Excited to announce “Lauren Conrad’s Crafty Creations” has been nominated for Best DIY or How-To Series at the 2013 Streamy Awards! LCCC is one of the series I developed and executive produced for EQAL’s u look haute and was an instant success on LaurenConrad.com.
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 . 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 , , 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)