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article imageNew App gives social media stars more control

By Simon Crompton     Jun 27, 2014 in Entertainment
Making the most of another's platform and marketing your brand to the max can get risky when the platform decides to change gameplans. That's exactly what happened when YouTube decided to take down some songs from its collection of online choices.
Needless to say, those artists were not happy. What they thought was an open forum for sharing soon became restrictive. Taking advantage of this move, Yahoo has announced plans to offer video service for those who YouTube has shut down.
In fact, several other players in the video streaming scene plan to enter the space. Former YouTube executives are launching a startup geared to give former YouTube stars a place where they connect closely to their fans — no strings attached.
The new venture, called Victorious, plans to produce what they call "mobile hub apps" for online phenomena like Boyce Avenue, Michelle Phan and Shay Carl, who have secured 5.8 million, 6.6 million and 1.2 million subscribers respectively on YouTube. This is as impressive as some very famous models who have gathered huge social media following themselves.
“These individual personalities have grown into bona fide media brands,” says Bing Chen. He was head of global creator development and management at YouTube until leaving in May to join Victorious.
“Most of these people have enormous audiences, but those audiences are fragmented.”
Vloggers, as they are known, can make up to seven figures from YouTube. Because of endorsements and deals with well-known brands, Phan makes a whopping $5 million a year. Google, however, skims 45 percent of the revenue by posting pre-roll ads. Over on Vine and Instagram, stars have no way of measuring or monetizing their popularity.
“The creators are essentially renting their audiences on other platforms,” says Chen. He adds that Victorious will offer better monetization options, including ads, in-app purchases and subscriptions. “We’re much more the technology engine facilitating the experience.”
The goal is to put more power in the hands of creators, so as they grow, the platform prospers. Putting shackles on these online stars only hurts everyone in the long run. By offering a variety of marketing and advertising options, artists can customize their offering to best meet their community's needs, bringing in more views and more ad dollars.
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