YouTube Millionaires: Nerdist Industries Likes To "Scout" Its Own Path by Bree Brouwer of Tubefilter

Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.

From science to cosplay to bowling, Nerdist Industries is basically a one-stop-shop for nerds who want quality news and entertainment. Started by Chris Hardwick (host of @midnight for Comedy Central) as a podcast, and now serving the digital division of Legendary Entertainment, Nerdist has grown into a stockpile of some of the best nerd-related podcasts, news shows, original scripted content, and other media. Its YouTube channel was even included in the YouTube Original Channels Initiative.

Now, the production company can brag about its channel even more thanks to hitting the 1 million subscriber milestone (we’re surprised it didn’t happen sooner.) Nerdist has plenty of amazing content up its sleeves for the future, so we talked to Adam Rymer, President of Nerdist Industries, about the company’s success and how it got to where it is today.

Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to Nerdist fans?

Adam Rymer: For the whole Nerdist team it feels amazing, it’s always nice to be liked, so thank you to all of the subscribers out there. We’re incredibly lucky to have the fan support that allows us to keep doing what we’re doing.

TF: The term “nerd” has taken on a broad meaning. When thinking about content, how do you define it?

AR: We’re all nerds about something. Science, movies, video games, animation. Our goal in content is to support those who know their specific interests, but also expose people to new areas with a Nerdist-style. “Nerd” for us means being passionate, not necessarily critical, so we try to create positive content across a range of topics.

TF: What fueled your decision to move Nerdist Channel content away from scripted content?

AR: You’ll start to see more scripted content coming through soon. We wanted to give our audience a chance to get to know our team here a little better, which hopefully they are between The Dan Cave, Nerdist: Play, and Nerdist News. Going forward we will be balancing editorial based shows against more original series.

TF: With Nerdist News, how do you balance the responsibility to report the news with the desire to entertain your viewers?

AR: At the end of the day, our company is made up of people who are truly fans of what we’re covering. We look at it the same way many in our audience would as in, “Ok, that’s exciting news, but what does it mean and when can we get our hands on it!” Sometimes we get a little carried away with excitement as well…(cough)…[Jessica] Chobot.

TF: How would you say the Nerdist Channel’s roots in the YouTube Original Channels Initiative helped it grow into the channel it is today?

AR: From a timing perspective it was a great promotional help so people could see all the things Nerdist was already doing like the Podcasts and news coverage. The YouTube channel gave us a new platform to reach an audience and at the same time, develop a more direct relationship with our fans which has impacted the kind of programming that we offer.

TF: On a similar note, do you think Legendary’s influence has affected the Nerdist Channel’s approach in any noticeable ways?

AR: In some ways it’s like being a movie fan whose uncle happens to be Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. We scout our own path, but every now and then it’s not too difficult to make a call and say, “Hey, our fans would really like [X], can you help us out?” So that will increasingly help us with content we’re making going forward.

TF: How has Chris Hardwick’s involvement in the Nerdist Channel changed as the channel has evolved?

AR: Chris is as involved as ever. I think he’s taken efficiency to a new standard and may want to write a book about it. He continues to drive the creative vision of Nerdist Industries and has been invaluable in taking the company into uncharted territories like the upcoming All Star Celebrity Bowling series Nerdist is co-producing for AMC.

TF: Any plans for more All-Star Celebrity Bowling?

AR: Tune into AMC in 2015!

TF: What’s next for the Nerdist Channel? Anything interesting on the horizon?

AR: This fall we will be launching new subject-specific shows with our editors as well as a new fall line-up of scripted shows that should be announced in the coming days.

On Deck (channels that will soon reach one million subscribers): Makeup Geek, DotaCinema, Tessa Violet

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