2015!Film distribution is another heavy-hitter in conversation these days — think day-and-date release rise — and we’re all over it with plenty to say. In our suggested panel, which we’ve called “To Window Or Not To Window: Film Release Strategies,” we’ll talk about all the different elements to consider when releasing a new project. From release platforms to distribution strategies, each film needs its own, specific implementation process, and who better to take you through them than our Senior Manager of Film Distribution, Danielle DiGiacomo, along with Adam Klaff of VHX and Harmontown Director Neil Berkeley. Together, they will discuss and give concrete examples of all the windowing opportunities out there and, depending on the film, audience and genre, determine which tactics to use.

Hopefully you’ve already gotten your SXSW badges and are all set for the big shindig. We hope you’ll support our panel picks and will choose to be part of the conversation by voting away (just click on the “vote for my session idea” icons above!). Don’t delay — voting ends September 5!  See y’all in Austin.

Get the Show on the Road with YouTube’s Creator Studio App

August 20, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

unnamedAt this point, few will disagree that the future lies in mobile. We’re consuming more media on the go than ever before. Email, news, games, music, and of course, video. All the major players in social media are investing in their mobile products and strategies to remain competitive in this growing market. Last year, YouTube launched new mobile apps with better ad support and tripled their mobile ad revenue in just six months.

Earlier this summer, YouTube launched new mobile apps for iOS and Android, but this time aimed at those who create the videos. The YouTube Creator Studio app enables creators to manage their channels from their phones. The app provides your channel’s latest stats, the ability to respond to viewer comments, and customized push notifications to alert you to channel activity. You can also edit video details like titles, tags, and descriptions, and a few other basic channel settings. The app doesn’t support video creation, but it connects to the YouTube Capture app which does.

The flexibility of managing a channel away from a computer is a huge win for creators. Expect to see even more developments on the mobile front from YouTube over the coming months. Speaking of developments on different platforms, YouTube just revamped its TV app. Although viewership on internet connected televisions is still relatively low, especially compared to mobile devices, this will most likely continue to grow as YouTube makes the push to take on traditional TV.

Check out more great posts on getting the most out of your YouTube channel such as 3 YouTube Must-Haves.

Fans Chip In With YouTube Fan Funding

YouTubeFanFundingYouTube has always been about putting the power in the hands of its users. Now they’re taking it a step further and letting users take the reigns on creator support with Fan Funding. This new feature allows fans to send cash to channels they love, directly through YouTube.com. The program is already in a pilot phase with a few fan favorite channels like Soul Pancake and The Young Turks, with more channels to be rolled out in the next few months.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Fan Funding is how creators will respond. With many channels boasting multi-million subscriber stats, it’s no secret that YouTube has an avid fan base. Creators have the potential to create more and better content if they have access to financial backing. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have already successfully funded multiple video projects, the most successful of which, the film Veronica Mars, funded $5.7 million of its $2 million goal in 30 days. YouTube Fan Funding brings this potential directly where fans are already watching.

Monetization on YouTube has taken a number of forms in the past. From the most common ad-supported system to pay-to-watch channels and VOD rentals, YouTube is not afraid to experiment with its platform. This most recent iteration will leave creators to use their funding however they like. Each contribution will be capped at $500, with YouTube taking 5% plus $0.21 per transaction.

But will fans actually pay? YouTube has yet to report on any numbers, but you can expect channels to get creative with incentivizing funding. Some will require funding out of necessity for production: there might be more incentive for fans to chip in some cash if the next episode of their favorite show is on the line. Others may generate supporter-exclusive content to reward fans who chip in with videos just for them. Fan Funding opens up new levels of potential with fans by allowing them to directly impact the success of their favorite channels.

Here’s a look at how Fan Funding looks on Soul Pancake:

soulpancake

So keep an eye out for this option, coming soon to a channel near you!

Boost Your Reach with Your Very Own YouTube Billboard

YTBillboardHave a new album or film coming out soon? Of course you do! But do your fans know about it? Pre-release promotion is a no brainer, but ask yourself how you are conveying that message. YouTube is one of the most powerful tools available for making your voice heard, though it’s often underutilized as a promotional tool. Consider your video’s watch page as a virtual, interactive billboard for your message. Creating a simple, yet compelling video announcement can invoke pure excitement among eager fans while allowing you to convert potential sales right off the bat.

Let’s take an album release for example. If you want to draw a genuine response from your audience, they’re going to want a taste of what to expect. Tease a track that fans have never heard before with creative imagery behind the audio. You’ll build up expectations while also leaving your audience wanting more. Time this the right way and your album will already have eager eyes waiting in anticipation for street date.

Aside from giving fans a sneak peak at what you’re promoting, you also have some prime real estate to work with to take care of business. Display vital information like the album title and release date in both your video’s title and description (or burned directly in the video itself). More importantly, give your fans the opportunity to buy the album instantly. You’ve gotten them amped up for the release, now turn that excitement into a sale by including pre-order links in the videos description and in-video annotations.

What if your following isn’t that great on YouTube yet and your fans are more centered around Facebook or Twitter? No problem! This strategy will work there too. Create your video billboard the same way we talked about above, and simply copy and paste the link as a post anywhere else on social media. As long as your vital information is included in the video’s title or burned into the video itself, you’ll get traction anywhere else your fans are. Excited fans will spark up conversation either on YouTube itself or directly in your social posts, all leading up to a strongly boosted street date.

Check out our decorated example below:

YTAnnouncement

Use YouTube End Cards to Build Watch Time

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 11.44.22 AMBy now, most YouTube creators understand that building watch time is more important than simply gaining views on their videos. And since building watch time will positively impact search, recommendation and ad CPMs for your videos, it’s in your best interest to work to improve it. There are a couple of tactics you can use. In a previous blog post, we examined how creating playlists is an effective way of getting viewers to watch multiple videos in a session. Another method, which we’ll look at today, is to add end cards to your videos.

What’s an end card? Think of it as brief interactive credits after the main content of your video, with calls-to-action (like subscribe, watch another video, buy a track on iTunes, etc) and clickable annotations. End cards are less intrusive to the viewing experience than traditional in-video annotations and typically perform much better. They usually last about 10-15 seconds at the end of the video. For a great example, check out this video.

How do I create an end card? Use Photoshop or similar graphics editing software to create your end card and save it as a reusable template. Be sure to include a space for at least one other video and a subscribe call-to-action. You can also leave space for multiple videos or playlists, but avoid making it too crowded. Simpler is better. After you’ve created your template, use video editing software like Final Cut Pro to add your end card to your video. Here’s a good walkthrough of how to do this. After you’ve added your end card and included the necessary content to it, export your video and upload to YouTube. That’s it!

End cards are a great way of extending viewer watch time and gaining subscribers for your channel. And they add a nice level of professionalism to your videos. Be sure to check out some of our other YouTube-related blog posts for tips and ideas for improving your videos and channel.

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