TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

YouTube’s Response to Building a Web Brand

July 2, 2008 11:40 AM

Yesterday I posted a column urging Web video creators to focus on building their own brands for their Web shows, not YouTube’s. You can read the column here.

Yesterday evening, YouTube spokeswoman Julie Supan emailed me her thoughts on the piece. In the interests of transparency, I’d like to share her comments with you. I also told her I would be doing so and she was cool with that.

Here’s what YouTube says about building a brand for a Web show.

“In my opinion, you make some good points about brand building (being a marketer), but I’m not sure you presented a full, balanced case for your argument. Brands need to use all the resources on the Web to build value and audience. YouTube is one of many distribution channels for size and reach as well as advertising potential/impressions. As Jordan [Hoffner, YouTube director of content partnerships] mentioned when you met with him, capturing all audiences wherever they are is the way to go—a multiplatform strategy with your site only being one of many distribution channels. You cannot dismiss the people who ‘surf and look around,’ as they could be a new audience rather than those that already know what they are looking for. Again, each strategy has a unique approach.”

She does make a good point about people who surf on YouTube and find new shows that way.

So yes, I think creators should have their videos on YouTube as part of a super-distribution strategy. But I still contend the best bet is to build your show’s brand so viewers will watch on your site, or via RSS, or on iTunes.

What do you think?


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Comments (3)

Ted McEnroe:

Ultimately, YouTube is fine and dandy, but it's a model that isn't really sustainable for most video producers. It generates great revenue opportunity for YouTube, but the benefits for the producer/creator are indirect. Ask a viewer what they saw that was so great, and they'll more likely say "a great YouTube video" than "a great video by Brand X". Especially if Brand X doesn't have the established brand of a network.

Is YouTube part of the strategy? Sure. It's tough to ignore. But Daisy, you're dead on that the best way to use YouTube is to reach people you otherwise can't, while making sure you're figuring out how to build a closer and stronger (ideally interactive) relationship with your viewers.

At least that's where my head is today.

One route is to always put a teaser up onto YouTube and try to get people to watch the full episode on your own website.

Robin Azis:

It all depends on what you are trying to achieve as a content creator / producer. YouTube is a great distribution platform and a good way to get your content noticed and to test concepts. But if you really want to create content that is going to create real value for yourself or your business then you need to develop a multi platform approach and concentrate on building your own brand.

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