On the Podcast: Do people even want to do YouTube?

By 01/13/2023
On the Podcast: Do people even want to do YouTube?
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It’s hosted by our very own Joshua Cohen (that’s me) and Lauren Schnipper. Subscribe to Creator Upload on Apple Podcasts. We’re everywhere else, too. Just go to CreatorUpload.com. And we’re now also brought to you in part by the global creator company Jellysmack

Yes. 100%. Full stop. No questions asked. Or at least that’s what I used to think. Now, it’s more nuanced.


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Kids want to, that’s for sure. A Harris Poll study found that almost 30% of the eight to 12-year-olds of America and the United Kingdom want to be YouTubers when they grow up.

Adults want to, too. A poll from Morning Consult found that 54% of Americans from the ages 13 to 38 would become an influencer if given the opportunity.

Both those studies were done almost 3 years ago. I’m guessing the inclinations for individuals to want to make a living from YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, or wherever they can are way higher now in a post-pandemic-lockdown world than they were prior.

But these are the actual talent we’re talking about. The people in front of the camera. What about the people behind it? Do directors and cinematographers want to do YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, or wherever? Or is their online video content creation simply a means to the greater end of film, television, and commercial production?

I used to think these kinds of creators were–by and large–super into YouTube, too. But now I’m thinking they’re not. Jimmy Donaldson aka MrBeast changed my mind.

Check out Jimmy’s appearance on Lex Friedman’s podcast where he talks about the hiring process. To paraphrase, it’s hard. And it’s hard because a lot of the editors, DPs, and other kinds of people Jimmy needs to produce his content don’t see the long-term vision for YouTube. Or they do see it, but aren’t as into it as making a Netflix series or blockbuster movie later in their career.

That’s kinda wild if you think about it. The No. 1 YouTuber of all time has trouble hiring creatives (to the point where he’s building a school curriculum as a talent funnel) because, to those creatives, his productions don’t feel big, important, or whatever enough.

Sure. Maybe that’s a generational cultural bias that will continue to erode as YouTube and creators continue to displace traditional entertainment and the celebrities the Hollywood ecosystem spawns. Or maybe it’s because working on a Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, or Duffer Brothers project just seems more…awesome?

I mean, if you’re into operating cameras and not being in front of them, you’re by default at least casually interested in technology. And if you’re at least casually interested in technology, aren’t you always going to want to work with the camera that’s bigger, better, and can do more cool $#!%?

Apply that logic to all the technical jobs of production and that adds up to a lot of people whose interests are at odds with the more DIY, lo-fi aesthetic of what currently gets 100s of millions of views on YouTube.

Hi-tech-savvy creators + lo-fi-loving viewers = ???

So, how does this disconnect remedy itself? A buncha ways.

  1. The tastes of the audience change and lead to more high-production value content.
  2. Even lo-fi YouTube productions become more complex and scratch the creative itches of those behind the camera?
  3. A whole new type of individual emerges at large that wants to make incredibly well-produced content that’s also technically sophisticated.
  4. Other ways, too.

I like No. 3 the best. It’ll take time for society to produce a bunch of individuals with the particular incentives and skillsets needed for the kinds of online video productions that work really well right now. But for the time being and if you’re in the market, make sure to nab those super rare kinds of talent wherever you can find them.

I get into all that and more with on the latest episode of Creator Upload. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or whenever you listen. You’re gonna dig it.

Jellysmack is the global creator company that powers multi-platform social media growth for video creators, media companies, brands, celebrities, and its own online communities (Beauty Studio, Oh My Goal, Gamology, House of Bounce and more).

The company’s proprietary technology optimizes, distributes, and promotes video content, resulting in meaningful audience growth and increased revenue in record time. Jellysmack is currently partnered with hundreds of talented creators including MrBeast, PewDiePie, Like Nastya, and Bailey Sarian.

Looking to Go Bigger on social? Visit jellysmack.com.

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