Thursday, November 20, 2008

Connecting and Celebrating YouTube Style

YouTube Live is coming to a computer near you Saturday, 11/22. Reflecting the "scale and diversity of content on YouTube” it will feature approximately 50 performances by Internet born stars as well as Grammy award winners.

A common thread among these diverse performers is a massive following on YouTube.

A common thread among the attendees is the desire to connect with and celebrate each other (which will no doubt will yield new videos they will share and star in).

Many of our client stations have embraced uploading digital video including multiple stations uploading terrific videos of their Nashville/CMA activities.

But because YouTube means being seen as well as seeing, let’s think about creating opportunities for viewers of our videos to be the stars of them as well.

What’s coming to your market that many of your core users will be excited about, and how can you create a “see and be seen” video event out of it that will encourage listeners to connect in a meaningful way? What events could you create to connect communities of listeners who are pet lovers, hunters, skiers, etc. What sponsors could be brought in to enhance these experiences and generate revenue?

Here are thinking points about YouTube Live including who will participate and why and how advertisers are being integrated into the event. There’s also a quote from YouTube CMO Chris Di Cesare on the relationship between YouTube Live, its attendees and sponsors.

Hopefully you’ll be inspired to create a vehicle for connection and sharing – whether it involves blogging, chatting or something more ambitious like video (read the full Brandweek article here).

• YouTube Live is about connection and self-celebration of the YouTube community

• Planned events reflect the community’s core interests. For example, Guitar Hero is one of the community’s favorite themes so live Guitar Hero events were created.

• Participants are being empowered to share the celebration with others

• Sponsors are natural fits with YouTube and/or are providing something of value to enhance the experience. For example, sponsor Virgin America is handling some of the travel arrangements while Pure Digital is providing some attendees with free, branded Flip Mino camcorders to record the event.

• About YouTube and advertisers CMO Chris Di Cesare says, “YouTube is less than 3 years old and the site's phenomenal growth has been spurred by keeping the users first in everything we do. While it is a delicate balance, allowing advertisers to participate in an additive way benefits all involved. YouTube Live is a great example of that. This is first and foremost a community event but sponsors are participating in a way that shows they value the YouTube community. If users look at the sponsors as heroes given their participation and value to the event, everybody wins.”

Di Cesare also noted that pre-roll ads for long form, online content are both “expected” and accepted by the community and that YouTube is continuing to experiment with other models as well.

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