What are Conte and Neistat scheming in NYC?
I don't know what's going on exactly, but I've been following a YouTube conversation between two interesting people. I feel like it's at the very least interesting, and maybe potentially important.
One person is Jack Conte, the CEO of Patreon. He was also 1/2 of Pomplamoose back in the day, which is part of where he got the idea for Patreon. "Wait, Jack Conte is the CEO of Patreon?" was the first piece of info that tickled me about this whole thing.
The other Casey Neistat, a popular maker and YouTube Big Deal™ w/ 9M subscribers. I wasn't familiar with him, but Aaron's seen some of his videos in the Maker parts of the Internet.
First, understand I rarely watch anything on YouTube and it's extremely hard to convince me to care about what happens in that world. So the story starts here, with Casey founding a new company in NYC called "368" which is going to be some sort of creator studio. Rented some giant building with half a plan. It's a pretty fun video if slightly obnoxious in the archetypal YouTube rapid-cut-I'm-so-viral way.
So he makes this video, and Jack Conte spends his weekend making this (pretty great) pitch video to have 15 minutes of his time, including pre-buying his plane ticket.
So Casey accepts, and Jack shows up in NYC and they talk about some sort of partnership between their companies.
They omit the details of what was discussed of course, but something about the whole thing is really tickling me.
Patreon has become an incredibly important tool for artists of all kinds, including several Icrontians. Brian and I have considered it as a funding model for this site, among other things. They've been tremendously successful in a very short period of time. I'm pretty convinced in a few years it'll be clear what happened at that meeting and it won't have been nothing.
More than likely this has something to do with Neistat “losing” his creator network to CNN and starting anew. I’ll try to find the vid and post it here.
whaaaaaaat I did not know that.
That's what started me down this whole rabbit hole. Someone tweeted Jack's video and I was like "what the shit is going on here" and so it began.
I have watched some Neistat videos over the years. He does drone reviews and a lot of other stuff, seems a bit too bro for my taste.
Also did not know about Jack Conte and Patreon. That's bonkers.
So I really, really dislike the whole idea of "influencers" and top youtubers/streamers, partly because my work is obsessed with finding ways to leverage them to pimp products, and partly because I just don't get it. It's that "I'm too old for this" feeling. Especially with Let's Plays - who wants to watch some nerd play through an entire video game while obstructing part of the screen with video of them... sitting there.... just playing, and spouting constant annoying commentary? Same for daily vlogging - who cares what some non-friend across the country is doing on a daily basis? It's really not for me, and as YouTube content creators grew in size and influence, I felt further and further away from the platform.
But over the last year or so it's finally started to make (some) sense to me. Casey Neistat in particular - I didn't understand the appeal. But then I stumbled upon one of his aircraft first class "review" vlogs (he's done a number of these in ultra luxurious planes), and I ended up watching the whole thing while being thoroughly entertained. The guy certainly has a definite likability about him. Still not quite my taste, but I kind of get it.
What I've learned is that if you find the right folks making content about stuff you love, then you can curate a YouTube experience for yourself that can replace the need to traditional shows/movies to watch. I follow a few car spotters, aka people that drive around and catch footage of rare/exotic cars, and I enjoy them because the cars are awesome to watch, and the creators are interesting / entertaining as hell. I think it's neat that some people can make money creating things like this.
Ultimately what bums me out is I feel like I -just- missed the boat on YouTube. I was creating stuff on YouTube in its first few years, and really enjoyed the platform. But there wasn't any money in it back then, and the audience wasn't really there yet. Kinda wish I'd kept at it over the years.
Same @UPSLynx. Feel the same way about streaming games for audiences, too. A few years too soon - just tell people you were a pioneer in the space and you're happy to see it grow to what it is today. Sounds more impressive that way.
Dunno why Neistat, didn't really find him enjoyable at first but damn it grew on me with the daily vlogs in a "...where is this guy's life going to take him today" kinda way.
Damn, we got old, didn't we? I feel the same way.
I'm for sure in the same boat.
My suspicion is whatever they're up to hews closer to Patreon's ethos than YouTube's ethos.
Mind of UPSold
I don't get YouTube, either. I mean, it's fine, but there's very little I find compelling enough to sit through.
I have a theory that you can tell a millennial is on the young end of the spectrum if they like watching videos to digest information, and on the older side if they just want to read an article.
I've been sitting here for like 15 mins to try and explain the appeal of YouTube, at least to myself. It really sums up to me being more of an audio/visual learner since I tune out of whatever I'm reading pretty quick. There's also moving pictures and sounds.
That's my thought as well, and I'm hopeful they come up with something that allows people to create cool stuff without having to run the long in the tooth YouTube monetization playbook. Currently, YouTube's model really does not encourage authentic creativity - at least not for the long term. Patreon, on the other hand, seems to have been a sustainable payment model for passionate people doing some truly creative stuff. I can't think of many examples of people on Patreon abusing the system to make more money. YouTube on the other hand, I see it every day.