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.
Despite the degree to which YouTube has changed over the first decade of its existence, there has always been room on the video site for some well-crafted user-generated content (UGC). UGC refers to the sort of videos you think of when you think “viral video:” hilarious “fails,” awe-inspiring “wins,” and all forms of cute animals and babies.
One of the kings of YouTube UGC is JukinVideo. It’s part of the Jukin Media family, and it features fully-licensed UGC videos in all their forms. It also comments on these viral clips through compilations and clip shows such as Top Five. JukinVideo is now over one million subscribers, so we talked to its on-camera host and the audience development manager, Ricardo Marquez, to get his thoughts on the world of UGC.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have 1 million subscribers? What do you want to say to your fans?
JukinVideo: It’s a pretty indescribable feeling to see that huge M next to our subscriber count. We’re incredibly stoked to have such rad fans who come in each and every day to comment on whatever video we post. To those fans, I wanna say thank you for being amazing and chatting with me every single day in the comments. Wouldn’t be here without you.
TF: How did JukinVideo come to be? What was the thought process behind it?
JV: JukinVideo started off as a home to some of our favorite videos from the Jukin library. Early on we realized it could be much more than that, so we began to position the channel as THE place for the latest and greatest viral videos, along with a ton of other great content that’s maybe less well known. We wanted it to be a platform where UGC video owners would get exposure to a large audience that they otherwise would not have access to. We’re picky about what gets posted on the channel and our fans appreciate that we don’t just pump out clips every second of the day. We keep it very high quality by design.
TF: How do you find videos to include on JukinVideo? Are they submitted new or pulled from your library?
JV: The way we curate videos on JukinVideo is a combination of both. We can pull from the Jukin Media library which is full of hidden gems, and we have access to brand new videos that are on the cusp of going viral. We also get a ton of videos through submissions because people love to get featured on the channel. If anybody has a video, send it our way!
TF: How do you decide which clips to include in compilations or the monthly “best of” videos?
JV: It’s actually a fun and awesome process to go through when we build out our compilations. For our themed compilations, we’ll get in a room every month and pitch what theme we think our fans would love. From there, we then go into the JukinVideo library and find the very best clips from that theme. After we pool together a ton of clips, we’ll jokingly argue with each other and fight for our favorite clips we want in the compilation.
As for our Best of the Week/Month series, we get a ton of amazing clips in every day and we try to figure out what clips will be uploaded as single clips to the channel and which ones would do best in a compilation. Once that’s done, we have an incredible editing team that puts it together and work some magic on it to make it 100x times better. You can’t just string some clips together when you make a compilation, and our editors know that. It takes a little bit of skill and magic to get the flow right on a compilation.
TF: On a similar, what qualities make for a good user-generated viral clip?
JV: Well first off, please shoot horizontally. But honestly, what makes a good user-generated video is just striking some sort of emotion or connection with a viewer. I know that may sound incredibly cheesy and I’m sure this answer has been mentioned time and time again but it’s true. Most recently, we put up our Best Summer Ever compilation and seeing comments from fans was pretty hilarious to see. The compilation was filled with a lot of nostalgia moments and fans reacted to it. Some were really bummed about Summer ending but others were telling stories about what they did over the past few months. We struck some sort of emotional chord with fans but everyone was happy in the end and that’s what it is all about.
TF: What does the legal process look like when you acquire a clip and want to include it on your channel?
JV: This is a great question because there are a lot of YouTube channels and Facebook pages out there that post viral videos and compilations, but they don’t ever get permission from the owners of those videos. Our team gets a signed contract for every video that we post on the channel, and the original owners of those clips share in the revenue generated on the channel. Our team will contact the video owner and tell them about the company and JukinVideo and the potential to be featured on the channel. Our biggest goal is to make sure the video owner is happy and, so far, everyone seems to be thrilled.
TF: In your thank-you video to subscribers, you got a few of the original video owners to participate in the making of that clip. What was it like working with them?
JV: I actually got a little starstruck when I Skyped with them. I know that seems kinda weird but we pretty much live and breathe viral videos here so when we had the opportunity to talk with them, it was pretty exciting. I mean, it’s not every day you can talk to a dude who survived being kicked in the head by a passing train and got 40 million views on his video.
They were all great though and they were pretty happy to be featured on the One Million Subscribers compilation. If it wasn’t for their videos and other owners, who knows how much longer it would have taken to get to a million subs.
TF: Though viral content can’t always be predicted, what trend do you think would be fun to see posted on JukinVideo in 2016?
JV: We need more of those “Oh crap. The whole world is doing this” type videos. We had the Harlem Shake. The Ice Bucket Challenge was rad. “WHAT ARE THOSEEE” kinda popped up for a bit. Something along those lines.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Anything fun?
JV: We’re always having fun over here! I would love to start a second channel to have some hosted stuff on their or have it be just a playground to get a bit weird with our videos. Also, we’re prepping for our Top 100 Videos of the Year series and that’s taking up a lot of our time to make sure it’s even bigger and better than last year. So be on the lookout for that!