With all of the recent attention being paid to YouTube multi-channel networks (MCNs), I want to share my personal opinion on the topic.
My first encounter with YouTube was from a privileged perspective: I launched eleven channels for Comcast Entertainment Group (E!, Style, G4). As an established media company with a wealth of video content, YouTube recognized our potential on their platform and rolled out the red carpet.
As I developed the network of Comcast channels, YouTube shared their inner-workings and even developed new functions specifically for us.
After leaving Comcast, I worked with independent Creators on YouTube including Phil DeFranco and Toby Turner for “CuteWinFail.” I quickly learned not all channels received the same attention and privileges of Comcast. Independent YouTubers were struggling to handle the many requirements of producing and publishing original video regularly—let alone actual monetizing it!
This is where networks like Machinima and Maker stepped in. They offered consistent revenue for Creators and allowed them to do what they love while making a standard CPM.
Today, the platform and the Creators have greatly evolved and, now, so must the networks. The land grab of channels is over. Even Maker and Machinima admittedly are refocusing their businesses on targeted categories (ie Comedy, Style, Gaming, Mothers, etc). I have great respect for my friends at BigFrame who emphasize the importance of nurturing and managing their talent as well as building a network of channels.
In my newest role at PMC Studios, I’m identifying talent and brands that have growth potential on and off YouTube. Again, I’m in the privileged position of working for an established media company who is not reliant on YouTube. Instead, our approach is targeted and long-term. I’m committed to 100% transparency and always work with our partners to identify exactly what their needs are—now and as they evolve.
If anything the recent news of Ray William Johnson’s exit from Maker Studio is long overdue. There have been many exits before Ray—but much less public. Ray’s exit signifies a changing of the tides in which networks must truly justify their business and offerings to independent Creators on YouTube.
The network model will only continue to thrive as YouTube updates it’s design and focus towards premium content. Networks empower Creators by combining reach and providing resources they would not be able to fund on their own.
The YouTube and online video industry has made huge strides over the past few years. 2013 will no doubt bring even more change to our fun, young, and ultimately content-based industry. Here’s to the continued evolution of quality and consistency in online video!
UPDATED: Nov. 9, 2012
Adam Wescott currently serves as Vice President of Network Development for PMC Studios.
A graduate of Boston University’s prestigious College of Communication, Adam is an accomplished entertainment and digital media executive.
Adam began his career at PathConnect, LLC, a small Web 2.0 start-up with several media holdings. As Director of Marketing, Adam played an integral role branding PathConnect and its online properties, including actress Jessica Biel’s Make The Difference Network and World Champion skier Bode Miller’s SkiSpace. PathConnect opened Adam’s eyes to the future of entertainment: digital media.
In August 2007, Adam was hired as New Media Content Manager for Comcast Entertainment Group. Here, Wescott managed the development and distribution of online video for E! Entertainment and Style Network. Adam oversaw Comcast’s contribution to Hulu, YouTube, Verizon Wireless, iTunes and more. In addition, Adam helped create the E! Online and Live From the Red Carpet mobile apps for iPhone and Android.
After four and a half years at Comcast Entertainment Group, Adam caved to his entrepreneurial spirit and left to pursue opportunities as a digital media content creator. During this time, Adam produced CuteWinFail with YouTube sensations Phil DeFranco and Toby Turner. Next, Adam joined EQAL Media Networks as Director of Content. At EQAL, Adam launched and oversaw content for a portfolio of celebrity websites including Bethenny.com, NickCannon.com, JWOWW.com and more. He defined best practices and oversaw all social media presence for the celebrity partners.
In January 2012, Adam was named Vice President and General Manager of EQAL’s YouTube-funded fashion and beauty network u look haute—one of 100 channels launched as part of YouTube’s Original Channels Program. Under his leadership, the network premiered to both critical and fan success. Adam developed and executive produced five original series—including Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp with YouTube icons Elle and Blair Fowler.
Now, as Vice President of Network Development for PMC Studios, Adam is charged with building an exclusive network of quality content creators to grow brands on YouTube and beyond. PMC is a leading digital media company founded by Jay Penske in 2004. PMC owns a unique and growing portfolio of lifestyle brands that provide the web’s best original content in categories including entertainment, sports, breaking news, media, finance, tech, health, shopping, fashion, beauty, and automotive.
BGR, Breakthrough of the Year Awards, Deadline, ENTV, Hollywood Life, India.com, Movieline, OnCars, The Style Awards, TVLine, Variety, Young Hollywood Awards are all part of the expanding PMC portfolio. For more information on PMC and its brands, please visit www.pmc.com or its digital properties directly.
This week I attended another successful Digital Hollywood event. I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel with my accomplished peers (listed below).
I was particularly excited to hear from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” EP Doug Deluca. For those of you that have seen my YouTube Clean-Up and Optimization Tips deck, I often use the Jimmy Kimmel channel as an example of how to do it right.
The biggest takeaway from the “New Hollywood Equation” panel is the reassurance that we no longer need to validate why online video is important. We know it is. Now, it’s all about figuring out which models work and, ultimately, what generates the most revenue. We all have slightly different approaches to what we’re producing and distributing, but we’re all empowered to create the best content possible.
