2016: The year YouTube influencers upped their game

Posted on: 27th January 2016 Influencer Social Media YouTubers
2015 was all about social media influencers endorsing and promoting products and services to their audience to benefit the brand.

Influencer marketing is a fantastic way to shout about your purpose in one of the most effective ways – we’ve done it, and got excellent results. While this works for most major influencers with a huge social following, it is often seen as a repetitive or ‘sell-out’ process and with the new regulations from ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) stating that you must clearly state if you are endorsing or sponsoring a product or service on your social channels, especially if you are being paid to do so.

But for big streaming giants like Netflix who have big plans this year to further extend their portfolio content of “Netflix Originals” and other unique offerings, this is seemingly another opportunity for individual content creators such as YouTubers to get into. Rather than creating content purely for their audiences, this is an opportunity to create original content away from their usual social outreaches and offer a new way for people to access their content. This will obviously benefit Netflix as people eagerly subscribe to view original content from their favourite youTuber, but would the fan of the YouTubers really pay for a subscription just to see some exclusive content? Well, yes because not only would they be getting exclusive content, they would also have access to hundreds of films and TV shows whenever they want. That is providing that they are a huge fan of them.

Popular YouTuber, Colleen Ballinger-Evans AKA Miranda Sings has just secured a deal with Netflix to initially create an 8 episode series called “Haters Back Off“. In case you didn’t know, Miranda Sings is the alter ego character of Colleen Ballinger-Evans, and currently boasts of over 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube, and the show will exclusively look at the family life of Miranda Sings. According the the Hollywood Reporter, Miranda is described as “an incredibly confident, totally untalented start on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of belief that she was born famous, it’s just no one knows yet.”
If the Netflix series is anything like her original YouTube videos, then this new show will definitely be a winner…

YouTube star Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has also made a bold move to change the way YouTube influencers can shake up content. He has recently launched his own video network of gamers called “Revelmode” described as an “Avengers-like talent squad“, under the network giant Maker Studios (who are owned by no other, Disney), who Felix has been signed with since 2012.
What is Revelmode? Revelmode will be online-video shows that may go alongside subscription services such as YouTube Red, and its main focus will be on developing “premium” content. Other YouTubers signed up for this launch include many of of PewDiePie’s circle including Sean McLoughlin (JackSepticEye), Mark Fischback (Markiplier), Emma Blackery and Ken Morrison (CinnamonToastKen). If you haven’t heard of some of these content creators, they are all hugely popular online in the gaming world. PewDiePie has a total of 41.5 million subscribers and over 10.9bn lifetime views alone on YouTube.

Maker Studios is the YouTube equivalent of a music label, which is almost like giving an artist their own freewill to sign bands they like. Gaming has become one of the most popular categories on YoutTube, along with music and children’s content. For the likes of YouTube and Netflix, young addicts are unlikely to to revert to more traditional media outputs like normal TV, and are more likely to opt for streaming services. Since the dramatic rise and fall of the 3 Top Gear presenters in recent months, the popular TV show now has a YouTuber hosting one of the world’s most widely-watched factual car show. Popular car enthusiast YouTuber, Chris Harris, has over 330k subscribers on his YouTube and leads with original automotive content. Acting as the medium that blurs the boundaries between online and traditional media, Chris Harris, is challenged to ‘normalise’ the way traditional media approaches the online medium.

Realistically, this is favouriting YouTubers more as they gain the attention of a brand new audience on a new platform as well as retaining their current fanbase audience from YouTube. The freedom of choice allows people to be in control of what they view and it’s not forcing people to pay for the service, but if someone has millions of subscribers on their channel who tune in weekly (and religiously) to watch their content, it is likely they’ll want to see all the ‘exclusive’ content, too.

In the last couple of years, Navada has worked well with YouTuber’s on various projects including Road Respect, and Pranking Rachel, and most recently we’ve collaborated with Fashionbi on a market research paper discussing the process and impacts of influencer marketing for fashion brands. We have invested in influencer marketing as we believe that it does truly work when executed properly, and we have worked with the YouTuber Jack Dean (JaackMate) for a while now and he has produced some great work for us.

For the likes of Top Gear, this content is targeted (and viewed by) people of all ages, mostly generation X and Y; those that grew up with 1 TV box in their home but still opt for online mediums such as YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch content. YouTuber’s creating new strands of content and distributing them through modern AND traditional media outputs – now that is something to talk about.
Welcome to 2016, where it looks like the online social media community will help support traditional formats and entertainment giants to stay relevant.

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