Monday, May 20, 2013

Ray William Johnson's Runaway Planet Sells Comedy To FX

According to Ray William Johnson, it looks like program he was showing to some television networks has been picked up by FX. Back in mid-March 2013, Ray's new channel RunawayPlanet posted a video where Ray and his girlfriend, Anna Akana, discussed "pilot season" where actors and actresses go out for TV roles on new shows that are offered to the networks. Ray mentions having some disappointment with how he did last year and that he had a realization he should be pitching his own show. Which seems to have been successful with the recent announcement that it looks like Ray sold a comedy about his life to FX, a television channel available by cable and satellite owned by Fox Entertainment Group which is itself a division of News Corp. It may actually appear on a sub-channel of FX called FXX which will be launched in early September 2013. FXX plans include featuring "original and acquired comedy series" of which Ray's comedy appears to be one. First, watch this video where they discuss some preliminary plans.

Ray and Anna started RunawayPlanet (following the problems Ray had with Maker Studios) as a "studio" where they plan on uploading premium content. So far the channel has over 17 million views and about 375,000 subscribers which may not be =3 numbers but still a very respectable start for a channel that only began posting videos towards the end of November 2012. There was some mention of the struggles Ray had with Maker, but mostly this channel focuses on the behind-the-scenes stuff and you see Ray less in his "Equals 3" persona and more as Ray William Johnson, along with Akana who is listed as co-founder of Runaway Planet.

The video above where Ray and Anna discuss the future was followed by another where Ray mentions that that Runaway Planet has received funding which was probably a needed step so being able to produce the comedy that they sold to FX.

There's no word whether or not Ray (or Anna) will actually "star" in this show, but this is big, big news and is a proof Ray is moving past the Maker problems although they don't seem to be resolved and at this point, both of Ray's other channels, Yourfavoritemartian and BreakingNYC have been mothballed, likely at least til the dispute with Maker gets resolved. In the meantime, follow Ray and Anna as they try to grow their studio on RunawayPlanet

Friday, May 17, 2013

Babies React To First Tastes Of Anchovies, Olives And More

Just watched a funny video by TEDxSydney showing the reactions in slow motion of babies and toddlers and their first reactions to tasting food like yogurt, lemons and olives.

Yogurt FTW! Gotta admit that the girl's beaming face after eating yogurt is pretty much the same as my own when I eat the stuff and the other poor girl's suffering tastebuds after getting an olive stuffed into her mouth is my reaction too. My whole family LOVES the green, salty monstrosities but not this guy.

The video was posted on May 4, 2013 and it already has over a million views so I guess you could say this is a viral video but it will likely continue being viewed a lot more in the coming months. TEDxSydney has been posting a fair number of videos since the channel was created about 2 years ago with the bulk of their views coming from this one and their subscriber count has jumped to 1,824 mostly because of this one, but if they keep posting fun stuff like this, they'll easily garner more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PSY's Gentleman Continues Where Gangnam Style Left Off

Yes, it's KPOP again and PSY's channel, officialpsy, has another HUGE video called "Gentleman" (see below) to follow up on his massive hit from last year Gangnam Style. Like Gangnam Style, this video has spawned imitators, pretenders and tribute videos aplenty and some have also been receiving tons of views such as the dance group Waveya (shown below) and "D Piddy" with his parody video. In case you haven't seen Gentleman yet, it already has over 325,000,000 views on Youtube since the song's release April 13, 2013 which I think qualifies as something of a viral video in its own right although that pales in comparison with Psy's Gangnam Style which was the first Youtube video to cross the one billion views threshold. That video toppled Justin Beiber's Baby as the most viewed video and is fast approaching 2 billion views (currently around 1.6 billion views). First, take a look at Gentleman if you haven't seen that one yet.


Even if you are not a fan, you have to admit PSY has pretty much hit the jackpot as far as views. Obviously it is difficult to tell how long this success will last but at this time, his music is in high demand and it looks like he's going to be around for awhile. With that kind of success, there are always going to be bands and performers using variations of Psy's music and one of the more noticeable is the nimble-hipped dance group Waveya (made up according to the video: Hyang, Miu, Ari, Doori, and Yuna) who have been uploading lots of videos on their waveya2011 channel since January 2011 but the video below is their most successful to date garnering close to 10 million views.

PSY - GENTLEMAN Waveya cover dance

Hmmm, I wonder why they're gettin' so many views? I have to admit I kinda like this video a bit more that Psy's but I'm a dude, so what can I say? The channel waveya2011 has about 260K subs with about 60,000 to 65,000 people subscribing in the last month and all of their videos have received about 150 million views, so there's that. The scantily clad, shakin' what they got is a surefire draw and although KPOP isn't usually what I listen to regularly, I find this video appealing enough to watch, um, listen to a couple of times and I'm sure that's common for most viewers.

