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!

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