Learning From John Green at Brandcast 2015

By sethmsparks

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m what some people would call a Nerdfighter. And one of the guys (John Green) that “founded” the vlog that created the community now known as Nerdfighteria recently spoke to an audience of advertisers at Brandcast 2015 (an event held by Google to celebrate YouTube’s 10th birthaversary).

Being a fan of John and a student of marketing, I found this presentation fantastic.

There are some really good insights in his words:

– John and Hank (the Vlogbrothers) make less than 20% of revenue from ads, and it lessens significantly every year

– Creators are finding ways to support their channels outside of advertising, like going on tours, selling merchandise, and crowd funding through sites like Patreon

– He is in the community business building a legion of raving fans, not the eyeballs business (impressions and views), and I know this has been a hot topic for a while now so much that “raving fans” has become buzzword worthy, but the Vlogbrothers actually built the legion of raving fans before talking about it as the model, rather than selling an unexecuted idea

– He doesn’t care how many people see his work, he cares how many people LOVE his work — people who love his work engaged with it, mimic it, use it to create new and inspired things, not just use it as a distraction

I will also add that his last paragraph seems like an appeasement to Google, telling advertisers they can help keep creators funded and viewers will support those business that do. However, I think John knows that that isn’t necessarily true. At least, not as long as they try to approach creators with tradition advertising messages.

What do you think? Do advertisers need YouTubers more? Or vice versa?

Here’s the audio of John’s presentation: https://soundcloud.com/sethmsparks/brandcast-2015-john-green-audio-only

And the transcript: https://medium.com/@johngreen/john-green-s-brandcast-speech-d5b7564773c