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YouTuber Dilemma: Staying “Authentic” Amid 4K Cameras, Studio Money, Ad Dollars

By | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

YouTuber Dilemma: Staying “Authentic” Amid 4K Cameras, Studio Money, Ad DollarsAmid all the dealmaker swagger and pubescent screams at last week’s giant Vidcon gathering in Anaheim, CA, one nagging question kept presenting itself: how do YouTube creators stay “authentic” to their demanding and devoted fans even as cheaper/better tech, vaulting creative ambition and the desire to make a living keep pushing into the equation. It’s a complicated question for this fast-evolving new media platform.

deadline marketing badge_dbloomMost of the YouTube creators now boasting millions of followers started out with modest production values, technology and creative capabilities. Now, as those swooning Vidcon attendees can attest, the creators have fans, who have Expectations, which they share publicly and loudly. It’s a bit like the indie rock band that finally signs to a major label. Fans who thought they “discovered” and “owned” the band start screaming “sell-out.” It’s even worse now. Unlike in the days of Frank Sinatra, or Elvis Presley, or Shaun Cassidy, or the Backstreet Boys, fans can talk back to their favorite creators, and to each other, on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Reddit and other social-media sites and online communities. Too much deviation from fan expectations can be a killer. Read More »

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YouTube Stars Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart Announce YouTube Travel Show

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 4:15pm PDT

YouTube Stars Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart Announce YouTube Travel ShowHelbig, the former YouTube face of website MyDamnChannel who now hosts her own Youtube channel It’s Grace, announced the venture with production company Astronauts Wanted at Vidcon today in Anaheim during “Industry Day” of the giant fan festival. The  show, #HeyUSA, will launch July 1 and will be executive produced by Billy Parks and Nick Shore of Astronauts Wanted, the online-media shingle of former MTV CEO Judy McGrath. The show has “a little bit of a traditional show” mentality in it, Parks said, but still with lots of the interactive elements that make YouTube productions so much more involving for young fans. During shooting through the summer, the two online stars will be featured about three times a week in behind-the-scenes video shorts as they visit fan-suggested sights in eight U.S. cities. The weekly shorts would typically run 2- to 5-minutes long, Parks said. Another friend and YouTube notable, Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen, is also expected to appear. This fall, the site will post eight more -finished, longer episodes pulling together all the events in each city. “It’s dizzying if you don’t love the platform,” said Parks of the complicated two-way process of creating the show. “Here’s a great way to connect with an audience if you love the way this audience works. If you create varied platform-specific content, it gets less dizzying.”

Mamrie HartHelbig acknowledged the programming is a bit more ambitious than the kind of one-person-and-a-camera projects she’s typically been associated with. “It’s definitely … Read More »

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