One billion YouTube views
Last week, the traditional press noted that The Late Late Show had hit 1 billion views on YouTube, spurred in large part by the success of James Corden brainchild, Carpool Karaoke. The Show’s YouTube channel has more than 4 million subscribers, with 16 Carpool Karaoke episodes featuring the likes of Adele (98 million views) and Justin Bieber (73 million). It’s a recipe peppered by other successful content streams, such as the Beyonce parody released last week that has already racked up nearly one million views.
For those who don’t know Carpool Karaoke it follows a very simple format: short, sharp, 5 – 15 min videos featuring host, James Corden, sat next to a well-known celebrity in a car. The two offer their musings on life, the universe, and impending album releases, while all the time interspersing proceedings with the occasional sing along facilitated by the car’s sound system. It’s a beautifully executed bit of conversational content that allows traditional media celebrities (well brands let’s face it, brands) to get in front of consumers directly via their social timelines.
Breaking down the fourth windscreen
The key to the success of these comedy vehicles is that there is no fourth wall between consumer and celebrity. In actual fact there isn’t even a windscreen. The camera gets up close and personal with some of the World’s largest celebrity brands capturing a human face – and a human conversation – in close proximity. Gone are the days of lights, camera, action, and here we find ourselves in the colloquial world.
It’s a pristine reminder that we now live in an online world in which the traditional broadcasters and publishers achieving success are the ones that are prepared to break down the fourth wall and present content to users in a format that does not look out of place amongst the cat videos and nightlife photos already adorning their timelines. In short traditional media content is finding ways to drive itself into the hearts and minds of the social networks, not incorporating them into traditional media, which for a long time is what it looked to be trying to achieve.
The keys to the success in modern media are transparency and conversational content. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the success that one of the largest US television networks is achieving on YouTube. Content itself needs to be short and sharp, just like real life conversation, and resist the temptation to be showy or too self-important. Broadcasters, publishers, and brands alike would do well to get on-board with this new approach as the lines between content and conversation become even further blurred.
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