Deadpool vs Gentleman (PSY Parody)

And another version of Gentleman that's getting a fair number of views is D Piddy on his MercWithTheMoves channel. The video below is described as a parody of Psy's Gentleman featuring "Deadpool" and even this one's received over a million views since its release in mid-April 2013.

Another Deadpool video you might want to see parodies Gangnam Style called (surprise!) Deadpool vs Gangnam Style which itself has an amazing 53+ million views. That viewcount just goes to show that if you post something fairly unique combined with a sense of humor, you will find an audience. And that includes Psy himself. His songs are about goofy fun but with good video-making and of course, its the music that drives it all. As I said, you may not like Psy's music but you cannot argue with his success. If you don't like what is being posted on Youtube, music, skits, vlogging or whatever, try posting something yourself. You might be able to do it better.

GANGNAM STYLE @ Summer Stand Live Concert

And finally, below is Psy doing Gangnam Style in front of a throng of fans, singing along with him and dancing and going crazy from a concert video posted in August last year. You telling me you wouldn't want even a sliver of that kind of enthusiasm for your own content?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Space Oddity By Commander Chris Hadfield A Fitting End Of His Tour Of Duty On The Space Station

I was watching the news yesterday and an item came on featuring Commander Chris Hadfield handing over command of the International Space Station to his successor, Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov which was a nice end I thought. Hatfield had been on the Space Station since December 21, 2012 conducting all sorts of experiments and utilizing various social media (Twitter, Youtube, etc) connecting with people in unexpected and unique ways, stoking interest in what was going on in the station. Then he released the following video of himself singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" at the very end of his experience in space.

I wonder if Bowie has seen this yet. A fitting and unexpected tribute from someone with a special perspective. Of course this video has gone viral overnight and already has over a million views (and 85K+ thumbs up). Great content, shared and enjoyed. Thanks Chris Hatfield! He's expected to land shortly and receive a much deserved rest. Then he'll have a ga-zillion interviews to deal with, but no doubt with a smile on his face. In case you are unfamiliar with Bowie's version of the song, here's a video.

JennaMarbles Passes RayWilliamJohnson As 2nd Most Subscribed Youtube Channel

Just noticed that Jenna Marbles has passed Ray William Johnson on the All Time Most Subscribed list with a massive 8,758,105 total to Ray's 8,690,622 subscriber count.

Although you probably shouldn't put a lot of weight into subscribers numbers when you're comparing those Youtube channels floating around in the Top 100, this is actually quite an achievement for Jenna as her number of subscribers has exploded in the last year and a half or so. Ray William Johnson, of =3, YourFavoriteMartian and Runaway Planet fame was running away with the title of "Most Subscribed on Youtube" for quite a while until his recent troubles (of which I'll be blogging about shortly) and both Jenna Marbles and Ray William Johnson are getting smoked by Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of smosh, and their channel leads the way, closing in on ten million subscribers, a number which they should easily surpass before the month is out.

The Good Morning America Interview

But this is about Jenna Marbles, whose success on Youtube and other websites enticed the powers that be over at Good Morning America to dispatch one of their "topnotch reporters", Cecilia Vega, to find out what the fuss was about this Marbles girl who they dubbed "The Queen of Clicks" and "The Queen of Youtube" as a followup to the New York Times article The Woman With 1 Billion Clicks, Jenna Marbles. Kudos for getting a nice long article but, um, why did the NYT newspaper put an article about a young entrepreneur making a large chunk of cash in their "Fashion & Style" section? Seems like old media not quite understanding the new online world again, and the subsequent furor surrounding Marbles interview on Good Morning America seems to show a lack on knowledge or an unwillingness to accept the incredible success Marbles and others have garnered from Youtube as well as other parts of the online world. Below is the interview of Marbles by Vega that appeared on the program (posted on Youtube by ABCNews51.

First the obvious: Jenna Marbles has over 8 million subscribers NOT 1 BILLION. All of her videos combined recently went over the 1 billion views mark (which should warrant a little more respect from the interviewer) but no one on Youtube has a billion subscribers. And all the hype about "the most famous person you probably don't know"? WTF is that? The condescending tone throughout the interview from Vega is entirely unneeded and disrespectful. Currently Marbles has over 2.8 million followers on Twitter (you can follow her there at @Jenna_Marbles) and Cecilia Vega's Twitter has about 3,800 followers. That is a perfectly fine number, but even someone like me, who has not posted any videos or been on television ('cept for that episode of COPS, but I can't comment on that) and I have a;most 1,600 Twitter followers.

