VidCon US 2018 – Top Takeaways From the World of Online Video

Last week marked my annual pilgrimage to the land of screaming tweens and selfie sticks: VidCon. This year 30,000+ creators, fans, and industry representatives descended on the Anaheim Convention Center to celebrate the world of online video. But just as the video ecosystem evolves with each passing year, this year’s 9th annual VidCon brought its fair share of changes too. Here are my top takeaways:

 

1. Platform Competition is Heating Up

Social media platforms are vying for IRL attention just as much as they compete for digital audiences’ clicks, views, and watchtime. YouTube, a longtime VidCon sponsor, delivered a keynote about building online communities and hosted one of the conference’s most popular parties. Amazon sponsored the industry lounge while Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitch hosted lavish creator lounges. Pinterest and Instagram offered seminars to help creators succeed on their platforms, and Musical.ly teamed up with UTA to host a Friday night happy hour for influencers and industry track attendees. Even LinkedIn put together a panel highlighting its emerging influencer community.

 

2. VidCon is now a Tentpole for Major Product Announcements

Not only did the social platforms have a major presence for the first time this year, but they’ve started leveraging the conference as an anchor for big product announcements. Just days before VidCon, Facebook announced its Brands Collab Manager to connect brands and influencers for sponsorship opportunities, and Instagram launched IGTV as a long-form video app for creators. Not to be outdone, YouTube took advantage of the event to introduce Premieres and other new revenue streams for creators, including channel memberships and merchandise.

 

3. Re-Investing in Upcoming Creators is Essential

During his annual keynote, VidCon founder Hank Green announced a new program to provide $2,000 grants to a different aspiring influencer each week for the next year. This VidCon Creator Grant Program will help emerging creators invest in better equipment and higher quality content.

 

4. Panel Diversity is on the Rise

There was noticeably more variety in session programming for all conference tracks this year, showcasing different voices and offering fresh perspectives. The speaker lineup included more representation from traditional Hollywood, large brand advertisers, and sports leagues. Session content ranged widely too, from key content verticals like children’s entertainment and esports to practical tips for creators and marketers like identifying fake followers and diversifying monetization streams. I was fortunate to moderate a particularly fascinating discussion about the psychology of digital media on adolescents with Dr. Jessica Taylor Piotrowski from the Center for Research on Children, Adolescents, where we dug into how youth are affected by media consumption.

 

5. TanaCon Succeeded (Kinda)

Sure, Tana Mongeau’s attempt to organize a competing fan event was ultimately canceled due to concerns over creator security. But the moral of TanaCon is the massive community response. It’s clear that some creators don’t feel as welcome at VidCon and that fans are eager for more personal ways to connect with their favorite influencers. The outcome here (overwhelming demand and overcrowding) proves the success of the model, so expect to see more satellite events offering a more direct-to-fan experience eat into the VidCon audience in the future, especially for more controversial influencers and niche communities.

All told, this year’s VidCon was bigger and more successful than ever, demonstrating the continued growth and potential of the online video industry. Social platforms are offering more tools to help influencers create and monetize content, fans are eager for more ways to interact with the creators they love, and traditional media companies are finally figuring out how to program for online audiences. Now, it’s up to marketers to understand how to best leverage these trends to build passion brands in the new age of the influencer.

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YouTube Partner Program Changes: Everything You Need To Know (And How Paladin Can Help)

 

YOUTUBE PARTNER PROGRAM: WHAT IS CHANGING

As you’ve probably heard by now, YouTube has introduced new eligibility requirements for  the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which allows creators to monetize their content. Sparked by growing brand safety concerns, these changes aim to protect YouTube’s advertisers from running ads on low quality content or content deemed unsafe for brands.

As of January 16, 2018, in order to join or remain eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, channels must have at least 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months, and at least 1,000 subscribers. Once a channel meets these requirements, they will also be further evaluated for community strikes, spam, or other abuse flags in order to monetize.

These changes will definitely have an impact on MCNs and influencer networks, but don’t panic! In order to help you prepare, we’ve put together a helpful Q&A, and outlined solutions Paladin has created to help.

 

MCN QUESTIONS ANSWERED

What will happen to channels in an MCN that do not meet these new requirements?

According to YouTube, channels that do not meet these new Partner Program requirements will be fully demonetized and removed from CMS accounts by February 20, 2018.

How will this impact MCN revenue?

According to YouTube, about 99% of channels that will be removed from YPP are making less than $100.00 per year, with 90% making less than $2.50 in the last month.

Across Paladin’s clients with MCNs, we estimate a very small decline in gross monthly revenue from YouTube as a result of these changes, an average of -0.25%.

How will this impact the size of MCNs?

For most MCNs, Paladin predicts a significant reduction in the number of channels in CMS accounts, on average 80%. Note that the amount of channels that will be removed varies greatly across networks.

The silver lining is that this channel reduction will likely neutralize any gross revenue lost, or even result in revenue gains, as MCNs will make monthly payments to a smaller pool of creators, and in turn will shoulder fewer payment transaction fees.

If you are a Paladin client and would like specific estimates on the impact of  the YPP changes on your MCN, please contact your account manager.

 

SOLUTIONS FROM PALADIN

Can I still work with my creators that do not meet the new minimum requirements for YPP?

Yes! With the recent updates to Paladin, you are now able to add and manage creators who are NOT inside of a YouTube CMS. This works by having your creators authorize their YouTube or other social accounts directly with Paladin. You can still monitor their data, pitch them in campaigns, store all of their relevant personal data, and more!

Can I still accept applications from creators that do not meet the new minimum requirements for YPP?

Yes! You can accept new applications from creators who are ineligible for YPP and manage them within Paladin. Though note, you will be unable to invite them to a CMS and collect revenue from them until they reach the YPP eligibility threshold.

If you decide that you’d prefer not to work with a creator until they meet the YouTube Partner Program requirements, you can easily flag them in our system and send them an automated email explaining that they have not met the requirements. You can also monitor them and re-engage them when they do meet the requirements

Can I block creators from applying to my network if they do not meet the new YPP requirements?

Yes! Paladin can block applications from creators that do not meet the new YouTube Partner Program requirements.

 

Though YouTube is certainly enforcing rapid changes across their platform, our goal at Paladin remains the same: to offer easy navigation and understanding of these changes for our partners, and provide flexibility to run and grow your company using our tools.

Do you have additional feature requests related to the recent YouTube Partner Program changes? Feel free to contact us at [email protected]


Paladin is the essential influencer management platform. Trusted by media companies, brands, and agencies across 5 continents, our technology streamlines talent discovery, influencer management, and campaign reporting.

Paladin operates globally, with offices in the North America (Los Angeles, USA), Europe (Kraków, Poland), and Asia (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). Learn more at paladinsoftware.com.

 

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