The way we access content is fundamentally changing. Shorter-form content continues to grow apace and, at the same time, viewing is fragmenting across myriad devices and screens. Helping drive this change has been the emergence of a new generation of distribution platforms that blend professional video, user generated content and social media.
YouTube and Facebook, which between them boast 19 billion daily views worldwide, offer huge online platforms to video content producers but television is also entering the market.
Sky’s new TV service Sky Q includes an online video section, bringing together content from many digital creators, including Barcroft Media, Red Bull Media House and GoPro. And youth brand Vice recently announced that its first European linear TV channel, Viceland, would launch in September.
MCNs are big business, with the leaders among them like Vice, Maker Studios, Red Bull and Fullscreen proving adept at reaching young people, often reaching hundreds of millions of viewers globally.
Having traditionally built their audiences for online stars like PewDiePie and Zoella principally through YouTube, MCNs are increasingly branching out to find new audience on other platforms, including Facebook, as well as more traditional outlets like theatrical-release films and TV channels.
Introducing the first session of the Convention, Cambridge Chair and Channel 4 CEO, Alex Mahon, posed a stark question: “Is there simply too much content?”
And then a follow-up – “And with content as king, hasn’t distribution now become King Kong?” – before offering some typically honest answers.
“We’ve been in a frantic race for eyeballs, advertising dollars and subscription cash, and that race, like some kind of gigantic global grand prix, has been driven by hubristic spending on video creation.
The innovative ways in which producers, broadcasters and streamers are partnering with social media platforms to attract new audiences and generate revenue was recently the subject of a lively RTS panel, “How broadcasters and platforms are working together”.
The partnership is part of Channel 4’s mission to become a digital first broadcaster for younger audiences.
The deal will mean that hundreds of hours of Channel 4 and E4 hit shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats, SAS: Who Dares Wins and The Dog House will be available on YouTube.
Channel 4 will also be able to sell its own advertising around the shows, allowing an increase in new revenue streams.
Youtube Originals presents a Century Films production which how a bullying culture still exists in the UK film and TV industry. Using powerful testimony from real-life survivors working in the industry, actors deliver their stories to create an unsettling and potent look at what continues to happen in some parts of the industry.
Directed by Brian Hill and executive produced by Luke Hyams.
The digital documentary will explore why there are still barriers for top footballers being openly LGBTQ+, with many Premier League football players often experiencing numerous challenges if they come out publicly.
Produced by Bullion Productions, the documentary will show the pressure players face if they decide to come out and the reaction that invokes from other players, fans, press, social media and financial donors.
Archive footage will be used to show what previously happened in historical case studies and how that has changed over time.
Only a few days before Robert Kyncl sat down for his international keynote session at this year’s RTS Convention, he was on the red carpet in New York for that most exclusive of affairs, the annual Met Gala, presided over militarily by Anna Wintour.
It is testament to the cultural significance of YouTube’s chief business officer that the Vogue supremo invited Kyncl to fill a whole table at the Gala with his own guests, mostly super-successful content creators on YouTube.