But that is a pipe dream for Content Creators, affectionately called YouTubers, who battle a sea of noise to be discovered. The YouTube Press Page explains among their statistics that over 100 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. For a Content Creator new to YouTube that makes it a tall mountain to climb from zero subscribers to several million and compete on the level of micro celebrities like Niko and Sam of Corridor Digital and Freddie Wong of Rocket Jump.
Now that YouTube has begun to develop and favour the top 300-500 channels the rumors are out that paltry income from ad revenue will dry up even further than when YouTube opened its partner program to any and all creators in 2012. “YouTube made sense in the past when ad revenue would help compensate for the costs of productions. Now you can't economically survive on the ad revenue which has been forcing production value down so far that from strong webisodic narratives you will find more and more garbage cat videos and 'let's play' video blogs,” explains Carey Martell, a Content Creator in the gaming genre turned advocate and entrepreneur.
The 'let's play' video blogs have become the bread and butter of content these days because it costs little money to sit at your computer or console and play a professional video game while recording your audio of wise cracks and rants. These sorts of economics leaves little wiggle room for creatives like Freddie Wong and his web series Video Game High School Season 2 with a highly publicised budget of 1.3 million. Wong and his collaborators continue to make their transition into the film industry with long form content leaving YouTube in their wake. “You can almost hear them say 'thanks for all the fish',” pines Martell whose answer to the possible death-knell of sustainable ad revenue is for Content Creators to set fair prices for their video content. “This issue frustrated me as a Youtuber so I went out and pooled the money to code a solution.” That solution is now accessible to YouTubers as 'Powerup TV', a internet television station.
“Power Up TV is TV scheduling meets banner ads bidding. You set the price of ads on your website and run channels of internet TV from videos you selected across the internet.” says Martell.
While much of the video consists of amateur productions and cat videos there has been a growing contingent of aspiring filmmakers and artists who have found their voice on YouTube as they broadcast their content to the world. In order to scale up their views and audience they often have to scale up their production value well ahead of where the YouTube economics can support them. With Powerup TV, Martell is suggesting that a YouTuber can sell ads similar to the way they would banner ads on their website. For the viewer they are seeing a playlist of highly curated content, courtesy of the Youtuber, and between program advertising that was automated through Powerup TV.
Martell went on to say that the system is designed with the content creator in mind so that control is back in their hands and keeps their production from devaluation to the worth of pennies. If it is a gift for content creators or even an exploitable tool for bloggers and information marketers seeking better placement of their messaging, the only certainty is that creative content will continue to find a way to be discovered and ideally be afforded the value it deserves.