Video is, without a doubt, increasingly the key communications format for just about everything - be it music, entertainment, news or communications. Facebook alone sees 8 billion average daily video views from its 500 million users, while Snapchat hits 6 billion video views every day.
A staggering percentage of the most-frequently viewed videos are user-generated. YouTuber PewDiePie’s video game vlogs tally 39.9 million subscribers and just passed10 billion views. Compare that to pop-music darling Taylor Swift, who counts 16.5 million subscribers and 6.3 billion views on YouTube/Vevo.
Key to this discrepancy is the sheer volume: Swift has 20 videos available; PewDiePie has nearly 2,500. YouTube stars are garnering vast audiences and supposedly enviable revenue while music artists and the music industry continue to see YouTube only as a marketing platform and just one of many revenue streams. However, new consumption patterns and a specific YouTube culture are emerging, changing the connection between fan and star, as well as the rules of fandom, as observed by Mark Mulligan of Midia Consulting.
Music 4.5: The YouTube Paradox will explore what music can learn from the success of YouTube’s range of successful creators and dissect how the music industry can appeal to a new generation of viewers and consumers. The questions we will be asking are:
• Does YouTube need to be re-defined? Is it ‘just’ a marketing tool?
• Is the music industry learning from the YouTube native creators?
• The business models - what can be learned and transferred?
• How can the music industry take new consumption patterns into account?
• With a large number of videos, the YouTubers are collecting significant sums in ad revenue – how can music artists achieve the equivalent?
• What is the role of brands?
“One of the intriguing paradoxes (or at least apparent paradoxes) is how a generation of native YouTube stars can create both vast audiences and revenue while for music artists YouTube is simply a place to build awareness and probably lose net revenue due to YouTube streams cannibalizing paid streams. So how can the model both be broken (for music) and yet buoyant for native YouTuber creators?” Mark Mulligan, Midia Consulting