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YouTube Teaches You How to YouTube

August 28, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

photo.jpgThere’s a wealth of instructional videos on YouTube. Tutorial and “edutainment” videos are some of the most watched and shared content on the site. From brewing coffee and cutting watermelons to street fighting and cutting a glass bottles in half with fire and string (in case you needed to know), the topics are endless. But what if you need to learn more about using YouTube itself?

YouTube has had instructional videos about its platform for some time now, but only recently have they made more calculated efforts with results and transparency as the focus. With their Creator Academy channel, YouTube has delivered helpful and engaging instructional videos that used to take hours of scouring online help articles. And what better place to learn about YouTube than from YouTube itself?

Videos on the Creator Academy cover creative strategies like programming and branding as well as the intricacies of monetization and analytics. Topics are presented by both YouTube staff as well as top creators themselves, including Barely Political, Vsauce2, and iJustine. This variety helps ensure that you get an honest, accurate insight into what you’d like to learn. There are also some longer, more conversational videos shot using Google Hangouts with a question and answer format.

Though there may be instructional videos about YouTube from other uploaders, the Creator Academy is by far your most up-to-date and credible source. Here are two of their best videos to get you started:

Annotations 2: Revenge of the Annotations

My friend Matt Gielen and I discuss all aspects of running YouTube channels from the very small to the cliched 30,000 foot view. Matt’s as old a hand at YouTube as you can get and has done great work leading the audience development effort at Frederator Studios, distributors of the finest animated shows on YouTube. We’ve discussed annotations at length and Matt has written the definitive blog post of 2014 on how annotations could be hurting you. Please go read that! Since his post is so definitive, I wanted to touch on some examples from our network where we’ve also proven those best practices, not rehash them.

For our purposes we’re going to use two videos from our action sports channel, Echoboom SportsStreet Dreams is a feature-length film about skaters and features many popular skaters from 2008/2009. We have uploaded the full film to the channel and it’s currently the most-watched video there.

Street Dreams Poster

The other video is a full scene (what we call a “full part” in Action Sports video) from our release Like a Lion – The True Story of Legendary Skier Tanner Hall

Like a Lion film poster

With Street Dreams you can see that the video, launched in January, has very high close rates on its annotations. This means viewers are actively shutting them off. I consider annotation closes to be anti-clickthroughs. They aren’t simply a viewer passively ignoring your message. They are actively doing the exact opposite of what you want them to do. The clickthrough rates (CTR), in this case on annotations asking viewers to subscribe, are very low in part because there’s a high close rate.

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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!

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