Bruce Gersh, President-CEO, FishBowl WorldWide Media
Doug Deluca, co- executive producer, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Kristin Jones, Chief Creative Officer, Vuguru
Dan Goodman, co-founder, Believe Entertainment Group, The LeBrons, In the Booth with Tiësto
Adam S. Wescott, Vice President of Network Development, PMC Studios
Zack Smith, VP, Branded Content, Generate/Alloy Digital
Sarah Passe, Business Development Executive, Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Mark J. Kapczynski, Chief Operating Officer, Kontrol Media, Moderator
Photo Credits: David Beebe (FishBowl Worldwide Media)/Kevin Winston (DigitalLA)
Ready, Set, Rachel! Rachel won Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp (Season One) so it’s extra validating to see her succeed and become part of the u look haute and YouTube community. To kick it all off, we did a LIVE Google+ Hangout. It may be a web series to begin with…but producing a live episode of anything is still exhilarating, exciting—and exhausting! It’s fascinating to hear from our fans in real time. Check out the episode and our great shout-outs (including USA Today) below:
USA Today’s “TV on the Web” Feature:
Check out EXAMINER.com article, click HERE.
Here’s an interview I did back in April. It’s all about my favorite subject…me! I talk about launching ‘u look haute’ and how I got my start in digital. Check it out:
What a ride! Developing and executive producing Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp, Season 1 has been a whirlwind. This was my first online reality competition series. Previously, I’ve mostly worked on and produced comedy or studio-based, topical hosted series.
This series was developed and pre-produced in less than a month (led by our amazing producer, Emily Delaney Pedante). Casting alone typically takes six or more weeks on this type of show…but we had a hard premiere date of April 3, 2012 based on our partnership with YouTube (YouTube Original Partners Program).
Lucky for us, the pieces fell into place and we spent several days shooting the core challenge episodes in a North Hollywood studio. Our amazing post production team (aka Cameron Haslett!) pulled off a small miracle and our first episode set the pace for a memorable first season.
After the premiere, we stepped back and determined best ways to stretch the series for as long as possible. We were lucky enough to shoot original episodes with guest stars like Shane Dawson and add in a Bloopers and Playback episode.
Now, after 18 episodes, more than 85 total videos and 7 hours of content, I’m thrilled to unveil the finale of season one and our Boot Camp winner:
Stay tuned for details of Season Two coming very soon…
To re-watch Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp from the beginning, visit u look haute.
Some great press coverage this week—including an awesome Cambio interview recapping the entire first season of Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp. Also, ReNailz makes her first appearance on ClevverStyle w/ nail tips every girl needs to know. Check them out:
Elle and Blair’s Cambio Cameo, Click HERE.
ReNailz on ClevverStyle:
I attended my first VidCon in Anaheim, CA this past weekend. It was incredible to see the 8,000+ attendees who are true YouTube and online video fanatics. Everyone runs around with their channel name listed on a badge and you never know what YouTube ‘stars’ you’ll run into.
A personal highlight was bumping into MyDamnChannel’s DailyGrace (Grace Helbig). As a YouTube content creator, I’m always asked “What do you watch on YouTube?”—and my answer is DailyGrace! Two years ago I sent a mass email to my friends directing them to Grace’s videos. She’s hilarious and her comedy is perfectly suited for daily YouTube videos. Of course, I told her this embarrassing story (while finishing off my second vodka soda…). She was so humble, fun and cute. She even said hi the next day. Hopefully next time she’s in LA we can hang.
I also (re)met this year’s female YouTube stand-out, Jenna Marbles. I originally met Jenna a year ago at a random panel w/ BigFrame’s Sarah Penna. Back then Jenna totally flew below the radar. She was a raunchy, emo girl from Boston with one viral hit at the time (“How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking”). Now she’s the top female on YouTube! And, even better, she LOVES our show “Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp.” So validating to know other YouTube personalities actually watch our content.
I’m already excited for next year’s VidCon to be bigger and better than ever. I really hope we can expand our presence and have a fun booth for people to stop by and hang with EQAL and u look haute, etc.
Take a look at some of the VidCon fun:
Rebecca Black Interview (JennaMarbles and DailyGrace Coming Soon):
Elle and Blair on “What’s Trending” w/ Shira Lazar:
Lifestyle guru Nikki Phillippi joined us on “The Haute List” this week as part of my continued effort to collaborate with YouTube influencers. Nikki is a true YouTube star. She’s dedicated to growing her channel (currently 120K+ Subscribers) and offers consistent content for her audience. She’s fun, bubbly and definitely passionate about fashion, beauty and decor.
Check out this week’s episode:
We were featured on the YouTube homepage today! I’m especially proud of this one because ReNailz is our homegrown talent I plucked from EQAL’s team of bloggers. I saw her on-camera potential the second she opened her mouth (and never closed it!). She’s genuinely passionate about fashion and nail art—oh, and the nickname “ReNailz” didn’t hurt either!
Hopefully, this is the first of many homepage features incorporating the good stuff we’re cooking up.
Get your nailz did!
I’ve had the pleasure (and sometimes nightmare) of working with a handful of top YouTubers. All of these personalities are very good at what they do—but they’re not always the most professional talent to work with. They’re used to producing their own content on their own time.
Shane Dawson is an exception. He is talented, professional and very self-aware. His comedic instinct is spot-on and he definitely transcends YouTube with potential for TV, film, etc.
Check out Shane’s appearance as “Shananay” on Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp: