Youtube for Filmmakers — Maximize the Platform

Google confirmed that its Q4 2016 net income rose over 25% to $5.06 billion year on year. RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney estimates the video platform’s annual revenue has now reached $10 billion and is increasing by as much as 40% a year. This growth makes YouTube “one of the strongest assets fundamentally on the internet today.” Please understand that I’m not focusing on just filmmakers at the moment. Research says that online traffic will consist of about 75% of video in 2020. That’s powerful information to start digesting today.

Youtube’s blog announced back in 2013 that “YouTube now has more than a billion unique users every single month.” That information is now 4 years old. In the last 365 days, 53.5 million accounts uploaded 518 million videos to YouTube. And these videos got 2 trillion (with a “T”) views and 35.9 billion (with a “B”) engagements over that period of time. Those numbers give me goosebumps. How does this information help you the filmmaker?

Show Your Film to a Billion People

The YouTube video with the most views in the last 365 days is Fifth Harmony’s “Work from Home” music video. It’s 2017 and the video has over 1 billion views. If you have a story to tell, Youtube is a fantastic platform to distribute. Can you wrap your head around the idea of a billion people watching your film? That is not easily scalable even with traditional distribution, but we live in such an amazing time for independent filmmakers!

Why Should Filmmakers Use Youtube?

The company Ericsson interviewed 30,000 individuals in more than 20 countries, and says the study statistically represents the views of 1.1 billion people, which is more than a third of the 3 billion global internet users.

Some of the key findings in Ericsson’s studies:

  • YouTube reaches more 18–49 year-olds than any U.S. cable network.
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
  • On mobile, the average viewing session on YouTube is now more than 40 minutes.

In case you didn’t catch the last one, it means the average person on Youtube would be willing to stick around long enough to watch a feature film! The little video sharing site that Google acquired in November 2006 has come a long way in the last 10 years. The company continues to grow and it’s worth paying attention to if we are to self-distribute our films.

That’s it! I hope this information helped you decide whether you should be using Youtube as a filmmaker. Have you started your own Youtube filmmaker channel yet? I’d love to check it out. Let me know the name of it in the comments below!