Brendan Gahan is an American social media marketer, public speaker, and YouTube marketing expert.
Gahan is founder of Epic Signal, and works with Fortune 500 brands on their YouTube influencer and community building campaigns. Gahan is on the advisory board for Vidcon, the largest YouTube gathering, he was named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising.You can find Brendan on Twitter at @BrendanGahan
The tenth, US based Vidcon, has come to its conclusion.
The conference has grown dramatically, from its humble beginnings – a few hundred people in LA – to tens of thousands of attendees filling the Anaheim Convention Center.
I’ve been to every Vidcon that’s been hosted in the US and its
crazy to look back and see how much it has grown. Brands now flock to Vidcon, and whole
industries have been built upon the influencer economy.
This year I identified five overarching trends that really dominated Vidcon.
In November of 2018, Facebook quietly released Lasso, which a spokesperson described as “a new standalone app for short-form, entertaining videos — from comedy to beauty to fitness and more.”
The app is strikingly similar to the wildly popular app, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech company, ByteDance. TikTok has grown incredibly quickly, with hundreds of millions of active users worldwide, and is increasingly perceived as a threat to Facebook amongst the youth market.
The Moves Traditional Media Made In Digital Video This Year
One thing a lot of people didn’t see coming in 2018 (or at least something I didn’t anticipate) was all the investments traditional media companies made into the social video ecosystem. We saw Viacom, ATT, and Ziff Davis (to name a few) make major investments and virtually overnight become serious players this past year.
One traditional media company in particular stands out – Viacom. Viacom has a long, storied history with the space; they’d been suing Google over alleged copyright violations on YouTube from 2007-2014. As part of that suit Viacom had been seeking $1 billion dollars in damages, but was awarded no money as part of a settlement in 2014.
In looking back on 2018 I’m struck by so many things that failed to come to fruition or get resolved this year.
What happened with IGTV?
What happened to brands becoming publishers?
How did brand safety continue to go unresolved?
What happened to Facebook watch?
There were a lot of great things within the social video world this year, and I’ll try and focus more on the positives in another post, but I can’t help but feel like 2018 was a year with few breakthroughs and really just an extension of the same issues we experienced in 2017.
This is the year that the hype began to fade around the ecosystem. Social video is no longer new. It’s no longer the shiny object and familiarity breeds contempt.
One hundred social videos were created to support the most recent social campaign my agency created for a pizza account… it should last us a couple months.
That much content would have been considered excessive, costly, and unnecessary five years ago.
Today, we as advertisers must approach content in the same way developers approach landing pages. What I mean by this is we have to test and iterate upon the design in order to increase the likelihood a visitor takes the action we want them to take.
Three Takeaways From Forbes List Of The Top 10 Highest-Paid YouTube Stars of 2018
Want to make twenty two million dollars a year to doing toy reviews?
Sounds like a sweet gig, but according to Forbes, seven year old YouTuber Ryan’s ToysReviews has the market cornered and generated the most revenue of any YouTuber this past year.
YouTube has become a wealth generator for a new breed of digital stars. Just over ten years ago YouTube didn’t even have an ad product to help creators make any money – now it’s not uncommon to hear of creators generating 7 figure incomes.
In a lot of ways (and I’m going to borrow this quote from William Gibson), “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”
So much of advertising is stuck in the past – we still spend an obscene amount of money on content that’s unproven, on mediums that have no measurable ROI, on old ways of working with agencies, and on celebrities that may or may not have an impact on a brand’s business.