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.


World of Wonder, the studio behind the hit TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, is proving itself to be a savvy producer of digital content as well. On its WOW Presents YouTube channel, it offers up companions to its TV content and original programs that star the most popular drag queens in the nation. WOW Presents has become such a big part of World of Wonder’s operation that the studio has launched WOW Presents Plus, an SVOD service that reaches its most passionate fans.

Now that WOW Presents is over one million subscribers, we talked to World of Wonder co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey about their online video strategy:

Tubefilter: How does it feel to have more than one million subscribers on YouTube? What do you have to say to your fans?

World of Wonder: We are thrilled to be part of the million mile high club, er, the million subscribers YouTube club! We are filled with gratitude to all the fans and all the amazing contributors and producers inside and outside of World of Wonder.

TF: Why did you decide to launch WOW content on YouTube in the first place?

WOW: World of Wonder was built on a DIY ethos! We’ve always believed “build it and they will come.” We love producing television and features but there is a certain freedom creating WOW content for YouTube — without anyone to answer to except for our growing tribe of like-minded friends, families, and fans.

TF: When creating for YouTube, what steps do you take to tailor your content specifically for that platform?

WOW: It’s really about freedom from constraints and about something that delivers an immediacy and impact. Traditional production values are less important than delivering something unfiltered and undiluted.

TF: The popularity of drag seems to have surged in recent years. Why do you think that is?

WOW: We would like to think that RuPaul’s Drag Race has something to do with the surge of interest in drag queens, but certainly social media has added fuel to the drag fire! Drag queens are crafty and engineering artists and social media has given them a platform to reach broader audiences. The audience has always been there, it’s just that the means of distribution have traditionally been designed to prevent giving people what they want!

TF: How does WOW’s digital content allow viewers to deepen their relationship with the studio’s TV shows?

WOW: World Of Wonder is an extended family and we don’t have traditional boundaries between creators and consumers, between producers and viewers.

TF: What do you believe WOW viewers look for in their YouTube videos?

WOW: WOW Presents viewers are a savvy and curious bunch. They want their product to be authentic and entertaining.

TF: Do many viewers come to WOW viewers to check out specific queens? If so, what steps do you take to connect those viewers to the WOW brand as a whole?

WOW: There are many viewers who come to WOW Presents to check out specific queens or specific shows, though I think the broader audience comes expecting the unexpected and eager for some hot new content! We do our best to try and connect all the brands, whether it’s using the WOW Report blog to talk about the content and/or our collective interests, or events like RuPaul’s DragCon (which just welcomed 50,000 attendees in LA this month) or our frequent gallery events at the World of Wonder space on Hollywood Boulevard.

TF: What led to the decision to launch a WOW SVOD service?

WOW: As we saw the audience grow, and as we became more familiar with their tastes, it became clear to us that there was an opportunity to branch out. The SVOD became a commercial experiment that was designed to slowly enable us to help finance more ambitious programming. It has far exceeded our humble expectations!

TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?

WOW: More more more! We are doubling down on content across our YouTube channel and WOW Presents Plus, our SVOD channel. We plan to produce more long-form content, more documentaries, and we even have a short-form animated series premiering next month.

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