Sunday, November 16, 2014

Is YouTube the New Television?

Jonathan Ford at FT writes:
There are few certainties in modern broadcasting but Dominic Smales is “100 per cent sure” that he knows one of them: the small-screen stars of the future will be minted on social media. “In a few years it will seem totally outmoded to have a commissioning editor deciding what goes on our television screens and then forcing performers in front of an audience,” he says fervently.

We are talking in a small office in London’s tech district of Shoreditch, out of which Smales, 41, runs Gleam Futures, one of Britain’s first “social talent” agencies, and from where he is determined to shake up the staid world of traditional media....

The offline deals YouTubers have struck bear witness to this uncanny power. Pixiwoo, for instance, have launched a hugely successful make-up brush brand in Britain that is also growing fast in the US. And when Zoella decided that writing was a “passion of mine”, Penguin promptly paid her £50,000 for a two-book deal.

Will Awdry, an advertising director lately at Ogilvy, calls vloggers “crowdsourced people’s champions”. In their mouths, he says, even marketing messages seem to become something akin to honest personal recommendations: “It’s as though the audience has taken a TripAdvisor advocate and willed them into a celebrity.”

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