YouTube has changed the world of video. Sixty minutes of video are uploaded every minute. More than four billion videos are watched every day. 700 videos are shared via Twitter every minute. The statistics blow the previous set away every week.
As a distribution outlet, you can make money as a film producer. Create a channel, post something worth watching (key issue), and register for sharing revenue. There are numerous YouTube producers earning six figures every year.
Vimeo has added to the video distribution model, focusing on technology, film examples, and HD quality. There are countless other distribution outlets, and not everyone is on the mark. Sony’s Crackle network is coined as an entertainment destination. It needs to lose the corporate veil if it is to really catch on. Hulu is everthing that Crackle is not. And the best way to watch it is on Sony’s Playstation. What? What is up with Sony? But, I digress…
So, where does this leave those of us who create content?
The answer is: unlimited potential, remarkable access, and the need to be a good storyteller remains constant.
From a technology perspective, things are looking pretty good out there. HD cameras have become extremely inexpensive. HD lenses continue to be pricey, but overall, the tools are getting downright cheap. The GoPro device/camera (surf’s up!) is a modern miracle and allows almost anyone to create remarkable imagery for $300.00. Cheap.
Have you seen Motorcycle vs. Car Drift Battle 2? If not – stop what you’re doing and spend eight minutes of your life saying “whoa!”
Here’s a story about a couple of motorcycle drifters who break into some off limits twisties to have some fun, and a driftin’ cop decides to chase ’em down. It’s about eight minutes of absolute fun, with no real story or plot. You’re absorbed in the great riding, drifting, and video imagery that is being shown. And while I don’t know exactly what it cost to produce, assume it was about one tenth of what it would have cost just a few years ago. Icon Motorsports, the producer, totally gets the value of using video to market their products. In six weeks, more than eight million people have watched this video.
On the other hand…
The thing that still requires absolute talent is the storytelling process. A good story lasts long after the whiz-bang of technology has kicked the bucket. The documentary about Joseph Kony is an excellent example of the power critical thinking and powerful storytelling. While the charity behind the film certainly has an agenda, this video has blasted its way through the Internet, and with millions upon millions of viewers, mostly young people, it’s outdone major blockbuster films in terms of viewership. Even Forbes is writing about how important critical thinking is relative to telling good stories, including the impact of the Kony doc.
As technology gets less expensive, the importance of quality content become more valuable, and as a result, has greater financial context as well. There’s nothing quite like a good story. I just wish we could find more of them.