Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Building A Billion-Dollar Enterprise, 25: An ugly milestone; a way forward; a huge question.

A couple of my Facebook friends shared links today to an article in the New Pittsburgh Courier about the disappearance of black-owned television stations in the U.S. (not "reduction," not "decimation" - disappearance. There are now none.)

In the article's comments section, reader Rob Wilson, after acknowledging "the power and influence of the mass media," says:

"My suggestion would be to quit lamenting the fact that we don't own old technology and instead leverage new technologies that have no barriers to entry."

In so saying, Mr. Wilson is preaching what he practices as the owner of a blog (like me!) and a YouTube channel (like me!). For him, the death of Black-owned televisions stations marks not a dead end, but a change in direction.

His comments led me to think about how to make best use of Homewood Nation's YouTube channel.

I decided to see what the most popular YouTube channels do.

The first response to my Google search for "most popular YouTube channels" was a list of the top 100 most subscribed channels, at vidstatsx.com.

According to that list, here are the top 10:

One Hundred Most Subscribed Channel Rankings List by Subscribers
Video ProducerSub
Subscribers24 Hour
Sub +/-
7 Day
Sub +/-
Video ProducerSub
Subscribers24 Hour
Sub +/-
7 Day
Sub +/-
PewDiePiePewDiePie YouTube ChannelPewDiePie Video Stats119,230,8462,453,6312,453,6311.6K3.19 BTweet
YouTube SpotlightYouTube Spotlight YouTube ChannelYouTube Spotlight Video Stats219,035,7152,258,5002,258,500187384.3 MTweet
MoviesMovies YouTube ChannelMovies Video Stats315,966,41538,988247,30200Tweet
SmoshSmosh YouTube ChannelSmosh Video Stats415,038,34730,038217,9593372.87 BTweet
HolaSoyGermanHolaSoyGerman YouTube ChannelHolaSoyGerman Video Stats514,255,69130,286205,61795949.2 MTweet
JennaMarblesJennaMarbles YouTube ChannelJennaMarbles Video Stats611,943,56017,390106,1351751.33 BTweet
RihannaVEVORihannaVEVO YouTube ChannelRihannaVEVO Video Stats711,913,79514,950121,570834.54 BTweet
nigahiganigahiga YouTube Channelnigahiga Video Stats811,278,52614,34596,6041731.67 BTweet
TV ShowsTV Shows YouTube ChannelTV Shows Video Stats911,139,5323,54428,04000Tweet
OneDirectionVEVOOneDirectionVEVO YouTube ChannelOneDirectionVEVO Video Stats1011,007,25517,799142,322832.34 BTweet

Quick observations:

1 - The #1 channel, PewDiePie, is listed as having just under 19,231,000 subscribers. As of this writing, there are 19,242,643.

2 - During the week of Dec. 9, according to Nielsen, the most-viewed series on primetime network TV, NCIS, drew 19,297,000 viewers.

3 - Three of the top 10 channels are YouTube-branded channels - Spotlight, Movies, and TV Shows.

4 - Two channels, Rihanna and OneDirection, belong to celebrities.

5 - Half of the top 10 channels - five of 10 - belong to seemingly ordinary people who set out to make people laugh. Comedy is big. Very big.

I have always envied people who can make people laugh.

Hm. Could Homewood Nation produce satire?

For some time, I have envisioned a weekly video series (working title, "Homewood Nation Week in Review") - perhaps one segment of that, which could stand on its own, would be a 3-5 minute clip satirizing some aspect of the week's news.

Or maybe not: the 14th ranked YouTube channel, Epic Rap Battles of History, does not seem overly dependent on the news for its content, which I will not even attempt to describe. Just watch.

In any case, the idea is there: short, funny, topical videos could provide value.

Another thing worth noting. ERBH posts new episodes every two weeks. YouTube producers have flexibility in when to broadcast their content. I like the idea of a weekly broadcast, but not everything has to follow that schedule.

There's lots more to think about - the differences between stations and networks, the opportunities afforded (or not) by new digital networks, the increasing ability to watch YouTube on TVs, the possibility of a channel hosting subscriber-created content - but I don't want spend ALL of 2013's final hours on this. I will end with just one question of gigantic importance to my 2014 - and maybe Homewood's:

What type of content would you like to see on Homewood Nation's YouTube channel?

(AN HOUR LATER) - WOW. I just realized that I should ask a second question, which may be more powerful than the first: Would you like to provide content for Homewood Nation's YouTube channel, and if so, what kind?

(GOTTA get past that do-it-all mentality; it's not about me, it's about the work, and the work includes releasing/unveiling the potential of other people.)
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