“Content is King” is a lie that’s been perpetuated in web video circles for a few years now. “Eye Candy” has always been.. Queen.. but I’ve recently noticed that the tables have turned and Content actually *has* overtaken EC..
I wrote about EC in March 2008 and mentioned “the formula”, which was that whatever actual content you had, the way to get views for your show was to have an attractive female as the ‘front’ or the ‘face’ of the show. She didn’t have to know or understand JACK about JACK so long as she could look good and read her lines. I probably noticed this formula in 2007, since I got started in online video in 2006.
Regardless of the content, the most popular shows were headlined by a female that was nice to look at. Period. (with the one obvious exception being Ze Frank’s “The Show”)
It was even worse on YouTube, because everybody knew that YT took the picture that represented your video from exactly 50% into your episode. If your video was 6 minutes long, the still YT would take was @ 3 minutes. So.. Regardless of what the actual content was, people would figure out the final length of their show and insert a few frames of a chick in a bikini exactly in the middle. They’d upload their show, YouTube would pull the image of the bikini chick, all the boys would click on it expecting to see some ass, the video would get popular and then eventually ‘featured’, where it could really take off and get more views.
This worked, BTW, with videos that didn’t even have a female IN THEM, because guys couldn’t figure that out without clicking on the bikini-chick, by which time your ‘view’ was already counted. Thanks, sucker! 😀
“The Formula” was so pervasive that I was discussing doing a show for these guys’ company and one of them actually said to me (verbatim) “We’d love to do a show.. but we don’t have a girl.”
Having a female headlining your show that guys would enjoy imagining having sex with was certainly the key to success back in the day, but at this point, if you look at numbers of YouTube subscribers as well as episode views, Content has clearly come into its own as guys and gals who are actually talking about something intelligent or providing some kind of actual entertainment value to their viewers have vastly outpaced the “Look at me and my tits” chicks.
I mean, VASTLY, like left them in the dust. I didn’t think it would happen, but it has, and there’s no end in sight. I think what happened is that the early adopters enjoyed success at the time, because they were the only ones doing it. Now that everybody and their sister has a YouTube channel and is doing the exact same thing, it’s tough to gain new followers / subscribers. As a matter of fact, an annoying trend has developed, where people actually ASK YOU not only to subscribe to their channels, but to rate their episode “5 Stars”. :/ .. Um.. How are you going to TELL SOMEONE what to rate your episode? wow. “Please rate my episode” I can understand. “Please rate it 5 Stars” (Top Rating Available)? Come on. :/
You have as much chance of your show becoming popular as anyone else. So long as you have a good topic that’s sustainable (you can consistently release episodes ad infinitum), the viewing public is willing to accept, watch, listen to, follow, friend, subscribe, rate and virally pass your show on to their friends & relatives.
Blog about what you’re passionate about in text, audio or video.. Be consistent, relevant, informative & entertaining and you have a shot at becoming popular in the ‘online video’ game.
Content, at this point, truly *IS* King, so the only things limiting you are your own imagination, creativity and determination.
Make It Happen! 😀
~ Bill Cammack | @BillCammack