The Confessional #13: MCN Exec/Co-Founder

My latest interviewee for The Confessional co-founded an MCN, former talent manager, and is currently a director for a major, traditional, media network.

We covered a number of topics including:
– YouTube’s $100 million channel initiative breathed life into MCN’s
– MCN’s making money off clueless talent
– That MCN’s exploited talent early on and have to evolve


The Confessional #12: C-Suite MCN Exec

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a C-Suite executive at a major MCN. He’s been in the space for quite a while now, and was an early employee at one of the major MCN’s in before climbing the ranks.

We covered a number of topics including:
– The early days of YouTube MCN’s and signing creators
– How the relationship with MCN’s and creators has evolved
– How Hollywood’s influence is killing creativity on YouTube
– How money and success can negatively impact on creators


Dear John

If we’re going to believe everything we read, then the word is that influencer marketing is over, bloggers are liars, and content marketing is old-fashioned. It’s as if the executives of every traditional agency bottled up their outdated rage and spewed it into the blogosphere. Yes, social media has changed advertising.

Why didn’t you change with it?

In a recent interview with Business Insider Sir John Hegarty, the accomplished, celebrated founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, stated that people don’t remember compelling web content. “Can anybody tell me, in the last 10 years, a piece of content that people remember and can quote back?” he asks, before invoking Purina’s ”Puppyhood” video with BuzzFeed as a negative: “Nobody I’ve ever spoken to has ever said: ‘Have you seen the BuzzFeed puppy?'”


The Confessional #11: Early YouTube Creator

The Confessional is a series of anonymous interview with influencers, brands, marketers, agencies and MCN executives to get honest, no-bullshit opinions on working in the space – the biggest gripes, the toughest lessons, the most valuable advice.

My latest interviewee is a YouTuber and director, he was among the earliest to adopt the platform and has been posting his videos online since before YouTube even launched.

Some of the highlights from our interview include:
– What the early days (ie 2006) of YouTube were like
– Why it’s best to use YouTube to build a career off platform
– What it was like being an early employee at an MCN


The Confessional #10: Gaming YouTuber

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a popular YouTuber/gamer. He built his channel while still in High School, and managed to turn YouTube into a career after graduation.

We covered a number of topics including:
-How the platform & money has changed the ecosystem
-What it was like working with MCN’s
-Why he left YouTube and got burnt out on the platform


The Confessional #9: Talent Manager

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is the founder of a YouTube management agency.

We covered a lot of ground and dove into some juicy topics, including:
-The process of working with brands and creators
-The role MCN’s currently play with his talent
-Media sales
-The future of MCN’s


The Confessional #8: Ad Agency Executive (About The NewFronts And Digital Media)

Note – This interview for The Confessional was originally published on Tubefilter.

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a senior advertising agency executive who’s worked on the media and strategy side of the business for over a decade. In this extensive interview, we discussed how the ecosystem has evolved, how much advertisers have (and have not) adapted to working with digital influencers, as well as the newfronts and its role in influencing the flow of ad dollars.

Some of the major points we covered were:

  • How the ecosystem has changed over the years
  • The best ways to work with creators
  • The role of Brandcast and the digital newfronts


The Confessional #7: MCN Executive

In my latest interview as part of The Confessional series, my interviewee is the VP at a well-known MCN. This was one of my favorite interviews as the interviewee is a long time friend with a great deal of experience in the industry – he’s worked on the agency side and has worked in senior roles at two major MCN’s.

He helped demystified a lot my preconceived notions on the state of MCN’s, their businesses, intents and roles. Some of the big takeaways/highlights of our conversation include:

  •       The difference between working with agencies versus brands
  •       Why MCN’s Are Like Record Labels
  •       Common misconceptions around MCN’s
  •       The perception of MCN’s as gatekeepers


The Confessional #6: Manager of YouTubers

Note – This interview for The Confessional was originally published on Tubefilter.

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a manager of top YouTube talent. Several of the creator’s in this individuals roster regularly receive tens of millions of YouTube views per month and hundreds of millions per year. In this extensive interview, we discussed the business of YouTube, the goals of this individual’s talent (both on and off YouTube), and the how much money top online video creators are really making. Some of the major points we covered include:

  • SVOD and YouTube competitors
  • YouTubers ‘making it’ on televisions
  • YouTuber revenue streams
  • How much money his top creators are making in a year
  • How creators can better work with brands and vice versa


The Confessional #5: YouTube Creator Since 2008

In this interview, as part of The Confessional series, I sat down with a well-known YouTube creator. He got started on YouTube back in 2008 as a high-schooler, and has built up several successful channels (both in front of the camera and behind it).  

This conversation was a lot of fun – we discussed the early days of YouTube, the impact of sharing one’s life online, digital fame, and the role of emerging video platforms.

Some specific highlights from our conversation include:

  •    What the early Youtube community was like
  •    The Future of YouTube and Digital Celebrity
  •    The importance of diversifying and building communities beyond YouTube
  •    The challenge of both living your life and documenting it for the camera
  •    Advice to brands looking to work in the space