What YouTube can offer filmmakers

With 13 hours of content loaded onto YouTube each minute, it's impossible to ignore the power of the video hosting platform. Learn what delegates at Wildscreen heard this week about how content providers can use the site to its fullest.
October 23, 2008

Did you know that 13 hours of content is uploaded onto YouTube each minute? Or that it has launched in 23 countries, and has plans to do so in the Middle East next? Or that its biggest markets outside the US are Japan and the UK? And how about the fact that it’s already existed for three years? Hard to believe it’s been that long.

Suffice it to say, YouTube is a global phenomenon, and filmmakers are keen to learn how to harness its potential to promote their work. YouTube’s Theo Luke spoke during a session at Wildscreen this week to explain some of the options for content providers looking to make the most of the clip-sharing service. As Luke says, YouTube is two things: a video hosting platform and a social network.

Partnering with YouTube to start a channel for your brand is one way. No money is exchanged for this service, which essentially acts as a customizable MySpace page for your brand. The hosting and streaming are done by YouTube for free.

Using this method, as a content provider you can push people back to your own website from the channel, as well as create an active community (and community is key these days, as we all know). Proving just how strong the community element is in the YouTube realm, Luke says over half of the clips on the site have comments attached. YouTube is also a good place to test drive your new program ideas. As Luke says, Fremantle is launching a program on YouTube before making it a show to see if and how users will respond to it.

In terms of advertising options on YouTube, one is YouTube’s InVideo Ads, what Luke describes as ‘a non-intrusive ad format.’ These are an opportunity for those with YouTube channels to sell advertising on them, including click-to-expand overlays. The revenue from these ads is divided between the content provider and YouTube, with Luke explaining that YouTube will pay you a check.

Luke also mentioned YouTube’s Video ID technology, software that detects frame by frame if a clip has been posted elsewhere, and acts as automatic rights management.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.