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


The Confessional #4: C-Suite Executive at an MCN

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a former C-Suite executive at a well known MCN. In this extensive interview we covered a great deal of material, including what he feels MCN’s should be offering creators and wow creators often get sucked into signing with MCN’s and why there’s no loyalty between creators and MCN’s.

The major points of our interview transcript include:

  •           – Why YouTube created MCN’s and how they’ve evolved
  •           – Why creators often sign with MCN’s
  •           – How brands should work with creators


The Confessional #3: YouTube Creator With Over 2 Million Subscribers

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

This latest interviewee for The Confessional is with a YouTube creator who has over two million subscribers across multiple channels. This creator is extremely well known, and has been on YouTube since 2008. He has (yes, it’s a he) a wealth of knowledge working with brands and building up channels.

He’s one of the most professional YouTube creators I’ve ever worked with and approaches his channel like a business in a way that few other creators do. He shared his approach to dealing with brands, managing brand deals, as well as his thoughts on how creators can better sell themselves to brands and get paid what they’re worth.

Some of the highlights from our interview include:

  • His ‘Fuck You’ approach he takes to working with brands
  • How YouTubers can negotiate and prove their value to brands and agencies
  • Insight into how YouTube has changed (as well as how to keep up with future changes)



The Confessional #2: MCN Vice President

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a VP at a well-known MCN. In this interview we focused our conversation on the display media side of the YouTube ecosystem. We also discussed the challenges that often arise in working with creators and brands – that a great deal of talent are burning bridges with brands, while surrounding themselves with ‘yes men’.

The major points of our chat include:

  •       The difference between buying on reserve vs Trueview
  •       Why more people should be buying media on reserve
  •       Whether MCN’s actually increase CPM’s for their talent
  •       How many YouTubers don’t understand brands