Thought Leaders

A mix of insights on key trends and technologies changing media and entertainment.

How YouTubers and Viners Become Legit — And Profitable

How YouTubers and Viners Become Legit — And Profitable

Does YouTube or Vine fame lead to fortune? In some cases, it can.

Dozens of YouTube celebrities and, increasingly, Vine stars are pulling in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars by hawking their products, directing traffic to their blogs or offering advice. In many instances, the monetization of their traffic is tied to advertising.

YouTube’s Partner Program gives video publishers the opportunity to run ads on their videos in exchange for a slice of the ad revenue, Sprout Social says. While it’s not known precisely how much money a YouTuber can earn through the Partner Program, Sprout Social says it can range from 80 cents to $2.50 for every 1,000 views.

Vine’s monetization opportunities are less clear-cut but can include product placements and multipart stories (offering more chances for ads), according to CodeFuel.

While all of t­hat sounds enticing, you’ve got to be committed to creating great video content to attract viewers and, therefore, attract ad dollars and partnership deals.

That’s what a youngster named Evan (whose last name isn’t publicized) has accomplished by playing with toys on camera. He reportedly reels in $1.3 million a year from his YouTube channel. That’s also what 28-year-old Michelle Phan has managed to accomplish by initially offering makeup tutorials on-camera; she reportedly rakes in an estimated $3 million a year through YouTube ads and, more significantly, her beauty products business. Phan has expanded her domain by opening a studio where a network of beauty vloggers can produce videos.

What are the keys to Evan’s and Phan’s success? The first step, of course, is cranking out well-crafted, popular videos that focus on things they’re passionate about — toys for Evan and beauty for Phan. Beyond that, though, they’ve built business relationships that have bolstered their video-fueled empires. “We find value in developing relationships and partnerships with brands and helping them create better products,” Phan has said.

All of that takes work and expertise. Standing out in today’s media landscape requires the latest technology and tactics. As Evan and Phan have discovered, turning this passion into a profession requires a professional approach. The place to develop a comprehensive understanding of the different factors that go into creating those well-crafted videos and the relationships that are so crucial is  NAB Show in Las Vegas. Attendees will learn from and interact with media and entertainment industry leaders while seeing firsthand how innovation is reshaping every aspect of the landscape. Open to all NAB Show attendees, the Show Floor will feature over 1,700 exhibitors representing every sector of the industry, from cutting edge audio and video production to the latest in advertising and mobile video technology.

For an even deeper dive, as a part of NAB Show, The Online Video Conference will feature 16 conference sessions, including one on mobile video, a growing area of importance for YouTubers, Viners and other producers of video content.

“The smartphone is taking its place as the device of choice for many, as high-resolution screens, social media and mobile-first video converge to create a perfect storm of viewing,” according to a description of the mobile video session. “With advertisers quickly adopting mobile video, more content will be created. How will the mobile revolution play out in video and what are its implications?”

Another session during the Online Video Conference also will appeal to YouTubers and Viners. It will concentrate on the state of flux in video and TV advertising. Yet another session during the conference will explain how to reach millennial viewers with video.

“Millennials’ viewing habits are changing fast, making them harder to reach than ever,” according to a summary of the session. “What are millennials looking for when it comes to video and who's cracked the code? This session explores all of the device, content, distribution and business model factors that are critical to reaching millennials with successful video services.”

As the media landscape continues to evolve, there are more and more opportunities for YouTube and other social media sensations to turn their talents and followings into legitimate careers. But to take full advantage of these opportunities, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of this fast-changing industry. Understanding how viewers are consuming content and who those viewers are, creating the highest quality content, learning how different monetization platforms work, and building networks of followers, partners and colleagues are all crucial pieces of the puzzle. There’s a lot that aspiring YouTube and Vine pros need to know, and attending NAB Show is the perfect place to start.  

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