Scott: We have all seen them, videos on YouTube shot in the living room and maybe even on an iPhone. Well, the video sharing website is upping the ante for its top content producers. And Demetrius Pipkin takes a look.
Demetrius: What is being produced inside this massive airplane hangar is what YouTube hopes will be the next online sensation. It is called the YouTube Space, a 41,000 square foot state of the art studio complex, one of four that are opening up around the world to help create new content for its site.
Ben Relles: It’s really about supporting the creators. And in a lot of cases, they’re coming to the space with big ideas. And for us, if it is an idea that is collaborative and it can involve other members of the YouTube community, it’s a great way to give back to the YouTube creators of some of our top channels.
Demetrius: That is exactly how 28-year-old internet sensation Freddie Wong is using the space. Now, you may not recognize him, but his videos have been viewed 900 million times. And he is best known for his YouTube series called, Video Game High School.
Freddie Wong: We’re basically the next generation of, like, television network or movie studio or game studio or whatever that is in that we have an audience that we can make things for and we have a means of making that thing.
Demetrius: The company provides the studio space free of charge plus all the of the lights, cameras,…
Ben Gigli and Tom Grey: And action! I’ve got a laser eye!
Demetrius: This show about superheroes is one Ben Gigli and Tom Grey could not do if they had to pay for studio space and equipment.
Ben and Tom: It would cost us most of our budget. Yeah. It would be prohibitively expensive for us to try to do something like this on, you know, another soundstage around town without the support of YouTube, you know, having this setup.
Demetrius: But free studio space does not mean YouTube is not benefitting. In fact, they make a lot of money by selling ads on the videos that people upload to the site. About 100 hours of video are uploaded every 60 seconds, and 57% of those videos are coming from people between the ages of 20 and 35.
The company is owned by Google and rakes in an estimated $3.6 billion from advertisement each year. That is more than the top ten Super Bowls combined. But many advertisers want to be associated with something more than furry felines, medicated minors…
YouTube video: I feel funny.
YouTube video: Aaahhh!
Demetrius: …And biting brothers.
YouTube video: Charlie!
Demetrius: So YouTube Space is about creating videos that look more like movies and TV – a mix of reality shows, game shows, music and even infomercials. And YouTube now has channels kind of like TV networks, each with their own subscribers.
Video Game High School: Let’s go! Video Game!
Demetrius: Season two of Video Game High School drew more than 15 million views. Freddie Wong and partner Matt Arnold get a share of the advertisement money that the series generates.
Freddie: People always ask us, ‘Why don’t you guys, you know, when are you guys going to do a movie? When are you guys going to do a TV show?’ And to me, that feels like such a step backwards because what we have is, like, the best deal of all time. We have full creative control, we have a giant audience who loves what we do, and we can make whatever we want.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.