TNW Europe Recap
I was fortunate enough to speak at The Next Web Europe conference two weeks ago in Amsterdam. Probably the best conference I’ve been to, it was a great mix of smart people who were all there to connect and have fun in the process.
I’m relatively happy with how my talk turned out. It was a large crowd, so I had some early jitters in the beginning, but got in a groove fairly quick. If you’re interested you can see my talk below.
Thanks to the crew at The Next Web, Sophie in particular, for putting together such an amazing event and great group of people!
YouTube vs Facebook Engagement [Infographic]
With a lot of press around Facebook’s self-imposed declining engagement rates. I was really curious about engagement rates for Youtube vs Facebook communities, specifically with regards to brands. Brands have invested a great deal of ad dollars into growing their Facebook Fan bases, but now Facebook is basically suppressing organic reach.
So, I was curious – are the brand communities on each platform equal in terms of engagement? To try and find an answer, I took a look the top 5 from each and pulled the rate of comments per post or upload over a one week period. I chose comments as the sole indicator of engagement because comments are apples to apples. There are no dislikes on Facebook (but there are on YouTube, etc). So I figured focus on what I can measure.
While brands have incredibly large Facebook communities, their average engagement rates (at least for comments) is significantly less than YouTube.
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Letter From 2013
A friend forwarded an email I’d sent him in response to some questions and a conversation he and I had about the MCN business from a year or so ago. His fwd was sparked by the Disney/Maker acquisition. Interesting reading it now knowing what’s happened already. I got a few things right–
Front Seat At The White House
Back in December, I was fortunate enough to be invited to The White House Youth Summit, which was “made of up 160 of this country’s finest national and local leaders aged 18-35.” It was a pretty incredible experience. Obama came and spoke to the group (check out the video below), and I got to speak with the Obama administration’s staff, including the digital team. The event made news nationwide and was picked up by CNN, USA Today, LATimes, and dozens of other outlets.
The event was December 4th of last year, and the day started in the early afternoon. After going through multiple security checkpoints, I eventually arrived at the South Court Auditorium, which looks a lot like the traditional press/briefing rooms you see in movies. The room has a small stage with big blue drapes and a podium with the presidential seal; it felt like something right out of the West Wing.
After signing in everyone spent some time taking photos before a swarm of press came in and quickly lined up across the back. Within five minutes there must have been 20 major TV networks and cameras set up. After a short introduction Obama waltzed in, and the small room erupted with hoots and applause; he called us a rowdy group, which I think we all felt a sense of pride in. It was exciting seeing the president in person, and also disarming how relaxed he seemed, at times leaning on the podium and seemingly speaking off the cuff and cracking jokes.
Yahoo Considers a YouTube Knock-Off…Sort Of
Re/Code reported yesterday that Yahoo is considering a plan to woo away top YouTube talent to help ramp up the company’s web video presence. However, Yahoo isn’t planning to let users upload video to their platform, which makes the comparison to YouTube rather baffling — it’s the openness of the platform that puts the “you” in YouTube, after all. Instead, it seems that Yahoo is attempting something more akin to AOL On, a delivery system for curated content, which also poached proven YouTube talent.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Yahoo’s attempt will bear fruit. By cherry-picking established YouTubers, the company may be able to draw an audience — and thus advertisers — to the site, but this model for content delivery seems unlikely to threaten YouTube’s dominance. After all, it’s really just an online version of the old-fashioned television network model, and Yahoo will be competing with sites like Hulu and Netflix for a share of the online video pie.
YouTube Is Overtaking Traditional Media
Check out my Betabeat post on this topic.
YouTube has overtaken Hollywood. This crop of Jon Stewarts, and Ari Emanuel’s didn’t rise to prominence through ruthless boardroom tactics, climbing the corporate ladder, or auditioning for a breakout role. They built an audience from their bedrooms using YouTube to broadcast themselves to the world. With one billion unique monthly users, six billion hours of video watched each month, and over 100 hours worth of video uploaded each minute YouTube has captured the attention of an entire generation, becoming the single most popular site among youth today.
YouTuber, Charles Trippy and his unsigned band, We The Kings, knocked Beyonce off her #1 spot on iTunes two days after her most recent album dropped.
Odds are you’re not aware of the impact these YouTubers are having if you’re over the age of 25, but that doesn’t mean its not there. They’re building media empires, clothing and fashion lines, and their doing it with the audiences they alone can wield. I don’t believe YouTube is the future of media. I believe it’s already arrived.