Anyway, this interview itself is RIDICULOUS. There was a storm of anger on Twitter from other Youtubers (wellknown and not so wellknown) commenting: Whether or not you follow these folks, their comments are just the tip of the iceberg of the reaction to how Vega and Good Morning America conducted the interview and just goes to show how little more traditional media understands what many who are online already understand. Shows like Good Morning America have seen an increasing amount of their audiences bleed away and they, along with many old school newspapers and magazines, seem to treat their own audiences as dunces when they try to explain Youtube, those who find success online, and the Internet in general.

Marbles' audience is NOT comprised primarily of vapid teens, tweens and those crazy "skateboardin' kids" - the online world is a burgeoning platform that includes many people over 30 which that article about Marbles that appeared in the New York Times strongly implied was all who watched her videos or followed her. That is patently untrue.

This interview was just another obvious example of the old media pandering to their increasingly shrinking audience and trying to explain what's going on with the kids and their "Interwebs and computer things". Their audiences are shrinking because a greater portion of the audience DOES understand and enjoys what they find online whether or not they follow Jenna Marbles or anyone on Youtube for that matter. By taking such a viewpoint that they need to poke fun and someone who has become wildly successful online as Marbles, programs such as Good Morning America are rapidly slouching down the road towards obscurity. If you haven't read Marbles' own reaction to the interview, check out her blog post called OH GREAT JOB GOOD MORNING AMERICA!, and I've added a link to her blog in the "Blogs I Like" section on this page way down on the right hand side if you want to read her blog or others I've recommended.

The First Jenna Marbles Video I Ever Saw

Yes, like most people, the very first video by Jenna Marbles that I saw was "How to trick people into thinking you're good looking", now with over 51 million views. I saw it shortly after it came out, thought she was funny, and subscribed to her channel. Like many who visit Youtube, you are likely to have already watched this video or maybe you haven't. Portions of the video were used as background in the GMA interview.

At the time I had NO idea that her channel would blow up like it has. When I subbed to her channel she had less than 10,000 subs and the video above was only the 6th-7th she had posted since creating her account way back in Feb 2010, so she's come a long way since then. Now Marbles has the 2nd Most Subscribed channel on Youtube. Maybe you like her videos or maybe you don't, but either way, a certain amount of respect is deserved for what she has accomplished is a short amount of time and you might want to keep an eye on her. Good Morning America, well, not so much.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Maker Studios Swap Out CEO Danny Zappin, Ynon Kreiz Steps In

Maker Studios announced some changes at the top with Danny Zappin (aka Danny Diamond) leaving his CEO job and being replaced by Ynon Kreiz, who lends a more experienced hand to the rapidly growing company. Zappin has been at the helm of Maker since it morphed out of the partnership of Youtubers who joined up for The Station and became one of the largest of the Youtube networks that emerged lately. Kreiz joined Maker Studios as chairman in early 2012, leaving Endemol while the company was restructuring its debtload. Endemol has since been purchased by Apollo Global Management (a private equity company) and a Dutch company named Cyrte. Kreiz takes over the same job titles of Chairman & CEO at Maker Studios that he had at Endemol.

Below is a video (posted by mipmarkets) of Ynon Kreiz from early 2010 when he was chairman & CEO Endemol. Although he is primarily discussing television, you can see he is also looking at online content. Kreiz joined Maker shortly after the network received $36 million in funding from Time Warner among others including Kreiz who joined as an investor.

Kreiz does look and sound the part of a strong corporate manager and will likely bring a capable style as Maker continues to grow, although he is a change from the group of Youtubers who started the company in 2009. In the video below, Zappin and longtime Youtuber Lisa Donovan (aka Lisa Nova) discuss Maker Studios. Maker emerged from "The Station", a Youtube channel that brought together several top content creators on the website (such as Phil DeFranco, Shane Dawson, DaveDays, ShayCarl, KassemG, thebdonski, Rawn and others) but several of them ended up leaving the channel to concentrate on their own content. After huge expectations for The Station, the channel has pretty much stopped posting Youtube videos on that channel.

What does the future hold for Maker Studios? Although Zappin leaves the main job at Maker, he continues to be on the board of Maker Studios and will be an "advisor" to Kreiz, it looks like the company will be guided by Kreiz as Maker continues to expand.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Okay, This Should Be A Viral Video: OMG! I want this

I stumbled across this video called "OMG! I want this" by May von Taurus that at first glance appears to be another Flashmob video, but then it develops further...

This video had a mere 714 views when I watched it and it was only uploaded 5 days ago, but it should get LOTS more views. The song used is Marry You
by Bruno Mars (available on iTunes), which should clue you in that this is going to be a marriage proposal. And congrats Mr & Mrs Jamin Love!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Steam Powered Giraffe: Honeybee And Other Songs

I am always looking for new music and interesting content on Youtube all the time and I think this video called Honeybee by the group Steam Powered Giraffe certainly foots the bill. This particular video was uploaded by SpineRaptor, which is the Youtube channel for "Spine", the guitarist for the group. When I found this song the channel had only 950 subscribers (a travesty!) but in the week since I first heard it his subs have grown to over 1,300. I wouldn't be the least surprised to see his subscribers increase to 5K, 10K or beyond. You really should give this song in particular a listen.

