Looking for some Sunday reading? Here's what people are talking about in online video this week.
  • Susan Wojcicki is the new top boss of YouTube, replacing Salar Kamangar (videoink) (Wired)
  • New Year, New Job for a lot of people as Microsoft has a new CEO, Satya Nadella (videoink)
  • Feature on Bethany Mota* (The Guardian)
  • Google announces crackdown on fraudulent YouTube views (The Guardian)
  • YouTube reveals $1bn music payouts, but some labels still unhappy (The Guardian)
  • Hearst and AwesomenessTV launch new MCN for teenage girls (videoink)
  • “Why Startups Should Steal Ideas and Hire Weirdos” (Wired)

*Confirmed special guest at VidCon 2014!

Want to make money from gameplay videos on youtube?

Well, chances are you won’t.  That’s the sad truth of it.  Maybe one day you’ll earn enough to get a free game or two but that’s about it.

In order to understand why its probably nearly impossible for you to earn anything substantial from youtube making gameplay at this point you’ll need to understand the basic metrics of what makes someone ‘famous’ for gameplay.

Take a look at some of the most famous gamers on youtube right now:


Chances are you know one of these guys or groups and if you don’t, get to know them.  You may hate some of them you may love some of them, but they all have a few things in common.

Their production values are very good

Most of these guys have reached a point in their youtube 'careers’ that has allowed them to quit their jobs and focus on youtube.  They have hours a day to film, hours more to edit, hours more to publish and self promote.  These guys are spending 10 hour days filming gameplay, editing it, and creating the 'best of the best’.  

If this is something you are unable to do, that’s understandable.  But be aware that you will NEED TIME to create content worth watching.  You cant get your setup working, film for an hour, and expect to create gold.  Its simply not going to happen.  You need to spend time just like these guys to create content that people not only want to watch, but share.

tl;dr it takes time to create content people want to watch and these guys have plenty.

They have found their voice and/or their niche

What makes a youtuber a youtuber is that 'it’ factor that they talk about in holywood.  They tend to have that special something that makes you like them.  Charisma, personality, charm, a decent voice, being very attractive, or some combination of those things is a start; but even that’s not it entirely. There is a little magic there.

Pewds is kind of screamy and his content is classically immature and fun to watch.  Roosterteeth has this great collection of personalities that work very well together and they are comedic geniuses.  CaptainSparklez has a wit and a musical talent that is undeniably wonderful.

What is your it factor?  What is your draw?  What makes you worth watching?  What unique aspect will your gameplay have?

Just like any creative talent it can take months, years, decades to find your voice and find out what it is that’s going to make you worth watching.  Its not going to happen in your first video.  or your 10th.  or your 100th.  This too will take time to hone and develope.

tl;dr the personalities that succeed on youtube have that 'it’ factor.  they have found their voice and they have found their niche.  It will take lots of time for you to develope your voice and find your niche.

The market is absurdly saturated

If you’ve paid any attention in school you are aware of the concept of Supply vs Demand. The more demand there is for a product, the more valuable the product is proportional to the demand of that product.

There is a considerable demand for people to watch gameplay content, that’s true.  But there is far more supply.  A lot of people who love games want to create content and millions of hours of gameplay content is uploaded to youtube every single day.  The reality of it is, there is far less demand than there is supply.

That’s why finding your niche is so important.  You need to find an area where the demand is currently not being met.  One of the things that made good ol PewDiePie the number 1 youtuber is not only his unique approach, his unique personality, but also the unique games that he played.  "Can you believe this guy?  screaming at these scary games? You gotta see this shit.“

You can’t just be another guy making the same kind of gameplay.  There’s no demand for "another gameplay channel.”  It has to be unique.

tl;dr the market is absurdly saturated and you have to find a way to standout if you want to be seen.

Not a single one of these youtubers got started because they wanted to make money.

When youtube was new and these content creators were drawn to it, do you think it was because “I might earn a living or some spending money” was their motivation?  Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that in general its not the case.

The reality of it is, for many of these people entertaining is in their blood.  They want to be famous.  They want to be watched.  They crave the attention.  It doesnt matter if its 1 person or a million people;  we have to have an audience.  we CRAVE it.  we need it.

These guys were just as stoked when they hit 100 views on a video as the day they hit 1,000,000.  

Either you need to create, or you don’t.  Either you need to entertain, or you don’t.  Either you were born for this, or you weren’t.

Everyone will get frustrated when their content isnt being watched; but if it IS being watched… even if its 10, or 100, or a 1000 people… that’s the payoff.  not a check.  Not fame.  Not fortune.  The ability to scratch that neverending itch that says “I NEED TO ENTERTAIN PEOPLE GODDAMIT OR I WILL DIE” is the reward.  Piles of money is the byproduct of that need.

tl;dr  most people who do this for a living arent even about the money anyways.  its about the need to entertain.

I’m not saying you arent the next pewdiepie

You might very well be the next big thing on youtube.  I cannot honestly say.  But I can say that it will be a long slow climb to the top.  You’ll need to go viral, many times to get there.  you’ll need to find your voice.  You’ll need a unique set of skills that only you can provide and you’ll need to find a way to create content that is in demand.

I wish you nothing but the best and success in all things you do.  Just know that youtube, like all things in life, requires the following;  Dedication; time; the willingness to fail; luck.

I wish you all of those things and more

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