Your first reaction might be "What is going on with the makeup and robot moves?" Well, first LISTEN to the song - great harmonies. The band is called Steam Powered Giraffe and the 3 guys are supposed to be robots (automatons actually) that were "built in the 1890s" by a Colonel Walter. They are known as "The Spine" (or just Spine), "Rabbit" (the main singer in the above video) and "The Jon". There once was a female member of the group called "Upgrade" but she left in 2011 when the remaining members decided to focus more on the music.

From what I have been able to tell, they honed their skills doing a little busking at the San Diego Zoo and there are dozens of Youtube videos showing them interacting as well as performing songs and skits. Also there are several videos showing the troupe performing before larger groups that you might want to check out. The song Honeybee is available on itunes as is their first alum called Album One.Also here are a couple more of the group's songs (also available on itunes) called Brass Goggles and Me And My Baby.

The group is made up of twin brothers Chris (Rabbit) and David Michael Bennett (Spine) and Jon Sprague (The Jon). Also there is their trusty humans, Michael Phillip Reed (on a variety of instruments), Sam Luke and Steve Negrete. The group has a website that you can find out more information called which has a lot more info about the band and tour dates. And they will be in Dearborn, Michigan towards the end of May 2012 in support of the new album called The 2¢ Show.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wall Street Journal Claims Ray William Johnson Makes "Over A Million Dollars A Year"

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article (by Emily Glazer) called Who Is RayWJ? YouTube's Top Star. In the article, RWJ is described as "a foul-mouthed performer working on his own to carve out a very lucrative business". Ray? Foul mouthed? The article goes on to say that he makes about a million dollars a year from various Youtube channels, selling t-shirts and all the other stuff he has available.

According to the what Ray said to the WSJ in an exchange of emails (because he refuses to do in-person interviews) is that Youtube is "a hobby". Well Ray, we all have hobbies, but not to many that pay a cool $1,000,000 per year. Now I obviously don't have access to what Ray William Johnson makes just from Youtube but there are websites that are kind of accurate in projecting what those who are making money actually make. Personally, I don't care what Ray makes and I don't think it really is my business, but there are others who are deeply interested. Maybe I should make a video saying "How Much Does Ray William Johnson Make A Year Off Youtube?" or one of the other top youtubers. There are some already on the website, but I wouldn't bother watching them.

Obviously, I would suggest you read the Wall Street Journal article and watch the two videos below and make up your own mind about it. The link to the article is above and below will be Ray's response on his Equals 3 channel and the video showing Glazer discussing him with Gwendolyn Bounds (which Ray includes in his video below). Ray's video starts off like most of his others but about half way through he starts talking about the Wall Street Journal story.

You'll notice Ray sort of dismisses the whole "he makes one million dollars" part and says he has all these other people he has to pay and in the article he talks about animation costs for his MyFavoriteMartian channel and other associated costs. There's really no way of telling exactly what Ray makes each year, unless you're his accountant, but even Ray probably can't give you an exact figure because it likely fluctuates all the time. But - I think he is probably very comfortable as far as money is concerned.

Next is the interview Glazer had with Gwendolyn Bounds which I thought was interesting. Both seem to have an outsider's view of what goes on with Youtube partners and calling Ray William Johnson a "recent phenomenon" when his main channel became the most subscribed on the website mid-2011 as well as all the success he has received leading up to that moment seems a little short-sighted. It's like both were discussing "those crazy kids and the Youtube" which is kind played out.

One thing I noticed was that they said that if content creators had two or three million views, they received anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000. That is a point they should have clarified a bit more because there is a misconception that Youtube Partners are paid according to the number of views their videos receive. Like all in the Adsense program, getting money depends on the clicks on advertising and very little on the simple display of those ads.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Youtube Partnership With Only 17 Subs, Wait, What?!

Just found out that this brand new Youtube channel named Jackinum has been accepted into the Youtube Partnership Program. The channel currently has a grand total of 17 subscribers and 2 videos posted onto the channel.

I took a look at the videos posted and it looks like so far he has posted just a couple, one of which is a gaming video and the first is him telling everyone that the channel is now in the Partnership Program. I've never seen another channel that had been accepted so quickly with next to no videos and such a low number of subscribers. Jack mentions he had applied for partnership on a different channel but had been declined but this one had been accepted fairly quickly. He says he had adsense enabled on his other account. Also, there's an annotation on the video about some troll site telling their visitors to thumbs down the video. I don't know what site he's talking about, but it's not Bradshaw's Blog. No nefarious activity here. I'm just surprised to see a channel get partnered so quickly within meeting the usual reasons for consideration for Youtube partnership.

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